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HiFi-Like HCPC for about £300

Discussion in 'Desktop & Laptop Computers Forum' started by skimber, Jan 14, 2002.

  1. skimber

    skimber
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    My new HCPC arrived today to replace my plastikote-black sprayed P2-300. It's a "Shuttle Spacewalker" and is about the size of a shoebox at H160xW190xD260mm

    [​IMG]

    Only thing i've added is a Creative SB4.1 because the on-board sound didn't have spdif

    it's a barebone system, i just had to supply the CPU and HD. I bought it from www.gemma.co.uk with a matching silver DVD drive (multiregion with firmware patch) for £197+vat, and they're thowing in 64mb of RAM at the moment, although i don't appear to have recieved that yet... :(

    There's a huge review of it at
    http://www.hwextreme.com/reviews/barebones/sv24/ and
    http://www.hothardware.com/hh_files/Motherboards/shuttle_sv24.shtml

    add a celeron 900mhz for about £40, an SB4.1 for £23, 20gb HD for £50 and you've got a complete HCPC for about £300 + vat!

    cheers

    Simon

    p.s. I don't work for them, i'm just impressed! :D
     
  2. Stuart Wright

    Stuart Wright
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    Sounds cheap enough, but you really want 128 or ideally 256 meg of RAM. 64 meg is rarely enough these days.
     
  3. skimber

    skimber
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    Yep, i've just spent another £20 on an extra 128mb :)

    Although just as a DVD player it manages fine on 64mb
     
  4. tryingtimes

    tryingtimes
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    Nice one!
    Looks great, sounds cheap!

    I think I'll have me a look at that review
     
  5. Branxx

    Branxx
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    I tried this case in combination with P3 850 & 256MB memory.

    I think it is useless for HTPC purposes. Main reasons:
    • The noise created by the 3 fans (power supply, CPU and case) is completely unacceptable for any viewing/listening purposes. I've tried reducing the fan speed but that created heating problems. This is an inherent problem with such a compact case. I estimate noise to be between 45-50dB. Note that the quiet PC is about 26dB.
    • Analogue audio quality from the sound card on the motherboard is very low. FM radio broadcast sounds better in comparison. I also found that the output volume level is far lower than what I was used to from other soundcards.
    • DVD playback was reasonable but still well below quality from ATI or nVidia cards.

    After trying to make this box work for 3 days I regrettably decided to return it. It is a nice idea and I hope improved solutions will arrive soon.
     
  6. tryingtimes

    tryingtimes
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    Branxx

    Your points are valid but Skimber gave the impression that bits could be swapped (he swapped the sound card for example)
    The price for cases that look as good as this are often quite high so it may still be worth a fiddle.


    Skimber - let us now how you get on
     
  7. skimber

    skimber
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    It's not the quietest admittedly, but i have it sufficiently far away from my seating position for it not to matter, although i will probably look at some low noise fans like those from quietPC.com at some point.

    The onboard sound is obviously no good for HC, as is any motherboard or soundcard without a digital output in my opinion.

    The only limitation really is that you have only one PCI slot, so if you need a modem in it (luckily my house is networked and the m/board has on-board LAN) there's nowhere to put a better soundcard.... An excuse to get a cable modem or start a home network maybe? :D

    For a case of it's size it's surprisingly easy to slide all the bit's out the way to chop and change things.

    Despite problems with a dodgy processor from eBuyer (surprise surprise) I'm pretty impressed.
     
  8. Branxx

    Branxx
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    My plan was to use the free PCI slot for TV card so that all HTPC functions are present (I was building it for my son). For me on-board sound was important.

    I've also looked at quietPC and used several bits I have previously ordered for my other HTPC.

    Out of three fans the one in the power supply cannot be changed. The CPU cooler has to be of a particularly low height design in order to fit as HD is placed less than 2" above the motherboard.

    The chassis fan is 50mmx50mm and quietPC have no particular low noise offering in that size.

    The fans are not noisy because they are badly design but due to very high rotational speed (around 5000 rev per minute) that is necessary to produce sufficient airflow within the size constraint.

    If you have keep HTPC out of sight because it is too noisy than it is all the same if a cheap ordinary case is used with some other heavily integrated motherboard. The cost will be similar.

    I still think this is pretty advanced design but it does not work well as HTPC.
     
  9. robocook

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    the guys over at DSLWebserver have a massive review of this here.

    Noise is one of their big beefs so have lots of interesting mods to consider and run their's with fan-less CPU, passive heatsink, and drop the voltage on the power supply fan.
     

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