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Built a AMD E350 Based HTPC

Wharfedale Diamond 11 Series

madhurvyas

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Hi All,

From the time AMD launched fusion series I was planning to build a HTPC based on it, I had been using PS3 as my media player through the PS3MediaServer for last few months, it does the job pretty well, but you need a powerful pc running to decode/encode files on the go, and not all formats work properly.
After reading few threads here and few at other sites, I decided to build a HTPC from scratch, I dont like the idea of media players, as they wont be as flexible as a HTPC.

The components used:
1. Msi E350IA-E45--AMD Fusion Platform Rs 6600
2. Corssair F40 SSD Rs 6100
3. Lenovo Multimedia Remote with keyboard N5901 Rs 1699
4. EVM 2GB Ram - Rs 900
5. Zebronics Genesis Case Rs 1400

Ram and case were purchased locally.

Installed Win7 with XBMC, also installed K-lite codec pack with MPC-HC.
I followed steps from sam9s post of directly booting to XBMC, also changed the boot animation using Mediaportal bootscreen changer.
Once everything was working fine I tried using MPC-HC as external player from XBMC, it worked but the CPU usage was too high, I think when MPC is launched from XBMC its not able to use GPU, or I'm missing few settings, because if I launch MPC directly from windows its working fine.
I will investigate further on this issue because MPC is better player then the default XBMC player.

I will add images later tomorrow.
 

Vishu_fbd

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wow! the htpc bug is spreading fast!

Congrats man... do share the pics and the performance parameters that you have noticed against the PS3 or Media Players.

Also any particular reason of buying SSD and not HDD?

Best part of the Fusion bundle is the coaxial out which is soooo much better than the optical out.
 
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arunlouie

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Wow thats a good alternative with AMD APU.

BTW how is the video performance? Is it capable of 1080p ??
 

gobble

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How audible is the fan on this thing? Or should I go for a fanless version?

The fanless deluxe version of Asus board is hard to find.

My application is going to be Pure audio only.

--G0bble
 

madhurvyas

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Thanks for all comments,

This can do easily 1080p, with few extra things on like sharpening and enhancing black levels, even with all this cpu usage is very low.

Fan for me is very silent, only if there is too much load on cpu, fan is audible, but i heard it only during windows installation and with case open, after that i never noticed a sound from cpu.

Im still doing some changes to my simple home theater setup, once its done I will post images.
 

hydra

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@madhurvyas, congrats!

@gobble, I use the same mobo. The CPU fan is reasonably quiet in a normal (open doors and windows, with ambient noise) room. When the BIOS fan settings are at default, in a quiet room, without ambient noise, you can make out that the CPU fan is running. The fan settings are quite tweakable and you can get the noise down to undetectable levels.

The Asus E35M1-M (non-Pro version, without USB3) has the same heatsink as the Pro version, and is sold without a CPU fan. The Pro version does ship with a CPU fan, but I think using it is optional, considering that Asus does not ship the same board (sans USB3) with a fan. The E35M1-M Pro should not be too difficult to get. And an airy cabinet with a silent 120mm fan will probably keep the CPU cool enough.
 

reignofchaos

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On the MSI, if you enable fan control, the fan is not audible at all. The CPU temperatures never go beyond 40 degrees in my machine even when decoding 1080p.
 

arunlouie

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Any comparison check on the power consumption with Atom based mobo?

I heard AMD APU consumption is little higher than Atom.

Will the graphics processor shutdown to idle when not in use (Playing Audio without monitor), heard there are some GPU cards which has this feature for very less power consumption.
 

Vishu_fbd

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Vishu_fbd

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I am not sure on this, may be in Nehru Place (Delhi) this is available. Sam9 did tell that it is available.
 

arunlouie

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Wonder if we can tuck in a audio card in the Mini ITX cabinet?

Any way possible? Or have to go for a bigger HTPC case?
 

hydra

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Wonder if we can tuck in a audio card in the Mini ITX cabinet?

Any way possible? Or have to go for a bigger HTPC case?

There is a way, but YMMV depending on the sound-card and the cabinet: You can use what is called a PCIe Riser card, that will convert the vertical (= perpendicular to mobo) placement of the sound card to horizontal placement (= parallel to the mobo). It is kind of vertical-to-horizontal adapter.

Something like this: Newegg.com - StarTech PEX16RISER PCI Express Riser Card - x16 Left Slot Adapter

I've never seen a setup that uses one of these, though.

I'd suggest going in for a bigger cabinet if you have the space. I faced the same dilemma when I was building my AMD E350 based Music PC. I ultimately decided to go in for a bigger cabinet, keeping possible future upgrades in mind.
 
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madhurvyas

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Wonder if we can tuck in a audio card in the Mini ITX cabinet?

Any way possible? Or have to go for a bigger HTPC case?
Do we really need a separate sound card, this thing bitstreams most of the audio formats, I have denon 791 avr, which does all the processing.
 

arunlouie

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Do we really need a separate sound card, this thing bitstreams most of the audio formats, I have denon 791 avr, which does all the processing.

That is your setup. When using in a stereo setup just with an power amp, card can play vital role.

Also thinking of plug in a RAID card to make it NAS + HTPC.
 
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madhurvyas

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That is your setup. When using in a stereo setup just with an power amp, card can play vital role.

Also thinking of plug in a RAID card to make it NAS + HTPC.
Without avr you need a good card.

I already have a Iomega home media network 1TB drive, plus it has an usb port if I need to expand.
 

baijuxavior

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That is your setup. When using in a stereo setup just with an power amp, card can play vital role.

Also thinking of plug in a RAID card to make it NAS + HTPC.

Instead of internal sound card, you can opt for a good usb DAC to use with your stereo setup.
 
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