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 Post subject: First try quiet HTPC vol1 - Apex MI-008, 21-08-2011update
PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2010 4:08 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jan 01, 2009 7:30 am
Posts: 64
Location: Madrid (Spain)
Hi everyone!

I'm glad to present you my first attempt to build a quiet HTPC & Pc for everything except gaming. Sorry if my English is not very accurate :oops:. One thing previous to the sauce: I know very little about AMD, so any feedback about the doubts of AMD around this and the following posts will be very highly appreciated :) :) (thus, my build is an Intel one)

In this first post I will talk about my build, my dreamed build and then, an aproach to my dreamed build. Hope you enjoy the consecutive article-posts :)

I have already some components, so let's see my actual build:

Case: Apex Mi-008

Edit at 21 August 2011: consider another better case for the same price and measurements: Kassia 400W from B-Move. If anyone is interested, I'll translate the specs to English asap. The price I've done on a quick search over the web is ~40€.

If you look close to it, image1, image2 and image3, it is very similar to the case Apex-MI008. Furthermore, it has some very nice features and improvements:

- cage for 2 3,5" HDDs
- front panel with e-Sata + x4 USB connectors
- a fan holder to blow air direct/serve as an exhaust to the heatsink of your motherboard

Also, for the hdds probably you can mount an 80mm fan at the panel in order to keep your hdds cool. I've done several experiments with airflow and CFM (MikeC/any moderator, if you are interested in add that content to the existing one, please PM me, thanks!) to cool several hard drives and the optimal and effortless solution is to blow air horizontally to the hdd, holding the hdd by its side panels. The hdd has a critical spot point to cool its heat: its bottom, so by directing the airflow through its bottom its a quite well solution.

In a restrictive tunnel made by some case-cds and some wood lying around the house I've observed at 33ºC (ambient, yes pretty hoy withoy any air conditioner turned on at my room in order to do the test -worst case scenario), my WD5002ABYS with a 120mm fan (low rpms antec tricool, if anyone is interested. The purpose was testing with an entry-level fan) in an horizontal way reach ~37ºC playing hd for 30min. The same test with the hd lying on the table 43ºC. The same test but with the zotac 9300 in the top of the hdd and a 120mm fan at the bottom, ~40ºC. The same test but without any fan, 45-46ºC. Low quality pic over here to see the 'sandwiched' configuration.

So, maybe a fan with low speed (in the road seeking for noise) will maintain your hdds with a delta over the ambient of ~5-7ºC (take in mind as an imperative evacuate the heat of the cpu/integrated gpu). Also I've repeated testing another hdds lying on the table (no airflow, no air conditioner at room) reach a delta of ~10-12ºC (also at 33ºC ambient temperature): 2 WD Caviar Green (1 and 2 TB) and a 150GB Velocirraptor.

Note: on my previous configuration (which you can see at the end of the topic) the hdds with only the fan of the big shuriken at low rpms (quiet mode on the motherboard) the hdds last summer (30-33ºC in my room with no air conditioner -remember testing parameters) reached 48-50ºC because of the heat produced by the heatsink of the gpu (reaching ~65-70CºC at ~30ºC ambient) of the zotac 9300. Take in mind that if you use a discrete gpu instead of the integrated one, many users have reported that the iGPU temps go low (over 40ºC) as far as I can remember.

PSU: picoPSU 150W + 150W power brick
+ extra cable for the PSU + power connector molex to SATA adapter

Why an extra cable? You can put another rail but, as one dealer said me, the same power will be drawed from the 2 'rails' (cables) than having only one 'rail'. I'm not very sure about this, but just in case, I've ordered one extra cable -apar from cable routing issues- to power for example:

- 'line1': DVD-RW + HDD
- 'line2': HDD + 7V/5V fan (for example)

Is it neccesary to buy an extra molex to SATA power adapter? No, the cable isn't needed because the motherboard has one, so you don't really have to. Notice that the cable supplied with the motherboard is a little bit long, so maybe you will be happy with it, maybe not, depending on the 'cable routing' you will do around the case.

Motherboard: Zotac Geforce 9300-itx wifi, version I-E
Note: they have released K-E version... damn it! :(. It has DDR3 1066/1333, so if you have an e6xx+e7xxx / e8xxx it would be perfect (synchronice 1:2), but the design was a try to build an affordable, low consumption&noise HTPC. I'll discuss this later.
Note2: it has Wifi b/g also as the K-E, but zotac's 1156 socket model it has Wifi N with two antennas. Please visit this link for some discussion about it.

CPU: Intel e5300
CPU Heatsink: Scythe Big Shuriken. Very difficult to mount with standard LGA 775 mounting (from 0 to 10, 8 ). I will discuss it later.
Edited: I've finally mounted Big Shuriken with CPU Cooler Stabilizer, instead of buying screws and so on. The package is fine for my purposes and I don't have to bother so much about finding the accurate screws. Also, it is about ~7€.

RAM: 2x2GB = total of 4GB DDR2 @800MHz 5-5-15 @1,8V. I will discuss this later.

Total cost of new componentes including taxes, transport, etc: ~430€ (DDR2 since September to present days have raised so much. If 4GB @800 of RAM were buyed on summer, it would have been ~50 € instead of ~80€; so then the total cost would be ~400€)

HDDs: 3.5" x1 Western Digital 500Gb 24/7 Caviar Black & 3.5" 1TB EACS, which both I already have
Edited: I've mounted only 1TB, so the 500GB HDD is my back up HDD. In the near future I'll buy 3,5" 1,5-2TB HDD
DVD-RW: 5 1/2" DVD-RW from Sony


Now, my dreamed HTPC/PC general purposes build (probably the less consumption/noise build) would be this one:

Case: with enough room to contain these components, maybe Aopen S-150). Maybe Antec ISK 300-65 would be a better choice (as reviewed by SPCR)

Edit at 21 August 2011: consider another better case for the same price and measurements: Kassia 400W from B-Move. If anyone is interested, I'll translate the specs to English asap. The price I've done on a quick search over the web is ~40€.

If you look close to it, image1, image2 and image3, it is very similar to the case Apex-MI008. Furthermore, it has some very nice features and improvements:

- cage for 2 3,5" HDDs
- front panel with e-Sata + x4 USB connectors
- a fan holder to blow air direct/serve as an exhaust to the heatsink of your motherboard

Also, for the hdds probably you can mount an 80mm fan at the panel in order to keep your hdds cool. I've done several experiments with airflow and CFMs to cool several hard drives and the optimal and effortless solution is to blow air horizontally to the hdd, holding the hdd by its side panels. The hdd has a critical spot point to cool its heat: its bottom, so by directing the airflow through its bottom its a quite well solution.

In a restrictive tunnel made by some case-cds and some wood lying around the house I've observed at 33ºC (ambient, yes pretty hoy withoy any air conditioner turned on at my room in order to do the test -worst case scenario), my WD5002ABYS with a 120mm fan (low rpms) in an horizontal way reach ~37ºC playing hd for 30min. The same test with the hd lying on the table 43ºC. The same test but with the zotac 9300 in the top of the hdd and a 120mm fan at the bottom, ~40ºC. The same test but without any fan, 45-46ºC. Low quality pic over here to see the 'sandwiched' configuration.

PSU: picoPSU 150W + 100-120W power brick
Mobo: Zotac 9300 with e5xxx, probably a better choice than e3xxx in cost/efficiency or the J&W 785G with underclocked&volted AMD CPU
CPU Heatsink: same/I don't know for AMD
RAM: probably with 2gb we may get enough (DDR2 SDRAM / DDR2 SO-DIMM -the small one)
HDD SO: x1 SSD ~30-40 GB (2.5")
HDD Storage: x2 Western Digital 1 TB Scorpio Blue (2.5")
External DVD-RW by USB (may it exist on e-sata? I don't know)

And now, probably the best quality/price/noise:

Case: Apex Mi-008
PSU: 150W picoPSU + 100-120W power brick
Motherboard & CPU & Heastink the same as previous build
RAM: 2x1GB = 2gb total will be more than enough
HDDs: x2 Western Digital 1,5Tb EADS. Small partition in one for the SO like 30~40gb (3,5")
DVD-RW: 5 1/2" DVD-RW /external, whichever cost less

The differences between these 3 builds I'll try to explain them on the next post.

Hope you have enjoyed :)

Regards,

Javier

PS: the only component that I have not recieved yet is de picoPSU, so when I have it, I'll complete the build and hopefully, make updates over this thread with the last pics of the build.

_________________
My computer: Thermaltake Armor Jr +2S-Flex 1200rpm, Corsair VX450W, Asus P5Q-E, Intel e8500 + Noctua NH-C12P (actually without fan due to tests), RAM GeIL 4 GB DDR2-800, Asus EAH4850/HTDI (actually at warranty :() Future HTPC upcoming!


Last edited by javitxi on Sun Aug 21, 2011 12:52 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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 Post subject: Second post - Why these componets? Discuss/talk about
PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2010 5:33 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jan 01, 2009 7:30 am
Posts: 64
Location: Madrid (Spain)
In this second post I'll talk about/discuss the reasons that led me to make and buy the 1st build, so here we go.

Well, I have all these ideas popping on my mind so I've decided to go on with the second post, but now is 2.20am and I'm a little tired. If you would excuse me there are some issues I'll talk at the next 1-2 post (HDDs, 2nd and 3rd build, pics and explanation of the pics). Hope that you enjoy reading the post, and as always feedback/help/etc will be highly appreciated :) :), so many thanks in advance.

Why these components?

Why mini-ITX?

Why not? No, I mean serious, why don't going on mini-ITX solution instead of a micro-ATX solution? Becasue I already have a mid-Tower gaming-Pc for all, so I want something which is small to put it at top of the mid-tower. Thus, I can put the 2 Pcs under the desk (combined ~66cm height). Also, it can be used as an HTPC by my fathers on the living room (on other posts and/or late I'll talk about the multimedia project I've thought) or I can carry it easily everywhere, like to one of my friends house who has a 52" TV, casual LAN party with them (although I'm not planning to play at high res & effects), etc.

Why APEX MI-008?

First of all, I'm going to put x2 3.5" HDDs and x1 5 1/2" DVD-RW which I already have, so searching through cases for miniITX, probably the best value one would be this case reviewed here by Lawrence. Then, I decided to give it a try because it is 22cm width and ~14cm height.

It also carries a micro-ATX form factor PSU of 230W, which I was not planning to use because of what it is stated in many reviews and builds I've seen about this case and similar ones: we need clearance up for the heatsink, and if we are going to give a taste of silence, the Intel stock is not a very good option. This issue leads us to the next point.

Why a 150W picoPSU + 150W power brick?

Actually motherboards has 24 pin instead of 20 pin -plus 4 to 8 pins extra rails of +12V, and normally, if your system draw not so much energy, it wouldn't be a real problem that you lack of those 24 connections on your power supply (total of 20). By the way, I'll prefer to have the complete 24 pin just in case, and also the difference in price between 120W-20 pin picoPSU and 150W-24 pin it's ~10$. Furthermore, the 120W power brick + 150W pico PSU pack was not available, and for the same price it was the 150W power brick compared to other sites. So yes, the ideal combo would be 150W picoPSU + 100-120W power brick if you find it (8Ax12V, where 8A are the max load for the 150W picoPSU)

Also, by reading the instructions of 150W picoPSU:

> for fanless operation de-rate the output of the 3,3V and 5V rails by ~35% or ensure PSU surface temperature should not exceed 65ºC, whichever comes first

5V and 3,3V are rated to 6A max load, so de-rating them means to have a 3,9A max load. I think I wouldn't draw more than 3,9A as you will see in the next point.

> combined and sustained output should not exceed 65% of total power or ensure PSU surface temperature shoould not exceed 65ºC, whichever comes first.

So 150W x 0,65 = 97,5 W ~ 100W. My system would draw at full load/extress probably no more than 90-100W as far as I've read on many configurations of many users around this and others forums. It would idle at 30-40W and at load 70-80W. So, I think the only problem would be the 65ºC as well as on the previous point.

> Input current should not exceed 8A. For current higher load, we suggest ussing a 2x2 mini-FIT JR as an input connector

I have buyed this picoPSU pack. It has a mini-FIT JR, so it wouldn't be a problem. 12V x 8A = 96W

> peak load for individual rails should not exceed 60 seconds

> for long life operation, PSU temperature should not exceed 65ºC

Why an Intel-motherboard solution?

I know very little about AMD CPUs, so my natural choice would be Intel. Then, looking at mini-ITX motherboards I saw Zotac GeForce 8200-ITX WiFi. It's a nice motherboard with undervoltage/underclock options with 4SATA connectors and all the pros desrcibed on the SPCR review BUT it has some cons: no new bios updates, some problems & some blu-ray drawbacks (then some 1080p drawbacks I thought).

So, the few candidates left were the Intel G45 and Zotac nVidia 9300 version for Intel. After comparing the 2 reviews here and in other websites (Intel Southbridge @90-100ºC, power on problems, no bios succesfull upgrades, etc), and keeping in mind the recommendation product of SPCR about Zotac 9300 (revisions and bios solve problems, 3 Satas, 1chip solution to northbridge+southbridg+graphics card, PCI-E!!), the choice was clear, although at the beginning I had decided the Intel one.

After all the searching & decisions were finished I roughly come across with JW MINIX 785G AMD 785G. Then, I had done another further research of this card VS Zotac geforce 9300, although my little knowledge of AMD. The info & little reviews I had found:

http://www.jwele.com/motherboard_detail.php?792
http://www.bit-tech.net/hardware/mother ... -chipset/1
http://www.miniitx.biz/mini-itx-motherb ... hong-kong/
http://vr-zone.com/articles/does-size-r ... 216-1.html

I don't know really how an AM2+ socket life was, compatibilities, etc, and also, the RAM of this board is SO-DIMM!! Thus, because of my lack of experience on AMD and SO-DIMM RAM modules, I decided Zotac 9300, although probably the characteristics of the J&W board may be greater than Zotac 9300 ones. I think MikeC has/had a build or somebody over the forum, but then I was exhausted of thinking, assembling prices, consumption & heat over my head, so instead of installing a HSF + fan to cool my head in order to continue the reasoning pro/cons, I thought the Zotac 9300 was just fine for the work. Also, I can find it available at more websites and also at websites and stores in Spain and Madrid (where I live).

So then, summing-up the new Zotac Geforce 9300 Wifi I-E has some OC/OV quite interesting & also a -0.05/ -0.1V the CPU and a free range to establish the multiplier of the CPU, apart of their other characteristics which you can view on this review (version I-E). For silentpcreview info, please click on this link

Would be a good idea going to 9300 K-E version?

Maybe if you are looking for:

- going synchronous 1:2 with FSB, e6xxx and e7xxx has a 1066 FSB while e8xxx and quads, if I am not wrong, they had 1333 FSB. Although DDR3 RAM is more expensive than DDR2, which actually is expensive by the way.

- going into an ITX gaming rig solution: you put a quad, 4gb DDR3 @1333, PSU ~300W ATX form factor and a bigger case like Silverstone SUGO for example.

it would be a good idea (quality/value). On this thread we are basing the system on e5xxx family which might be a little overkill to our purposes, providing Atom 330+ION could move 1080p as sayed on its SPCR's review and many users report this.

Why then I-E instead of G-E 9300 version?

I-E is around ~20$ more than G-E (newegg used as standard prices, today 29/01/2010, the difference is 15$), and in G-E all the previous problems has been corrected, so it would be nice to have it instead of I-E. I-E adds more OV/OC issues (but not so much) and a little UV/UC issues (max undervolt -0.1V), and the 9300 has more OC/UC capability. Also, having the late revision I think that makes the motherboard more reliable.

About OC/OV-UC/UV CPU/GPU I'll try to talk when I'll tweak it and test it.

Why an e5xxx CPU?

On many sites, the e5xxx (200/300/400) had proven to be a low power CPU with also high and easy abilities to overclock (and also middle underclock/undervolting). Sorry, but you have to do a little web browsing because the articles I actually have are in Spanish.

Also, for quality/cost/value is a better choice over e3xxx, which has the same FSB @800. If you want to do some vt-x (hardware virtualization) issues, please look first at Intel e5300 website to check that the model you are planning to buy supports it!! Also, notice that e5200 does NOT support vt-x and e5400 only in some models.

I don't know if Zotac 9300 can handle vt-x because I now very little about hardware virtualization (and also software), so when I tweak the sys I'll probabply check for it.

Edited: at BIOS, it has the option to activate it. Nothing proved yet, sorry :( but I think we can do it without any problems activating the option at BIOS.

The new e3xxx and e6xxx (wolfdale-3M), all the models have vt-x technology.

For more info about this, refer to this link of the forum.

Why not e6xxx/e7xxx/e8xxx?

Because of the FSB @1066/1333 and its 'powerhorse'/ power consumption VS price. Also, I think an e3xxx or e2xxxx could handle -paired with our mobo Zotac 9300- 1080p HD content very well (the platform Atom 330 + ION could do it, at least on Zotac boards I've seen)

Why then e5300 instead of e5200 or e5400?

Because e5300 is more avilable than e5200, a little better, about money issues is only ~5$ up, and it has a non-fraction multiplier (2,6 GHz means a multilpier of x13) and a e5400 depending on the stores, isn't worth. Also, e5300 & e5400 has in some models vt-x as commented before.

So, what can we do with this mobo + CPU? By reading, some users have 2GHz and 0,9V on e5xxx, so we can put a -0.1V and reduce the frequency at 2GHz (I'll have to check the normal operative voltage working of the CPU, I mean, the voltage that your motherboard puts on your CPU when you place your CPU at first time on the mobo without doing anything at the BIOS. I'll do it when tweaking the sys).

This is something I will do when finishing tweaking the HTPC, because I haven't done any UC/UV and I haven't read so much except of the UC/UV over here on SPCR.

Why Scythe Big Shuriken instead of Nexus Low 7000?

Mainly, because it is a little lower and is by far more available at Spain than Nexus heatsink. Yes, it is a very difficult task to mount it and so on with LGA 775 pushpins -and also on every miniITX mobo, see the images on the next posts, but I'll talk about this on the next post with some pics. From these lines, many thanks to Riffler with his advises about Big Shuriken and all the help/feedback brought by SPCR members/staff.

Edited: take in mind the Stabilizer I've talk about before

Why 4GB of RAM instead of 2?

I don't know how far I will squeeze this tiny but maybe in the future, this HTPC will do some streaming via Gigabit Ethernet/Wifi to a Popcorn / Woxter i-Box 200 as part of my multimedia project at home. Maybe I will need more CPU, which I have on my actual Pc Game, an e8500, for which the pico 150W + 150W power brick is still enough (maybe I'll have to do a little underclock). Some friends told me about Samba and other things which I can't remember now and I have to read a lot about them.

In the worst case, these 2 sticks of RAM will take place on my Gaming Pc (which you can see at my signature), having 2 pairs of 2x2GB sticks (total of 4 sticks, total 8GB of RAM), so dual channel will work in both cases (although the optimal would be 4 sticks of the same part number (model) RAM)

Hope you have enjoyed the reading :)

Regards,

Javier

Edit 29/01: some info added, some words corrected, hope to have expressed myself correctly
Edit 16/02: some info added, some misspoken words corrected, hope to have expressed myself correctly
Edit 21/08/2011: new info, results and alternatives added. Hoping to post some more ideas soon and the evolution of my htpc.

_________________
My computer: Thermaltake Armor Jr +2S-Flex 1200rpm, Corsair VX450W, Asus P5Q-E, Intel e8500 + Noctua NH-C12P (actually without fan due to tests), RAM GeIL 4 GB DDR2-800, Asus EAH4850/HTDI (actually at warranty :() Future HTPC upcoming!


Last edited by javitxi on Sun Aug 21, 2011 12:58 pm, edited 6 times in total.

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 Post subject: 3rd post - rest of whys? and some pics
PostPosted: Thu Jan 28, 2010 9:02 am 
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Joined: Thu Jan 01, 2009 7:30 am
Posts: 64
Location: Madrid (Spain)
In this 3rd post I'll talk about/discuss the rest of the points and show some pics of the construction of the build. Hope you enjoy the reading :)

Why am I interested going synchronous 1:2?

Because if you go synchronous, you will get the top performance between CPU and RAM. Although nowadays it is not very important because AMD has no Northbrigde (Hypertransport instead) and Intel has eliminated for its new generation of CPUs (i7s, 5s, 3s); also if you have/buy a Celeron, Dual Core, Core 2 or Quad which are Quadpumped and work with Northbrigde, probably if you pair an e8xxx (FSB 1333) with DDR2 @667, although going 1:2 it's slower than e8xxx + DDR2 @800. Furthermore, the mobo can go 667/800 -so we can have an e8xxx with RAM @667/800- but the e5xxx is the best performer in quality/power consumption/price and probably, might be a little overkill providing that Atom 330+ION can handle 1080p. Then, why an e8xxx which costs 3 times more (and more overkill for our purposes)?

Which HDDs are better (comparision)?

If you are looking to have plenty GB on your HTPC, you probably think in 1TB, or maybe having 2TB by far. Assuming you are not going to use more than 2TB (remember 1080p content in .mkv is heavy in MB), now you want the less noise HDDs and also the less power hungry ones (probably you have the HTPC 24/7 but most of the time on sleep S3 mode). If you are looking for this 3 things, you should go for

2.5" Western Digital 1TB Scorpio Blue, providing we trust WD specs:

Acoustics
Idle Mode 24 dBA (average)
Seek Mode 0 26 dBA (average)

Power Dissipation
Read/Write 2.50 Watts
Idle 0.85 Watts
Standby 0.25 Watts
Sleep 0.10 Watts

As you can see, by far, the 1TB Scorpio Blue is the less power consumer and less noise maker. But it has a mainly drawback, its very expensive. Using a Spain sotre, the Scorpio Blue is~200 €, and for ~160 € you could have a 3.5" Western Digital 2TB Caviar Green. Maybe searching through the web, the prices may be ~10-15 € up/down (at newegg there is no 1TB Scorpio Blue), but the Scorpio Blue is still very expensive compared with its capacity.

So, as stayed on the article here on SPCR, probably the best quality/noise/power consumption/capacity will be the Western Digital 1,5 TB, and from the model EADS (~100€) we have (as sayed on the 1st article page of the review of SPCR)

Power Requirements:
Standby & Sleep / Idle / Read & Write 0.80W / 3.70W / 6.00W
Acoustics:
Idle / Quiet Seek / Performance Seek 25 / 26 / 29 dBA

And then for x2 1,5TB price you have only x1 1TB Scorpio Blue. Really you are going to make it worth over the years ussage? I don't think so, but I can't give you any states about cost of KW/hr which I don't know. So if you are interested, please do the maths for me and report :) It will be very interesting.

Why an internal DVD-RW instead of an external?

Because, for example, you could re-use an IDE by putting some IDE-SATA adapter, and I think many users have IDE DVD-RW around on old Pcs. Also an external USB DVD-RW is around 150% to 200% the price of an internal 5 1/2" SATA DVD-RW.

But having an external has its advantages: apart of the additional space you have in the box, if you have it not conennected to the HTPC, the internal will consume a little amount although you are not using it. May it be worth? The same maths are needed overhere, and also the loss of power of the internal DVD-RW which I don't know.

Also, if you are considering to have an internal Slim DVD-RW, it probably cost you more than the external or the same in some cases, so is up to you.

*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*

As all these points are now discussed, let's move to the good stuff, the pics 8) Each picture was done at a 1MB/3MB resolution, so it was ~1,5Mb each one. I've uploaded them to photobucket so please, click on the images to see the original ones at 1MB/3MB full res :)

In this first picture, I'll show you the case Apex MI-008, which it has already the two sides with holes so no dremel time by now :(. Also I'll show you the package of the case, motherboard, the chipset 9300, the RAM used and the Big Shuriken package

Image Image Image

Image Image

At the case pic, you could see the PSU which has one rail with 3molex and floppy, a separated rail for on SATA connector, 20+4 pin power connector and a 4-pin connector for the mobo. The rest of components you can find them on SPCR review.

At the motherboard, I've mounted the e5300 in order to give you a more specific visual idea of the mobo, and also dismounted the heatsink to give you an idea of it and how thermal paste was applied by Zotac. Notice that if you press the heatsink you can move it because of the plastic retention clips with springs it has. If you don't press to move it wouldn't move so its secure mounted by these clips.

At the RAM, although the label says 1,5V, it works at 1,8V as Mushkin website, so I don't know the reason of 1,5V at the label :roll:

Let's see now how I have mounted the Big Shuriken at first time with LGA 775 push-pins

Image Image

Image Image

As you can see in the photos, I've mounted it without the pins in order to see how is the best way to mount it. Riffler suggest to use washers, screws and so on, but I'll try to mount it with the standard LAG 775 at first try.

The best mounting option is the top 2 photos, because by this way, I can adjust the pins or the screws of the part that its between RAM and heatsink of 9300 chip. If the heatpipes are at the 9300's heatsink, I will not be able to at last mount the heatsink.

So the mounting order will be:
1st: RAM slots
2nd: heatsink mounting clips /screws adjustment
3rd: mounting 9300's heatsink by pushing clips down with a thin plane screwdriver

So with some isopropilic alcohol, we clean the CPU surface, the surface of Big Shuriken and the 9300's heatsink surface, as you can see in the next pic

Image Image Image

Image Image

Then I've applied Artic Silver 5 by spread method to the 9300 chip (the best way according to AS5 instructions), and also by this method to the e5300. Probably line method will be the best to the CPU, but I don't feel very sure to put the proper quantity so I've done also the spread method.

Then with the piler you see in the bottom left photo (notice it has a curved shape in order to have a better access to do the force to mount the clips) and with a lot of patience and care, I'll push turn down the pins

In the bottom right photo you'll see the final result with the 9300's heatsink mounted.

Yes, probably screws and so on that Riffer advice me over here would have been a better option, but I wanted to give a try to the LGA 775 mounting clips, and it worked :)

At least, some pics of the mobo inside the case

Image Image
Image Image

Notice that in order to mount the mobo, with a thin plane screw driver I had to force the fins of the Big Shuriken, to put the screw driver through the fins in order to turn the screw correctly that places below Big Shuriken

I plugged the PSU of the case to the mounted motherboard and everything worked :D So, when I'll have the picoPSU, I'll mount all the HDDs and so on, and I'll post the image of the tests, temps, etc.

Thanks for your reading, and also any suggestions/advice/etc will be highly appreciated :)

Javier

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My computer: Thermaltake Armor Jr +2S-Flex 1200rpm, Corsair VX450W, Asus P5Q-E, Intel e8500 + Noctua NH-C12P (actually without fan due to tests), RAM GeIL 4 GB DDR2-800, Asus EAH4850/HTDI (actually at warranty :() Future HTPC upcoming!


Last edited by javitxi on Tue Feb 16, 2010 2:11 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 29, 2010 7:53 am 
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Javier, please, please, pleeeeeaaaaaase reduce the size of your pictures to max 800x600. The thread is almost impossible to read this way because I need to keep scrolling left/right :(.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 29, 2010 8:31 am 
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I was on it peerke but the BBCode [img=hhhxwww] MikeC told me, I don't know why but doesn't work over here. Many thanks anyway peerke.

I've reduced the images to 800x600 with paint, so by this way not only it is reduced their shape, but also their Kb, so hope they charge faster on your web browser.

I have a 22" 1680x1050, so if any more reduction is needed, please tell me without hesitation. Also, I hope to find some way to upload them to some host that reduces them automatically, and just by clicking on the image, you could see them at full res as imageshack us. I believe that with the pass of time, imageshack delete your images, so that is the reason which I didn't wanted to upload them to it.

As sayed on the previous messages, any help/feedback/suggestions (also with this image problems) will be higly appreciated :)

Javier

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My computer: Thermaltake Armor Jr +2S-Flex 1200rpm, Corsair VX450W, Asus P5Q-E, Intel e8500 + Noctua NH-C12P (actually without fan due to tests), RAM GeIL 4 GB DDR2-800, Asus EAH4850/HTDI (actually at warranty :() Future HTPC upcoming!


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 29, 2010 9:03 am 
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Your effort is much appreciated. They are wonderful images btw. so being able to view them is a delight. Will be reading your posts now and will try to come up with advise if I see anything to improve upon. Hope someone has advise on the image hosting.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 29, 2010 11:32 am 
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peerke wrote:
Your effort is much appreciated. They are wonderful images btw. so being able to view them is a delight. Will be reading your posts now and will try to come up with advise if I see anything to improve upon. Hope someone has advise on the image hosting.


Thanks :) I would like to put the photos at max res in order you can zoom in and see clear all the details in order you can make your doubts clear (will this heatsink fit? etc)

Some info and some modifications added, hope to have not missed anything!

Javier

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My computer: Thermaltake Armor Jr +2S-Flex 1200rpm, Corsair VX450W, Asus P5Q-E, Intel e8500 + Noctua NH-C12P (actually without fan due to tests), RAM GeIL 4 GB DDR2-800, Asus EAH4850/HTDI (actually at warranty :() Future HTPC upcoming!


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 29, 2010 2:07 pm 
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Joined: Sun Nov 09, 2003 7:18 am
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Location: UK
Hi javitixi, if you use the following code format:
Code:
[url=http://www.mysite.com/large.jpg][img]http://www.mysite.com/small.jpg[/img][/url]


This will display the small image which you can then click on to open the large image. (in a new window by default)

Regards, Seb

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i7 2600k under NH-C14 w/2xTY-140PWM fans, P8P67Deluxe, 8GB RAM, GTX560Ti OC w/TwinTurbo II and BIOS fanspeed mod. 2x120GB HyperX 3K RAID 0 & 2TB EARX in Scythe QuietDrive outside case. Antec Signature 650 fan swapped. CoolerMaster 201C with 2x92 + lower 92mm fan out rear, holes-in-floor and mesh top+front intakes.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 30, 2010 3:31 pm 
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Nice build. I for one think small cases are the future. I have one question. What did you do with the big hole left by removing the power supply? Is there an exhaust fan anywhere, or is this a one fan machine?


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 30, 2010 5:34 pm 
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Many thanks Seb

diver wrote:
Nice build. I for one think small cases are the future. I have one question. What did you do with the big hole left by removing the power supply? Is there an exhaust fan anywhere, or is this a one fan machine?


The sys is not finished yet, sorry! I have some exams to do, and instead of resting on bed, I'll prefer reading more testing CPU and doing some maths betwee Zotac H55 and this one hehe. Also, defragmenting, organising data, etc on my HDDs and trying to find some free host with plenty of space and less advertisement as possible (and also, that they don't delete your photos with the pass of time).

Hope to have the sys finished by 10-15 days :)

Many thanks for your patience and reading. As always, any feedback will be highly appreciated

Javier

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My computer: Thermaltake Armor Jr +2S-Flex 1200rpm, Corsair VX450W, Asus P5Q-E, Intel e8500 + Noctua NH-C12P (actually without fan due to tests), RAM GeIL 4 GB DDR2-800, Asus EAH4850/HTDI (actually at warranty :() Future HTPC upcoming!


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 15, 2010 5:16 pm 
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Here I'm back again! I've mounted it and it is alive :)

This post is just to inform you about the updates:

- first and second post reread 3 times, some info added, some words corrected. Well... I hardly doubt I've forgotten to say something up to this point :lol: [finished]

- third post: upgrading the images & editing some test. I've updated the first 5 images. The rest I'll do it by tomorrow [done]

- you can spoiler yourslef looking at the rest of the photos on the album at photobucket. I'll try to have the resting photos commented by tomorrow (rest of the procedure of mounting). [done]

- tweak down of the sys & more ideas pomping around my head by tomorrow or the day after tomorrow. Little time, sorry.

- proper response to diver [writing it]

Thanks for your patience :D

Javier

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My computer: Thermaltake Armor Jr +2S-Flex 1200rpm, Corsair VX450W, Asus P5Q-E, Intel e8500 + Noctua NH-C12P (actually without fan due to tests), RAM GeIL 4 GB DDR2-800, Asus EAH4850/HTDI (actually at warranty :() Future HTPC upcoming!


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 Post subject: 4th post - finishing the build, it's dremel time :)
PostPosted: Tue Feb 16, 2010 3:38 pm 
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In this post, I'll comment the end of building the system with the next photos. Also, I'll focus on the problems I came across and a few notes.

Up to now, I have done some testing with the LGA 775 push pins....but I don't know very sure when it happened, but one of the pins wasn't very tightened to the motherboard hole. Then, I've done some movements on the Big Shuriken an this pin jumped a little bit its secure turnable-thing. Thus, I've decided going into the washer-screw solution that Riffer told me about before (which I've said on my previous post). Then, I remembered the kit of Schyte CPU Cooler Stabilizer, which I have read about somewhere not so long ago and gave me an idea. Why not giving it a try? It has the screws and the rest of things I would have needed.

On the next pics I'll show you a closer look to the CPU & 9300 chipset, cooler backplate and the cooler with the screws and washers of the kit

Image Image
Image Image

As you can see, the backplate has one side covered with rubber, so the chips that are at the back of the motherboard wouldn't be a problem. Also, I've mounted the cooler with the last orientation. I had put it first in order you can see how the screws and nuts that are on the 9300's heatsink, although you can put first the 9300's heatsink and then the backplate and the screws because the nuts are fixed to the brackets of the mounting. So, the only thing you have to do is to put the screws in the holes and turn them in.

By having done all these steps, I came across with some problems:

- I can't mount the 3,5" HDD on its bay because of the length of big shuriken
- I have to do some holes on the rails of the case that are designed to hold a 3,5" HDD

- I can't mount the second 3,5" HDD on the side because of width of big shuriken

So, I did some mountings, cable routing and so on, and I discovered the solution:

- put the big shuriken with the end of the copper pipes looking at the 9300's heatsink. By this way, I would save a little bit of space to put the sata power connector. Also, I would have to mount a L-Sata connector instead of the plain one supplied in the motherboard package.

- cutting the back of the 3,5" plate of the chasis, then putting some glue to the chasis to put the plate at its original position

Image Image

At the first pic, you can see the plate the other way round at which it would be original mounte, in order that you can see the back of it. At the second photo, you can see the final result.

- make some holes to the bay to put the screws

Image Image

- make some holes to the front aluminium plate. At first, I though of some suspended thing, but then I'll asked myself: what about the cables? Will I carry in the future the sys whereever? So, I've decided to do a secure mounting with screws. Then, I've asked to myself: screwing it to the bottom of the case (not so good aesthetically looking (although the bottom of the case is not going to be a part exposed to human eye)? or maybe screwind the HDD to the fron aluminium panel of the case?

So, I've done some mountings considering: well, I have to do 2-3 holes to screw the drive to the case, and also, in order to have the less vibrations transmited to the case I'll have to put something under the HDD. So then, I've measured and attached to the case some rubber things as you can see on the following photo, placed on strategical places in which the HDD have the bottom holes to screw it to the bottom plate of the case. Also, I've added some other points in order to have the HDD the more horizontal as I can have (like if it was resting at the bottom plate of the case).

Image

The next step was adding some washers to the screw of the USBs' plate in order that I can put the HDD correctly next to the plate. So, by adding the washers, the end of the screw would allow me to put the HDD correctly, otherwise it wouldn't. Also, you can see on the following photos, that the total height of the HDD would not interfere with the USBs' cables.

Image Image

Finally, I had done only 1 hole, because I had spotted that there was a circular hole on the front aluminium plate, so I had tried the mounting with only 2 screws securing the HDD to the fron aluminum plate, resting on the rubber-things (sorry, I don't know the name in English). In the photo, you can see the case resting vertically and the firm secure mounting of the HDD with the 2 screws (which are placed under at both sides of the UBSs plate)

Image

The next step was attaching the pico-PSU connector to the back plate of the case. I had cutted some of the hexagonal holes and with screws and nuts, fixed it to the plate.

Image

Then, I want to show you some photos of the structure with the x2 3,5" HDDs and the 5 1/2" DVD-RW

Image Image

Well.....with all this work done, let's mount the sys (which it is supposed to be the easiest thing of all these steps 8)). I had mounted the Big Shuriken using the line method for first time

Image

In the next two photos you can see that it is easy to put in on and out the second HDD at the bottom of the case, and also that the power SATA and SATA connectors are easily placed. Take in mind that I've put one "line" of the pico PSU to this side, and the other to the other HDD and DVD-RW. Also, notice that I've fixed the USBs cables to the case and that I've mounted the Wifi card (left of the photo)

Image Image

In the next photo you can see the 3,5" HDD placed on the bay, and the distance to the Big Shuriken. Focus on the L SATA connector. Also, you can see that the "line" next to the Big Shuriken is the "line" of the second HDD and the second "line" which its connector is next to the HDD, I've putted it down and then, I've done a circle to attach the SATA power connector in order to have the molex connector free. Then I've used the molex to sata adapter and connected it to the DVD-RW

Image Image

The next two photos ilustrate the previous step to attaching the rest of the cables and organising them in the case

Image Image

Finally, I've only putted the 1TB HDD and I've placed it at the bottom of the case. By doing this, when I'll buy the extra ~1,5-2TB HDD, I have to only put out the DVD-RW and put in the 3,5" HDD, because the cables are already routed as you can see on the following photos

Image Image Image

Tomorrow, I'll post some ideas and the answer to diver

Hope you have enjoyed the reading :)

Any feedback/suggestion/advice will be highly appreciated as always :) :)

Regards,

Javier

PS: if you would need any photo or measure in cm of the system, please, don't hesitate requesting for it :)

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My computer: Thermaltake Armor Jr +2S-Flex 1200rpm, Corsair VX450W, Asus P5Q-E, Intel e8500 + Noctua NH-C12P (actually without fan due to tests), RAM GeIL 4 GB DDR2-800, Asus EAH4850/HTDI (actually at warranty :() Future HTPC upcoming!


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 19, 2010 10:56 pm 
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excellent post, very informative and well documented.
great looking system too


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 20, 2010 8:59 pm 
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Javier

Did you, or did you not, end up using the Scythe CPU Cooler Stabilizer 775
Model #: SCCSI-775 to Mount the Big Shurekin on the Zotac board?

Also, I understand that the Zotac boards have very limited undervolting capability. Is that what you founf?


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 27, 2010 3:28 am 
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Hey

Nice "review/guide" :)

Im wondering how much power does use in idle and at full load ?


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 Post subject: Re: First try quiet HTPC vol1 - Apex MI-008 based
PostPosted: Fri Apr 15, 2011 5:40 pm 
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Location: USA
Even though this is an old thread I just wanted to say thank you. This guide has helped give me some inspiration for my HTPC. I will be using an Apex MI-008, PicoPSU, and a Big Shuriken. I started my build today and got very discouraged at not having any space. These are some great space-saving ideas you have! :idea:


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 Post subject: Re: First try quiet HTPC vol1 - Apex MI-008, 21-08-2011updat
PostPosted: Sun Aug 21, 2011 1:37 pm 
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Hi to all the forum again!

Yes, I know it's been a very long time without replies so my apoligies to diver, ces, Bartel, pete6032 and the rest of the forum who is watching the thread.

First of all, diver. I was planning on putting some x2 60mm fan as intake to have positive pressure on the case (then, the big suriken will cool down de cpu and the gpu, exhausting the rest of the air by the holes placed at the pannels). FYI, I was planning to put some voltage regulator on those fans to decrease rpms vs noise vs temps. If anyone is interested, I've measured the resistance on ULNA and LNA accesories of Noctua reporting 82 Ohm and ~51 Ohm as far as I can remember (in case you want to purchase a linear potenciometer, i.e, to regulate the fan rpms. Also I can make a tutorial if requested :) ).

Secondly, ces. Yes, I mounted the stabilizer (I think I mentioned it over the post, I'll re-read them to clarify that fact). Now the heatsink is removed, but I'll talk about it later :) About undervolting, no results for the moment, sorry!

Thirdly, Bartel. Thanks, but for the moment I haven't buyed any powermeter. Hoping to do so soon.

Finally, pete6032. Look at Kassia 400W from B-Move (first post edited and explained in detail). If you need any translation, I'll do my best! :) Also, thanks for your words.

So.... I've updated my HTPC because of the iGPU heatsink temps (re-check first post, I've edited it). I've searched for this config and I found this topic, which gave me the idea of purchasing the Dynatron heatsink (also available for 1155, 1156 and 1366 if anyone is interested at Dynatron website) and a fan blowing the cpu and gpu heatsink (click on the photos to view them at full resolution. There is a photo of the Big Shuriken for comparision purposes).

Image Image Image

Also, I've been wandering about the idea of having a total of 3 hdds, a NAS, hot-swappable hdds, hdd lifespan, etc and the conclusion is simple: if you wanna buy an htpc, equip it with only one hdd, specially a minimum of 500GB to 2TB.

Why? Because with it you wanna download/transfer movies/music and when you are done, then you will transfer these archives to another hdd.
How? By a dock station, i.e, this one (I actually own a B-Move one).
What are the advantages? Easy swapping info (movies, music, whatever) extending the life of your hdd (specially the WD Green ones with the 'park' LLC problem), consuming only the watts of the info you need. Yes, the perfect solution be a remote controller plugin in/out by a hot-swap interface your hdds....but I think I can live with this solution for now (maybe in the years to come, I'll DYI this system).

Also, depending on your needs, I'll buy an external DVD-R burner like this one. Why? Because there are several models right now that power themselves by 2 USB ports!! (very nice feature for laptop owners -my case also) and cost the same as an Slim burner (around ~30€). I have no blu-ray disc over the house (only mkv files), so if you are planning to wath hd content on a disc, think about a blu-ray burner of 5 1/2" size or if you can afford them (over ~100€) a slim one (the difference is maybe ~50€ for the little space you save with a slim solution).

Then, after doing all the testing with the hdd, the htpc will be a 2 fan machine (12cm or 14cm blowing directly to the cpu and igpu heatsink, and a second blowing air at the hdd, positioning the hdd in an horizontal way) which I've to build the housing. It will be very similar to orse build on AVS Forums. Maybe I'll cut the Apex but I'm thinking on spending some more money to buy a 5mm acrylic sheets as orse, in order to have a more solid and robust case than the Apex MI008.

I don't know when I can do this, so if you'll have a new email with this topic, maybe there will be good news :)

Regards,

Javier

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My computer: Thermaltake Armor Jr +2S-Flex 1200rpm, Corsair VX450W, Asus P5Q-E, Intel e8500 + Noctua NH-C12P (actually without fan due to tests), RAM GeIL 4 GB DDR2-800, Asus EAH4850/HTDI (actually at warranty :() Future HTPC upcoming!


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 Post subject: Re: First try quiet HTPC vol1 - Apex MI-008, 21-08-2011updat
PostPosted: Sun Aug 21, 2011 3:18 pm 
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javitxi wrote:
Because there are several models right now that power themselves by 2 USB ports!! (very nice feature for laptop owners -my case also)

fyi: There are also models that power themselves through 1 usb port

http://go.iomega.com/en/products/multim ... csItem_tab

although I don't think this one burns DL dvd's


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