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Old November 17, 2013, 09:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arinoth View Post
I found using an FM2 with a built in low profile heatsink worked great for me, sorry to hear that something 'bigger' couldn't quite handle itself in there.
Yeah, If I thought that a lower end dual core FM2 proc wouldn't overheat I could probably be convinced to pick up an A8-6800 with a MB that can OC and move the zotac MB back into the M350.

That's for a later date though. I'll probably wait until the new year to see what comes down the pipe.
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  #32 (permalink)  
Old November 18, 2013, 01:50 PM
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Nice machine sir and top notch cable management given the space you had to play with.
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Old November 20, 2013, 05:47 PM
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Well... after having so many issues with overheating under full load when installed in the M350 I took a fit and decided to pick up a different case. I still wanted something relatively small but decided that active cooling was a must and after measuring the space I wanted to put it in (still in the middle of the TV stand, but on the floor instead of hanging on the bottom of a shelf) came away with a little over 9" height to work with.

Ended up ordering this ( http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811119286 ) from newegg. Not only did it meet my requirements but it also allowed for a proper PSU to be installed as well so that I could eliminate the power brick as being a partial source of the overheating problems I was having.

I was going to start another thread, but I'm not sure how many pics there will be so I'll stick with this one for now...



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First off, I'm absolutely bound and determined to use that noctua if I can so I filed down a 4 pin header so that it would fit under the heatsink. I'd taken a few more pics of the heatsink I put on the individual wires to prevent the long pins from shorting but the pics didn't turn out well enough to post up here. :)

Didn't take a bunch of pictures during the build, it's relatively straight forward other than the fact that it's pretty cramped and you often have to remove structural parts to get at the wire management properly. One thing I didn't really like was the bottom mount for the HDD... I put the mechanical drive there to give it a bit of airflow, but being against the bottom like that I would have been stressing the mount with the excess wires on the sata power cables. I really wish PSU manufacturers would make the end connector come straight on to that drives can be in either orientation (up or down) without having problems lining up the PSU connector key.

Unfortunately, once I got everything up and running, the CPU fan connection is flakey so I'll have to take the bloody thing apart and then maybe see if I can find some kind of electrical plug sockets at Radio Shack (the only electronics shop around) that will fit snugly over the pin of a fan header. Barring that, I'm thinking that my only other option is to hard solder the individual wires of a 4 pin extension directly to the MB header.

At least the MB is easy enough to slip out of the case without having to disturb my wire management.
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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
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  #34 (permalink)  
Old January 12, 2014, 12:40 PM
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Took a while to get everything working the way I wanted, but the M350 case has risen from the dead to find a place of honor amongst the various PCs in my household.

I've been playing around with different setups trying to find a decent method of playing back audio files while I use my basement exercise equipment. Not only did I want easy control, but I also wanted a remote display for visualizations (great for helping me zone out while on the cycle) + access to media playback information, as well as a networked 24/7 dlna enabled media source. I've looked at a few media boxes, but always had the impression that they often left a bit to be desired when it came to configuring options.

With the mindset that the M350 was a perfect size for what I wanted, but taking into account the issues I had WRT heat (or probably more importantly lack of airflow) I wanted a relatively low power solution, and because it was basically going to be a glorified mp3 player I wanted something relatively cheap.

This is what I ended up with.....

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Gigabyte GA-C1007UN-D

Low power CPU already on board and sub - $100. The only issue I had was no digital out, and the lack of USB 3, but I ordered a USB sound card (major mistake) for the digital out and honestly wasn't all that concerned with usb 3.

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Installation was pretty straight forward, and since gaming wasn't a concern I was comfortable using DDR3 1333 mem and a relatively slow 750G laptop HDD I had sitting on the shelf. If I want more storage in the future I'll probably end up using an external plugged into the E-Sata port.


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This is really what the M350 case was designed for... hanging off the back of a monitor using vesa pegs (relatively cheap at NCIX). That old BenQ has been hanging around for much too long without a purpose in life, but it fits perfectly into my old stereo stand so it's now got a new lease on life. :)

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Excuse the crappy pics (and the mess), but this is what everything was leading to.

The first image is my view from the exercise bike. I've got access to TV on top (CNN / CBC on mute with subtitles) and a view of xbmc on the lower monitor for media information and visualization. The second image shows the main workstation for this PC just in case folks were wondering why the hell I was talking about a remote monitor... much easier to set up playlists, general PC maintenance, etc... from my side desk as opposed to taking the wireless keyboard to do it from where I can see the 4:3 monitor.

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As a parting shot I couldn't resist a quick pic of one of the new polks blasting tunes to my workout area. They're the lower end of that line of speakers, but damn they sound great!

As far as the rest of it goes... pretty happy with the default XBMC setup, and the Unified Remote Android app works great for controlling XBMC over the network (even uses the phone volume controls for xbmc volume control).

Two parts that didn't go well on the build were the USB sound card, and then an HDMI splitter purchased in the hopes of resolving issues I was having with the HDMI audio setup I ended up using.

I'm not sure if this is the norm or if I just happened to pick a crappy USB card... I ass u med that since I only needed digital audio out that any card would do (like onboard audio), but the drivers for the card I got only supported 2 channel 16bit 48khz output which frankly sounded like crap. Folks suggested that I use HDMI for audio, but my old Pioneer HT receiver didn't have HDMI inputs. Fortunately for me a staff member made me an offer I couldn't refuse on a Yamaha 5.1 receiver (Thanks again JD! ;) ) so the audio issue was resolved but that opened up a new issue.....

Since I was running HDMI from the receiver to my widescreen workstation monitor and then VGA analog to the 4:3 remote monitor I'd lose video output to the monitor if I switched to tuner, and/or turned off the receiver. I could live with this as the PC is pretty much one purpose, but it irked me to not be able to get around the issue. With that in mind I ordered an HDMI splitter thinking I could split the output from the PC to both the receiver and the monitor... problem solved right??? Of course not... the reason we don't see folks posting about this kind of setup is that the PC doesn't send audio out over HDMI if the monitor it's going to doesn't make use of it. The only workaround is mucking about with the EDID and that didn't appeal to me.

Solution???

When I got the receiver I should have started back at square one and looked at the hookup fresh.... since the remote monitor is only used when I'm exercising and, the music is always turned on for that the system works as advertised with the digital signal going to the 4:3 monitor and the analog signal going to the widescreen. The widescreen isn't as clear as it was using digital, but that's either because of the extra long cable I've got, or possibly the connection needs to be cleaned up a bit.

Anywise... thanks for looking, it's been a fun build.
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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
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