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HTPC New HTPC in an Antec ISK 310-150

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by cyberspyder, 20 Dec 2012.

  1. cyberspyder

    cyberspyder Canuck

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    Really, just a PITA case to work in. You may notice I don't actually have a motherboard in it yet....the Intel H67 board has been backordered for several weeks now -.-

    Case
    - Antec ISK 310-150
    Mobo - Intel DH67CFB3
    CPU - i3 3220
    Ram - 8GB Corsair XMS3
    Storage - OCZ Vertex 3 120GB SSD
    PSU - Standard 150W Antec PSU
    Graphics - HD2500 (IGPU)
    ODD - Some random Teac DVD Rom
    Cooling - Scythe Kozuti

    Originally I was going to consider the Wesena ITX2/Streacom FC1, hence the Scythe Kozuti (as I wanted an optical drive, which prevented me from using a bigger sink like the Biug Shuriken), but then realized that the case, plus the PicoPSU would've cost a fortune (though not as much as the FC5 I recently did a build on). Spent some time looking and finally settled on ther Antec, which I admit does look nice, primarily due to the simple front which has absolutely no logos.

    Per advice from other users, I opted to replace all the fans inside the case, including the PSU fan (which falls prey to an overly sensitive load sensor in the PSU), with Yate Loon's (yes, I'm aware they say 'Young Year', and that the model number printed on the label corresponds to a sleeve bearing model, instead of the 'Ball Bearing' claim printed below the brand) as they were the best ones I could find locally at a decent price (~$7 plus tax). I went and cut out the grill on the PSU as well, and will be creating a duct that will seal the exhaust fans to the exterior shell (there's around half an inch of dead space between the exhaust grill on the shell, and the actual fans which are mounted inside the chassis). All three fans will be undervolted externally via a 5V Molex adapters (I switched the Molex pins around on the PSU connector, the black Molex connector you see in the pictures is for the power LEDs, and yes they are designed for 5V so everything works out).

    Cable-wise, everything is sort of tight, but not the worst I've seen. I don't know how Puget Systems and other review sites could make the case interior look so messy, as it really isn't that bad. A few zip ties here and there works wonders (I have not finalized the locations for the ties, will have to wait until I get the motherboard in before I can button everything up, for now it is just a mockup). I removed the now-useless bracket for the three speed controller on the Antec Tricool and plan to route the USB 3.0 header pass through cable to the back I/O panel, as my board doesn't have a USB 3.0 header. Should I keep the front panel USB connections 2.0 or 3.0?

    Some pictures:

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    Pretty much an unobstructed path to the exhaust fans.

    Brendan
     
  2. mm vr

    mm vr The cheesecake is a lie

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    That PSU looks a bit dodgy to me. Can you find the OEM of the unit? Hmm, I guess the stickers will all just say "Antec".
     
  3. cyberspyder

    cyberspyder Canuck

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    Yep, Antec. I opened it up and was unable to find any other manufacturer on it. Dodgy how so?
     
  4. mm vr

    mm vr The cheesecake is a lie

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    Usually even the mediocre units have some sort of sleeving on the cables for example.

    PSUs bundled with cases aren't very well regarded in general.

    However, let us know how it works for you when you get it set up. Particularly interested in long term usage results.
     
  5. cyberspyder

    cyberspyder Canuck

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    Ooooh, actually I appreciate the lack of sleeving, as sleeving adds to the bulk making it harder to route the wires. I hear the efficiency isn't too great, and that the fan is noisy, but I've mitigated the latter with an externally controlled fan.

    I sorta gave up waiting for the Intel board, it's taking far too long. Considering the Asus equivalent.
     
  6. cyberspyder

    cyberspyder Canuck

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    Finally, the completed product. Good thing I bought a 1000 pack of zip ties, the smaller the case, the more zip ties I have to use in order to mock up where the cables go, and try different layouts. I honestly believe this is the best anyone can do without cutting away part of the ODD/HD brace.

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    Sorry for the massive amount of pictures! Some closing notes:

    -The PSU does get a little warm, but I attribute that mainly to how there's very little room inside the PSU - hell, the heatsinks nearly touch the top! Plus the fact that 1/3rd of the exhaust fan is blocked by the top cover and connecting it to a 6V adapter doesn't really help things. However, I don't think my draw is even at a fifth of it's rated specs, especially with the processor power management enabled in the power options of Windows. Will keep an eye on it however. I should've left the stock fan on and see how loud that was when coupled to my setup, but alas, I went ahead and quite literally sealed it in with zip ties everywhere LOL.

    -The Scythe Kozuti is QUIET. Like holy crap quiet. Core Temp reports temperatures of around 24C at idle, which is astounding! I have almost an identical setup in my office PC, and that idles at mid 30's with the stock Intel heatsink.

    -The board works flawlessly, I only wished it had UEFI, as I'm spoiled by my Asus Gene-Z. Haven't tried undervolting it yet, but for a HTPC, the BIOS settings are plenty. In addition, there's no USB 3.0 header on the board itself, but as this board came out almost 2 years ago, I really can't fault Intel for it. I will have to make do with USB 2.0 front panel connectors, or buy a passthrough dongle to the I/O panel and plug the header cable directly into the rear USB 3.0 ports.

    -I honestly didn'ty think the Yate Loon's/Young Year's would sound any good, but at 5V, I think I can live with the barely audible whoosh of air. Barely any bearing noise at all, compared to the stock PSU fan and the Antec TriCool. And they start reliably at 5V as well! Alas, without hooking up a resistor/rheostat to it, I will not know the lowest operating/startup voltage. They push a significant amount of air for a 80mm fan.

    -The chassis itself is built like a tank. I have seen some examples where the user cut away half of the ODD tray, but IMO, unl;ess you find another way to brace the case,. this isn't a particularly good idea as the case relies on this brace to tie in the front and back panels. The vents on the removeable top cover could use a bit of resizing however. My last few photos show how a thrid of the fans were cut off simply because the vents weren't big enough. I may enlarge the vents and put traditional wire grills one, but that'd ruin the overall look of the case.

    Other than those points, I think this build went pretty straight forward. I must admit, I spent the bulk of my time routing cables, but honestly, it could be worse. There is actually quite a bit of space in the nooks and crannies, like the half inch of dead space right above the PSU and below the ODD tray, or in between the memory sticks and the PSU (where my 24 opin cable is routed through). I do think this case is best without a discrete graphics card as I worry that the card will block too much of the intakes, thus raising interior temperatures and increasing the noise.

    I ran the Windows Experience Index for laughs and giggles, and to my dismay, the IGPU (Intel HD2500) only gave me a 4.9 LOL. On the other hand, that 4.9 is enough to let my watch full HD movies without stuttering, so it's GTG in my books.

    Oh one last thing, like the other Antec cases with a lit ring around the power button (SOLO, etc), it is DAMN BRIGHT. I think I may have to sand the ring to make it less transparent, or add a resistor to the LEDs.

    Brendan
     
  7. PegasusM

    PegasusM Stand back, I'm doing science

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    I'm looking at getting a very similar build so nice to see all the detail here, thanks.
    On Scan in the description of the case it says "External 1 x 5.25" slim optical bay", how is it slim? Isn't it a normal optical bay?
    Is your RAM half-height? Does full height fit with the cooler and everything?

    Good job on the cable ties!
     
  8. cyberspyder

    cyberspyder Canuck

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    Negative, this case only has room for a laptop or slim drive. 5.25" refers to the width of the drive. The ram is full height, didn't have to get low-profile ram.
     
  9. jrs77

    jrs77 Well-Known Member

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    The problem of this case is the rather big PSU imho. With something smaller like the pico-PSU this would be a way better case for a small HTPC.

    Streacom offers nice and affordable mITX solutions aswell nowadays, including picoPSUs and everything else you need for a small HTPC-> http://www.quietpc.com/streacom
     
  10. cyberspyder

    cyberspyder Canuck

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    I got burnt with their fake PicoPSU's. http://forums.bit-tech.net/showthread.php?t=250224
     
  11. jrs77

    jrs77 Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, I read in some other forums about issues aswell, after I posted this.

    The original picoPSU-150-XT costs 20-30 more for a reason.
     
  12. cyberspyder

    cyberspyder Canuck

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    I am in contact with the guy that sold me the Streacom, and he said that mine is the second to ever fail in the two years he's been in business. I think that is a blatant lie. AFAIK Streacom and Wesena are one company, and their bricks/PSU's are identical. POS PSU's really. And he isn't offering a return shipping credit for a manufacturer issue. I don't think I will be bothering with that company ever again.
     

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