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Vista mini-itx HTPC build - Shall I share how I get on?

stoobie

Novice Member
I have decided to move away from my Philips Steamium SL400i (which has been excellent for what it does) and move to a HTPC. I have mulled over the hardware fore about 6 months and was very close to buying a TVIX M-6500A but unfortunately, I really needed Windows Vista because my B&O Beoplayer etc use it. I had seriously considered Ubuntu Linux but most of the home automation stuff I already own is Windows only, so I am stuck with it. Mind you, Vista should be fine as I use it now on my PC and find the Media Centre great

I decided on the following setup and ordered it on the weekend all from different suppliers on the net. (I'm hoping it is all compatible and works!!!)

SilverStone ML02B-MXR HTPC case with Irmon remote control & LCD
Jetway J7F2 2GHz C7 CN700 Mainboard (with SVHS & video out)
Optiarc (Sony/NEC) AD-7633A DVD-RW (with Labelflash)
1024MB 533MHz DDR2 Kingston Value Ram
320 GB Samsung SpinPoint SATA300 7200 rpm 16MB Cache 9ms Hard Drive
Vista Home Premium OEM
WinTV Nova-TD USB (already own)

I'll be putting it all together once the parts arrive over the next few days. I know there are better combinations out there but after 6 months of research I had to go for it and this mix should give me something decent to replace my Streamium. I've gone down the wired network route as I have had the cabling instaled for a couple of years.

If anyone is interested in knowing how I get on, just ask

stoobie
 

LittleKahuna

Standard Member
Hey Stoobie,

I'd be interested to hear how you get on with that board. I was debating weather to use that in my HTPC project...however I think I'm going to go with the Intel Dual-Core Atom (D945GCLF2). Mainly based on cost, but also the Atom CPU with extra RAM support, but I'd be really interested to hear if I made the wrong choice... ;)

LK
 

stoobie

Novice Member
Hi LK

I'll let you know as soon as I get the machine up and running! I plumped for that one mainly because of the S-Video and the (yellow) RCA composite out! My TV, although a Plasma, is oldish (2005) and only has scart/RCA input so I had to go for a board with that on. And I couldn't find many boards with the two connectors. I am a little worried about the 1GB ram but I'm not a gamer so hope it will suffice.

I'm not expecting HDTV, but the picture on the B&O is stunning even playing Freeview from my Humax, so I'm content with that. I know most people knock B&O but I can honestly say that every person who sees the picture assumes I'm on HDTV. As I said it is mainly to replace my Streamium and the added bonus of being able to surf the net, use skype, etc will be a bonus.

Still waiting for the parts tho' but that's my fault for ordering New Years Eve when I should have been partying.

Stoobie
 

medicalgiant

Novice Member
I know I would appreciate reading, seeing the pics etc of your build, experience. What with the cost of electricity on the rise, I can see such system builds being quite popular in the future. As I've already posted in this forum today Asus are looking to build on their 'eee' platform with an Atom based small form factor unit.
 

stoobie

Novice Member
Hi medicalgiant,

Hadn't thought of doing the pictures of the build but I have just got a flashy new Pentax DSLR (original one stolen when I was burgled) so I may practice using it and photographing the PC as I build it!

I'm looking forward to seeing how the remote control and the LED screen behave and if they are as useful as they look at first sight.

Stoobie
 

bbkarn

Novice Member
I have been looking into mini-ITX myself, and I'll be interested to know how the 2GHz C7 compares to Atom in terms of performance. Good luck with the build! :thumbsup:
 

stoobie

Novice Member
BBKARN - I'm really hoping the 2.0GHz is going to be adequate since my PC is 2.4GHz and seems to do everything I need on the multimedia font!

The Silverstone case arrived today and looks really good. It really looks just like an upmarket DVD player, and nothing like a PC case. Some HTPC cases just look like smaller thinner PCs - so far so good. The shiny mirrored "glass" is especially nice as that is further from a PC than you will find in many HTPC cases! The Brushed aluminium legs/surround matches the frame of my TV really well. I had actually contemplated buying a defunct B&O Video Recorder on eBay and ripping the insides out to make a HTPC but this is easier and as stylish

The slot loading DVD writer fits in really well and when the front flap is down you just see the slot as opposed to the laptop style DVD tray that a standard slimline DVD uses. Looks very good, again no hint of the PC roots from that angle!

Next update when more parts arrive.

Stoobie
 

stoobie

Novice Member
Everything has arrived for me to start my build. The wiring up after installing the motherboard took some time. You can't always tell exactly what the jumper settings should be.

Bit of a disaster with the slot load DVD, when put into the case I knocked the bezel out of place (without realising) I pushed the Vista install disk in a bit harder than I should have but it went in, when I ejected it caught the bezel and jammed and have really knackered the drive. I had to open it up to retrieve the disc and I can see the parts I've damaged! Bent a couple of the arms. £40 odd down the drain. :nono:

That left me with a dilemma of how to install the OS, so luckily I had a laptop CD/RW to use temporarily. It took me about 2 hours of difficulties with the disc not booting only to realise it was only a CD drive and Vista is on a DVD :suicide: Oh how I laughed when I realised :rotfl: :rotfl:

I got an old DVD-Rom out of a pc in the attic and attached to an ide cable and started again, only to find the OS cannot see my new SATA drive.:mad: Looking at the net you have to set up some drivers in DOS and all the downloads expect you to use a "floppy drive" whatever one of those is lol. I can't work out how to put the drivers on a CD so the machine will read it. (tried with Roxio in various ways and have a matching set of six new "coasters") So out of the old PC I dragged the old Ide 160gb HDD and installed onto that. (I'll use the SATA as a second drive in my main PC as I'm not too fussed where I store files).

Anyway, Vista loaded no probs, and the iMon software installed and updated right away and the remote seems to work really well and the front LED screen looks rally cool.

But I'm now a bit tired and fed up and will leave connecting up to the TV until the weekend.

Stoobie
 
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Guest007

Novice Member
Stoobie

1) How did you connect the “Power SW” connector from the LCD screen to the motherboard ?

2) Did you connect the two triple connectors (red, black and purple) from the LCD display and the 20 pin ATX power connector and if so to what ?

My motherboard is Asrock 570Xm Pro4. The relevant headers in relation to the first question is shown below.
 

Attachments

EndlessWaves

Distinguished Member
A typical Power Switch (Power SW) would be two pins which may be combined in one connector or have a connector each.

From your image I'd expect it to connect to the PWRBTN# pin and the ground pin below it.


A purple wire would normally only be used for the +5V Standby line on the main ATX connector. Perhaps with pictures of the connectors and any markings I could identify their likely.

You mention two of them and that case has a custom power supply so is it possible they connect to each other, connecting the LCD to the power supply?
 

Guest007

Novice Member
EndlessWaves, thank you for your answer.

I think I have found out how to connect the LCD to the motherboard.

I write it here in case there should be others who search for this.

The “Power sw” connector from the power button on the front of the case shall be connected to the 2 pin connector on the LCD-board. And the “Power sw” connector from the LCD-board shall be connected to the “PWRBTN#” connector on the motherboard (which is placed at the “System panel header”).

The two triple (red, black and purple) connectors (one from the 20 pin ATX connector and one from the LCD-board) shall be connected - one of them is a male connector and the other is a female connector (I thought they both were male connectors).
 
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