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