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Part 2

Power Supply

The Main Power Supply must be compatible with Motherboard and is good to have a some power reserve. These days 550W and more Switching Power Supply, it is a standard in typical desktop computer. For HTPC we need efficient and reliable Power Supply with ultra quiet Fan. I choose Power Supply made by Thermaltake with very quiet Fan about 16dBA. There is also another Switching Power Supply for Surround Sound Power Amplifiers, because I decided to equipped this HTPC with 6x 100W internal Digital Amplifiers very useful for any 5.1 or 7.1 surround speakers setup.

View with Old Motherboard inside


The Auxiliary Power Supply for Internal Amplifiers 27V / 350W was modified by removing noisy fan from chassis. The chassis of this device serves as a heatsink and is connected to the aluminum case. There is no extra fan necessary to cool off this power supply even with long operation with full load.

The Moneual Media Reference - MonCaso 932 all aluminum case has many cooling vents provided for good air flow and perfect ventilation and cooling all internal components. It comes with 2 very quiet chassis fans. Any extra cooling fans can be installed but in the configuration described here, it is not necessary.

The HTPC as part of Home Audio System should produce minimal noise and should not generate to much heat. This could be achieved with proper Motherboard and fast, power efficient modern Processor for HTPC. Any extra fan , any bad design Video Card with noisy fan can compromise this project introducing unwanted annoying noise to listening experience.


Processor and Motherboard

First, we have to choose the Processor which going to be a heart of the system. There are two competing companies producing microprocessors for PC, Intel and AMD . Every few months they are introducing a new microprocessor chips to the market and is hard to recommend particular model which is the best. At the time when I constructed my HTPC, the processor from AMD was better choice for HTPC, supporting more efficient multimedia applications.

I choose AMD A10-7860Kwith AMD quiet cooler Quad-Core, Socket FM2+, 65W Desktop Processor with AMD Radeon R7.


This energy efficient powerful processor is classify as APU, the CPU combined with Graphic Processor. This model has AMD Radeon R7 powerful graphic processor inside.

That APU contains 12 Cores (4 CPU + 8 GPU) runs on 3.6 GHz (4 GHz Overclocked), has 2x 2MB Cache Memory and requires DDR 3 Memory. The quite red fan supply with it, is not that quite like they advertise it. It generates high pitch noise, so it went out through the window in first minute and old good fan from AMD Phenon X4 took it place.

The memory has to be upgraded to DDR 3 so I choose reliable G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3 1600.

The major upgrade working with listed parts above would be a main Motherboard. This time I decided to go away from ASUS, after so many problems with Motherboards this brand . I had 2 ASUS Motherboards failed on my PC systems recently, plus that HTPC's Motherboard failed in June 2016, so I decided to go for something new.


It is Audio optimized Motherboard, perfect for HTPC. The old ASUS M3A78T had intermittent problem with some interference noise, very difficult to remove.

The new BIOSTAR Hi-Fi A88W 3D has no noise that kind at all. Even insulating screen which was installed around audio board in old system was removed from that new system.



BIOSTAR Motherboard has all necessary components on board to be a one board HTPC. It is design for high quality audio system. It does support Blu-ray audio DRM (compatible driver/software) and provide the higher audio output of 24 bit/ 192KHz than the 16 bit/ 48KHz from the normal MB. You will experience the high quality sound effect with pure Blu-Ray Audio. Hi-Fi 3D Technology is built-in power amplifier to boost the speaker volume. It will increase double volume level with high-quality HD audio output. Hi-Fi 3D Technology not only improves on the headphone but also enhances your speakers' sound volume.
Hi-Fi preamp can boost the line level audio signals from analog and digital sources to levels that a power amplifier can detect and boost again to successfully power up the loudspeaker. BIOSTAR Hi-Fi Ground ( Golden Line ) is noise-blocking multi-layer PCB design to isolates analog audio signals from digital sources. Unique PCB layout is ideal for exceptional clarity and high fidelity sound.

Another great thing about this system, that is no video card necessary. It can handle serious high quality 4K video through HDMI port, thanks to APU on board AMD Radeon R7 graphic processors. But for serious gamers any extra supercharged video card can be installed. No Video Card, no extra fan , no noise , less power consumption, less heat.


View with New BIOSTAR Motherboard inside. (APU with old Fan)

The APU is running cold all the times. The AMD Fan producing almost no noise at all.

Another big system improvement came with SSD Drive.

The Operating System was cloned on SSD Drive and now HTPC starts and shuts down 10 times faster. In the future I will eliminate all conventional Hard Drives and replace them with Solid State Drives. For now the cost is to great and SSD is not that reliable yet like conventional HD. I had already 2 issues with SSD's in my other systems.

I used Crucial MX200 2.5" 500GB SATA 6Gbps (SATA III) as System Disc. All media files Music, Movies, etc. they are stored on conventional HD. The system on SSD is mirrored with one of Hard Drives just in case of fail SSD. One MX200 just totally fail in my Desktop Computer recently so I don't trust them anymore.

Despite of onboard HIFI Audio features I'm still using fantastic audiophiles XONAR HDAV 1.3 Deluxe audio card.