New HTPC BuildInternal Hardware:
i3-3225 (using integrated HD4000 gpu & stock intel cpu cooler)
ASRock z77 pro4-m
Crucial Ballistix Sport 8GB 1600 DDR3
Samsung 840 series 120gb SSD (OS & Applications)
Seagate Barracuda 7200rpm 1TB HDD (Recorded shows)Case, Accessories & Supply:
Corsair Carbide 400R mid-tower case (stock fans)
Antec EA-380D 80plus Bronze
Logitech K400 wireless keyboard/mouse combo w/ unifying usb adapterSoftware:
Windows 7 Ultimate x86/32 bit w/ language pack installed
Windows Media Center (for DVR function)
Mozilla Firefox 32-bit (for HBO, Amazon Prime Video access)
Norton Ghost v15
Symantec AntiVirus v11Tuner:
HDHomerun Prime w/ CableCard 3 tunersTotal Cost for all above(less software) w/ tax, shipping & rebates applied: $662
Power Usage by Kill-a-watt measurements (Wattage quoted at max of observed range):Power off
, PSU in standby 0.9WIdle
, system on w/ nothing playing/recording 30.4W
(Not often in this state as I have the system go to sleep in 5 minutes of idle)Sleep
(RAM & USB powered, set for 5 min of no-playback or record) 7.2W
(Will wakeup automatically to record, and on input from wireless keyboard/mouse, wakeup time <7sec)Recording
3 HD TV shows and simultaneous playback of separate HD show 48W
(have seen this closer to 40W for sustained periods)HBO Go playback
via Firefox 44W
(have seen this closer to 35W for sustained periods)
Power Usage Notes:
1. HDHomeRun Prime, was NOT included in the wattage results. However, I measured it at 4.5W with 1 tuner
on and 5.8W while 3 tuners
2. Please ignore the DVD writer in the picture. I used it to install software, but took it out later (notice the dangling red SATA cable where it used to be). It's not part of my current build. However, I did measure my system at anywhere between 35-46W when playing a DVD in it. Hard access to it really jacked up the power usage to mid-50W. I took it out because I hardly play any DVDs. If I add a bluray in the future, I will update my measurements.
Some impressions about this system:
I'm VERY happy with the performance overall and the power usage.
1. SSD is a gigantic perf boost, and I think 120GB is the right size to go with even though I'm only using 30GB for OS/Apps. The excess capacity helps tremendously in making the drive last longer due to the usage leveling feature of SSDs. Since there is more space to work with, there are less overall writes per block, thus longer life.
2. Seeing as max efficiency of power supplies occurs at 50% load, even my 380W is oversized for this system. Are there no highly rated ATX power supplies in the sub 200W range?
3. I am disappointed that I was reduced to installing the 32bit version of Windows 7. I did this at the recommendation of a Slingbox product manager. The slingbox webplayer is an essential feature of my system capability. This renders my 8GB of RAM rather useless. However, since I'm using the integrated gpu (Intel HD4000), I have to share system/graphic memory. I wonder if they must both compete for the same 3GB max that is available under 32bit, or if the graphics part and system can use separate areas of memory.
4. This case is overkill, but I had my reasons for it. First, I wanted the flexibility of extra slots to handle optical drives from different region codes (not a common problem in the U.S. but one that I have.) Second this case has great cable management. It may be hard to tell from my pictures, but I was able to separate signal and power cables fairly well. Lastly, the case had very impressive stock cooling (2 intake fans in front, and 1 outtake fan in back). I was able to turn down fan speeds to their lowest setting in the BIOS without any thermal impact.Edited by tcaradonna - 3/3/13 at 3:49pm