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Ready to order....last minute critique HTPC build.

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December 17, 2011 5:38:43 PM

Ok.... I posted a thread earlier last week about a mini-ITX HTPC build I want to stuff in a Commodore 64 case.

Originally, I wanted to put an i5-2405s in due to heat and power concerns. I am looking to power the build with a picoPSU 160 XT w/ 192w power brick.

I want to now put in an i5-2500k for the HD 3000 and the extra power...I concluded that I can undervolt if necessary rather than be confined to the performance hit from the 2405s.

Components

Biostar H61ITX mobo
Intel i5-2500k
16gb G.Skill Ripjaws DDR3 1333 RAM
OCZ Solid 3 60gb SATA III SSD
300gb WD Raptor for Audio drive
1.5tb WD Caviar Blue for storage
Optical slot drive
Card reader

Peripherals: Keyboard, optical mouse, 24" monitor, 50" LED, (2) USB MIDI controllers

I will be using the build for the following....in hierarchical order.

Audio production

Light gaming (retro console emulators....most powerful probably being ePSXe)

Streaming media to the TV

Browsing

My main two concerns, obviously, being power and heat..So my inquiries are as follows.

1 - will the power be sufficient provided I use both mechanical HD's externally with docks that have independent power? I'm not worried about the audio throughput for the audio drive, eSATA should be more than sufficient.

And

2 - How much will heat be an issue? Would I be able to get away with putting one of the mechanical drives in the box? And will 16gb or RAM be significantly hotter than 8gb? I know many think 16gb is overkill..

And I would like to know if anybody had a good low profile cpu fan...I'm not sure how much clearance I will have under the hood.

I will be using the integrated hd graphics and onboard audio.

Note: I am upgrading from a core2duo E8500 wolfdale w/ 4gb of DDR2 800 RAM....My audio projects would never go past 60% cpu...that figure is with about 15 tracks and extensive plugin processing...

If that helps to give any figure of what the max load would be relative to the i5

December 17, 2011 5:46:16 PM

Sorry for the rant....lol

Just want to make sure all systems are go and a few suggestions before I dump $1500
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a c 93 B Homebuilt system
December 17, 2011 6:31:04 PM

Quote:
If that helps to give any figure of what the max load would be relative to the i5


Sandy Bridge CPUs are really efficient in terms of maximum loads. I use an i3-2120 and with full redraws it doesn't even come close to using 60% of the CPU. I even have CPU-Z running and it doesn't come close to maximum.

Quote:
Optical slot drive


These don't exist anymore unless you already have one.

The only thing I'd really suggest would be to dump the Raptor and go with a better motherboard - Biostar is a terrible brand. If you ditch the Raptor I'd recommend investing the money into an Asus Maximus IV-GENE z and a good CPU cooler.

Raptors are not very good drives - a 10K drive will not get you better performance than a 7200RPM drive will. It's either 7200 or SSD - nothing really in between is better. So if you insist on a better mechanical drive stick with Seagate or WD, but don't get the Raptor.
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December 17, 2011 6:47:01 PM

Thanks for the reply g-unit....

That mobo isn't an option as I need a mini-ITX..it's going into a C64 case.

As far as the Raptor..I was on the fence...I was going to scrap it for a 7200 rpm...I was just debating on whether the extra speed would be that much better for bottleneck issues. I would prefer to save an extra $100 if the performance increase is negligible.
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a b B Homebuilt system
December 17, 2011 7:03:02 PM

g-unit1111 said:
Quote:
Quote:
Optical slot drive


These don't exist anymore unless you already have one.
Quote:
You can still find a few out there, at least the slim notebook style drives.

Blu-Ray:
Sony BC-5650H-01

DVD:
Sony AD-7690H-01
Lite-On DC-8A2SH

A C64 case will probably use a notebook drive. But if 5.25" is desired, Digistor sells adapters.

For low profile coolers, check out Frostytech's list:
Top 5 Low Profile Heatsinks

And/Or research your own from this list:
Gelid Slim
Akasa 7106HP
Silverstone NT07-1156
Scythe Kozuti
Evercool HPL-815
Thermaltake Slim X3
Prolimatech Samuel 17
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December 17, 2011 8:12:55 PM

rwpritchett said:
You can still find a few out there, at least the slim notebook style drives.

Blu-Ray:
Sony BC-5650H-01

DVD:
Sony AD-7690H-01
Lite-On DC-8A2SH

A C64 case will probably use a notebook drive. But if 5.25" is desired, Digistor sells adapters.

For low profile coolers, check out Frostytech's list:
Top 5 Low Profile Heatsinks

And/Or research your own from this list:
Gelid Slim
Akasa 7106HP
Silverstone NT07-1156
Scythe Kozuti
Evercool HPL-815
Thermaltake Slim X3
Prolimatech Samuel 17


Thanks pritchett...

Do you think heat will be a major issue in the c64 case? And what about the picoPSU 160 XT? I read Toms review of the i5 on a 750w psu and the whole build never maxed past 112w...

I forget what other components were run on it however..
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a c 93 B Homebuilt system
December 17, 2011 11:27:56 PM

rwpritchett said:
You can still find a few out there, at least the slim notebook style drives.

Blu-Ray:
Sony BC-5650H-01

DVD:
Sony AD-7690H-01
Lite-On DC-8A2SH

A C64 case will probably use a notebook drive. But if 5.25" is desired, Digistor sells adapters.

For low profile coolers, check out Frostytech's list:
Top 5 Low Profile Heatsinks

And/Or research your own from this list:
Gelid Slim
Akasa 7106HP
Silverstone NT07-1156
Scythe Kozuti
Evercool HPL-815
Thermaltake Slim X3
Prolimatech Samuel 17


That BD-R drive is a laptop drive, but I didn't know they still made those. I might replace the tray drive in my laptop with one, interesting.

Quote:
That mobo isn't an option as I need a mini-ITX..it's going into a C64 case.


Sounds like an interesting project.

But I'd definitely look at swapping out the motherboard. If you have to have mini-ITX maybe go with a stock Intel H67 board, or Asus, or something else, but you definitely want to stay away from Biostar. Check some of these out:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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a b B Homebuilt system
December 17, 2011 11:58:37 PM

HD 3000 ? like intels on board video ? you're joking right ?
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December 18, 2011 12:04:32 AM

Hey thanks...I was thonking about the stock intel board for power consumption.

I personally never had issues with Biostar...I was going to get the Gigabyte...

My main concern,however, is how hot a 95w will run in that case. It ian't exactly a nice Lian Li case that likes to breathe lol
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December 18, 2011 12:10:33 AM

swifty_morgan said:
HD 3000 ? like intels on board video ? you're joking right ?


Yes....I really cannot add a.video card to this build...especially if Im putting a 95w cpu
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a b B Homebuilt system
December 18, 2011 12:48:59 AM

i'm a little out of touch with intel and on board graphics but don't you need a specific set of processors to make the on board run....... or a processor with on die graphics to work in conjunction with the board? pardon my ignorance here.
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December 18, 2011 12:58:21 AM

The Sandy Bridge cpu's have on die gpu's
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a c 93 B Homebuilt system
December 18, 2011 2:22:40 AM

swifty_morgan said:
i'm a little out of touch with intel and on board graphics but don't you need a specific set of processors to make the on board run....... or a processor with on die graphics to work in conjunction with the board? pardon my ignorance here.


Yeah all SB processors have a built in graphics chip. Supposedly it's a few generations better than the onboard graphics from a couple years ago (P55/975).

Quote:
Hey thanks...I was thonking about the stock intel board for power consumption.


Yeah it's certainly not a bad way to go if you want a low power system and no GPU.
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