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ludi
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Re: New HTPC build in a Fractal Nano S - ultra-quiet

Sat Jun 10, 2017 11:20 pm

DPete27 wrote:
Check out the EVGA B3 line. They are full modular and have semi-passive fan operation. If you're only powering that Pentium or an i3, the fan probably won't ever spin. I know my EVGA 550 G2 fan doesn't turn on during light gaming (when my RX480 doesn't have to hit max clocks).

I went ahead and ordered the EVGA B3-450 PSU yesterday. Probably won't be rounding up the board, CPU, and RAM until next month.
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ludi
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Re: New HTPC build in a Fractal Nano S - ultra-quiet

Mon Jun 19, 2017 12:06 pm

Any thoughts on the i3-6100 (Skylake) versus the i3-7100 (Kaby Lake)? Between sale and/or bundle discounts at Newegg, Microcenter, and Amazon I'm looking at a fairly similar cost for either one when paired with an H110 mITX board. Intel lists the same 51W TDP for either.
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DPete27
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Re: New HTPC build in a Fractal Nano S - ultra-quiet

Mon Jun 19, 2017 12:43 pm

Price being equal, the i3-7100 is faster. Not sure if you're still shopping at Microcenter or? Don't forget about the 2C4T Kaby Lake Pentiums. They're basically the same as the i3-6100 for cheaper.
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blahsaysblah
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Re: New HTPC build in a Fractal Nano S - ultra-quiet

Mon Jun 19, 2017 12:50 pm

Netflix 4k streaming needs Kaby lake processor, if you ever decide to use iGPU for your HTPC.
 
ludi
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Re: New HTPC build in a Fractal Nano S - ultra-quiet

Wed Jun 21, 2017 12:39 am

Progress continues. I recently inherited $50 from my alma mater (an unrefunded residence hall deposit that was discovered by audit this year...regrettably, without the 17 years of interest), which helps. Upon multiple recommendations for the Kaby Lake-based G4560, I have ordered one. The i3-7100 was tempting but it doesn't add much and the $30 savings covers the price of a good midrange cooler. Speaking of: since beQuiet! seems to be a favorite of the TR staff, a BK008 seemed like the kind of overkill that would keep this system hushed. Also on order: an MSI H110I Pro AC motherboard, and a two-DIMM Corsair 8GB LPX 2133 DDR4 kit.

An SSD and another Win10 license are still being weighed against a future paycheck, I think. A 3TB Toshiba archival HDD will be transferred out of the existing HTPC system.
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HERETIC
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Re: New HTPC build in a Fractal Nano S - ultra-quiet

Wed Jun 21, 2017 3:06 am

ludi wrote:

An SSD and another Win10 license are still being weighed against a future paycheck, I think. A 3TB Toshiba archival HDD will be transferred out of the existing HTPC system.


Good budget SSD's are getting harder to find,with the NAND shortage and transitioning from MLC to 3D.
Avoid all Ram-less drives like the plague-and in general all planer TLC.
Best of the bunch seems to be the Samsung 850EVO-thro a Crucial MX300 would be fine in a HTPC.
Most MLC drives would also be fine.

You could try transferring your W10 from your current HTPC to save some money...........
 
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Re: New HTPC build in a Fractal Nano S - ultra-quiet

Wed Jun 21, 2017 5:20 am

This is my first stab at building a proper mini-ITX SFF gaming rig. I have built a NAS previously on a similar platform (AMD though) which I will be posting here soon. Anyway, back to this one.

CPU and CPU Cooler I chose the superbly-reviewed Intel Pentium G4560 to keep it cheap and divert budget mainly towards the GPU, PSU, and SSD. For cooling, I chose the Cryorig C7.

Motherboard Before someone comments why not choose an MSI B2XX series board: I am a Gigabyte/ASRock fan. And this specific Gigabyte model had all I needed at the cheapest price point among alternatives at the time the build was put together.

GPU I traded this from a friend. Yes, its a hot card, and a power monster too. But its AWESOME.

RAM Picked up a cheap (on an average) G.SKILL 16GB DDR4 kit in silver to match the C7 CPU cooler.

SSD Recycled a Toshiba OCZ VX500 SATA3 512GB from a previous build. Will expand into NVMe territory when a good deal comes along - in no rush as real-world performance gains using an (M.2) NVMe in gaming are negligible when compared to a SATA SSD.

Case The most awesome case I've ever built in: the Fractal Design Node 202. Royally painful to build in, but very satisfying once completed. More about the build itself in the notes below.

Case Fans Again, using the well-reviewed Fractal Design Venturi HP-12s (120mm Static Pressure). Very quiet - the only thing I can hear is the air moving... and that too if I bring my ear close to the vents.

PSU The popular (and amazing) Corsair SF600 80+ GOLD Modular. One note as many have pointed out: more flexible cables would make this beast an even better rockstar!

Build Notes: The build overall was enjoyable since all parts were really well-built. Routing cables was the biggest challenge, thanks in part to the space organization of the Node 202, and in part to the stiff cables of the SF600. The gap between the GPU and Fans was slim. Used Sugru to create a "rubber standoff" to support and prevent sagging of the GPU into the fans. Picked up an OEM System Builders copy of Win 10 from eBay for about 30% of list price seen here. In retrospect, would definitely love to investigate barebones like the Bulldog (though it seems bigger than the Node 202, so not entirely sure. I hear Zotac is ramping up in this space using the GTX Minis - something to keep an eye out for)
 
ludi
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Re: New HTPC build in a Fractal Nano S - ultra-quiet

Mon Jun 26, 2017 3:56 pm

The parts arrived today, ahead of schedule. I think I have a spare 60 or 80GB SSD lying around, so first stop will be a Ubuntu run just to make sure everything works.
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ludi
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Re: New HTPC build in a Fractal Nano S - ultra-quiet

Wed Jun 28, 2017 12:30 pm

Obligatory eye-candy shots:

Image

Image

Image

Pretty. Also the best case I've worked with so far, no sharp edges anywhere and plenty of thoughtful cable routing. The only thing I don't like is that the bottom universal HDD/pump/whatever tray and the side universal HDD/reservoir/whatever tray are not interchangeable; the screw holes don't even line up if you try to mount the bottom tray against the backpan. Seems like Fractal missed one minor detail there, although there are plenty of options for jury-rigging it with zip ties.

Since the CPU heatsink massively exceeds the requirements of the CPU, I left the fan assembly in the box and I'm going to try connecting one of the case fans to the mainboard's CPU header, and see what happens. The old 80GB SSD is installed temporarily for testing, which unfortunately won't happen until the weekend due to business travel.

My wife took a look through the case window, and re-iterated a past statement that computer motherboards look like 3D models of a city-scape. She's not wrong.
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JustAnEngineer
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Re: New HTPC build in a Fractal Nano S - ultra-quiet

Wed Jun 28, 2017 1:03 pm

ludi wrote:
I left the CPU fan assembly in the box. I'm going to try connecting one of the case fans to the mainboard's CPU header, and see what happens.
Image
If you're going to do that, install a duct from the CPU cooler to the outlet fan so that it will draw air through the cooler as it exhausts it out of the case. You can build an effective duct with a rolled or folded piece of card stock or heavy paper and some tape.
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Re: New HTPC build in a Fractal Nano S - ultra-quiet

Wed Jun 28, 2017 1:06 pm

Plus, then you'll actually be using duct tape for its intended purpose. Tape on a duct. That almost never happens.
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blahsaysblah
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Re: New HTPC build in a Fractal Nano S - ultra-quiet

Wed Jun 28, 2017 2:58 pm

Is duct tape still a thing? The blue 3M painters tape. Always have a couple of rolls around. Super useful.
 
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Re: New HTPC build in a Fractal Nano S - ultra-quiet

Wed Jun 28, 2017 3:02 pm

Yeah it's still a thing. You don't see it used much in PC mods because there's other materials better suited to the job, and duct tape will leave behind gummy, sticky goo everywhere once you heat it up. In this case I wouldn't use it to affix the duct to any components, but just on the duct its self.
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ludi
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Re: New HTPC build in a Fractal Nano S - ultra-quiet

Sun Jul 02, 2017 10:21 pm

Well, nuts. The system does not POST, even in barebones configuration. No graphics; the monitor detects the DVI connection but remains in sleep mode. The front panel switches and lights work, the CPU and system fans operate, but the keyboard does not initialize and there are no lights from the NIC. The "DRAM" diagnosis LED illuminates briefly, then goes dark.

A Google search for similar problems suggests this board is likely to not support Kaby Lake out-of-box and requires a BIOS update first. But to do that, you have to have a Skylake CPU available, so...guess I'll pick up a cheap Skylake Celeron or Pentium and go from there. I've got a friend itching to upgrade his HTPC from some old dual-core setup so maybe I can pass it on to him afterward.
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ludi
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Re: New HTPC build in a Fractal Nano S - ultra-quiet

Fri Jul 14, 2017 4:31 pm

The (Skylake) G4400 arrived, and it booted right up. Yay! Guess part of the weekend will be spent on a BIOS update, a swap back to the G4560, and a new Windows 10 installation.
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ludi
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Re: New HTPC build in a Fractal Nano S - ultra-quiet

Sat Jul 15, 2017 1:01 am

...annnnnddd golden. Now running with the latest UEFI release and the G4560, and Windows 10 is going through a stack of updates. As predicted, it appears the EVGA PSU's fan is never going to run in eco mode. Thanks for the help and suggestions, everyone!
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DPete27
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Re: New HTPC build in a Fractal Nano S - ultra-quiet

Tue Jul 18, 2017 2:43 pm

Put the CPU fan on the heatsink on the "pull" side and remove the rear case fan. That's a better solution. However, it's unlikely that you'll experience heat build-up even with no rear case fan and the CPU fan on the "push" side..... with such a low TDP CPU maybe it's not worth the hassle and your current config is just fine. What are your current load temps? Does the rear case fan actually have the ability to change speeds or is it fixed RPM.
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ludi
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Re: New HTPC build in a Fractal Nano S - ultra-quiet

Wed Jul 19, 2017 12:41 am

Currently, the rear fan (just a bit behind the heatsink) is on "CPU" and is variable speed (lowest default is about 1400 RPM), the larger front fan is on "SYSFAN" and runs at a fixed 700-ish RPM. Together they form a pretty good wind tunnel across the top of the case.

The archival HDD isn't installed yet, but at 21C ambient and UEFI screen displaying, the system pulls about 43 VA at the wall (not including monitor) and idles at 42C CPU, 35C system. I haven't measured temperatures for Windows idle but the power load drops to about 32 VA at the wall, and then varies in the 35-45 VA range during HD video playback, so those will be the operating conditions for much of the unit's life.
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