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Mini-ITX Commodore 64 chassis build...external PSU?

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December 5, 2011 6:59:42 PM

Hi TH,

I have a problem, obviously.

I'm looking to build a Mini-ITX HTPC in a Custom machined C64 case...and it's also going to be used for my audio production...

http://www.commodoreusa.net/CUSA_C64.aspx

That guy sells the cases bare bones with just a card reader. When I asked the merchant about the PSU he said it needs an external one.

Basically what I want to do is just be able to play my emulators and stream video to my TV/s..and run a DAW with a couple midi controllers, 2 HD's 1 internal and 1 external...

This is what I am looking to throw in it..

Intel Core i5-2405S Sandy Bridge 2.5GHz

MOBO - BIOSTAR TH61ITX+RCH LGA 1155 Intel H61 HDMI USB 3.0 Mini ITX Intel Motherboard with UEFI BIOS (Should I opt for the H67 chipset??)

RAM - G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666)

Will be using onboard lan, audio etc etc...and I won't be gaming online or overclocking at all...

BUT


I have never built a unit in my life with an external. And when I look on newegg.com all they have is a huge server external PSU. I really need help in this facet of the build

Can somebody give me some advice.... and/or rate my build..

Thanks in advance!!


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December 5, 2011 7:15:02 PM

NoobNeb said:
You could try this I suppose :??:  or could you fit in something like this


that would ruin the beauty of putting it in a commodore 64 case....
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December 5, 2011 7:16:27 PM

Also... do you need 16 gb ram? not sure how much audio production requires but I assume a 2x4 kit would work just as well for cheaper.... and stick with the h61 only thing I can tell different is sata3g vs sata6g
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a b ) Power supply
December 5, 2011 7:17:20 PM

first, be aware that they have resurrected the commodore computer, and sell them with i7 processors which may be better for AV work, and you dont have to mess with a custom build.

2nd, when looking at ITX combo kits on newegg there will be some with external PSUs, but it is all for Atom stuff, nothing powerful enough to drive an i5 as well as a pair of HDDs. That being said, I do stereo recording with my Atom netbook all the time (handiest little thing I have ever bought) and it keeps up just fine. I would even venture to say that if you have a multitrack audio interface you could probably record some 5-6 tracks at once before it would start hiccuping (though you would want a fair amount of ram installed to do this; something in the 4GB range which is not supported by all Atom boards). For midi recording it would have no trouble at all (midi takes absolutely 0 hardware compared to an audio stream).
Those external power supplies come with ITX cases, so you would have to purchase an ITX case, and then rip out the power supply portion to get it to work with your setup.

Good luck!
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Best solution

December 5, 2011 7:20:28 PM

CaedenV said:
first, be aware that they have resurrected the commodore computer, and sell them with i7 processors which may be better for AV work, and you dont have to mess with a custom build.

2nd, when looking at ITX combo kits on newegg there will be some with external PSUs, but it is all for Atom stuff, nothing powerful enough to drive an i5 as well as a pair of HDDs. That being said, I do stereo recording with my Atom netbook all the time (handiest little thing I have ever bought) and it keeps up just fine. I would even venture to say that if you have a multitrack audio interface you could probably record some 5-6 tracks at once before it would start hiccuping (though you would want a fair amount of ram installed to do this; something in the 4GB range which is not supported by all Atom boards). For midi recording it would have no trouble at all (midi takes absolutely 0 hardware compared to an audio stream).
Those external power supplies come with ITX cases, so you would have to purchase an ITX case, and then rip out the power supply portion to get it to work with your setup.

Good luck!


there are external power supplies out there.. powerful enough see my post above... I have a very similar setup to his and am running on an external 150w power brick... you just have to get out of the "newegg" state of mind... www.mini-box.com has lots of great stuff for building miniature PCs

https://plus.google.com/photos/108227379284199907730/al... (had two drives in it... took one out for another project)
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December 5, 2011 7:26:18 PM

Hey,

thanks for all the suggestions.. I don't NEED 16 GB ram.. I really was thinking more for forward compatibility. I was teetering between the thought of 8gb dual channel... And that will suffice just fine. I run a E8500 core2 with 4 GB of ddr2...

CaedenV, and yea I don't record audio at all... strictly midi.. but the plugins I use really start to eat into my CPU... Im sure the upgrade to the i5 from the core2 will be night and day alone..

I'm really stuck on stupid with the power supply though...it would suck to have to buy another ITX case just for the PSU.

Would this take more case modding on the user end too for the PSU input?
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December 5, 2011 7:26:46 PM

Best answer selected by Deeyou.
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a b ) Power supply
December 5, 2011 7:29:35 PM

I swear Toms just had an article about this... but I can't find it. :-(
Basically you use a laptop charger and a pc power adapter in the case itself that converts the 19v to the various voltages needed by the pc.
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a b ) Power supply
December 5, 2011 7:30:22 PM

slhpss said:
Also... do you need 16 gb ram? not sure how much audio production requires but I assume a 2x4 kit would work just as well for cheaper.... and stick with the h61 only thing I can tell different is sata3g vs sata6g

I agree, audio programs generally stream straight to disc, you technically don't need more than 4GB for even large (8+ channel) audio recording setups, and 8GB is just plain overkill unless you plan on reccording 24+ streams concurrently. If you were worried about throughput you should add a 2nd internal HDD in RAID rather than splurging on ram. Again, my netbook records programs (stereo, or discrete at 24bit, 44.1 or 48KHz, uncompressed) that run 2-3 hours long on 1GB of ram with no problems. Even rendering/editing is more HDD bound than memory bound.

Also, I like those power supplies you posted slhpss, I had no idea they were up in the 150+ watt range, I have only seen them in the sub 40-65W range in the past, and tied to a case.
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December 5, 2011 7:30:28 PM

Deeyou said:
Would this take more case modding on the user end too for the PSU input?


most mini-itx sites out there use or make very similar PSUs to the ones on mini-box (a lot of places resale the mini box ones) I bet that this already has a hole and mounting spot for the mini-box PSU. I would recommend the 150 but it's sold out so I would go with the 192 to make sure you have room to breathe power wise.
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December 5, 2011 7:32:13 PM

CaedenV said:
I agree, audio programs generally stream straight to disc, you technically don't need more than 4GB for even large (8+ channel) audio recording setups, and 8GB is just plain overkill unless you plan on reccording 24+ streams concurrently. If you were worried about throughput you should add a 2nd internal HDD in RAID rather than splurging on ram. Again, my netbook records programs (stereo, or discrete at 24bit, 44.1 or 48KHz, uncompressed) that run 2-3 hours long on 1GB of ram with no problems. Even rendering/editing is more HDD bound than memory bound.

Also, I like those power supplies you posted slhpss, I had no idea they were up in the 150+ watt range, I have only seen them in the sub 40-65W range in the past, and tied to a case.


me too until I did some hard research while building my own... but if you think about it with just a processor and using onboard video and a laptop hdd... you don't really need as much power as you would think... I bet if i test mine at home I'm using like 70 watts tops when streaming
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