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Gaming HTPC Silverstone GD05

post #1 of 30
Thread Starter 
Welcoming advice and gentle criticism of my new "Gaming HTPC" build in a Silverstone Grandia GD05 case. My intended uses are 1) Limited gaming (@ 1680x1050) - probably SC II and BF3; 2) Streaming Netflix/Hulu/Live sporting events to my 42" 1080p TV (monitor #2); 3) Multimedia/music.

Here are the basic specs (everything is stock pending completion):

Intel Core i5 2500k
Scythe Big Shuriken (120MM fan)
Asus Maximus IV Gene Z (Z68, mATX)
2x4GB GSkill Ripjaws 1600
120GB OCZ Solid 3 SSD SATA 6.0Gb (boot Win 7 x64/games)
1TB Seagate SATA
600W OCZ ModXstream (modular)
Samnsung DVDRW (SATA, lightscribe)

I have an XFX 9800GT that I just RMA'd (dead), and am waiting on that RMA and BF3 benchmarks before buying a new GPU. I'm going to need to be sensitive to GPU size for this build, because though the specs say this case can handle 11" cards, as the pics below will show, things are pretty cramped.

First - Obligatory pre-build products shot:

p1020709xl.jpg

The CPU & Asus ROG mATX:

p1020711u.jpg

Faux lens flare was an unintended artistic touch...

Tight fit with no GPU front side angle:

p1030096g.jpg

Tight fit with no GPU back side side angle:

p1030097xs.jpg

I didnt take any photos with the ODD & HD cage off, sorry. Everything is either red or black and color schemes well, but the real issue is just how tight things are with that huge 120mm CPU cooler (that is blocking the first memory slot), the ODD, and that crazy HD cage.

A quick word about the HD mounting cage - it was incredibly frustrating for me. It simply doesn't seem to be made for SSD drives - the only way to mount them leaves them flush against the metal bracket with no clearance for power or SATA cords to plug in. there's no comfortable way to turn the SSD for mounting. For the HDD, there are rubber mountaing gromets, but they require you to either take the best position for the SSD, or you have to put the connector end of the HDD directly into the rubber chamber divider that sits atop the PSU. I ended up having to rip mine open so I could attach my cables to my 1TB drive. You can probably see that if you blow the photos up.

I have 2 questions:

1) What GPU would you recommend for that case? I have been looking at the ASUS ENGTX560 TI DCII TOP due to 1) the size (9"); 2) performance (pending BF3 bench); 3) Asus quality 4) vanity - it goes with my general red & black color scheme in the guts of a machine you cant see anyway.

I am worried about custom (non reference) GPUs in an HTPC case like this. SIlverstone says that this is a positive pressure case, so it shouldnt matter, but these custom cooling solutions (like the MSI Twin Frozr III) seem to dump heat back into the case rather than rear venting, like the reference cards... Any opinions on whether that would be an issue? GPU suggestions?

2) Cable management? What are your secrets? I have tried a couple of lame tricks and I still have spaghetti, as you can see, before I even add the two modular 6 pin cables I am going to need for the GPU.

In particular: A) The mainboard power cable is super thick and lays right across the front side of the board where it will interfere with any decent length GPU; B) there is a 4 pin connector on the motherboard in the corner behind the CPU, requiring you to loop another thick power cable around the CPU... which I hate (its the yellow striped cable in the 3rd & 4th photos, and it is fully stretched as is); C) The ODD cables are a mess hanging over my CPU cooler despite my best efforts to use adhesive clamps to pin them against the railing/ODD.

I am really worried my cables are all going to be in the way of whatever GPU I use. Keep in mind, I have to use PCIE slot closest to the CPU to get 16x. The 2nd slot (closer to the PSU) is 8x.

Thanks in advance for opinions/polite criticism.
Edited by The Advocate - 8/22/11 at 9:31pm
post #2 of 30
Good job mate looks nice. Adding GPu will cost you your hand tongue.gif , I say go for the smallest gpu of the two biggrin.gif .
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post #3 of 30
Thread Starter 
Thanks. I guess I'm doomed to whatever tiny gpu I can find... when are the next gen cards coming out again?

Also, I have to say, my favorite thing about this case has got to be the clean lines. I am an absolute crap photographer, but this case looks amazing...

p1030098a.jpg

Someone told me I can buy a flop down cover for the DVDRW that will match the case. I think I might need to look into that. The rest of the case looks amazing next to my Denon AVR.
post #4 of 30
Nice! I just used a silver GD04 in my HTPC build. I used a bunch of little zip ties and a few larger ones on the bigger cables to get some decent cable management. It basically requires planning where the cables can go and then forcing them to stay there. In small form factor cases it will never be perfect but with patience can be decent.
 
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post #5 of 30
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdatmo;14681272 
Nice! I just used a silver GD04 in my HTPC build. I used a bunch of little zip ties and a few larger ones on the bigger cables to get some decent cable management. It basically requires planning where the cables can go and then forcing them to stay there. In small form factor cases it will never be perfect but with patience can be decent.

Did you have any issues with that damn hard drive mounting rig, or was that just me? My wife yelled at me 'cause of the endless stream of profanity...

silverstone_gd05_019.jpg

I swear that thing is evil. 100%. EVIL.

Oh, and I really liked the silver GD04, but everything else I have is black, so... I betcha yours looks sweet.
post #6 of 30
I lost a yellow grommet which annoyed me because I only have 3/4 screws holding in one of my HDs.
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post #7 of 30
could you use 3.5 to 2.5 adapter brackets for mounting the SSD where you want it?
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post #8 of 30
Looks good. I've been debating on buying the same case. I have an CM Elite 360 right now and the largest GPU I can fit is around 7.5" IIRC.. I managed to squeeze a 4850 1GB in there but it's time for an upgrade....
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post #9 of 30
I ripped that stupid black thing off of mine as it was annoying the hell out of me.

You can surprisingly fit quite a large sized card into there, I've had a 3870x2 sit with very little clearance into the case and the pci-e power connectors.

The secret to cable management in that case, I haven't seem to be able to find one. Only thing I could suggest and would do next time would be to use a modular power supply to cut down on rogue/extra cables
Edited by Arinoth - 8/23/11 at 11:58am
post #10 of 30
Hey I'm in a similar build, I got a deal on an i7 870 for my sig rig, so I donated some parts from that to an htpc build. I have the following for mine: silverstone gd05, i5 760, evga p55 sli board, 4 gb xms3 1600, m4 64 gb, wd 2 tb green, corsair builder 500w, asus blu ray player. I haven't got any pics but I fired it up today to make sure mobo posted and everything was recognized. All went well but I ordered the asus gts 450 (850 mhz version) and I ran into a problem with the 6 pin pci connector, it will fit but you basically have to do a 90* bend on the cable and it will make a very slight hump in the top of the case. Sucked cause I really like the card but I think I'm going to rma it and go with a different 450, one that has the 6 pin connector on the side rather than the top. I should've checked into it more but hopefully I'll save you the same if that affects you at all. As for my hdd tray, I didn't seem to have a problem with it, I put my ssd flat against the bare metal skinner side and put the 4 screws through the top of the contraption. I mounted my 2 tb to the black grommet side and just used an exacto blade to cut down the middle for the sata power/data cables. Another 3.5 hdd should fit under the ssd mount w/o a problem if I go that route in the future. Hope any if not some of this helps. Good job with the cable routing though, it looks pretty good, when I get finished in the next week or so I'll hopefully have some up from mine.
P.S. nice max 4 gene, I was eyeing that board but since I had a spare i5 laying around and the evga board was only 35 after rebate, I figured it was a better option than 400 bones for 2500k and gene lol.

Chad
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