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Shall I build a silent htpc?

Discussion in 'Desktop & Laptop Computers Forum' started by gchisham, Sep 20, 2005.

  1. gchisham

    gchisham
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    I'm about to take the plunge and build my second htpc - the first went horribly wrong (don't ask)! I frequently read www.digitalhomemag.com (can't believe they don't publish that mag anymore!) and they've done a brilliant step by step guide to build a silent htpc using pentium-m. Has anyone attempted this build or have any opinions? I can't afford another failed htpc!
     
  2. piratetigger

    piratetigger
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    gchisham,

    I am asking myself the same question, here is a article I found on my travels,

    http://www.bit-tech.net/hardware/2005/09/05/media_center_kit/1.html

    Article is about choosing components for a silent pc.

    I am going to build my own, but not until early next year, that way you can customise your spec and save cash as well. But I would love the hush media centre pc......if only I had £1500! :(
     
  3. mardale

    mardale
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    Hi guys,

    I have just converted my dedicated htpc from fanned (cpu cooler, graphics card and psu) to fanless. I upgraded to the gigabyte 6600gt fanless, Scythe Ninja cpu cooler and the Antec Phantom 350 psu. I run a 2800XP processor.

    The amount of heat which builds up around the components is phenominal. :mad: The top of the case is far too hot to even touch. Instability issues devloped. I needed fans in the case to keep the machine running. In itself a waste of lots of money.

    I have now found a way around it though - I have cut out virtually the whole top of my case and replaced it with ACRyan panel mesh from www.kustompcs.co.uk With the blowhole trim this works out at about £25 delivered. You'll obviously need a dremel or hacksaw etc to cut the hole out. I then bought a 12cm fan from quietpc.com and installed it under the mesh with an inline resistor (which came with it) daisy-chained to a Zalman variable fan speed gadget. This turns the fan at roughly 60 rpm. ABSOLUTELY silent (trust me - I'm getting rather retentive about noise, so it really is silent - the noise from the hdd platters is the only noise you can hear now) and together with the mesh allows enough heat to leave the case.

    It was heartbreaking to have to do that to this case though: http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/ProductInfo.asp?WebProductID=244416 and of course with no guarantee of it working.

    In hindsight I would have kept the Zalman Flower cpu cooler I had, saved a bit more and bought one of these http://www.ebuyer.com/customer/prod...2hvd19wcm9kdWN0X3Jldmlld3M=&product_uid=94066 Overheating simply wouldn't have been a problem.

    My advice is go for one component change at a time, practice chopping a cheap case about if you haven't done so before, and go for the lowest spec you can get away with to reduce the amount of heat you have to deal with.

    You will also probably be disappointed if you go for quiet fans or virtually silent products. When they are all on together the difference in overall noise is not IMHO worth the investment.

    And good luck.

    Matthew
     
  4. gchisham

    gchisham
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    I've decided that I'm gonna go for it and build a htpc (thanks for all the useful advise!). I think that I'm gonna go the pentium-m route as that way I know that I won't have any heat probs - hopefully I could get away with passive cooling. My only worry now (there's always something!) is whether the pentium-m will be powerful enough. I'll only be using it for htpc purposes (not bothered about games) but will it be powerful enough for hi-def? Has anyone else gone for a pentium-m procesor?
     

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