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HTPC Build Completed (Mostly)


Joe_Miner
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Parts List:

GIGABYTE GA-Z68MX-UD2H-B3 LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard http://www.newegg.co...N82E16813128503

Intel Core i3-2120 Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz 2 x 256KB L2 Cache 3MB L3 Cache LGA 1155 65W Dual-Core Desktop Processor BX80623I32120 http://www.newegg.co...N82E16819115077

Intel XMP certified, designed for Intel P67 & Z68 G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-8GBXL http://www.newegg.co...N82E16820231428 (Got 2 for 16GB total)

SeaSonic X series SS-400FL Active PFC F3 400W ATX12V Fanless 80 PLUS GOLD Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply http://www.newegg.co...N82E16817151097

Very low power consumption when active at 0.38 watts: Intel 510 Series (Elm Crest) SSDSC2MH120A2K5 2.5" 120GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) http://www.newegg.co...=82E16820167042

Western Digital Caviar Black WD2002FAEX 2TB 7200 RPM 64MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive http://www.newegg.co...N82E16822136792

Microsoft Wireless Desktop 3000 http://www.newegg.co...N82E16823109079

LITE-ON 12X BD-R 2X BD-RE 16X DVD+R 12X DVD-RAM 8X BD-ROM 8MB Cache SATA Blu-ray Burner with 3D Playback iHBS212-08 LightScribe Support http://www.newegg.co...N82E16827106348

SILVERSTONE Black Aluminum / 0.8mm SECC Grandia Series GD05B micro-ATX / Mini-DTX / Mini-ITX MB, 1x5.25", 2x3.5"+1x2.5"HDD or 1x3.5"+2x2.5"HDD, 3x120mm golf bladed fan, 11" expansion card capable HTPC Casehttp://www.newegg.co...N82E16811163166

USB 3.0 Module Part Number: 14G000516101 http://us.estore.asus.com/index.php?l=product_detail&p=3536

 

 

Other Parts that were later incorporated into the setup:

 

Rosewill WMC Remote control/Rcvr RRC-127 for Win 7 http://www.newegg.co...N82E16880101003

 

HDHomeRun DUAL - High Definition Digital TV Tuner (Network Attached) HDHR3-US (Black) by SiliconDust http://www.newegg.co...N82E16815345007

 

References that I used:

Gigabyte Manual http://download.giga...-response_e.pdf

Silverstone Manual http://www.silversto...GD05-Manual.pdf

Silverstone write-up link from Diehard http://legitreviews....article/1348/1/

Arctic Silver Manual for i3 Sandy Bridge http://www.arcticsil...l_line_v1.1.pdf

One issue that raised was how to keep the SSD free of “extra” files etc. – I’d be very curious how others do this – what I ended up doing involved some registry manipulation which I don’t see as an elegant solution but it seemed to work for now http://www.overclock...-secondary.html

 

Overall, I can’t say enough good thing about this MB and equipment combination. I’ve had it running almost continuously since Friday, September 23rd.

 

The i3-2120 runs very cool!

 

At idle I saw temps down to 30c and even after running Prime 95 for several hours I never saw temps get over 63c. The SeaSonic 400 ran very cool which I think is readily apparent by checking the WD_FAEX temps never going over 38c even though the FAEX is mounted directly over the SeaSonic 400.

 

01BenchmarkPrime95_9-24-2011.jpg

 

Windows Performance Index:

02WindowsPerformanceIndex9-23-2011.jpg

 

 

SSD Performance Index:

03BenchmarkIntel510120GB6G_9-24-2011.jpg

 

 

WD 2TB FAEX Black Performance Index:

04BenchmarkWD2T6G_9-24-2011.jpg

 

 

I’m still running this through it’s paces but have been very encouraged (and amazed) by it’s performance so far and it’s apparent rock stability.

I’ve loaded XP in a Windows Virtual Machine and have loaded Oracle Virtual Machine Box. In VM_Box I’ve loaded and am currently running test set-ups of WHS-V1, WHS 2011, SBS-e 2011. Right now I’m “playing” with moving VM’s between my main Client and the HTPC platform. Seems to work.

Here are some pictures of my build: (well it seemed like a good idea to post some pictures :) )

 

 

 

 

Final Thoughts:

 

This has been a truly trouble free build – I really like this MB and the i3-2120. Very impressive!

 

Performance wise – I haven’t noticed any problems even when running 3 virtual machines while WMC is recording and a video is playing (obviously I'm not pushing it hard enough). I still continue to push the configuration but I like the idea of having a HTPC that also functions as a VM test bed that with its low power consumption I have no issues with leaving it on 24/7.

Edited by Joe_Miner
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Actually, I think I'm having more trouble posting about the HTPC than the build itself :) -- here are the pictures (or some of them): OK -- the board will not take so we just have to imagine -- it's a really amazing build and a true work of art.....

Edited by Joe_Miner
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How do you like the remote? Does it have a back button that will take you from the current channel to the one you were on last?

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Looks like a nice HTPC. My experience with I3-2100 have been very good and is a great processor for HTPC as well as servers. I am sure you will be very happy with especially as an HTPC. If you want to post pictures, the easiest way for now is use something like imageshack post the pictures there and paste the link in the board and they will show up. Good luck with your HTPC.

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More Pictures:

 

The i3-2120 and the heat sink prepared per AS instructions -- note heat sink is "tinted" per AS

 

05DSC06122.jpg

 

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13DSC06175.jpg

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How do you like the remote? Does it have a back button that will take you from the current channel to the one you were on last?

 

I like it, but my intention is to use the infrared USB to program into my Harmony. The remote does work well but I need to program the Harmony because my wife dislikes multiple remotes, she really dislikes multiple remotes, she's not really happy about multiple remotes, did I say she doesn't like multiple remotes :)

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Looks like a nice HTPC. My experience with I3-2100 have been very good and is a great processor for HTPC as well as servers. I am sure you will be very happy with especially as an HTPC. If you want to post pictures, the easiest way for now is use something like imageshack post the pictures there and paste the link in the board and they will show up. Good luck with your HTPC.

 

I was/am using Photobucket. Don't know the issue but the Forum was giving me all kinds of errors -- then I come back and I can post the pictures with no problem -- sunspots?

 

I'm really liking the i3-2120.

 

Congrats. Nice to see people excited by their creations. Good job I-gor! :D

 

Thanks! It's aliveeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

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That's a great little case. I love mine. Just make sure you get a modular power supply. Cable routing can get difficult otherwise.

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I've never seen those Arctic Silver instructions before. Thanks a bunch - they should make mounting CPU's easier in the future.

 

BTW, I know your temps are pretty good already, but I'll bet if you went with an AS cooler for you CPU you'd get even cooler, specially under load.

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