Completed Noise-less, fan-less HTPC (1 Viewer)

tomtom21000

Retired Team Member
  • Premium Supporter
  • April 22, 2004
    1,226
    120
    Germany
    I am pretty excited about my new HTPC :)
    So I thought, I let you all know about it ;)

    hero-l200.jpg


    Situation:
    My first HTPC was a MSI Mega 651, a nice little box for the living-room.
    The one thing my wife complaint about was the noise of the box. And, allthough my tolerance was somewhat higher, had to agree to this.
    (And this, allthough I had a passive graphics card and replaced the original northbridge cooler with a passive solution.)
    So this box replaced my 5 year old desktop now and I moved on to my 2. generation HTPC...

    Sorry, no photo of my wife´s expression,, when I told her, I bought all the new stuff only for her, because she complained about too much noise ;)


    Goals:
    # fanless, completely quiet HTPC
    # enough power to allow a game like NFS Underground and to reencode dvr-ms to avi
    # low power consumption
    # good design (not decisive)


    Shopping list::
    HFX-Media case 295 ,- EUR
    Borg HPC CPU-Heatpipe 76,- EUR
    HFX Emergency fan + controller 92mm 30,- EUR
    Imon VFD 16x2 85,- EUR
    Silverstone fanless 300W-Power-Supply 120,- EUR
    Samsung SP1614C- SATA 160 GB 80,- EUR
    Asus AV8-E Deluxe (with WLAN) 105,- EUR
    AMD Athlon 3500+ Venice 229,- EUR
    BenQ 1640 Double Layer DVD Brenner 54,- EUR
    MSI NX6600 TD - 256 MB PCI graphic-card, passive cooled 115,- EUR
    DDR 3200/400- 1 GB-CL3 RAM noname 84,- EUR
    sunbeam Harddrive-silencer for 5,25" 11,- EUR
    and Zalman passive Northbridge Cooler 6,- EUR

    Total cost: 1.278 EUR

    I reused my Hauppauge WinTV PVR USB2 (150 EUR)


    Comment:
    The Spinpoints are known to work very silent
    The BenQ was tested by "chip" as one of the most quiet drives
    I replaced the motherboard fan with a passive solution
    The case fan is only for emergencies. It is at 0 rpm and only starts when the cpu reaches 60 degrees Celsius


    Assembly:
    It was quite hard. I won´t bother you with details. I am no hardware pro. I put together the MSI, but this was prebuild with box and mb, so I had only to stuff some things in. The case has lots of space, but the order in which you build things into the case matters. I had to build everything in and out four times. Had trouble connecting the VFD and getting S3 to work. Also nearly slipped a decisive setting to get the Cool & quiet working.


    Experience:
    I think it is a very nice case. It is extremely heavy, due to the massive heatpipes. The heatpipes do get rather hot, so they seem to work good.
    While using MP, the MB and CPU temp are 55 degrees Celsius. I haven´t really stressed the CPU yet. mcubed has test charts on their website for 100% cpu-usage in a similar setting.
    One possible drawback is, that the case has no card slots. There is a 3,5" bay at the back where you could place a internal 3,5" card reader into. As my HFX went into a rack and I can´t get to the backside easily, this was no option for me. I connected an external card reader via usb.
    And it has no front usb.

    The HFX works absolutely without noise. Very nice so far. Still testing. Have it now for 3 weeks.

    Feel free to place your comments

    tomtom



    3_2.jpg



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    Info for HFX-case:
    German: http://www.mcubed-tech.com/deutsch/hfx.htm
    English: http://www.mcubed-tech.com/eng/produkte.htm
     

    irrotational

    Portal Member
    May 17, 2005
    12
    0
    Looks ace!!

    I was going to get one of these for my htpc project but they had big delays when starting production so it was going to take too long...

    apart from the massive zalman efforts its the only way (afaik) to get heat-pipe/fanless for all parts....

    now sit back and enjoy it!!
     

    wortelsoft

    Portal Pro
    May 13, 2005
    374
    1
    46
    Rotterdam, The Netherlands
    Home Country
    Netherlands Netherlands
    Wow impressive kit you have there.

    I'm going the papst 12 dB fans + zalman vga heapipe way.
    I still need to replace the not so silent as promissed fan in my power supply.

    Not as good as your set, but well I just started the HTPC adventure and I'm not willing (yet) to get the big cash out.

    Would have loved to see your wives face when she saw the bill :D
     

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