PC

  1. Selected the following PC main board, power supply, CPU, and RAM. This client requires gaming capability as well as a music and video server.

    Pi-Amp Rev 5 PC Components
    • Main Board - Asus F1A55-M LX PLUS FM1 AMD A55 (Hudson D2) Micro ATX AMD
    • ATX Power Supply - PC Power and Cooling Silencer MK III 500W Modular
    • CPU+GPU - AMD A8-3870K Unlocked Llano 3.0GHz Socket FM1 100W Quad-Core
    • Memory - Corsair XMS3 16GB (2 x 8GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600
    • 3.5" Hard Disk Drive - Samsung Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s
    • Other - Generic 24x DVD R/W and wireless card
  2. Installed the CPU and RAM and ran Power On Self Test and everything checked out on the main board. Fastened the main board to the tray (main board tray is deeper than it needs to be). Installed the ATX power supply. This particular ATX power supply is very quite.

    Pi-Amp Rev 5 Main Board Installed
  3. Mounted the 3.5" HDD and optical drive in the drive head. There is space for one additonal 3.5" HDD.

    Pi-Amp Rev 5 Drive Head Bridge
  4. Routed the ATX power cables to the main board and both drives. Installed the drive head.

    Pi-Amp Rev 5 Drive Head Bridge Installed
  5. View from the front.

    Pi-Amp Rev 5 PC Installed Front View
  6. View from the left side.

    Pi-Amp Rev 5 PC Installed Left Side View
  7. View from the rear with the wireless card installed.

    Pi-Amp Rev 5 PC Installed Rear View
  8. Close up view of the main board. Note the amplifier signal in leads running along the top of the main board to the face plate audio bus. Not crazy about this arrangement but may install a sound card later and signal leads will connect to the sound card (closer to face plate). Does not impact audio performance.

    Pi-Amp Rev 5 PC Insatlled Top View
  9. Pi-Amp Revision 5 Completed.

    Pi-Amp Rev 5 Completed
  10. Conclusions -
    • Using the face plate as a heat sink for the power transistors worked well. I did not measure the collector temperatures however the area around the transistors is cooler, to the touch, than units utilizing the manufactured heat sinks. I believe this is due to improved air flow and increased thermal mass. I wish I could devise a better method of attaching the heat fins. Perhaps a different type of machine screw head would look better. I don't know if the Gino thermal pad material, between the heat fins and face plate, is necessary. There is more room between the amplifier PCB's and the power supplies.
    • Routing the power transistor leads to the solder side of the PCB, and soldering them to the component side, makes a cleaner and simpler hookup and is supposed to reduce the potential for oscillation. Longer PCB standoffs were required in order to prevent crowding the leads between the PCB and transistor sockets.
    • Locating the amplifier and PC power supplies on opposite sides of the chassis has a slight draw back. Using this power supply configuration limits the first position expansion card (slot closest to the CPU) to a length of 7" due to the proximity of the drive head. The first position slot is commonly used for the graphics card and many exceed 7" in length. For this build I selected a main board with two PCI-e expansion slots; one in the first postion and the other in the forth position (outer edge of the board). If the user wants to expand the already mighty graphics capability, then an expansion card of any length can be installed in the forth position expansion slot. The alternative is to simply locate both power supplies in the right rear portion of the chassis as was done in Pi-Amp Rev 4.