Building a HTPC with Streacom FC5 EVO
This is my first post on this forum I hope you guys like my build Parts list:
Case: Streacom FC5 EVO with OD
Mobo: Asus H87I-PLUS m-ITX
Proc: Intel Haswell I5-4570S 65W TDP
Mem: Ballistix Sport 8GB (4GBx2) DDR3 1600MHz CL9 1.5V
Optical: Streacom ST-OB2 slimline slot-loading Bluray
Drives: Vertex3 SSD 60Gb; 2xSamsung HDD 2Tb 5400rpm (from old HTPC)
PSU: PicoPSU 160xt + 195W powerbrick from minibox
First of all I would like to say it was very difficult to decide which m-ITX board to choose for the build.
Being a long time user of Intel I chose to go with intel proc, cost and TDP requirements led me to the I5-4570S, the T-versions I could not find in any retail shops here Benelux. Now to find a board to go with the streacom case is not an easy task: but I finally decided to go with the ASUS option. I liked the expansion options with the 6 Sata ports on board. With m-ITX it is possible to put 2HDD, 3SSD and an optical drive inside the FC5 EVO so I wanted to keep my options open.Installation
Installation of all the hardware inside the FC5 was a breeze, it took about 15min or so… you wish Cooling
It is really a pain to get the cooling installed, I think it took me about an hour to get it in. The mobo I chose fits but there’s a capacitator where one of the heatpipes presses against. I chose to switch the two long pipes as you can see in the pictures. This way the pipe that bends upwards is going over the cap, it still touches but I felt a little more comfortable.
Putting on these (see attachments)little clips on the screws that hold down the heatsink on top of the proc was a real pain, I have the feeling I did something wrong there. But in the end It all fit. SSD and HDD’s
With the mobo and cooling installed I thought now the hard part is over, but there was more fun to come: I wanted to have USB3 so I bought the cable from streacom. This cable has quite bulky connectors and this causes interference with putting my HDD in the position closest to the usb ports. I wanted to put one of my two HDD’s there because this leaves the possibility to install an additional 3SSD’s but the cable is obstructing this location. Also the clamp on the 24pinATX-plug of the PicoPSU interferes with installing the HDD there. My options where to bend the usb connector a little and cutting off the clamp, or putting the ssd in this position and foregoing expansion later on. As you can see I chose the latter.
Now I hear you guys saying if he wants a silent PC why put in HDD’s well I don’t have a nas yet and looking at prices I don’t even consider this to be an option to just serve media. So maybe I’ll build me a small server with the parts this HTPC replaced, I just wanted something working now.
As to noise I really hate the ODD from Streacom, it is way too noisy! When watching a bluray movie I could run the stock fan of the proc easily without hearing it because of the ODD buzzing. A standard bulk bluray player is way quieter than this slimline device.
HDD noise is physically inaudible when sitting at about 3m from the pc even when there are no other sounds, except at the moment they spin up, once at speed they are inaudible. That said I still want to say that the way Streacom mounts the drives is very minimalistic and does not offer much silencing of drive noise, it is really targeted towards SSD’s.Cabling
There are several things to keep in mind when using the picoPSU it is not really compatible with the Streacom case: there is a 4pin (looks a bit like din) connector and the Streacom psu uses a round connector so you can nicely plug the PSU into the case. The 4pin connector is too big and I would have to drill a bigger hole to make it fit. I was ready to do this until I saw that the cable was also to short so now my PSU cable runs inside the case. I don’t mind because I can’t see it anyway
In the end when closing the lid I noticed one last caveat: the internal USB cable has such large connectors that they push against it. I was a bit scared to bend the mobo header.Some conclusions
So if you want to use the streacom case I can tell you this: buy a simple USB 3.0 cable with small connectors and look for another more quiet ODD. I have to say that this case is really minimalistic compared to the price, except of course for the cooling.
All in all I got everything running very quiet as 98% of my media is located on my HDD’s I’m only a little disappointed with the ODD noise. I still have to look into that maybe it is possible to reduce its speed with nero drivespeed or something like that. Edit it’s only 2xBD read so reducing speed won’t help much I’m afraid.
I must say that the Haswell is performing very well, the thing boots fast, mediaportal 1.4 runs smooth. Just sometimes sound over HDMI does not come back on when resuming from S4(I use Intel rapid start). My harmony ultimate set up as mce remote works like a charm and has no problem waking and putting the PC to sleep.
Overall I’m quite happy with the build.
I hope this info is helpful to some of you,