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Help W/ HTPC $800-$1000

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May 29, 2007 2:15:09 AM

I'm building an HTPC in August and I would like to build a system using this case.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I have an Intel board lying around so I was thinking Core 2 Duo E6320.

I would like to keep this around $800-$1000 if possible. Since this is going to be integrated into a hometheater system I need a sound card that supports optical and a video card that supports HDMI.

This PC is going to be used for HD DVD or Bluray (may not put these drives in right away to keep cost low) and going to be used for web browsing and streaming videos and playing music off of it. ABSOLUTELY NO GAMING ON THIS COMPUTER. Based on this do you guys think that value RAM will be good enough?

Are there any Sound Blaster cards with Optical on the back? AuzenTech looks interesting.And I know its not out yet but the ATI 2400 or 2600 cards caught my attention with the use of HDMI.

This is what I have so far:
Case http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $199
Sound Card http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $57
CPU http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $165
MOBO http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... Free
PSU http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $124
RAM http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $144
HDD http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $79
Total: $768 + $200 (more or less) for Graphics Card

Any advice would be awesome. You guys are always great!

More about : htpc 800 1000

May 29, 2007 5:44:39 PM

a HTPC need storage above all else
get 2x 320GB {price point} for 640GB, or even more

your CPU link is the sound card

the 2400 has a passive heatsink and would probably handle what you need it for. the audio is included in this card and goes through with the HDMI.

Quiet {you don't want to hear it}, Energy Efficient {it will be on all the time}, cool running {if it is going next to other Home Theater equipment the air is going to be a little warmer,

and the soundcard that you have selected as the CPU has optical out

are you going to get a TV card
or a Remote Control? or do you plan on using a wireless keyboard / mouse.
or a Wiimote?

SATA DVDRW?

overkill on the power supply if only one graphics card.

what OS / media center software?
May 29, 2007 9:24:59 PM

Quote:
a HTPC need storage above all else
get 2x 320GB {price point} for 640GB, or even more

your CPU link is the sound card

the 2400 has a passive heatsink and would probably handle what you need it for. the audio is included in this card and goes through with the HDMI.

Quiet {you don't want to hear it}, Energy Efficient {it will be on all the time}, cool running {if it is going next to other Home Theater equipment the air is going to be a little warmer,

and the soundcard that you have selected as the CPU has optical out

are you going to get a TV card
or a Remote Control? or do you plan on using a wireless keyboard / mouse.
or a Wiimote?

SATA DVDRW?

overkill on the power supply if only one graphics card.

what OS / media center software?


Sorry I fixed the first post.

Well... I have Windows XP Pro I can use and a copy of Media Center if I chose to use it. The reason I chose a 250GB HDD is because I wont be doing a tuner on this computer therefore no recording. All my HT equipment will be in a cabinet and my TV will be wall mounted. The PC will go on top of the counter so it will get plenty of air. I chose that power supply because I like the idea of being able to pick and choose which modular cables to use making cable managment easy. This case comes with a remote but plan on using a wireless keyboard.

I would eventually like to get a Bluray drive when they drop a bit in price. But this PC will be mostly for watching movies/streaming videos and browse the internet. I'll also have the HTPC hooked up to my network so I can share music from my main PC. So again HDD space isnt a big deal.
Related resources
May 29, 2007 11:25:38 PM

cool

OK

the PSU has the fan on the the top, do you know if the case allows for this type of design. _ I looked again it does

And the case only has 1 slot for DVD-RW/HD-Drive
the fans in the case might be too noisy as well (judging by the reviews)

Maybe check some of the other cases out there

so far so good with the rest of your selection, I'm glad to see that you not using Vista
May 30, 2007 12:46:53 AM

I really want something super slim and I was definitely looking at replacing those fans. Its out in the living room so noise really isnt THAT big of a deal. But I'll be looking at other cases as well.

And yeah... I use Vista Ultimate on my current computer and its got cool visuals but not much more (at least not yet). The driver support isnt where I want it to be yet either.
May 30, 2007 1:28:39 AM

well, it looks like that WD harddrive you have selected is about $80. You probably can get THIS for the same price.

I have two of these drives, one internal and the other external. I HIGHLY recommend them.

Otherwise, your system looks good! When you actually build it, will you POST PICTURES PLEASE! I always like to see the build's pictures! :D 

Good luck and have fun!
May 30, 2007 1:56:43 AM

Quote:
well, it looks like that WD harddrive you have selected is about $80. You probably can get THIS for the same price.

I have two of these drives, one internal and the other external. I HIGHLY recommend them.

Otherwise, your system looks good! When you actually build it, will you POST PICTURES PLEASE! I always like to see the build's pictures! :D 

Good luck and have fun!


I will post some pictures when its finished. That is indeed a great price for a 320GB HDD. I'm a little hesitant about seagate though. For some reason I have the WORST luck with Seagate. I've owned 5 Seagate HDD and all of them failed within a year. Not sure if I'm ready to give them another chance.

I think I've chosen a better case than that first one.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I think this Zalman case would suite me well. Also does anyone have any other suggestions on PSUs. I like the idea of the Thermaltake because of its cable managment system but if I could cut some corners here I dont think it would be a bad idea.

I'm also considering the Gigabyte 8600GTS with the passive cooler on it. I think that would be a nice touch.

I was also considering this for my HSF http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
May 30, 2007 5:04:00 AM

Yeah stick to what you know :D  :wink: , if you already had a bad experience with one HDD company switch to the other { and I was considering SeaGate next because I heard they were quieter, I guess I just keep getting WD.}

Can't Go Wrong with the Zalman Fan!

Replacing the included fans with nice quiet ones is good too.

So ... HD-DVD or Blue-Ray?

Or would you wait for the Combo High Def?

It's going to be a good system and you clearly know what you want.
May 30, 2007 5:33:15 AM

Quote:
Yeah stick to what you know :D  :wink: , if you already had a bad experience with one HDD company switch to the other { and I was considering SeaGate next because I heard they were quieter, I guess I just keep getting WD.}

Can't Go Wrong with the Zalman Fan!

Replacing the included fans with nice quiet ones is good too.

So ... HD-DVD or Blue-Ray?

Or would you wait for the Combo High Def?

It's going to be a good system and you clearly know what you want.


Yeah... This system really isnt TOO far off from my current setup, except that this is going to be hooked up to a TV. Yeah I REALLY want to put a Blu-ray playier on this but the cost is still up there, whereas I could buy a dvd drive for $30. So to keep the initial cost low I think I'll hold off on that.
May 30, 2007 7:19:05 PM

forgot the emoticons for the High Def Disc format :roll: early adoption sucks :cry:  I don't expect anyone to pay for a $600 drive over buying a X360+drive or PS3.
plus the blank discs are going cost a fortune.
a b B Homebuilt system
May 30, 2007 8:10:05 PM

Looking forward, if you eventually want Blu-Ray or HD-DVD, try to get an HDCP video card, or the DRM associated with HDMI won't allow 1080p resolution.

Also, if you want a quiet, reliable, modular, and cheaper PSU, the Enermax Liberty has a 400W and 500W for $80 and $100, respectively (running the 500W version here, love it).

That Zalman case is pretty nice. If you haven't already, check out www.pcalchemy.com for cases. They have a better selection of Zalman and other quality HTPC cases and the cost is comparable to the 'egg. They have the silver version of the case you linked if that matters to you.

Also, for a free media center dashboard, check out GB-PVR. And yes, keep us updated on your progress and post pics when you get it up and running.
May 31, 2007 5:37:32 AM

Quote:
Looking forward, if you eventually want Blu-Ray or HD-DVD, try to get an HDCP video card, or the DRM associated with HDMI won't allow 1080p resolution.

Also, if you want a quiet, reliable, modular, and cheaper PSU, the Enermax Liberty has a 400W and 500W for $80 and $100, respectively (running the 500W version here, love it).

That Zalman case is pretty nice. If you haven't already, check out www.pcalchemy.com for cases. They have a better selection of Zalman and other quality HTPC cases and the cost is comparable to the 'egg. They have the silver version of the case you linked if that matters to you.

Also, for a free media center dashboard, check out GB-PVR. And yes, keep us updated on your progress and post pics when you get it up and running.


Awesome... I'll look into the Enermax. Just what I wanted and its a name I trust.

Also I thought MythTV wasnt for windows.
a b B Homebuilt system
May 31, 2007 2:27:31 PM

Quote:


Awesome... I'll look into the Enermax. Just what I wanted and its a name I trust.

Also I thought MythTV wasnt for windows.


Yeah, MythTV is for Linux. If you know your way around Linux then it's a good option. Other media center software packages to consider besides GB-PVR (for Windows) are:

Media Portal: FREE
SageTV:$79-$99
BeyondTV:$70-$90

Or you can go with Windows MCE 2005 or Vista Premium: ~$120
May 31, 2007 3:27:40 PM

Try the free stuff first

the older versions of Sage and Beyond that come with tvcards only allow recording to the C: drive

Mythtv is only linux :oops: 
you could try out a live CD based on Knoppix :roll:
http://mysettopbox.tv/knoppmyth.html
linux is alright but not really for games.
beside you'll be busy enough getting the HTPC working the way you want

but it's probably quicker to download the free-bees

for a much simpler version I liked the toshiba RDXS34
http://www.toshiba.ca/web/product.grp?lg=en&section=2&g...
jpeg viewer, Mp3 play back, 160GB harddrive, {free} TV Guild perfect for regular cable, timeshifting
even has a video camera hook up to transfer and burn home movies
all for $250 CAD on Boxing Day
May 31, 2007 4:38:43 PM

The only concern that I have is you will be using a riser card to connect the video card and the sound card and it will be tight. I don't think there will be enough air flow for a passivly cooled video card. Personally I would find another case so you don't end up frying you video card. Look around silverstone makes some at a decent price with and with out a remote and display. I found this one which has lot of the same features as your other but it is a bit taller.
silverstone lc10m htpc case
May 31, 2007 4:53:36 PM

Quote:
The only concern that I have is you will be using a riser card to connect the video card and the sound card and it will be tight. I don't think there will be enough air flow for a passivly cooled video card. Personally I would find another case so you don't end up frying you video card. Look around silverstone makes some at a decent price with and with out a remote and display. I found this one which has lot of the same features as your other but it is a bit taller.
silverstone lc10m htpc case


Yeah... I was kind of thinking along the same lines. If you read further down, I've decided to do a Zalman case. I have also looked at Silverstone as well and definitely still an option.
May 31, 2007 6:48:56 PM

yeah maybe get a fan cooled video card, then swap the stock with something quieter & cooler {zalman} .

the Zalman case auto-magically turns down the fan speeds as well 8)
Air flow in this case is good.

so video card, getting something for H.264 mpeg4 acceleration?
!