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HTPC Build with only 2 moving parts. Will it work?

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Last response: in Systems
September 23, 2009 11:40:03 AM


Is it possible to build a very very silent HTPC with decent performance?
I want my HTPC to be inaudible, let's see if that is possible.
So I'm planning to have only two moving parts, the hard drive and the PSU. CPU and GPU will be passively cooled. Everything will be undervolted as much as possible.

(I'm not counting the bluray drive as a moving part since I'm not going to use it much).

Main question: will this work, or will the components get too hot?

CPU: Athlon II 240e (when it becomes available)
Mobo: Don't know yet
RAM: Don't know yet
Case: Silverstone SG02 (case fans off)
Hard drive: Samsung EcoGreen F2 500GB (only one platter, minimal noise)
PSU: Nexus Value 430 (blows cool air onto CPU)
CPU Cooler: Stock or Scythe Big Shuriken (without fan)
Graphics card: Sapphire Radeon HD 4670 Ultimate (it's passively cooled)
Bluray-drive: Aopen BDR0412SA.

I'd like to undervolt the RAM and the CPU as much as possible.
My goal is to cool the CPU passively.
What would be the best Motherboard for the task?
And which RAM runs coolest / needs the least voltage?

Any help appreciated!


More about : htpc build moving parts work

September 23, 2009 2:01:38 PM


Anyway, I was thinking I'd replace the Nexus with a PicoPSU:

The Nexus is impossible to find in Norway and 150 Watts should be more than enough anyway.

Since the PSU goes away, I'll have to add a silent case fan.

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a b à CPUs
September 23, 2009 2:20:32 PM

You still need a DC power supply with that, and I doubt very much it would supply adequate amps to the GPU... I don't see any amp ratings listed.
September 23, 2009 3:47:36 PM

good point. Maybe I should throw out the graphics card and just use the integrated graphics of the ATI 785G...

September 23, 2009 4:04:30 PM

I found a couple of PicoPSUs with power adapters:;jsessionid=0a0106521f436839f058cdee4effb048cd55f89cf771.e3eSc34RbhyRe34Pa38Ta3aLaNb0?sc=8&category=1097

Do you think 8.5 amps is enough?

a b à CPUs
September 23, 2009 7:42:25 PM

It looks to me like the entire system could pull around 160W, the card itself pulling 70W at load.

I think you will need something a bit more substantial... You don't want to be running that close to PSU capacity. 60% is a good mark to shoot for.

No Seasonic PSUs available in EU at all?
September 23, 2009 7:44:35 PM

Well, I have been loking at the Seasonic S12 II 330W, but I doubt it is silent enough.

Maybe I' mistaken, I could take a second look at the Seasonic.

a b à CPUs
September 23, 2009 7:49:39 PM

I think you would find the Seasonic virtually silent under most conditions. They have a fan controller built in.
September 24, 2009 8:18:18 AM

I guess I could go for a Seasonic PSU.

Not as silent as the PicoPSU or the Nexus PSU, but still fairly silent.
The fan would also help with the airflow, whereas the PicoPSU lacks a fan.

Thanks for all the help!