Description

After struggling between a roku and a wimpy HP laptop, my mom decided she would use an HTPC. I was very excited to build it and I think it turned out very well. There were a few hiccups along the way, but in the end, she will be very happy with it.

All it is going to have to do is stream media, maybe download a few shows, and browse the internet to shop/check email. Basic stuff. The hardest thing it will ever have to do is watch Netflix and maybe have another browser open at the same time. the Pentium-AE would be perfect for this. In search of a silent low profile cooler, the NH-L9 fit the bill perfectly. I really love this CPU cooler.

The reason I didn't get a HDD is because 99% of the time all of our media will be streamed. The SSD makes it silent, and blazing-fast.

The other parts mostly speak for themselves as to why I chose them. I think I will mess around with OCing on the H81 board a little, but for its purpose, the PC doesn't really need it.

Temps

As I mentioned, the computer is actually silent from a foot away. Also, at 100% load in Prime95, the CPU's max temp was 47C. NH-L9 is doing its job very VERY well.

The Hiccups

-Case has USB 3.0 headers, mobo does not. I might find an adapter, but at least the mobo as 3.0 on the rear.

-Mobo has no HDMI out, TV has VGA, but we have no speakers(just use the TV's speakers). Found a audio-in for the VGA on our TV, so it worked out, but I wish it had HDMI to simplify it all.

Overall, it turned out really well. I know the cable management could look a little cleaner, but the airflow to the important stuff is unobstructed and it all works well.

I'd love to hear what you all think, this is my first HTPC build.

If you want to see my gaming build: http://pcpartpicker.com/b/MxWXsY

Comments

  • 60 months ago
  • 2 points

sweeeett

  • 51 months ago
  • 2 points

Did you test it with the stock cooler? I put together a G3258 in the ML04B and on Small FFTs Prime95 I keep hitting 100C on stock speeds - I'm pretty sure it's the Intel cooler but was wondering if you used any 80mm fans as exhaust on the side.

  • 51 months ago
  • 1 point

I haven't tested with the stock cooler. But Prime95 absolutely wrecks CPUs no matter how good your cooler is. In fact, I just tested my 4790k on a h100i stock freq and crashed my PC while typing this. I did not use any exhaust fans. I believe the Pentium just held up so well on Prime95 because of the very very very good Noctua cooler. Only $45 you could pick one up, but also know that Prime95 isn't a good representation of your temps under realistic load.

  • 51 months ago
  • 1 point

Yeah for sure Small FFTs crushes CPUs. Unfortunately, I tried running a looped x264 encoder (realistic load for what I'm using this machine for) and it also hit 100C with no overclock, so I guess G3258 and stock were never meant for the ML04B. Gonna pick up an aftermarket low profile cooler, thanks!

  • 60 months ago
  • 1 point

Nice build +1

  • 60 months ago
  • 1 point

Nice build. And to solve your problem, just a get a DVI to HDMI cable. That'll do audio and video.

  • 60 months ago
  • 3 points

That wouldn't help actually. DVI doesn't carry audio, so using a DVI to HDMI cable would only give you video.

You could still do that in order to get a resolution bump from the HDMI though.

  • 60 months ago
  • 1 point

Yeah James is right, I tried the whole HDMI adapter route... But it ended up working when I used a VGA and an auxillary cable to plug into the TV.

  • 60 months ago
  • 1 point

I have both of my monitors plugged in via DVI using a DVI to HDMI cable (one in my 780ti and the other to the motherboard) and I get audio to both monitors. Newer DVI connectionso will carry audio.

  • 60 months ago
  • 1 point

Even if the board had HDMI in it, he may still have issues with the audio as Intel STILL hasn't released drivers that work 100% correctly for their chips.

  • 60 months ago
  • 1 point

you could have gone with an AMD apu...

P.S you have a very overkill psu for what you are using it for. None the less, great build!

  • 60 months ago
  • 5 points

I picked Intel over an APU because this PC will not be doing ANY gaming at all, and the better single core performance outweighs the GPUs in an APU.

And I know the PSU is overkill, it was very cheap with a rebate, and is modular(which helps a lot in small cases). Thanks!

  • 60 months ago
  • 1 point

If it were me, I would've bought an optical drive that can read/write bluray disks + dvds + cds, but that is only my opinion...

  • 60 months ago
  • 1 point

I really like this build. Mom is probably proud (':

  • 60 months ago
  • 1 point

For HTPC you made a lot of mistakes..especially no HDMI on mobo?

  • 60 months ago
  • 1 point

Ah! You got that SSD $10 cheaper than me and I had gotten mine on Black Friday! runs and cries

  • 60 months ago
  • 1 point

Very nice HTPC. Silverstone is arguably the best HTPC case available currently. As others have said I would have put in a bluray player, but since you said this is going to be used mostly for streaming the bluray player is a minor thing. Also, a bluray player is definitely a preference addition.

  • 58 months ago
  • 1 point

Did you have to update the BIOS out of the box with the Pentium G3258? Because I'm doing a build with it and that MOBO and I've been getting worried because some forums have been saying that I need another CPU to update the BIOS before I can use the G3258.

  • 58 months ago
  • 1 point

I did not have to anything difficult. I don't think there was a manual bios update anyway... I only remember that it all went smoothly.

  • 45 months ago
  • 1 point

As a builder with a few MSI H81M-E3Xs under my belt, may I share - the E34 model is the one you want. It's the one with a USB 3.0 front header. Also has two system fan ports for larger builds.

No, MSI isn't paying me to say this, although I might ask them :p

  • 60 months ago
  • 0 points

Why not the AMD AM1 CPUs? Nothing wrong with you current parts list but I think the AMD 5350 would of been a cheaper choice.

Anyway, nice build!

  • 60 months ago
  • 3 points

Well it would only save around $20 and the single core performance on the Pentium is better by an amount that I consider significant. http://cpuboss.com/cpus/Intel-Pentium-G3258-vs-AMD-Athlon-5350

  • 60 months ago
  • 1 point

the question is would you have seen the difference. APU's are killer HTPC chips but so is a 3258 also I'm certain you could have gone with stock cooling

  • 60 months ago
  • 1 point

I though it might be louder, especially when I overclock it, just for giggles. But you're probably right.

  • 60 months ago
  • 1 point

I can see it for OCing but why OC a HTPC lol

  • 60 months ago
  • 1 point

Excellent point lol. Pentium-AE just seems like a really fun chip that I want to play with

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