Fanless htpc or long hdmi and pc in another room?

Peo1000

Standard Member
trying to unclutter the living room and replace my aging, noisy and slowing htpc.

what are peoples opinions on either building a new silent (fanless) htpc and using a nas which could cost about £600 to build what i would be wanting, or build a more powerful desktop but have it in the next room and run a long hdmi lead and save a few £'s on the build?
 

cjed

Well-known Member
A small, silent HTPC connected to a remote NAS/Server is a much more flexible solution (for example, you can easily expand it to multiple room support). It would be my preferred solution.
 

BKost

Novice Member
A small, silent HTPC connected to a remote NAS/Server is a much more flexible solution (for example, you can easily expand it to multiple room support). It would be my preferred solution.
Hes right, thats probably the ideal way to set up your HTPC. Maybe you could strip down your current desktop and turn it into the NAS? If it's a really power hungry machine look into under volting.

£600 for an HTPC seems steep to me, what kind of features are you trying to include?
 

MadScientist

Active Member
Fanless and minimal HTPC with NAS in another room gets my vote too. If fact that's my set-up.

Unfortunately £600 for a fanless system is about right as the cases don't come cheap. My Streacom FC5 case + PSU alone cost £300
 

cjed

Well-known Member
I suggest you look at the latest generation of Intel NUC boxes, Akasa make a range of fanless cases for these. I've rehoused a Intel D54250WYK in an Akasa Newton H case for a completely silent HTPC (no moving parts at all as it uses an SSD for storage). To be honest the NUC units are pretty quiet anyway, I also have a DN2820FYKH which is inaudible from a meter or so away. A DN2820FYKH with 4GB RAM and a 120GB SSD will come in at < £200 and includes WiFi /Wired networking, Bluetooth and IR built in.
 

BKost

Novice Member
Fanless and minimal HTPC with NAS in another room gets my vote too. If fact that's my set-up.

Unfortunately £600 for a fanless system is about right as the cases don't come cheap. My Streacom FC5 case + PSU alone cost £300
I don't know too much about cases with integrated heatsinks, but you don't have to buy a specially built case to pull of passive cooling. A thin mini-itx board with the right combo of low TDP processor and heatsink will work in plenty of less expensive cases. In my experience the whole thing only costs around $600 USD with an i3, which leaves enough left over to get the NAS going.

What kind of temperatures do you get in the Streacom? That's pretty cool that it's big enough for a micro-atx board.
 

MadScientist

Active Member
Yes, agreed, I just like the form factor and excellent build quality of the Streacom. Tempertures for my i5 processor (TDP 45W) are usually below 55C.
 

Navvie

Active Member
The majority of folks over at SPCR.com are of the opinion that going fanless adds complexity and cost that can be avoided by using very low RPM fans that you won't be able to hear anyway.
 

Peo1000

Standard Member
i was thinking building a new machine was the way to go but £600 is just too much money at the moment (and i dont like waiting!) so trying to think of a way around it when i thought of the long hdmi idea, has anyone tried this by the way?

the nuc's look like a good option but i need an optical socket and not sure they will have enough power, it will have xbmc, sab, sb & CP running, the current machine which is a 2.4 core 2 duo struggles at times so im not sure these low power options like nuc will be up to it.
 

cjed

Well-known Member
None of the latest generation of Intel NUC have Optical/SPDIF outputs, if you really need it you'll need an HDMI passthough box that splits it out (£30 - £60). The i3/i5 NUCs will certainly have enough CPU grunt, today's core i3 and i5 CPUs are much more efficient that the older Core2Duo designs.

2.4GHz E6600 Core2Duo passmark = 1554
1.7GHz Core i3-4010u passmark = 2506
1.3GHz Core i5-4250u passmark = 3384

Having said that, I'd aim to have the backend storage server running stuff like sab,sb & CP, and in that case the front-end HTPC could be much less powerful as it's only concerned with media playback.
 

Darren Blake

Active Member
The majority of folks over at SPCR.com are of the opinion that going fanless adds complexity and cost that can be avoided by using very low RPM fans that you won't be able to hear anyway.
This. I was dead set on going fanless but I found it drove far too much cost and compromise into the system. I have a Fractal Design Node case with two 120mm PWM fans and a Big Shuriken CPU cooler (again with a 120mm fan) and I never notice the noise at all.
 

nacmacfeegle

Well-known Member
No availability anywhere yet Cjed, they are due later in the summer I believe.
But they look like they will give the NUCs a run for their money. As long as they don't fry themselves, I think I read somewhere that the Zotac gaming boxes had heat issues, so maybe I'll hold back and see.
I came across those fanless chaps when I was looking at the Zotac Sphere version of the Haswell I5
Zotac has a ball with Zbox Sphere OI520 desktop PC | ZDNet

I've been dithering over a NUC, and keeping an eye on what Zotac are doing as I have had a few of their Zboxes as HTPCs and they have all been fine.
 

Pintu

Active Member
It's worth noting that the C-Series uses Haswell ULV "Y" CPUs with 11.5W TDP instead of the "U" versions with 15W that Intel NUCs use. So slightly less power.
 

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