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HTPC Case

Discussion in 'Desktop & Laptop Computers Forum' started by shadi, Feb 25, 2005.

  1. shadi

    shadi
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    I'm looking at building an MCE system but have a dilemma.The HTPC Case to use;

    I'm looking at either the Accent HT-400 Series (http://www.arisetec.com/products/HT-400.htm) or the HV5 (http://www.iuneed.com/hv5.html).

    My preference (looks) is the HV5, but I need to find a silent Micro ATX PSU for this. From the reviews I have read the PSU provided with the case can be noisy.

    Is anyone using anyone using either one of these cases? and has anyone got a 'quiet' HV5?

    Where is the best place/price in the UK to purchase one of these?

    Where can I get a reasonably priced VFD to fit these cases?

    I was also impressed by the Claris case on show at the Bristol Sound and Vision (Stands Unique).

    Thanks and Regards

    Shad
     
  2. KraGorn

    KraGorn
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    No idea about an HV5, but the Accent range can be bought from QuietPC, along with a VFD.
     
  3. shadi

    shadi
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    I have spent a few hours reading reviews on both cases. There was a review of the HV5 in Gigahz this month. Seems like the HV5 struggles from having a 270-300 W microatx PSU, and is noisy (the system runs hot). The Accent range is also available from Kustom PC (http://www.kustompcs.co.uk/).

    The only issue with the Accent case is the physical size of Optical drive and the Graphics Cards. I would be interested in hearing other people configurations.

    I'm thinking of using one analogue Blank and Gold (I want to move my VCR collection from Tape to media center) and a digital Black and Gold (Freeview). I was looking at the XFX GeForce FX 5700 LE 128 MB as a graphics card (DVI Output), the M-Audio 7.1 for Audio.

    I'm thinking of using connecting this to a Yamaha 750E and EPOS EL3 (HCP).

    Still looking at the a HDMI TV. The Toshiba 32" LCD got a good review in Whathifi but the HDMI got a slating. The new Sony Wega 32" LCD looks very good.

    Would welcome any recommendations.

    Thanks

    Shad
     
  4. gordonfmoore

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    I'd be interested in hearing of any other options as well.

    For my home built media center, I originally built it on a piece of wood. My original idea for a case didn't work out - an empty amp case to match the amp I use, as I couldn't fit everything in, even using risers.

    Temporarily I built a hardboard surround for it as the wife was fed up of it sitting in front of the tv, although the cooling was great!!! see pic!

    Guess what, the case was too tall to fit under the tv with all the other kit - amp, ntl box and old vhs. - be warned!

    As far as a power supply goes I use a Zalman ZM300B-APS 300W ATX2.0 PSU (from www.overclockers.co.uk) and I can't hear it - only problem is what to do with all the extra cables - why can't psu manufacturers add some plugs and then you could add cables as needed!!!

    The rest of the kit is one of those AOpen i855-GMEm-LFS motherboard and Pentium M 1.6 processor, 1G ram, Radeon 9600 card (has a small fan, but can't hear it) and two hauppauge pvr 150mce oem cards. The motherboard fan runs very quietly - in fact the processor is currently running at 30C! I tried playing with the fan control, but it just keeps switching on and off anyway. The biggest noise is from the DVD rewriter... Its a quite powerful system, only fly is the price of the mb and cpu = £300!!

    Anyway after using a metal frame it now just fits under the tv - till I get a proper box!

    Gordon
     

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  5. gordonfmoore

    gordonfmoore
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    oops, seems like overclockers isn't the falvour of the month, so www.quietpc.co.uk instead then. :)
     
  6. shadi

    shadi
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    This looks like a good setup.

    Have you thought about using a modular PSU (http://www.pcstats.com/articleview.cfm?articleID=1719) you can buy these from Misco.

    For the rest of the setup I was looking at the MSI MS-6728 865PE Neo2 V2 + P4 3.0 GHz.
    For the CPU fan I was looking at using a Cooler Master Silent Vortex Dream 7 and using a 80 MM silent fan (Zalman ZM-F1) for the case.

    Shad
     
  7. BestGear

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    ...if you are tight on cash, EBUYER do a cracking desktop case in black for about £20.

    I have two of these and in the rack, they dont look too far out of place.

    At the end of the day, if you have a spare couple of £100 then buy a fancy case... I personally would use that extra money to make sure that what is inside is up to spec!

    DJ
     
  8. mephistopheles

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    Why Intel? AMD64/nForce4 Ultra offers a great deal more for the money and the new Winchester chips run VERY cool, unlike the Prescott.

    Take a look here at some very well engineered cases:

    http://www.atechfabrication.com/HTPC_cases.htm

    Expensive, but worth the money IMHO. I have the 4000 EX. It's brilliant. I don't even need a cpu fan, just one 92mm exhaust for the whole system.
     
  9. shadi

    shadi
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    I like the A-Tech cases (the 4000 EX is very nice). Did you get these posted to the UK or are you based in the USA? I'm fairly settled with my choice of case. I also saw the Claris Strata 360 at the Bristol Sound and Vision show and it is very solid (http://www.standsunique.com/).

    I'm fitting this into an Atacama Equinox AV stand(http://www.atacama-audio.co.uk/).

    I'm interested in your suggestion about the AMD. I could fit an AMD into an MSI K8N Neo4 Platinum SKT939 nForce and AMD Athlon 64 3200+ (Winchester). http://www.lowestonweb.com/pdfs/products/MSI\MS-7125.pdf

    How well will this work with Windows Media Center? What are the advantages over the P4 setup?

    Thanks

    Shad
     
  10. mephistopheles

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    I am in UK so I had to import the case. Unfortunately, shipping, import duty and tax pushed the cost up quite a bit, but for a case which is intelligently designed (for a change) and so well engineered I was happy. There is now a version of the case called HeatSync, which runs completely fanless, using a heatpipe system and heatsinks built into the case itself. I'll be ordering one of these pretty soon.

    The MSI board would be my own choice and it would work well with both XP and MCE. The advantage of nForce4 Ultra would be, (1) a much cooler system; (2) NCQ is enabled (Seagate friendly); (3) future-proofing (P4 has reached the end of its development, as Intel is now concentrating on dual core cpus).

    I built a Gigabyte S939 system recently for a friend and couldn't get the cpu temp above 41C under sustained full load on a 20% overclock with only a Panaflo 92mm @7VDC. I fitted an ASUS X300 card for £35 and got really excellent PQ for TV via Dscaler and DVD via MPC with only UOS MPEG Splitter, DScaler5 MPEG2 Decoder, AC3 Filter and Reclock chained.

    There is a free beta version of XP 64bit available from MS as a test version, which you might be able to use now, but as yet there are no 64bit programs available. I have tried the beta XP AMD64bit OS and could run a system with all drivers loaded without a problem but ran into difficulties with some of the 32bit software I tried to install. Maybe in a year or so this will have changed. The advantages of 64bit will then be much more significant, as it effectively means very much more data (x2) can be loaded into memory at a time.

    Whilst all this is probably of little consequence for HCPC at the mo, since either a P4 Northwood 3.0GHz+ or an Athlon XP 3200+ will deliver pretty much all you'd need, the extra cost is not significant and you'll have a much cooler and more powerful system, as well as a much wider re-sale market as and when you decide to upgrade or use the system for alternative application(s).

    Hope this helps...........
     
  11. sticker

    sticker
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    I like the look of those mass storage cases, great idea
     

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