Completed Fanless HTPC , HFX - mini (1 Viewer)


Portal Member
February 13, 2007
Home Country
Netherlands Netherlands
I finally finished my HTPC build so I thought I'd post the results and share some experiences.

I build my htpc around a HFX-mini case, a completly fanless system.
The HFX is (in my opinion) a beautifull case, very sturdy and feels/looks like a quality product. Downsides of the case are its high price and it's a tricky case to assemble. I my case the acrylic plate that fixes the CPU cooler broke due too short screws, but the hfx/mcubed support rappidly send me a new one. The other problem is the fact that the documentation isn't completly accurate, e.g. it refers to blue and white wires.. wich weren't there :).
But, now that its done i'm happy with it.

Case: HFX - Mini (+borg cpu & vga).
MB: Gigabyte GA-MA78GPM-DS2H] Allready owned it, dont use the onboard graphics
CPU: AMD Athlon X2 4850e Fast enough
VGA: Sapphire Radeon HD 4650, 1GB A bit better hqv scores and doesn't get very hot.
HD: WD Scorpio Blue WD5000BEV 2.5" , quiet (2tb in a nas somewhere else)
RAM: Kingston HyperX, 2GB PC2-8500 2gb seemed enough for XP.. and as it turned out its also fast enough for vista:)
TV card: FireDTV + Alphacrypt
Optical drive: Sony BC-5600S Blu-ray Planning to buy this, but its a bit to expensive at the moment.
Display: Its all connected to a Panasonic 37" plasma (37PX80), via HDMI (720p).

Software essentials
OS: Vista Ultimate
Frontend: Mediaportal (Streamed Skin) and DVBViewer *
Codecs: PowerDVD8 for mpeg, MPC for almost everything else, Haali & Reclock.

* I'm using Mediaportal as the frontend for music and movies and DVBviewer for tv / pvr functions. I know offcourse that Mediaportal also is also capable of that, and that the latest release have been quite stable but currently I still prefer dvbviewer as it is still a bit more stable and faster on channelchanging.

I found getting the VFD to work properly pretty tricky, as it turns out changing the usb port helps sometimes :) (with thanks to the forum).

Temps idle/load, cpu: 38/47, vga: 45/57, hd: 38/40

(ps 1: the fan on picture 4 is now also gone)
(ps 2: since we all know the mediaportal interface, i thought it would be nice to include a pic of dvbviewer in action )


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Moderator - Dutch Forums
May 28, 2006
Den Bosch
Home Country
Netherlands Netherlands
Very nice, and really low temps!
Do you hear the HDD at all? Did you consider a SSD drive and a passive PSU to have no sound at all?


Portal Member
February 13, 2007
Home Country
Netherlands Netherlands
I did consider a SSD but because of budget reasons I decided not to buy one (yet). However, I was plessantly surprised with how silent the WD is. I can't hear it unless I put my ear against the case (which I don't tend to do alot ;) ).
I allready have a passive psu (hfx/mcubed EF28) so all and all I can't hear it while it's running.

It is a really strange experience I must say, not hearing the PC.... but a nice one.


Retired Team Member
  • Premium Supporter
  • August 9, 2005
    Home Country
    Scotland Scotland
    How is the mini to work in?

    I have the full sized HFX case and it's a bit of a mare to work with, but then I do have a full sized PSU, 2x HDDs in sound deadening enclosures, BluRay/HD-DVD drive, 2x Nova-T 500s, and a full sized motherboard :)

    Next time I move it to work on, I'm planning on weighing it. Probably kicks in at about 25KG though :D


    Portal Member
    February 13, 2007
    Home Country
    Netherlands Netherlands
    Haha.. well its not a backbreaker like the classic, but still quite a heavy machine
    I must say that its all pretty cramped inside, obviously that shouldn't come as a big suprise considering the name, mini , but never the less it still gave me some headaches during assembly. (Especially the Borg VGA is a tricky thing to fix. )

    Officially the mini can handle a fullsize atx, 2 x 3.5"hd a blu-ray (slotin), 2pci + 1pci-e... but I wouldnt want to try'll get to cramped in there. I will add a blu-ray one day. But i decided to stick to an external dvb-c for now and keep it at 1 2.5". Also because of heat, the temps are fine now, but there's only so much the case can dissipate.

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