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Hi All,

I thought it might be a good idea for people to post and share their experiences with DIY PC builds. The following is a build I have been planning and researching for several months. I think I have finally settled on my parts list so I would appreciate any comments or advice on the following combination.

Case: Lian Li PC V-352B

http://www.pccasegea...oducts_id=14725

PSU: Seasonic X-560

http://www.pccasegea...oducts_id=15956

Mobo: Gigabyte GA Z77M D3H MVP

http://www.pccasegea...oducts_id=20450

CPU: i5 3570K

http://www.pccasegea...oducts_id=20138

Ram: Corsair Vengeance CML8GX3M2A1600C9W 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3

http://www.pccasegea...oducts_id=18070

SSD: Intel 520 Series 120GB

http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=19276

HDD: WD Green 2TB WD20EARX

http://www.pccasegea...oducts_id=17282

Optical: cheap dvd combo

Tuner: Hauppage HVR2200

http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=6793

GPU: may add one later

Passive CPU cooling: may add later

I think that this is a good compromise between performance, efficiency, reliability and near silent running potential. I would be pleased to elaborate on my choices if anyone is curious, but with the qualification that this is my first build and I could be completely off-base (and quite prepared to stand corrected)

Cheers

Edited by rehabitat

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My music pc

Case:

http://pcengines.ch/case1d1blku.htm

PSU:

http://www.jaycar.co...UBCATID=1000#12

or this for critical listening

http://www.jaycar.co...SUBCATID=997#12

Mobo / CPU / RAM:

http://pcengines.ch/alix2d2.htm

"SSD":

http://dicksmith.com...-cf-memory-card

Actually, mine is 1GB but DSE doesn't sell that size any longer

HDD

none - reads from server (in another room) over ethernet

Optical

none

This pc is silent and it all cost about the same as the Antec Phantom power supply (which died after about 3 years) that I used in my old music pc.

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thanks for sharing your lists. I would be great to have a concise thread about peoples choices in entertainment PC.

Both interesting choices in cases, and even more so in using flash CF memory for OS's.

Was that for pricing or technical reasons ?

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My last one was simple - wife's design brief " I don't want to see it or hear it" - my experience with PC builds, around 60PC builds over 10 years.

Solution

Mac Mini 2011 model with disc drive

Replaced HDD with SSD, 64G Vertex II - loaded windows 7 ultimate

Installed maximum ram

Connected 2X2TB external drives via Firewire 800

Logitech MX Air mouse and Apple bluetooth keyboard

NAD M51 DAC via optical

Logitech harmony one for control.

Everyone is happy, it can't be seen, is totally silent, does what it should. - AJ

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I'll play, tho in PC terms mine qualifies for the pension.

Case: Thermaltake DH101

VFD: IMon

Mobo: Gigabyte GA-MA78 something something (all in one)

CPU: 4850e (told you it's ancient)

8gB RAM

PSU: quietest on the market at the time

HDD's: 2.5tB of Samsung spinpoint (quietest at the time)

LG G20L something BD-R/RW

3x winfast PCI tuners

W7 Ultimate, media browser with a few add ons.

Harmony One remote.

Has served us very well for years, no desire to upgrade.

post-132327-0-10932000-1341990180_thumb.

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and even more so in using flash CF memory for OS's.

Was that for pricing or technical reasons ?

Technical. The Alix IDE connector is a CF connector.

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Some interesting systems.

Jeff I like the concept of yours. This kind of dedicated fleapower pc os the way of the future. May I ask what os & media player you use on this type of pc?

AJ my wife would approve of your clever adaption. Very elegant. I am curious what it set you back? Mine will be around $1200 with win7, and I could trim it back to save a couple of hundred and still have the same basic machine.

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My music pc ... PSU:

http://www.jaycar.co...UBCATID=1000#12

or this for critical listening

http://www.jaycar.co...SUBCATID=997#12

Thanks for sharing. I wonder what OS you are running on that Alix (Linux?)>

Im totlly fascinated you can compare the sound of a sealed lead battery versus a switch mode power supply running the computer.

My I ask what difference you hear and how (USB?-SPDIF? to DAC? to amps?)

Cheers

Edited by Nada

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O.S I chose the sdd mainly for long term reliability. I want this machine to last as long as possible so I am going for a combination of reliability, flexibility, future proofing and efficiency.

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I'm using Voyage Linux as the OS for the Alix.

music player daemon (mpd) is the media player. There are all sorts of clients to control this player. I'm using gmpc on my Windows laptop.

The Alix is feeding an Audiophilleo1 with PurePower into a Metrum Octave DAC.

The SLA battery I was using before I upgraded the Audiophilleo to PurePower. I saw the reports of experiments with the Aldi LiPo, but decided I had more money than time and went with the PurePower while I was travelling in the US.

With the SLA I felt I was getting a subtle, but significant improvement - hard for me to describe. A better portrayal of space.

The improvement with PurePower is similar to powering the Alix with the SLA, but it's difficult to compare. I haven't yet tried the SLA along with the PurePower. I will try at some point.

I'm not sure where the idea originated to use the Alix as a platform for a music player, but I first saw it at Head-Fi nearly 4 years ago: http://www.head-fi.org/t/326831/my-new-3-watt-dead-silent-usb-linux-music-server-pics-added

It's easier to set this up than it was when I did it 3 years ago, but it's definitely a DIY type project even though there is no soldering. A recent update to enable Voyage and mpd to work with the Audiophilleo caused some issues that took a few days to sort out.

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My last one was simple - wife's design brief " I don't want to see it or hear it" - my experience with PC builds, around 60PC builds over 10 years.

Solution

Mac Mini 2011 model with disc drive

Replaced HDD with SSD, 64G Vertex II - loaded windows 7 ultimate

Installed maximum ram

Connected 2X2TB external drives via Firewire 800

Logitech MX Air mouse and Apple bluetooth keyboard

NAD M51 DAC via optical

Logitech harmony one for control.

Everyone is happy, it can't be seen, is totally silent, does what it should. - AJ

I've just gone the mac mini route for computer sourced music. I bought the poverty pack mini with a plan to upgrade the ram. Did you use the genuine Apple ram or aftermarket at about a quarter the price?

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AJ. Did you find any difference when you moved to an SSD?

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I used aftermarket ram - I have to say the SSD made a difference really only with speed - which is why I did it. It's possibly quieter as well - I doubt it would have much impact on the SQ. for music in this system we normally use a squeezebox/AP2 into the NAD M51 - the HTPC is via optical as the HDMI was giving some grief with the NAD.

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Hi guys

Mine Is relatively simple.

It's a 2011 Mac mini running PLEX.

All my media is stored on a 2TB NAS, movies (all formats), tv shows and music (flac and mp3)

My Mac mini is connected via hdmi to my receiver and my 63" screen.

My receiver is a pioneer vsxlx52, speakers are mission 796 front, 79series rear and centre and 79series sub.

The Mac mini also serves as my media server through plex so I can stream content to my bedroom setup, my iPhone and iPad when on the go.

Very convenient.

Wheni go analogue that's when my turntable and tube preamp kick in..

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I upgraded the ram in my mac to 8gb. It's much faster now and can do multiple things at once without having to think about it, just like what my wife says I have to do.

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using an acer computer behind a home made juke cabinet with touch screen , not really sure of all the specs anymore , running windows xp

using touchjams software to run the juke - pretty much the best program ive come across to date

to an emotiva amp etc with a pair of custom adelaide speakers

here are some pics if your interested on the juke build , love to hear some comments , im actually after ideas on the jukebox sign for the pelmot , im thinking chrome letters

http://forum.arcadecontrols.com/index.php/topic,105231.0.html

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FYI Mwave have OCZ Octane 128GB SSD's for special tomorrow at $80 delivered - these are great HTPC drives for a good price - I have no connection with Mwave other than an occasional customer - AJ

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Hi All,

I thought it might be a good idea for people to post and share their experiences with DIY PC builds. The following is a build I have been planning and researching for several months. I think I have finally settled on my parts list so I would appreciate any comments or advice on the following combination.

Case: Lian Li PC V-352B

http://www.pccasegea...oducts_id=14725

PSU: Seasonic X-560

http://www.pccasegea...oducts_id=15956

Mobo: Gigabyte GA Z77M D3H MVP

http://www.pccasegea...oducts_id=20450

CPU: i5 3570K

http://www.pccasegea...oducts_id=20138

Ram: Corsair Vengeance CML8GX3M2A1600C9W 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3

http://www.pccasegea...oducts_id=18070

SSD: Intel 330 Series 120GB

http://www.pccasegea...oducts_id=20049

HDD: WD Green 2TB WD20EARX

http://www.pccasegea...oducts_id=17282

Optical: cheap dvd combo

Tuner: to be added later

GPU: may add one later

Passive CPU cooling: may add later

I think that this is a good compromise between performance, efficiency, reliability and near silent running potential. I would be pleased to elaborate on my choices if anyone is curious, but with the qualification that this is my first build and I could be completely off-base (and quite prepared to stand corrected)

Cheers

good collection.

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Cheers. About time I pulled my finger out and pulled the trigger then.

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CPU: 4850e (told you it's ancient)

Sweet CPU. I had one in the living room for ages.... in a Silverstone case + picoPSU + 8GB CompactFlash for OS (storage on network).

Ahh, those happy times. I have a 2011 mac mini now ... and it's okay, but I think can do better.

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I was just skimming through the JPlay forum and found this parts list posted by marcin (JPlay creator) in September last year, not too dissimilar to mine coincidentally. The post contains some other useful tips and tweak as well so I have copied it in full. Hopefully he doesn't mind...

In this case I'd go with:

-
(I got the previous TJ08 model and was very happy with it)

-

-

-

-

-

-

– for hdd I would choose external USB storage to minimise noise & vibrations inside the PC –
or, even better –
+

For RAM note that the maximum operating frequency will be limited to 1333MHz and it's not a bad thing. From my experience it's best to set the lowest timings at a cost of limited frequency. Those hi-end memory chips from Corsair will provide very tight timings at lower frequency.

When installing heatsink from Thermalright, it's nice to have better thermal paste. Arctic Silver 5 conducts heat way better than the paste that comes with radiators.

For internal storage you can minimize the electrical noise coming from HDD/SSD to motherboard by using SATA filters available
They also have special PCI-USB controller which can disconnect the power from PC – great feature when your external storage has its own PSU.

If you want further improvements, I'd go with ESI absorber sheets, available at
as well – use it to cover AES16e card, SB/NB, RAM and CPU mosfets.

Oh, and remember about quality power cord – that's very important! I recommend Vovox Textura or Initio if your budget is tight. I hope I was of any help
:)
Regards, Marcin

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Good thread. Right now I am waiting on parts in the mail for an unRAID server and a HTPC to do all my music/movies/TV show related stuff.

HTPC components

CASE: Silverstone ML03 - $75

MOTHERBOARD: Gigabyte GA-A75M-D2H A75 HDMI USB3 GLan FM1 Socket DDR3 - $96

CPU: AMD A6 3500 Triple Core Fusion - $65

GPU: HIS Radeon HD6570 1GB Silence - $59

PSU: Seasonic S12II 430W - $75

OPTICAL DRIVE: LG CH12LS28 12X BD-R Blu-ray DVD Combo Drive - $55

RAM: "4G kit Kingston HyperX" - $29

SSD: Samsung 830 Series 128GB - $125

KEYBOARD/MOUSE: Logitech K400 Wireless Touch Keyboard - $49

OPERATING SYSTEM: Windows Vista

HTPC PROGRAM: XBMC

REMOTE CONTROL: Logitech Harmony 900 (yet to purchase)

And here's the parts for the unRAID server:

CASE: Antec 900 - $112

PSU: Seasonic X-560 80Plus Gold 560W - $169

CPU: Intel"]http://www.pccasegea..._id=16726]Intel Core i3-2120[/url] - $116

RAM: Kingston ValueRAM 4GB - $25

FLASH DRIVE: Kingston Data Traveller 8GB - $6

MOTHERBOARD: Supermicro"]http://www.techbuy.c....asp] Supermicro x9scm-f[/url]

RAM: 8GB"]http://www.megabuy.c...311099.html] 8GB Kingston server RAM[/url]

PARITY/DATA DRIVES: Western Digital Green 3TB x3 - $175*3= $525

Edited by Catherine Barkley

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I have never built a PC before, but I want to give it a go, so after some research I find myself swapping back and forth between certain mobos, memory, CPU etc. I want this to last me a few good years..

My current computer was built over 6 years ago - Gigabyte Mobo, Intel core2 QuadQ6600 @2.4G, 2G DDR2 RAM, Nvidia GeForce 8600GTS still running XP.

Ideally, eventually, hopefully.. this new build will replace all other video and Audio sources, some of which my finance the project. Being a beginner and a bit stubby fingered I will use a full ATX case something like:

Silverstone LC10-E Black USB3.0 -

I think the
will be well adequate for a few years,

ASRock Z77 Extreme4 Motherboard:

I

Seasonic X-400 Fanless Gold 400W:

Intel 330 Series 120GB SSD ($109) and Western Digital WD Green 2TB WD20EARX ($109) seem to be very reliable choices ATM

G.Skill Ares F3-1600C10D-16GAO 16GB (2x8GB) DDR3 $105 - or should I just go for 8G, upgrade if needed down the track?

Lite-On IHBS312 12x Blu-Ray Disc Writer $85

Avermedia AVerTV CaptureHD Dual Hybrid PCIE ($105) or other suggestions to give the best picture possible from a tuner with at least dual tuner.

I am fully open to suggestions and won't be pulling the trigger for at least 2 more weeks. I havn't delved into a decent 2Ch audio side yet if it can be included in the same system.. I would like to keep the current budget under $1500 which shouldn't be too much trouble.

Which is the best way/pack to purchaseWindows 7? I also have a harmony one remote to program up when required.

Geez it's hard to hear my typing over that old GPU....

Cheers,

Ron

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I have never built a PC before, but I want to give it a go, so after some research I find myself swapping back and forth between certain mobos, memory, CPU etc. I want this to last me a few good years..

My current computer was built over 6 years ago - Gigabyte Mobo, Intel core2 QuadQ6600 @2.4G, 2G DDR2 RAM, Nvidia GeForce 8600GTS still running XP.

Ideally, eventually, hopefully.. this new build will replace all other video and Audio sources, some of which my finance the project. Being a beginner and a bit stubby fingered I will use a full ATX case something like:

Silverstone LC10-E Black USB3.0 -

I think the
will be well adequate for a few years,

ASRock Z77 Extreme4 Motherboard:

I

Seasonic X-400 Fanless Gold 400W:

Intel 330 Series 120GB SSD ($109) and Western Digital WD Green 2TB WD20EARX ($109) seem to be very reliable choices ATM

G.Skill Ares F3-1600C10D-16GAO 16GB (2x8GB) DDR3 $105 - or should I just go for 8G, upgrade if needed down the track?

Lite-On IHBS312 12x Blu-Ray Disc Writer $85

Avermedia AVerTV CaptureHD Dual Hybrid PCIE ($105) or other suggestions to give the best picture possible from a tuner with at least dual tuner.

I am fully open to suggestions and won't be pulling the trigger for at least 2 more weeks. I havn't delved into a decent 2Ch audio side yet if it can be included in the same system.. I would like to keep the current budget under $1500 which shouldn't be too much trouble.

Which is the best way/pack to purchaseWindows 7? I also have a harmony one remote to program up when required.

Geez it's hard to hear my typing over that old GPU....

Cheers,

Ron

Nice looking case. Haven't seen that one before. Must be a new model?

I was going to use the fanless psu but have opted for the 560W model, at the same price, so it has enough capacity that I can add a discrete gpu later if I feel the need. The fan doesn't kick in until it is over 20% capacity and runs slow and silent up to 50%, so should be effectively almost all of the time. The Intel 520 series ssd are not much dearer so I might upgrade to one of the 120g units, which seems to be the sweet spot for speed and efficiency. Dunno about your ram, depends whether you want to use it for other purposes than ht and music, 8g should be plenty if not. I chose mine because of the low profile to accommodate a passive cpu cooler at a later date, and the slightly lower voltage (1.35v) which won't give up too much in performance.

I haven't pulled the trigger yet. It's getting itchy though. I am a great procrastinator. :cool:

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Nice looking case. Haven't seen that one before. Must be a new model?

Yes, only currently preorder, I think it is available on 13/9.

I was going to use the fanless psu but have opted for the 560W model, at the same price, so it has enough capacity that I can add a discrete gpu later if I feel the need. The fan doesn't kick in until it is over 20% capacity and runs slow and silent up to 50%, so should be effectively almost all of the time. The Intel 520 series ssd are not much dearer so I might upgrade to one of the 120g units, which seems to be the sweet spot for speed and efficiency. Dunno about your ram, depends whether you want to use it for other purposes than ht and music, 8g should be plenty if not. I chose mine because of the low profile to accommodate a passive cpu cooler at a later date, and the slightly lower voltage (1.35v) which won't give up too much in performance.

I haven't pulled the trigger yet. It's getting itchy though. I am a great procrastinator. :cool:

I think you may be a little ahead of me on the research, I too am a great procrastinator, the positive in this is things may come down a little in price the longer we procrastinate!! :thumb:

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