HTP2C III - Perseverance pays off...

Show off your quiet rig.

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ST
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HTP2C III - Perseverance pays off...

Post by ST » Mon Apr 14, 2008 11:44 pm

Okay, after struggling with this build for the past week in which I went through:

- 4 Motherboards (XFX 630i/7150, EVGA 7150, Abit F-I90HD, Asus P5E-VM HDMI (dud))
- 4 DIMM Sets (PDP 6400, PDP 8500, OCZ 6400, Corsair 6400)
- 3 Power Supplies (Enermax 400W, Seasonic 380W, Corsair 450W)
- 2 Video Cards (EVGA 8400GS, Asus 9600GT)
(and a partridge in a pear tree)...

I finally completed my HTPC2 (Home Theatre Performance PC) build. Hope you enjoy.

- First off, CPU is an Intel Q9450 hand lapped by myself to ensure optimal heat transfer (time consuming but worth it)
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- HSF is a Scythe Ninja Rev. A from my old system, hand lapped also (heard about the bad mounting issues with Rev. B)

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- Mobo I went with (finally) was Asus P5E-VM HDMI G35 based. Not the greatest especially compared to the newer AMD's 780g, but has everything i wanted (HDMI, SPIDF, RAID, etc.)

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- Here's the Corsair 450w....well under surgery. Why did I take it apart?

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So I can integrate a YL fan and be able to control it via Speedfan seemlessly!

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- Here's the (again) empty nSpire case. Not the fanciest, but very functional support front and rear 120mm fans

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Also note the extended mount PSU, since I wanted to line it up with the Ninja HSF:

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- Finally, everything mounted inside. Note that I went passive on the Scythe Ninja, with the PSU and rear fan only exhausting it.

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A shot of the 3 Western Digital 1TB GP drives:

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Believe me this took A LOT of zip ties :

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- Here she is wrapped up with pretty new Blu Ray DVD playing:

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Not as innovative as my last system (viewtopic.php?t=32410&highlight=)but much more modern (Blu Ray!), powerful (3.0GHz@1.08V), compact (uATX), and suprisingly cool (~62C full load) and quiet! :)

Michael Sandstrom
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Post by Michael Sandstrom » Tue Apr 15, 2008 12:19 am

Wow! All that expense and trouble just to see and hear Bart Simpson in high definition. :lol: :lol: :lol:

Jipa
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Post by Jipa » Tue Apr 15, 2008 4:40 am

I think I spoiled my pants after seeing three of the GP TB drives next to each other :wink: Looking good, I suppose it's mighty quiet as well, but I'd still like to see some sort of soft mount on those HDDs.

And it's not Bart in the screenshot :P

blackworx
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Post by blackworx » Tue Apr 15, 2008 6:47 am

Good idea to extend the PSU to line up with the Ninja. You could also try ducting the PSU exhaust. Wouldn't take much and you might see a further improvement in temps?

Also, just out of curiosity: why two pairs of 'speakers side by side?

ST
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Post by ST » Tue Apr 15, 2008 6:57 am

jipa - i agree with you, I'm not fond of these hard mounts right now. Too much write/seek noise. Problem is, I have no space for a suspension setup (as i wanted to do first), unless i make the BR player external....hmmmm.

blackworx - yes, I was thinking of constructing some sort of baffle for the PSU exhaust too! And the speakers are side by side, because I've been lazy since moving into my new house and haven't run the wires under the floors (in the walls) so i can place them appropriately in the rea! :p

michael - you know what they say, the older you get, the more $$$ your toys become! ;)

ajb
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Post by ajb » Tue Apr 15, 2008 9:03 am

Lovely setup..

Interested in how you are you driving the speakers and with what...soundcard, dac, amp..etc etc

Thanks

ST
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Post by ST » Tue Apr 15, 2008 10:03 am

thank ajb - The Asus mobo has a spidf coaxial output from its on board Realtek 8.1 HD chip that i send directly to my receiver. From there, it goes to a 5.1 system (well, more like 5.0 now, since i don't really use my sub that much).

ST
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Post by ST » Sat Apr 19, 2008 10:37 am

Update a few things on the system:

Got tired of the crappy G35 and how hot it ran, so "downgraded" to a G33 to run a discrete solution:

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Running a Asus 8600GT Silent now in the mobo. Much improved graphics and Blu Ray playback! (also added a little ducting to the PSU exhaust)

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And here's the zip tied mess you don't see readily:

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DeMoB
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Post by DeMoB » Sun Apr 20, 2008 1:48 pm

Looks good ^_^

Did the PSU ducting help temps any? (Though I guess it's hard to compare fairly with the GPU dumping that extra heat into the case).

Nice move with the discrete GPU, with the purevideo they really can help HD playback.

Dan

surfntom
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Post by surfntom » Sun Apr 20, 2008 4:48 pm

ST wrote:
michael - you know what they say, the older you get, the more $$$ your toys become! ;)
although many might think that 2 speakers next to each other is better, it is definitely not. you will get some constructive and destructive interference of the sound waves by having them next to each other. They were designed to run with 2 (1 per channel) and it would take a hell of a lot of tuning to get that setup run properly.

Are you just running both on 1 channel from a receiver? i couldnt see much but it seems like all that there is room for there is some sort of receiver.

DeMoB
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Post by DeMoB » Mon Apr 21, 2008 1:36 am

surfntom wrote:although many might think that 2 speakers next to each other is better, it is definitely not. you will get some constructive and destructive interference of the sound waves by having them next to each other. They were designed to run with 2 (1 per channel) and it would take a hell of a lot of tuning to get that setup run properly.

Are you just running both on 1 channel from a receiver? i couldnt see much but it seems like all that there is room for there is some sort of receiver.
He's running a 5.1 and hasn't shifted them yet basically.
ST wrote:And the speakers are side by side, because I've been lazy since moving into my new house and haven't run the wires under the floors (in the walls) so i can place them appropriately in the rear! :p
Dan

dsb1829
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Post by dsb1829 » Tue Apr 22, 2008 2:41 pm

Nice setup. What is with all the motherboards? Your local retailer must just love all of the returns and exchanges :lol: :lol:

What bothered you so much about the P5E-VM HDMI? Or was it that you just decided you wanted a stand alone graphics card?

I just installed one this weekend and was impressed with it. It drove high def and streaming content very well at 1680x1050 on my 22in monitor. 3DMark06 score was laughable, but I don't game so no big deal there. The 720p TV I plan to get runs at lower resolution, so I am fine. Full 1080p is a bit higher res, but not much.

ST
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Post by ST » Tue Apr 22, 2008 3:50 pm

dsb1829 wrote:Nice setup. What is with all the motherboards? Your local retailer must just love all of the returns and exchanges :lol: :lol:

What bothered you so much about the P5E-VM HDMI? Or was it that you just decided you wanted a stand alone graphics card?

I just installed one this weekend and was impressed with it. It drove high def and streaming content very well at 1680x1050 on my 22in monitor. 3DMark06 score was laughable, but I don't game so no big deal there. The 720p TV I plan to get runs at lower resolution, so I am fine. Full 1080p is a bit higher res, but not much.
Thanks DSB1829...

Motherboards - Let's say just say I know my retailer RMA department way too well :X

P5EVM HDMI - Video playback through Arcsoft TMM was not as crisp or clear as it was on the 8600GT to my eyes (too much aliasing / interpolation...possibly bad driver implementation). 1920x1080p = ~2.1 million pixels and 1280 x 720p = ~920k pixels. That's ~2.3 times difference in resolution fidelity from each and very noticeable on my 47" LCD TV.

DEMOB - I didn't notice any temp difference really with the ducted PSU. Purevideo HD looks outstanding with Blu Ray though, but I'm quickly running of out space already (1TB gone in 1 week!)....time for a couple more TBs ;)

dsb1829
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Post by dsb1829 » Fri Apr 25, 2008 8:53 am

gotcha. I picked up a tv yesterday but am stuck running it over the vga until I pick up a hdmi-hdmi cable. At 1366x768 everything looks good to me. Granted I am coming off a 10+yr old tube tv, so anything is an improvement. I popped in final fantasy and was pretty stoked on the improvement.

ST
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Location: Silicon Valley

Post by ST » Mon Apr 28, 2008 4:14 pm

Well, after playing around with my BD setup more, I find out that I am short on storage (3TB isn't enough! :( ), so went back to "upgrade" again...

1) To address the storage shortage, I now have 4 WD 1 TB GP drives and 1 WD 75gb Raptor OS drive:

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2) Figured my memory was a little on the lighter side, so added 2x2gb OCZ DDR2-6400 sticks:

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3) Decided that 450W wasn't enough so went to a Seasonic 600W PSU in case I get a GPU itch in the future:

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4) Gotta have the 120mm YL fans!

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5) Back to the P5E-VM HDMI again, mainly because it has 6 sata connectors (and I'm using all of them) and on board raid:

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6) The buildup:

- Testing out everything before putting it in:

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- Suspended 74GB Raptor OS drive (incredibly quiet!)

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- Shot of it all in

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Although the system is very quiet, typically running at 40% fan speed (via Speedfan), I'm a little worried about the temps (CPU idling around 54C now). I may have to go external PSU again, or some other avenues....more to come later.

dsb1829
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Post by dsb1829 » Thu May 01, 2008 12:45 pm

I notice you didn't stuff the 8600 back in there. Giving the G35 another shot, or just caught in the middle?

FWIW I am fighting with my P5E-VM currently. Turns out when you go hdmi-hdmi with the intel chipset the LCD TV can get some obnoxious overscan. Unfortunately the standard tools don't work with intel's onboard chips. There is a utility being hosted by a user of the AVS board that will work to create a custom resolution with some trial and error. That discrete card is starting to sound pretty good :lol:

I am jealous of all that storage. I am using a 1TB, but can see it filling up before too long as I rip dvd's to it.

ST
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Location: Silicon Valley

Post by ST » Fri May 02, 2008 1:09 pm

dsb1829 wrote:I notice you didn't stuff the 8600 back in there. Giving the G35 another shot, or just caught in the middle?

FWIW I am fighting with my P5E-VM currently. Turns out when you go hdmi-hdmi with the intel chipset the LCD TV can get some obnoxious overscan. Unfortunately the standard tools don't work with intel's onboard chips. There is a utility being hosted by a user of the AVS board that will work to create a custom resolution with some trial and error. That discrete card is starting to sound pretty good :lol:

I am jealous of all that storage. I am using a 1TB, but can see it filling up before too long as I rip dvd's to it.
hey there again dsb1829 - Yes, I switched back to G35 solution and the P5E-VM HDMI....frankly because I needed more storage space (archiving BLURAY is a nightmare)...The 1080p playback is acceptable, but not on the par of nVIdia's Purevideo HD yet. I plan to stick it out with G35 until MCP79 aka Geforce 8200 is out for Wintel platform. And yes, I exerienced some issues with my Westinghouse LCD TV also, but for the most part, it's been okay.

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