Raheel's HTPC + Gaming Machine (load's of pictures) and future updates...

theraq

Active Member
Hello,

(It will be long post with details, sorry for that)

I think I will start with my past experience, current and future plans. So here is my story.... past, present and future

Past:

I start... using computer when I was about (I think) 10 or 11 years old.... My first computer was 486DX2 with 4MB memory, 14" VGA Casper Monitor, 1.44 floppy, 512MB hard drive and a dot matrix printer. No sound card no CD-ROM. I remember we use to play Dangerous Dave, Prince of Persia and other MS DOS based games era.

Used to run applications (GW Basic etc) on MS DOS and then start using Windows 3.11. After that I used to upgrade my pc ever six months... Good old days!

About two years back I bought HP XW6400 workstation in an auction quite cheap about £450, dual Xeon dual core processors etc. In last few months I saw many great HTPC and gaming machines on AV Forums, so I thought why not build my own, totally customized as I want! (Thanks to all posts and experience sharing here on AV Forums for idea's and encouragement). So I sold it my HP workstation and planned for new one...

Present:

After few days doing research on "hardest thing to choose" HTPC case which can fit into my TV stand, match colour theme of room/AV equipment (otherwise I'd kicked out by my wife) and MOST important have enough inside space so I can put long graphic card and other items.

Future:

1) Microsoft Desktop Entertainment 7000 Bluetooth keyboard. (GOT IT!!!) "update 29 May 2009"

2) Do I need DVB/TV Tuner? Got Sky HD and Technomate HD 6900 already...

3) Processor cooler possible Mini Ninja (as suggested)

4) [-]Water Cooling Solution (worth it????) [/-] (not now :( )

5) Who knows the future?! will see! :) give me some idea... :lease:

Aim & Objectives:

1) Get the best computer components and fastest processor (of course not Extreme Edition!), which can play all recent games (most importantly FPS!) and can handle all multimedia files including High Definition contents.

2) Future proof (at least a year) and can upgrade easily.

HTPC details, reasons (why I choose particular item) and problems/solutions (if any)

***update***
Processor: Intel Core i7 950

Reason to buy: Well from day 1 I used Intel processor and had no issues whatsoever. That's why I go with new Intel i7. Upgraded from i7 920 within three weeks :) one of my friend bought it and got serious money issues, he sold his system but before that I offer him my processor with some cash in exchange with 940 :)

***update*** Now got i7 950 becuase my i7 940 was dead!

Motherboard: Intel DX58SO Extreme Series

Reason to buy: Again I used Intel boards from start (remember 440BX/BX2 board?). Sold build and most stable boards as per my experience that's why I bought this board.

Memory: Corsair Dominator DDR3, TR3X6G1600C8D - 6GB (3x2GB) PC3-12800 (1600)

Reason to buy: AS per many review's, found this memory is most stable and trustworthy and it is running fine at its full speed without any issues

Memory Cooler: Corsair Dominator Airflow Fan

Reason to buy: Just to make sure memory temperature will be stable all time.

HTPC Case: Silverstone LC20B-M Case with VFD and Remote (Black)

Reason to buy: Well after a long research, this is the only case that can fulfil all my requirements such as colour, remote, front display, covered CD-ROM & card reader area and height, due to height limitation I was not able to buy Silverstone CW-02, otherwise I'd definitely go for Silverstone CW-02.

Problems: Hard drive enclosure/case cause space issues, but I manage to install all things, first of all if you have long graphics card or with big coolers will be a problem. If you see in my pictures end of my card is in that enclosure. So MAKE SURE you card is not long and big enough that can't install in it. Other problem is that overall inside case is small (or you can say congested) so can be a problem if you will not install couple of cooling fans for HDD and for air flow, that's mean more fan more noise! (which is not a problem for me, but might me for others). In nutshell NOT an ideal case if you are looking for HTPC with Gaming machine like I do otherwise if you are looking just for HTPC with passive (e.g. graphics) solution than go for it!

Power Supply Unit (PSU): Silverstone 1200W SST-DA1200 MODULAR Power Supply

Reason to buy: Future proof, good reviews and good quality

Problems: It's Size! in pictures I thought it will be slightly longer than normal ones but it is too long/big and due to that I am unable to install any hard drive in that area of hard drive enclosure. (see in pictures)

Graphics Card: SAPPHIRE HD 4890 1GB GDDR5 PCI-E OC-Edition (connected to my LCD)

Reason to buy: Best card available right now with complete multimedia support including 7.1 sound over HDMI (NOTE: in under £200 price range)

Problems: None with this one but had two dead Gigabyte (GV-R487D5-1GD) 4870 cards (I'll never recommend Gigabyte to anyone) details are here

Hard Drive: 1TB x 3 SAMSUNG SATA2 HD103UJ 32MB (QTY. 3)

Reason to buy: Best in market right now. Already had one before for a year with not a single issues!

Hard Drive: 250GB SEAGATE ST3250824AS Hard Drive SATA2

Reason to buy: Gift from Friend

Hard Drive: 80 GB SATA2 Maxtor STM380215AS DiamondMax 21 Hard Drive

Reason to buy: Gift from Friend

Sound Card: Creative SoundBlaster X-Fi Titanium Fatal1ty Professional Pci-Express

Reason to buy: This card is from my old machine, well my main reason to get this card was to pass 5.1 sound over optical and future proof. So for that this card tick all the boxes.

Hot Swap Enclosure: Icy Dock MB-672-SKGF-B Silver Mobile rack for 3.5" SATA HDD, LCD, easy swap trayless

Reason to buy: Just want internal hot swap option :) or if I am unable to install another hard drive inside the case.

External Hard Drive Option: Sharkoon SATA QUICKPORT DUO USB and eSATA (For hot swapping)

Reason to buy: Well, able to connect laptop and regular SATA drives and future Sky HD hard drive upgrade plan. I will recommend this fast if you use eSATA ports, I know bit costly but I found it quite useful for Sky HD upgrade and regular use..

Blu-Ray/HD-DVD / DVD Writer: LG GGC-H20L Lightscribe SATA 16xDVD±R +RWx8/-RW x6 - Blu-Ray & HD Disc's black - Retail Box

Reason to buy: Birthday Gift from Friend :)

Card Reader: Scan (Realtek) 81-in-1 3.5" Internal All-in-One Card Reader + 1xFront USB Port

Reason to buy: Cheap and can read all card types. Must have in HTPC in my opinion.

Skype Speaker: US Robotics USB Internet Speakerphone Model: USR9610

Reason to buy: Gift from scan, otherwise never buy this.

Case Cooling Fans: 80mm Coolermaster Silent Internal Case Fan with Blue LED Quiet 22db (S82-EB) - (QTY. 3)

Reason to buy: Need some good quality fans for (two) CPU exhaust area and (one) in hard drive area.

Case Cooling Fans: Hiper 80mm Case (thin) Fan (QTY. 2)

Reason to buy: I need THIN fans less than regular 25mm, this fan is 18mm and quite. I installed one next to memory exhaust area and on top of sound & graphic card for air flow.

More Case Cooling Fans: : 2 x 80mm Noctua NF-R8 Quiet Case Fan & 1 x Noctua NF-B9-1600 Vortex-Control 92mm Quiet Case Fan

Reason to buy: Best air flow fans out in market... Thanks for Suggs by friends/members on this fourms...


Webcam: Logitech Webcam Pro 5000

Reason to buy: Another gift from Friend :)

Mouse: Logitech Air Mouse

Reason to buy: Stylish and can use in AIR! very useful if you sitting far from your LCD or if there is no table/mouse area next to you.

Keyboard: Wireless Entertainment Desktop 7000

Reason to buy: Light weight and bluetooth + mouse touch pad on keyboard!!!

Bluetooth Connectivity: Bluetooh USB Device

Reason to buy: Quite old dongle, used to connect other Bluetooth devices such as Pogo, Sony wireless photo printer and mobiles etc.

Infra Red: Bafo BF-120 Sigma Tel InfraRed USB Device (for old mobiles etc)

Reason to buy: Quite old dongle, can be useful for old mobiles and PDA devices.

USB Card: Startech 5 Port PCI Express USB 2.0 Adapter Card

Reason to buy: A good reason behind this card. Mainly for internal USB and extra front ports

Problems: (Recommended solution) As we know there are only two USB headers on most motherboard and some have only one. And these days most of internal card readers and front USB ports requires internal headers in HTPC cases. To resolve this (in my scenario I need two more internal USB headers for my front Display and USB ports so in total I required 4 headers or 7 USB ports) so I bought internal PCI-Express card (again future proof) and install all front USB ports cables to this card (you can see in pictures) by using below mentioned cable.

Internal USB to External USB Cable: Internal/external USB 2.0 cable (USB-A to 5 Pin Header) (QTY. 2)

Reason to buy: As mentioned above and will recommend this solution instead going for any modifications (cut/joints) to your existing USB cables.

iPhone Dock/Sync: iPhone USB sync/charging Dock (freebitsuk.co.uk) (Thanks to "Cocacola" for advice)

Reason to buy: Need some permanent solution for iPhone other than their white cable hanging around.

Cables / leads​

SVGA Cable: Belkin PureAV™ Super VGA Home Theatre Cable

Reason to buy: (Recommended and Must have) Believe me I was using 3rd party regular SVGA cable after upgraded to this cable I can defiantly say HUGE difference in colours and no more blurriness.

HDMI: QED Qunex HDMI-P HDMI to HDMI Cable (2m)

Reason to buy: Had this cable in spares. So I used to connect my HTPC via my Denon amplifier, for watching High Definition contents etc. Not fully tested yet.

Optical: Profigold PGD563 TOSLink Optical Cable (3m)

Reason to buy: For my Creative Sound Card to my Denon for 5.1 sound.

[-]In Last Operating System: Windows Vista Ultimate 64 Bit :thumbsup:

Reason to buy: Another birthday gift... my friends know what I want... lol[/-]

New Operating System: Windows 7 Ultimate 64 Bit :thumbsup:


Overall Problems

Well, I had blood boiling moments when my processor died and "twice" Gigabyte graphics card died. Other than that as I already mention about inside space of case... I struggle a lot to put things together and make it clean as possible as I can keeping maximum air flow. Other than that "touchwood" everything running smoothly.


Thank you for your time and pictures are coming in next posts... :smashin:


(Please note you might not have same reasons or believes about these items, so advice and comments are most welcome in constructive way because I do not want to start any brand war here like nVidia v/s ATI or Intel v/s AMD. I bought these items because I think they are best for me and fulfil my requirements. Sorry!)
 
Last edited:

theraq

Active Member
Pictures Set 1:

All items arrived from Scan!
200938-albums386-picture1671.jpg


Item's in a box
200938-albums386-picture1672.jpg


PSU and other boxes
200938-albums386-picture1673.jpg


SilverStone LC-20M from front
200938-albums386-picture1675.jpg


SilverStone LC-20M from top
200938-albums386-picture1674.jpg


Silverstone LC-20M Case Back
200938-albums386-picture1676.jpg


Silverstone LC-20M Case Inside
200938-albums386-picture1677.jpg
 

theraq

Active Member
Pictures set 2:

Silverstone LC-20M Case Apart, due to rewiring of front port cables.
200938-albums386-picture1678.jpg


Silverstone LC-20M Case Apart, due to rewiring of front port cables, picture 2.
200938-albums386-picture1679.jpg


Hard Drive enclosure fans installation (by my friend Alitech)
200938-albums386-picture1680.jpg


Another picture of ard Drive enclosure fan
200938-albums386-picture1681.jpg


Case Exhaust Fans
200938-albums386-picture1682.jpg


Case Exhaust Fans from outside
200938-albums386-picture1683.jpg


USB Multicard Reader
200938-albums386-picture1684.jpg
 

theraq

Active Member
Pictures Set 3:

Motherboard and other boxes
200938-albums386-picture1685.jpg


PSU
200938-albums386-picture1686.jpg


PSU Closeup
200938-albums386-picture1687.jpg


PSU Installed in case
200938-albums386-picture1688.jpg


PSU in case back view
200938-albums386-picture1689.jpg


Motherboard and other items in case now
200938-albums386-picture1690.jpg


Ahhhh!!!!!!!! need to take out PSU due to installation issues
200938-albums386-picture1691.jpg
 

theraq

Active Member
Pictures Set 4:

All in (wires mash)
200938-albums386-picture1692.jpg


Wires mash 2
200938-albums386-picture1693.jpg


That's more like it (wires sorted)... front ports
200938-albums386-picture1694.jpg


Front Panel Closeup
200938-albums386-picture1696.jpg


Icy Dock MB-672-SKGF-B Silver Mobile rack for 3.5" SATA HDD, LCD and LG GGC-H20L Lightscribe SATA 16xDVD±R +RWx8/-RW x6 - Blu-Ray & HD DVD
200938-albums386-picture1697.jpg


Icy Dock MB-672-SKGF-B Silver Mobile rack and LG GGC-H20L (closeup)
200938-albums386-picture1698.jpg
 

theraq

Active Member
Pictures Set 5:

Forget to mention before Memory Fans was also replaced due to buzzing noise
200938-albums386-picture1699.jpg


Top view without memory air cooler
200938-albums386-picture1700.jpg


Memory Air cooler back on
200938-albums386-picture1701.jpg


Gigabyte ATI 4870 GV-R487D5-1GD VGA Card (dead and returned "twice")
200938-albums386-picture1702.jpg


Fan Connector and Creative Soundblaster X-Fi Titanium Fatal1ty Professional Pci-Express (not a clear pic)
200938-albums386-picture1703.jpg


Creative Soundblaster X-Fi Titanium Fatal1ty Professional Pci-Express
200938-albums386-picture1704.jpg


Stickers!!!!!!!!
200938-albums386-picture1705.jpg
 

theraq

Active Member
Pictures Set 6:

My new Sapphire ATI HD 4890 OC 1GB!!!!!
200938-albums386-picture1706.jpg


CD's with new card
200938-albums386-picture1707.jpg


New card installed top view
200938-albums386-picture1708.jpg


Card Closeup
200938-albums386-picture1709.jpg


Sapphire ATI HD 4890 OC Connection and other Cables
200938-albums386-picture1710.jpg


Sapphire ATI HD 4890 OC Installed 4 (Back View)
200938-albums386-picture1712.jpg
 

theraq

Active Member
Pictures Set 7:

Another Sapphire ATI HD 4890 OC Installed (Top View)
200938-albums386-picture1713.jpg


Case in the stand 1 :)
200938-albums386-picture1714.jpg


Picture 2
200938-albums386-picture1715.jpg


Picture 3
200938-albums386-picture1716.jpg


ATI 4550 best friend during Gigabyte RMA's
200938-albums386-picture1717.jpg


Sharkoon SATA QUICKPORT DUO USB and eSATA with 80 GB SATA2 Maxtor Hard Drive (Gift from Friend)
200938-albums386-picture1718.jpg
 

theraq

Active Member
:lesson: !!! Front USB to Header Solution !!!

As I mentioned Startech 5 Port PCI Express USB 2.0 Adapter Card (for internal USB and extra front ports) 2 (Good solution for those who have one or only two USB headers on motherboard but need more for front USB ports or USB internal card reader)

200938-albums386-picture1721.jpg


200938-albums386-picture1722.jpg


200938-albums386-picture1720.jpg


This is the cable I used for connecting front USB ports to that card

200938-albums386-picture1831.jpg


Call cables connected here
200938-albums386-picture1723.jpg


If you need any further details please do let me know! :thumbsup:
 
Last edited:

theraq

Active Member
Few More Pictures:

Webcam
200938-albums386-picture1835.jpg


Keyboard Mouse
200938-albums386-picture1719.jpg


2 x new Hiper Thin fans
200938-albums386-picture1736.jpg


2 x new Hiper Thin fans (unpacked)
200938-albums401-picture1832.jpg


Fan installed
200938-albums401-picture1834.jpg


Fan Installed
200938-albums401-picture1833.jpg


Both new fans
200938-albums401-picture1836.jpg
 

theraq

Active Member
Case Display Closeup 1
200938-albums401-picture1837.jpg


Case Display Closeup 2
200938-albums401-picture1838.jpg


Windows Vista Ultimate SP2 Index Rating
200938-albums386-picture1730.jpg


Off topic: Vaja Limited and Ivolution SP Cases :devil:
200938-albums386-picture1724.jpg
 

theraq

Active Member
That's all for now... will update more pictures in future...

Thanks for your time and as mentioned idea, suggs and comments are most welcome.

Thanks!
:thumbsup:
 

andyUK101

Well-known Member
Ive got the same case and had the same problems with the HDD cage and space - and my PSU is a lot smaller

I also found that the SATA connections for the HDD were directly underneath the HDD cage - when the HDD cage is locked in it puts a lot of pressure on the SATA ports and one of mine has bent - cant see if this is a problem for you from the pictures

Nice build and pics
 

mikes

Well-known Member
Fantastic build, great pics and would be a superb gaming machine but major overkill for a HTPC, you just don't need that spec of component.

With all those fans, how noisy is it? HTPCs need to be as quiet as possible.
 

Razor

Member
kalababa - Nice pics mate and good to see more gaming HTPCs being made and used. Keep up the good work fella. :thumbsup:
 

theraq

Active Member
Ive got the same case and had the same problems with the HDD cage and space - and my PSU is a lot smaller

I also found that the SATA connections for the HDD were directly underneath the HDD cage - when the HDD cage is locked in it puts a lot of pressure on the SATA ports and one of mine has bent - cant see if this is a problem for you from the pictures

Nice build and pics

Thanks! :thumbsup:

And yes it is a problem but thankfully Intel sent angled SATA cables which helps a lot

Cable look like this
200938-albums401-picture1839.gif


If I used the regular ones than I even can not install Graphics card properly due to its big cooling fan and case.

So suggs. if you are going to buy this case than buy these SATA cables too, will help's a lot.

Thanks
 

theraq

Active Member
Fantastic build, great pics and would be a superb gaming machine but major overkill for a HTPC, you just don't need that spec of component.

With all those fans, how noisy is it? HTPCs need to be as quiet as possible.

Thanks!

I know it is bit over kill for HTPC but as I mentioned it is Gaming + HTPC that's why these high specs....:smashin: About fans these are quite fans and not too loud overall also I'm next to Wembley Stadium so there is lot's of noise every day.... :mad: so I'm bit use to with noisy environment... as I mentioned may be it is not loud to me but for other it might be quite loud.... :confused:

Thanks!
 

homethx

Active Member
nice htpc !

Why are you using a 1200 watt psu over kill :eek: have you ever worked out how much a real world PC uses ?
 

theraq

Active Member
:lesson: Silverstone LC-20M and BIG CPU Coolers issue

Hi,

There was one more issue with SilverStone LM-20M case, if you want to use CPU cooler such as Zalman 9900 LED or Cooler Master V8 in this case... FORGET IT! :suicide:

I ordered Zalman 9900 LED and when start to build my machine I found out we can not install any "good n big" CPU Coolers. Due to case height after mother board installation.

The only option I found (as advice on this forums) is Ninja Mini CPU Cooler.

So any CPU cooler more than 115mm (in Height) will not fit in this case :mad:

I myself didn't tried it yet (Mini Ninja) but will order it or borrow it soon to test. Will let you know if it will fit in this case without any issue... :rolleyes:

Thanks
 
Last edited:
Very nice, and thanks for all of the pics, very well detailed indeed. :smashin:

I will add a link to the gaming build threads.
 

theraq

Active Member
Hi,

Just for an update, I am testing different Media Centers, will post pictures soon. So far many issues with 5.1 audio out and picture settings in them (jerk effects, not smooth play back)

Thanks.
 

The latest video from AVForums

Podcast: Anthem AVM 70 Review, EQing Your Home Cinema Sound System and More...
Subscribe to our YouTube channel

Latest News

Sky bringing Apple TV+ to Sky Glass and Sky Q customers
  • By Andy Bassett
  • Published
AVForums Podcast: 27th October 2021
  • By Phil Hinton
  • Published
Linn unveils latest Klimax LP12 flagship turntable
  • By Andy Bassett
  • Published
Samsung Tizen plans include cloud gaming for smart TVs
  • By Andy Bassett
  • Published
Freeview Play racks up 10 million users
  • By Andy Bassett
  • Published

Full fat HDMI teeshirts

Support AVForums with Patreon

Top Bottom