building HTPC!

I want to build a HTPC out of a old computer I have. I was woudering if the will work good.

mobo - Asus A8V Deluxe
CPU - amd 3500+ clawhammer
memory - ( 2 x 1gig ) OCZ EL DDR PC-4000
gpu - x800xt "agp"
hard drive - 160gig ata133 ultra drive
optical drive - I/O magic dvd burner 8x
psu - evermax 480w
tuner card - ati tv wonder pro

1. How well will the setup work?

2. Would I want to look at replaceing some parts? "I want to do some games, pvr, dvd on hard drive, internet. I would like to use windows media center with this setup."

3. How dose the tv card look?

I am looking at getting a sata hard drive down the road to replace the ata drive that I have.
15 answers Last reply
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  1. So, do you already own all of the parts? Or are you buying those?

    It looks good, but that motherboard is ATX...Won't an HTPC build need a mATX? There might be a few ATX-HTPC cases, but a majority, I believe are mATX.

    The ATA hard drive might cause issues, more the cable than the drive itself. Since heat is already a concern for HTPC builds, try to get a smaller IDE cable as they can hamper the airflow, for now.

    The setup should perform magnificently, I can't seem a resonable bottleneck. Shame it is for an HTPC, you might've gotten a good OC out of it, especially with the RAM and a good cooler. You could try an OC, the stock cooler isn't bad at all, but the temperatures may get too hot.

    If anything should need to be replaced it would be the mobo, as it is ATX, and possibly the PSU (maybe...I'm not sure) as it is ATX as well. TV Card looks good, if you can ever get some more cash, I know ATI has an HDTV card as well.

    A rather nonessential, but if you are going to use PVR and DVDs it might be wise to invest in a bigger hard drive, preferably SATA.

    Scratch that, just read the last sentence. Looks great.

    ~Ibrahim~
  2. I do have round cables for the hard drive and dvd drive. I have all the parts. I have the 3500+ overclocked to 2.5ghz. I have a swiftech heatsink on it to keep it quite. Could I use a standerd case and lay it on its side? mid tower. I want 120mm fans in the case to keep things quite.
  3. Newegg's list of ATX HTPC's
    Newegg's list of mATX HTPC's

    Finding one with 2 x 120mm fans may be a bit tougher (there's one listed here, but it stands up like a mid-tower). You may have better luck with 2-3 80mm fans.

    As for the rest of your setup, it looks good!

    -Wolf sends
  4. As a fan of homebuilt HTPC, I'll share the following:

    Currently, I am running DVR on my main machine because 1. It's too hot and noisy for the living space, and 2. the dual core cpu makes big difference when compressing recorded files.

    Right now is a very interesting time for HTPC, because the new core 2 processors provide an awesome performance per watt, and AMD has released some very low power parts too. If you just want to learn about building an htpc, then go for it, but if you want to create a device to set near your TV, then I would strongly recommend looking at these new low power parts and a really attractive case. You don't need real high clocks, and you can usually undrevolt your cpu (I run my Opteron at 1.1 volts, just .2 below spec). With a low power part undervolted you can use passive cooling. You really don't want fan noise if you can avoid it.

    Also, make sure to get tuner cards with built in hardware encoders (not the ATI all in wonders). Remember though, that ATI is supposed to release theatre cards that can use cable cards to decode HDTV sometime q4 or q1 next year (might require Vista for that).
  5. where can I find windows media center?
  6. Quote:
    where can I find windows media center?


    You can get MCE on newegg:

    Microsoft Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005 w/Update Rollup Release 2 OEM 1 Pack - OEM

    Keep in mind that Microsoft has a new OEM EULA in which you cannot reinstall OEM versions of windows if you change out the motherboard. There was also an article on Tom's DenGuru that said you can't reinstall on different hard drives too.

    MCE is only available as OEM too so their's no way around the EULA. Also, I believe there is some fine print that says you have to buy MCE-OEM with a major computer component, you can't just pick up the software.
  7. Why would Microsoft do such a thing? What would happen if your motherboard was DOA and they didn't have any of the same left in stock?

    MCE also has a remote, pretty nifty.

    Dual cores do help, and the price cuts are good. Thermalright makes some pretty good passive heatsinks and the lower power versions do have pretty low temps, I think below 40C on load...

    ~Ibrahim~
  8. Quote:
    Why would Microsoft do such a thing? What would happen if your motherboard was DOA and they didn't have any of the same left in stock?

    MCE also has a remote, pretty nifty.

    Dual cores do help, and the price cuts are good. Thermalright makes some pretty good passive heatsinks and the lower power versions do have pretty low temps, I think below 40C on load...

    ~Ibrahim~



    Than you would be buying a new license again.....


    Microsoft is like......just pay up....we dont make enough money yet.....

    (yes i am very angry with them.....had this kind of incident.....called....and a friendly voice say....sorry sir....you did agree on the terms of the OEM license)


    .....And Microsoft wonders why so many people just dont bother to pay for their OS anymore........
  9. Yeah...Very stupid move, in the end it just persuades more people to get it in the not-so-legal way.

    ~Ibrahim~
  10. Quote:
    Yeah...Very stupid move, in the end it just persuades more people to get it in the not-so-legal way.

    ~Ibrahim~


    No it is rather smart if you are a money hungry son of a @#$%^&

    Now you pursuade people into using pirated OS......and you can fine them for even more $$$$$$$$.....making you feel you did something wrong and making them being able to label you as a software pirate.....
  11. All this for money...Greedy bastards.

    ~Ibrahim~
  12. Quote:
    All this for money...Greedy bastards.

    ~Ibrahim~


    Ya...its sickening...


    I dont mind companies trying to make some dollars of of there products....

    I do mind it if such a company corners a market with there protocols and file extentions, making it so you will HAVE to use windows if you want to be able to do everything you want on YOUR pc......Yes Linux will work in many cases.......but just not in all everday, avarage joe usage......

    And than starts milking ya.......
  13. Quote:
    There was also an article on Tom's DenGuru that said you can't reinstall on different hard drives too.


    Ah, here it is:

    http://www.denguru.com/2006/05/16/confessions_of_a_serial_htpc_builder/page6.html

    If this is true, it's the biggest piece of BS I've ever heard of. Hard drives are one of the most often upgraded components in a system, especially in a HTPC where you fill up the gigabytes quickly.
  14. That Antec Fusion Micro ATX case ROX, I wish I still had one!
  15. Quote:
    where can I find windows media center?


    The Media Center interface completely sux compared to ATI's EZ-Look for ATI MMC (included in MMC, EZ-Look functions fromATI's remote). Why? You can't adjust your screen size to get the correct aspect ratio for starters, and that's a HUGE problem because MCE will format a "16:9" movie that's actually placed on a 4x3 matt...to 16:9 again. What that means is your image gets scaled to a squat little screen that's closer to 16:5. A 5'11 size 0 supermodel will end up looking like a 5'2 size 8.

    OK, so ATI MMC is superior because you can do more with it. Recently it's been criticized for laggy response and so forth due to channel buffering, but the card you picked is capable of working with previous drivers that don't have the issue. Congratulations.

    It turns out the "best" HTPC's, so far as functionality is concerned, use 2-year-old drivers...
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