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    element14's The Ben Heck Show

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    In this episode Felix puts together the components necessary to build an Arch Linux based media center PC for your living room.  Things to consider when putting together your own computer system include cooling, wiring, airflow, and ensuring the setup properly.  Have ever created a custom media center PC?  What components and OS did you use to complete your system?  Let us know in the comments below!



    Felix assembles stack of budget grade parts to keep his media center under $400. His parts include a mini ITX form factor case, an ASRock AM1H-ITX Mini ITX motherboard, an Artic M1-Passive fanless heatsink to provide passive cooling without the extra noise of a fan running, an AMD Athlon 5350 Accelerated Processing Unit (APU), a 120 GB SSD from Kingston, some thermal paste for the heatsink, and finally 16 GB of DDR3 RAM from Kingston.


    Felix starts with the enclosure which is all metal.  He then places the ASRock AM1H-ITX Mini ITX motherboard in the enclosure. He then puts in the microprocessor from Advanced Micro Devices.  He demonstrates how to orient the microprocessor in the motherboard. There is a locking tab to makes the connection so you don’t need to apply any pressure to it.


    Next, he’s ready to add the fanless heatsink to the unit. He’ll need to screw the heatsink on from underneath without smearing the grease.  Once the processor is installed, it’s time to drop in some RAM. This consists of two sticks of eight gigabytes. He connects the hard drive LED power button and reset button. He also connects the audio interface and the USB for the side.


    He then gets the power supply installed. He considers wire management and where to mount the hard drive. He opts to install an existing harddrive he has on hand, rather than using the harddrive he was originally going to use, because it already has an operating system installed on it.


    Once everything is set up Felix walks you through Kodi, the Arch Linux operating system, and games that you can play with your media center.  Karen joins Felix to play a game on the newly assembled machine.