New Antec HTPC Case

March 24th, 2008 70 Comments

Antec has been rolling out new cases at a high frequency. We have earlier reported about the updated NSK2480 case, which proved to be excellent in terms of cooling and (lack of) noise, and a great choice for an HTPC build.

A new variant of this case has recently been announced. The NSK1480 is sort of the smaller brother of the NSK 2480, and shared many of the same principles. The key difference is that the 1480 is about an inch lower than its brother, and slightly smaller in the other dimensions as well. Read the rest of this entry »

Mainboard chipsets keep following each other up. The best available chipset right now for Intel CPU would arguably be the ASUS P5E VM-HDMI, based on the Intel G35 chipset with integrated graphics.


The rumor goes that most motherboard producers are skipping this chipset, in favor on the upcoming G45 integrated graphics chipset, expected around May 08, which promises hardware acceleration of HD video content. Although this is an exciting thought indeed, it does not help buyers who want a solution today.

The ASUS P5E VM-HDMI is currently in use at the editorial bureau of HTPCWeb, and we are very happy with it. Read the rest of this entry »

This is somewhat long article about the various options that are currently available to generate a video signal from a HTPC. Requirements for HTPC used to be relatively straightforward until recently. It had to be small, it had to be silent, and it had to relatively cool, as not to generate additional cooling requirements. For displaying the Windows desktop, photos and past video formats, most simple discrete graphics card, and integrated graphics options were more then sufficient. In the Building Project described before this posting, we used an old Athlon XP system, with integrated graphics, which did wonders for most of our content.

But times have changed, and while Moore’s law is pushing CPU and other parts’ computing power forward, applications also start to ask for more juice. A key innovation to our story is the introduction of the H.264 video compression standard. Read the rest of this entry »

Heatsinks for HTPC’s are a bit of a challenge; they need to be small to fit the case form factor, they need to cool well, but the attached fans may not make significant noise. Heatsink/fans from Zalman have often been used on HTPC’s, especially the popular 7000 series, which are relatively small, cool well and can be nearly silent with a properly undervolted fan.

Scythe on the other hand, is known for high quality cooling products line the huge ‘Ninja’ cooling tower. Heatsinks like the Ninja are strong cooling candidates, but the sheer hight of it has kept it out of HTPC cases for most of us. It is interesting to see Scythe’s reponse to the challenge, with the introduction of the Ninja ‘Mini’. The Mini is built along the same principles as its bigger brother, but indeed made a lot shorter, to fit lower cases. The Ninja Mini seems a strong new contender for a heatsink in a HTPC case, and reviewers online seem to agree this is a good quality product.

Antec has recently updated its popular offering of HTPC cases. The NSK2400 and the same form-factor, but higher-end Fusion model have been steady favourites with HTPC builders and reviewers. Key components in the designs that have proven succesful to the HTPC challenge are:

  • Separate sections inside the case for mainbaord, power supply and drives, to manage heat and airflow separately for these components
  • Sole us of twin large 120mm exhaust fans to move air inside the case; as we know large fans spin at lower noise levels
  • mATX form factor, keeping the size down to a minimum, while keeping the choice of components to standard items

Antec recently updated the NSK2400 model, to the new NSK2480. Not much has been changed, apart from the power supply, which is now a standard Antec EarthWatts 380. Also the choice of colors has been increase to a second choice of completely black, including the front of the case.

With the smart choice of keeping very similar what is already succesful, Antec will maintain to be one of the leaders in HTPC cases.

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<UPDATED ON 7 APRIL 2007>

 In this article we’ll delve into the challenge of transforming a somewhat older desktop PC into a HTPC for in the living room. The unique challenge that come along with transforming an existing PC rather than building one from scratch, is that you have to carefully choose new parts to match with you existing hardware.

Nevertheless, with some well considered choices, we have been able to make a great HTPC out of this. The great news is that we didn’t need to spend any serious budgets to achieve this. Let’s get into details. Read the rest of this entry »

The next article to be published will be about how we tranformed a noisy AMD Athlon XP machine in a standard beige ATX case, into a silent and elegant HTPC to place in the living room. We used only few low cost components to achieve this. Keep checking for a detailed report on this project soon.

This may well be the future of storage in Home Theater PC’s; IDE flash disks. The obvious benefit for HTPC’s is that there are no moving parts, hence no drive noise, and no substantial generation of heat.

MILPITAS, CALIFORNIA, MARCH 13, 2007 – SanDisk® Corporation (NASDAQ: SNDK) today broadened its IDE flash drive product line for the portable computer market with the introduction of a 32-gigabyte (GB)1, 2.5-inch Serial ATA (SATA) interface model, compatible with most mainstream notebook designs. Coming just two months after SanDisk introduced a 1.8-inch flash disk for ultraportable notebooks, the 2.5-inch flash disk is now available to PC manufacturers as a drop-in replacement for hard disk drives.

The SanDisk 2.5-inch flash disk brings the extreme durability, outstanding performance and low power consumption of flash memory to the entire notebook computer market,” said Amos Marom, vice president and general manager of the Computing Systems division at SanDisk. Read the rest of this entry »

Welcome

March 16th, 2007 32 Comments

This site is set up to help you building a Home Theatre PC. Wether starting from scratch, or using a current PC as a starting point, you’ll find plenty of tips on how to get it done, in a cost effective way.

Keep checking here regularly as new articles will be published at regular intervals.

dangerboy