New HTPC in an Antec ISK 310-150
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January 1, 2013, 08:11 AM
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Markham, Ontario, Canadeh
New HTPC in an Antec ISK 310-150
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 -.-
- Antec ISK 310-150
- Intel DH67CFB3
- i3 3220
- 8GB Corsair XMS3
- OCZ Vertex 3 120GB SSD
- Standard 150W Antec PSU
- HD2500 (IGPU)
- Some random Teac DVD Rom
- 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?
Pretty much an unobstructed path to the exhaust fans.
Dec. 23 Update
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.
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.
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