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My first build, hopefully an awesome little HTPC

Discussion in 'Project Logs' started by Wyldefyre2002, Sep 19, 2007.

  1. Wyldefyre2002 New Member

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    :toast: greets to everyone, I haven't been on here in forever, but I've still been checking in every now and then. I'm finally taking the drive a building my first pc from the ground up. I tried to get what I wanted as cheaply as I could come across, the end price ended up around $750 I think. Good use for a pell grant imo. anyway, the parts list:

    1. 7396AM1 Black Enlight Slim/Low Profile Desktop
    2. BOXDG33TLM Intel G33 Micro ATX mobo
    3. Intel Core 2 Duo E4300 w/ stock heatsink
    4. A-DATA 2 x 1GB DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit
    5. Seagate ST3320620SV 320GB 7200 RPM SATA hd
    6. Coolmax 400W ATX Power Supply CU-400T w/ 120mm Silent Fan
    7. Slim ATAPI to SATA converter
    8. Pioneer DVR-K06 Dual Layer Slim DVD Burner Drive
    9. XFX GeForce 8400GS PCI-E Video Card
    10. AVerMedia AVerTV Combo PCI-e HDTV TV Tuner Card
    11. Moneual Lab iMON VFD-B IR Receiver VFD Display 5.25" Bay

    Okay, so you're thinking "This guy is an idiot, an atx power supply for a micro atx case, and a 5.25 in. vfd, but no 5.25 bay!"

    The stock 180 watt generic power supply just wouldn't cut it, in my opinion. And every micro atx power supply I've looked has some bad reviews, besides the original being an odd stretched shape anyway. So I decided I'd go with an external modular power supply, that I could disconnect if I need to move it around.

    And for the VFD, what kind of HTPC would be complete without some kind of remote? I'm planning on cutting 5.25" opening in the front and mounting it to the plastic. Also, the case is getting a gloss black paint job.

    Will update as soon as I get some pics, let me know what ya think.
     
  2. DOM

    DOM

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    :wtf::twitch:

    Is this comp for just looking on the net and work ?
     
  3. Wyldefyre2002 New Member

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    it's the best I could find that's low profile, and affordable
     
  4. kwchang007

    kwchang007 New Member

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    HTPC....it'll do the job for an HTPC
     
    Wyldefyre2002 says thanks.
  5. DOM

    DOM

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    :eek: whats HTPC :p
     
  6. Wyldefyre2002 New Member

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    Home Theater Personal Computer, I'm gonna be watching and recording OTA HDTV, hence the larger hard drive. Will do some light gaming, but not out to break any records
     
  7. DOM

    DOM

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    so how big is the TV and what kind is it ?
     
  8. Wyldefyre2002 New Member

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    haven't bought the tv yet. I had 32" Dell lcd, but had to sell it a while back. I'm looking for about the same, I would like to have a plasma, but they're still pricey
     
  9. DOM

    DOM

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    :( no tv

    how much did you get the 7396AM1 Black Enlight Slim/Low Profile Desktop for ? they have it here for $14.99
     
  10. Wyldefyre2002 New Member

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    that's what i paid. it's an ugly little mug stock, but I think I can fix that
     
  11. DOM

    DOM

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    for that much I wouldnt trust that psu on it lol

    so whats your rig ?

    cuz dont the plasmas go out after so many years or have they fixed that :confused:

    it look like a big floppy drive from the front
     
  12. Wyldefyre2002 New Member

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    I don't know if they've fixed or not, but definitely look good. The front drive bay snap out, so I can leave the smaller one for the 3.5" drive. As of right now, I have no rig lol. this thing I'm typing on is prehistoric (hp pavilion, came with Windows ME for crying out loud lol)
     
  13. Wyldefyre2002 New Member

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    the bigger one is for the laptop/slimline dvd drive
     
  14. Wyldefyre2002 New Member

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    UPDATE: All my stuff finally came in, well except for the vfd and remote, but anyway. I got everything together, installed ram, sata hard drive, etc etc, and when the moment finally came.....nothing. Fans came on, hard drive spun, but no post, no display whatsoever. If anyone has some ideas as to what's going on here, feel free to post. I'm going to try some cpu/ram swap outs and see if it helps. also, no onboard speaker, so I can't hear it if it's beeping
    anyway, here are some pics:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  15. Wyldefyre2002 New Member

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    after I get everything straightened out, does anyone have a quiet 80mm fan f/s? this thing is obnoxiously loud. Would like to upgrade cpu stock heatsink too. And one other problem I've ran into using my "external" power supply is the shortness of the 24 pin atx connector. If anyone has an extension cable or know where i can get one, it would be muchly appreciated
     
  16. InnocentCriminal

    InnocentCriminal Resident Grammar Amender

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    The chassis isn't too my tastes, or the external PSU but hey... if you like it, have plans for it, it'll fulfils your lust for modding and the a-like. All the best to you!
     
  17. Wyldefyre2002 New Member

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    yea, the chassis serves it's purpose, might cut some more plastic off the front for more ports (playstation 2 controller, eSATA, or firewire)
     
  18. InnocentCriminal

    InnocentCriminal Resident Grammar Amender

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    Smooth, good luck!

    PICTURES FTW!

    ;)
     
  19. Wyldefyre2002 New Member

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    Figured out the board was DOA, so getting replacement from Newegg shouldn't take too long. Still waiting on VFD....
     
  20. Wyldefyre2002 New Member

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    Okay, got the VFD! mobo is still "in transit", we'll see how that goes. Test fit the display in the gaping hole in the front, seems to work pretty well. I'm going to bondo this in place, sand it down nice and smooth, then give it the gloss black treatment. So far so good. Not bad for my first build. any q's or comments welcome!
     
  21. Wyldefyre2002 New Member

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    My first attempt at bondo, yay! So far so good anyway, here's a pic of the front panel:
    [​IMG]
     
  22. subodim New Member

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    Hello, WyldeFyre and everybody else. That's an interesting project, and I appreciate your report.

    I recently bought four Enlight 7396AM1 cases to play around with, and I just started building a couple of PCs with them. When I build computers, I like to keep them small, cool, and quiet. I was thinking about an application where the user could keep the computer behind an LCD monitor, or perhaps even mounting an LCD panel directly to the case with a VESA wall-mounting device (preferably with a swivel) for even more space conservation or portability.

    I have a couple of Athlon BE-2300 45W processors, and I also have a Pentium E2140 that can run at 3.2GHz on a P965 or P35 motherboard, but I haven't been able to overclock it on a G945-based motherboard (I don't know what, if anything, I'm doing wrong). I have a couple of single-platter Seagate 7200.10 160GB SATA hard drives that are slimmer than normal drives, and I was looking at the new single-platter Seagate 250GB drives that are also slimmer than normal. Their low height means better airflow through the drive cage, but I'd like to hear more about about the Seagate SV35 drives if you think they're better. I was thinking that I could use an external hard drive if more storage space is required. I bought a couple of Sony AW-G540A Slim DVD burners and some Slim DVD to IDE converters when I bought the cases. I also have a couple of BFG Tech GeForce 8400GS low-profile video cards. I haven't decided which MicroATX motherboards I'd like to buy, but I've been looking at a couple that have an external eSATA connector.

    I was wondering if you had considered buying a flex or mini 1U power supply that could be fitted inside the case with a little bit of modding? That's what I've been considering. I want more wattage than the stock 180W power supply provides, and I want it to have active PFC and high efficiency. The dimensions of the proprietary power supply are approximately 242mm x 86mm x 51mm with a 10mm notch in the rear; the dimensions of a mini 1U power supply are approximately 150mm x 81mm x 43mm. Instead of doing a lot of cutting, I think I might just recess the new power supply (to avoid the notch-out requirement) and screw it directly to the case from the side.

    I replaced one of the case fans with an old AeroCool Aluminum 80mm LED case fan I've had for a few years. For the others, I'll probably use Antec TriCool 80mm ball-bearing case fans. The 120mm version is my favorite case fan.

    If you need a speaker, you can get one of those small piezoelectric speakers and bundle the wires with a cable tie to make about a 2" lead and just stick it on the speaker pins. It won't come off.

    I have removed some unnecessary parts inside the cases, including the intrusion detection sensor and the clips that sit underneath the hard drive inside the hard drive cage which block airflow. I don't intend to install a floppy drive, so a lot of air will flow through the 3.5" bay.

    If you replace your CPU cooler, you can't use one that is much taller than the stock cooler, or about 60-65mm at the most. The Pentium E-series stock cooling fan is pretty quiet, especially if you use the Smart Fan control. It's the same cooler that comes with the new 35W Conroe-based single-core Celerons. The Core 2 Duo E4300 uses the same stock CPU cooler as faster (and probably hotter) processors in the Core 2 E-series such as the E6700. When you say you want to upgrade your stock CPU cooler, do you mean you want a quieter one or one that keeps your CPU cooler? I want to replace the stock CPU coolers on my Athlon BE-2300s with something quieter like the Thermaltake CL-P0444 (I'd have to replace the fan with a shorter and possibly quieter 92mm fan). I was also looking at the ThermalTake Golden Orb II, but it requires a lot of space (120mm in diameter) and it might be a little too tall. The Blue Orb II (which is much better) definitely wouldn't fit.
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2007
  23. Wyldefyre2002 New Member

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    Yea, that was one of my biggest complaints with the enlight is the 180 power supply, I had considered modifying one with more wattage, but decided an external would work just as well for my application. I believe mounting a flex or 1u to the side would do the trick. Also I like the idea of the LCD mount. On the cpu cooler, I was thinking I might need one that runs cooler, but I think the stock will work just fine, for now anyway, the intel mobo doesn't do oc'ing. Welcome to the forums by the way!
     
  24. Wyldefyre2002 New Member

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    what kind of specs are you looking at for the micro-atx mobo?
     
  25. Wyldefyre2002 New Member

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    just a little update, got the gloss black and the clear on the front panel. Much better than I anticipated :D
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     

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