Hello Computer Friends. I introduce Mr. Jingles, AKA MiniMint. This is my second build. My first is your standard 4790K/970, which I might post later. There was spray painting involved so I think it deserves to be on the internets.
Back to Mr. Jingles. Build reason: Stream ESPN 3 content during football season. I wanted something low wattage, small form factor, and I didn't want to pay 45 bucks for a pico power supply. Enter the Asrock AM1H-ITX. With a 9 dollar laptop cord, this machine runs without any problems.
I bought the case, which can be found on Amazon, instead of the M350. I chose it because I saw some folks having problems mounting an SSD in the M350 with the Alpine M1 cooler and? I still had a problem. However, the extra room in the case that is designed to fit a power board allowed for a side mounted, floating look, SSD installation. Sure, there's only once screw holding it to the side, but hurrah, the other side has some velcro because I was too lazy to drill the side out that needed a screw. It works.
I decided to install Linux Mint Cinnamon. It's my first time dabbling with Linux. If you want to try out Linux, I recommend this iteration. It's easy, intuitive, and won't scare the crap out of those familiar with Windows. For a streaming machine/htpc/small work station, it's great. Also there's the , "Hey look, it can run off a USB 2.0 thumb drive and also install in 7 minutes and I'm on the internet. That's neat."
On to why this build was only 75% successful. This rig has no problem with Kodi/Hdhomerun Prime. It can also stream ESPN3. The problem is, ESPN3 allows for 4 streams simultaneously, splitting your screen up into 4 equal parts. It's a great way to cram 4 games into one TV. So I did some testing with replays. The chip works great with 2 streams and does well with the picture in picture function. Add a 3rd, yeah, it's watchable. 4th? FREAK OUT EVERYTHING STUTTERS AND GOES CHOPPY AND IS UN-WATCHABLE FORGET IT THIS IS GOING IN THE TRASH FAIL RAGE.
Really not that upset. But I think I certainly found the limits of the 5350. If anyone has some suggestions on how I can optimize settings to make this work, throw them at me. Overclock really isn't an option with this board and a 90 watt laptop power supply. I tried dedicating 2 gigs of ram to the on board graphics in bios and it didn't seem to make a difference.
Last snag has to do with my inexperience with Linux. There's a utility called Psensor, used to monitor hardware temps. Yeah, I cannot figure out why it says the CPU is 11 degrees C. It says it's between 11-18, pretty much all the time. Bios says it's around 40 when I check. There's also a way to check temps in Terminal, and it says around 40. Psensor hates me and I'm starting to hate it back.
All in all, fun, easy build. Even if it only almost worked. I might do a mini-ITX I5 skylake build to make myself feel 25 percent better. Also, I'm starting to think the parts in this little machine might get torn out and thrown in a Pfsense build.