Ongoing Quiet and Powerfull Silverstone LC11 HTPC is possible! (1 Viewer)


Portal Member
February 6, 2005
After reading all the interesting posts on this forum, I decided this morning to share my experience in building an HTPC.

This one is my 3rd attempt, the previous ones didn't past the WAF test ("Wife Acceptance Factor" ) ;).

Things I learnt is that there is no ideal solution, you have to think about what are your expectation, contraints and needs. You cannot make something without any drawback ... if you want power, you ll get noise and heat ... if you want storage, you ll need large case, etc.

So, my main contrain was: it should go in my living room, be quiet and cool, and also been accepted like a VCR. I can say I m a little bit fastidious when it s about noise. My previous projects were too noisly and didn't enter the living room for more that 1 week. So they became our desktop PCs. Well I will not talk about failures here ;)

SO for this 3rd attempt, I went through the Silverstone LC11 some month ago and decided to try this case. For me it was perfect : big enough to place some hard drive and a good DvD burner and small enough to enter the closet of my TV set. I got only a 15 (H) x77 (W) x45 (D) enclosure, which is not easy if you think about the Anahix case or coolermaster...


This it the black case model, we love it!

So, as you might know the case has a special design, and the motherboard is mounted on the top of the case, so the CPU cooling is on the bottom (have a look to the Silverstone werbsite for more details)


Ah well, something interesting in there!

Here you can start thinking about which CPU in running there, I will not let you wait more :roll: ... here is the hardware list:

- CPU : AMD Mobile Athlon 64 3000+ - 1.8 GHz, Cache L2 1 Mo Socket 754
- Cooler : Zalman CNPS7700-AlCu
- Motherboard : MSI K8MM-ILSR (VIA K8M800) - Micro ATX
- Mem : Corsair TWINX 2×256 Mo DDR-SDRAM PC3200 C2
- Video : Nvidia 5200FX Vivo AGP
- HD : Western Digital 200 Go 7200T 8 Mo IDE
- DvD : NEC ND-3520 - DVD(+/-)RW 16/8/16/6x DL(+/-) 4x CD-RW 48/24/48x
- Tuner : Hauppauge PVR500MCE PAL

I selected all these components for their Quiet properties but it wasn't easy to setup all this in this small case!

First of all, the CPU is not usual and you will not find lot of Micro ATX MB able to run it. Even the MSI doesn't recognise it at Boot time; I went into a long testing and fixing process before finding the right settings.

The reason is the AMD 64 Mobile are able to use the Cool'n quiet technology to adjust the CPU speed base on the load (and also the CPU power), so you guess the direct benefit: horsepower when needed, low comsumption when idle, so no heat!

Let's finish the assembly before talking about the configuration ;)


Portal Member
February 6, 2005
The motherboard wasn't an issue when mounting the HTPC, but I quickly noticed something annoying in there ... the side FAN:


You see that the CPU socket is quite close to the side FAN, so the cooler choice is an issue! I decided to keep in mind my "Silent operation" target and took the big Zalman CNPS7700-AlCu. This cooler is quite performant for high-end CPU, so cooling an AMD Mobile would be a piece of cake. The FAN is a 12CM model and the total cooler is the size of an audio CD!

Here is the motherboard in place, and I started to put the cable cleanly and let as much as possible space of air flows:


You can see also the Front FAN which is in "intake" mode, and the Power supply FAN which exhaust the air flow out of the case ; hard drive and DvD drive are already in place (upside down because everything is mounted in reverse!)

So time for the CPU cooler, and you can imagine that first attempt failed due to the socket location! This is where my dremel was helpfull :) After some cutting of the small aluminium piece, it finally entered perfectly, and the FAN wasn't touching the case! there is a small gap of 2mm between the case and the CPU fan ... it s getting precise like a swiss clock ;)


I changed also the front FAN for a nice coolermaster, due to the FAN connector which was morex, you ll see later why...


Here is a closer look of the CPU and Side FAN both mounted. I decided to use the CPU FAN in exhaust and the side FAN in intake mode. So the airflow will come directly from outside, enter the CPU FAN and sent to the CPU and also the chipset / memory , and go out through the big grid in the bottom of the case.


Portal Member
February 6, 2005
Time to continue and install the other components ...

I decided at that time to buy some cable sleeves, and attach them properly so nothing is blocking the air flows. It looks a little bit like a mess, but you ll see afterall this is usefull ...


On this picture, you will notice the AGP/ PCI raiser and also a nice little blue box on the right side ;)

This box is in fact the MCubed T-Balancer FAN controler ... I tried many times to use software based FAN controler, but non of them came across the power of this baby. With 4 temperature sensors and 4 FAN output, you can program it with a cool GUI through an USB connector then forget it. Once the TB is programmed, you don't need to run a software anymore , you see my point ? YES, a standalone FAN controler, even while in BIOS it already runs. The other benefit of this box is the fact it can runs the FAN very ... very slowly and turn them off.

Compaired to other reobus, it adapts automatically the FAN speed according to the sensors and the curve you decided to program! This is not linear, you can decide to turn off the FAN until the CPU reach 30°C then go slowly between 10 to 20% until 45°C, then go up to 50%, and so on ...

After some fine tuning I went to this configuration, all the FAN a linked to one or more sensors, and react only if needed. For instance, in idle mode no FAN run at all, my CPU is at 30° C and the CPU FAN is turned off --> No noise perceived except the silent PS fan which exhaust the heat from the tuner card, until the front FAN start.

To give you an idea, while playing a mp3, the CPU FAN runs at 10% and keep it at 35°C. A DvD can go up to 40°C max with CPU FAN and Side FAN at 20% ... Why is the CPU so cool ? It is a mobile one, so when no horsepower is needed it runs at 800Mhz with only 0.9V of VCORE! Even while playing a DvD, because I use the MPEG-2 decoder of the NVidia 5200FX. I only see the CPU going to full speed when grabbing a DvD then it turns to 1200Mhz x Multiplier of 9 and VCORE of 1.4V --> This is not even the VCOre of a desktop Athlon 64 ... here the CPU does 45°C with CPU / SIde FANS at 20%.

This took me a weekend to fine tune the T-Balancer and listen the FANS and select the right speeds I notice to be silent. Now in the living room, you don't even notice the noise when been in the room.

Here is the proof, the PC is running ( front FAN is turning , but not the CPU and Side FAN ):


I took this picture after installing the OS, patching and rebooting may times and installing all the drivers (more and less than 3 hours ).

You can notice the gray cables with big sensors, this is for the TB, the digital sensors takes the temperature of the CPU ( I placed it inside the cooler ), the chipset , the hard drive and between the video and the tuner card ( which is the hottest part of the PC!).


Portal Member
February 6, 2005
After everything was mounted and tested, I spent some time placing the cables, and finding tricks to hiden them ... at the end, I found that lot of place were left for the air flows ...




This weekend , I am making the live PoC and will mount it in the closet and I hope my WAF will be high this time ;)

MP is great and I hope to contribute more for this community soon ...

Time for diner, and I will post the last picture when it is in place, see ya !



indeed a nice post.
I'm installing and configuring mine Pundit. I will do the same for my project: Soon you will get fully detailed review of the install :)

Good job! And more pictures are welcome! :-p


Portal Pro
November 17, 2004
Looks good so far, but have you tried running it without the side fans plugged in at all? The Zalman is an excellent heatsink; you may be able to narrow it down to one fan.

Also, you may want to ditch the clear fans in favor of some undervolted Panaflos anyway, clear fans tend to rattle more than solid-colored ones due to the chemicals addeed to the plastic to make them clear, which makes the plastic more brittle.


Portal Member
February 6, 2005
Yes , indeed I finally installed the PC in the living room, but I had some problem with the cabinet, hehehe ... in fact, if you plan to do like me don't forget to measure the cable lenght behind your case and add this to the case depth, due to the USB cable I wasn't able to place correctly the HTPC; it was something like 2cm too deep. Soooo, to avoid some WAF instability, I used my dremel before she notice something ;)

I will make a picture tonight , you ll see...

Regarding the FAN, I plan to replace the front one, which was temporary. I fact, if you look to the first picture, the font FAN is black, but when I installed the T-Balancer, this one didn't had the right connector, so I ran to my local reseller and bought the only coolermaster in stock ...

Actually, I can run the PC without FAN at all ... but for stability reason, I programmed the T-Balancer to start slowly the FAN at 35°C. For instance, the front FAN is linked to all sensors, and the highest T° will drive the curve ... so if the tuner gets hot, the front start first ...
The CPU FAN is linked to the CPU and the chipset only, there once again, if one of the sensor gets hot (more than 35°C), it starts slowly, and so on...

When the case is open, and just playing MP3, no FAN is activated. It depends how you think your components are tolerant to heat, I would prefer doing it safe and start running at 35°C and cool enough the hard drive instead of crashing it after 6 months.

The Side FAN is just there to bring direct fresh air when needed, in fact it starts long after the CPU FAN...


Portal Member
February 6, 2005
Here it is ... in the cabinet, running without problem since my last post and my WAF is good , we have already recorded and watched someting like 20 movies :)


And behind, you understand why a regular ATX desktop case wasn't the solution, even now, due to the cable I had to use my dremel. Well, I did it cleanly so no complain ;)


I use the IRTrans module for the remote and also to transmit IR codes to the A/V system in the cabinet. The HTPC is connected to it through an optical SPDIF output on a Soundblaster Live 24! USB.

Now, time to work on the software and tune all that things.

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