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 Post subject: Advice on: Silverstone LC16m Build
PostPosted: Mon Nov 12, 2007 5:26 pm 
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Joined: Sun Nov 11, 2007 12:28 pm
Posts: 23
Location: Holland
I've been working on these system specs for a while now. I'd appreciate any advice you might have on this build.

The goals of this build are:
- A nice looking HTPC for in the living room.
- Energy efficiency, as it'll be switched on (asleep) 24/7.
- As silent as I can get, given the desired performance.
- As silent as I can get, without being to costly.
- Functions as a Tivo (PVR).
- Functions as a mp3 JukeBox.
- Functions as a save (redundant) photo storage.
- Playback on 1080p.
- Enough performance for gaming (able to run 'Overlord' at high quality).

Components:
- Case: Silverstone LC16m - ATX, Lost of HDD space, I think it's pretty, Known GFX clearance issues.
- Case Fans: Nexus 9.2cm - 2x Front intake, HDD cooling.
- Case Fans: Nexus 8.0cm - 2x Back exhaust (replacing existing exhausts), 1x Side exhaust (near CPU & Memory).
- CPU: AMD Athlon X2 BE-2400 - Dual Core, fast enough, 45W.
- Motherboard: ASUS M2N32-SLI Deluxe - Lots of features, OnBoard Raid5, 100% Passive.
- CPU Heat Sink Thermalright SI-128 - Confirmed compatibility, Ninja Mini does not fit, fits a 12cm fan, blows down on motherboard.
- CPU Fan Nexus 12cm.
- Memory Kingston KVR667D2N5K2/2G - Should be enough.
- GFX Sparkle SF-PX86GTS256D3-HM Cool-pipe II - Allows some gaming, Passive (Zalman VNF100), Heatsink on CPU Side, Decoding on GFX, unsure about clearance.
- or GFX Alternative Sparkle SF-PX86GTS256D3-HP Cool-pipe II - As above, but different outputs.
- or GFX Alternative MSI GeForce 8600 GTS 256MB DDR3 - As above, but different heat sink.
- or GFX Alternative SF-PX88GT512D3-HP Cool-pipe 3 - Good value for money, breaks several of the builds goals, might not fit case.
- TV Hauppauge WinTV PVR-500MCE (OEM) - Should do the job, bit boring, everyone has it.
- HDD Samsung SpinPoint T166, 500GB - 3 of these in RAID5, might change depending on max. HDD capacity motherboard.
- Optical Any Player - Short enough to clear the GFX.
- PSU Corsair CMPSU-520HXEU - Modular, Low noise, Possibly overkill.
- OS Vista Home Premium.

Further comments:
- Have outstanding emails for GFX Heatsink clearance at Sparkle & Zalman.
- Might have to plave the GFX in the second PCIe x16 slot, due to Heatsink clearance issues.
- Build requires plenty of airflow, due to passive GFX.
- Plan to use lots of slow fans, disabling them if they are not required.
- Unsure if Hauppauge card produces heat.
- Considering ducting, if build is not cool & quite enough.
- Considering DIY HDD suspension, if required & feasable.
- Considering flipping PSU, as described elsewhere on this forum.

p.s. Yes, I agree, this build might have turned into an obsession.


Last edited by sikbok on Mon Nov 12, 2007 11:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Nov 12, 2007 9:50 pm 
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Joined: Sat Apr 08, 2006 10:31 pm
Posts: 82
Location: Northern California
I used the LC16M for my MythTV PVR build. I'm not doing any gaming on this machine, so I was able to get by with the onboard graphics on an AN-M2HD motherboard and drive my TV via the HDMI port. I'm using a 65W Brisbane-core Athlon64 X2 4000+ CPU, cooled by a Zerotherm BTF90. This HSF seems to be total overkill. I've never heard the fan ramp up, and the maximum CPU temperature that I've seen was in the low 40's.

I'm using two of the 500 GB Samsung drives for video storage, and a 160 GB Hitachi for the OS. I haven't found a good way to suspend the drives, and drive vibration coupling to the case is definitely an issue. Another issue is clearance between the drives in the right-side cage and the HSF. Even with the BTF90 tower, I can just barely get a drive to fit on that side, and only by omitting the fan in the front of the drive cage on that side. I'm using a 92mm Nexus fan in the left drive cage.

The rear exhaust fans are 80mm. I don't think there is enough room to fit 92mm fans there. The stock fans were a bit loud, so I replaced mine with a pair of the Arctic Cooling open-frame fans and have them undervolted with a fan controller. I have the right side exhaust port blocked off.

I've got a PVR-500 dual tuner in one of the two PCI slots. It gets perceptibly warm, but not excessively so. I've got a Kworld PlusTV HD PCI-115 HDTV tuner in the other PCI slot.

I'm using a Seasonic S12II 380W PSU. Idle power consumption is about 70W, and the highest active power consumption I've seen is about 100W.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Nov 12, 2007 11:56 pm 
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Joined: Sun Nov 11, 2007 12:28 pm
Posts: 23
Location: Holland
Thanks truckman

I must say, 40C sounds like a very nice CPU temperature.
A quick comparison showned your 'BTF90' to be cooler at low speed then the 'SP 128'. So, with a hot GFX, I'd expect to run at 50C during summer.
I'll look into the clearance issues between the HSF and the case. Tricky little things, those HTPCs.

I think that suspending 3.5inch HDDs in this case will involve some DIY. I planned to have a listen first to see if the HDD noise annoyed me. How bad do you consider it to be in your system?

You're completely right about the case fans, my bad. I've edited my initial post, the '3x92 Nexus' should have read '3x80 Nexus'.

Good to hear the TVcard will not be an issue heat-wise.

So, my PSU is overkill. Read the SPCR article on PSUs last weekend, I could have known. I'll have a look at those 'Seasonic' PSUs.
Does anyone know of an accurate PSU calculator online? I always end up on those high-end gamer sites.

Do you perhaps know some good sources for LC16m dimensions? I've not been able to find accurate information on the net so far.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 13, 2007 12:59 am 
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Joined: Sat Apr 08, 2006 10:31 pm
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Location: Northern California
sikbok wrote:
I must say, 40C sounds like a very nice CPU temperature.
A quick comparison showned your 'BTF90' to be cooler at low speed then the 'SP 128'. So, with a hot GFX, I'd expect to run at 50C during summer.
I'll look into the clearance issues between the HSF and the case. Tricky little things, those HTPCs.

There's about 1cm of clearance between the top of the BTF90 and the underside of the lid as I recall.

I assembled this system before the Ninja Mini became available. If it had been available, I would have seriously considered it. I'm surprised that it won't fit.
sikbok wrote:
I think that suspending 3.5inch HDDs in this case will involve some DIY. I planned to have a listen first to see if the HDD noise annoyed me. How bad do you consider it to be in your system?

It's definitely audible from several feet away, but its only about the same level as the fan noise from my Sharp LCD TV. I also get an annoying amount of seek noise, especially when simultaneous viewing, recording, and commercial flagging is occurring, and it is audible during quiet scenes, but I haven't yet been annoyed enough to go through the effort of enabling AAM. I'm also considering adding some damping material like Dynamat or equivalent to the drive cages and some of the case panels.

I really think that Silverstone should have at least provided mounting grommets.

A DIY suspension system will be tricky because there's just not a lot of space.

sikbok wrote:
You're completely right about the case fans, my bad. I've edited my initial post, the '3x92 Nexus' should have read '3x80 Nexus'.

The online specification for the LC16M says that the side fan is 80mm, but it looks to me like it is actually 92mm.
sikbok wrote:
So, my PSU is overkill. Read the SPCR article on PSUs last weekend, I could have known. I'll have a look at those 'Seasonic' PSUs.
Does anyone know of an accurate PSU calculator online? I always end up on those high-end gamer sites.

I've been using Seasonic PSUs for all my builds, but in the LC16M, there would be definite advantages to using a modular PSU to reduce cable clutter.
sikbok wrote:
Do you perhaps know some good sources for LC16m dimensions? I've not been able to find accurate information on the net so far.

If you get stuck, I can probably make some measurements, though this system is stuck in a spot that makes it a pain to get to. I suspect you're most interested in the GFX vs. optical clearance, which is tricky to measure because there isn't a good reference point for the optical drive position in its cage.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 14, 2007 3:10 pm 
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Joined: Sun Nov 11, 2007 12:28 pm
Posts: 23
Location: Holland
truckman wrote:
I assembled this system before the Ninja Mini became available. If it had been available, I would have seriously considered it. I'm surprised that it won't fit.

It will fit the case.
I discovered there would be clearance issues with the motherboard heatsinks.
truckman wrote:
It's definitely audible from several feet away, but its only about the same level as the fan noise from my Sharp LCD TV. I also get an annoying amount of seek noise, especially when simultaneous viewing, recording, and commercial flagging is occurring, and it is audible during quiet scenes, but I haven't yet been annoyed enough to go through the effort of enabling AAM. I'm also considering adding some damping material like Dynamat or equivalent to the drive cages and some of the case panels.
I really think that Silverstone should have at least provided mounting grommets.
A DIY suspension system will be tricky because there's just not a lot of space.

That's about the usage I'd expect. Haven't looked into AAM that much yet, think that would be the place for me to start.
For a DIY, I think removing the HDD bays and replacing them with custom ones would be our only hope. Wonder if it would be worth the effort. I also considered using 2.5" HDDs, but that's just a bit too expensive with RAID5 & PVR aspirations.
truckman wrote:
The online specification for the LC16M says that the side fan is 80mm, but it looks to me like it is actually 92mm.

Guess I'll just not order the fan I planned there right away. Should be easy enough to add after I've actually have the case.
truckman wrote:
I've been using Seasonic PSUs for all my builds, but in the LC16M, there would be definite advantages to using a modular PSU to reduce cable clutter.

After some more research into PSUs, I decided to stick with the Corsair 520HX. It's overkill, but as the efficiency v.s. load plot was pretty close to horizontal, there should be no heat or efficiency issues.
Might even benifit cooling/noise a bit, as it was build and rated for higher loads.
truckman wrote:
If you get stuck, I can probably make some measurements, though this system is stuck in a spot that makes it a pain to get to. I suspect you're most interested in the GFX vs. optical clearance, which is tricky to measure because there isn't a good reference point for the optical drive position in its cage.

Thnx for the offer. I'll try Silverstone itself first. I'd consider it their job to supply information like this. Hopefully there will be no need for you to get yourself dusty on my account.
Then again, based on my experience of late, it just doesn't seem like manufacturers want to sell their products.

On the 'GFX vs. optical clearance', the site notes:
Silverstone wrote:
space for longer graphics cards are limited to approximately 225mm assuming the optical drive used is 160mm long.

I'm assuming this leaves some space for cables. Does that sound about right to you? Did spot some build pictures that had a XFX8600GTS in a LC16m.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Nov 14, 2007 3:26 pm 
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Joined: Sun Nov 11, 2007 12:28 pm
Posts: 23
Location: Holland
- Sparkle SF-PX86GTS256D3-HM Cool-pipe II - Standard size, my estimate* 184mm.
- Sparkle SF-PX86GTS256D3-HP Cool-pipe II - Standard size, my estimate* 184mm.
- MSI GeForce 8600 GTS 256MB DDR3 - My estimate* 197mm.
- SF-PX88GT512D3-HP Cool-pipe 3 - 228mm. (source)

* - Derived from a jpg and assuming a bracket is 120mm.

That would leave me with an Optical Drive of:
- 201mm long.
- 201mm long.
- 188mm long.
- 157mm long. (think this would be impossible to find).
respectively.

Could anyone confirm the size of the Sparkle cards? Or of the standard card? [Or should I move this bit to the Video forum?]


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