Description

I decided to build this for a couple reasons. I had quite a few spare parts piling up, have been wanting to build a HTPC, and wanted to get a bit more experience with different operating systems(mainly different Linux Distros) to help with my schooling and A+ Cert.

I mostly used the i5-2320 because it was free but also because it's still a really capable CPU. I received it after helping a family member build a new i7-6700 PC a couple months back. The motherboard was dead sadly so I just picked up the MSI H61 new for about $40 bucks. Options are very limited for this platform now if you're not buying a used board. I thought about picking up a used p67 but didn't see the need. This MSI H61 is more of a flex atx at about 7x9 in.

I had the GPU, Ram, HDD's, Optical drive, PSU and a couple fans that I picked up over time or pulled out of old machines so there really wasn't much to buy. Basically all I purchased when deciding to build this system was the Case, CPU Cooler, Mobo, and Win10 OS.

I bought the PSU a month or so ago when it was 9.99. It's not the best PSU obviously and dealing with a non modular PSU in this case wasn't the best experience since there is NOWHERE to hide cables but it worked and I can't complain for that price.

I'll definitely have to get better pictures when my wife gets back with her Camera. I just snapped a couple photos with my phone for now. Since the cable management was going to look horrible I ended up cutting a piece off an old case and trying to make it look like it belonged. It's the L shaped piece on the left side of the case(if you couldn't tell for some reason..)

I don't have a SSD right now but will pick one up sooner or later. It's the first system in years where I haven't had one for my OS. I almost forgot how much slower it is. I definitely remember now though because man is it slow. I'm a married college student with a 2 year old daughter so.... yeah.

So far I've been very happy with the system and it's performance(outside of boot speed). With the GTX 560 ti I'll be able to enjoy some games on my 60'' Panasonic Plasma. Any demanding games will be played on my main system. It will be perfect for games like 'Keep talking and Nobody Explodes'. My Wife and I play that when we feel like arguing, so fairly often really.

Right now I have 2 Linux Distros and Win 10 installed. I plan on installing more OS's as I go and sooner or later turning it into a true HTPC. Right now it's not even close to being one..

Part Reviews

CPU Cooler

I'm very happy with this cooler so far. It's the perfect HTPC cooler IMO. Silverstone really does everything right when it comes to HTPC components. This tiny cooler is able to keep my i5 below 30 degrees with a high ambient temp in Northern Cali. The 92mm fan is nearly silent and looks great.

Case

For a HTPC case this one is massive. I had more than enough space to work with. I wish they would have used some of the extra space for any type of possible cable management. I mean there is literally nothing to work with in this case so I had to create my own little part to hide the mess of cables I knew would exist. Only other complaint would be when I removed some of the screws a couple times the case threading started to get striped which shouldn't happen...

There are plenty of great things about this case though. I already mentioned the size.. it fits ATX Motherboards/Power Supplies and has plenty of room for expansion . There are plenty of dust filters which every case should have but a lot don't. It's also just a good looking HTPC case with great airflow.

Power Supply

I got this on sale for under $10. At that price it's hard to beat for a budget build. I wouldn't use it for my high end system but for any budget or even mid range system it's a very good option. The only true downfall is it's non modular with ugly cables. Performance wise it's nothing special but it's also not a risk to your components which is what every PSU should ensure but a lot don't.

Case Fan

These are good fans that move a lot of air and aren't too loud. I will probably upgrade to the FQ81 so I can control the fan speed. I was able to get these for $5 a piece which is a really good deal for any silverstone fan. Every Silverstone product I've owned has been high quality and these aren't an exception.

Case Fan

They are silent which is exactly what I wanted for my HTPC. They also are one of the better looking fans on the market IMO.

Comments

  • 46 months ago
  • 2 points

OMG IT LOOKS SO CLEAN!

+1!!#"!"!""!"!"

  • 46 months ago
  • 1 point

lol.. thank you. It may look clean but I have a mess hidden in there.

  • 46 months ago
  • 1 point

Clean build, good job hiding any other cables! 10/10, I love the fans!

  • 46 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks. I'm really glad I did it because the non modular PSU in this case with no cable management really looks horrible. I can't stand a messy looking case. Always hurts a little bit looking at builds with cables everywhere.

  • 46 months ago
  • 1 point

Where did you get your stuff to sleeve the cables? I have the 600-watt flavor of the same PSU for a mid-range build and it's ugly as sin even with the cables put away nicely. +1 for your good cable management [that I can see, anyway ;)] and good use of spare parts.

  • 46 months ago
  • 2 points

You can get sleeved cable extensions which is far easier than sleeving a non modular PSU. You also have to open up the PSU which voids the warranty.

Sleeving cables is time consuming but easy enough. All you really need is paracord http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Dcomputers&field-keywords=Kobra+paracord+1%2F8

and heat shrink http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B008DFW8JA?psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=oh_aui_detailpage_o03_s00

There are plenty of guides. Here is one I used http://www.tweaktown.com/guides/5175/case-smithing-getting-started-with-diy-cable-sleeving/index.html

Here are extensions which is what I'd recommend for a non modular unit http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=cable+sleeved+extensions

  • 46 months ago
  • 1 point

Nice! Thank you so much for the extensions link. I was trying to find those but could only find links for paracord/heat shrink and manufacturer-sleeved sets for modular units like Corsair, Seasonic, etc.

There's a guy on YouTube who uses stuff to sleeve a nonmodular set, but he more or less ripped up the poor Corsair's native sleeving and defiled its ATX pins and everything. I was in awe and horrified simultaneously. I'd feel a lot better doing an RMA with just extensions involved haha.

  • 46 months ago
  • 1 point

With the GTX 560 ti I'll be able to enjoy some games on my 60'' Panasonic Plasma.

lmaoooooo we goin back a few years I guess XD love it, i miss my old plasma

  • 46 months ago
  • 1 point

It's still hard to beat a high quality Plasma. It's almost sad companies aren't making them anymore. I made sure to buy the Plasma when I found out it would be the last models Panasonic was making.

The 560 is more or less just because I had it sitting around. The system didn't really need a GPU but figured I might as well.

  • 46 months ago
  • 1 point

;(

  • 46 months ago
  • 1 point

Very clean and great pics. I like the close ups, would like to see some of the build from further out, but nice one way or another.

  • 46 months ago
  • 2 points

Yeah, I'll get more pictures up soon. There really isn't much to see as far as the case goes and I just have it setup to one of my extra 24'' 1080p monitors right now.