New HTPC: A6-3500, Wesena ITX7 build

  Thread Rating:
  • 0 Votes - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Post Reply
Balinus Offline
Skilled Skinner
Posts: 1,121
Joined: Jul 2011
Reputation: 19
Location: Montréal
Post: #1
Hello! So here's my HTPC. A big thank to the members of this forum (as well as SPCR forum), as they have been my main source of information.

Case : Wesena ITX7
CPU : A6-3500
Motherboard : Asrock A75M-ITX
RAM : Kingston HyperX 1600 (2x2GB)
Remote : HP Remote
Keyboard and mouse (integrated) : HP mini wireless keyboard
HDD : Salvaged a 2.5" HDD from an external USB HDD.
BD : 5.25 internal Samsung BD drive
External 5.25 Enclosure : Vantec (noisy....)


Replaced the stock fan with a Noctua NF-RF8 which let user with 3 presetted speed (~800, 1300 and 1800RPM), through the use of resistance. After some testing (noise and temp), I've put it on 1300RPM. If I want to game, I'll be forced to use the higher setting (which means opening the case!). So I'm still looking for a 80MM PWM fan that is not noisy (feel free to suggest!). So far, temps are always below 50C, with the CPU fan at about 30% (1600RPM) and the case fan at 1300RPM. I am satisfied with the temperatures.

Some numbers :
CPU Windows Experience Index : 6.3
GPU WEI : ~6.5
Power consumption playing 1080p file : ~27W
Power consumption under full load : ~85W

Videos: See bottom of post #2

Photos:

All the parts
[Image: cimg7531.jpg]

Inside the Wesena ITX7
[Image: cimg7535.jpg]

Side of the HTPC
[Image: cimg7536w.jpg]

[Image: cimg7538.jpg]

PicoPSU
[Image: cimg7544.jpg]

[Image: cimg7545.jpg]
(This post was last modified: 2012-02-29 21:13 by Balinus.)
find quote
Balinus Offline
Skilled Skinner
Posts: 1,121
Joined: Jul 2011
Reputation: 19
Location: Montréal
Post: #2
Watch out...I needed to bend the 3.5" HDD tray. I wasn't able to put the metal tray because the HSF is too high
[Image: cimg7546e.jpg]

[Image: cimg7548.jpg]


The salvaged HDD came already mounted with rubber on the outside! So vibrations are dampened as I left them and use tie-wrap to fix the HDD on the metal tray.
[Image: cimg7552.jpg]

Noctua 80mm fan
[Image: cimg7575a.jpg]

Just before placing back the cover...
[Image: cimg7577.jpg]




Videos:
Boot up Boot

Performance inside XBMC
Performance inside XBMC
(This post was last modified: 2012-01-19 17:47 by Balinus.)
find quote
bluray Offline
Posting Freak
Posts: 8,316
Joined: May 2011
Reputation: 145
Post: #3
Didn't you have the E-350 in this case?

>Alienware X51- do it all HTPC
>Simplify XBMC configurations
>HOW-TO Bitstreaming using XBMC
I refused to watch movie without bitstreaming HD audio!
find quote
Balinus Offline
Skilled Skinner
Posts: 1,121
Joined: Jul 2011
Reputation: 19
Location: Montréal
Post: #4
No, it's the A75M-ITX. Smile
find quote
voip-ninja Offline
Donor
Posts: 1,039
Joined: Jan 2010
Reputation: 20
Post: #5
Thanks for sharing. I see that you ran into the same unfortunate problem of needing to bend the Wesena drive tray in order to clear the HSF of the CPU.

This is really a problem, especially considering that very few people will ever utilize the 3.5" drive rails that make the case have so many cpu/fan clearance problems.

Wesena really need to ditch the 3.5" drive tray altogether which would give another 1.00" of much needed cooler clearance and open the case up to better build options. Or, if they insist on having 3.5" make it OPTIONAL and sell that part for $15 separately.
find quote
voip-ninja Offline
Donor
Posts: 1,039
Joined: Jan 2010
Reputation: 20
Post: #6
Also, which PicoPSU did you go with? What's your power consumption when playing stuff in XBMC?
find quote
kokoro Offline
Junior Member
Posts: 31
Joined: May 2011
Reputation: 0
Post: #7
voip-ninja Wrote:Thanks for sharing. I see that you ran into the same unfortunate problem of needing to bend the Wesena drive tray in order to clear the HSF of the CPU.

This is really a problem, especially considering that very few people will ever utilize the 3.5" drive rails that make the case have so many cpu/fan clearance problems.

Wesena really need to ditch the 3.5" drive tray altogether which would give another 1.00" of much needed cooler clearance and open the case up to better build options. Or, if they insist on having 3.5" make it OPTIONAL and sell that part for $15 separately.

Hi, I ran into the same problems with my itx7 case, I had to bent the plate so much in order to fit the scythe Kozuti with a 3,5 HDD drive that I couldn't eject my DVd in the DVD drive anymore.
Finally I went for the Gelid Solutions Slim Silence iPlus 28mm high cooler and it fitted perfectly (I still have 3-4 MM clearance between the HSF and the HDD, and not too noisy as well). I think the location of the IR window is bad as well, I've ordered the IR receiver from HD-plex and I couldn't install it because the IR window is too close from the lid. The finishing of the case is very bad as well, it's not brushed aluminium like the origen M10, just black matte paint with irregular color levels and scratches all over the case. You cannot close the case well, the aluminium lid is not perfectly bended and didn't adjust well with the bottom of the case.Frown

Oh, and forgot the fan blades rubbing against the horizontal plate of the chassis, I had to use a piece of cardboard to solve the problem.
(This post was last modified: 2011-11-30 01:30 by kokoro.)
find quote
bluray Offline
Posting Freak
Posts: 8,316
Joined: May 2011
Reputation: 145
Post: #8
Maybe, somebody might want to let Wesena know about this.

>Alienware X51- do it all HTPC
>Simplify XBMC configurations
>HOW-TO Bitstreaming using XBMC
I refused to watch movie without bitstreaming HD audio!
find quote
Beer40oz Offline
Donor
Posts: 2,225
Joined: Dec 2010
Reputation: 54
Location: The Moon
Post: #9
Thank you for the pics and vids! looks like a solid build. That APU is amazing no Macroblocking.... nice!

Can you get away by not adding that HD tray and use something else?
(This post was last modified: 2011-11-30 03:23 by Beer40oz.)
find quote
voip-ninja Offline
Donor
Posts: 1,039
Joined: Jan 2010
Reputation: 20
Post: #10
Beer40oz Wrote:Thank you for the pics and vids! looks like a solid build. That APU is amazing no Macroblocking.... nice!

Can you get away by not adding that HD tray and use something else?

The tray is a structural support that also houses the ODD and the 2.5" drive. Someone at another forum built a replacement frame out of wooden tack strips but it did not let him use the ODD.

Unlike Kokuro I am pretty happy with the fit and finish of this case and the overall quality. It is better than budget cases and comparing it to $249 Origen M10 seems a bit silly, of course the Origen is better it is 2.5x the cost.

I just wish they would redesign the drive bracket for the 90% of us who do not use the 3.5" drive.
find quote
eskro Offline
Posting Freak
Posts: 8,473
Joined: Nov 2010
Reputation: 197
Post: #11
sorry for the late reply Tongue

Very nice HTPC!

besides the annoyances of the case, how do you like the A6-3500?

Looks perfect to me!!
find quote
Balinus Offline
Skilled Skinner
Posts: 1,121
Joined: Jul 2011
Reputation: 19
Location: Montréal
Post: #12
voip-ninja Wrote:Thanks for sharing. I see that you ran into the same unfortunate problem of needing to bend the Wesena drive tray in order to clear the HSF of the CPU.

This is really a problem, especially considering that very few people will ever utilize the 3.5" drive rails that make the case have so many cpu/fan clearance problems.

Wesena really need to ditch the 3.5" drive tray altogether which would give another 1.00" of much needed cooler clearance and open the case up to better build options. Or, if they insist on having 3.5" make it OPTIONAL and sell that part for $15 separately.

Yeah, the case would easily accommodate higher HSF if the metal tray did didn't include support for the 3.5 HDD. I might redesign it as I don't use the 3.5 HDD and also no ODD. The trick with the wooden stick seems a nice workaround. I'll place the 2.5HDD where the ODD would be, allowing more airflow around the CPU.

voip-ninja Wrote:Also, which PicoPSU did you go with? What's your power consumption when playing stuff in XBMC?

I got the picoPSU from Perfect Home Theater (PHT). I was told that they are made by Wesena. First one was faulty and PHT sent me a 2nd unit to test both PSU at the same time. Great service and you have a direct contact with the owner when you write an email.

It's a 120W DC-DC and a 120W (12V, 10A) power brick for 60$. The downside so far is that the powerbrick is only a 2-pin connection at the wall (no ground). So, I'm a little bit worried about that.

I don't have a tool to measure the power consumption. Maybe I'll buy something, measure it and return the tool! Smile
(This post was last modified: 2011-11-30 16:28 by Balinus.)
find quote
Balinus Offline
Skilled Skinner
Posts: 1,121
Joined: Jul 2011
Reputation: 19
Location: Montréal
Post: #13
kokoro Wrote:Hi, I ran into the same problems with my itx7 case, I had to bent the plate so much in order to fit the scythe Kozuti with a 3,5 HDD drive that I couldn't eject my DVd in the DVD drive anymore.
Finally I went for the Gelid Solutions Slim Silence iPlus 28mm high cooler and it fitted perfectly (I still have 3-4 MM clearance between the HSF and the HDD, and not too noisy as well). I think the location of the IR window is bad as well, I've ordered the IR receiver from HD-plex and I couldn't install it because the IR window is too close from the lid. The finishing of the case is very bad as well, it's not brushed aluminium like the origen M10, just black matte paint with irregular color levels and scratches all over the case. You cannot close the case well, the aluminium lid is not perfectly bended and didn't adjust well with the bottom of the case.Frown

Oh, and forgot the fan blades rubbing against the horizontal plate of the chassis, I had to use a piece of cardboard to solve the problem.

On my side, I'm am happy with the case. I like the feeling and the look of it. However, it is very easy to scratch the surface with your nails or tools.

Airflow is not bad, I have, after 1 hour of 1080p video, temps around 47-48C for the CPU and lower temps for the rest of the parts. CPU fans is at 35% (~1600RPM) and case fan is ~1300RPM. The next mod wil be an aftermarket HSF I think, or maybe another slow spinning (~800RPM) case fan on the other side of the case. I'll look into Gelid HSF. 28mm is low profile!

I also had some problem with the lid the 1st time I had to screw it. But the more I screwed it, the easier it was to put the lid back on.

Fan mounting is good imo. I tried to put some rubber between the bottom of the case and the mounting fan tray, but the screws are not long enough. I don't get vibrational noise so far so I'll probably left it like that.
find quote
Balinus Offline
Skilled Skinner
Posts: 1,121
Joined: Jul 2011
Reputation: 19
Location: Montréal
Post: #14
Beer40oz Wrote:Thank you for the pics and vids! looks like a solid build. That APU is amazing no Macroblocking.... nice!

Can you get away by not adding that HD tray and use something else?

Thanks! the CPU could be slightly more powerful, but it does the job well and has low operation temps! So, can't complain that much. With the "Sync video to display" (not sure if it's the right words), the avg CPU use is around 15-20% during a 1080p ripped bluray.

I might design a new tray. You have to use it because it hold the back of the case. So you need something that tie together the front and the back of the case.
find quote
Balinus Offline
Skilled Skinner
Posts: 1,121
Joined: Jul 2011
Reputation: 19
Location: Montréal
Post: #15
eskro Wrote:sorry for the late reply Tongue

Very nice HTPC!

besides the annoyances of the case, how do you like the A6-3500?

Looks perfect to me!!

Thanks!

Annoyances of the case are minor imho. Nothing that can't be worked around.

So far, I'm really happy with the A6-3500. Fast enough and cool temps make it perfect for an HTPC. This is important as I have an open cabinet, so fans have to be silent. In complete silence (ie XBMC GUI), we hear the HTPC, but not that much. During dialogue, I don't hear it, unless I concentrate on hearing it. I am about 8ft from my 42" HDTV.

The bottleneck is my HDD. 5400RPM, 120GB 2.5 drive. 5-6 yr old (but not used much). I bet that with a SSD or faster drive, performance inside XBMC will be much quicker (it is already, but faster at scrolling all your movies without buffering). Maybe I'll get a gift card for that this christmas.... who knows? Smile
find quote
Post Reply