Quiet HTPC - Thermaltake Black Bach

Show off your quiet rig.

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pm.stacker
Posts: 197
Joined: Wed May 14, 2008 2:54 am
Location: Northern Italy

Quiet HTPC - Thermaltake Black Bach

Post by pm.stacker » Wed Jan 27, 2010 5:19 pm

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Case modded Thermaltake black Bach ATX case
CPU Intel Pentium Dualcore E5200
CPU cooler recycled Q6600 stock cooler ducted
CPU fan 2x SilenX IXP 60mm
Motherboard Asus P5Q TURBO (iP45)
System memory 4096 MB DDR2-800
HDD1 WD Scorpio Black WD3200BEKT (boot)
HDD2 WD Scorpio Blue WD3200BEVT (music)
HDD3,4,5 WD Green WD10EADS (movies in SD and HD)
HDD6 WD Green WD6400AACS (HDV home videos)
ODD HL-DT-ST BD-ROM GGC-H20L
Video card Sapphire HD4350 with Thermalright V2 cooler
Storage controller 1 Marvell 88SE6145 Pci-E X1 card
Storage controller 2 Integrated ICH10R (IDE mode)
Onboard audio VIA VT1622, disabled
HDMI audio integrated ATI HD Audio
HD bitstreaming audio Asus Xonar HDAV1.3 Slimline connected to video card DVI output
TV card 1 Terratec Cinergy 2400i DT Pci-E X1 dual digital terrestrial (DVB-T)
TV card 2 Terratec Cinergy S2 HD (DVB-S2)
Power supply Enermax MODU82+ 425W

Video device 1 Samsung T220HD 22" DTV-monitor (on native ATI HDMI)
Video device 2 Panasonic PT-AE3000E Full HD projector (95" screen) on ATI DVI output (daisy chaining through Xonar then Onkyo Monitor Out)
Audio device Onkyo TX-SR806 connected to Xonar HDMI out, 6.1 channels configuration, working TrueHD and DTS-HD passthrough (with Arcsoft TMT)
Front speakers Chario Piccolo Star Sat (L, R) and Piccolo Star Dialogue (C)
Rear speakers Logitech recycled from a Z-5450 kit, they were front L, C, R speakers, here they become rear L, C, R speakers :wink:
Subwoofer Sunfire HRS-12 12" 1000W powered earthquake monster strategically placed as close as possible to the sofa 8-)

OS Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005
Multimedia frontend Mediaportal 1.1.0.0 and Total Media Theatre 3.0 (for Blu-ray playback)
Remote control Terratec HID IR remote, mapped to all programs

:arrow:
Unpacking components
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Installing CPU and the Q6600 heatsink without the stock fan (it can be removed without breaking anything)
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Ducting it to the rear 60mm fans
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Wiring up peripherals, under the ODD there's two 1TB drives with Scythe suspension mounts
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Digital terrestrial card and supercooled Radeon
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Aligning ODD to use the front bezel
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Making sure the supercooled Radeon will fit
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Hanging the 2.5" drives
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Wiring the front ports
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Placing the other 2 3.5" drives in the suspended cage
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Connecting the RAID card
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Testing clearance of the suspended HDDs
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Bringing power to all this storage
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Wiring up two rear eSATA ports
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Placing the IR receiver
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Installing the Xonar card
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Preparing the hifi rack for this thing
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Wiring it all! :-D
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Testing some HD video signal...
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And some HD audio signal :-)
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Setting up the 6.1 (before it was a 5.1 built in 2001)
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Signal calibration at the listening position
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Finishing the "behind the scenes" section :lol:
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E5200 CPU runs cool in all situations even with the heater that close. Video card stays under 60 °C without direct airflow and HDDs get cooled by the air sucked from the ports underneath the front panel going through the CPU HSF and then out. Didn't test power consumption but it should be under 75W. The rig is virtually silent from 1 m and real silent from the theater seats (3.5 m), anyway it gets covered by the projector fans and by the movie SFX :-P

:wink:
Last edited by pm.stacker on Wed Jan 27, 2010 5:36 pm, edited 2 times in total.

rocketJeff
Posts: 26
Joined: Wed Jan 13, 2010 5:21 pm
Location: Austin, TX

Post by rocketJeff » Wed Jan 27, 2010 5:29 pm

wow sweet setup. I'm digging the brushed aluminum look of the case. It doesn't even look like a computer (in a good way)!

mentawl
Posts: 285
Joined: Sat Feb 18, 2006 10:29 pm
Location: Glasgow, UK

Post by mentawl » Thu Jan 28, 2010 4:08 am

I seriously need to tidy the wiring behind my desk =/. Really sweet build and setup :)
i5 2500k @ 4.5ghz | Asus P8Z68-V | PNY GTX780 | 32gb DDR3 | SSD & HDD| Antec Solo 2
i5 4670k @ 4.3ghz | Asus Z87I-Pro | MSI GTX670 | 8gb DDR3 | SSD & HDD | Cubitek Mini Cube

pm.stacker
Posts: 197
Joined: Wed May 14, 2008 2:54 am
Location: Northern Italy

:P

Post by pm.stacker » Mon Mar 22, 2010 3:03 pm

It's time for a V2.0 :-D

I took out the Asus P5Q board and replaced it with a Gigabyte X48-DQ6 (it was on my Q6600 workstation), keeping the good old E5200. Maybe the DQ6 is a bit over the top for a HTPC but it has 8 SATA connectors so I can pull out the Marvell card and use the onboard JMB363 chip :-). Being this board wider than the old, I had to do some tidying of the cables, now when possible they're routed under the mainboard itself :lol: just can't find the ATX pin extractor, tomorrow I'll look for it in the basement :-P I want to run two cables through a hole in the case and I have to remove the casing to pass them.

For video, I'm testing Win7x86 and I have a Radeon HD5450 on its way, to test how does HD audio bitstreaming work on ATI HD5000 cards, for now I was finally able to bitstream HD audio with my Xonar card from MPC-HC with ffdshow 8-) but it seems to be picky about formats: here no 24/96, but I see TrueHD always works, instead DTS-HD MA works with some titles (Terminator Salvation, Quantum of Solace) and it's a no-go with others (Eragon) :-( I think it's ffdshow that messes up when attempting to bitstream 16-bit DTS-HD (Eragon) and works with 24-bit (T4)... :roll:

I have to swap some storage too: we had already 2 failed WD Scorpio Blue drives and one Black drive, so it's better to be safe than sorry, I'll exchange the Black Scorpio for a recycled WD740ADFD 8-)

EDIT: tomorrow I should get a Silverstone NT01E cooler, I'll try to fit it in let's hope it doesn't touch the NB heatpipes :-)

ces
Posts: 3395
Joined: Thu Feb 04, 2010 6:06 pm
Location: US

Post by ces » Mon Mar 22, 2010 5:03 pm

Where did you get the duct?

Can talk a bit more about what you did with the duct and how it works.

What did you learn from it?

Does it have applicability to other cases?

Consider putting this into another thread.

Davideo2006
Posts: 24
Joined: Tue Sep 09, 2008 2:22 pm
Location: Canada

Sweet Cable management

Post by Davideo2006 » Mon Mar 22, 2010 5:40 pm

You are the wiring master. I applaud your meticulous cable management. It has inspired me to take it to a whole new level!

Great job!

Davideo2006
Last edited by Davideo2006 on Wed Mar 24, 2010 1:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

pm.stacker
Posts: 197
Joined: Wed May 14, 2008 2:54 am
Location: Northern Italy

:P

Post by pm.stacker » Tue Mar 23, 2010 3:32 am

ces
The duct is a simple piece of plastic :-) widely used for industrial/exhaust ducting airflow, it is the piece which converts a round Ø90mm (3.5") type duct in a rectangular 100x52 (4x2") type, angulated 90 degrees. The round end fits perfectly a round Intel LGA775 stock heatsink and the outer edge can be modded to snap to the 4 pushpins. The rectangular end encloses almost perfectly a pair of 60x60 fans, the positioning depends on the placement of the LGA socket on the mobo, Gigabyte boards tend to have it very close to the top edge while Asus standard models have it in a lower position, if you have a case with two 60mm fan slots over the rear mobo ports (many HTPC ATX cases have them, some have one 80x80 slot) this $10 piece of plastic forces the airflow generated by the two rear exhaust fans to enter the heatsink from the bottom and pass through it :-). It can't be as powerful as a fan blowing over the heatsink, but for low-power CPUs it works. Only downside, if your PSU has a bottom-mounted fan it will be partly obstructed, but if you don't draw some monstrous power it'll be fine :wink:.

pm.stacker
Posts: 197
Joined: Wed May 14, 2008 2:54 am
Location: Northern Italy

:P

Post by pm.stacker » Tue Mar 23, 2010 3:35 am

Note: the new F8D BIOS which has to be installed on the X48-DQ6 to correctly detect the E5200 CPU, finally enables correct sensor readings from Everest, including the onboard DES system with its real-time CPU amperometer: on stock voltages, idle is 5W and load is 21W. Not bad :-D

pm.stacker
Posts: 197
Joined: Wed May 14, 2008 2:54 am
Location: Northern Italy

:P

Post by pm.stacker » Tue Mar 23, 2010 4:20 pm

I didn't like the original Silverstone NT01E mounting system, so let's cut off some foam from the backplate and remove the fans mount to maximize air flow
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Let's place some nylon washers together with some steel ones and place it on the back of the board
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Locking the bolts (M4x35) with the same nylon washers
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Placing the heatsink in position
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Supercooling the HD5450 with the same good old Thermalright V2, note: this new Radeon chip seems to run cooler than the old HD4350, same performance class but more energy efficiency 8-)
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Preparing for motherboard reinsertion
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Since the Xonar will be pulled out, routing the front audio cable to the onboard audio (ALC889A)
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Almost there... :-D
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Now I have to drill off a small piece of the reinforcement plate which goes over the CPU socket, this NT01E heatsink is higher and it collides :-) BTW with this Silverstone HSF my E5200 runs cold... :-)

eddieck
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Location: Tucson, AZ

Post by eddieck » Tue Mar 23, 2010 4:56 pm

And here I was thinking the words Thermaltake and quiet didn't belong in the same sentence.

ntavlas
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Post by ntavlas » Tue Mar 23, 2010 7:16 pm

I loved the duct though the silverstone cooler fits very nicely too.

Considering cable management, I used to take a similar approach but I've stopped using cable ties so aggressively because it made swapping components a pain. You might want to consider this if you`re the kind of person who tinkers with their computer frequently. Either way you did a fantastic job, well done.

pm.stacker
Posts: 197
Joined: Wed May 14, 2008 2:54 am
Location: Northern Italy

:P

Post by pm.stacker » Wed Mar 24, 2010 4:22 pm

Ntavlas I know that, and in fact now I tie everything's possible in a way that it can be replaced without going crazy :-).

Now I'm doing some vibration tests, and it seems that my WD3200BEVT 2.5" drive vibrates way more than normal... :cry: it'd be the 4th faulty WD Scorpio in a year :-x I mounted my 7200 model WD3200BEKT with rubber rings and now no vibrations (and it vibrates less on its own...)
No way with the WD10EADS drives, they hum even with rubber mounts, I tested a new WD5000AADS I bought for my workstation (to replace two old WD5000AACS) and it is very quiet as for vibration, shame it's only 500GB... :-P

I'm testing a WD Raptor too: WD740ADFD single-platter 16MB cache, warms up more than a Green but it's quieter :lol:

pm.stacker
Posts: 197
Joined: Wed May 14, 2008 2:54 am
Location: Northern Italy

:P

Post by pm.stacker » Sat Mar 27, 2010 7:38 pm

I found out the old WD10EACS drives I had on the workstation vibrate less than the new EADS ones, so I swapped them :-)
Now I should slow down some fans and test performance in closed system...
For now, MPEG-2 video sync and quality tests :-D on Win7 I'm able to force 23.976p refresh rate 8-)
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Last edited by pm.stacker on Wed Mar 31, 2010 2:39 am, edited 2 times in total.

pm.stacker
Posts: 197
Joined: Wed May 14, 2008 2:54 am
Location: Northern Italy

:P

Post by pm.stacker » Tue Mar 30, 2010 2:51 pm

Being able to set all possible movie refresh rates in Win7 (23.976p, 24p, 25p, 29.97p, 30p, 50p, 60p) I'm able to perfectly match every movie I have and so I can enable the 100 Hz scanning on my projector (Frame Creation mode2, mode1 is 50 Hz). More fluidity and more temporal detail :-D
Next step will be enabling xvYCC :-)

1kbyte
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Post by 1kbyte » Tue Mar 30, 2010 11:06 pm

nice build! :thumb:
What is the noise & bearing specification of 6cm rear fan? does it came with 3pin?
AMD A6 3500|Thermaltake TMG A3|ASROCK A75M-HVS|VGEN 2x4GB DDR3 PC10666
Kingmax SMP32 120GB|Hitachi 7K3000 2TB x2|WDC GP WD20EARS
Seasonic G 360|Silverstone GD-06|Enermax Aurora Micro Wireless
Onkyo WAVIO SE-200LTD|Onkyo TX SR-508|Monitor Audio BX2|Wharfedale Diamond 9.2|MS Aviano 5|MS Aviano 7|LG 42LD450 42"

pm.stacker
Posts: 197
Joined: Wed May 14, 2008 2:54 am
Location: Northern Italy

:p

Post by pm.stacker » Wed Mar 31, 2010 2:37 am

http://silenx.com/ixtremaprofans.asp?sku=ixp-34-12
Undervolted to 9V :-)

BTW I wasn't able to enable xvYCC mode but I calibrated my PJ on some test signals in full RGB (DVI) mode, now Color1 and Cinema1 are the most natural color modes :-D

Markw82
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Location: Canada

Post by Markw82 » Tue Apr 20, 2010 5:50 pm

Cool system!

murtoz
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Location: Wiltshire, UK

Post by murtoz » Thu Apr 29, 2010 3:33 pm

ntavlas wrote:...I've stopped using cable ties so aggressively because it made swapping components a pain.
Which is why I have changed to doublesided velcro cable ties
Either way you did a fantastic job, well done.
Couldn't agree more - nice build!

R2_
Posts: 47
Joined: Sun Aug 30, 2009 8:04 pm
Location: Brasil

Post by R2_ » Thu May 20, 2010 12:10 pm

Really impressive! Looks like you take care of every detail.
Btw I love that heatsink!
Thou shalt help those in need, or thou shalt suffer the same need

pm.stacker
Posts: 197
Joined: Wed May 14, 2008 2:54 am
Location: Northern Italy

Post by pm.stacker » Sun Jul 04, 2010 2:25 pm

I had to replace the Gigabyte mobo with the Asus I had before, since I damaged it during an attempt to find the reason for the DVB-S2 card malfunction. But now, by only chaging motherboard, the card works :shock: :-D and using the onboard Sata replicator... no more external or onboard controllers :-D everything else's been recycled of course :wink:
Lowered system memory to 2048 MB (since my brother begged for my two 2GB modules to put into his 1U server , I had to go down to 1GB modules :cry:) but performance remains OK. Undervolted the E5200 to 1.000V and cranked up the rear fans to stock speed (1740 rpm) to cool enough even in hot summer days :-D
Installed Mediaportal new build RC4 and now it plays M2TS with DTS-HD 8-)

BTW, now my home cinema's become a 7.1 for the ultimate THX surround experience :-P and I'm expecting a new projection screen: 96" tensioned and motorized :-D

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