Mini-ITX 100% fanless HTPC: MPC-HC+LAV+MadVR 1080p OK ==> 13W power under WIn7 - Page 2 - AVS Forum
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post #31 of 48 Old 11-17-2012, 11:32 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hvb83 View Post

Very nice build Shaaden, I've ordered the same parts basically. At least with the same motherboard, an A6-3500 and the FC8 evo. I had seen your comment regarding the motherboard in combination with this case prior to ordering, but in my country only the ASrock and the Gigabyte are available when it comes to mITX FM1 boards. As various reviews stated the ASrock doesn't look quality and has some bios-issues, I decided to go with the Gigabyte anyway.
Would a power extension cable have helped in solving the power connector being in the way of the heat pipes? Something like this? http://akasa.co.uk/img/product/common/gallery/00/AK-CB24-24-EXT_g02.png
I can imagine the pcb of the PicoPSU being rather high and thus blocking the path of the heat pipe. With this extension cable, as long as there the connector itself is not in the way of the path of the heat pipe, there is always a way to solve it I guess. Hope you can fill me in, so that I can buy the cable along with the rest of the parts.

Once again, sorry for the delay... I don't think this extension cable might help.
But the problem is not a blocking problem.

I had a doubt that electric cables directly in contact with a heat pipe might got a liitle bit hot and cause trouble, but this build is used almost everyday since almost 6 months now without any problem. I never had to open it again since I've built it.

Still very very happy with this build!
Handle perfect HD 23.976 FPS (MPC-HC + MadVR), with very low consumption and not a single decibel.

I even think about a twin build in another room for a mixed usage : Internet/Mail/backup HTPC when the living-room is used by someone else.
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post #32 of 48 Old 11-24-2012, 05:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shaaden View Post

Yes, this is in France, plugged on a 230V source indeed.
But my very basic knowledge in energy would tell me that 13W is the same consumption on a 230V than on a 110V input. Might be wrong though.

Normally you are correct, you have twice the voltage at 1/2 the current, but PC power supplies run at a slightly higher efficiency on 230V than 120V. It's just the way they are made. I don't think it's enough to make a difference at those levels, though.
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post #33 of 48 Old 12-02-2013, 03:38 AM - Thread Starter
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Hey !

About 18 months after the original post, I'd just like to share my updated opinion about my HTPC described in the first post.

I use it about every day.
I did not re-open it since I've built it 18 months ago.
Not a single problem.

It fits 100% of my needs :
_ 0 decibel
_ perfect HD video playing (no need more power for encoding, gaming,...) with XBMC, MPC-HC, LAV and MadVR.
_ low power consumption

Conclusion : still 100% happy with it, and convinced that I made the right choice smile.gif

I'm sure that new hardware parts are now available to get a better HTPC, but I don't see any reason to upgrade for the moment, and I can recommend for those who have the same needs than me to copy some parts (if not all) of this machine which might be a little bit less expensive now than 18 months ago.
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post #34 of 48 Old 05-12-2014, 07:24 AM
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Hi, I am looking to build a fanless HTPC and stumbled over your post.

I would like to kinda copy it as you report it as being stable and low-power.

I have only one thing I'd like to add to it: RAID1. As I'd like to get rid of my NAS with Linux / Samba, I want to have the RAID option in my HTPC. 

Does that case you used have a second drive option? Can I squeeze two 3.5 HDDs in it? As I already have 2 WesternDigital RED drives which are great and wouldn't want to replace them.

Or do you know a case that might accommodate them?

And of course I would probably need a RAID controller card on PCIe or something. 

Or I could use Windows mirroring function (sort of software RAID), but I'm unsure of the stress it would put on the system and if it will hold...

Any opinions would be much appreciated as I didn't find much on this.

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post #35 of 48 Old 05-13-2014, 12:37 AM
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Almost all modern motherboards support RAID 1. Your biggest issue is a case that can handle the heat, and still hold 2 - 3.5" drives. The case listed by the OP only handle 1 - 2.5" and 1 - 3.5", but the company that makes it, also makes bigger ones like the FC10, that holds 3 - 3.5" and 2 - 2.5", which would hold your 2 HDs, plus a boot SSD, if wanted.

My personal setup is 1 server (NAS/server/recorder) that does all the recording (no where close to my TV), and then a low powered second machine for playback. That way the server can make any amount of noise or heat, use standard case and PS, and not bother me while watching TV.
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post #36 of 48 Old 05-13-2014, 04:45 AM
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Thanks, I didn't know that small motherboards for this kind of fanless enclosure have RAID on them. I'll look into it.

Regarding the NAS, I too have a NAS now but it has a fan and my wife is bothered by it :), though it is very quite. So I need to ditch the NAS, and make only the fanless setup.

I'll probably also look for a cheap 60 GB SSD for OS.

Regarding the heat from my two drives, it seams that the WD RED don't create that much heat and should probably be ok.

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post #37 of 48 Old 05-13-2014, 04:51 AM
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In your low-powered machine, what kind of CPU do you have?

I don't know which processors to go for, but they should be able to play MKVs with DTS and blurays. I don't want to be under-powered.

I looked at the Atom and Celeron processors and it seems that they are too slow.

I'll probably go for an AMD APU or Intel i3/i5, but again don't know which model/version would suffice. For example the i3 comes in more than 10 flavors...

I read that the AMDs have better integrated graphics...

What's your opinion on this? or what have people used and are satisfied with?

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post #38 of 48 Old 05-13-2014, 05:45 AM
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Integrated GPU in Intel Haswell is good enough for normal video playback (e.g. in XBMC). Celeron G1820, Pentium G3xxx etc. Note that B85 chipset does not support RAID. If your purpose is backup data, then you'd better look for another solution, however.
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post #39 of 48 Old 05-13-2014, 06:09 AM
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A lot has changed since OP's original post. I certainly won't call Celeron or Atom slow these days. See here http://www.avsforum.com/t/1527513/anyone-used-the-new-bay-trail-d-chips-as-a-windows-media-center-box.

Intel's iGPU is more than powerful enough for HTPC duties. Even if AMD has better GPU, it won't make any difference in typical HTPC usage unless you want to play games. But serious gamers will never consider these GPUs anyway.
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post #40 of 48 Old 05-13-2014, 07:23 AM
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Originally Posted by Foxbat121 View Post

A lot has changed since OP's original post. I certainly won't call Celeron or Atom slow these days. See here http://www.avsforum.com/t/1527513/anyone-used-the-new-bay-trail-d-chips-as-a-windows-media-center-box.

Intel's iGPU is more than powerful enough for HTPC duties. Even if AMD has better GPU, it won't make any difference in typical HTPC usage unless you want to play games. But serious gamers will never consider these GPUs anyway.

No, I won't do games, just for media.

I didn't know the processor matters for RAID, I was under the impression that only the storage controller on the motherboard (or separate card) is responsible for RAID.

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post #41 of 48 Old 05-13-2014, 12:03 PM
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Sounds like a strange requirement: fanless mini HTPC with RAID configuration?
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post #42 of 48 Old 05-13-2014, 01:28 PM
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I don't see why this would be strange. Why wouldn't you want RAID?

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post #43 of 48 Old 05-13-2014, 01:39 PM
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When I'm looking for a low power PC, my main concerns are power consumption, temperature and noise. As such there are a lot of trade offs need to be done, e.g. use slower but much lower powered processors, use of slower and low powered RAM and use of laptop HDDs instead of desktop HDDs. I just don't see how RAID fit into this what exactly the advantage you would get out of it.
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post #44 of 48 Old 05-13-2014, 07:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jules13 View Post

... I too have a NAS now but it has a fan and my wife is bothered by it smile.gif, though it is very quite....

Can you not put the NAS somewhere, where it won't matter. Mine's down in the basement with the furnace/Clothes washer/dryer. I know people that put it in a closet.
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post #45 of 48 Old 05-13-2014, 07:34 PM
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Originally Posted by jules13 View Post

In your low-powered machine, what kind of CPU do you have?

For anything regarding Video, I prefer AMD APUs (anything that is an APU, can handle anything until H265/4K comes out). I have heard the newer Intel can handle video's OK, too, just no "real" games. (But I wouldn't use the below E-350 for gaming either)

(current list. A10-4655M, E-350 APU, A8-5500, A10-5700. Note that 2 of those are higher power, but I do other stuff with them, than just HTPC. The first 2 are the most used for TV/Movies.) Most people say to go with an A4-???? before the "E" series CPUs.

Also, 2 of those machines are mainly HTPCs, but only have a single small SSD in them, no HDs at all.
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post #46 of 48 Old 05-13-2014, 07:41 PM
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I don't see why this would be strange. Why wouldn't you want RAID?

The main reason I wouldn't, is when you access any single file, you access both drives, so the drives will see more usage, increasing power, which increases heat, which increase the chance of a electronic failure. (remember the 10 degree rule!!!)

But I think you are mainly looking to combine the HTPC and a secure backup. You can RAID laptop drives, but please remember, RAID is not backup.
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post #47 of 48 Old 05-14-2014, 02:37 AM
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The main reason I wouldn't, is when you access any single file, you access both drives, so the drives will see more usage, increasing power, which increases heat, which increase the chance of a electronic failure. (remember the 10 degree rule!!!)

But I think you are mainly looking to combine the HTPC and a secure backup. You can RAID laptop drives, but please remember, RAID is not backup.

Yes, I'm trying to consolidate in one silent device, I'm sick of having too many devices...I just want 2 tablets in the house and a fan-less HTPC / Storage with Windows on it. This way I can keep my files and also do some Office when required, games not so much. So I guess I need a decent processor to handle this, not the most power-efficient one.

The HTPC will be hooked up to the large screen TV and 24" monitor. Do AMD APUs have Miracast support? 

 

Regarding Backup, yes RAID is not the solution, but it is pretty convenient, it saved my ass twice on drive failures. Anyway, I also keep backups on an external drive.

Thank you for the processor suggestions. So between an A series AMD and E-series, which is better for these tasks? 

And which have RAID support? 

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post #48 of 48 Old 05-14-2014, 02:39 AM
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I'm planning on using this fan-less case: Streacom FC10, do you have any other suggestions that would accommodate two 3.5 inch hard drives? Are there any cheaper ones out there?

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