Description

This is Project Grandia. A living room HTPC made for couch gaming, Steam, watching BluRay/DVD movies, YouTube recipes for the kitchen, streaming music for entertaining guests, and karaoke for when the family comes to visit. Not much for karaoke, but it keeps my parents happy :)

I do a lot of cooking in the kitchen and having a laptop plugged in is okay for watching cooking vids, reading recipes, and listening to music. But once I finished building the living room entertainment center, I realized I can do more at the kitchen than watch TV. Why not use the big screen as a PC too? Might as well incorporate everything into this HTPC to benefit all uses. Hope you like my 2nd PC build :)


Here's a list of problems and fixes along the build:

**The first problem in the PC build was the clearance issue with the stock AMD wraith spire cooler. I could not install the Blu-Ray drive without it hitting the edge of the wraith's fan shroud. I could go for a low profile Noctua NH-L9a-AM4, but decided to give the Cryorig M9a Mini Tower a try. Had to also register to get the AM4 bracket. Why they do not include it is beyond me :/ Then it turns out the Cryorig M9 fan cannot be mounted in its default configuration because of the BluRay drive again. I could put the fan in a "Pull" configuration, but had doubts about it cooling the cpu properly. So I decided to settle with the Noctua NH-L9a-AM4 low profile cpu cooler.

**Don't be afraid of semi-modular PSUs. The shorter wire lengths is perfect for this Silverstone Grandia case (since the case has limited cable management space).

**For the GPU I adjusted the fan curves in the UEFI-BIOS. The single fan EVGA GeForce GTX 1060 6GB runs kinda warm at 52℃-55℃ on idle, 80℃ on load. The Corsair fan intaking air next to the PSU needed a higher output to help push the heat from the GPU to escape towards the rear expansion slots. I tried flipping the 80mm CoolerMaster fans for intake, but the temps didn't change. Removing both 80mm fans made temps worse for the GPU (air was pushed out from the Silverstone Grandia's top cover vent above the GPU). So back to default config. After adjusting the fan curve on all fans, the temps are about 47℃ on idle and 76-80℃ on load.

**Logitech wirelesss keyboard USB reciever (tiny bluetooth dongle) was not working properly when attached to the back USB of the Silverstone unit. It must be electical interference or something from the motherboard, so it was moved to the front USB, and works properly now with no problems.

--Update July 1, 2018-- **Installed AC Infinity Airplate S Series cabinet fan system to my entertainment center to expel the trapped heat generating from my HTPC. Temperatures all around have been improved! The temps in the shelf enclosure around my HTPC had a temperature of 32 Celsius (91 F) and now 27 C (82 F). HTPC temps have improved as well. About a -4 degree Celsius difference on the CPU and GPU.

Part Reviews

CPU

Now is a good time to scoop up the Ryzen generation 1 CPUs while Ryzen 2nd gen is out. The price is too good to pass up :)

CPU Cooler

This low profile cooler is no problem for the Ryzen 5 1600 in a tight enclosure. Excellent quality and performance!

Motherboard

This is a high quality B-350 motherboard. All the internal connection placements were perfect for my build. Asus pays attention to the little details like padding the I/O shield to a very detailed user guide manual. They really like their ROG stickers too.

Storage

A perfect choice for a build that doesn't need extra wires for a 2.5" SSD.

Storage

I really like this HDD. Maybe I might change out my Barracuda for a FireCuda in my 1st build.

Video Card

It idles a little warm for my setup. Plays all my games perfectly with no problems.

Case

This is basically a horizontal PC and perfect for a home theater set up. Build quality is good! It has dust filters for all the side fan placements. The outer case paint finish has texture as if the paint sprayer was "spitting". The inside paint seems smoother than the outside. Be warned for this case is a fingerprint magnet. If you are using the Blu-ray/DVD player, the bracket for it also holds the Hard drive underneath, and it may cause problems with certain CPU coolers. Also the cable management is just about nonexistent. The rear feet are spherical rubber while the front is more a stylish cylinder. But those rear feet are perfect for sliding the unit into the shelves.

Power Supply

After doing some research, I found that the short wires for the 24 pin and CPU were a perfect fit for the Silverstone Grandia GD09B. Use this PSU if you're using a tight enclosure and don't want excess wiring.

Optical Drive

Comes only with the drive that you see in the pic. No manual or cables. Hopefully your motherboard has an extra sata cable. You're gonna have to download software to play movies.

Wireless Network Adapter

Excellent Wifi adapter

Case Fan

Very quiet even under load. Comes with 3 stylish rings: Red, White, and Blue.

Keyboard

It's a great keyboard and touchpad for my HTPC internet needs. Build quality is good and is lightweight. The keyboard and touch pad is nice, plus the keys are backlit. Battery life lasts as it conserves energy by lowering the backlights after a couple seconds. Gesture scrolling is terrible for it tries.. but it is not perfect.

Comments

  • 18 months ago
  • 2 points

I see you also use banana's for scale. Be careful with that, I had quite a few people freak out over that in my last build. Probably 4 banana comments for every computer related comment xD. Great build, possibly a sleeper? How are temperatures if you close the cabinet door? Or do you leave it open while the computer is running?

  • 18 months ago
  • 2 points

Indeed, gotta have a banana for scale ;) It also makes the build appealing xD Thank you! I have not overclocked it because it was kinda warm on idle with the single fan GTX 1060 and low profile cooler from Noctua. Cabinet door stays open while the HTPC is running. The cabinet inside does get warm too. I'm going to cut some relief holes and install a cabinet fan to expel the heat.

  • 18 months ago
  • 1 point

So far, no banana comments... so... does the banana help absorb case heat in that position? How many Ks does it provide?

Clean build btw, there was a long period of time when I really wanted one of those fancy HTPC cases.

  • 18 months ago
  • 2 points

Great use of the Silverstone Grandia 09 case! This is the case I was looking at myself before I decided to go the ITX route for travel portability. The Grandia 09 case is brilliant, managing to turn a full size micro-ATX case on its side into a console shape with excellent airflow. You did a great build here.

  • 18 months ago
  • 1 point

Thank you! It's a great case and you should get one as well. There are 2 versions of the case. The GD09B has the front power & reset switch wires running normally under the Disk drive and the GD09B-V2 has the same wires routed to the front USB 3.0 area which ideal for cable management.

  • 16 months ago
  • 2 points

I like your build. Would it be ok if I use your setup as a guide for mine? Already have my GD09 with my 9year old setup built into it but looking to upgrade.. One question: do you have the 8mm fans at the back as outtake and the ones on the side (left + right) as intake? Or do you have air moving from one side to the other (e.g. left intake, right + back outtake)?

  • 16 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks! Of course you can use this build as a guide for your build. That's what PCPartPicker is all about :) Yes, the 80mm fans are setup for exhaust and all 3 of the 120mm fans are set to intake air. By the way, you said 9 years and now you want upgrade? I would like to see the before and after pictures please :D