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Xbox HTPC build


Hold onto your hats, this is going to be a long ass log. If you think this sounds familiar, that’s probably because I posted it on a couple subreddits. Please excuse the quality of the shitty photos. My phone is actually a potato, a Nexus 4, with a shattered back and a bursting battery shaped potato.

I created this xbox because I wanted a computer that looked like it belongs under a TV. You can buy HTPC specific cases, but this also gave me a perfect excuse to buy a 3d printer.

My only options for cases were VCRs and game consoles. Since I had 2 xbox originals sitting at home collecting dust and no VCRs, the choice was obvious.


CPU: Intel i5 4670
Motherboard: MSI H81I ITX 1150
Memory: 8GB of Mix 'n Match low profile
GPU: Gigabyte 1050ti deshrouded
HDD2: 5tb shucked portable drive

This is finished product.

The side, showing the fans

The back, with the I/O panel

The relocated power plug

This is the 3D rendering of the backplane that I designed

And the “hat” or “shelf” that I created to hold the graphics card and hard drives in place

This is the test fitting, after making everything fit fine, but before I realized the absolute rats nest the wires were going to be. Look at that clearance on the power cable.

Here’s the graphics card and archive drive test fitted.

Test booting it and installing Windows 7 - don’t worry, I came to my senses and installed Linux on it (more specifically KDE Neon).

With the backplane installed and the PSU fan vent cut out.

Mobo, PSU, Fan, drives, RAM installed - this is when I started to realize that I’m in a bad place for cabling, and that i REALLY should’ve sprung the extra $50 for the modular PSU.

This is the final product before closing it up. I have changed a few things since I took these pictures. This shows the original 500gb spinning rust root drive, and the old pci-e x16 riser cable that I didn’t trust. It also has the shitty cheapo amazon fans that made so much noise you couldn’t hear anything on the TV.

Having a drive that depends on magnetism, flush against a massive transformer wasn’t a good idea from the get-go, I realized this, I just couldn’t afford an SSD.

A couple extra’s that I included in the case.

This is the usb hub behind the front panel. In the final product that hub has Bluetooth, Wifi (for LAN parties), Steam controller USB Dongle, and Logitech Unifying Receiver.

On the other side of the front there is this - a FLIRC receiver. This is a universal receiver for IR remotes. At the time of writing this, I just remembered that I haven’t set it up for Linux yet, and I need to get on that.

All the zap straps are to hold down the extender and to keep the receiver in place.

Bonus - you can see the 5tb archive drive.

Here is the clearance between the GPU fan and the bottom of the case. It is really miniscule, but I 3D printed a custom mini shroud, so it should have a pretty reliable clearance.


5 days


Nicely done.


I love these kinds of projects. Good job.


Thank you very much. I’m thinking about maybe printing a full case next.