An upcoming HTPC Build

vbimport

#1

I am going to be building an HTPC system that would also be good for gaming as well as for video, this build will be a year in the making, I plan on using an intel Haswell and whatever system board Asus will have, I want to use either an Enermax or Lepa PSU and at least 16 GB of ram and 120 GB SSD at least 500 mb read/write speed and possibly a 4 TB HDD, GPU will be either an Nvidia 700 series or ATI 8000 series.

So yes I am not in a rush to build, but most important is the case itself.

Case has to support at least a mini-itx or micro-atx but must have a regular size power supply, form factor has to be small…very small, I would say it have to look similar to a Silverstone GD02MT:

http://www.silverstonetek.com/product.php?pid=169&area=en
but I would like it to be smaller in height and width and support a regular size graphics card, small form factor cards are hard to find in the top tier of the cards.

I think at this moment it is the case that I am really looking for, I do not know many more manufacturers than what is listed either on Amazon or Newegg when you type in HTPC Case, and I am not looking for a cheap made case but I am not looking for a $400 case either, must be between the $100-$300 mark and would be nice if had remote and the smaller VFD and not the touch screen, but that not really needed as that I can get an ir kit for that.

If you have good idea for case please let me know so I can do research before the build off, thanks.


#2

With the Ivy Bridge and Sandy Bridge parts running at up to 95 Watts, I’d be concerned about heat. IOW a small case might not be the best choice.

35, 45, 55, 65, 77 and ~100W+ (high-end) TDP desktop processors.


#3

I will be using the Haswell and not the Ivy or Sandy Bridge chips…Haswell is intel’s next chip which should run a lot cooler when comparing it to the same level chip , like I said I am in no big hurry except that I want to find a good case for now.

I really like the up to 32MB L3 Cache memory on the Haswell

I would wait until Broadwell, but my money will be in by the time Haswell comes out so that is when i want to up my system from a DDR2 Asus AMD aging system, and what is really bad, this system more than likely beat most new AMD chip system with comparable parts and that is sad for AMD, really sad, but none the less, AMD I believe has the original guy in charge now that made AMD good back when it actually competed with intel, and I did hear from the grape vine that AMD will eventually have a come back to compete with intel but truthfully I think they don’t have the spunk to make a come back in the few years of hiatus that I heard, yes I heard 2 years and AMD will be making desktop chips again…if that already isn’t old news.

I am in no way a gamer, I do play games occasionally but it is more or less Civilization or Heroes of Might and Magic, but I do want to have good gear just in case I am curious about a game that would use high heat graphics.

Cooling would come in as Corsair H60-H100 or equivalent for cooling, as long as there is a space for a 120mm fan or 2 either on top, side or bottom of the case, and of course, I don’t plan to over clock anything.

Yes I like those really tiny HTPC cases but not think I going to find something that small without having to give up my standard PSU, yes high heat can come into play so I will use the in-line cooling system from corsair as mentioned, I currently have a Lepa psu from Enermax…sister company of Enermax…looks exactly the same PSU except for branding, well this PSU it does not even make a sound, 80 Plus Gold and very efficient.

I am curious about this case though:
http://www.anandtech.com/Gallery/Album/2000#10

Not exactly an HTPC case but it is interesting enough if I were to build my system now it might be BitFenix Prodigy with Asus MiniMax with 16 GB ram and maybe a single slot ATI 7750. But money will come in in about 3 more months, so I will wait it out for the Haswell and while I am at it the next series of graphics too…DDR4 is around the corner too but I don’t want to wait 2 more years for that though.

I simply hate the cube/lanbox type htpc/small form factor cases they are not for me, I did find this type, and I simply love this case too but I do believe it is out of my price range and I don’t think it will except a regular size graphics card only low form factor graphics:

http://www.wesena.com/pro_show.asp?id=177


#4

It will be hard to find a low profile case that will take a standard power supply. I searched a long time before a found a case that took a standard PS and had a shallow depth so it fit in my component rack. I ended up with a Silverstone GD05B. It met all my criteria without costing a wad of money. It is a very well built case. I also looked hard at the Antec cases. They have a few that might meet your needs like the NSK 2480 or Fusion.


#5

I know it will be hard to find a good case, I do like the Silverstone GD02MT, but it is just a little too big but it may do if I cannot simply find a similar case that is a wee bit smaller, as long as it can support the standard PSU.

As for the graphics card, I know they build cases with the pci-e slot above the motherboard or different area but needs a pci-e cable so you can fit a full sized graphics card rather than a low profile so no need to actually have the graphics card in the motherboard as long as you have the cable to connect together.

The Antec Fusion Remote looks very good that would be a good consideration if it can fit a graphics card of regular size and it appears as if it does, hopefully by next year if I choose this one it will have a newer model with usb 3.0 but if not, a usb 3.0 kit will work for that.


#6

Most of my case purchases are Antec. They have never disappointed me in function or quality for a given price point. I had to use the Silverstone case because it was the only one I could find in my price range that had a shallow depth.


#7

Depth/Length is something I was looking at before and the Antec is too big at over 16 inches, the silverstone GD04 or GD05 is 12-13 inches, that is one of the reasons why I posted to begin with to look for a smaller case than one of the silverstone cases I had liked which was the GD02MT and it was a little over 14 inches.

I simply like this silverstone case, it is the Milo 03 but it did not have 120 mm fan slot so the corsair cooling would not work in this case.

http://www.silverstonetek.com/product.php?pid=283&area=en

But that just makes me just want to scour the net for something else, I don’t think they make an in-line cooling for 80 mm fan slot like the 120 mm from Corsair H80.


#8

That is a nice case. One thing to keep in mind is CPU cooling. I had to search for a fan that had a low enough profile to fit in the case. I use a Black Edition Phenom X4 so finding a good compact cooler was necessary. I also chose to have an external optical drive after I went through three of them in less than a year. I think these compact cases run hotter than normal and the DVD drives can’t take it. It gets a lot of cast off heat from the CPU cooler.


#9

I will definitely will be looking, but not many names of case makers off of newegg or amazon not to say there aren’t plenty of manufacturers there it just isn’t all of them, so finding a case may just be a stumble upon situation.

Yes cooling is very much necessary, but still looking for one that has the 120mm case fan on top along with a slim form factor, if everything else fails I will just get the Silverstone GD02MT or maybe the GD04 or GD05, not a big upset if I have to make due.


#10

UPDATE: I did go ahead and build a “For Now” computer. Here is the specs.
Bitfenix Prodigy, White
8GB 8-8-8-24 Crucial 1600mhz Ballistix memory 2X4GB
AsRock Z77E-ITX
AMD-HIS 6950 graphics card
i5 3570k CPU
LG Blu-ray Combo
Lepa G700 80 plus Gold Power supply

I will eventually update to an SSD for caching later when a good sale comes up like I did see weeks before.

This build should do me for up to 2 years and I should be up to my elbows with Haswell and beyond…can you say DDR4.