Another old horizontal HTPC case: mATX and i3 Skylake

Enclosures and acoustic damping to help quiet them.

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Another old horizontal HTPC case: mATX and i3 Skylake

Post by QUIET! » Tue Nov 29, 2016 2:01 pm

I need a low power computer for working at home. I like to keep things separate from my HTPC and don't need very powerful hardware but I want to use the same monitors and keep it in the same stereo rack so I'm going to pull out another surplus Accent HTPC case and put in a Black Friday CPU/motherboard combo with cheap hardware.

The case is like my other Accent in general construction, thick aluminum front panel with VFD display (probably not used) but with two external 5.25" bays covered by an aluminum door that is secured by magnets, the PSU is laid down so the case is shorter and it is mATX because the PSU doesn't leave enough width for full ATX.

Inside the case there is a second bracket/drive cage in the center next to the external bays but I will yank that to make the interior less cluttered.

The Motherboard is an MSI B150 Bazooka. There is not much to say about that except it does not have an M.2 connector or a PCIe 4x slot to install an adapter. I think it might have a SATA Express connector but it seems like a plain SATA SSD will be the best I can do for storage. With the work use, that is probably fine.

The CPU is an Intel i3-6100 and I got 8gb of Kingston HyperX DDR4 because it was cheap, low profile and low CAS number (B150 won't over clock so latency beats frequency).

To go quiet I will be using a be quiet Shadowrock LP CPU cooler. It's a 4 heat pipe bent over design that takes a normal size 120mm fan and an offset that I hope to use to blow air down on the motherboard power circuitry. The reviews of this cooler seem very impressive with very low noise readings and good temperatures even with a much higher TDP CPU than my i3. The total height with a 25mm thick fan is 75mm so it should clear everything with plenty of air space around it.

I have a couple Dell 80+ Silver low power PSUs still around. They are pretty quiet and very efficient in a low power PC so I think I might use one of those but I'm going to leave that undecided for now.

My work includes CAD so I probably need a low end Nvidia Quadro. I will see if I can find a low power Maxwell architecture card with low noise and good Linux support.

It's pretty simple, I don't see any issues with compatibility due to size yet but I am waiting on parts so they may crop up.

I'll post pictures once I start putting it together.

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