Description

Update: I replaced the original old and slow hard drive with an SSD. I know the SSDNow v300 has a bad reputation, and the one I got is one with the slower flash, but I got it dirt cheap after a rebate and it is still much faster than an hdd so I am happy with it.

I wanted to build an HTPC to stream my movies, music, tv, etc from my main gaming computer and also to play some of my more casual video games from the couch. Also when SteamOS is released, I may consider installing it on this computer and streaming some games from my main rig to this one if that will be possible. All of my computers get the dubious honor of being named after bulgarian pop singers, and so this one is Boris, after Boris Dali (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6QTJ-BOxf1A).

This was my first build with an AMD chip, and the A6-6400k was a pleasant surprise. My motherboard automatically overclocked it to 4.2 Ghz. It has handled 1080p video and blu-ray playback without any problems, and it doesn't feel slow. I don't plan to throw any heavy games at it, so I'm not too worried about graphics performance, and I think it was a good choice. I may upgrade the cooler at some point, but it will mostly be for looks and to keep things a little cooler, since the stock cooler isn't bothering me at all for now.

I don't own/watch a lot of blu-ray, but I wanted one around, just in case a friend brought one, or I decided to rent something. I found an external blu-ray drive on amazon for about $35, pulled it from its casing, and it worked perfectly in my case.

I think that memory was more expensive when I was looking than it was the last time I was looking, possibly because of the Hynix fab plant explosion? Anyway I wanted to keep the build price relatively low, so I found 4GB of 1600Mhz DDR3 on ebay and got it for $40, and I think it is enough for this computer anyway. My case is the Fractal Design Node 605, which I generally found to be very nice to work with. I didn't like the fan layout, so I added an extra 120mm bitfenix fan that was sitting around unused since it came with another case. Now the fan on the left and the right are set as input, and the fan in the back next to the cpu is output, and I think that is giving me much better airflow. The fans make some noise when turned all the way up, but I use the middle setting on the built in fan controller, and any noise is not noticeable with the background noise in my apartment, and cooling is adequate for my APU.

The hard drive is probably the worst piece of this build and will almost definitely be upgraded. It was the original drive in a 2008 macbook which has long since been sold. It still works though, and decided to use it as a stand in until I see a sale on an ssd that looks good. I won't necessarily need a lot more storage, since almost everything on this computer gets streamed from my main rig, but it would be nice to get the speed boost from an ssd. The 6" sata cables that I used were surprisingly hard to find, but I would recommend them to anyone looking at the Node 605 case. If I had a drive in the first possible slot next to the front of the case I might have needed an 8" cable, but for the others these were perfect.

I'm still working on an upgrade or two, controllers, remotes, etc but overall I am happy with my attempt at putting together an htpc with an AMD apu.

Comments

  • 68 months ago
  • 1 point

Awesome Build. Love the Case.

  • 68 months ago
  • 2 points

Thanks! It really is a nice case, my only complaint is that there doesn't seem to be a good way to hide cables.

  • 68 months ago
  • 1 point

I think you get a "Bye" when working with HTPC and ITX cases. There normally is not a lot of places to hide cables.

  • 68 months ago
  • 1 point

Wow that look super awesome. Love the case. How does the bluray work? Could you buy a regular blu-ray drive and make it fit like it does here?

  • 68 months ago
  • 2 points

I think this Node 605 case only works with slim drives, like the kind you would find in a laptop. You also need a slimline sata adapter to connect to the normal sata power and data cables (that's the red cable in my pictures).

  • 68 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks for the info.

  • 68 months ago
  • 1 point

I like it!

  • 68 months ago
  • 1 point

Perfect case for it's purpose.

  • 68 months ago
  • 1 point

Have to admit, that's a slick looking case.

  • 68 months ago
  • 1 point

Wonderful!!! I love the case. This beautiful piece of tech feels like at home among the others. A question: how's the blueray playback quality? is 3D capable? Thanks!!

Caroline.

  • 68 months ago
  • 1 point

I did rent a blu-ray movie to test the capability and it played back flawlessly. The drive itself seems a little noisy and I don't think the write speeds for DVD are very fast. But then again, it only cost me about $35. I don't think that the drive which I chose on amazon had 3D blu-ray capability, at least I didn't see any documentation of that and my TV is not 3D capable either. I'm not really knowledgeable about that technology.

I did find this external drive from Asus which purports to support 3D playback http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827135257, and it could most likely be stripped of its case and used like I did with the one that I found. Unfortunately I don't know what the OEM drive inside of that Asus product is, but there must be some slim blu-ray drives which do support 3D playback.

  • 68 months ago
  • 1 point

Perfect for the price and well balanced +600

  • 67 months ago
  • 1 point

Hey there did you have to update your bios to support this apu? People have been saying you need a Trinity apu to update it.

  • 67 months ago
  • 1 point

On the board that I bought (from amazon) the bios was ready to go. I am not sure if it matters when the board was made or where you buy it, but in my case no update was needed.

  • 67 months ago
  • 1 point

ok thaks a ton.

  • 66 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks for naming it after me.

  • 65 months ago
  • 1 point

Nice looking case. Jst starting to seek out something good looking - don't like most that I've seen. I like the understated look.

Different topic: I'm looking at integrating an RC6 IR receiver into my case - found this one that connects to the USB header on the Mobo - have to check into that - haven't looked to do this previously. But I digress... doesn't look like there's a spot for an IR receiver built into the case - wondering if it's something I can drill a hole for? IE: is there a logical place on the upper part (above the door) that might work?

  • 64 months ago
  • 1 point

Sorry I didn't log in on this site for a while. There is plenty of space that you could drill a hole, I would probably put it next to the power button. I uploaded a new picture so you can see that area from the inside.

  • 56 months ago
  • 1 point

Great htpc build . I'm considering building a boris after seeing yours

  • 54 months ago
  • 1 point

Sweat combos :D

  • 10 months ago
  • 1 point

Why Boris Dali and not Life Of Boris blyat https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCS5tt2z_DFvG7-39J3aE-bQ

  • 68 months ago
  • 0 points

Great job. I am not usually a fan of the Fractal cases, but that one looks nice for its purpose! I think everything looks great; you made good choices (I know you're upgrading the HDD to a SDD). :) <3 Starlana

  • 68 months ago
  • 2 points

Not a fan of fractal cases?! What cases have you been looking at because Fractal has some of the best cases! Node 304, Node 605, Define R4, Define Mini. What could beat these?

  • 68 months ago
  • 0 points

Yes, it does seem like you males like the Fractal cases. To me, they just look boring...

  • 68 months ago
  • 4 points

I guess not all of their cases are really exciting but I prefer to call them understated :)

  • 68 months ago
  • 1 point

Fractal does have a fan base, that's for sure.

  • 68 months ago
  • 2 points

They're not boring, they're understated. And they look a heck of a lot better than one of those unnecessarily colorful cases that just seem like they're trying to make a lot of noise.

At least tell me you like NZXT's Phantom.

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  • 68 months ago
  • 1 point

haha I hadn't thought of him when I named the computer but that is awesome

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