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Old May 24, 2009, 10:14 AM
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Post Antec Minuet 350 Build

$500 in an Antec Minuet 350



This is my work log for the cheap build I was thinking about [here]. It's part cheap build for a family member, part attempt to show up my buddies who keep buying premade HP and Gateway rigs. Had all the parts arrive last Thursday, and finally found time to throw it together yesterday.

HARDWARE:


First up is the requisite parts shot:



The Antec case is pretty snazzy; the front compartment for the external/internal drives comes out easily, and the cables are nice and organized. The piano black finish looks great - my only complaint is that it's a definite fingerprint magnet.



Here's the front compartment with a 5.25" DVD-reader and 3.5" 1TB Hitachi Desktar 7K1000.B mounted on it.



The E5200.



I'm using the stock Intel cooler, primarily because I was reading that it ranks pretty high when it comes to noise with the low-profile form factor. Might pick up something a bit more robust down the road, but for now it'll do. That's the HD 4650 LP that I finally settled on. It fits perfectly but is a little noisy (at least in comparison to the other fans in the case).



And surprise surprise, all those parts actually fit inside this thing! Cable management is tough with so little extra space to work with, but is reasonable for now. If I could find some short SATA cables it would help clean things up. You can't see it in this picture, but there's a noticeable gap around the edge of the DVD faceplate and the 5.25" drive bay opening - I might recheck that it was mounted right, but otherwise not much of an issue - purely cosmetic.



SOFTWARE:


I found a memtest86+ disk laying around, so I figured I would pop it in and make sure the RAM was up to par. Unfortunately, about 30min in it gave me 4 errors:



According to the BIOS everything looks stable. The DDR18V is a bit off the mark, but I'm not experienced enough to know whether 1.9V vs 1.8V would cause any problems.



Also, the RAM is listed as having 5-5-5-18 timings on NCIX, but on the sticker on the RAM it is listed as 5-5-5-12. I have no idea if that's an issue, nor can that be adjusted via the Gigabyte GA-EG31M-ES2L BIOS.

Would you guys recommend I RMA the ram, or is 4 errors nothing to worry about?

To be continued...
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Old May 24, 2009, 10:33 AM
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Afaik, you shouldn't allow any errors on your ram. I would try just one stick and then the other to see if it is a physical ram problem. Problem is that if you RMA the ram, they're likely going to want you to send both sticks because I assume they were purchased as a set. This is OK if you have other ram that you can use in the meantime. All I'm saying is to make sure it is the ram before you send it in. I know I didn't help much.



PS: Nice looking build btw.
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Last edited by misterlarry; May 24, 2009 at 10:33 AM. Reason: Forgot PS
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Old May 24, 2009, 10:42 AM
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Luckily, there's no rush to have this thing up and running since I'm still waiting on one last part (some basic SD card reader), so I can afford to wait. Still, I'm impatient to see how it runs... I'll follow your lead and check each stick out to make sure they are actually the problem.

I'm totally new to all this so any advice is well received! Thanks
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Old May 24, 2009, 11:54 AM
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I would also try increasing the voltage on the RAM by 0.1 and just leave the timings at 5-5-5-18 for now. If the extra volts stop the errors you can try tightening the timings up to 5-5-5-12.
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Old May 24, 2009, 11:57 AM
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I just checked each stick individually, with no errors for either.

I'll bump it up by 0.1V and see if that solves things.
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Old May 24, 2009, 12:48 PM
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I'm using the Minuet 350 for my HTPC build, and i must say it is a great case for one so small.

As far as the RAM goes, it does sound like it's not gettin enuff juice, so let us know how the .1v bump goes :P
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Old May 24, 2009, 02:26 PM
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Bumped up the voltage by 0.1V and had 2 errors the first pass, and 4 the second...
I went back and tested each one individually, looping the one test (#5) that's been giving errors for a few passes, with each stick in either slot. The one stick comes back with errors regardless of which slot it is in, with different memory location errors on different passes. That suggests to me the one stick is faulty.

RMA the sucker?
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Old May 24, 2009, 07:16 PM
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There's not much else to do once you know that one stick is fubar. Good luck.

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Old May 25, 2009, 07:08 PM
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Ok, I got impatient and bought another pair locally - I'll throw the replacement in my other rig. The new pair tested out OK

I put Windows 7 RC on to get an idea of how it performs on more up to date hardware, as I had been running it on my old Dell before. It runs great, to say the least! It's going to be very hard to move back to Vista after getting used to all the new bells and whistles, which are suprisingly useful.

Next on the to do list, clock up the CPU a little, while not putting too much strain on the stock cooling
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Old May 26, 2009, 12:00 PM
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what videocard are you using? HD4550? Are you using HDMI as video & audio? I have the same board in my HTPC and for such a cheap board it is pretty impressive.
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antec minuet 350 , e5200 , hd 4650

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