Description

This build had to happen. Over the last few years our media collection had grown significantly and I was sick of using external enclosures and jamming drives into a very old desktop. The desktop had a failing CPU and the cooler would more than often fail causing the unit to overheat and shut the system down.

I built a new HTPC a couple of months ago and once I finished that I set this build as my next goal. I wanted to build something that could serve as a basic desktop but also a mass storage device and media server. Once Kaveri comes out I will likely relegate this build to a dedicated NAS and build something fun as a desktop but for now it doubles as storage and desktop duty.

I didn't really have a budget but I didn't want to spend a lot on this. I was looking to recycle some old parts such as the case and PSU that I had laying around. All of the HDDs were purchased over the last few years and I have a few more but nowhere left in this system to put them...for now.

I did the best I could with the cable management. The case surprisingly offers a decent system to work with so I did what I could and am pretty satisfied. I'm going to be switching up the fan configurations so I didn't bother tucking the wires away right now. They're some just some basic Scythe Kaze-Jyuni 120mm slim fans. I picked up a couple of sleeved SATA power splitters so that I don't have a ton of clutter and also picked up a dozen or so rounded SATA cables to help keep things clean and easy to assemble. I had to route the PSU ATX 12v cable the way you see it because it was too short to run any other way. As long as I can keep the air flow paths clear then I'm happy. Depending on how temps get I might install 2 140mm fans on the front side of the hard drives. There's some space and some mounts between the cage and the front of the case.

Now, on to the parts:

CPU: I don't game on PC so I opted for the APU build. It helps me get decent performance for my dollar and no need for a video card. I probably didn't need the unlocked version but I got it sale on Black Friday.

MOBO: There aren't a ton of FM2 motherboards that offer 8 SATA III ports out of the box. This was one of them and was cheaper than the mATX version so I grabbed it. I was considering an FA85 board but a lot of people were complaining about the BIOS not to mention a few other things. The new FA88 boards come in cheap enough that an extra $5 wasn't going to bother me.

CPU Cooler: Best bang for the buck I could find. Liquid cooling would be a bit excessive for this build and for $25 there was no better option out there. It's big, but it fits and it works.

Memory: APUs benefit greatly from faster RAM. Newegg had it on sale Black Friday so I grabbed it.

SSD: I've had this for a while. I only use it as an OS/Program drive.

Storage: A plethora of drives I've accumulated over the last few years. I figure 12TB should suffice for now.

Case: I think I paid $30 for it when I picked it up earlier this year. Was using it for something else but stripped it down for this build. For $30 you can't go wrong. It offers decent cable management for the price and is pretty solid all around with a few spots for fans.

PSU: I resurrected this from the desktop this build replaced.

Optical Drive: "Why does he need one?" It's an IHAS burner that I flashed with firmware to burn my Xbox backups.

For what I spent and using some old parts I'm very satisfied with this build. It serves every purpose I need it to and it didn't cost me much at all. It has a decent processor and some decent RAM so even if it were to stay as a "deskserver" permanently I'm confident it could hold it's own (within reason).

Comments

  • 73 months ago
  • 1 point

I'm no expert builder, but here is a bit of info for you to look at when you decide how to mount your fans properly: http://www.nmbtc.com/fans/white-papers/fans_ball_vs_sleeve.html Look at the section describing Fan Mounting. (The Hyper 212 uses sleeve bearing.)

  • 73 months ago
  • 1 point

Bookmarked, thanks for the interesting read.

  • 73 months ago
  • 1 point

As mentioned above, sleeve bearings should be parallel to the front fans to prevent fan fatigue. I'd set it up to push out the back of the case through the cooler for the best airflow and temperature benchmarks.

Source: Engineer that uses ball bearings frequently

  • 73 months ago
  • 1 point

Sadly there are no provisions to mount it any other way on this specific board with the hardware provided in the kit. This cooler has been used in many different configurations in many different builds, sometimes you just have to work with what you've got regardless of how it's been engineered. I appreciate the input from an engineer but coming from a power engineering background I don't think the axial thrust load on the fan/bearing being mounted in this position is anything to be concerned with. If it fails, I've got some 120mm ball bearing fans I can replace it with. Given there are no front fans installed I'm moving more air(and cooler air) with this setup.

  • 73 months ago
  • 1 point

Wasn't aware AMD only allows you to mount it vertically, that's rather annoying. I did just notice that bottom fan so I assume you have proper clearance below and have decent air flow through the case.

As for bearing fatigue, I only said something because I've heard issues with CM and various other fans dying quicker being mounted that way. I can only assume this is due to the thrust load being applied to the bearing face rather than the race it sits in. Then again, CLC fans do quite well sitting horizontally but are damn loud.

  • 73 months ago
  • 1 point

I just completed my HTPC as well, and I'm finding that storage is going to cost a lot of money. Unfortunately, I had this done 6 months ago, but the drives I kept my MKV's on died on me 4 months after completion. I almost cried - lost 2 months of time ripping DVD's. I really hope you're RAID'ing those drives to help prevent data loss if something happens.

  • 73 months ago
  • 2 points

Everything will be RAIDed, I just haven't had time to configure it yet.

  • 73 months ago
  • 1 point

Nice going with the FM2+ Motherboard. You now have future CPU upgrade options available.

  • 73 months ago
  • 1 point

Please dont tell me those greens are in raid...... :(

  • 73 months ago
  • 1 point

Haha no. They're actually not even greens, they're a bunch of Seagate Barracuda 7200rpm drives. I couldn't find the exact model on partpicker so I just used greens as an example.

  • 73 months ago
  • 0 points

Good build, but your CPU cooler is installed incorrectly.

  • 73 months ago
  • 2 points

How so?

  • 73 months ago
  • 0 points

He means the fan is going to exhaust at the top.. Exhausting it out the back will be much better with your airflow

  • 73 months ago
  • 4 points

That's how I intended to set it up. I've got 2 120mm fans exhausting out the top of the case so I directed the CPU fan to blow up and the 2 fans pull out. There's also a 120mm fan on the bottom that pulls air in and blows up, towards the CPU. I've got more airflow going this way than if I were to just blow it out the back.

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  • 73 months ago
  • 1 point

That's the other half of it. Sadly there are no provisions on the AMD board to mount it any other way.

  • 73 months ago
  • 1 point

Then why is mine installed sideways exhausting out of the back? Not true, good sir. I've seen a plethora of builds using it in all directions.

  • 73 months ago
  • 1 point

The bolt pattern on this board doesn't allow for the mounting bracket to line up as it hits the heat pipes on the cooler. Regardless, even if it could I still want it mounted this way. Even with the sleeve bearing fan, if it fails I've got spare fans kicking around. The entire fan system will likely be overhauled when this becomes a dedicated NAS, I don't even know that it will stay in this same case.

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