WIP Little Black Box
Cheers mates!

I've finally decided to upgrade my Raspberry Pi box to a proper HTPC. It had to be low power, low heat and quiet, so I've decided on a Celeron 1037U embedded board for the heart of the system. I don't do much gaming, so XBMC performance was all that mattered.

Here are the specs:
  • Gigabyte GA-C1037UN - despite some pictures on the web, this one is fanless (I think the old GA-C1007 had a fan)
  • Zeppelin DDR3 1333Mhz 2Gb
  • WD Scorpio Blue 1TB drive
  • Slim DVD Writer (I think it's Sony, but I can't really remember now)
  • 160W PicoPSU
  • Streacom F1C case
  • 180W external power adapter (designed for driving LEDs, so it's not really pretty, but it's dead silent and doesn't heat up much)

Ok, so now let's go on with the pictures. First, I had to teardown the old Pi assembly I built inside the case. Here's a view from the back, with the custom backpanel I fabricated.


And with the top off:

With the hdd/odd cage removed:

And now, building the new system:


Cat wanted to help with the wires:

I had to do a bit of fabricating on the wires, as the stripped the power button/LED cable that came with the Streacom case for the previous build. Same goes for the Scythe Mini Kaze fan.


Installed the parts again on the HDD/ODD cage and wired things up temporarily.


All mounted up:

And a frontal of the partially completed thing:

Now, there are some things still left to do. I got a small (8Gb) mSATA SSD off evilBay that should arrive soon, together with an mSATA - SATA adapter board. I'll mount these under the ODD and install XBMCbuntu there. Also, I need to get a SlimSata to Sata adapter for the ODD.

Regarding performance, I can tell you this thing runs really really well, especially compared to the old Pi. Temp wise, the case sits around 27-30 C, while the CPU went as high as 60C (albeit, while having a wireless router sitting on top of it too).

However, suspend/wake works really well out of the box. Well, almost out of the box, as I had to edit the ACPI event for the power button to put it in suspend rather than shut it down. Only problem is that XBMC insists on displaying the shutdown menu when I press the case's button... any idea how to get rid of it?

Looks nice and clean.
What OS is used for running XBMC?
Currently, I'm running XBMCbuntu from the HDD. It boots a bit slow, but runs well afterwards.

The system also acts as a server sharing my collection through wireless to my iPad, using NFS.

I just ordered a Flirc and plan on installing it inside the case, so I can use the remote from my Marantz amp to control XBMC (I'm not really a fan of the iPhone app)
Awesome Cat. The HTPC isn't bad ether. It looks like he is saying "this is now mine"
Thanks Jetster! The cat's a she, which makes her even more possesive Smile)
This case is very beautiful and the cost of economic and practical
Looks a lot like a Dell Zino desktop. Used to have one of those back in the days.
Where can I buy one Smile
Using the same board (Gigabyte GA-C1037UN-EU) in my new htpc (the rest is old parts i had: 400W ATX PSU, Samsung blurayreader/dvdwriter, 2x4GB 1600 RAM and Kingston V+200 60GB SSD). I'm running Win 7 64-bit and XBMC 13 Beta 1. It plays full blurays flawless.
Current opinion on the build: To be honest with you guys, the things gets a bit hot even now, so there's no chance to loose the fan yet. I am thinking about building a separate box for storage, using a hardware eSata port multiplier (and sticking 3-5 drives into it). This way, I could get the heat producing hdd out of this enclosure.

Also, I'm thinking about loosing the optical drive... although I'm not really sure on this one. Would help heat dissipation anyway.
Very nice build.
Your cat is adorable! Big Grin

Very nice build indeed! Smile
Mr Jackson do you have a more powerful computer in your home with Steam installed. I am wondering how one of these would perform using Steam remote play. I would sell my Xbox One in a heartbeat if I could do that
Love the tray less drive box. That what I'm looking for for my set up I want to build. I would need a bigger one though since I want to be able to use it with a Ceton InfiniTV 6 card and play Steam on it.
Very nice Big Grin

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