Description

Build Date : 02JAN2017

Build Name : Thunderbolt

The HTPC has an AMD A10 APU. "Thunderbolt" is a variation of the A-10 air frame used by the USAF, another variation being "Warthog" in which my friend's identical system is named after.


Request

For the sake of following my template that I use for my builds, the request came from myself. Some of the people that know me on this site know that I just recently moved from Germany to the USA. In the process of that, I shipped some items that I would like to have sooner than the 90 days it would take to receive the bulk of my house hold items; one of those items being a computer that I was using as an HTPC. Once the USPS got a hold of the box, it looked like they played soccer with it, or maybe it fell out of the delivery truck... Multiple times... Anyways, I had insurance on the box and since I was planning on rebuilding the computer anyways, I took all the components out and verified everything worked and took the broken box and case to USPS. They reimbursed me $50 and I set off to Amazon and bought a proper HTPC case.


Processor

This computer was built almost exactly 4 years ago and at the time, I was looking for a cheap quad core that I could use to do h.264 encoding through a capture card from my main computer. The computer was great for that purpose, but once I upgraded my gaming rig to an i7, I was able to do the encoding on it and this computer became an HTPC/storage device.


Cooling

Stock fan cooler. It originally had a Cooler Master 92mm cooler on it (can't remember the model), but once I stopped using it for encoding, I took that cooler off and put it into a refurbish/upgrade that I did for a friend.


Motherboard

The motherboard was bundled with the APU at the time and had everything that I needed for the intended use.


Memory

It was originally a set of 2x2GB Crucial Ballistix, but sometime in the past 4 years, a stick of 8GB Ripjaw found it's way inside.. But honestly, I don't remember doing that.. Thanks RAM Fairy!


Storage

I got the green drive since I didn't need a 7200RPM drive and there was a deal that made it significantly cheaper than the WD Blue or the Cuda' drives.


Graphics

Integrated APU.. Good enough to power my TV and play very simple games, but once again, the computer's original purpose didn't require graphics at all, in fact, it wasn't even hooked up to a monitor for several years.


Case

Ok finally something new to talk about. After the Rosewill case (RIP) got beat to death by the hammer wielding midget army that works for the USPS, I wanted a proper HTPC case and after a quick browse around and a measurement of my current TV stand, the Silverstone ML03B was perfect. It looks great and has a fantastic layout. I am very pleased with this case and I can say that it is my favorite mATX HTPC case that I have worked with. My next HTPC build will most certainly be in mITX format using this same line of cases. Absolutely Excellent.


Power Supply

It's not great, but it doesn't suck. I got it for $9.99 after a $20 MIR. Yes you read that correctly.


Lessons Learned

Don't ship computers overseas with the USPS..


Additional Notes

I spent some time cleaning everything and remounted the heat sink with new paste and got everything installed, reformatted and looking neat. I've gotta say that I am really happy with the outcome and also that all the components still worked after being used as a pinata at some USPS worker's birthday party.


Builder Comments

I am still in the process of moving and organizing stuff in my new house, so the photos of the build aren't up to par with my other builds but I was itching to do a build after being away from it for a couple of months. In the next few months, I will have my personal computer business back up and running and I will start uploading builds again.

As always, if you have any questions at all about the build, please ask in the comments below or send me a private message.

Thanks for reading!

Comments

  • 32 months ago
  • 4 points

An AMD build called Thunderbolt? I thought Thunderbolt is an Intel thing. Oh well, +1 for the name and the USAF reference. :)

  • 32 months ago
  • 2 points

I am in the USAF, lol.

Glad you agree on the awesome reference!

  • 32 months ago
  • 1 point

Wait, you're in the USAF but moved from DE to the US? So you were working overseas then?

  • 32 months ago
  • 3 points

Yes, I was stationed in Germany for 4 years.

  • 32 months ago
  • 3 points

Bro, fastest feature ever, ....the Gods of PCPP have spoken

  • 32 months ago
  • 3 points

My friend still has his a10 5800k PC... It works like charm :)

  • 32 months ago
  • 3 points

+1 For entertaining story! The RAM Fairy works in mysterious ways...

I had a similar experience with trying to ship a PC I built to a friend in Croatia, but it was my poor GTX 960 that bit the dust and not the case T_T

  • 32 months ago
  • 1 point

Glad you enjoyed the story!

I was really lucky that everything worked as normal. I would have caused a scene if this happened to my primary machine. Hope you got everything worked out with the 960.

  • 32 months ago
  • 3 points

I've been using the same case for roughly three years as my HTPC and I really enjoyed it. My cable management wasn't nearly as good as yours though! It's an excellent case for darn near any entertainment center. Company always would say, "Why do you have a VHS player?" which my wife and I would get a good laugh from.

  • 32 months ago
  • 1 point

You know, now that you mention it, it does look a lot like a VCR. I am a little excited now for somebody to ask me about it; lol.

  • 32 months ago
  • 2 points

+1 for the "hammer wielding midget army."

  • 32 months ago
  • 2 points

There is no other way that the box got dented up that bad.. It's the only explanation..

  • 32 months ago
  • 2 points

Coming from an American who has lived here his whole life, USPS is the worst

  • 32 months ago
  • 1 point

Oh, I'm American. In fact, the entire time I lived in Germany, anything that was shipped from/to America was through the USPS. I am so glad that I can ship stuff via FedEx, UPS, DHL, etc.

  • 32 months ago
  • 1 point

yeah, I personally really like UPS, never had a problem with anything being crushed, destroyed, and it is always on time.

  • 32 months ago
  • 1 point

You mean USPS right, as in the United States Postal Service?

  • 32 months ago
  • 1 point

yes, I have had a good bits of problems, mostly late shipping tho

  • 32 months ago
  • 2 points

rip fbm 02

  • 32 months ago
  • 3 points
  • 32 months ago
  • 1 point

lol

  • 32 months ago
  • 2 points

R.I.P. pictures 2-7

  • 32 months ago
  • 2 points

I love this case - have built two computers for family in it now. Obviously you were working with what you had, but for anyone else out there, I HIGHLY recommend a modular (at least semi) PSU, especially if you plan on using the DVD tray (where the OP stashed all the extra cables). This is also personal preference, but I like the hard drive on the stand thing on the mobo side of the case vs under the DVD - think it gets better airflow from any 80mm fans you install on that right side (as you're looking at it). PS while the case is asewsome, it doesn't come with any fans, so pick up some 80mm nocturas so you have fans like the OP has in his pics.

  • 32 months ago
  • 1 point

This man speaks the truth. This case doesn't come with any fans. Also, I took the little stand thing out since I didn't use it. A modular PSU would have been amazing in this case as it would free up SO much space and would almost be necessary if using both HDD mounts and an optical.

+1 for your comments.

  • 32 months ago
  • 1 point

+1 for your build!

  • 32 months ago
  • 2 points

Better love story than Twilight. Congrats on the rebuild and feature!

  • 32 months ago
  • 1 point

Ok for the tooth fairy you basically put your tooth under your pillow to get money. So the question is how does it work with the ram fairy? c:

  • 32 months ago
  • 2 points

You get newer RAM sticks if you hide your old under the pillow :D

  • 32 months ago
  • 1 point

I'm gonna put my whole PC under my pillow in this case. c:

  • 32 months ago
  • 1 point

No one can be trusted

  • 32 months ago
  • 1 point

I don't want to rule out the RAM fairy theory... but I wonder if the USPS guys that decided to play warehouse hockey with your box, ended up feeling bad and gave you little a upgrade?

  • 32 months ago
  • 2 points

I like to imagine that all computers are used as pinatas, and when they break open, all of the components fall out and the workers put them all in sorted boxes and when computers come through that they can't break open, they upgrade them instead.

I am still going with the RAM Fairy theory though.. It's much more believable.

  • 32 months ago
  • 1 point

Oh man! Now you're giving me ideas for my next nerd party.

  • 32 months ago
  • 1 point

K fam lol. GG

  • 32 months ago
  • 1 point

That is quite a severe beating. Congrats on your new VCR!

  • 32 months ago
  • 1 point

I dig it :)

  • 32 months ago
  • 1 point

I love that case. Its a little tight for drive mounting, but it looks awesome under a tv and is great quality.

  • 32 months ago
  • 1 point

SCARY KITTY

  • 32 months ago
  • 1 point

How loud is the stock cooler on that A10? I have always heard AMD coolers are the worst. While I rock an AMD system, I have never had the stock cooler. Just wondering since it is an HTPC. If it is annoying enough, check for compatibility and then look into a cheap Cryorig M9i for a $20 replacement.

  • 32 months ago
  • 2 points

the M9a would be way too tall for this case. However, I have considered a Cryorig C7 if temperatures are not ideal in this case, but it seems that the airflow with the stock AMD fan and the 80mm exhaust fan is providing more than sufficient cooling.

I am only using the PC for what amounts to basic web browsing and storage/backup, so it typically tops out at around 20-30% CPU Usage. After about 8 hours of netflix and chill with the wife, the CPU maxed out at 42c and was quiet the entire time. A large portion of that might be due to the fact that it is isolated inside of the TV stand.

I guess to answer your question directly.. The system is very quiet, but I don't push the CPU to the max. If you are interested, I can throw prime95 on there and see how loud it gets; lol.

  • 32 months ago
  • 1 point

Naw, not worth all of that. I had heard it was loud from users here, then a co-worker experienced it and told me about it. That's all. ;)

Enjoy your shipping carrier funded case replacement!!!!

I have several computers I have hooked up to televisions with ATX sized motherboards. Some day I will put them into HTPC cases meant for such, but right now they are just in whatever was lying around. (It was especially fun moving my Intel Core 2 Duo series Dell into a Thermaltake V3.)

  • 32 months ago
  • 1 point

I knew what you meant, buddy.. lol

  • 32 months ago
  • 1 point

Rest In Peace, Rosewill Case [*]

  • 32 months ago
  • 1 point

Poor thing

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  • 32 months ago
  • 10 points

The RAM Fairy is real dude.. This wasn't a product alcohol or sleeplessness either.. I haven't cracked open that machine since I took the capture card out and I know for a fact that I didn't put anything in it.

As for the USPS, that makes a lot of sense actually.. I did have bubble wrap and packing paper cushioning it on all sides, but you're right, I didn't have the original case box. That was partly due to the fact that I never planned on shipping it and also that the case was only about $25. The box that I did put it into was in worse shape than the case was. If I hadn't taped the keyboard and mouse to the case, they very well could have been lost somewhere in transit. Thanks for the tips!

  • 32 months ago
  • 5 points

That sounds almost exactly like the time I opened my storage PC that I thought had a E8200 in it, but to my surprise, I found a Q9650....Really weird stuff.

Also Thanks Jipster for those tips...Probably explains why my $5 Optiplex came to me with as bashed sidepanel ;)

  • 32 months ago
  • 3 points

Classic CPU Fairy.. Lol

  • 32 months ago
  • 1 point

Parts fairy?

  • 32 months ago
  • 5 points

I remember once that my dad's friend pranked him by swapping out his GPU with a cardboard cut out of one and my dad couldn't find out for his life what was wrong with his computer for a week or two XD

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  • 32 months ago
  • 2 points

oh i saw this on a documentary on how the parcel company mistreating packages.

they do the toss and fling action pretty from start to finish and they were caught on hidden camera and CCTV footage as the customer's home.

I was shocked when i learn how they simply just toss the item over the fence and the item just hit the ground. Or their Frisbee skill of throwing the item towards the door and hitting the door with a thud.

so if you are planning to ship fragile items, it prob best to pay a larger sum for a reliable shipping company and yes insurance for the items to be shipped.

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  • 32 months ago
  • 1 point

That doesn't really surprise me. When I was at UPS, you had to go fast. So properly handling packages wasn't always top priority. Or the ever present jam on the conveyor belts so stuff was falling off the sides.

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  • 32 months ago
  • 11 points

Sometimes I just approve cool stuff from the queue and then feature it.

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  • 32 months ago
  • 4 points

it's the feature fairy!

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  • 32 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks bud.

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  • 32 months ago
  • 2 points

The only thing for this build that I purchased was the case. Everything else I purchased back in January 2013 for a total of $390 according to the Newegg invoice.