Assassin's Simple/Beginner HTPC Buying Guide - Page 31 - AVS Forum
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post #901 of 15967 Old 02-20-2011, 09:30 AM
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The case is an In Win BP655 200Watt mini-ITX case with the odd blue swoosh. I'm not fond of the swoosh but it is nothing a little black spray paint couldn't fix. It was $50 at that Egg place. There were minimal sharp edges and it was a fairly sturdy case with plenty of room for mobo, fans, drives and cables.


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post #902 of 15967 Old 02-20-2011, 09:30 AM
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I'm using the same nmedia PC, though I found that the cooling solution in it was too loud and didn't solve the issue the way I wanted. So, I will admit.. I destroyed it.. kind of. Using a dremel and a pair of pliers and a screw driver, I removed the rear two 80mm fans. I then cut out a 1/4" hole above the fan toward the PSU. Using this gap in the rear of the case, I was able to get a Corsair H50 Selfcontained water cooling system. I had thought about smaller cases, but I admit, while it isn't the most energy efficient, I HATE microPSUs (non-PICO) as when they fail replacing them is a bitch and they seem to be flimsy, especially those that come with cases.

Suddenly, my system is now completely dead quiet. In order to hold up the HSF, I am using 2 8 inch flat end screws (home depot, about 40 cents) which holds the radiator about 5-6" off the back of the PC locked in place. The unit holds steady and since I don't look behind it often, I'm pleased with it. It relocates much of the heat out of the case as well.
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post #903 of 15967 Old 02-20-2011, 09:33 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tmservo View Post

I'm using the same nmedia PC, though I found that the cooling solution in it was too loud and didn't solve the issue the way I wanted. So, I will admit.. I destroyed it.. kind of. Using a dremel and a pair of pliers and a screw driver, I removed the rear two 80mm fans. I then cut out a 1/4" hole above the fan toward the PSU. Using this gap in the rear of the case, I was able to get a Corsair H50 Selfcontained water cooling system. I had thought about smaller cases, but I admit, while it isn't the most energy efficient, I HATE microPSUs (non-PICO) as when they fail replacing them is a bitch and they seem to be flimsy, especially those that come with cases.

Suddenly, my system is now completely dead quiet. In order to hold up the HSF, I am using 2 8 inch flat end screws (home depot, about 40 cents) which holds the radiator about 5-6" off the back of the PC locked in place. The unit holds steady and since I don't look behind it often, I'm pleased with it. It relocates much of the heat out of the case as well.

Holy MacGyver! Pics please!
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post #904 of 15967 Old 02-20-2011, 09:54 AM
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Are any of you guys simultaneously outputting digital and analog audio out of your HTPC? Was finalizing my final connections this weekend and noticed that I'm unable to feed my whole house audio system without disabling the HTPC audio?
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post #905 of 15967 Old 02-20-2011, 10:01 AM
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As in most of the smaller form-factor builds the issues of clearances, airflow and component installation order can be critical. This case had plenty of room. The only tip I can give would be to add the DVD/BR and hard to the drive cage by taking the cage out of the case (4 tiny screws hold it in), this makes it much easier to get the drive screws in then you can put the whole cage, with drives, back into the case. These pics show the clearances you are working with. I still need to clean up the cable routing but it went together in about an hour.


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post #906 of 15967 Old 02-20-2011, 10:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gerryinnv View Post

Are any of you guys simultaneously outputting digital and analog audio out of your HTPC? Was finalizing my final connections this weekend and noticed that I'm unable to feed my whole house audio system without disabling the HTPC audio?

My understanding is that there is no way to output digital and analog at the same time with Windows 7/Vista. You could with XP. I found that out when I switched to Vista. Very annoying.
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post #907 of 15967 Old 02-20-2011, 10:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by badgerpilot View Post

I have an OCZ SSD that is very zippy. Nice! Question on that though, do I want the bios to change it to AHCI mode? I've read conflicting comments about that. It is the OCZ Vertex2, 60gb SSD.

Anyone have any advice on this setting?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul E. Fox, II View Post

Presuming you have an nMediaPC case, my optical drive lined up with holes on the bottom of the case drive cage. The "b" option to be specific.

The case fan on mine was tight but unless I missed something, it is running. I'll check to make sure. I did take the supplied fan out and put in one of the Scythe fans the I had in the Antec case. I think I'm gonna end up buying two of the 80mm fans for the rear as well as the HTPC is a little louder than I want at the moment.

Thanks for the optical drive tip. The drive opens and closes just fine now. Can't believe I missed those holes I tried moving the fan to the other cage but it is just as tight and won't allow the fan to spin. I will probably just mount it to the right side of the case next to the cage or just go buy some quiter fans as well. Fan noise is a bit louder than I would have hoped. I think the stock CPU fan may be the one with the noisiest fan.
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post #908 of 15967 Old 02-20-2011, 10:16 AM
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Well, most of my parts are ordered and on the way!
I'll be sure to post some more details as my build progresses.

CASE
Silverstone ML03 black $70
CPU
AMD Athlon II X2 240e 2.8GHz 45W $65
MOBO
GIGABYTE GA-880GMA-UD2H $100
MEMORY
G SKILL F3-12800CL9D-4GBNQ DDR3 1600 $48

PSU
Antec Earthwatts 380W (140mm) $40
or Seasonic S12 II 430W (100mm) $65
or SILVERSTONE ST45SF 450W $80

HARD DRIVE
Samsung F1 500GB $repurpose

OPTICAL
LG Blu-ray Disc Combo UH10LS20 $70
Samsung SH-B123L $60

Optional Upgrades Later
FANS
Noctua NF-R8 80mm- optional upgrade $15
GPU
Radeon 5450 - optional upgrade $45
CPU FAN
Shuriken Low Profile -optional upgrade $45
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post #909 of 15967 Old 02-20-2011, 10:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by badgerpilot View Post


My understanding is that there is no way to output digital and analog at the same time with Windows 7/Vista. You could with XP. I found that out when I switched to Vista. Very annoying.

Wow that is going to be an issue. So you're sure its an OS issue and not a HW limitation?
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post #910 of 15967 Old 02-20-2011, 10:20 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by badgerpilot View Post

Anyone have any advice on this setting

I'd use AHCI.

http://benchmarkreviews.com/index.ph...=505&Itemid=38
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post #911 of 15967 Old 02-20-2011, 10:21 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gerryinnv View Post

Wow that is going to be an issue. So you're sure its an OS issue and not a HW limitation?

That is absolutely correct. It is a windows 7/vista problem. I think its crap that microsoft went this way.

You can use Window Media Player to open and play your music through the analog output if I remember correctly. There is a setting inside WMP that allows you to select which output you use.
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post #912 of 15967 Old 02-20-2011, 10:23 AM
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Here is my parts list:

Case: InWin BP655 200w $50
Mobo: Gigabyte GA-H55N-USB3 $105
CPU: Intel Core i3 550 3.2 Ghz $130
Ram: GSkill F3-10666CL9D-4GBNQ $45
HDD: Samsung HD204UI 2TB $80
ODD: Asus DVD DRW-24B3LT $19
Tuner: SiliconDust HDHomeRun HDHR $100
Antenna: AntennaCraft HBU-44 $57
Remote: Adesso ARC-1100R $20
OS: Windows 7 Home Premium Family 3 pack $125
Grand Total: $731
The fact that I did it myself (with a little help of this great forum) $Priceless
and.....
No more $114 ($1368 annually) bill from AT&T U-Verse!!!!!

More pics, the antenna and tuner. I tested the anttenna in the livingroom before moving it to the attic.


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post #913 of 15967 Old 02-20-2011, 10:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gerryinnv View Post

Wow that is going to be an issue. So you're sure its an OS issue and not a HW limitation?

That's my understanding. When I want to listen to audio in my other zones, I have to switch the audio out to analog. My onkyo will only play analog signals in the other zones. Yes, it is an issue. If you find an easy solution, let me know.
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post #914 of 15967 Old 02-20-2011, 10:25 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Digital_Brain View Post

Here is my parts list:

The fact that I did it myself (with a little help of this great forum) $Priceless

This is my favorite "part".

Love the pics.
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post #915 of 15967 Old 02-20-2011, 10:25 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by badgerpilot View Post

That's my understanding. When I want to listen to audio in my other zones, I have to switch the audio out to analog. My onkyo will only play analog signals in the other zones. Yes, it is an issue. If you find an easy solution, let me know.

See my post 911. Try that out.
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post #916 of 15967 Old 02-20-2011, 10:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by assassin View Post

I'd use AHCI.

http://benchmarkreviews.com/index.ph...=505&Itemid=38

Thanks Assassin. I'll give the WMP tip a try also.
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post #917 of 15967 Old 02-20-2011, 10:30 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by badgerpilot View Post

That's my understanding. When I want to listen to audio in my other zones, I have to switch the audio out to analog. My onkyo will only play analog signals in the other zones. Yes, it is an issue. If you find an easy solution, let me know.

It looks like I asked this same question in June 2010 on here.

This is the answer that tells you how to do it: http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...8#post18743498
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post #918 of 15967 Old 02-20-2011, 10:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by badgerpilot View Post


That's my understanding. When I want to listen to audio in my other zones, I have to switch the audio out to analog. My onkyo will only play analog signals in the other zones. Yes, it is an issue. If you find an easy solution, let me know.

Yeah same with Harman/Kardon. So which output are you using? I was using the rear lineout/headphone jack but that mutes everything else. Its always the little things...
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post #919 of 15967 Old 02-20-2011, 10:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by assassin View Post

Holy MacGyver! Pics please!

I will get some pics. I'm busy re-working my WHS at the moment, which is highest priority.. I'm up to 14TB, and I've shoved it all into an ATX case that just doesn't hang with it anymore.. I'm going to try and rebuild my WHS again to make it pretty as my next project. It hides out in a closet, but if I can at least get it so it looks better that would be good
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post #920 of 15967 Old 02-20-2011, 10:49 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gerryinnv View Post

Yeah same with Harman/Kardon. So which output are you using? I was using the rear lineout/headphone jack but that mutes everything else. Its always the little things...

I would think you could change that setting.
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post #921 of 15967 Old 02-20-2011, 10:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by assassin View Post

It looks like I asked this same question in June 2010 on here.

This is the answer that tells you how to do it: http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...8#post18743498


You are the man Assassin, that absolutely works perfectly. Little issue with the delay.
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post #922 of 15967 Old 02-20-2011, 11:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by badgerpilot View Post

That's my understanding. When I want to listen to audio in my other zones, I have to switch the audio out to analog. My onkyo will only play analog signals in the other zones. Yes, it is an issue. If you find an easy solution, let me know.

Check out Assassins post above, works flawlessly! My house is alive again!
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post #923 of 15967 Old 02-20-2011, 11:10 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gerryinnv View Post

You are the man Assassin, that absolutely works perfectly. Little issue with the delay.

You know it!!!
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post #924 of 15967 Old 02-20-2011, 11:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by badgerpilot View Post

Thanks for the optical drive tip. The drive opens and closes just fine now. Can't believe I missed those holes I tried moving the fan to the other cage but it is just as tight and won't allow the fan to spin. I will probably just mount it to the right side of the case next to the cage or just go buy some quiter fans as well. Fan noise is a bit louder than I would have hoped. I think the stock CPU fan may be the one with the noisiest fan.

I missed them too until I actually started to mount my drive in the cage. I had read in the (very simple) instructions that I should use the "B mounting holes", or something to that effect, but didn't seem them until I was sliding the drive in.

As to the cage screws...looks like about 1/32th of an inch back and I could have used them. As it is, it's tight enough in there so it doesn't move and the drive doesn't catch on anything AND the eject button on the case works as it should.

Hope you figure out your fan problem. Mine seems to be running just fine.

Regards,
Paul
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post #925 of 15967 Old 02-20-2011, 12:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by assassin View Post


It looks like I asked this same question in June 2010 on here.

This is the answer that tells you how to do it: http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...8#post18743498

Thanks, I'll take a look at that. I tried the AHCI setting and the drive was no longer recognized. I set it back to IDE and it's good. The performance is good enough for me so I guess I will just leave it alone. Have to go to work now so I can't play with it anymore today.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul E. Fox, II View Post


I missed them too until I actually started to mount my drive in the cage. I had read in the (very simple) instructions that I should use the "B mounting holes", or something to that effect, but didn't seem them until I was sliding the drive in.

As to the cage screws...looks like about 1/32th of an inch back and I could have used them. As it is, it's tight enough in there so it doesn't move and the drive doesn't catch on anything AND the eject button on the case works as it should.

Hope you figure out your fan problem. Mine seems to be running just fine.

I will see if I can find a fan that is just a bit thinner or I will just mount the fan outside of the cage. Not a big deal. Others may want to make sure that fan is running in their cases though. Thanks again.
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post #926 of 15967 Old 02-20-2011, 01:04 PM - Thread Starter
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This is a build that I am planning for someone with a dedicated home theater room. The case won't be seen.

IMO the best case for this scenario is the Antec NSK2480. I use this case and hate the silver front but in my case I popped it off and spray painted it black.

In this case since it won't be seen it doesn't matter what it looks like. Its one of the best designed cases for HTPC imo. It also has a 380 watt green PSU that comes with it making the price pretty decent for PSU + case.



Edit: Actually if you subtracted the SSD this would be a GREAT HTPC system for less than $500. The SSD obviously adds increased cost that isn't necessary but a nice bonus if you can swing it financually.
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post #927 of 15967 Old 02-20-2011, 07:46 PM - Thread Starter
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Added Digital_Brain's Mini-ITX build pics to the first page. I subtracted the video recorder price, antenna price, remote control price and windows 7 family pack price to make it reflect the purchase price for the typical setup without those pieces for just the hardware. Thanks.
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post #928 of 15967 Old 02-21-2011, 02:44 PM
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Thanks for this writeup - definitely bookmarked.
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post #929 of 15967 Old 02-21-2011, 05:05 PM
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You sure that OCZ drive is a good idea though? EDIT: seems I can't post links to the OCZ thread explaining the slowdown of the new drives.

Granted, the slowness of the 'new version' may not be a huge issue for that system.
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post #930 of 15967 Old 02-21-2011, 05:31 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cjtodd View Post

You sure that OCZ drive is a good idea though? EDIT: seems I can't post links to the OCZ thread explaining the slowdown of the new drives.

Granted, the slowness of the 'new version' may not be a huge issue for that system.

I saw that as well.

I think part of it is that OCZ changed some of the parts from their initial Vertex SSDs.

I still think its one of the better deals out there. I also like the Corsair and Crucial.
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