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Need advice for case and PSU for Clarksdale HTPC build

Bobsy

Member
Jan 5, 2010
142
27
91
Hi,

With Windows 8 coming out soon and a WinXP license sitting idle on my girlfriend's old laptop, it's time for my first HTPC build and I plan to use the insides of my current desktop PC as the foundation - which means I'll be upgrading my desktop PC to Ivybridge in the process (yeah!). This means I already have:

Motherboard: Gigabyte H55M-USB3 mATX
CPU: Clarksdale i3-530 at stock speed
Cooler: Intel stock HSF
RAM: G.Skill Ripjaws 8 GB (4x2GB)
Graphics: back to IGP since I plan to keep my GTX 460 in my desktop computer
HDD: WD Caviar Green 1.5 TB + SSD as boot drive (I need to buy that.)

I am considering completing this list with the following parts. Please comment on the following for a HTPC:

Case: Silverstone GD05. (Or Antec Fusion Remote? Silverstone FT03 if the cables come out the lower back and not the top?) (Maybe also Fractal Design node 605?)

Case fans: upgrade to Enermax Magma or better - is it worth it?

Cooler: CoolerMaster Hyper 212 (EVO or PLUS?) - I can hear the stock Intel fan spin up and whine on my PC and I don't want that on the HTPC.

PSU: I am really tempted by the Seasonic fanless 400W. Can anyone recommend it? Will it make that much of a difference?

IGP: will this work ok or does it suffer from the 23.xxx fps bug that Anandtech talks about in GPU reviews? Otherwise I can add a cheapy GPU.

Remote: Boxee remote perhaps? Or should I stick to mouse and keyboard?

What I want above all is SILENCE in the living room.

Thank you! :D
 

ecosmartpc

Member
Aug 15, 2012
67
0
66
www.ecosmartpc.com
I am starting to think the CPU fan whine is a characteristic of H55 Gigabyte boards. There's something about the way they do fan control -- up, down, up, down constantly. I've tried many different CPU coolers with my GA-H55N-USB3 and I am never happy with the noise profile.

For power supply, you could use a 120W picoPSU with 120W AC adapter for a fanless PSU and you'd have plenty of headroom. I have a 72W AC adapter with a 90W picoPSU in my i3-540/H55 mini-ITX.

For cases also have a look at the nMediaPC line. The 1000b, 5000b and 7000b. I also like the Lian-Li PC-C50.
 
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Zap

Elite Member
Oct 13, 1999
22,378
2
0
CASE - Go for the GD05. The Fusion is really "deep" and the FT03 may not match your other equipment if you have a receiver (GD05 fits in well).

Case fans - stay with stock. Just undervolt them.

Cooler - 212 (either) will not fit. If you want a tower style, get a Scythe Ninja Mini.

PSU - I'm using an Antec Neo Eco and I can't hear it. You're probably more likely to hear your case fans.

IGP - Most people don't notice the 23.xxxFPS thing. Try it. If you end up noticing it, toss in a $30 low end passive Radeon.
 

Auric

Diamond Member
Oct 11, 1999
9,596
2
71
XP is incapable of HD audio so an upgrade to 7 or 8 would be advised. I concur just try the integrated graphics first. Alas, $30 may not cover a replacement since such low-end cards (especially 64-bit) are unsuitable.

I use the OEM coolers on a 530 and 650 with Gigabyte H55M mobos and do not expereince whine or excessive RPM fluctuations. I find the BIOS fan control works well though it can be disabled. I had used SpeedFan for may years before but it is now relegated only to monitoring.

Given a PSU fan, case fans are unnecessary (so no point in paying more for fanless then adding fans). As said, pico may be preferable if never running many drives I suppose.

A standard MCE RC6 receiver can be used with nearly any remote (codes are generally built in to even non-programmables) and thus control any media player (MCE, XBMC, MPC-HC, and so on).
 

Bobsy

Member
Jan 5, 2010
142
27
91
Thank you all. This is really helpful.

I've made up my mind on a couple of things. But before I go into details, I just wanted to say that I never intended on using WinXP on this machine. It's just that with the WinXP license, I'll be able to upgrade to Win8 + Media Center for $40 (until Jan 2013). That's what's prompting this new build.

Case: GD05 - however I noticed the GD06 and I think I like the look of it better. I understand there is a downside: less room for the PSU. But I think I can live with that.

Case fans: will keep stock. I am not quite sure how to "undervolt", would that be with special adapters to plug along the power cable?

Cooler: so far I have only one suggestion: Scythe Ninja Mini. I have to look into this. I have never replaced a cooler before... I am sure I can find some instructions on the web somewhere.

PSU: will need to look further into this...

Remote: will also need to look further into this. I just saw an HP remote that looks quite usable.

Thank you again! :)
 

Zap

Elite Member
Oct 13, 1999
22,378
2
0
The cases should internally be the same Silverstone makes a series such as the GD05/GD06/GD07 which use the exact same chassis, but with different faces for different looks.

You can do various things to undervolt the case fans depending on which connector they use (peripheral, 3-pin, PWM). You can get controllers, or use motherboard headers (if supported) or even do simple 5v or 7v mods using the peripheral connector itself.

I'm not so sure on the Ninja Mini anymore, since it appears discontinued. You will probably have to go with one of those top-down coolers, and not a tower style.
 

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