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 Post subject: [Finished - Final pics]Torajirou's quiet HTPC
PostPosted: Mon Dec 12, 2011 10:02 pm 
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Joined: Wed Sep 05, 2007 6:16 am
Posts: 146
Location: Belgium
Hi !

I decided a while ago to replace the old PC I was using as HTPC for multiple reasons : even though it was silent, it took too much real estate for an HTPC (Antec Solo + old Kenwood stereo (1994)) and had trouble reading some HD sources (no decent graphics card and quite old CPU)... And of course, I had no HD audio... :( I also wanted to externalise its two 2TB Raid HDDs to a NAS, for obvious reasons.

I ended up placing the following order :

HTPC :
* Antec ISK310-150 Mini-ITX Case
* Asus P8H67-I Mini-ITX Motherboard
* Intel i3 2125 (w/ Intel HD 3000) CPU (with stock heatskink and fan)
* Intel X25-M 80GB SSD (got it from my main rig in which I installed an OCZ Vertex 3 120GB)
* 2 GB DD3 RAM

NAS :
* Synology DS-411

Audio :
* Logitech X5500

The noise level was not satisfactory out-of-the-box, so my fist mod was to get rid of the ISK310's horrible PSU and replace it with a picoPSU 150XT and a 150W fanless power brick. As far as cable management and PSU noise are concerned, this was a VERY smart move. I LOVE this picoPSU ! :) 150W is a bit of an overkill, though. Reading the beginning of Toy Story 3 (1080p) only drew 47W from the wall ! I haven't done any stress tests, but reading HD sources is the most I'll be asking from this rig anyway...

Still, the stock Antec TriCool fan is terrible, as I expected. I'm now waiting for the Noctua NR-F8 PWM to invade the market, and I'll install two of them (à la SPCR, in their test of the ISK300-65), with low noise adapter on. I expect to be able to undervolt the CPU fan and reach near silence very soon :)

I'm still lacking an optical drive; I have ordered a slim, slot-in Sony Optiarc BluRay reader.

I'll get back to you with pictures when the build is complete ! In the meantime, any comment is welcome ! :)

_________________
Main rig
Antec P183 / 2x Noiseblocker M12-PS / Antec CP-850
Intel i7 3770K / Thermalright HR-02 Macho
Asus GeForce GTX 670 DirectCU II
OCZ Vertex 3 120GB

HTPC
Antec ISK310-150 / 2x Noctua NF-R8 PWM / PicoPSU 150W
Intel i3 2125 / Scythe Big Shuriken 2 (fanless)
Intel X25-M 80GB


Last edited by Torajirou on Thu Jan 26, 2012 1:01 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Torajirou's silent HTPC
PostPosted: Wed Dec 14, 2011 1:32 am 
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Joined: Wed Mar 30, 2011 1:46 am
Posts: 89
Location: Australia
That sounds like a nicely put together build - I'm looking to do something similar in the near future, I'll be interested to hear how the Noctua 80mm fans go in your build once you get them!


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 Post subject: Re: Torajirou's silent HTPC
PostPosted: Thu Jan 19, 2012 7:10 am 
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Joined: Wed Sep 05, 2007 6:16 am
Posts: 146
Location: Belgium
I received the BluRay drive yesterday and the NF-R8 PWM fans today ! I'll finish the build tonight and post some pictures of the result :)

_________________
Main rig
Antec P183 / 2x Noiseblocker M12-PS / Antec CP-850
Intel i7 3770K / Thermalright HR-02 Macho
Asus GeForce GTX 670 DirectCU II
OCZ Vertex 3 120GB

HTPC
Antec ISK310-150 / 2x Noctua NF-R8 PWM / PicoPSU 150W
Intel i3 2125 / Scythe Big Shuriken 2 (fanless)
Intel X25-M 80GB


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 Post subject: Re: Torajirou's silent HTPC
PostPosted: Thu Jan 19, 2012 11:56 am 
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Joined: Wed Sep 05, 2007 6:16 am
Posts: 146
Location: Belgium
Here we go !

Some pics without the drive tray, to illustrate my attempt at cable management :

Image

Image

Image




With the drive tray :

Image




In its ecosystem :

Image

As you might see in the pics, I first tried with the LNA for the chassis fans and with no CPU fan at all. I faced two problems : QFan sometimes prevented one of the two fans from starting and the CPU temp got way too high. I connected the CPU fan (with the LNA that I removed from the chassis fans). The result is very satisfactory (yet slightly audible @1m).

_________________
Main rig
Antec P183 / 2x Noiseblocker M12-PS / Antec CP-850
Intel i7 3770K / Thermalright HR-02 Macho
Asus GeForce GTX 670 DirectCU II
OCZ Vertex 3 120GB

HTPC
Antec ISK310-150 / 2x Noctua NF-R8 PWM / PicoPSU 150W
Intel i3 2125 / Scythe Big Shuriken 2 (fanless)
Intel X25-M 80GB


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 Post subject: Re: Torajirou's silent HTPC
PostPosted: Wed Jan 25, 2012 11:55 pm 
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Joined: Wed Sep 05, 2007 6:16 am
Posts: 146
Location: Belgium
Small updates :

* A friend of mine helped me cut the drive tray in half to make room for...
* A Scythe Big Shuriken 2 that's on its way ! :)

I'll try it without any fan on the heatsink and see what the temperatures are like. If it does work, as suggested in SPCR's review of ISK300-65, I think I will have achieved the quietest build possible with this case/CPU combination :)

More pics when it's finished (tonight, I hope) ! Hopefully, cable management will have improved as well !

_________________
Main rig
Antec P183 / 2x Noiseblocker M12-PS / Antec CP-850
Intel i7 3770K / Thermalright HR-02 Macho
Asus GeForce GTX 670 DirectCU II
OCZ Vertex 3 120GB

HTPC
Antec ISK310-150 / 2x Noctua NF-R8 PWM / PicoPSU 150W
Intel i3 2125 / Scythe Big Shuriken 2 (fanless)
Intel X25-M 80GB


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 Post subject: Re: Torajirou's silent HTPC
PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2012 11:22 am 
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Joined: Thu Oct 06, 2005 4:36 am
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Location: Monterey Bay, CA
:)

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1080p Gaming build: i5-4670K, Mugen 4, MSI Z87-G45, MSI GTX 760 2GB Gaming, 8GB 1866 RAM, Samsung Evo 250GB, WD Red 2TB, Samsung DVD burner, Fractal Define R4, Antec True Quiet 140 (2 front + rear) case fans, Seasonic X-560. 35-40W idle, 45-55W video streaming, 170-200W WoW, 200-230W Rift, 318W stress test (Prime95 + Furmark)


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 Post subject: Re: Torajirou's silent HTPC
PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2012 12:54 pm 
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Joined: Wed Sep 05, 2007 6:16 am
Posts: 146
Location: Belgium
Here's the result ! :)

I ended up disconnecting the front USB and audio cables to tidy things up a bit. The NF-R8 PWMs use the LNAs and Q-Fan is enabled in "Silent" mode. I have uninstalled Asus AI; I don't want my fans to ramp up and I won't need them to, as long as I don't do anything heavier than HD playback.

I've undervolted the CPU by 0.060V; I didn't run any tests, I just trusted Asus and remained in the BIOS "safe colour code zone". Not sure if it has much impact, but as long as it's stable, it can't hurt ^^

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image


Need I say I love it ? 8)

Note : I updated the thread title for honesty's sake; it's very quiet, but not silent ;)

_________________
Main rig
Antec P183 / 2x Noiseblocker M12-PS / Antec CP-850
Intel i7 3770K / Thermalright HR-02 Macho
Asus GeForce GTX 670 DirectCU II
OCZ Vertex 3 120GB

HTPC
Antec ISK310-150 / 2x Noctua NF-R8 PWM / PicoPSU 150W
Intel i3 2125 / Scythe Big Shuriken 2 (fanless)
Intel X25-M 80GB


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 Post subject: Re: [Finished - Final pics]Torajirou's quiet HTPC
PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2012 1:02 pm 
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Joined: Thu Oct 06, 2005 4:36 am
Posts: 4461
Location: Monterey Bay, CA
what temps are you seeing now?

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1080p Gaming build: i5-4670K, Mugen 4, MSI Z87-G45, MSI GTX 760 2GB Gaming, 8GB 1866 RAM, Samsung Evo 250GB, WD Red 2TB, Samsung DVD burner, Fractal Define R4, Antec True Quiet 140 (2 front + rear) case fans, Seasonic X-560. 35-40W idle, 45-55W video streaming, 170-200W WoW, 200-230W Rift, 318W stress test (Prime95 + Furmark)


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 Post subject: Re: [Finished - Final pics]Torajirou's quiet HTPC
PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2012 1:15 pm 
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Joined: Wed Sep 05, 2007 6:16 am
Posts: 146
Location: Belgium
Both cores oscillate around 50°C while playing a 1080p source :)

_________________
Main rig
Antec P183 / 2x Noiseblocker M12-PS / Antec CP-850
Intel i7 3770K / Thermalright HR-02 Macho
Asus GeForce GTX 670 DirectCU II
OCZ Vertex 3 120GB

HTPC
Antec ISK310-150 / 2x Noctua NF-R8 PWM / PicoPSU 150W
Intel i3 2125 / Scythe Big Shuriken 2 (fanless)
Intel X25-M 80GB


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 Post subject: Re: [Finished - Final pics]Torajirou's quiet HTPC
PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2012 1:50 pm 
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Joined: Thu Oct 06, 2005 4:36 am
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Location: Monterey Bay, CA
Nice! So, where's the remaining sound coming from?

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1080p Gaming build: i5-4670K, Mugen 4, MSI Z87-G45, MSI GTX 760 2GB Gaming, 8GB 1866 RAM, Samsung Evo 250GB, WD Red 2TB, Samsung DVD burner, Fractal Define R4, Antec True Quiet 140 (2 front + rear) case fans, Seasonic X-560. 35-40W idle, 45-55W video streaming, 170-200W WoW, 200-230W Rift, 318W stress test (Prime95 + Furmark)


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 Post subject: Re: [Finished - Final pics]Torajirou's quiet HTPC
PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2012 1:58 pm 
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Joined: Wed Sep 05, 2007 6:16 am
Posts: 146
Location: Belgium
The fans make a gentle woosh, barely audible @1m (in my apartment at night).

_________________
Main rig
Antec P183 / 2x Noiseblocker M12-PS / Antec CP-850
Intel i7 3770K / Thermalright HR-02 Macho
Asus GeForce GTX 670 DirectCU II
OCZ Vertex 3 120GB

HTPC
Antec ISK310-150 / 2x Noctua NF-R8 PWM / PicoPSU 150W
Intel i3 2125 / Scythe Big Shuriken 2 (fanless)
Intel X25-M 80GB


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 Post subject: Re: [Finished - Final pics]Torajirou's quiet HTPC
PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2012 2:37 pm 
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Joined: Thu Oct 06, 2005 4:36 am
Posts: 4461
Location: Monterey Bay, CA
Can you dial down the Noctua's any further? You could always add a really low rpm fan to the CPU cooler to compensate....or, put one of the Noctua's on the cpu.

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1080p Gaming build: i5-4670K, Mugen 4, MSI Z87-G45, MSI GTX 760 2GB Gaming, 8GB 1866 RAM, Samsung Evo 250GB, WD Red 2TB, Samsung DVD burner, Fractal Define R4, Antec True Quiet 140 (2 front + rear) case fans, Seasonic X-560. 35-40W idle, 45-55W video streaming, 170-200W WoW, 200-230W Rift, 318W stress test (Prime95 + Furmark)


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 Post subject: Re: [Finished - Final pics]Torajirou's quiet HTPC
PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2012 9:51 pm 
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Joined: Wed Sep 05, 2007 6:16 am
Posts: 146
Location: Belgium
I probably could, but I don't really see the added value; I'm pretty sure I wouldn't hear much difference (this is already VERY VERY quiet) and I would probably have to add two or three fanmates to do the trick (I have a couple of them lying around, but I'm not sure where exactly :p).

_________________
Main rig
Antec P183 / 2x Noiseblocker M12-PS / Antec CP-850
Intel i7 3770K / Thermalright HR-02 Macho
Asus GeForce GTX 670 DirectCU II
OCZ Vertex 3 120GB

HTPC
Antec ISK310-150 / 2x Noctua NF-R8 PWM / PicoPSU 150W
Intel i3 2125 / Scythe Big Shuriken 2 (fanless)
Intel X25-M 80GB


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 Post subject: Re: [Finished - Final pics]Torajirou's quiet HTPC
PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2012 4:35 pm 
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Location: Iceland
looks very nice

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2) E8400@4GHz w/Megahelem, 8GB DDR2, 6 HDDs for ~4TB, 2x GTX 8800 SLI, Seasonic X-750, MSI P6N SLI Platinum, Samsung 22" LCD.


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 Post subject: Re: [Finished - Final pics]Torajirou's quiet HTPC
PostPosted: Thu Feb 02, 2012 8:05 am 
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Good job! I'm working on something similar for an audio-only PC. Main challenge is how to put in a scythe drive box encased 2.5" drive in there. This needs a 3.5" mounting spot. Might have to ditch the scythe box... but I'm reluctant because it makes the drive completely inaudible.

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Editor/Publisher, SPCR
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 Post subject: Re: [Finished - Final pics]Torajirou's quiet HTPC
PostPosted: Thu Feb 02, 2012 8:39 am 
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Joined: Wed Sep 05, 2007 6:16 am
Posts: 146
Location: Belgium
Thanks, Mike ! :)

I've just taken some quick measures, and it looks like it might fit, but it will surely not make cable management easy, nor will it make the case fun to work with...

Why is an SSD not an option ?

_________________
Main rig
Antec P183 / 2x Noiseblocker M12-PS / Antec CP-850
Intel i7 3770K / Thermalright HR-02 Macho
Asus GeForce GTX 670 DirectCU II
OCZ Vertex 3 120GB

HTPC
Antec ISK310-150 / 2x Noctua NF-R8 PWM / PicoPSU 150W
Intel i3 2125 / Scythe Big Shuriken 2 (fanless)
Intel X25-M 80GB


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 Post subject: Re: [Finished - Final pics]Torajirou's quiet HTPC
PostPosted: Thu Feb 02, 2012 9:02 am 
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Joined: Sun Aug 11, 2002 3:26 pm
Posts: 11817
Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada
Torajirou wrote:
Thanks, Mike ! :)

I've just taken some quick measures, and it looks like it might fit, but it will surely not make cable management easy, nor will it make the case fun to work with...

Why is an SSD not an option ?

Yeah, I know. I have an Antec isk300 here I've been pondering.

Why not an SSD? That would be ideal, but my mostly FLAC collection (some 24/88 and higher res) of >15,000 tunes is already >250gb. I'd want a 400~500gb drive for expansion... and that is just too pricey right now.

Yes, it can be housed elsewhere on the gigabit network, it's on my HTPC now, with backup on a server, but I want the option of local storage; there's some evidence it might provide better audio performance.

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Editor/Publisher, SPCR
Support SPCR with your donations!


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 Post subject: Re: [Finished - Final pics]Torajirou's quiet HTPC
PostPosted: Thu Feb 02, 2012 2:40 pm 
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MikeC wrote:
...there's some evidence it might provide better audio performance.


Can you expand on this, and/or provide links?

Not doubting you, just curious.

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 Post subject: Re: [Finished - Final pics]Torajirou's quiet HTPC
PostPosted: Thu Feb 02, 2012 4:20 pm 
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matt_garman wrote:
MikeC wrote:
...there's some evidence it might provide better audio performance.

Can you expand on this, and/or provide links?
Not doubting you, just curious.

www.computeraudiophile.com is where this comes up. Not sure exactly which page I could point to... Streaming audio from the network vs from the drive in the PC -- seems like it should not make a difference. But it's reported. People also hear differences between optical and coax SPDIF, and different USB ports/cables -- even when it's all bit-perfect. Check out their article on a DIY audio server -- http://www.computeraudiophile.com/conte ... r-CAPS-v20.

OTOH, audiophools claim to hearing the effect of one less angel on a... stylus? :lol: :roll: I sold high end audio gear for a few years & have to say there is a lot of BS, hype, egomania, fetishism and sheer delusional weirdness among audio aficionados. Anything to justify spending thousands on beautiful gear, never mind the sound. ie, don't worry, be happy -- or just enjoy the music.

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Editor/Publisher, SPCR
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 Post subject: Re: [Finished - Final pics]Torajirou's quiet HTPC
PostPosted: Thu Feb 02, 2012 5:03 pm 
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Location: Switzerland
This is an issue you can settle thanks to the scientific method: simply run a double-blind test. You can do it yourself quickly in software (in that case it's not technically double-blind but it's just as good).

The most objective observer can hear differences where there are none. But nobody can fool a rigorous test.

If you can't pass the test but nevertheless want to err on the side of good sound, knock yourself out! There are worse hobbies.
But please don't mislead people by telling them you can hear a difference if you can't pass the test.

edit: in any case, you're playing from RAM. Any difference you can actually hear is an issue with your computer which may not affect others and which may hit if you're playing a file from your drive while using your network connection for something else.


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 Post subject: Re: [Finished - Final pics]Torajirou's quiet HTPC
PostPosted: Fri Dec 21, 2012 8:03 pm 
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Location: Markham, Canada
I was planning do cut away the ODD drive tray as well, but realized you needed it to brace the case otherwise it became flimsy. Was considering bending up two strips of steel to tie the front and back of the case together using the same screw holes.


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