Richard Jones' Log: HTPC creation begins...
My HTPC components arrived on Tuesday. I went out and bought a Dremel yesterday and spent last night putting all the hardware together (well, and pulling some of the hardware apart ;)
After reading many articles and forum posts on the subject, I decided to just go ahead an cut out the grille at the back of the box:
I then placed all the parts into the box (sorry, I was so caught up I forgot to take photos)... with the result being:
The last shot is of the new box next to my current midi-tower desktop. The Shuttle boxes are really quite amazing to work with. They're really well-designed inside. Every component was easy to install and there's plenty of cable clips to keep things tidy. The box comes with a split (smaller) ATA cable for the optical drive already routed and clipped to the box. My only concern was with the SATA power lead -- it seems too short and under some stress to get to the HD. Also, I managed to plug the SATA drive into channel 1 instead of channel 0, so it didn't come up (minor panic) and moving that plug without taking out the whole drive chassis was difficult.
I tried to install Knoppmyth but it only supports /dev/hda as an install target, not /dev/sda. I need to get some more writeable CDs and then I'll try FC3 using this excellent and comprehensive HOWTO.
And boy, is the box quiet. When running, I can't hear it. Admittedly, my current desktop is quite noisy, and it's right next to the new box at the moment, but still... Of course, I can't compare the sound level against what it would be with the back grille still in place, but I have read enough to know that it would be louder.
Final parts list:
- Shuttle SK83G Barebone PC w/VIA AMD64 Skt754 board
- AMD Sempron 3100+ CPU, Socket754
- AverTV DVB-T 771 digital terrestrial TV PCI card w/remote control
- Western Digital Caviar 200Gb Serial ATA drive, 8mb cache, 7200RPM
- PC-3200 512MB GeIL 184-pin DDR SDRAM CAS 2.5 w/blue heatspreader
- LG 4163BBK Black 16x DVD±R, 4x DVD+R DL, 6x DVD-RW, etc. ;)
- 1 tube Cooler Master "High Performance" thermal paste
Note the last entry. That was my only real surprise with the whole thing - the Shuttle, and its bundled heatpipe, didn't come with any sort of thermal paste or pre-applied thermal bonding agent (the heatsinks that came with the Sempron and my previous AthlonXP purchase, for example, both had the latter). Thermal paste kinda scares me - I hope I got the amount correct (I have nightmares now about having applied too much and it dribbling down onto the motherboard and causing a short).