BodhiBox HD2 HTPC
Author: Shawn Knight
Editor: Zahn Funk
Date: 08-16-2010
Provided by: BodhiBoxes
Interior / Problems Arise

As you can see here, the BodhiBox is extremely compact. The hard drive is mounted upside-down at the bottom of the chassis. The optical drive hides the majority of the internals but we can see see an exhaust fan mounted to the roof of the case. We can also tell that the power supply is actually mounted in the front of the chassis behind the front bezel as there simply isn't room for it elsewhere.

I initially hadn't planned to go much deeper with the internals but I was eventually forced to. I had moved past the photo shoot and began benchmark testing the system when I noticed a serious issue: the system would shut itself off after just a few minutes of testing. I verified this a few times before getting to work to find the problem.

I first checked the BIOS to have a look at the PC Health section and to my surprise, I noticed a CPU temperature of 97 C! Not good, of course, so before immediately shutting down the system, I peeked in through the top cooling vents and it appeared that the CPU fan was not spinning. It was dark and I wasn't 100% sure, so I went ahead and shut down to further diagnose the issue.

I took the side panel back off, removed the optical drive and checked on the fan. My initial thought was that a wire had been caught in the fan blade, preventing it from spinning. But as the video below shows, the issue was much more serious.

Yeah, quite the issue indeed. I spoke with BodhiBox about this and we both came to the conclusion that the heatsink retention mechanism must have been damaged or worked loose during shipping. They offered for me to send the unit back but I was able to successfully install the heatsink properly as it is just a simple push-pin Intel design. Granted I have never had a system arrive with the heatsink unattached like this, but eh, shipping companies can be rough at times, so I was willing to give them the benefit of the doubt.

Back on track again, I put the system back together, powered up and hit the BIOS. Temperatures were looking much more reasonable... at first. But as I let the system sit and idle, the temperature steadily climbed higher and higher. I grabbed a flashlight to shine into the top of the system and as I had previously "thought" I had observed, the fan was not spinning.

Once again I dismantled the system for a closer look. Was the CPU fan dead or defective? No...

What you see here is that the CPU fan header is incorrectly plugged into the motherboard header. When I attached the heatsink earlier, I did not remove it, I simply pushed the pins through the board and locked it in, so there is no way that I made this mistake and obviously this can't be blamed on shipping.

At this point I am seriously second-guessing my assumption before about the heatsink being rattled loose during transit. If the CPU fan isn't even plugged into the motherboard properly, how do I know that the installer even mounted the heatsink correctly during the build process?

I asked BodhiBox about their quality control process and was assured that each system was tested to be in working condition before it went out the door. Things like Windows Media Center and Blu-ray movies are tested on their end... which is feasible given this circumstance. Since the i3 in this system is a 32nm chip, it doesn't generate near as much heat as previous generation processors. In fact, I was able to run the system without any noticeable issues (shutting down from overheating) while surfing the web and downloading Windows updates. It was only when I began benchmark testing that I ran into problems.

Once the fan was plugged in properly, everything was back up and running and we finally had a stable, smooth running system. I was a bit concerned that the CPU might be damaged after such high temperatures but thankfully the motherboard did its job and shut down before any permanent damage was done.

Let's move ahead and check out what the BodhiBox HD2 has to offer.

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