Ok well my HTPC build. it is up and running. nothing much to say that i wont comment on in the main body of my thingy.
First up the componentsPurchased-CPU -
GIGABYTE GA-H55M-USB3 LGA 1156 Intel H55 HDMI USB 3.0 Micro ATX Intel MotherboardRAM -
G.Skill 2x2GB DDR3PSU-
CORSAIR CMPSU-550VX 550WCASE -
nMEDIAPC Black Aluminum / Acrylic / Steel HTPC 5000B Micro ATX Media Center / HTPC CaseOS
Windows 7 Home premium 64 bit
Lenovo RF Keyboard and Mouse
Rosewill Windows Media Center RemoteItems on hand
320gb Maxtor IDE HDD
1TB WD Green HDD
2TB Samsung "green" HDD
linksys wireless G with speedbooster PCI adapterComments on the componentsThe Case
Here is the only real "downfall". The case is great for the money but lacks quite a bit. i would still recommend it but it does have its issues. None are super major but rather annoying to me. First off i sthe dvd drive "door". The actual drive sits ~1/4" behind the door and opening the drive pops the cover open. Not a bad design but the open/close button feels flimsy to me. The second real issue i had was with mounting 3 or 4 hard drives. I know the case isnt design to really hold that many. Well it is but most people dont i am sure. You actually have to mount your drives going front to back first as using the bottom two block the holes for those. The disadvantage to using those first two slots is it the drives overhang the motherboard. Didnt block anything for me but was annoying. I used the two bottom slots for my WD and samsung drive and mounted only my 320gb drive in the upper slots (you can see it in pictures). Just something people with 3+ drives should take into account. Also the front flip down thingy for the front ports is sort of flimsy in my mind. But o well get what you pay for. It works just fine just feels like cheaper plastic.
Second thing is just the mobo. It is great but only comes with two sata cables and one ide cable. My previous motherboard included 2 ide and like 10 sata cables and tons of other options. Suppose its just a difference in options. But just a not for those who have a sata bluray drive and sata HDD or two that you might need to pick up additional ones.
Thirdly the PSU. I just wanted headroom so i went with the more powerful model. I might want to add a powerful gpu for 3d or something down the road and just like having the option to. Im sure the cheaper model suggested would work for that but for ~20 bucks more i just went with this one.The Build
First up...all the parts! (sorry its sideways!)
Second is just opening the case. Plop the motherboard in. The gigabyte motherboard lined up perfect with the provided mount hole screw things so just screw it in.
Next up i went ahead and popped the "drive bay" attachment out and inserted my blu ray drive and all three hard drives.
Next (and i skipped a bit and a lot was done in this picture. Witht he attachment bay thingy out i went ahead and hooked up my front ports. I then zip tied them short so they were hidden under the attachment bay thingy. I then put the bay back into place. And here is an issue i talked about. The hard drive sticks out over the motherboard making it annoying to hook up the 24 pin power and the ide cable. Wasnt to hard just annoying. i do recommend attaching power and cable to the drives under. Its near impossible to do this with everything else installed. Just dont hook up the cables to the motherboard yet (as i explain later)
Next i went ahead and attached the PSU to the case. Didnt plug anything in yet though. I then went ahead and inserted the cpu. This part is easy and not picture worthy. The i3 has notches in a V and the socket has notches for those V's. just line them up and drop the cpu in. DONT FORCE ANYTHING. it takes zero pressure. Then flip the metal part over the cpu and lock it in. this part does take a bit of force. The stock heatsink then just pushes into the four holes around the cpu. Pretty simple. Just remember to hook the cpu fan to the header on the motherboard!
Second to lastly i go ahead and hook up the cd/dvd/bluray drive. The power to all the case fans. basically provide power to everything. Motherboard, al hdds, you get the point. I then hook up ONLY the HDD you want the OS installed to. This just prevents accidental overwriting or installing to the wrong disk. Espcially important to me if youre installing a disk with data on it already (as i was with my1tb and 2tb drives). I also added the PCI wireless card.
I then like to boot straight into bios. Check and make sure your blur ay drive is there, correct amount of ram, CPU temp isnt oddly high or anything (mine read ~20C). After that plop the windows 7 disk in and your on your own from there!