My First HTPC - Llano based
#1
Hello all,

I am a new user to these forums but I wanted to provide another example of a Llano based HTPC running XBMC on Windows.

Hardware:
Silverstone MILO Series ML03B Micro ATX Media Center / HTPC Case [Link]
ASUS F1A75-M PRO FM1 AMD A75 Motherboard [Link]
AMD A8-3850 Llano 2.9GHz Socket FM1 100W Quad-Core Desktop APU [Link]
Patriot Viper Xtreme Series, Division 2 Edition 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1866 [Link]
SILVERSTONE Strider Plus ST50F-P 500W [Link]
OCZ Vertex 2 60GB SATA II SSD [Link]
SAMSUNG EcoGreen F4 HD204UI 2TB 32MB Cache SATA II HDD [Link]
AVerMedia AVerTVHD Duet - PCTV Tuner [Link]
SAMSUNG 8X Slim Internal DVD Burner [Link]
BYTECC Bracket-535 5.25" Metal Tray for 2.5", 3.5" HDD/Slim DVD [Link]
StarTech SLSATAADAP Female Slimline SATA to SATA Adapter [Link]
Prolimatech Samuel 17 Compact Low Profile Heatpipe CPU Cooler [Link]
SILVERSTONE AP121 120mm Case Fan [Link]
SILVERSTONE SCOOL81 80mm Case Fan [Link]

Review:
For my first HTPC I wanted to use the new Llano platform and waiting for the APUs was really difficult but I finally decided on the A8-3850 over A8-3800 due to the lack of availability. The Silverstone case was both a blessing and curse to work with. It was lots of work to route all of the cables but it also provided me an opportunity to be creative which was actually quite fun to figure out. One of my key goals was to maximize the amount of 3.5" hard drive space. I found an adapter to change the 5.25" bay to a combination of slim DVD and 3.5" hard drive. This will allow me to have up to three 3.5" drives for around 6-9TB of storage space. One of the trickiest things to find was an aftermarket cooler which fits inside the case. After a two months of searching I finally found the Samuel 17 by Prolimatech. The only catch was finding a quiet but powerful fan. I went with a Silverstone Air Penetrator because of the great static pressure and quiet operation. So I am very happy with the reported temps and I can't hear any of the fans from the couch which is perfect. I am using Windows 7 Professional x64.

Photos: (I apologize that some photos are kinda blurry)
Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

More Photos:
Image 1
Image 2
Image 3
Image 4
Image 5
Image 6
Image 7
Image 8
Image 9
Image 10
Image 11
Image 12
Image 13
Image 14
Image 15
Image 16
Image 17

Comments and questions are welcome!
Reply
#2
Very cool indeed! You have dxva2 enabled correct while playing your videos to use the iGPU? no stutter? macroblocking while FW or RW? anything? I am really considering this new APU.
Reply
#3
Very Clean. I love how people get the wiring so nice and clean. I wish I could get one of my computers to look like that lol.
Reply
#4
very nice indeed! thanks for sharing!

nice idea there with the SLIM/HDD bracket! i'll keep this trick in mind Tongue

you modified the case there right? i see a space ontop for the fan to intake cold air!
Reply
#5
eskro Wrote:you modified the case there right? i see a space ontop for the fan to intake cold air!

Yeah, first thing I've noticed. Which I could have thought about it.... I would have take the ML03! Airflow was the only downside imo for this case...

Great idea creed3020!
Reply
#6
Beer40oz Wrote:Very cool indeed! You have dxva2 enabled correct while playing your videos to use the iGPU? no stutter? macroblocking while FW or RW? anything? I am really considering this new APU.

I do have dxva2 enabled in XBMC. I haven't noticed any shutter so far while playing any 720p or 1080p movies. I haven't really really stress tested it with heavy actions scenes, e.g. Dark Knight but so far I have be very happy. I am not familiar with what macroblocking is, so I'll have to get to you on that. I really like the APU and the option to go with Dual Graphics (GPU + APU) appealed to me as a backup just in case I needed more video processing power.

toymachine2009 Wrote:Very Clean. I love how people get the wiring so nice and clean. I wish I could get one of my computers to look like that lol.

Thank you for the compliment. It takes time and patience but it pays off when you consider airflow, having to troubleshoot problems later, or just adding new hardware. While most people find wiring a case tedious I enjoy it as a challenge to come up with a solution to tough problems. One thing I did to make cabling easier was purchase 6" SATA cables for my SSD and HDD. They made life much easier. I already have the case wired for the next two 3.5" HDDs. The power and data cables are already routed to each spot so that I don't have to add them later on.


eskro Wrote:very nice indeed! thanks for sharing!

nice idea there with the SLIM/HDD bracket! i'll keep this trick in mind Tongue

you modified the case there right? i see a space ontop for the fan to intake cold air!


The 5.25" bracket was a must once I considered that I needed to maximize 3.5" slots. This bracket is really amazing. There are about 6 different combinations of DVD slim drives, 2.5" drives, and 3.5" drives that are possible.

I didn't do any modifications to the case. The intake on the top is stock. All I did was take the provided air filter that came with the case and place it on top. The fan filter comes with integrated magnets at the corners and thus stays put on the metal case. Silverstone always amazes me with what value they deliver on.


Balinus Wrote:Yeah, first thing I've noticed. Which I could have thought about it.... I would have take the ML03! Airflow was the only downside imo for this case...

Great idea creed3020!

Again as just mentioned that vent is stock Smile This case is jam packed, especially if you load up all of the HDD spaces but considering you can place four 80mm fans along the one edge there can be a ton of negative air pressure generated to bring air into the case. I had originally considered 2 80mm fans to generate positive air pressure but I backed down due to the cost of the fans. I have a co-worker who built an identical build to this but he used two Noctua NF-R8-1800 case fans. His temps do benefit from the additional suction of hot air out of the case. Overall, the ML03B has so much honeycomb perforation in its design that air is always flowing.
Reply
#7
Oh well, you're right! There a vent in the stock case. Well, already purchased my case, so maybe next build! Smile
Reply
#8
Creed, amazing build! I have been looking to build an HTPC with similar specs. I have decided to follow your design as you seem to have done you due diligence. Thanks for sharing! I believe that the only items lacking from your item list are the cables you purchased. Can you please help a newb?
Reply
#9
cool Cool nice build. thanks for sharing

Nice cable management also Smile
Reply
#10
Another question: What do you use to control the htpc? do you have an ir receiver and a remote, wireless keyboard/mouse?
Reply
#11
creed3020, when u feeL like it,
take a tiny video of your boot speeds Tongue
record from when u press the Power button so we can really see
how much time windows takes too boot!

oh and, would be nice to see how fluid browsing through XBMC is Smile



thanks!!
Reply
#12
Sorry that I missed all of your responses for so long but here we go...

hoopbull Wrote:Creed, amazing build! I have been looking to build an HTPC with similar specs. I have decided to follow your design as you seem to have done you due diligence. Thanks for sharing! I believe that the only items lacking from your item list are the cables you purchased. Can you please help a newb?

This HTPC did take a good deal of time to build but the research is more than times the total build and setup time. As for cables everything you see is either power cables that came with the modular PSU or that came with the motherboard. I, however, knew the SATA cables that came with the motherboard would not be enough for the total of 5 SATA devices that would be in the case when the HTPC is fully complete. So I bought these 6" SATA cables. I also bought this power/data adapter for the notebook DVD drive.

WhiteLighter Wrote:cool Cool nice build. thanks for sharing

Nice cable management also Smile

Thank you. I am kinda crazy when it comes to cabling. The wiring for the CPU 4-pin connector was tricky routing it under the motherboard.

eskro Wrote:creed3020, when u feeL like it,
take a tiny video of your boot speeds Tongue
record from when u press the Power button so we can really see
how much time windows takes too boot!

oh and, would be nice to see how fluid browsing through XBMC is Smile

thanks!!

I will definitely create a short video of the boot times and the XBMC browsing. It does go really smoothly and that makes the user experience that much nicer. Send me a PM if I forget to post something after a week.
Reply
#13
got it! Smile
Reply
#14
Dang.. just looking at this build it looks so clean. I can't even get a full sized tower to look that clean! haha
Reply
#15
Very impressive work. Looking forward to your video.
Reply



Logout Mark Read Team Forum Stats Members Help
My First HTPC - Llano based0
This forum uses Lukasz Tkacz MyBB addons.