Discussion in 'Desktop & Laptop Computers Forum' started by homethx, Aug 12, 2005.
New passive cooled hcpc case coming soon at Kustom pc the same one from the silverstone website.
Looks lovely - I like it a lot.... the info is a bit confusing though, what do you get for £300 is it just the case, or is there a PSU, CPU cooler etc..?
The whole silent cooling thing seems to refer to a couple of heatsinks and some holes cut in the top of the case. I don't think its necessarily suggested you don't need any cpu cooling but the wording is somewhat misleading. Its seriously overpriced for what it is.
I have already got one of these, ordered it from the first batch at mCubed who I understand designed it.
See http://www.mcubed-tech.com/eng/hfx.htm for more info.
Only problem is that the price seems to have gone up a lot since the first batch. I paid £440 for the case all a whole load of accessories which you will see at the main site.
@lisag The £300 is just for the case.
@ Mr. D The is a passive cooler attachment called a Borg HPC which attaches to one of the heatsinks, but you can use any heatsink fan combo that will fit. I researched extensively before purchasing and while it is expensive compared to regular cases, it is by far the cheapest passive case i have come across.
I can take some pictures if you'd like to see the real thing, but my project is unfinished mainly due to waiting for the impending release of the dual core AMD 64 3800+ which will be much cheaper than the current dual core CPU's
Before I forget be aware that this case is also available in all silver and all black at the mCubed site. I bought mine from them and the service was excellent.
A 580W Tagan would go lovely with that, but as it has one hard drive Bay I'd stick a 74GB WD Raptor in there, and get some adaptors to stick a raid array of HD's in the 5 1/4 slots..., I guess the giant heatsinks would block out most of the noise of the Raptor.., i'd throw in 3 Nova-T Tuners in the PCI slots, yes you can hack MCE to accept more than two tuners, as for the audio i'd stick to the Intel HD Audio for now and wait for the X-FI, for the CPU I'd get the 3.2GHZ Pentium D with HT, the Pentium 840 I believe, and for the graphics card, well I hate Nvidia so I'd go for an X850XT Blizzard by Sapphire, and throw in 2GB of super fast RAM and an LG 4163B Writer and you got yourself a hell of a Machine...
So far I have 1 x 74GB Raptor (for the OS and applications), 1 x 400GB Seagate for recording video, 2 x 400GB Seagates (RAID1) for my CD collection, and an RME 96/8 PAD for audio playback.
Silverstone are releasing a 400w fanless PSU (ST40NF) in September which I intend to add to the System. The PSU gets extra cooling from the left heatsink in this case.
Also the case has a scart plug on the rear which connects to Hauppage PVR cards acting as a video in, so will be using one of these.
Is 2GB of RAM necessary for a non games machine?
Is there any particular reason you dislike Nvidia, I'm undecided on the graphics card, so which would be best for video playback?
Why would you choose a Pentium 4 over an Athlon 64?
I would love to see a few pictures of your machine. This case looks pretty good but its a bit unclear from the mcubed site which bits come with it and whch bits are needed. What accessories did you get with yours?
I am after the black/black version looks as though its not avaiable untill the end of August.
Here you go, sorry about the quality of the pics, as you can see I'm not David Bailey.
Basically all you will get is the empty shell of the case as shown.
I ordered the following accessories...
Borg HPC - CPU cooler.
Borg HGC - Graphics card cooler.
Borg HES - More heatpipes which will double the cooling capacity of the HPC.
VFD Kit - infra red receiver, VFD display unit and remote control.
HFX Safety Control Kit - Fan & Fan AMP sensor that cuts in if the HFX gets too hot.
What wasn't available at the time but i will order soon is as follows...
Internal Scart Connector - cable connecting scart socket to PVR card.
Borg HBC - Heatpipe Bridge Cooler (Depending on if the mainboard requires it)
Hope this helps
Have to say in the flesh I'm even less keen on it.
Like the look of that case,do you think it's cheaper to buy direct ?
Well you need at Least 1GB of RAM in there, if you have the cash stretch it to 1.5GB just to be on the safe side, basically when I was playing FAr Cry on max settings and recording 2 tv shows at the same time my system was using 1.2GB of RAM
Well Nvidia cards run so hot, I returned my 6600Gt as it ran at 100 Degrees and that Pure Video feature of their cards is utter crap, I had one and never saw any difference, ATI cards are great all rounders, but if I was you for now just get a chea card with DVI and wait for the New Ati Chip to come out, makes sence, the graphics card does not make much difference when Playing back video, what you really need is a dedicated hardware video processor, but i don't think any one makes one, all that hardware video assistance they claim there graphics card support is utter crap, the graphics card really only is deisgned for displaying images/games, it's up to the CPU to process the video, and as for Hardware DVD playback, well dvd's are always going to look like crap on any pc display, beacase there resolution is so low compared to the screens resolution, I don't think any PC is well suited for DVD playback best sticking to HD content for video playback, looks so much sharper...
but if you do not intend to play games then I suggest you pick up a 256Mb Sapphire Radeon X700 PRO or XT, it's Media Center Compliant, and has both Vga/DVI/Component output, it's around £135..., plus it can play the latest games at high resolutions, in case you got time to waste...
Well for Video Encoding the RAW power of a P4 will outperform most AMD's, and playing Back HD content well i've used both a P4 2.8 and Athlon 2.8, and the P4 is far superior, plus the fact that P4 motherboards support the super fast memory...., your machine spec seems pretty good, anyway if you intend to leave it on for 24 hours Western Digital have a set of HD's designed for RAID, you might want to check them out....
True, it looks pretty cheap on the inside, very basic...
Crikey - sorry it didn't work out for you, the 6600GT with Nvidia Pure Video codec made a lot of difference to how my HTPC displays video. It can now run 1080 High Def video smoothly using the graphics card hardware accelaration which it couldn't before with my Athlon XP2700 and fx5200 card. Also DVD playback quality is much improved, sharper clearer and more defined picture quality.
Sure you had the settings right?
Here's one review , bit out of date now, but a google search to find a few more hits.
You do realise that unless whatever you plug into the SCART socket has
s-video out that the best you will get is composite as no Hauppauge card accepts RGB as input.
RAM is pretty cheap at present but I can't see any way that an HTPC would be able to use even 1GB.
My Settings were right, To be honest when it comes to DVD playback Media Center Sucks, stick to Media Player/Win DVD, wow, your 6600GT actually improves video playback, hmm...I use to use the onboard Intel Extreme Graphics 2, yes the integrated motherbaord graphics, and can run both 1080i and 1080P content fine at the same time, when I switched to the Nvidia did not notice any difference..., even tried Nvidia DVD decoder, still no difference the only time you see some improvement is when you have media center running and have the little window on the bottom left displaying the video well on an ATi card the video looks crap, all block and Jagggy, but with the Nvidia card the purevideo smoothes it out, and makes it look sharp, but it is not instance you can see the video shift from a jagged Bright image to a smooth dull Image, and it is annoying, that's basically the only thing i've seen the purevideo decoder do, and that Nvidia Dvd Deocder is not all that, it has the worst colour properities, the video in media center is so dull, that you have to adjust the brightness with the decoder properties, then when playing back dvd's you have to drop the brightness back down, only think i liked about the decoder was that it tells you the audio format and bitrate of the dvd, anyway you need to be using a PC monitor to see all of this, fact is if your using media center use an Ati Media center compliant card with latest drives and the Win DVD 7 decoder, gives you the best image..., i've used various graphics cards and dvd deocoders and this is my recommended setup.
Oh and Lisa it's not the graphics card you should be worried about, I think you really need a CPU upgrade for playing back your HD content, I mean your system was jerky without a decent card, but for me I could 1080i and 1080P at the same time with intergrated motherboard graphics, all on my 2.8GHZ P4 Cpu with HT and the 2GB of RAM...AMD's just can't keep up with Ati on video encoding/playback/multi tasking...
Your should move out of the AMD/Nvidia group, and join the Intel/Ati group...
Oh and Lisa I've had quite a few pc's back since the day whe pc's first shipped with DVD Drives and I've never used the hardware acceleration feature of the card for dvd playback as you always get scan lines in the video, if you look closely you can see, not to mention the video is super bright, that DXVA acceleration has to be one of the worst features put on a graphics card, it's *****, and has no use, all it does is make the image look worse..I've tried it on various radeon/nvida and intel cards it's all the same, loads of scan lines and a super bright image, well the super bright image I can sort out with the colour properties but the scan lines are another thing, I can't believe some people use that DXVA hardware acceleration feature, don't they see how worse the image looks, well maybe not on their big screen tv but on a pc monitor you can, I hate DXVA!!!!!!!!!!!!....I mean i've a a 2.8GHZ CPU why the hell would you want hardware acceleration of mpeg 2 content of it only need 400MHZ use of the CPU
DXVA HArdware Accelaration test in WinDVD:
Ok just done a test with DXVA hardware acceleration on and off in win dvd 7, here are the results:
DVD Playback: 13% Cpu usage, Nice and clean Image
1080i Mpeg 2 Playback: 20% Cpu Usage, Nice and Clean Image
DVD Playback: 9% Cpu usage, Faint Scan Lines
1080i Mpeg 2 Playback: 15% Cpu Usage, Large Scan Lines and annoying grey line at bottom of screen.
I can do this test with different graphics cards and different cpus/machine, them scan lines will always be there, but most of you are to blind to notice them, FACT is DXVA sucks, i'd rather have the 5% CPu usage increase than the scan lines..., I'd take some screenshots but they won't come out right
No I didn't...thanks for the heads up!
O I C
Hey, if ATI/Intel works for you then I am happy for you
I have been experimenting with my MCE machine for about a year, tried many different combinations of hardware/software and am really pleased with my current set up...
It was just an experiment at first so I went for budget components to have a play around with, thinking I would build myself a mean machine if I decided I liked MCE and the HTPC route. I am pleasantly suprised that I have got away with not having to upgrade much at all and just by adding the 6600gt card and changing to the nvidia codec my little Shuttle plays back everything nice and smooth, including hi-def and DVD's have never looked so good on my Panny PW7....
From your response, I wonder if I upset you by suggesting you may not have got the right settings Anyway, no offence intended, and hope my response offers a balanced view of whatever it was we were supposed to be discussing
LOL...I've seen the insides of hundreds of cases and can say with authority that it is not cheaply built. Also I wouldn't expect the inside to be anything other than basic as it only has to house the components.
Don't forget that it is designed to use basic air convection for cooling hence all the holes.
@ Mr. D - Fair enough if it's not your cup of tea...I guess i've bought it for it's function rather than form. The only reason to buy such a case is if silent computing is important to you.
Anyway thanks for all the feedback
If I build another HTPC I'll get one of these, best case out I think..
I've been experimenting with my machine for the past 11 months, was originally bought as an IBM Desktop machine for £200, yup got it for pretty cheap considering it retailed for £700, anyway change it alot been through 3 cases and 3 power supplies, 2 motherboards, 3 graphics cards, 3 DVD writers, 2 memory card readers, 2 sound cards, well i'm kinda fussy still not found the perfect setup, and never will, beacuse nothing ever is perfect, there is always a fault in something, either case is to big, not enough expansion slots, poor power supply, well i'm going onto my fourth case now, it's a modded Antec Aria, and i've it should be perfect for my components, I just want the Basic 1 Dvd writer and memory card reader, 2 tv tuners, decent grapahics card, audigy 2, 2 case fans, ad it all adds up to 300Watts of power, which is what the power supply is rated at, should be happy when the case arrives, but I must do a mod so I can get an Imon inside there, or at least the infra red reciver for media center remote..
Anyway I just sell my components when I get tired of them ,got a few to sell now, maybe some of you may want them, i'll put them up later...I've only ever actually had one component die on me that was the motherboard, I overloaded the southbridge chipset by adding an extra 6cm cooling fan the motherboard fan header, but the PSU cold not supply enough power I guess
, the motherboard worked but it smelt like it was on fire, and you could see the southbridge chipset buned out, so better buying a new one...
I got few old pics of my cases, i'll put them up later...
Oh and I can't believe your love yuor xbox that much as a media center hub, i've been through the whole xbox modding thing, done like 3 xbox's various mods to it, but in the end got tired off all the times I spent refining the .xml code for the menu's and stuff, spent more times patching games for prog scan than playing them, the thing i hate was the hardware ws good, but the software behing it was sh*tty, never tried the media center extender, thought about getting one, but alot of people hated it from reviews, I can't imagine trying to stream mpeg 2 content from a PC to it, to time consuming, but at least you can rn the disc off your Hard Drive and thankfully they got the Prog Scan hack, hmm..., I spent s long tryign to get that Xbox Music Mixer to run on the Hard Drive, it's like the hardest title on the xbox to run off the Hard Drive, but I like the sppedy loading times, espetially when changing music tracks in Amped 2, it's instant no waiting 2 seconds to load it from the DVD Drive, oh and a note on that I've had all the dvd drives, best drive out there I'd rate is the Hitachi-LG drive, kinda hard to find but it is in the newer model, I like it better than the samsung..., LG really do make the best optical drives both on the PC and Xbox...
Meansizzler - Hi again,
If power supply is a problem have you thought about adding powered USB2 hubs? This is what I have done with my shuttle, due to lack of expansion slots, with a long lead I have hidden the hub under my hi fi rack and have a tv card, and various dongles hanging out of it, could also add hard drives that way if needed.... and can daisy chain the hubs for unlimited expansion. This way it will not require power from your main PSU.
My MCE box is my main hub now as it is always on to record tv, and now holds all my media files. It also much quieter than my main desktop pc in the other room which I can now shut down when I am not using it.
The xbox is really cool... I mainly use it to watch live and recorded tv in the bedroom, haven't even bothered copying the extender software to the hard drive, just switch on with the disc in it and there is the MCE start menu. I pop the disc out if I want to boot to xbmc for playing back other .avi or .vob files over my home network, but I usually watch films in the lounge on the plasma with 5.1 sound.... I bought the xbox pre-modded and have just left all the settings alone, cos it works just fine as it is. In xbmc I just navigate to the folder where the files are stored on the network and hit play, it's no hassle.
Agreed! the LC16 looks a very good case, built by the same company as the HFX, but full of fans...as stated silence is my priority
What do you think of the LC18?
For less than that amount of money you can buy a decent case and make your HTPC silent.
I've got a zalman flower cooler and a couple of throttled back 80 mm in my my HTPC along with an arctic cooler on the graphics card and a nexus quiet PSU. The loudest component is the dvd drive ( about to change). Black LMP case which unfortunately you can't get any more , best looking HTPC case ever ( with a modded resistored blue led for the power light).
My other PC is watercooled with a zalman reserator . Waterblocks on both the cpu and gpu and I'm considering a watercooled PSU.
Neither cost 400quid... to be honest I'd put a reserator on the HTPC if its position didn't rule that out.
As for graphics cards , whilst I currently use ati in both my HTPC and gaming rig I'd recommend the later nvidia cards the pure video is really only a big deal if you watch a lot of field based material ( or badly mastered). However there is some evidence to suggest that the scaling capabilities of the newer nvidias is better than the atis.
Of course most of us who use HTPC have theatertek or zoomplayer in conjunction with ffdshow which still gives you better results than either sole hardware solution.
The intensity levels difference someone mentioned is likely down to video levels vs PC levels and believe me you want video levels so if you think the blacks are too high you need to think about recalibrating your display rather than remapping 16-235 to 0-255 on the graphics settings ( not good and widely discussed on here and on AVS).
my name is down for one of them ready for my new super HCPC.something that can run ffdshow at max settings with out breaking a sweat.
I cant wait for HD dvd/blu-ray films and then no more HCPC for me.
HAHAHA, what a rip off Ahanix/DVINE thought of that idea first with the 7" LCD in the case, and silverstone just ripped their idea, there case was like £500, way to expensive...
Hey Lisa, well thanks for the Idea, but I like having everything in one box, and I hate using up Ac outlets when I don't have to, the PSU should be enough anyway, I checked out my power requirements at this site, you should give it a go...
POwer Supply Wattage Calculator
The only thing I use the USb ports for are an RF receiver for my wireless mouse/keyboard, and also to connect my docking station for my pda to sync/charge it, and the memory card reader of course...
I have used a Zalman Flower cooler and the Nexus PSU previously and tried all manner of silent 80mm fans, ATM I am using Papst fans which are quiet - 14dB. I have just never been satisfied with the end results.
Seen the LMP case and can't really see your point but each to their own.
The cost of the case itself was actually £201 inc VAT when I purchased which I regard as a bargain for a passive case. It's the cost of all the accessories and shipping from the Netherlands that pushed up the cost to £400. It's worth noting that this case is by far the heaviest I have ever lifted mainly due to the huge heatsinks.
As for the Zalman reserator, while I'm sure it does it's job, the cost of that alone is £150+ which again would push up costs and IMHO looks ridiculous as do most water cooling solutions to my eyes.
My considerations in my purchase have been to have a one box solution that will happily live in the cabinet with my other AV equipment, do it's job and not be heard above the other equipment.
I believe that I have achieved that.
LOL...Fully aware of that...you're a hard man to please
Even so, Don't you think that the Silverstone implementation looks smarter than the X15?
Well, just ordered one of these for the Aug 30th dispatch, along with PSU, Borg CPU cooler and emergency fan. Just got to sort out and order all the other components. Good job I have all of next week off...
Nice One!! You wont be disappointed...what colour did you order?
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