Description

First and foremost, this build was necessitated by the lack of a solid 1080p media streamer in the house. I had been working with a jailbroken ATV2 but the lack of 1080p meant its days were numbered.

The original plan was a very basic, bottom of the line system, something that would stream and handle 1080p without a fuss. I had an old case and PSU that I planned on using but at the last minute I decided to go ahead and build something that could be used as a Skype machine and something the wife could use to do some basic computing and internet browsing, as well as photo editing with Picasa (not Photoshop). I sold the ATV which funded most of this build. I was originally aiming for a $500 budget using some old parts but selling the ATV meant I could probably do a bit better and use all new parts.

That being said I price matched literally everything in this build. I watched prices for a couple of weeks and bought the components as they went on sale at various places online. I have absolutely zero interest in upgrading this system in the future, hence why I use some parts that are probably "more" than what I need. I want this system to do its job for the next 5 years without me having to open up the case to add anything. I don't game, well not on PC, so there's no need for anything more than what I went with.

CPU: I originally planned to use and actually purchased an A8-6600K but the morning of the day I was building this, the A10 went on sale and I ended up getting it for $10 less than the A8.

CPU Cooler: Probably overkill for this system but it was only $20 more (after price match) than the cooler I was going to use, plus it is super quiet and helps with air flow in the system (no huge heat sink standing in the middle of the board).

Motherboard: Not a ton of other mITX options out there for AMD. This was the right price, had the feature set I was looking for and most importantly had good reviews.

Memory: Went with this to take full advantage of the A10, not to mention it was almost the same price of slower RAM.

SSD: Speed baby, speed. That and noise/heat, I don't want either as this box sits in my living room. Everything gets served off of my home server so no need for any other storage in this box.

Case: Looks good, great build quality, easy to work with and the price was right.

PSU: It was the best modular I could get in that price range.

Keyboard: Figured it would be easier to use this than a keyboard and separate mouse, it also gets great reviews and for the price I figured I'd try it out.

This was my first mITX built. It was a little tighter than what I'm used to and given the open concept of the case I was able to put it together without much fuss. I toyed with a few ideas on what to do with fan configurations. The two front case fans are setup as intake fans, however because I was going with liquid cooling on the APU I needed to setup the rad fan as an intake as well. I ended up just taking the 2 front fans out, flipping them around and setting them up as exhaust fans. I might get another fan on the rad and set it up to pull from the rad and push to the exhaust, but at this point temps aren't something I'm concerned with. I did the best I could with cable management, I wish the USB 3 header cable was a bit longer and that there were more fan headers on the motherboard but it is what it is. I tried to keep a clear path between the rad and the exhaust fans, hoping to keep a flow from the intake through to the exhaust fans. There's really only one way to mount the H60 on the APU, and what you see is what you get. It doesn't fit in any other way that what you see. Everything gets served off of my home server, so only the single SSD is necessary.

All in all I'm pretty happy with it and XBMC has never felt to snappy :)

Cheers

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Comments

  • 78 months ago
  • 1 point

This could serve as a nice little emulator machine too!

  • 78 months ago
  • 1 point
  • 1 In picture #2 and a few of the others, is that CPU cable just setting on top of the motherboard? If so I would try and lift it off and tuck it somewhere.

  • 2 I believe you have some cables in the way of your PSU exhaust unless they got moved when you sealed up the case. If not I would move them.

  • 3 I would probably move the SSD off the top of the PSU and try to screw it in somewhere, anywhere. A frame off the top or something.

  • 4 It may not be possible or maybe it's just the angle of the pictures but I would try to rotate the radiator (looking at it form the inside) 180 degrees or 90 degrees clockwise (although that may be too tight of a turn and cause kinking in the hose) so as to not have the hose crossing the air path.

Just a little nitpicking. Great parts. Great price. Great Build! +1

  • 78 months ago
  • 1 point

You don't game on PC? Why the hell not, man? ;) It's much better than Xbox or whatever you people play on.

  • 78 months ago
  • 1 point

Not everyone plays video games. Judging by his description, I'm assuming the guy is somewhere between 35 and 45 (sorry if I'm wrong bud). Given that I'm currently 29 and am the last person in my group of friends that plays games on a regular basis, I can see someone who knows a thing or two about PCs just wanting a system to stream/watch TV and movies (hence the 'HTPC' in the title).

  • 78 months ago
  • 1 point

He said " I don't game, well not on PC..." meaning he probably plays on some other platform, but not PC.

  • 78 months ago
  • 1 point

Sorry, I missed that bit. Short attention span and all. I didn't have any slight intended, just saw the appeal of a dedicated HTPC is all. Apologies if it came out wrong...

  • 78 months ago
  • 1 point

You didn't come across as rude at all. You just thought that I was saying he was a big gamer and whatnot. It's all good now. :)

  • 78 months ago
  • 1 point

I game, but on my Xbox. That being said with a newborn around I haven't been gaming much lately :P

  • 78 months ago
  • 1 point

Haha, not quite 35 yet, just a couple years ahead of you. But you're absolutely right, I just wanted a dedicated system to stream and watch movies as well as do some other light tasks. I've been building systems since I was a kid and this is actually the first build I've done in a few years. Just had a baby so lots of family time will be spent in the living room and being able to play all of his educational videos on this system makes things that much easier for us.

  • 78 months ago
  • 0 points

Nice, but i think the RAM might be overpriced...... (or its me just not being accustomed to CAD.

  • 78 months ago
  • 1 point

Prices in Canada are higher than in the US. Right now there are no real sales on RAM, it was the best I could do in that range at this specific time.

  • 78 months ago
  • 1 point

If that is 2400 RAM, then I'd say it's actually pretty cheap, given that it's less than half the price of my 16GB of 2133Mhz. Whether or not the CPU and board can utilize that high of a frequency is a different story.

Nice little build though.

EDIT: Did a bit of quick research, and that shows how much I know about those APU chips. Apparently, they benefit greatly from faster RAM and stock that one can utilize up to 2133Mhz... You learn something new every day.

  • 78 months ago
  • 1 point

The board can handle the RAM, it has to be over clocked but it works, I'm running it at 2400 right now. The APU on the other "officially" supports 2133.

  • 78 months ago
  • 1 point

Yup, that's exactly what I found out. I'm glad you did your research before doing your build, unlike some of the people here... You'd be surprised at how many people just throw money at their builds and see what sticks, like so much spaghetti.

Again, nice little build.

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