HTPC/Server lots of complex questions

Well what i mean by server is that its gonna have torrents 24/7. I'm not interested in raid 0, 1 or 5

I'm on a budget. The cheapest/best/low energy/quiet HTPC/server system i can get.

I want to be able to watch a 1080p movie on my future 40-42" TV, Torrent, FTP server and Homepage. No gaming at all.

Intel Pentium Dual-Core E2140 1,6GHz Box
Corsair XMS2 Xtreme TwinX DDR2 PC6400/800MHz CL5 2x1GB
Gigabyte GA-G33M-S2H

Well my first question is, do i have 2 much ram? maybe 1GB PC5300-5400 would suffice

My second question is will the CPU have enough power to team up with the integrated GPU on the motherboard to stream 1080p or do i have to go higher like E2160-80.

Maybe a system with a (2600xt GDDR3-4/Gigabyte GA-P35-DS3R) will do the job better( but as this is gonna be a 24/7 system the extra power hogging GPU is not preferred.

Audio. What happens if i get a Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi XtremeMusic and want to get sound from the audio card? How do i connect the stuff?

Thermalright - Ultra-120 eXtreme/Noctua NH-U12F/Zalman CNPS9700 NT Ultra Quiet
what do you guys think will the heat buildup from the CPU be that big that i need a CPU cooler with fan.

I want a 80+ PSU with 2 Sata minimum but i can't really pick one.
Silverstone Element ST50EF-Plus 500W did very well in PSU test having a 85+ efficiency
Cooltek CT600BHE12CF 600W is very quiet though.
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More about htpc server lots complex questions
  1. Somebody say something plz
  2. Use the stock CPU fan, get a HD2400 Pro for video decoding, and this CPU

    Intel Celeron 420 Conroe-L 1.6GHz 512KB L2 Cache LGA 775 Processor - Retail

    OR maybe an AMD setup with this CPU:

    AMD Athlon X2 BE-2350 Brisbane 2.1GHz 2 x 512KB L2 Cache Socket AM2 Processor - Retail
  3. Listen to emp about the GPU/CPU.

    If your on a budget you should be looking at a cheaper PSU, stick with a good brand, but for a HTPC a 300w power supply is more then sufficient.

    Either of these should meet your needs for ~$60

    The P182 is a bit much, no? If you want a desktop look at the Antec Solo. It's dead silent and cheaper.
  4. If your not an audiophile the X-fi is probably overkill. It's really nice, but if you just want to for your home theater surround sound, a lot motherboards can do 5.1 with onboard audio and *most* people won't notice the difference.
  5. Agreed with ryan on the X-Fi.
  6. Well the be-2350 is more expensive compared to the e2140 and wont outperform the e2140. Saving 25$ on the cheaper Celeron doesn't seem like a good trade.
    The money i would save getting a cheaper AM2 motherboard would only go to pay the more expensive be-2350.

    Ya i know i can use the stock fan, but i want a quiet system

    Will it really make that big of a difference if i get a 2400pro compared to
    an integrated GPU?
  7. Well those CPUs WILL struggle while decoding HD content, this is where the HD2400 Pro will shine. That's why I was trying telling you not to worry too much on the CPU front, I suggested the BE-2350 because you seemed power conscious more than anything. In fact there's the possibility you can passively cool the BE-2350/Celeron with a Tuniq Tower 120... At least I'd like to think so.
  8. To be honest i picked the p182 for its grate look and that it is cheaper compared to antec fusion. I am willing to pay money on cooling and making the system silent.
  9. emp is right, for $50 you almost have to pick up the HD2400PRO and his suggestion of a power conscious CPU would also allow you choose a heatsink for its low noise rather then its cooling. Also with the GPU you can *probably* cut your RAM down to 1gig. I don't have much experience decoding HD but I know the rest of the stuff you want to use the PC for won't need much ram at all.
  10. What OS are you looking to run? XP, Vista or Linux?

    As you can see the 6300 with L2 doesn't consume more power compared 2 the be-2350. I don't think that the e2140 will consumer more power compared 2 the 6300. Also the e2140 will complete the tasks faster and return to idle faster then the be-2350.

    the Gigabyte S2H draws 88-116W if i throw in a 2400pro that would in cress power usage of at least 30-60W. So that would beat the hole idea.
  12. Well, the conclusions of that article is:
    "From a cost and an energy efficiency standpoint, the 45 W Athlon X2 BE clearly is the best choice today, ..."
    But I've heard that the 2140 is a pretty good HTPC CPU, so it'll probably be a fine choice.

    As far as extra power usage from the 2400, remember that it will be handling the HD decoding so your CPU won't be running under such a heavy load.
  13. Getting a dedicated card to offload video decoding will reduce the chances of getting dropped frames or video stutters. Below is a link to an Anandtech article that talks about HD video playback with and without hardware decoding using a C2D E6320 (1.86GHz) :

    Also worth reading is this follow up article comparing ATI to nVidia performance and which one looks subjectively better.

    Note:I believe nVidia's HD decoding only works with Windows Vista. Also, over the last 3 generations (if not more) nVidia video cards generally consumes less power than their ATI counterparts.

    Do you already have a power supply? If not then you should look for the most energy efficient one you can afford. The PSU's efficiency governs how much power your system will ultimately consume. A medium end system with an efficient power supply can draw less power than an entry level system with a non-efficient power supply.
  14. ryan7107

    I just wanted to point out that Saving 1-5W buy changing to a BE-2350 and getting a CPU that is often hotter and takes longer time to complete tasks is not a good trade. It will need better cooling and will be going at full power more often compared to the e2140. So I'm thinking is a better choice after all.

    If i get the 2400pro to handle the HD material. I would probably only use it for watching movies 2-4hours a day TOPS. While the rest of the day the 2400pro will draw power anyway. So if i offload power from the CPU 2-4 hours a day just to save power, I still lose the rest of the other hours on the day.

    So now that i read the article above about 85-8600 and 24-2600 I'm starting to think that i need the Dx10 decoding so i don't lose video quality. Guess that either i go for the External GPU or i'l have 2 w8 for the g35 and se how well it performs.

    Wow thanks a lot guys i learned a lot.
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