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Pure HTPC build, suggestions?

Last response: in Systems
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June 12, 2008 7:05:45 AM

I figured if I went the htpc with no gaming route I should try to build a real htpc. Here is what I came up with:

AMD Athlon X2 4850e 2.5GHz 2 x 512KB L2 Cache Socket AM2 45W Dual-Core Processor
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Antec Minuet350 Piano Black Steel MicroATX Slim Case Computer Case
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
(I know its not in stock but it may be worth waiting for)

GIGABYTE GA-MA78GM-S2H
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

G.SKILL 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Western Digital Caviar SE16 WD5000AAKS 500GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

COOLER MASTER RR-CCH-P912-GP 92mm Sleeve CPU Cooler
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

So this would primarily be a PC for downloading torrents, watching dvds (have a drive) and surfing the web. No serious gaming, most likely no overclocking. Also dont have cable TV (and dont want it) and get no reception so dont need a tuner.

Will all this stuff fit in this little box? Will it stay cool enough to use? Will it be quiet? What are better component ideas?

Love to hear suggestions!
June 12, 2008 1:25:30 PM

It all looks good to me. Maybe a bigger hard drive if you plan to rip DVD's or Blu-Rays.

A couple things missing from your list. I don't know if you already have them:

Wireless keyboard/mouse (I recommend getting one with a built in trackball or touchpad) such as

Adesso WKB-3000UB (w/scrollwheel for web page scrolling) $60


or Moneual MK700 (no scrollwheel) $30


Also, a remote control is a must for any HTPC like the Microsoft MCE remote $30-40


And finally, you didn't list a front end/operating system. I suggest you go with Vista premium. The media center in Vista is pretty darn good. If budget is a concern, then there are linux distros with MythTV bundled if you are linux savy.
June 13, 2008 3:47:25 PM

Wow cool, it is super.
Just add one or two or all of tv-tunner, blue-ray drive, bigger hdd, and extra soundcard if you like.
June 13, 2008 6:49:34 PM

I would get the Antec Aluminum Veris Fusion Black 430 Micro ATX Media Center.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811129030

The reason are as follows:

1. The two 120mm fans should move a lot of air and shouldn't be very loud.

2. The taller chasis (5.5") should allow you to install a taller CPU heatsink for better cooling.

The additional height should allow you to install a better HSF like the Scythe SCSMZ-1100 92mm Sleeve CPU Cooler:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835185041

Additionally, I would recommend keeping all your media file physically separated from the OS; meaning seperate hard drives. That way if on drive fails either you'll lose your OS or your data, but not both.

Also, since you will be doing a lot of downloading, recommend saving the data to the OS drive. Once the download is complete have your torrent program move the downloads to your data drive.

My HTPC has 4 hard drives. One for the OS, two for Data, and the 4th drive is my "thrash" drive where all downloads are initially saved to, DVDs ripped to (to be encoded), and where the swap / page file is written to. Having the "Thrash" drive minimized wear and tear on the OS drive and especially the Data drives. The only time when the Data drives are accessed is when I save media that have been completed encoded, or when I am accessing my media files. In this case I expect my "thrash" drive to die first, thus minimizing potential data loss.
!