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 Post subject: The silent beast: PC-C34F-based 8-HDD HTPC
PostPosted: Wed Dec 08, 2010 6:33 pm 
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Joined: Wed May 14, 2008 2:54 am
Posts: 197
Location: Northern Italy
After dismantling the Thermaltake Bach based HTPC I had, I decided to build a new one with the recycled hardware components, except for the case and some minor things (2 fans), I waited 2 months and I was finally able to obtain a huge Lian-Li PC-C34BF ATX HTPC case.
It seems huge but it is only 10mm deeper and 12mm higher than the Thermaltake. That is because it makes better use of the inside space, being able to host 2 5.25" full-size drives, one 3.5" HDD in the same cage, and 4 front-hot-swappable SATA or SAS 3.5" drives with dedicated 120 fan. And it is almost entirely built with standard bolts, so it is easily "modifiable" :D

Tried the Gigabyte mobo in Win7 but it had the same DVB-S card compatibility issue as with XP... so back to Asus :wink:

CPU Intel Core 2 Duo E7500
CPU HSF modded Silverstone NT-01-E-775
CPU main fan Lian-li stock fan (1500 rpm)
CPU aux fan Scythe S-FLEX SFF21A (1000rpm)
Mobo Asus P5Q Turbo
RAM 2x1024 MB Kingston KVR800D2N5/1G
Graphics Gigabyte GV-R545SC-1GI
PSU Seasonic X-400 GOLD
ODD HL-DT-ST BD-ROM GGC-H20L
HDD0 Hitachi HTS725032A9A364 (Travelstar 7K500-320)
HDD1 Hitachi HTS547575A9E384 (Travelstar 5K750-750)
HDD2&3 Hitachi HTS547564A9E384 (Travelstar 5K750-640)
HDD4 to HDD7 WDC WD10EARS
2.5" container ICY BOX IB-2222SSK (fans removed)
3.5" compartment fan Scythe Slipstream SY1225SL12L-P (720 RPM, Noctua ULNA)
3.5" Storage controller Silicon Image 3124 (bridged, PCI-E X1)
Terrestrial TV Hauppauge WinTV HVR-1700 (PCI-E X1)
Satellite TV Cinergy S2 HD DVB-S2
Audiophile sound card ESI Audio Juli@ (unbalanced RCA cinch mode)


Last edited by pm.stacker on Sun Jun 12, 2011 1:21 pm, edited 13 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Quiet big HTPC - Lian-Li PC-C34F based
PostPosted: Fri Dec 10, 2010 6:16 am 
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Joined: Wed May 14, 2008 2:54 am
Posts: 197
Location: Northern Italy
Here it comes the silent beast :mrgreen:
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Removing the stock fan from the hotswap cage (which is in fact an EX-34 cage with side-mounted fan instead of rear-mounted fan)
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Let's do a little soundproofing. :-)
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Thermal sensor placed on top of the HDD stack
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De-riveting the 3.5" slot on the bottom of the ODD cage, to place the 2.5" HDDs side by side. The two rails can be placed back where they belong with 4 M3 bolts :wink:
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First hardware clearance tests.
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Replacing the MCE radio remote with the Terratec IR one
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Dismantling the front panel to glue "bombproof" some details (i.e. LED reflectors) and to bolt the door stops
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Simple way to avoid unwanted side light from the LEDs :wink:
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Cable holder in place with 3 stripes of carpet adhesive and 2 points of industrial glue. :-) about 25x30 mm, 1x1 1/8", the top cover is kept firmly in place by the SAS backplane.
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First power up test after wiring the front ports, now I'll have to choose and fit the SATA cables.
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Have to experiment the sensor placement, since UCEV fans are way too much sensible, max speed is obtained at only 42°C/108°F
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Finally some thin "velvet" stripes to stabilize the top cover. :-)
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Last edited by pm.stacker on Thu May 05, 2011 2:06 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: The quiet beast: Lian Li PC-C34F based HTPC
PostPosted: Fri Dec 10, 2010 6:10 pm 
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Joined: Wed May 14, 2008 2:54 am
Posts: 197
Location: Northern Italy
I modified the topic title since I added a 4x2.5"-in-5.25" backplane to host up to 8 drives :mrgreen: obviously the backplane's been slightly soundproofed :wink:
Added a $30 Marvell 6145 controller card, replaced the WD10EACS drives with two WD10EARS and planning on replacing the 500G with a fourth EARS so I can set up softraid 5 on 4 drives in the cage :mrgreen:, for 3.0 TB... let's see if it works :wink:
In the 2.5" backplane, the usual WD3200BEKT and BEVT plus two recycled WD1600BEVS drives :wink:
Finally, added a Cinergy 1400 DVB-T card which has the line-in and the antenna pass-through, so I can play 3 channels at a time (the 2400i is a dual tuner card) :-D


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 Post subject: Re: The quiet beast: Lian Li PC-C34F based HTPC
PostPosted: Sat Dec 11, 2010 2:07 am 
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Joined: Mon Aug 31, 2009 12:30 am
Posts: 419
Location: Italy
Congratulations on the meticulous soundproofing and vibration damping you figured out! But I don't understand the sheer amount of hard drives you're using. If you need capacity and storage, you should have ditched out at least one of the 3,5" and get some larger drives, a RAID5 with three 2 TB (or 1,5 TB) drives should have been perfect, quieter and larger, while not costing that much more. :wink:

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Nothing thermaltake makes is ever quiet. If they could figure out how to make a flash drive noisy, they would.


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 Post subject: Re: The quiet beast: Lian Li PC-C34F based HTPC
PostPosted: Sat Dec 11, 2010 3:54 am 
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Joined: Wed May 14, 2008 2:54 am
Posts: 197
Location: Northern Italy
I prefer compatibility over brute capacity :mrgreen: and why not recycle some HDDs I have laying around instead of throwing them away since they're too small to be sold as used? :-D.
I chose 1.0 TB because they heat up and vibrate less than 2.0 TB and because I want always the opportunity to set up a <2.0 TB RAID array, just in case some nasty OS doesn't recognize it :-) now I have to try switch the 80 fan because I can't slow down the UCEV in every way I tried (without undervolting which on a sensor fan should not be used). I'll try the stock Lian fan and some Coolermaster ones. Shame I can't use the Verax 80KP2 I have because of broken bearings :cry:
And having many HDDs can be useful for security: you don't lose all and everything if one breaks :wink: a lesson we've learnt on our home server (7.2 TB) luckily I had set up a RAID1. I'm already thinking about the new data subdivision between these 8 drives :-)


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 Post subject: Re: The quiet beast: Lian Li PC-C34F based HTPC
PostPosted: Sun Dec 12, 2010 1:31 am 
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Joined: Mon Aug 31, 2009 12:30 am
Posts: 419
Location: Italy
Well that makes sense. :mrgreen:
Have you tried placing the sensor where it's colder, or even outside the case? If that didn't help, just short-circuit it and undervolt the fan. 8)

_________________
Corsair HX750W - My personal experience
xan_user wrote:
Nothing thermaltake makes is ever quiet. If they could figure out how to make a flash drive noisy, they would.


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 Post subject: Re: The quiet beast: Lian Li PC-C34F based HTPC
PostPosted: Mon Dec 13, 2010 6:07 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jul 08, 2008 4:53 am
Posts: 1314
Location: CT
Nice job on the mods / improvement on the case !

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Main/gamming : Antec Solo|X-650|Asus P5Q-E|Intel Q9550@3.4GHz|HR-01 Plus 120mm Nexus @6V|Corsair 2x2Go XMS2 DHX cas 4 @4-4-4-12|Exhaust Nexus 120mm @9V|Intel X25M G2 160Gb|Samsung 1TB in SQD|2xGigabyte GTS450 OC (@900/1900/3800)|GPU fan 120mm Nexus @6V
HTPC/folder/Storage : Silverstone|E5300 with Samurai-Z|2Go RAM|GTX460@800|2x1To WD EARS|Intel X25M G2 80Go

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 Post subject: Re: The quiet beast: Lian Li PC-C34F based HTPC
PostPosted: Sun Dec 19, 2010 3:20 pm 
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Joined: Wed May 14, 2008 2:54 am
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Location: Northern Italy
Some little updates, I modified the configuration on the first post :-)

4-in-1 2.5" SAS backplane, of course fans removed and trays soundproofed :wink:
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Tidying up all cables, connecting the 3.5" cage to the usual Marvell controller card :-D
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Antenna connectors are all on the right side :-)
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Keys to the system :-D
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Buliding a little PCB to place 5 mini LEDs where was the original remote receiver. They're the ACT LEDs of the Marvell card and they're visible from the IR window :wink:
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 Post subject: Re: The quiet beast: Lian Li PC-C34F based HTPC
PostPosted: Thu Mar 17, 2011 6:30 am 
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Location: Northern Italy
Replaced the WD3200BEKT with a Seagate hybrid 500GB drive and the oldest 160GB with a WD5000BEVT :) and replaced the Cinergy 1400 DVB-T with a FlyDVB-T Hybrid, since the line input (S-video) on the Cinergy couldn't be used on Win7 :-(


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 Post subject: Re: The quiet beast: Lian Li PC-C34F based HTPC
PostPosted: Tue May 03, 2011 3:07 am 
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Location: Northern Italy
Some little updates coming :-D now this thing can be used also as a little DAW :wink:


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 Post subject: Re: The quiet beast: Lian Li PC-C34F based HTPC
PostPosted: Tue May 10, 2011 11:53 am 
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Joined: Wed May 14, 2008 2:54 am
Posts: 197
Location: Northern Italy
Updated config in 1st post: have a C2D E7500 on the way, plus a nice fanless Seasonic X-400 GOLD :-D :-D. Other updates are a HVR1700 in place of the Terratec card (never used dual DVB-T and I need a video line input) and some minor enhancements :wink:


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 Post subject: Re: The silent beast: PC-C34F-based 8-HDD HTPC
PostPosted: Sat May 14, 2011 7:37 am 
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Location: Northern Italy
After trying all the 80 fans I have :mrgreen: I found out the S-FLEX made a clicking noise, CM ultra silent vibrate too much and Enermax UCEV8 are useless (max speed at 37 °C :roll:). So for now I reverted to the good old dual-ball Verax Ventilatoren Typ 80KPE with the NTC placed between two heatpipes, it seems to work well, min speed in idle and max speed on full load (which on a HTPC will be rare). For aux fan, the original Lian-li 80 placed near the PSU and spun down to 850 RPM via Q-fan. I swapped the UCEV12 in the HDD cage (same problem as the UCEV8: max speed at 35 °C...) with a Noctua NF-P12, undervolted with a combo of LNA (black) adapter and Q-fan: 710 RPM :-)


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 Post subject: Re: The silent beast: PC-C34F-based 8-HDD HTPC
PostPosted: Sun May 15, 2011 6:46 am 
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Being able to resuscitate the VTX2-60 SSD I will use it in my workstation :-) so my HTPC will remain totally HDD-based :-)


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 Post subject: Re: The quiet beast: Lian Li PC-C34F based HTPC
PostPosted: Sun Jun 12, 2011 5:44 am 
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Joined: Fri Oct 31, 2008 1:42 am
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pm.stacker wrote:
Some little updates, I modified the configuration on the first post :-)

4-in-1 2.5" SAS backplane, of course fans removed and trays soundproofed :wink:


Nice setup! Have you checked the temperature of the drives in the 2.5" bay?
I'm also thinking of a 4x2.5" hot swappable drive cage, but I'm not sure about the noise. Which drive cage do you have and how did you you soundproof the trays?

What do you think of this backplane, http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6816215223
If the fans are removed I think it will be enough holes for the air to flow through.

cheers


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 Post subject: Re: The silent beast: PC-C34F-based 8-HDD HTPC
PostPosted: Sun Jun 12, 2011 1:18 pm 
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Posts: 197
Location: Northern Italy
I just replaced the Chieftec backplane: not sure if it was that one or the InLine round cables, but I was having trouble with the 2.5" HDDs with failed formatting and sudden disconnecting. Exchanged cables with some better ones and the backplane with a Icy Box IB2222SSK and now everything's fine :-D, the IB2222SSK costs twice the Chieftec but it's a tank: all heavy metal and very nice construction. The stock fans are two 40x40x10 which are very quiet (not to be expected from a 4 SAS 15K-certified backplane...) but I removed them anyway (no fan alarm). Air flow is very good due to the top springs in every tray, 7K500 never goes up 40 degrees. :-) Maybe a little rough as for style but it works and that's what matters for me :wink:


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 Post subject: Re: The silent beast: PC-C34F-based 8-HDD HTPC
PostPosted: Sun Jun 12, 2011 2:49 pm 
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Ok, sounds good. I'll have to think some more about my storage needs, would be great if 2.5" disks could handle 2 TB :)


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 Post subject: Re: The silent beast: PC-C34F-based 8-HDD HTPC
PostPosted: Mon Jun 13, 2011 8:02 am 
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Joined: Wed May 14, 2008 2:54 am
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Location: Northern Italy
Well, there's the WD10TPVT :-)


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