Description

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

Type Item Price
CPU AMD A8-5600K 3.6GHz Quad-Core Processor $89.99 @ Amazon
CPU Cooler Silverstone NT07-AM2 27.0 CFM CPU Cooler $18.29 @ Amazon
Motherboard Zotac A55ITX-B-E Mini ITX FM2 Motherboard $66.97 @ Amazon
Memory G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-2133 Memory $62.05 @ Newegg
Storage Crucial M4 64GB 2.5" Solid State Disk $77.51 @ SuperBiiz
Operating System Microsoft Windows 7 Professional SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) $124.00 @ Amazon
Other Iwill HT80 mini-ITX HTPC desktop computer case with remote - 120W Upgrade $145.00
Other Dell CA10N SLIM BLU-RAY DVD±RW COMBO $50.00
Other StarTech 6-Inch Slimline SATA to SATA Female/Male Adapter with Power $8.50
Total
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available. $642.31
Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-08-14 15:54 EDT-0400

So this build was something a bit different for me... I had previously done an HTPC build but the 80mm fan and the stock AMD CPU cooler in the case were really loud and it was simply too large for my taste. This time around I wanted to do something a bit unique and try to reuse a few parts to save on costs. The CPU, RAM, and SSD I pulled over from my old APU build.

Because I wanted to do something different, I chose a case that only a handful of people seem to own. Everything about the HT80 appealed to me - the case looks sleek, has a crazy small form factor and allowed for a slot load optical drive. With that said, the small form factor presented some very interesting challenges. For example, there is room for a cpu cooler 37mm high when using an ODD. That simple aspect caused me by far the most problems with this build. Not only did I have to find a super low height cpu cooler, but I didn't want it to block any ram slots either. The Ripjaws have a fairly tall heat spreader that I was willing to take off if all else failed but I wanted to avoid that outcome.

My search led me through dozens of cpu coolers that I had to filter out either for height, noise, socket compatibility, blocked ram slots, etc. I finally settled on the Silverstone model. At this point you may have notice a couple things on the PCPP build list. There are a couple warnings there about incompatibilities. One of them we are currently fixing (FM2 has the same mounting holes as older AM2/AM3). If you look closely you will also see this cpu cooler is only rated for a 65W TDP proc. I could have gone with an intel cpu and mobo and spent more money but decided to force this APU build to just... work. Unfortunately, the 5600k is a 100W TDP processor. This is where the real challenge came in. How could I adequately cool a proc that uses almost twice as much power as the heatsink is rated for?

Once everything was up and running I started playing around with my core clocks and voltage. However, unlike most users on this sub I was actually underclocking and undervolting to keep my temps in check. This build is almost entirely intended to be used as a Netflix/XBMC device. I may load up for ROMs/EMUs later and will update later at that point if I do. For now, I have settled on a core clock of 2.5GHz and voltage of 1.3V - stock is 3.7GHz and 1.3625. For those that have never used AMD Overdrive, simply put, it is an awesome tool for cpu, igp, and memory tweaking.

As I mentioned earlier, I really wanted to use a slot load drive for this build and that was a big deciding factor for me when I bought the case. I happened to find a slot load blu ray drive and I was all set. Unfortunately, drives like this use slimline SATA so I had to buy the listed connector to go from regular SATA power and data to slimline.

As you can see in the pictures the company unfortunately sent me the wrong cable for my power adapter. Thankfully I had several extras laying around from old parts and builds. My guess it that something got mixed up when I upgraded from the 80W to 120W psu.

On the whole, I would call this a very successful build. Is it one I would recommend most people do? Absolutely not. The tweaking for underclocking and undervolting was a pain to get to get comfortable temps. Additionally, the case is REALLY cramped. There is only room for a 2.5" and slot load optical drive. You simply can not fit a 3.5" drive. The built in IR for the included remote was a really nice touch on this build though and is perfect for use as an HTPC. If you have any questions feel free to ask below.

Pictures!

EDIT: IBT on Standard: http://imgur.com/koNlIgF Temps are great for the situation and the total package wattage barely went over 65W.

Comments

  • 72 months ago
  • 2 points

Looks nice! Hope you enjoy it ;D

  • 66 months ago
  • 2 points

I know this is a late comment, but how loud does that Silverstone cpu cooler get?

  • 66 months ago
  • 2 points

It is surprisingly quiet. Perfect for an HTPC build.

  • 66 months ago
  • 2 points

Awesome, thank you for the quick response!

  • 47 months ago
  • 1 point

My travel PC is called a "LapTop"

  • 24 months ago
  • 1 point

What's that?

  • 63 months ago
  • 2 points

Very nice work indeed.

  • 63 months ago
  • 2 points

Thanks!

  • 72 months ago
  • 1 point

ITX Builds are awesome. Anyone can stuff an ATX Chasis. Nice Build.

  • 72 months ago
  • 2 points

Thanks! It took a lot of planning to get it all just right.

  • 71 months ago
  • 1 point

How quiet is that cpu cooler? Would you recommend it for an a10 5800K?

  • 71 months ago
  • 2 points

It is quiet and has no real place on an APU like the A10 unless you plan to severely underclock and undervolt like I have.

  • 71 months ago
  • 1 point

Gotcha. Thanks for the reply.

  • 71 months ago
  • 1 point

Would the Noctua NH-L9i CPU cooler work in this case?

  • 70 months ago
  • 1 point

Good one, I love htpc builds;D
I was wondering, Do you use the SSD as cacher or other stuff like boot drive? I was wondering because I am not sure if I will get an SSHD or small SSD with HDD.

  • 70 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks! I just use the SSD for OS and some small programs. I run XBMC and stream video from my main machine. I've got ~10TB in my other comp.

  • 70 months ago
  • 1 point

Ok thanks so you have 2 computer running for streaming video?

  • 70 months ago
  • 1 point

Anything I have locally gets streamed from my main computer in another room. Stuff like netflix or hulu I just go directly to the htpc from the web.

  • 70 months ago
  • 1 point

I see

  • 70 months ago
  • 2 points

If you want more storage, sshd's are awesome.

  • 70 months ago
  • 1 point

How's this board?

  • 70 months ago
  • 2 points

It wasn't bad to work with. RAM is limited to 1866 but otherwise the wireless is OK - not amazing but works well enough.

  • 68 months ago
  • 1 point

wow now that is a tiny computer. Well crammed!

  • 67 months ago
  • 1 point

You did very well on your minisys built. I hope your built will stay cool. I like big cases so I can have more cooling options. Maybe one day I will built a mini-itx computer for a friend.

  • 67 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks, it was a lot of fun to build but very time consuming picking parts that would fit.

  • 67 months ago
  • 1 point

God this is Awsome I want to build one wow.

  • 64 months ago
  • 1 point

HTPC Builds are a rare jewel, most people go for ATX Mid-towers. Ultra small form factor, +1

  • 61 months ago
  • 1 point

Nice build you got there! I might have to make one of these; the living room could use it. Do you know where I would come across a PCPP sticker like the one pictured?

  • 61 months ago
  • 3 points

Thanks! You can send a postcard to the PO box on our contact page and we will send stickers to you.

  • 61 months ago
  • 1 point

That is so sick. I'm going to have to do that :)

  • 61 months ago
  • 1 point

Very cool build. Love the size! Though I don't think I'd bother making anything that bloody small. LOL. :)

  • 61 months ago
  • 1 point

how is the Zotac motherboard doing for you? Just curious as it seems to be the only FM2 board with the 24 pin located on bottom with a layout different from all the others?

  • 61 months ago
  • 1 point

The wifi is a bit lackluster and there is some odd capacitor placement but otherwise it is a great little board.

  • 61 months ago
  • 1 point

thanks!

  • 54 months ago
  • 1 point

The case looks really nice. What site? Also, do you have any experience with Linux? How user friendly is Ubuntu or other distros? I've heard some things about Mint.

  • 54 months ago
  • 2 points

They don't sell that exact model any more but I got it here http://www.ecosmartpc.com/ht80.html

  • 54 months ago
  • 1 point

Nice for a low profile HTPC with like an i5 or something. Maybe an i3 would make more sense.

  • 28 months ago
  • 1 point

I don't think anyone else has this mobo, so I'm asking you.

Can you OC on it?

[comment deleted by staff]
  • 27 months ago
  • 1 point

Great, thanks!

C:

[comment deleted by staff]
[comment deleted by staff]
  • 64 months ago
  • 1 point

Media management and streaming through my apartment and to external devices - it streamlines the process.

[comment deleted by staff]
[comment deleted by staff]
[comment deleted by staff]