Go Back   Hardware Canucks > PC BUILDERS & TWEAKERS CORNER > Case Mods, Worklog & Gallery

    
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
  #11 (permalink)  
Old November 13, 2013, 10:32 PM
Perineum's Avatar
Hall Of Fame
F@H
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Surrey, B.C.
Posts: 4,039

My System Specs

Default

Temps! Temps! I need to know temps! I'm tempted to install that Noctua you have fanless..... could it do it? I would like 2 drives! Could I stack 2 drives on that mounting strip? Turn them sideways with the power/data pointing away from the CPU HSF?
Reply With Quote
  #12 (permalink)  
Old November 14, 2013, 10:11 AM
sswilson's Avatar
Moderator
F@H
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Moncton NB
Posts: 14,529

My System Specs

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Perineum View Post
Temps! Temps! I need to know temps! I'm tempted to install that Noctua you have fanless..... could it do it? I would like 2 drives! Could I stack 2 drives on that mounting strip? Turn them sideways with the power/data pointing away from the CPU HSF?
Unfortunately I'm not going to have a lot of accurate temps as none of the HW monitors seem to detect the board / chipset properly and there isn't any manufacturer software.

The best I can say now is that on full load with the case closed up my SDD temps go from 28c idle to 51c load after 10+ minutes. The only temp I've got related to the cpu is something called "package" and while the cpu fan does ramp up/down with this temp it's wayyyyyyy above any proper cpu temp and maxes out at around 110c. I'm fairly confident that my cpu temps are within spec because the fan doesn't ramp up to 100% until that temp reads somewhere around 104c, and fan speed stays at min RPM at idle so I'm also fairly confident that the base temps aren't too high.

Other than that I'm not sure what I can offer for accurate temps... I've got a little digital thermometer I could use to get the internal case temps, but I'm pretty confident that the SSD temps are relatively accurate.

As far as the extra HDD is concerned... that'd be a no-go with this particular case and current AMD HSFs... I had initially intended to hang an extra HDD by mounting it through the vents but there isn't any clearance, and as you can see from this shot, a single HDD in N/S orientation is the only possible fit.

Name:  HDD overlap.jpg
Views: 293
Size:  81.8 KB
I'm currently taking most of the day off in an attempt to get a jumpstart on this bloody flu that's coming my way, but sometime over the next couple of days I'll put together my thoughts and conclusions on this particular build, and a few thoughts on what could have worked better in this form factor.
__________________
MSI Z87I Gaming AC / i5 4670K / 2X 4G Gskill 1866 DDR3 / XFX XTR 750 / EVGA GTX 680 SC+ 2GB / Intel DC S3700 200G / random 160G Sata HDD
Inwin 904 / Swiftech MCP655-b / Alphacool NexXxos XT45 120 Rad / 2X Scythe GT AP-15 / EK Supreme HF / Dell UltraSharp U2412M

Asrock AM1H-ITX / AM1 Athlon 5350 / 2X4G Gskill PC3-14900 / Intel 6235 Wi-Fi / 90W Targus Power Brick / 320G Seagate Momentus / Mini-Box M350 / 1X 22" Dell IPS / 1X 22" HP
Reply With Quote
  #13 (permalink)  
Old November 15, 2013, 12:20 PM
sswilson's Avatar
Moderator
F@H
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Moncton NB
Posts: 14,529

My System Specs

Default

Name:  complete front.jpg
Views: 282
Size:  49.0 KB Name:  Complete rear.jpg
Views: 284
Size:  55.4 KB

Name:  Installed overall.jpg
Views: 281
Size:  62.2 KB Name:  installed closer.jpg
Views: 281
Size:  78.8 KB


There's the completed unit including where it ended up on the TV stand. I ended up mounting it upside down with 4 screws on the bottom side of that lowest shelf using the slots in the case so that I can remove it as necessary. It's not that heavy and this way it didn't take up any of my limited shelf space as well as having as much open air as possible.

I've got mixed feelings on how the build went...

Case - I love the size of the M350 for this kind of application but the inability to use more than one HDD severely limits storage options. I've got a 120G SSD in there now, but I'm mulling over swapping in either a (slower than whalesnot) standard 2.5" 750G or possibly the 500G hybrid XT I've currently got in a low use laptop. I just need to decide if I will ever want to store more than audio files and a few low graphically intensive games.

Aside from the size, I'm also a fan of how they have a couple of unshielded "stealth" usb ports incorporated into the front panel (for your wireless keyboard etc... ), the only downside is that you need to take the top plate off in order to be able to remove the front panel for access. On top of that... it would have been nice to have a couple of front panel USB ports, but that might detract from the clean lines on the front. I'll probably just pick up a usb hub that I can Velcro to the back of the stand (same as the Ethernet hub I've got back there... ;) ).

Motherboard - Not sure I'd go with zotac again unless I was armed with a hell of a lot more info WRT bios options and included software. I'm not overly surprised that there weren't any OC options in the bios (this is after all a budget board from a second/third tier manufacturer) however, without OC options it seems strange to include the ability to bump both CPU and Memory voltages. OTOH, I find it inexcusable for any manufacturer these days to release a motherboard that doesn't ship with some kind of monitoring software. I know we seldom use the software that ships with MBs, but in a case like this where absolutely nothing is reading properly I needed something from the manufacturer. Not sure who to blame for this but I suspect it might be the chipset.

On the plus side... everything (including the wireless) seems to work fine out of the box, and aside from the placement of the CPU fan header (only an issue because of the oversized HSF I tried to use) nothing on the board stood out as being hard to access.

Noctua Cooler - Not sure how to decide on this one.... the placement of the cpu fan header might very well be a motherboard issue, and the HDD clearance issue(s) is/are more a fault of the case design. I'm kinda disappointed that it didn't work, it was the only non-stock part of the build. That said... it didn't cost me all that much so I don't mind having it on the shelf... maybe it'll end up being a decent quiet replacement for the stock cooler on a different build.

The stock cooler seems to be doing the job. Smart Fan seems to be keeping things under control and only cycles between the top two RPM settings under max load. The rest of the time it's sitting somewhere between 950 & 1500 RPM under normal load.

Pico PSU - I'm not completely sure what to think of this.... Being a 65W TDP processor I would have thought that a 110W brick would have been sufficient. I'm only running a couple of sticks of ram, a SSD, and a wireless card over and above the APU + MB chipset, but under full load (3dmark11 combined) the Brick is obviously being overworked (very hot, and even whiny... ;) ) to the point that I've had a couple of shut downs during stess testing that don't seem to be related to APU temp (fan isn't ramped up to 100%). Stock on these bloody things is hard to find, but there's a Canadian company that specializes in itx that sells a 190W brick which looks like it would only require some minor modding to the M350 case (the connector/receptacle doesn't fit into the circular cutout) I may end up ordering one of those.

A8-6500 - So far I'm reasonably impressed. It's fairly snappy, and doesn't feel laggy. I haven't played with it much WRT gaming, but I did load up civ V quickly and the graphics looked fine. 3DMark cloudgate score was 4811 if that means anything. It's probably a hell of a lot more processor than I needed for what is essentially a glorified MP3 player / browser, but I couldn't resist. That said... the power issues I've run into and the lack of available mITX FM2 stock leads me to believe that I probably would have been better off with an intel board even though it probably would have cost me over $50 more for the processor.

Would I do it again???

Yeah, I love the form factor, and mITX vrs something like a NUC allows for use of standard memory and storage. I looked at the NUC, Brix, and even the Zotac mini PCs but couldn't get my head around the requirement for a mSATA drive... laptop memory I could live with, but mSATA drives are still pretty pricy when compared to a 2.5" drive.

As far as AMD vrs Intel goes... that's a tough choice. On one hand Intel probably has power requirements as well as MB availability in the bag, OTOH, AMD still seems to have Price/Performance going for it. For me however it's probably down to the ability to set Pixel format with AMD Cats and not knowing for sure if the intel graphics allow it. I ran into the same "washed out colour" issue as I had with Nvidia cards outputting through HDMI on the initial hookup with HDMI, but unlike the Nvidia drivers I was able to change the settings in the AMD Cats to improve image quality... I still think the analog VGA image is better than HDMI, but it's a hell of a lot better than the non-adjusted image that I had with Nvidia cards.
__________________
MSI Z87I Gaming AC / i5 4670K / 2X 4G Gskill 1866 DDR3 / XFX XTR 750 / EVGA GTX 680 SC+ 2GB / Intel DC S3700 200G / random 160G Sata HDD
Inwin 904 / Swiftech MCP655-b / Alphacool NexXxos XT45 120 Rad / 2X Scythe GT AP-15 / EK Supreme HF / Dell UltraSharp U2412M

Asrock AM1H-ITX / AM1 Athlon 5350 / 2X4G Gskill PC3-14900 / Intel 6235 Wi-Fi / 90W Targus Power Brick / 320G Seagate Momentus / Mini-Box M350 / 1X 22" Dell IPS / 1X 22" HP

Last edited by sswilson; November 15, 2013 at 12:26 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #14 (permalink)  
Old November 15, 2013, 02:02 PM
yamawho's Avatar
Allstar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Rosemere, Qc, Canada
Posts: 860
Default

Nice build

Pico PSU ... I had this happen to me as well but if I remember mine was a Pico 120 watt with that 110 watt power brick. I also have a 60watt but they are both in a drawer at the moment. I was thinking about putting a jumper on the 60 watt and plug the 4 pin cpu connector along with maybe a hdd to help out but never got around to trying it out.
Reply With Quote
  #15 (permalink)  
Old November 15, 2013, 02:30 PM
sswilson's Avatar
Moderator
F@H
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Moncton NB
Posts: 14,529

My System Specs

Default

Thanks, it's a fun format to play with especially considering how low the actual requirements are for most PCs hooked up to the TV in the living room if it's not primarily a gaming PC. My needs are probably even lower than most folks since I don't torrent content and thus my only media is audio. I started out using the usb stick media playback on my TV and then "upgraded" to the dlna features of my networked onkyo amp, but hated the pause between each track and the fact that I had no real control over what tracks played or what order they played in.
__________________
MSI Z87I Gaming AC / i5 4670K / 2X 4G Gskill 1866 DDR3 / XFX XTR 750 / EVGA GTX 680 SC+ 2GB / Intel DC S3700 200G / random 160G Sata HDD
Inwin 904 / Swiftech MCP655-b / Alphacool NexXxos XT45 120 Rad / 2X Scythe GT AP-15 / EK Supreme HF / Dell UltraSharp U2412M

Asrock AM1H-ITX / AM1 Athlon 5350 / 2X4G Gskill PC3-14900 / Intel 6235 Wi-Fi / 90W Targus Power Brick / 320G Seagate Momentus / Mini-Box M350 / 1X 22" Dell IPS / 1X 22" HP
Reply With Quote
  #16 (permalink)  
Old November 15, 2013, 02:33 PM
yamawho's Avatar
Allstar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Rosemere, Qc, Canada
Posts: 860
Default

Mini itx is my favorite
Reply With Quote
  #17 (permalink)  
Old November 15, 2013, 03:01 PM
sswilson's Avatar
Moderator
F@H
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Moncton NB
Posts: 14,529

My System Specs

Default

Hrmmmmm..... this APU seems to be able to play DIII just fine, but it dies after a period of time just the same as the stess benches. guess the next step is to plug the 500W standard PSU back in and run the same stress tests to see if the issue goes away, or if maybe I've got something other than low power going on. Seems to me I came across a post on these bricks that suggested there was a bad batch recently that had components which weren't properly compatible with the pico psu.

Everything seems to be working fine until I put an extreme load on it which to me points to PSU first since the cpu fan isn't ramping up to full speed for temps.......
__________________
MSI Z87I Gaming AC / i5 4670K / 2X 4G Gskill 1866 DDR3 / XFX XTR 750 / EVGA GTX 680 SC+ 2GB / Intel DC S3700 200G / random 160G Sata HDD
Inwin 904 / Swiftech MCP655-b / Alphacool NexXxos XT45 120 Rad / 2X Scythe GT AP-15 / EK Supreme HF / Dell UltraSharp U2412M

Asrock AM1H-ITX / AM1 Athlon 5350 / 2X4G Gskill PC3-14900 / Intel 6235 Wi-Fi / 90W Targus Power Brick / 320G Seagate Momentus / Mini-Box M350 / 1X 22" Dell IPS / 1X 22" HP
Reply With Quote
  #18 (permalink)  
Old November 15, 2013, 05:22 PM
sswilson's Avatar
Moderator
F@H
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Moncton NB
Posts: 14,529

My System Specs

Default

Back to the drawing board.... it appears my issues are related to temps/airflow as opposed to the PSU. I need to do some more stress testing but I seem to be able to run my stress tests with the case side/top off without having it shut down which indicates that it's a confined space/airflow issue. I tried hooking up a fairly beefy 40mm intake fan to see if that would address the issue and it seemed to help me get through the first loop, but the system shut down on the second. Not sure where I'm going to go from here... the system works fine for daily use, but it wouldn't seem right to have a system that can't survive a full load even if I never put one on it.

I've got a few options to try.... the first I'm going to try is the red green "strap a fan to the side of it" to see if that resolves the airflow issue and if it does, then see if I can come up with something relatively aesthetically appealing to incorporate that into the build. Secondly, I'm going to have a closer look at that hand manufactured case we've seen posted here a couple of times... it's the same format as the M350 in that it doesn't have room for add-on cards, but it seems to me it might have a little bit more room and possibly room for a case fan. Lastly (and I know my better half isn't going to go for this one.... I could always take the case out of view by mounting it to the back of the tv stand and then leave the case top off with a fan guard over the processor fan.... ;)
__________________
MSI Z87I Gaming AC / i5 4670K / 2X 4G Gskill 1866 DDR3 / XFX XTR 750 / EVGA GTX 680 SC+ 2GB / Intel DC S3700 200G / random 160G Sata HDD
Inwin 904 / Swiftech MCP655-b / Alphacool NexXxos XT45 120 Rad / 2X Scythe GT AP-15 / EK Supreme HF / Dell UltraSharp U2412M

Asrock AM1H-ITX / AM1 Athlon 5350 / 2X4G Gskill PC3-14900 / Intel 6235 Wi-Fi / 90W Targus Power Brick / 320G Seagate Momentus / Mini-Box M350 / 1X 22" Dell IPS / 1X 22" HP
Reply With Quote
  #19 (permalink)  
Old November 16, 2013, 06:36 AM
yamawho's Avatar
Allstar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Rosemere, Qc, Canada
Posts: 860
Default

You could try and add a big a$$ fan with slow RPM on the top and try blowing in or blowing out before you take it all apart. Maybe even try removing the top cover as well ...
Reply With Quote
  #20 (permalink)  
Old November 16, 2013, 07:33 AM
sswilson's Avatar
Moderator
F@H
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Moncton NB
Posts: 14,529

My System Specs

Default

Yeah it seems to work fine without the cover on. Now it's just a matter of what to do about the lack of airflow and/or possibly looking at a different case.

edit: If I do end up going with a different case, Newegg's mITX case selection seems to be the best online so far.
__________________
MSI Z87I Gaming AC / i5 4670K / 2X 4G Gskill 1866 DDR3 / XFX XTR 750 / EVGA GTX 680 SC+ 2GB / Intel DC S3700 200G / random 160G Sata HDD
Inwin 904 / Swiftech MCP655-b / Alphacool NexXxos XT45 120 Rad / 2X Scythe GT AP-15 / EK Supreme HF / Dell UltraSharp U2412M

Asrock AM1H-ITX / AM1 Athlon 5350 / 2X4G Gskill PC3-14900 / Intel 6235 Wi-Fi / 90W Targus Power Brick / 320G Seagate Momentus / Mini-Box M350 / 1X 22" Dell IPS / 1X 22" HP
Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
m-ITX in a M350? sswilson New Builds 24 November 6, 2013 05:26 AM
[FS] Watercooling Stuff || AMD E350 HTPC in Mini-Box M350 w/ 90w PICOPSU ($175) mojojj Buy/Sell & Trade 0 March 24, 2013 08:18 PM
mITX? wonderpig New Builds 16 March 11, 2013 09:11 PM
WIP Mini-Box M350 case build bonanza2000 Case Mods, Worklog & Gallery 8 February 15, 2013 04:06 PM
[WTB] mITX FM1 Motherboard great_big_abyss Buy/Sell & Trade 2 October 1, 2012 12:43 PM