Started new HTPC with Antec Fusion V2 case!! *with pics* - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 201 Old 07-21-2007, 01:48 PM - Thread Starter
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Well after much research and reading this forum I finally broke down and bought the first peices of my HTPC. I went with the Antec Fusion case and I am really happy with the quality and the way it looks.

Ain't she a beauty?


For those that are familiar with the issue of the original Fusion case's front panel not being grounded well Antec has added a ground wire with the V2 case.



I also got the new Abit AN-M2HD mobo



Now I did not have enough money to get everything at once so I will have to get the rest over the next few weeks. Now this is my first PC build from scratch so I am hoping some of you more experienced AVSers can help me complete this system. Here is what I have so far:

Antec Fusion V2 case
Abit AN-M2HD mobo
Seagate 300GB SATA HD
Sony DVD burner (not sure the model but works great)

Here is what I need:
AMD AM2 socket processor
2GB DDR2 800 RAM
OS
wireless keyboard/mouse

The HD and burner are from my last computer. Now I need to choose a processor and RAM. I already have decided I am going to go with Windows XP MCE for hopefully less headaches. I also think I will just get a X-Gene keyboard/mouse. Now I have chosen two processors one for power and one for super efficient.

Super Efficient:
AMD Athlon X2 BE-2350 Brisbane 2.1GHz 2 x 512KB L2 Cache Socket AM2 Processor

Power:
AMD Athlon 64 X2 4800+ Brisbane 2.5GHz 2 x 512KB L2 Cache Socket AM2 Processor

So which will I wish I had the most? Power or efficiency?

As far as RAM I will probably go Cosair or maybe OCZ as a poster in the Abit mobo thread mentioned he used. Also what about the remote? I have a Harmony 890, does it already have all the commands or do I need to buy another remote first? Anything else I am missing? Suggestions? Any help would be appreciated!
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post #2 of 201 Old 07-21-2007, 03:59 PM
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I really like the fusion but the new price on the V2 is really disapointing.

I`ll get the cheap nmediapc instead.
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post #3 of 201 Old 07-21-2007, 08:24 PM
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Here's some OCZ RAM cheap

keep us posted, let us know how it turns out.

edit: What do you want the HTPC to do, or what do you have planned for it? HD TV and video? Gaming? Serve up DVDs? Music? that will determine part of your componet list.
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post #4 of 201 Old 07-22-2007, 05:32 AM - Thread Starter
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Pretty much exclusively Movies/Music, streaming video and eventually HD formats. I am sure through this process I will find more things I want to do with it as I realize the potential but gaming won't be one. I do have DirecTV HD DVR so probably won't be using it as a DVR.

What about the OS? Part of me feels like I should be forging ahead into the newest territory but I have XP MCE on this PC not and it is just a great OS. Should I just hold off or go for it?
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post #5 of 201 Old 07-24-2007, 08:54 AM
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Thanks for the tip on the RAM, TopCat, just what I needed also. I'm going down the same road as Tommy here and following his progress closely. I'm flipping the coin between the Fusion and a Thermaltake Bach... I'm guessing the Fusion is built better? (quieter) but if I have the sound go out to my surround system, wouldn't the Volume Knob on the Fusion be a moot point?

I find the hunt so much more satisfying then the kill...
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post #6 of 201 Old 07-24-2007, 09:08 AM
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I feel like I am reading my own purchase list!

I have my system up and running now. Based off of the new V2 case but in black.
Went with the
Abit An-M2 HD
AMD 4800 Brisbane
That same ram Topcat suggessted
I went with a std DVD RW drive

And then I went with the Microsoft Wireless MCE keyboard and remote combo.
And running MCE.

Still working out the bugs, and the only thing I have not been happy with is some dropped frames playing 1080P high bit content.

There is a discussion on the board here in the forums.

Just a note, the board (comes with a DVI to HDMI cable) but not a straight HDMI cable. So depending upon what your hookup goes to , you may want to order a nice HDMI cable instead of being forced to run out and buy one out of impulse from the yellow tag store. =)
You could of course also drive it over VGA.

I still haev not gotten the overly bright LCD to run in any fashion that suits my needs.
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post #7 of 201 Old 07-24-2007, 09:13 AM
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I plan on getting the same case this week but will probably go for the ASRock AliveNF7G-HDready with the same GF7050.

I'm just not sure what CPU to get.. I want to be able to play 1080p h.264 MKVs

I wonder if the Athlon X2 4800+ could cut it.. using purely Software (VLC)
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post #8 of 201 Old 07-24-2007, 10:20 AM - Thread Starter
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Rob,
I was looking at the Thermaltake Mozart and I saw one at Fry's and instantly scratched it off my list because it seemed cheap quality along with the Silverstone I saw there. The volume knob on the Fusion probably won't get used on mine either but neither does the one on my Rotel receiver because I always use my Harmony remote. I think the volume knob is part of the strong visual statement the Fusion makes. The build quality on this thing is truly impressive and exceeded my expectations. I had been considering the OrigenAE X10 but the gold feet bugged me (I know I could have replaced them) and I was a little concerned about airflow. Also the fact that the Fusion V2 added MCE compatible IR receiver and came with a pretty decent PS kinda pushed me over the edge.


Well here is the update on mine. Of course I could not wait the few weeks like planned and I pulled the trigger and ordered the rest of my Components from Newegg. I went with:

AMD Athlon 64 X2 4800+ Brisbane
G.SKILL 2GB (2x1GB) DDR2800
SpecResearch Wireless keyboard
Windows XP MCE

Everything should be here by Thursday so I can start working on it over the weekend. I did not order any CPU cooling and was just going to go with the stock stuff. Does anyone know if I will need to buy some thermal paste or will the thermal pad included be enough?

I am probably going to use VGA for now because my TV is 1366x768 and if I use the HDMI I can only input 720p/1080i. At some point I will upgrade to a 1080p display.
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post #9 of 201 Old 07-24-2007, 10:35 AM
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Assuming you picked up the same 4800 as I did , the included thermal paste should be fine.

This Antec case really stays cool with those 120Mm fans.
I have them both set on low and the stock CPU fan cooler plugged in and honestly from 4 feet away would not know the thing was on and have not heard the CPU fan change speeds once.

Of course if you decide to throw in some other sources of heat that could all change. =)


Hope it all gets there soon for you.
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post #10 of 201 Old 07-24-2007, 11:03 AM
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That is a very nice looking case.

If someone wants a decent inexcpensive mATX case for $40 AR + shipping, Ultraflys are on sale, ends today though. I had to call and ask for the rebate since their link is dead and they emailed it immediately. I have a blue one now and a undervolted Brisbane 3600 idles at 27C with stock heatisink and arctic silver 5, 3.5 and 5.25 external bays, I use Seasonic PSUs, have not tried the 400W that comes with the case. YMMV.

http://forums.anandtech.com/messagev...&enterthread=y

Jim
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post #11 of 201 Old 07-24-2007, 02:43 PM
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Well all my pieces are here and this weekend will be building time. I however chose different parts as I read some of the difficulties that come with different players and different video formats. For me it is exclusively HD that I want to play back. So here is my list.

Fusion v.2 case
Ga-G33-DSR2 Gigabyte Mobo.
2 G of ram OCZ PC2 8500
E6850 processor
Zalman 8700 cooler
Pioneer BDC 202BK DVD Writer & BD Rom drive
2 x Samsung 500 Gig drives
Mobo came with eSata bracket for 2 drives & mobo has 6 Sata connectors
HD drives and optical drive use 3 SATA connectors.
SPDIF bracket for mobo header
Wireless card for WiFi.

The part I am still missing is the GFX card. They really have that one messed up. I want an HDMI conector on my GFX card that passes all the audio formats that I have to my receiver. This solution is not possible yet as the ATI cards only pass SPDIF signals through the HDMI connector. So for the moment it is analogue cables from the 6 connectors on the mobo to the receiver to get all audio formats.

I never thought that the audio would be such a pain. The mobo has a PCI-E 4x slot and it could be used for a sound card. What a pain here you have HDMI switched on the Onkyo receiver to decode all the sound formats and pass the video to the display, but ABSOLUTELY NO way to get the HD audio formats and HD video over that HDMI connector from a HTPC. Bummer.
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post #12 of 201 Old 07-24-2007, 03:34 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by one_2go View Post

.I never thought that the audio would be such a pain. The mobo has a PCI-E 4x slot and it could be used for a sound card. What a pain here you have HDMI switched on the Onkyo receiver to decode all the sound formats and pass the video to the display, but ABSOLUTELY NO way to get the HD audio formats and HD video over that HDMI connector from a HTPC. Bummer.

I'm pretty sure no HD DVD or Blu Ray players will pass the HD audio formats as bitstream to be decoded in the Onkyo either.
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post #13 of 201 Old 07-24-2007, 04:23 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikelsbid View Post

Assuming you picked up the same 4800 as I did , the included thermal paste should be fine.

This Antec case really stays cool with those 120Mm fans.
I have them both set on low and the stock CPU fan cooler plugged in and honestly from 4 feet away would not know the thing was on and have not heard the CPU fan change speeds once.

Of course if you decide to throw in some other sources of heat that could all change. =)


Hope it all gets there soon for you.

Hey mike, do you think two HDs would produce a lot of heat? I was thinking of adding a 500 gigger in there after a little bit for some extra storage. Eventually I will probably get a video card if needed when I begin to integrate next gen formats.
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post #14 of 201 Old 07-24-2007, 04:38 PM
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I have personally run 2 raptors in the Antec case in question and can without a doubt, it never let the drives get hot (by hot i mean over 45c)
hope this helps.....

KD0MOF

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post #15 of 201 Old 07-25-2007, 06:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TommyV View Post

I'm pretty sure no HD DVD or Blu Ray players will pass the HD audio formats as bitstream to be decoded in the Onkyo either.

But I thought that HDMI 1.3a would allow for this. Why would Onkyo build £999 & £400 pounds receiver with switched HDMI inputs decoding all audio formats just for XBOX, PS3 and a few other hardware boxes? I don't think they would build something and miss the ever growing in popularity HTPC market. It may take pressure from users and vendors, but I believe that will be the desired connection.

Any other connection like analogue bypasses for example delay functions which is a pain especially if you have a LCD display with massive delay due to video processing. It is in its infancy but coming it must
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post #16 of 201 Old 07-25-2007, 07:34 AM - Thread Starter
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Not to get too far off topic but from my understanding HDMI 1.3 gives the ability to transmit HD audio formats as bitstream yet none of the players currently available that have HDMI 1.3 have enabled this feature though I would assume firmware updates in the near future should add this.

You are right we are on the bleeding edge and I believe the computer hardware manufacturers will start integrating these goodies as well.
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post #17 of 201 Old 07-25-2007, 07:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TommyV View Post

Hey mike, do you think two HDs would produce a lot of heat? I was thinking of adding a 500 gigger in there after a little bit for some extra storage. Eventually I will probably get a video card if needed when I begin to integrate next gen formats.

I do not think two drives would be a problem by any manner. With the case being designed for 2 drives I would imagine that the air cooling would be adequate.
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post #18 of 201 Old 07-25-2007, 10:57 AM - Thread Starter
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Mike, one more question if you don't mind. Do I need to buy that Microsoft remote to work with the IR receiver in the Fusion before I program my Harmony remote? I would think logitech would already have all the commands in their database. They had all the commands for my HP "media center PC" remote.
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post #19 of 201 Old 07-26-2007, 05:46 PM - Thread Starter
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Well received all my components from Newegg today (yeah)! I have begun to connect everything. I installed the mobo and CPU. I have connected all the PS cables and FP cables but there are two cables coming from the FP that I can not for the life of me figure out where they connect. They are two single pin cables; one says GND (black) and the other says M/B PWR (red). I don't see any mention of them in the Antec instructions and I'm not sure where on the mobo to connect them. Can anyone give me a clue as to where these go?

On a side note the Antec instructions mention a 3-pin connector from the PS that has blue and black wires that supposedly hooks to the mobo and monitors the PS fan speed. I do not see this cable either but they say it's optional so I am not too worried about that.
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post #20 of 201 Old 07-28-2007, 03:05 AM
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I am in the middle of finishing the HTPC but there are two connections from the Front Panel that I don't know what to do with they are two single wires with crimps on the end to fit over a single header pin. One of them is black and labeled GND that I know what to do with. The other is red and is labeled M/B Pwr where does that one go or do I even need them?
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post #21 of 201 Old 07-28-2007, 06:48 AM - Thread Starter
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Yea I called Antec about it yesterday. It is so you can turn off your computer with your remote. You have to take the black and white wires from the power switch and route them to your VFD display and there are two pins there to plug it in. Then the red and black wires you are wondering about plug into your mobo where the power switch plugs in. You have you take off the front panel and the plastic cover on the back of the VFD to tuck the black and white wires from the power switch neatly behind it so it does not interfere with the CD tray.

I have made more progress on my project but am having a couple problems. One is with the VFD display. When I first loaded the drivers it came on and was working great. Was scrolling system info and news and all that. I moved it into the living room and hooked it up and started playing some music in Media Center and was showing track, time and all that. At some point it started acting up and scrolling throught stuff really fast and almost acting like it was shorting out. I have gone through all the VFD options and restarted multiple times and it has not changed. Now I just have it set to not turn on. Kind of sucks cause it was cool while it was working. Anyone else gotten their display working properly?

The other is I could never get the third disc of MCE to load. I did the 1>2>1 online updates but it gave me and error when I tried to load three. I went into the info on Media Center and it says I have Media Center Edition 2005. Could it be I already have it with all those updates I did?
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post #22 of 201 Old 07-28-2007, 07:19 AM
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The third disc of Windows MCE 2005 is rollup 2 which you already have via Windows update if you did optional updates...??

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post #23 of 201 Old 07-28-2007, 07:26 AM - Thread Starter
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ok cool, yes I did.

What about the VFD? Have you had any success with it?

Another note, my RAM is showing 1984 MB instead of 2048 MB. Does this mean my mobo does not like this RAM?
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post #24 of 201 Old 07-28-2007, 07:39 AM
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Cool,
I have the Antec NSK2400 not the Fusion (wish i did, but have not upgraded yet..) So no help on the VFD..

But on the memory issue, what brand of memory, also are you using onboard video with borrowed ram for vram or a real video card??

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post #25 of 201 Old 07-28-2007, 07:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TommyV View Post

ok cool, yes I did.

What about the VFD? Have you had any success with it?

Another note, my RAM is showing 1984 MB instead of 2048 MB. Does this mean my mobo does not like this RAM?

Your motherboard is allocating 64 megs to the onboard video.
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post #26 of 201 Old 07-28-2007, 08:05 AM - Thread Starter
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ahh yes of course! sorry for the noob questions. I think I am in pretty good shape then except for the VFD. Went pretty smooth for my first PC build.

BTW I was able to get my Harmony working with the IR receiver without having an MCE remote if anyone else was wondering about that question I asked earlier in this thread.

Now for all the fine tuning!
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post #27 of 201 Old 07-28-2007, 11:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TommyV View Post


On a side note the Antec instructions mention a 3-pin connector from the PS that has blue and black wires that supposedly hooks to the mobo and monitors the PS fan speed. I do not see this cable either but they say it's optional so I am not too worried about that.

Im building a fusion v2 also with the same mobo as you. Did you mangage to get to the bottom of this mystery? I cant find this connector either.
Did you make use of the GND and MBPWR single pin connectors in the end?
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post #28 of 201 Old 07-28-2007, 12:24 PM
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@TommyV

Thanks for that tip about the black & red wire. Don't know if I want to go through the hassle and take the front panel apart.

I am running another problem with my Mobo I am trying to run the GigaByte trying to get the SATA drives to run in AHCI mode but dicked around sofar for several hours and nothing.
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post #29 of 201 Old 07-28-2007, 01:18 PM
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Not sure if you have it already, but latest VFD driver is here
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post #30 of 201 Old 07-28-2007, 02:23 PM - Thread Starter
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chrimbow, post #21 I explained what Antec told me about the two single pin wires on Friday but I forgot to ask about he missing 3 pin connector from the PS. Read below for my update related to the two single pin connectors

Here is my updated progress. It seems the VFD problems I was having was being caused by plugging the wires coming from the power button into the back of the VFD. Somehow this was causing the VFD to short out. Unplugging the red and black wires from the mobo and plugging the white and black wires from the power button back into the mobo fixed that problem with the VFD shorting out but now I was unable to power up and power down with the remote. So I tried unplugging the black and white power button wires and just leaving them unplugged and plugging the red and black wires from the VFD back into the mobo and viola! Now the VFD and remote power up and down are working perfectly. Only draw back on this configuration is the power button is non functional (no biggie to me) but still lights up.

Don't know why the power button was causing the VFD to short out but I guess I can call Antec on Monday and report the problem.
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