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My Asus E35M1-M PRO Build

SystemLord

Active Member
Having decided to build a more up to date HTPC I decided on the following components:

Silverstonstone ML03B Case
Asus E35M1-M PRO Zacate Motherboard
1TB Western Digital Caviar Green HDD
2GB Corsair DDR3 XMS3, PC3-10666 RAM
I also utilised a Samsung 750GB HDD which I had taken from my existing HTPC and which contains most of my movies, etc.
---------------------------------------

I was pleased with the Silverstone case which will look a lot better in my set up as opposed to my existing 'silver' HTPC.

I want the build to be as quiet as possible so I decided not to have a regular PSU but instead to go down the PicoPSU route with a power brick. The lack of a normal PSU, which would hamper me space-wise, would now allow me to move my BluRay player over. Rather than be underpowered I decided to buy a 150w Pico and a 150w powerbrick. Whether this is overkill, I dont know. Time will tell.

The gaping hole in the back of the case where the PSU should be has been closed with a sheet of aluminium cut to shape and fixed with self-tapping screws. I then drilled a hole for the connection between the PicoPSU lead and the powerbrick. Very neat even if I say so myself.

Having installed the Motherboard and memory an initial power up led me to think there was something wrong. There was absolutely no noise whatsoever. Sheer bliss.

When I installed the two HDDs there was some HDD noise. The 1TB WD HDD is on top of the platform provided with the case. However I used the 4 remaining grommets as supplied with the case to lift up the HDD so that there was more movement. This lessened the spinning noise considerably. The secondary Samsung HDD is placed under the space for the optical drive, and is supported by the 4 supplied grommets.


On connecting (screwing to the heatsink) the small fan which came with the Motherboard, there was some noise which was more annoying as opposed to being loud. I decided to remove it. However the idling temp of the CPU was now about 55. I thought this a bit high so I decided to superglue an 80mm golfball fan to the heatsink. Idling temp is now down to 37.


When sliding in the BluRay drive it was apparent that there might be some noise transmission from the drive through the case. Just in case, I stuck some thin felt sheeting on the floor of the drive bay before inserting the drive.
The space between the bottom of the BluRay drive and the top of the HDD underneath it has been noise dampened by the insertion of a small foam pad.

Final testing and playing of a BluRay revealed no noise from the system apart from some residual HDD noise. However this is only apparent when you are within a couple of feet of the case and therefore not likely to be troublesome. If it is, I'll have to see what can be done.

So far I am pleased with the outcome.

Attached are some piccies, but not quite as good as expected.

Motherboard in:
Image0043.jpg


Golfball fan superglued to the heatsink:
Image0049.jpg


Aluminium plate with PicoPSU supply installed:
Image0048.jpg


Fan running - superglue seems to have worked:
Image0047.jpg


Note the additional grommets under the WD HDD:
Image0045.jpg


Everything connected up and installing updates/software:
Image0044.jpg


All I need to do now is tidying up/case management and then good to go.

One or two small points which I came across.

1. HDD activity light is tooooooo bright, so I disconnected this from the Motherboard.
2. Power switch is also bright, but this I can get used to. However it seems that when in sleep mode the light flashes continually every couple of seconds. Apparently it's to remind you to turn the computer off! If it's in sleep mode I dont need to turn it off. This is something I have not come across before and I may well disconnect this also.

I think I/ve covered everything, but if you want more piccies let me know and I'll see what I can do.
 

Razor

Distinguished Member
Flip the fan on the cooler around for improved cooling performance. At the moment it's not blowing down on the cooler.

I have the same setup which I use as a server and I run mine passive, it's a nice bit of basic kit for the money. :)
 

SystemLord

Active Member
Flip the fan on the cooler around for improved cooling performance. At the moment it's not blowing down on the cooler.

Thanks Razor.

Thought it was better to take the hot air away rather than blow cool air in:blush:

I suppose it all depends on how good the superglue is:rolleyes:
 

Razor

Distinguished Member
It's aways best to blow down on a top down cooler. If you reverse fan you increase cooling performance on load by a fair margin, you can also lower fan speed to decrease noise levels due to the increased performance. :)

Good luck with the superglue. :)
 

jadamso

Standard Member
What superglue did you use and where did you attach it to the heatsink?

I've just spent the afternoon trying to attach a Xilence 80mm fan to the heatsink. I thought I might be able to move some of the fins and screw the fan to the heatsink directly but Asus in their infinite wisdom have made that impossible. I even resorted to trying to use fishing wire but I don't know that many knots.

Its frustrating as the whole reason for buying the Asus was for the passive heatsink but recorded 76 degress celsius at idle!

Incidentally how much does that fan weigh and is it near silent?

J.
 

SystemLord

Active Member
The superglue is Bostik Superglue Original which I bought from Sainsbury's.

It worked well but was easily removable (as a result of Razor's advice) with no excessive force, simply by inserting a small blade between fan and fin and gently twisting.

The fan is attached by placing a small blob on the fins where each of the four corners of the fan touch it and then holding in place for about 20 seconds.

The 'Sharkoon' Silent Eagle fan is absolutely silent but not sure of its weight.
 

SystemLord

Active Member
Incidentally, I had raised the fact that the power light flashes constantly in sleep mode and is also extremely bright, both in 'on' mode and 'sleep' mode(especially in a darkened room).

It really did bug me but SWMBO said this didnt bother her and she was quite happy until after about 3 hours of trying to ignore the brightness. So I had to act.

What I did was to cut a small square of shiny black insulating tape to cover the light. I thought that this might just allow sufficient glow through the tape, but unfortunately it did not. Couldnt see a damn thing and no good as I wouldnt know whether the system was on, sleeping or completely off (not that it's every completely off - unless I'm fiddling:rolleyes:).

Then a 'eureka' moment. A pin prick in the tape allows a minimal amount of blue light, which is perfect and unobtrusive.
 

tigermad

Distinguished Member
Hi SystemLord

How are you finding streaming off websites (youtube, itv player etc) with your system. I have heard that the E350 cpu isn't powerful enough and keeps buffering.
 

DavidT

Well-known Member
Hi SystemLord

How are you finding streaming off websites (youtube, itv player etc) with your system. I have heard that the E350 cpu isn't powerful enough and keeps buffering.

Why not try the zacate and see what you think, the mobo's can be had for around £85 and a stick of 2GB RAM for £16, just add an SATA2 HDD and cheap PSU and you have a test bed to tryout. At the end of the day you are likely to spend less than £120 to test it out and if you like it you can then add a case and a decent PSU. If you don't then sell the bits on ebay.

David
 

SystemLord

Active Member
Hi SystemLord

How are you finding streaming off websites (youtube, itv player etc) with your system. I have heard that the E350 cpu isn't powerful enough and keeps buffering.

Actually I havent tried this out and, TBH, that was not what the build was for. Predominently for movies, boxsets and music.

SL
 

thierry_s

Standard Member
Nice one, my build is similar! And like you, the most noise comes from the HDD (mine is a 2TB Seagate Barracuda Green). I might try to put some gromets under the drive, but my case (Silverstone LC19) already had 4 pads, so don't know if it'll make a difference.

Razor: you say that blowing down on the heatsink is more efficient. Where does the hot air go (the cool air that went through the fan and cooled the CPU, which is now hot) ? There is no other fan in the case (SL can confirm?), so I'm just wondering if that hot air stays around, or rises up through the top air vents of the case, and then gets sucked back in by the fan, creating a lovely heating loop... can you clarify the air flow?
(I've got the added problem that I need to ventilate my cupboard and create an airflow in there!)

SL: what software are you using the play a blue ray in your optical drive?
 

Stephen Neal

Distinguished Member
Does the ML03 have a stealth cover for the optical drive bay, or do you see the front of the optical drive exposed when you fit it?

Looking for a low-cost HTPC case to take a uATX E350 motherboard for a quick and cheap build. The ML03 looks pretty good and the price is definitely good!
 

SystemLord

Active Member
Nice one, my build is similar! And like you, the most noise comes from the HDD (mine is a 2TB Seagate Barracuda Green). I might try to put some gromets under the drive, but my case (Silverstone LC19) already had 4 pads, so don't know if it'll make a difference.

Razor: you say that blowing down on the heatsink is more efficient. Where does the hot air go (the cool air that went through the fan and cooled the CPU, which is now hot) ? There is no other fan in the case (SL can confirm?), so I'm just wondering if that hot air stays around, or rises up through the top air vents of the case, and then gets sucked back in by the fan, creating a lovely heating loop... can you clarify the air flow?
(I've got the added problem that I need to ventilate my cupboard and create an airflow in there!)

SL: what software are you using the play a blue ray in your optical drive?

Although I only use my installed HSF there is provision for four case fans.

For the bluray, I use TMT3 Platinum which works well
 

SystemLord

Active Member
Does the ML03 have a stealth cover for the optical drive bay, or do you see the front of the optical drive exposed when you fit it?

Looking for a low-cost HTPC case to take a uATX E350 motherboard for a quick and cheap build. The ML03 looks pretty good and the price is definitely good!

No the MLO3 doesnt have a stealth cover for the drive bay. This was a disappointment to me as didnt check this before buying. But hey, for less than £50 I can put up with this and certainly I have had no criticism from SWMBO.

I suppose it depends on what BR/DVD player you put in the case. Mine has a silver bar near the bottom edge but still doesnt look out of place.

Couple of piccies here for you to see my set up.

chrisdavis9145


chrisdavis9145
 

Sartios

Banned
I just got this today, didn't you a have heatsink fan bundled with yours then? i got an ASUS one in the box and 4 screws, it screws directly on the heatsink.
 

Sartios

Banned
I've attached mine to it i can't hear it over the PSU fan the thing sounds like a turbine :( need a quieter PSU.
 

anotherother

Standard Member
hi SystemLord,
your system has virtually every component i have been researching for my next build... many thanks for posting your pics and experiences with this kit.

could you advise, is your Sharkoon Silent Eagle a "1000" or "2000" series?
it seems the 1000's are slower and quieter than the 2000's - just wondering which you got?

also, have you got any TV tuners in your rig? i'm curious as to how well this system copes with four or five tv streams running through it to the hard drives.

cheers
ad
 

SystemLord

Active Member
@ ad
Sorry for not replying earlier.
It is a Sharkoon 80mm 1000 series fan.

No, I dont have any TV tuners. Did have a Hauppauge Nova HD S2 in my previous rig, but to be honest never could get it set up proper in MP. Decided not a install it in my current rig.

_______________________________


Just a quick update.
I have recently noticed that when I play ripped 1080p BR files I occasionally get a freeze (for between 5 - 10 seconds) on the video although the audio is fine. It catches up after about 5 seconds. This has never happened on a 720 rip.
I presume it is because I only have 2Gb RAM, so I will put in a 4Gb module and see if there is any difference.

SL
 
Last edited:

Ian North

Standard Member
"I have recently noticed that when I play ripped 1080p BR files I occasionally get a freeze (for between 5 - 10 seconds) on the video although the audio is fine. It catches up after about 5 seconds. This has never happened on a 720 rip.
I presume it is because I only have 2Gb RAM, so I will put in a 4Gb module and see if there is any difference"

I am thinking on buying the E-450 version. Have you resolved the stuck picture fault yet? There are youtube vids of the E35 boards playing monster bitrate files as 1080p and the uploaders reckon no problems.
 

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