little headless HTPC

Got a shopping cart of parts that you want opinions on? Get advice from members on your planned or existing system (or upgrade).

Moderators: NeilBlanchard, Ralf Hutter, sthayashi, Lawrence Lee

Post Reply
colin2
Posts: 145
Joined: Wed Jul 11, 2007 2:40 pm
Location: Seattle

little headless HTPC

Post by colin2 » Fri Jun 07, 2013 9:37 pm

Function: HTPC running 24/7 headless on a Windows network. Connections: Ethernet, HDMI out, USB out to DAC

Goals: reliability, low power consumption, quiet from 12 feet away.

mobo: GIGABYTE GA-C1007UN-D http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6813128598
RAM: G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3
OS: Microsoft Windows 8 Professional 64-bit (Full Version) - OEM
disc drive: LG Internal Blu-ray Reader/DVD-Writer - OEM Pack - OEM
SSD: Crucial M4 CT064M4SSD2 2.5" 64GB (there's already a media server on the network)
Case: Morex 3777 Mini-ITX (from an old project: the case is good but I don’t trust its PSU)
PSU: picoPSU-150-XT + 102W Adapter Power Kit

My heart is still with AMD, and an alternative mobo might be the Gigabyte GA E-350N.

Whaddya think?

Pappnaas
Posts: 726
Joined: Mon May 16, 2011 11:23 am
Location: Germany

Re: little headless HTPC

Post by Pappnaas » Fri Jun 07, 2013 10:23 pm

AMD's E-350 has roughly half the cpu power compared to the 1007 Celeron. Running with a Windows-OS, having more cpu power is always nice to have.

Nowadays AMD just hasn't got the packages right, the APUs use to much energy for the resulting performance. So if you are concerned about power consumption, AMD's out of the project.

colin2
Posts: 145
Joined: Wed Jul 11, 2007 2:40 pm
Location: Seattle

Re: little headless HTPC

Post by colin2 » Sat Jun 08, 2013 6:59 pm

Thanks! I feel like I'm selling out, but at least the Intel embedded-CPU boards are cheap.

And yeah, I've learned to my cost that even HTPCs need some processing power.

colin2
Posts: 145
Joined: Wed Jul 11, 2007 2:40 pm
Location: Seattle

Re: little headless HTPC

Post by colin2 » Mon Aug 19, 2013 4:12 pm

Since I lack pictures, I figured I'd report my results here rather than doing a general gallery posting.

Mobo/CPU: GIGABYTE|GA-C1007UN-D R
SSD: 64GB CRUCIAL CT064M4SSD2 R
RAM: 2Gx2|GSKILL F3-12800CL9D-4GBRL
Drive: LG CT40N
PSU: PicoPSU-150-XT plus 12V power brick from an old Shuttle Barebones
Case: Morex 3777, without its power components and fans
Fan: Noiseblocker NB-eLoop B12-PS
Windows 8 Professional 64-bit

Purpose: as noted above, mainly music plus streaming audio. It can play discs, but if I was building a PC for disc playing I'd use a full-size disc drive with motorized tray (and case to match), not one of these feeble laptop drives.

Power consumption: 23 watts playing music; 26 watts streaming video. Drops to 2 watts sleeping.

Cooling: According to an IR thermometer the hottest thing is the NB heatsink, typically 15-20 C higher than the CPU sink. I also found that with only the tiny CPU fan, the system reported temperatures around 60-70C, which I realize it can probably handle but which worry me. After experiments I removed the CPU fan and mounted a 120mm higher fan just under the top of the case, with a cutout. Kinda like this mod https://picasaweb.google.com/1068691874 ... 5856134226 but with the fan closer to the back right corner. The Noiseblocker has good sonic characteristics and is easy to tweak via Speedfan. An Antec tricool on its lowest setting would probably be almost as good, though.

So at least for this application, the thermal constraint is probably not the CPU, but the NB.

Windows 8 notes: I ran into UEFI problems on installation; in the end setting BIOS to pure UEFI in all things worked. Since then, apart from the stupidities of the Win 8 interface which I hear will be fixed, it has worked nicely. Wake-on-LAN works without a hitch, as does Remote Desktop Connection.

Thanks for the help here and on other threads.

xan_user
*Lifetime Patron*
Posts: 2269
Joined: Sun May 21, 2006 9:09 am
Location: Northern California.

Re: little headless HTPC

Post by xan_user » Mon Aug 19, 2013 4:31 pm

So at least for this application, the thermal constraint is probably not the CPU, but the NB.
how about an aftermarket NB heatsink? my old zotac gf9300 NB used to get screaming hot because it also did the the onboard GPU.
this fixed my overheating issue -> http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6835233021
-or maybe something smaller if that wont fit in the morex. http://www.coolerguys.com/840556068433. ... QgodrkwAqw
Help SPCR keep the lights on, use these links when you buy: NCIX, Amazon and Newegg

colin2
Posts: 145
Joined: Wed Jul 11, 2007 2:40 pm
Location: Seattle

Re: little headless HTPC

Post by colin2 » Mon Aug 19, 2013 6:24 pm

Thanks! The Xigmatek looks too tall for the case, but the Enzotech, or one of the similar-sized Zalman NB coolers, might work.

CA_Steve
Moderator
Posts: 7450
Joined: Thu Oct 06, 2005 4:36 am
Location: St. Louis, MO

Re: little headless HTPC

Post by CA_Steve » Mon Aug 19, 2013 8:31 pm

I wonder about that old 12V brick's efficiency...is it rated Class V or something else?
1080p Gaming build: i5-4670K, Mugen 4, Asrock Z97 Anniversary, MSI GTX 1660 Gaming X, 8GB 1866 RAM, Samsung 860 Evo 500GB, Crucial MX100 256GB, WD Red 2TB, Samsung DVD burner, Fractal Define R4, Antec True Quiet 140 (2 front + rear) case fans, Seasonic SSR-550FX. 35W idle, 45-55W video streaming, 170-200W WoW, 318W stress test (Prime95 + Furmark)

colin2
Posts: 145
Joined: Wed Jul 11, 2007 2:40 pm
Location: Seattle

Re: little headless HTPC

Post by colin2 » Tue Aug 20, 2013 7:22 pm

I don't know. It's a PC32B180HR, sold with a Shuttle ST62K "Zen." Rated at 180W, but I see no efficiency data.

found a picture: http://viewitem.eim.ebay.se/Genuine-SHU ... 71045/item

CA_Steve
Moderator
Posts: 7450
Joined: Thu Oct 06, 2005 4:36 am
Location: St. Louis, MO

Re: little headless HTPC

Post by CA_Steve » Tue Aug 20, 2013 8:25 pm

This pdf for brick efficiency/labeling might help.
1080p Gaming build: i5-4670K, Mugen 4, Asrock Z97 Anniversary, MSI GTX 1660 Gaming X, 8GB 1866 RAM, Samsung 860 Evo 500GB, Crucial MX100 256GB, WD Red 2TB, Samsung DVD burner, Fractal Define R4, Antec True Quiet 140 (2 front + rear) case fans, Seasonic SSR-550FX. 35W idle, 45-55W video streaming, 170-200W WoW, 318W stress test (Prime95 + Furmark)

Post Reply