htpc rebuild: mi-008, i5-2500k, axp-140, gt430, picoPSU

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matt_garman
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htpc rebuild: mi-008, i5-2500k, axp-140, gt430, picoPSU

Post by matt_garman » Wed Jan 11, 2012 7:45 am

This is a rebuild of the HTPC I build a few months ago. The only real changes are the case, video card, and removal of a hard drive. So new specs:

CASE: Apex MI-008
MOBO: Asrock H67M-ITX
CPU: Intel i5-2500k
PSU: picoPSU-160-XT w/150W Brick
RAM: Corsair CMX8GX3M2A1333C9 (2x4GB)
GPU: ASUS ENGT430 DC SL/DI/1GD3 GeForce GT 430
HSF: Thermalright AXP-140 RT w/TY-140 fan
SSD: Kingston 64 GB

So there is only one fan in this whole setup, the TY-140 on the CPU heatsink. And the clearance between the top of the fan and the case is pretty small---I didn't measure it, but I'm guessing it's about 1cm. This probably reduces the fan's efficiency considerably. But I've been monitoring my temps, and they are fine (never go above 40 degrees C). Note that I have two cores disabled on the i5. Would this system be stable with Prime95 running? Probably not! Also, the GT430 has no direct airflow on it; I'm sure running something like Furmark would fry it (I'm afraid to try). However, I use this system as a media PC, so neither the CPU nor the GT430 ever get pushed too hard. I've been monitoring GPU temps as well, and they also stay below 40C under my usage.

Anyway: as I discussed in great detail in this post I did some tweaking (mainly underclock/undervolt the RAM) and got idle power consumption down to 30--31 Watts AC.

As you'll see in the pictures below, I had to hack on the MI-008 case a bit to get that AXP-140 to fit. In hindsight, the CPU is way overpowered for what I need. I'm thinking about making one more revision, which is switching to an Intel motherboard (to further lower power consumption), and also a lower spec'ed CPU, maybe an i3 or even Pentium. But I'm pretty happy with the setup now, and it works wonderfully.

So, I'll get to the part you've all waited for: the pics. I didn't scale these down enough to be appropriate for posting directly into the forum; I'll try to do that later. For now, here are links to a few pics:

Head-on shot, with cover (obligatory "next to beer bottle" pic for scale)

Rear of case, with cover

Birds-eye view, cover off

Side view, no cover, can see PicoPSU

Other side, no cover, can see GT 430

Detail of the hack job I did to the case to fit the AXP-140

General 3/4 view

Vicotnik
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Re: htpc rebuild: mi-008, i5-2500k, axp-140, gt430, picoPSU

Post by Vicotnik » Wed Jan 11, 2012 9:56 am

Very nice. :D

If you decide to go with an Intel board, make sure to check the back of the board first. The DH67CF has a large IC on the back, preventing many coolers with backplate to be used.

Image
Main: ASRock B85M-ITX | i3-4330 | 16GB DDR3 | Intel 730 240GB | HDPLEX H1-S | picoPSU | No moving parts | Idle 13.9W
HTPC: ASRock J4105-ITX | 4GB DDR4 | Intel 535 120GB | picoPSU | No moving parts
Gaming: Intel DH77EB | i5-3570K | GTX 1060 6GB | 16GB DDR3 | TJ08-E | RM750X
Server: ASRock N3150-ITX | ~30TB | G-360 | Idle ~25W

matt_garman
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Re: htpc rebuild: mi-008, i5-2500k, axp-140, gt430, picoPSU

Post by matt_garman » Wed Jan 11, 2012 10:24 am

Vicotnik wrote:Very nice. :D
Thank you!
Vicotnik wrote:If you decide to go with an Intel board, make sure to check the back of the board first. The DH67CF has a large IC on the back, preventing many coolers with backplate to be used.
Oh yeah, I learned that the hard way... the current build in this thread could be called a rebuild of a rebuild... before the build I initially posted (Q11B), I cycled through a lot of components, wasting a lot of money along the way. Of my my mis-steps was getting that DH67CF board, and trying to use a CPU cooler with such a backplate. Argh, who'd have thunk it?

Anyway... if I do rebuild this again, it will be without the GT430. I explained in the other thread that unfortunately, the Intel graphics on Linux aren't yet it the "just works" category, i.e. you have to jump through some hoops to make it work. But from what I've been reading, it looks like things might now be easier---I'll have to do some experimentation to find out for sure. But if I can get it working without a lot of fuss, then I can drop the GT430. I'm leaning towards the DH61DL board, as Abula and tramall both built sub-15W systems with it... but that's all in the "just thinking" phase, so I could change my mind as soon I hit "Submit". :)

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Re: htpc rebuild: mi-008, i5-2500k, axp-140, gt430, picoPSU

Post by batka » Mon Jan 16, 2012 7:22 am

This is indeed very nice!
Congratulations for your build!

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