Dave's new Mini ITX Silent PC/HTPC build thread - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 68 Old 10-20-2012, 11:27 PM - Thread Starter
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OK, time for an upgrade and I need a computer that does everything and is dead silent.

So far, the system configuration is as follows (I'd be interested in any opinions) .

I'm planning to get this completed before Christmas, assuming availability of the new Intel i7 3770T. Does anyone know when it will be available?



Motherboard : Asus P8Z77-I DELUXE




Case: Streamcom Silent PC case FC8 or FC9. Clearance issues of copper pipes around motherboard PSU is the main concern.


FC9






FC8






CPU : Intel Core i7 Ivy Bridge 3770T 2.5GHz 45W HD4000 Quad Core CPU


Graphics card : None. Using Integrated Intel i7 HD4000


Memory : Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) Dual Channel DDR3 Kit 1600 MHz CMZ8GX3M2A1600C9




Hard drive: Samsung 830 256GB SSD





Disc drive: Sony BC-5600S Slot Load Blu-Ray Drive




Power Supply : NanoPSU 150W and AC/DC adapter block








Operating System : Windows 7 (64 bit)
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post #2 of 68 Old 10-21-2012, 12:09 AM
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Does everything? So this is a HTPC and your main system all rolled into one?
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post #3 of 68 Old 10-21-2012, 12:54 AM - Thread Starter
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Exactly Tiddles.

Too much clutter taking over my living space. I have about 5 computers including Ipad, and Iphone, now I'm trying to follow the KISS principle.
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post #4 of 68 Old 10-21-2012, 01:04 AM
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In that case I'd get a mATX case and put up with the noise - which is very minimal anyway.

I'd get a Silverstone GD05B case (USB3), an H77M-D3H and an i7 3770 (non K) with 8GB of 1600MHz RAM. In AUD, that would be around ~$600 for the guts of the system.

The reason being, your main system needs to be both flexible and expandable, and it won't be either with that case and PSU. The GD05B has room for more drives and also for full height expansion cards. It is also fairly quiet unless you put your ear right up to it.
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post #5 of 68 Old 10-21-2012, 01:53 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the suggestion but I cant imagine what future expansion I will need beyond this. External drives will be used if necessary.

Size is an issue too as it will be sitting on a desk in my living room, so mini ITX is my preferred form factor. Building a compact, silent, fanless system is a challenge I'm looking forward to.
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post #6 of 68 Old 10-21-2012, 01:16 PM
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The card you have pictured looks like a full-height card whereas that case will only take a half-height card. Besides, if you do select a CPU with the HD4000 integrated GPU, adding a HD6570 makes little sense given benchmarks show they both perform about the same.

I am not sure what "everything" is either. i7-3770T is overkill for 95% of everything HTPC related. i3-3225 will get you 95%. Barring that, take a look at the i7-3770S.

 

 

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post #7 of 68 Old 10-21-2012, 05:43 PM - Thread Starter
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Stardog thanks for the headsup. You're right in that it appears that the HD6570 barely improves on the integrated HD4000. I had just assumed it would have improved graphics significantly and helped reduce CPU load/heat issues.
So with gaming being the least of my priorities, I think I'll leave it at the HD4000 for now. (first post now edited).

The case height is 100mm so it does limit my choices of graphics cards greatly.
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post #8 of 68 Old 10-22-2012, 12:00 PM
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i3-3225 is plenty for HTPC, even a 3220T will do most things.

i7-3770T is hard to find, generally only sold to OEMs. If you need a 45W TDP quad core consider its brother cpu: Xeon E3 1265Lv2, it comes in a boxed version and is easy to find.

Otherwise just get a 35W/55W i3 or a 65W 3770S, all cheaper options.


Take a look at the intel DQ77KB motherboard, it is very friendly inside cramped cases due to its built in DC PSU and low profile, all you need is a very common 19V laptop adapter. (free or ~$20 on amazon/ebay/etc)
It should run cooler as the less efficient AC-DC conversion is done outside the case, the DC-DC step down generates very little heat.

A few component differences like laptop so-dimms (cheap and plentiful) and add the wifi card yourself. (lots of cheap 62xx/6300 series cards on ebay that come with pigtails and antenna)
All the usb3 are on the back, so get the streacom versions with the usb2+card reader instead. I have one in a FC8 right now and it works well.

Nearly dead silent HTPC ver 2.0: i3-4340 w/ Noctua NH-L9i on Z87E-itx inside CM130 elite, fanless PSU, SSD OS drive
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post #9 of 68 Old 10-22-2012, 02:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aluminum View Post

i3-3225 is plenty for HTPC, even a 3220T will do most things.
i7-3770T is hard to find, generally only sold to OEMs. If you need a 45W TDP quad core consider its brother cpu: Xeon E3 1265Lv2, it comes in a boxed version and is easy to find.
Otherwise just get a 35W/55W i3 or a 65W 3770S, all cheaper options.
Take a look at the intel DQ77KB motherboard, it is very friendly inside cramped cases due to its built in DC PSU and low profile, all you need is a very common 19V laptop adapter. (free or ~$20 on amazon/ebay/etc)
It should run cooler as the less efficient AC-DC conversion is done outside the case, the DC-DC step down generates very little heat.
A few component differences like laptop so-dimms (cheap and plentiful) and add the wifi card yourself. (lots of cheap 62xx/6300 series cards on ebay that come with pigtails and antenna)
All the usb3 are on the back, so get the streacom versions with the usb2+card reader instead. I have one in a FC8 right now and it works well.

Q77 is stupid overpriced in Australia. $170 for that? I'd rather get a bigger case and an $80 mATX mobo. You are paying for features you won't use. And for $170, that is one ugly motherboard.
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post #10 of 68 Old 10-22-2012, 11:17 PM
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I wish I had found this case by itself sooner. I ordered a Tranquil PC from the UK as I was mostly interested in the case. Still hasn't come. frown.gif
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post #11 of 68 Old 10-23-2012, 02:08 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the tips Aluminium but price is secondary to performance, efficiency and future-proofing.


The i7-3770t is right near the top of performance/TDP, uses only 45W (well within my 65W case limit), and has the HD4000 graphics.
And it doesn't require any fiddling with clocking and under volting which I couldn't be bothered with.

http://www.cpubenchmark.net/power_performance.html


I've now ordered this processor (it was hard to find!), the Asus motherboard, Corsair memory and the Samsung SSD.

Still looking at cases but the Streamcom FC9 is the likely candidate as it will give me a bit more space and versatility.
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post #12 of 68 Old 10-24-2012, 01:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scanspeak View Post

Thanks for the tips Aluminium but price is secondary to performance, efficiency and future-proofing.
The i7-3770t is right near the top of performance/TDP, uses only 45W (well within my 65W case limit), and has the HD4000 graphics.
And it doesn't require any fiddling with clocking and under volting which I couldn't be bothered with.
http://www.cpubenchmark.net/power_performance.html
I've now ordered this processor (it was hard to find!), the Asus motherboard, Corsair memory and the Samsung SSD.
Still looking at cases but the Streamcom FC9 is the likely candidate as it will give me a bit more space and versatility.

Just FYI but the 45W E3 1265L V2 is cheaper and way easier to find in the states, no idea about AU....don't kick yourself if its a lot less wink.gif

The FC9 is ideal if you are OCD about symmetry, I have the FC8 and every once in awhile it bugs me with fins on one side. Then I remember its just a router and no one else will ever notice.

Nearly dead silent HTPC ver 2.0: i3-4340 w/ Noctua NH-L9i on Z87E-itx inside CM130 elite, fanless PSU, SSD OS drive
SAN shares via 40GbE tunneled over 56Gb infiniband links
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post #13 of 68 Old 10-24-2012, 01:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tiddles88 View Post

Q77 is stupid overpriced in Australia. $170 for that? I'd rather get a bigger case and an $80 mATX mobo. You are paying for features you won't use. And for $170, that is one ugly motherboard.

Apples and oranges, ITX vs uATX. If you're going to be cheap, go all the way and get a $50 board, theres plenty.

Building fanless and extra small like the OP wants, price obviously isn't the main factor. (just uttering the "F" word instantly adds at least $100 to any build budget)

If you really want to nitpick price, the intel thin board also means you don't have to buy a pico-psu.
A 19V DC brick is $0-20 as the type it uses literally grows on trees, you can trip over them at any large office where they always outnumber the functional laptops.
Meanwhile a pico-psu + non-tree-growing matched 12V brick is $50+


Also, ugly, seriously? Its a motherboard with thousands of surface mount ICs, who gives a damn what it looks like inside a nice case. It could be pink with green expansion slots, as long as it does what you want.

Nearly dead silent HTPC ver 2.0: i3-4340 w/ Noctua NH-L9i on Z87E-itx inside CM130 elite, fanless PSU, SSD OS drive
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post #14 of 68 Old 10-24-2012, 02:13 PM - Thread Starter
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Passmark - CPU Mark scores :

Intel Xeon E3-1220L v2 --- 3381

Intel i7-3770t --- 8787

http://www.cpubenchmark.net/high_end_cpus.html



PassMark - Power Performance (CPU Mark / Max TDP)

Intel Xeon E3-1220L v2 --- 169

Intel i7-3770t --- 195

http://www.cpubenchmark.net/power_performance.html


Graphics is also considerably superior on the i7 (HD4000).
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post #15 of 68 Old 10-24-2012, 02:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aluminum View Post

Just FYI but the 45W E3 1265L V2 is cheaper and way easier to find in the states, no idea about AU....don't kick yourself if its a lot less wink.gif
The FC9 is ideal if you are OCD about symmetry, I have the FC8 and every once in awhile it bugs me with fins on one side. Then I remember its just a router and no one else will ever notice.

Easier to find, but I wouldn't say cheaper --both are north of $300. The price per tray is should be the same, but there seem to be quite a bit of extra vendor markup from OEM resellers on the i7-3770T.
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post #16 of 68 Old 10-24-2012, 02:25 PM - Thread Starter
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For anyone interested in the i7-3770t it is available here for US$337.

www.pcconnection.com
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post #17 of 68 Old 10-24-2012, 04:40 PM
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Would the added height of the fully digital PWM on the Asus P8Z77-I DELUXE fit in the Streamcom Silent PC FC8 Mini-ITX case? Seems like a tight clearance between the pipes from the heatsink and I'm not entirely convinced you'll be able to fit a P8Z77-I Deluxe with it's PWM "daughterboard" there.


When it comes to the CPU the Intel Core i7-3770T seems overkill, even though it's a 45W CPU. Why not go for the Intel Core i5-3470T instead? Then you drop down from 45W to 35W and shouldn't really notice any difference in practical CPU performance on a HTPC setup anyway as the Intel Core i5-3470T is dual-cpre and it's 2.9GHz (3.6GHz Turbo) should be plenty for anything you could possibly throw at it. The only slight downside if you are going to stick with the onboard Intel HD 4000 Graphics is the lower turbo of 1100 MHz compared to 1150 MHz on the i7-3770T.

I would consider grabbing a low-profile HD 7750 anyway just to get better custom resolution support so you don't run into issues with 23.976Hz with the Intel graphics drivers lacking decent custom resolution support.
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post #18 of 68 Old 10-25-2012, 12:33 PM
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I sense some mass confusion here, me and Intel included smile.gif
Quote:
Passmark - CPU Mark scores :

Intel Xeon E3-1220L v2 --- 3381

Intel i7-3770t --- 8787

http://www.cpubenchmark.net/high_end_cpus.html



PassMark - Power Performance (CPU Mark / Max TDP)

Intel Xeon E3-1220L v2 --- 169

Intel i7-3770t --- 195

http://www.cpubenchmark.net/power_performance.html


Graphics is also considerably superior on the i7 (HD4000).

Not sure where 1220L V2 came in but it is 2C4T and doesn't even have a GPU.

1265L V2 is 4C8T:
http://ark.intel.com/compare/65525,65728,65735

edit: WTF they changed the ark page info!

All the vendors sold it as HD4000, that had to some from somewhere

As recently as Oct 14th it said P4000:

http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:e2e0qtR7Bo0J:ark.intel.com/products/65728/Intel-Xeon-Processor-E3-1265LV2-8M-Cache-2_50-GHz


The plot thickens, I might want some money back....

Quote:
Easier to find, but I wouldn't say cheaper --both are north of $300. The price per tray is should be the same, but there seem to be quite a bit of extra vendor markup from OEM resellers on the i7-3770T.

The markup counts, cheaper is cheaper smile.gif

$30 less, free shipping:
www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819117289

Nearly dead silent HTPC ver 2.0: i3-4340 w/ Noctua NH-L9i on Z87E-itx inside CM130 elite, fanless PSU, SSD OS drive
SAN shares via 40GbE tunneled over 56Gb infiniband links
microcenter & ebay = severe risks to my wallet
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post #19 of 68 Old 10-25-2012, 02:02 PM
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I thought the P4000 was basically a HD4000? The P branding is for Xeons and the HD branding is for Core i.
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post #20 of 68 Old 10-25-2012, 02:20 PM
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http://ark.intel.com/products/65728/Intel-Xeon-Processor-E3-1265LV2-8M-Cache-2_50-GHz says HD 2500 GPU for the Intel Xeon E3-1265L V2. Y'all got me excited for nothing smile.gif.

 

 

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post #21 of 68 Old 10-26-2012, 02:14 AM - Thread Starter
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Good find, Aluminium re the change in spec for the 1265L V2. A lot of spec sheets I searched had the graphics field left blank.
HD2500 wouldn't cut it for me.
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post #22 of 68 Old 10-26-2012, 08:38 AM
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Quote:
http://ark.intel.com/products/65728/Intel-Xeon-Processor-E3-1265LV2-8M-Cache-2_50-GHz says HD 2500 GPU for the Intel Xeon E3-1265L V2. Y'all got me excited for nothing

It was sold as P4000 and the ark page said as much last week: (google cache which won't last forever: http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:e2e0qtR7Bo0J:ark.intel.com/products/65728/Intel-Xeon-Processor-E3-1265LV2-8M-Cache-2_50-GHz)

I'm pissed as I have two of them.

Granted right now they are running unix and CLI only but its the principle damnit wink.gif

Nearly dead silent HTPC ver 2.0: i3-4340 w/ Noctua NH-L9i on Z87E-itx inside CM130 elite, fanless PSU, SSD OS drive
SAN shares via 40GbE tunneled over 56Gb infiniband links
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post #23 of 68 Old 10-26-2012, 08:55 AM
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When you run something like HWInfo or CPU-Z what does it say for the GPU?

 

 

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post #24 of 68 Old 10-29-2012, 11:30 AM
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When you run something like HWInfo or CPU-Z what does it say for the GPU?

One is running pfsense and can't be messed with pretty much ever, the other just got FreeNAS 8.3 installed.

No idea how to check gpu type in BSD, no drivers for it anyways. Might be able to make a 'just boot once damnit' windows image and try...

I made a post on intel's forums, still waiting for a response.

Nearly dead silent HTPC ver 2.0: i3-4340 w/ Noctua NH-L9i on Z87E-itx inside CM130 elite, fanless PSU, SSD OS drive
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post #25 of 68 Old 11-12-2012, 12:59 AM - Thread Starter
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Most of my parts have arrived now so it was a quick fit of the motherboard and checking for clearance of all the heat piping and power supply.
Thankfully it all fits .... just.

I may file off about 1mm of the copper piping just where it passes over the VRM (voltage regulator modules) to allow for a bit more tolerance.
Currently it just scrapes over the top of it with maybe 0.5mm clearance.

The fit and finish of the Streamcom FC9 chassis is very nice.







Now waiting on delivery of my i7 3770t.
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post #26 of 68 Old 11-12-2012, 08:44 AM
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Don't file the copper tubing. Bend it instead. There are some liquid inside.
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post #27 of 68 Old 11-12-2012, 10:56 AM
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Don't mess with the copper tubing.

 

 

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post #28 of 68 Old 11-12-2012, 01:26 PM
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Don't mess with the copper tubing.

+1

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post #29 of 68 Old 11-12-2012, 02:58 PM - Thread Starter
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Don't file the copper tubing. Bend it instead. There are some liquid inside.

Thanks! I'll leave it as is.
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post #30 of 68 Old 11-21-2012, 12:47 AM - Thread Starter
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Most bits installed, just waiting on the CPU delivery before I can install all the heatpiping.


So far the only issue is that I needed to remove the heatspreaders on the Corsair RAM due to it interfering with the nano power supply board.


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