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 Post subject: Proposed non-gaming HTPC build
PostPosted: Fri Apr 17, 2009 11:47 pm 
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Joined: Thu Nov 01, 2007 4:12 pm
Posts: 21
Location: San Diego, CA
I'm about to put together an HTPC that will be in a medium sized bedroom, feeding a 1080p display. No gaming, and all media streamed from a server, almost entirely Blu-Ray and DVD rips in .mkv and .avi. Some internet streaming. HDMI and hardware accelerated video decoding are definites. Local storage is only for OS (WinXP) and media applications.

I need to keep it relatively small and want it to be as quiet as is reasonably possible. This is what I've got so far, but I'm not wedded absolutely to anything, so be as brutal as necessary. With that said, however, I am partial to Intel, so I don't think I'll be going the AMD 780G/4850e route this time, as good a choice as that is.

Antec NSK 2400
Scythe S-FLEX SFF21D 800 RPM x 2
Nexus Value 430 PSU
Scythe Ninja Mini fanless
Intel Pentium E5200 Wolfdale 2.5GHz LGA 775 65W
Asus P5Q-EM HDMI microATX
G.SKILL 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400)
Western Digital Scorpio WD3200BEVT 320GB 5400 RPM Notebook

Any thoughts/improvements? Thanks!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Apr 18, 2009 12:44 am 
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Joined: Fri Dec 26, 2008 10:31 pm
Posts: 822
Location: Melbourne, Australia
If you're comfortable doing a fan swap on a PSU, you could take the fan from the Ninja Mini (since you're not using it anyway) and swap it into the PSU that comes with that Antec case. It'd save you the cost of a new PSU. Otherwise, the Nexus looks like a great choice.

Also, you may only need one fan in that system - two might be overkill. I only have one undervolted fan in my NSK2480B and that seems fine to me.

Also, I don't think the S-Flex D's respond all that well to undervolting - I think they might start ticking a little bit. You might want to consider the 1200rpm version of that fan and undervolt it down to 7V or so maybe a Slipstream instead.

Other than those minor quibbles, all looks good.

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My PCs:
Main PC (E5200, G31, Lian Li Q07) | Gaming PC (E6850, X38, 5870 Vapor-X, P182) | HTPC (4850e, 780G, 3450, NSK2480B)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Apr 18, 2009 2:00 am 
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Joined: Fri Feb 20, 2009 12:29 am
Posts: 10
Location: Switzerland
This is just about the same HTPC I built.

Any reason you chose the Intel IGP rather than nVidia? Quoting from here: The P5Q-EM is a good board, but the P5N7A-VM is simply better. [SPCR]

One case fan is indeed enough. I'm using an L Slipstream. At 12V (~850RPM), everything is peachy; undervolted (5V, ~480 RPM) the temps rise a bit too much to my liking.

I did the fan swap (mini ninja fan in 2480's built in PSU), which results in a very quiet PSU, the fan running at about 900-1100 RPM. With power consumptions of 90W at boot, 50W at idle, 80W at full CPU load, a PicoPSU would also fit nicely.

Oh, and the NSK2480 isn't particularly small. If you don't need the 2480's orientation, the 3480 is way smaller, and nicer to work with.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Apr 18, 2009 8:42 am 
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Joined: Thu Nov 01, 2007 4:12 pm
Posts: 21
Location: San Diego, CA
You guys rock! Thanks so much for the help.

JamieG wrote:
If you're comfortable doing a fan swap on a PSU, you could take the fan from the Ninja Mini (since you're not using it anyway) and swap it into the PSU that comes with that Antec case. It'd save you the cost of a new PSU. Otherwise, the Nexus looks like a great choice.


On the case/psu issue, I can actually get an NSK2400 w/o psu for really cheap, so I thought I would skip the modding the psu step and just go for the Nexus since the review of it was so great.

JamieG wrote:
Also, I don't think the S-Flex D's respond all that well to undervolting - I think they might start ticking a little bit. You might want to consider the 1200rpm version of that fan and undervolt it down to 7V or so maybe a Slipstream instead.


That's an excellent point, I think I will follow your advice here.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Apr 18, 2009 8:47 am 
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Posts: 21
Location: San Diego, CA
veyd wrote:
This is just about the same HTPC I built.

Any reason you chose the Intel IGP rather than nVidia? Quoting from here: The P5Q-EM is a good board, but the P5N7A-VM is simply better.


Not sure how I missed that. That is great advice.

veyd wrote:
Oh, and the NSK2480 isn't particularly small. If you don't need the 2480's orientation, the 3480 is way smaller, and nicer to work with.


Hmmm. I do like the HT look of the 2400, but it might make more sense to just stick it away. I'll have to think about that.


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 Post subject: Updated build specs
PostPosted: Tue Apr 21, 2009 2:59 pm 
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Joined: Thu Nov 01, 2007 4:12 pm
Posts: 21
Location: San Diego, CA
Ok, after quite a bit of research, much of it inspired by the comments here, I've changed things around a bit. The new plan looks like this:

Antec NSK 3480
Scythe SY1225SL12M 120mm "Slipstream" Case Fan
Nexus Value 430 PSU
Scythe Ninja 2 fanless
Intel Pentium E5200 Wolfdale 2.5GHz LGA 775 65W
Gigabyte GA-E7AUM-DS2H
G.SKILL 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400)
Patriot PE32GS25SSDR 2.5" 32GB SATA II Internal Solid state disk (SSD)

The major changes are the 3480 case, full size Ninja CPU cooler and the Gigabyte motherboard. I could actually use almost any CPU cooler in the case, but are there any others that are better than the Ninja 2 if used passively? I'm not that familiar with the Xigmateks.

I think I'm going to stash the computer behind an LCD tv, so I don't really need the HT look of the NSK2480. Also, I'm hoping I could then get away with just one Scythe 120 fan for the whole build.

Anybody think the use of an SSD is worth it? Since I don't need local storage, and the price difference to a good notebook drive isn't that great, I'm thinking it could be workable: no moving parts after all. Have we reached the stage where SSD's are acceptable in this kind of build?

Love to hear any feedback you guys have. Thanks!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Apr 21, 2009 3:53 pm 
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Joined: Fri Dec 26, 2008 10:31 pm
Posts: 822
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Still looks good.

Don't know how well the Nexus 430 will do in that case, but since it is so quiet it probably will be fine.

You could also look at a Silverstone Nightjar fanless PSU. I think the SPCR audio system has the 3480 with a Nightjar as the PSU. The vents at the top of the 3480 allow the passive PSU to cool itself sufficiently.

As for the SSD, I can't comment on Patriot's quality. Anandtech has a great article on SSDs and there is a thread about the article here in the forums somewhere. Basically, only OCZ Vertex and Intel SSDs were up to scratch.

I've got a 60Gb Vertex in my main PC and it is great! Fast boot up and application loading times with absolute silence.

There is a 30Gb version of the Vertex that would suit your needs perfectly IMO.

One Scythe fan, either on the Ninja directly or as an exhaust fan would be fine in your circumstances. I think the Ninja comes with a fan already, so you may not need to buy a separate Slipstream.

_________________
My PCs:
Main PC (E5200, G31, Lian Li Q07) | Gaming PC (E6850, X38, 5870 Vapor-X, P182) | HTPC (4850e, 780G, 3450, NSK2480B)


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 Post subject: Re: Updated build specs
PostPosted: Tue Apr 21, 2009 4:35 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jun 09, 2004 12:45 pm
Posts: 887
Location: California, US
kosmonautbruce wrote:
Ok, after quite a bit of research, much of it inspired by the comments here, I've changed things around a bit. The new plan looks like this:

Antec NSK 3480
Scythe SY1225SL12M 120mm "Slipstream" Case Fan
Nexus Value 430 PSU
Scythe Ninja 2 fanless
Intel Pentium E5200 Wolfdale 2.5GHz LGA 775 65W
Gigabyte GA-E7AUM-DS2H
G.SKILL 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400)
Patriot PE32GS25SSDR 2.5" 32GB SATA II Internal Solid state disk (SSD)



I'm wondering why you're changing out the PSU. The Nexus might be slightly quieter than the included Antec PSU in the NSK 3480, but, it's not by much. The design of the NSK 3480 also prevents the PSU from cooling the CPU area (there's a solid plate there with just a slot for cables to go through.

To install a PSU with a 120mm 'bottom' fan in the 3480, you'll have to flip the PSU over so that the fan can pull from the vent on the top of the case. This will make it harder to passively cool the CPU since you'll only have the rear fan pulling air across it, but it might still be possible. It might not be a bad idea to save the money on a new PSU and put an additional fan on the Ninja just in case.

_________________
Brother's: Antec 3000B, C2D E6600, ASUS P5K, XFX 6850, 4GB DDRe RAM, 160GB Seagate 7200.8 & 2x 2TB Caviar Green, ASUS 16X DVD-ROM, Sony DVD-RW, Corsair 400W, Thermalright HR-01, 2x Scythe 120mm Low Speed Fans
Mine: Antec NSK3480 w/EA 380W, i5-750, Gigabyte P55M-UD4, Sapphire 5750, 4GB DDR3, 60GB OCZ Agility & 500GB Seagate 7200.8, Xigmatek HDT-S964


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Apr 23, 2009 1:40 pm 
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Joined: Thu Nov 01, 2007 4:12 pm
Posts: 21
Location: San Diego, CA
Man, you guys are good!

After some more thought and reading, I'm planning to go with the Antec NSK 3840 and keep the stock PSU, but mod it with the Scythe Ninja fan.

I have some worries about the NB heatsink on the Gigabyte motherboard, but I'll first try reseating it with decent thermal paste before getting a better heatsink (I've used the Thermalright HR-05 before, and it's great, but a little pricey unless really necessary).

After JamieG's suggestion I did the research on the SSD's and he's right, the OCZ Vertex definitely seems the best choice, so I'm planning on that.

My only hang up right now is the concern about seating the Ninja II. I guess I'll have to get the Scythe Universal mounting kit for it. I can't stand those push-pin set ups, but it's a bit of a hassle to find. It's almost a wash between Ninja + kit and the Thermalright HR-01, so we'll see.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Apr 23, 2009 2:36 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jun 09, 2004 12:45 pm
Posts: 887
Location: California, US
kosmonautbruce wrote:
My only hang up right now is the concern about seating the Ninja II. I guess I'll have to get the Scythe Universal mounting kit for it. I can't stand those push-pin set ups, but it's a bit of a hassle to find. It's almost a wash between Ninja + kit and the Thermalright HR-01, so we'll see.



What's wrong with push pins? :wink:

_________________
Brother's: Antec 3000B, C2D E6600, ASUS P5K, XFX 6850, 4GB DDRe RAM, 160GB Seagate 7200.8 & 2x 2TB Caviar Green, ASUS 16X DVD-ROM, Sony DVD-RW, Corsair 400W, Thermalright HR-01, 2x Scythe 120mm Low Speed Fans
Mine: Antec NSK3480 w/EA 380W, i5-750, Gigabyte P55M-UD4, Sapphire 5750, 4GB DDR3, 60GB OCZ Agility & 500GB Seagate 7200.8, Xigmatek HDT-S964


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Apr 23, 2009 3:22 pm 
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Joined: Fri Dec 26, 2008 10:31 pm
Posts: 822
Location: Melbourne, Australia
kosmonautbruce wrote:
After some more thought and reading, I'm planning to go with the Antec NSK 3840 and keep the stock PSU, but mod it with the Scythe Ninja fan.

FYI, it is a 80mm fan in the included PSU, but a 120mm fan that comes with a Ninja.

(The fan swap idea related to the Ninja Mini, which comers with a 80mm fan). If you are going with the full size Ninja, you will need a separate 80mm fan.

I don't think the 80mm Nexus fan would move enough air if you wired it to the PSU fan voltage line. (It may be good enough if you control it directly from a fan header on your mobo.) Other 80mm fans to look at are the 80mm Noctua fan or the 80mm NMB/Panaflo fans if you are going to wire the fans to the PSU fan line.

_________________
My PCs:
Main PC (E5200, G31, Lian Li Q07) | Gaming PC (E6850, X38, 5870 Vapor-X, P182) | HTPC (4850e, 780G, 3450, NSK2480B)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Apr 23, 2009 10:03 pm 
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Joined: Tue Apr 14, 2009 2:18 am
Posts: 9
Location: Madrid, Spain
kosmonautbruce wrote:

I have some worries about the NB heatsink on the Gigabyte motherboard, but I'll first try reseating it with decent thermal paste before getting a better heatsink (I've used the Thermalright HR-05 before, and it's great, but a little pricey unless really necessary).


As I was told, get a Scythe Mini Kaza 40mm and put this on top of the HSK. I have not tried this yet as I haven't installed my board yet, but it seems to be working and does not add any noise at all.

kosmonautbruce wrote:
My only hang up right now is the concern about seating the Ninja II. I guess I'll have to get the Scythe Universal mounting kit for it. I can't stand those push-pin set ups, but it's a bit of a hassle to find. It's almost a wash between Ninja + kit and the Thermalright HR-01, so we'll see.


I am with the same issue right now, Ninja 2 + kit and Thermalright HR-Plus (which already included a good mounting kit) for exactly the same price and the Thermaright is a couple of degrees more efficient when passively cooling. The only (economical) advantage that has the Ninja2 over the Thermalright is the included slipstream fan.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Apr 24, 2009 12:30 am 
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Joined: Thu Nov 01, 2007 4:12 pm
Posts: 21
Location: San Diego, CA
JamieG wrote:
(The fan swap idea related to the Ninja Mini, which comers with a 80mm fan). If you are going with the full size Ninja, you will need a separate 80mm fan.


Oh man, I completely spaced on that! If I was to order the 80mm Scythe fan separately, do you know what model comes with the Mini Ninja? I can't seem to find it exactly.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Apr 24, 2009 12:32 am 
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Posts: 21
Location: San Diego, CA
Schwenk wrote:
As I was told, get a Scythe Mini Kaza 40mm and put this on top of the HSK. I have not tried this yet as I haven't installed my board yet, but it seems to be working and does not add any noise at all.


I saw that referenced elsewhere as well. That is a good option, I will keep in mind if necessary.

Schwenk wrote:
I am with the same issue right now, Ninja 2 + kit and Thermalright HR-Plus (which already included a good mounting kit) for exactly the same price and the Thermaright is a couple of degrees more efficient when passively cooling. The only (economical) advantage that has the Ninja2 over the Thermalright is the included slipstream fan.


I haven't decided yet. Lots of decisions to make! :wink:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Apr 24, 2009 9:07 am 
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Joined: Fri Feb 20, 2009 12:29 am
Posts: 10
Location: Switzerland
kosmonautbruce wrote:
JamieG wrote:
(The fan swap idea related to the Ninja Mini, which comers with a 80mm fan). If you are going with the full size Ninja, you will need a separate 80mm fan.


Oh man, I completely spaced on that! If I was to order the 80mm Scythe fan separately, do you know what model comes with the Mini Ninja? I can't seem to find it exactly.


Why did you settle on the big Ninja? The mini does fine on this CPU, and it would solve your fan swap issue.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Apr 24, 2009 11:56 am 
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Location: San Diego, CA
veyd wrote:
Why did you settle on the big Ninja? The mini does fine on this CPU, and it would solve your fan swap issue.


That's a valid question. My thought was I should take advantage of what the 3840 offers space-wise and use a bigger more efficient cooler, which should allow for a quieter PC overall. But it may be overkill.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Apr 24, 2009 3:32 pm 
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Joined: Fri Dec 26, 2008 10:31 pm
Posts: 822
Location: Melbourne, Australia
kosmonautbruce wrote:
JamieG wrote:
(The fan swap idea related to the Ninja Mini, which comers with a 80mm fan). If you are going with the full size Ninja, you will need a separate 80mm fan.


Oh man, I completely spaced on that! If I was to order the 80mm Scythe fan separately, do you know what model comes with the Mini Ninja? I can't seem to find it exactly.


I don't think Scythe sell the fan that comes with the Ninja Mini separately. I've seen a thread in the General Gallery where someone swapped a Noctua 80mm fan into the PSU in a 3480.

The Ninja Mini will probably be fine for your needs on a E5200.

If you want to go for the full size Ninja, definitely go with the bolt through kit. You can use the fan that comes with the Ninja for a rear exhaust instead of the Slipstream you listed earlier, so that will probably bring the price comparison vs the HR-01 Plus back in favour of the Ninja, as you can save the separate price of a fan vs if you went with the HR-01 Plus.

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My PCs:
Main PC (E5200, G31, Lian Li Q07) | Gaming PC (E6850, X38, 5870 Vapor-X, P182) | HTPC (4850e, 780G, 3450, NSK2480B)


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 Post subject: picoPSU
PostPosted: Fri Apr 24, 2009 7:50 pm 
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Joined: Wed Nov 16, 2005 12:16 pm
Posts: 126
Given the power numbers here:
http://www.silentpcreview.com/article892-page5.html
You could also go for a 24-pin picoPSU:
http://www.mini-box.com/picoPSU-150-XT
http://www.mini-box.com/s.nl/sc.8/category.1097/.f
(The 80W kit might be enough)


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 Post subject: Major update
PostPosted: Sun Apr 26, 2009 1:23 pm 
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Joined: Thu Nov 01, 2007 4:12 pm
Posts: 21
Location: San Diego, CA
Ok, you guys will laugh at me, but I've gone and done another whole revision. :lol:

I found that Antec was selling their B-stock super cheap, so I snagged a NSK 2400 w/o PSU for $37. I would have gone for an NSK 3400, but they weren't offering that model for sale.

So, that changes things quite a bit. Mini-Ninja is back, and I need a PSU after all. Thought about picoPSU, but they are on back order until mid-May, and then I found an Enermax Modu 82+ 425W for $70 after rebate, and while that is overkill for my system, it seems like a good value and could be used in other builds in the future. Based on what I've read at SPCR it should be very quiet.

So my plan now is to have the mini Ninja fanless, to use one 120mm Scythe case fan, possibly put a 40mm Scythe Kaze fan on the NB, and then I should be pretty good to go.

Only problem will be that I've so enjoyed doing all the planning, I'm not sure I'll actually enjoy the rig as much once it's finished. :wink:

Barring any more changes, this should be the final build:
Antec NSK 2400 w/o PSU
Scythe S-FLEX 120mm Case Fan, 800RPM, Noise: 8.7dBA, Model: SFF21D
Scythe Mini Ninja
Enermax Modu 82+ 425W
Intel Pentium E5200 Wolfdale 2.5GHz LGA 775 65W
Gigabyte GA-E7AUM-DS2H
CORSAIR 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400)
OCZ Vertex Series OCZSSD2-1VTX30G 2.5" 30GB SATA II MLC Internal Solid state disk (SSD)
Trendnet 802.11n PCI adapter
Adesso 2.4GHz RF Wireless Mini USB Keyboard
Scythe Kaze 40mm Fan for NB cooling


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 Post subject: Re: Major update
PostPosted: Sun Apr 26, 2009 3:43 pm 
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Joined: Fri Dec 26, 2008 10:31 pm
Posts: 822
Location: Melbourne, Australia
kosmonautbruce wrote:
Antec NSK 2400 w/o PSU
Scythe S-FLEX 120mm Case Fan, 800RPM, Noise: 8.7dBA, Model: SFF21D
Scythe Mini Ninja
Enermax Modu 82+ 425W
Intel Pentium E5200 Wolfdale 2.5GHz LGA 775 65W
Gigabyte GA-E7AUM-DS2H
CORSAIR 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400)
OCZ Vertex Series OCZSSD2-1VTX30G 2.5" 30GB SATA II MLC Internal Solid state disk (SSD)
Trendnet 802.11n PCI adapter
Adesso 2.4GHz RF Wireless Mini USB Keyboard
Scythe Kaze 40mm Fan for NB cooling

Throw in a few Zalman fanmates for controlling the speed of your fans (unless you plan on doing it via software like SpeedFan) and it all looks pretty good.

You should be very happy with this system.

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My PCs:
Main PC (E5200, G31, Lian Li Q07) | Gaming PC (E6850, X38, 5870 Vapor-X, P182) | HTPC (4850e, 780G, 3450, NSK2480B)


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