Tuesday, February 5, 2013

2. Assembling the HTPC - Video

The following slide show illustrates the assembly procedure for my media center box. Ordering information and specifications for most of the components I used for this build may be obtained by clicking on the product images shown on the right sidebar.
Slideshow captions should be turned on as you sequence through the images. Turn them off temporarily if you have difficulty reading the text behind captions, or click in the center of the slide to go directly to the Picasa Web album where the full-size images for this slideshow exist.

Notes on heatsink installation:
  • The stock Intel heat-sink/fan that comes packaged with the Clarkdale and Sandybridge CPUs can be tricky to install correctly. If mounted incorrectly, the CPU temperature will rise rapidly after power is applied and the entire system will shut down.
  • Make sure that the heatsink and the CPU mating surfaces are flush and making full contact after pushing down on the black plastic push pins at each of the 4 corners. The pre-applied grey thermal compound on the bottom surface of the heat sink assembly must make intimate contact with the CPU.
  •  I find it is easier to push down on the four push-pins diagonally while the motherboard is still outside the case. Note the direction of the arrow on top of the male push-pin: turn the push-pin counter-clockwise in the direction of the arrow for removal, and clockwise for installation. 
  • Support the bottom of the motherboard on a firm soft surface, being careful not twist it or apply excessive force to the surface-mount components on the underside while you are pushing down on the push-pins.
  • You should hear a "click" as you push down on each pin. After installation, examine the bottom of the motherboard to ensure that each of the four black male push pins is protruding fully through its respective hole and through the surrounding white female plastic pin.
  • To make sure that the above installation is correct, after powering up the system for the first time go to the PC Health Status page in the BIOS and verify that Current CPU Temperature is within normal limits ( between 30 - 50 degrees Centigrade).

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