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Build

HTPC ... finally, I can stop talking about it and watch TV :)

by ruff_hi

15
20 Comments

Part List View full price breakdown

Details

Date Published

April 25, 2015

Date Built

April 25, 2015

CPU Clock Rate

3.0GHz

CPU Temperature While Idle

34.0° C

GPU Core Clock Rate

625MHz

GPU Effective Memory Clock Rate

1.2GHz

Description

I've been looking at building a dedicated HTPC for a while. I have finally finished it. This will sit in the family room and drive the TV viewing on my home's main television. It will also serve as a source for a smaller TV in the kitchen (via Ceton echo).

Now all I need to fully deploy this is a home Ethernet. I'll be climbing around in the basement, roof cavity, peering down wall gaps, pulling Ethernet cable, etc, etc. I also need to hang the ceiling TV stand.

A blow by blow thread covering the parts selection and build is available at overclock.net.

The biggest drag about a brand new computer is that it uses IE for internet and has stupid defaults like downloading everything to the download folder.

Part Reviews

CPU

Quick. Well, it feels that way. My NAS was running memory tests and had an 8 hour head start. This CPU managed to run 5 cycles while NAS completed 4.

The 's' on the end also reduces the wattage (heat) and should help with the cooling and keeping the HTPC quiet.

CPU Cooler

Seems to be working. I need to put the HTPC under strain to see how it goes. This should always be the last item installed because it has a large footprint. I really wanted to use this cooler ... I had to swap motherboard brands to do that. I was initially looking at a ASUS mobo but the C1 just wouldn't fit with that mobo and the ML07B case.

I also added a collar so that the CPU cooling fan only pulls air from outside.

Motherboard

See CPU cooler comment. This motherboard brand was my second choice. That said, it had everything that I needed (plus an extra) with important items (power plugs, SATA connectors, etc) in the right positions. The last thing I wanted was the SATA connectors miles away from my HDD / SSD.

Memory

Black. Low profile. Fits under the C1 cooler! No issues yet ... doing well.

Storage

Went with the EVO version this time ... it was a little bit more expensive than the 128GB pro ... so I am getting double the cost for a warranty that still runs 5 years.

Storage

This will hold recorded TV, etc until I get it offloaded to the NAS. Small size (2.5") but big enough for what I need it to do. Should work well.

Video Card

Passive cooling. Strong enough for an HTPC. I won't be gaming with this.

Edit: If you use this card and the ML07B, then don't screw the supports near the motherboard into the plastic tray. I did and I couldn't get the system to see the GPU ... very annoying. By leaving those support screws out, the PCI riser wasn't pulled up and I could bed it into the mobo expansion slot. System now sees the GPU, drivers installed, sound running to the TV via HDMI cable ... all good.

Case

Excellent case. Nice looking. A complete bugger to work with. Cable management, tight squeeze (with my blundering hands). I expect that this will work out very well.

It also got the wife's thumbs up re style, look and feel, etc.

As you can see from the pictures, I sleeved the front power, HDD indicator, etc cables.

Power Supply

This is the SFX-L version ... an extra 30mm longer than the others ... with a Silent running 120mm fan with intelligent semi-fanless operation (according to silverstonetek).

My ML07B was one of the earlier versions (pre release of the SFX-L) so its in-take grill was set up for the older versions. This forced me to dremel my case so that it has a bigger air in-take hole.

Edie2: don't forget to turn the PSU on ... especially when working with the ML07B. Having to take everything out just flip a switch is a real drag.

Comments Sorted by:

clayofthe757 4 Builds 3 points 33 months ago

It's very pretty. Very industrious. But you spent a thousand dollars on a glorified Netflix box?

ruff_hi submitter 3 Builds 2 points 33 months ago

Yes, I spent $1k. No, it isn't just a netflix box. It'll do a lot more than that for me. I am sure there are things that I will end up doing with this box that I haven't even thought of yet.

Thanks for your comment.

MuDuRkKiO 1 point 33 months ago

Hey, I really like the build and myself was thinking to build a HTPC soon. So +1 on the build. But I also have a question. How'd you do those overlays with the measurements? :)

ruff_hi submitter 3 Builds 4 points 33 months ago

Of the mobo and cooler?

I found a layout picture of the motherboard (usually from the manual) or an overhead picture (amazon or newegg) and pulled that into GIMP. I then resized it so that 1 pixel represented 1mm (or 0.1 of an inch). I then did the same with the pictures (or diagram) of the C1 from cryorig web site ... but on different layers. I then made the cooler layer transparent and moved it around until the CPU slot on the cooler diagram lined up with the CPU slot on the motherboard.

MuDuRkKiO 1 point 33 months ago

Cool, thanks :D

BlackMachDown 18 Builds 1 point 33 months ago

Nice build!

Why did you end up getting a discrete GPU? I was under the assumption the Intel gpu was good enough to decode blueray playback and other HTPC functions.

ruff_hi submitter 3 Builds 2 points 33 months ago

Two reasons ... 1) it was dirt cheap. I googled 'cheap GPU htpc' and found a few top-5 lists. This one was mentioned a few times. 2) I was a little nervous re running HDMI off the motherboard ... with reason as it turned out. Last night my GPU wasn't working and I had to run the TV off the motherboard ... picture was fine but there was no sound. I trouble-shot the GPU today and now picture and sound is running to the TV via the HDMI off the GPU.

bloodroses75 1 Build 1 point 33 months ago

Very nice build, looks like a lot of planning went into it. Personally, I would have returned/replaced the power supply instead of altering the case since it isn't a super high wattage unit. Very creative on making it work though. :)

ruff_hi submitter 3 Builds 1 point 33 months ago

Thanks for the comment.

I picked up the ML07B late summer last year ... before the SFX-L had come out ... hence its smaller in-take grill. I wanted a quiet PSU and the new SFX-L fitted that requirement. However, I ended up with a mis-fit between the PSU and the case (as I understand it, new ML07Bs have a bigger PSU in-take grill).

If I was going to return one of the PSU or case, it would have been the case ... but I had already started my modification process (sleeved front cables, etc) and I couldn't return it.

Hence the dremel action.

bloodroses75 1 Build 1 point 33 months ago

Makes sense. Creative adjustment. :)

I'm kind of surprised that the original ML07s had that limitation. Especially since they're based off of the RVZ01; which was released earlier. I wonder if I'll run into similar with my RVZ01....

edit ... looks like he has similar problems as well: http://pcpartpicker.com/b/QZ3Ff7

RazrLeaf 1 Build 1 point 33 months ago

So why'd you go with a SFX-L PSU instead of a regular SFX one (especially since you seem to be very displeased with the SFX-L)?

ruff_hi submitter 3 Builds 2 points 33 months ago

Thanks for the comment.

Do I come across as displeased with the SFX-L? I wasn't at all (I'll go back and edit my PSU comment). In fact, I was and am very pleased with the SFX-L ... it is quiet! That is probably my #1 requirement for this build.

See my reply above re case mods.

RazrLeaf 1 Build 1 point 33 months ago

Good to know. I may need an SFX-L in the future (especially if I acquire a Ncase M1).

And I asked because your current rating of the SFX-L is 0/5 stars.

ruff_hi submitter 3 Builds 1 point 33 months ago

I hadn't rated anything. Added some stars to some items. Other items remain outstanding while I form an opinion.

RazrLeaf 1 Build 1 point 33 months ago

Interesting...then something in the code of PCPartPicker was reading that as a 0/5. They must have treated your lack of rating as a 0 in the average star rating of the SFX-L, which caused it to have a 2.5/5 for a while (since the only other rating was a 5/5).

TIL. Thanks.

Pure-NV 1 point 30 months ago

Cool!

teresi2finger 1 point 28 months ago

Did you have any issues mounting the C1 cooler in this case? I bought the gigabyte h97 with WiFi, two low profile RAM sticks, an r9 Fury, and this same case. I have to wait till the 9th to get all of my parts so I'm trying to plan ahead. Any tips would be appreciated!

ruff_hi submitter 3 Builds 1 point 28 months ago

Fitting the C1 was a pain. The thing is so big there is no way you can look around it to see if you have the screws in the right place. Once you do, it is easy ... a few twists of the screwdriver and you are good.

I would strongly recommend that you do a dry fit and place (pencil?) marks on the plastic schroud and your case so that you can tell when you have the alignment correct when fitting with TIM applied.

Also, the C1 should be the last thing that you need to do as you won't have access to the mobo to fit sata cables, fan cables, power cables, etc ... do all of that and then fit the C1.

tylerfig 2 Builds 1 point 26 months ago

how is the motherboard? i keep seeing comments/pictures of it only have on RAM card due to problems, have you run into any?

ruff_hi submitter 3 Builds 1 point 11 months ago

Sorry for the delay in responding. This thing has just been sitting under the TV, recording shows, playing shows and chugging along. No problems at all.