Turning Junk Into Gold Part 2: Retro HTPC Build – The old Coolermaster ATC-620C case and 6 Core AMD Phenom X6 1055T

I was at my parents place and found some old parts that I haven’t touched in years. Anyone remember the old style HTPC MicroATX systems which looked like HiFi Stereo equipment? Well I had one laying around … a CoolerMaster ATX-620C to be exact … this case still looked cool but weighed a ton from it’s solid aluminum construction (the case itself weighs about 12 lbs). I decided to take an old MSI AM3 motherboard with Phenom II X6 1055T CPU and rebuilt this beast.

 

This is what I had laying around

Coolermaster ATC-620C HTPC case

Eagle 500W powersupply  (it lights up blue when it is on … haha) – this was probably a low quality power supply which I never really installed in anything, was sitting in the closet

500GB Western digital blue harddrive (from the Lenovo Flex SSD install article)

12GB DDR3 Ram (2x 4gb stick and  2x 2GB sticks)  – weird number but hey .. the sticks work!

AMD Phenom X6 1055T 9MB Cache 2.8Ghz – Turbos to 3.3 Ghz – This processor was released when “turbo” was a new feature on processors haha. It is 6 cores and is decent by today’s standard, about the same as a last generation Intel I3 for single core applications, faster in multicore applications (of course with 6 cores).

MSI 785GM-P45 motherboard – one of the few AM3 microATX  size motherboards with 4 ram slots – has HDMI built in to the motherboard as well which makes it great for this HTPC build with audio and video going through one wire. Also has one PATA for the 2 DVD-R drives (not many motherboards have PATA anymore ..)   – also has an integrated  Radeon HD 4200 graphics onboard. Has one PCI-Express slot which at some point I may  put in a Nvidia 750TI (pretty sure noone will be gaming on this system but you never know!)

Windows 8.1 (free upgrade to Windows 10 which I will do later)

2X DVD-RW   drives

Linksys PCI-E wireless G card

2X Light up Blue LED Fans from previous builds (custom mounted to this case for added air flow)

I also ordered a HTPC wireless Air mouse so my parents can use this system easily  – The one I ordered is the

Mele F10 3 in 1 Fly +wireless Keyboard+remote Control Universal Pc Tv

Everything installed without a problem, only problem I had was dust and allergies … working with old parts you forgot how long they have accumulated dust in the crevices and when you open them up … dust flies everywhere. Luckily I had a shop vac around and sucked up most of the dust. There were still a few pieces stuck in the power supply fan and other hard to reach places which I didn’t bother with, but for a system just for watching Netflix or youtube, I was not too concerned.

 

This completes another “junk” build where I take old parts and build semi-nice machines.

 

 

 

Update 3/12/2016 –  Was having cooling issues so I added some blue LED fans custom mounted. Was still having cooling problems and the CPU temp was shooting up to 70c at times under load. I finally took the heatsink off the CPU (Havn’t taken the heatsink from the motherboard/cpu since this was in the original server build around 6 years ago!) and found the thermal greese dried up and froze the CPU and heat sink together! A few hours of prying with pry tools and I separated the CPU and heatsink, then I carefully cleaned up the dried up thermal greese with alcohol and kitchen towels. This took a hour since it was really stuck on there good. Once it was clean I didn’t have any new thermal greese to put on so I stuck the heatsink on there tightly and booted it up to see if there was any improvement … huge improvement, now it is 50c under load and 40c idle. I am sure it will get better when I have time to add thermal greese to it, but for now it is within normal operating temperatures. If anyone is having issues with old cpu’s .. check the thermal greese … once it dries up , it does more harm then good!