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First-time build of HTPC/Office PC, advice needed!

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March 21, 2012 8:06:16 PM

Hey guys!

I am relatively new in this "build your own" machine area, therefore I'd be glad if you advised me on a few choices.
I have decided to build a small form factor (sort of HTPC) pc for my everyday needs. My needs don't involve any gaming or other power hungry operations.
It's mainly office work, some statistics apps, movies, music, usage of photo editing apps from time to time.
I've made a research and chose the parts that I believe should fit together, however, after reading multiple entries on on PSU and heating issues, I have got concerns over my system now...

So here's the list (I have all the rest such as monitor, peripherals, speakers):

Case - Streacom FC8 Fanless Chassis (with passive heatpipe, for TDP up to 65W)
Power Supply - Streacom PicoPsu 150W + 150W Adapter Power Kit (smaller ones have 10 pins, while this on is 12)
Motherboard - Zotac H61-ITX-A-E or Asus P8H61-I
CPU - Intel Core i5 2405S (65W, graphics Intel HD 3000)
RAM - Patriot G2 2x4GB (PGD38G1333ELK)
HDD SDD (internal) - Patriot Torqx 2 32GB
HDD (external) - anything between 1 to 2TB...

There's an option to choose a different case that requires active cooling, so I could use the CPU cooler provided with the CPU itself.
Although, my concern is if this passive cooling will be able to cool down the CPU properly? It does match the TDP requirements...
If not recommended, then maybe choose the i5 2500K and install active system? Then, however, I have concerns about the PicoPSU power.
As seen from above, I have not included a graphics card, which I believe is not needed for my needs, or? I would really appreciate if anyone could help me out here. Thanks!
March 21, 2012 8:26:15 PM

The internal SSD seems small for loading the OS, but the rest looks good. That case should support the processor you selected.
March 21, 2012 8:42:42 PM

I concur with not using a discrete GPU: for your intended use it is not necessary. That would complicate your power budget and cooling solution anyway, nevermind the resulting noise.

What about a tuner card or similar? Are you planning to use a USB device, or something like HD Homerun? The problem you'd face with an internal card (e.g. a Ceton) is that they tend to get pretty hot even in a normal case with airflow.

I have concerns about the lack of airflow your RAM, Vregs and PCH are going to get. Typically, the MB installation guide will specify that there should be some airflow on these, and you'll have none. DL the MB guides and see what they say.

Where are you planning to put the case? If inside furniture like a cabinet, you'll have a potential problem due to heat buildup unless the cabinet itself is well ventilated.

Have you figured out remote control and kbd/mouse control? A wired USB kbd and mouse would be easiest, but you might also want something BT-based for wire-free use depending on location and use mode. Logitech has a great little wireless RF keyboard/mouse/MCE remote that I use for a movie room. But not for office work.

The brick on that PSU is probably going to get warm too. Another concern for in-cabinet install.
March 21, 2012 9:05:07 PM

Thanks for the replies!

@Jim_L9:
I might change the 32gb SSD into a 60GB one then for the operating system needs. I will use some additional storage as well, just not sure which. I have an external 2.5 HDD of 500GB lying around without purpose, so I was thinking to disassemble it and install into the system.

@TeraMedia:
I wasn't planning for a tuner card for now, maybe in some far future. Everything I stated above would be included in the system. My main idea was to replace my laptop (just sold it), which was hooked up to the 30'' monitor, and improve the system with respect to memory and cpu at least a bit.

I am on track with you about the lack of airflow, and that's what concerned me from the very beginning either. The case has space for the additional fan, which I might install, maybe that would help?

The case would sit on top of the commode/shelf, hence it would not be surrounded by any walls. I assume it should get enough "space".

Thanks for your help!
!