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Help needed. HTPC-(blu-ray)/(mild-gaming)

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June 15, 2008 5:49:40 AM

Hi guys,
From australia so some parts not as easy to get or not as cheap or not even here yet.

Building a HTPC for BLu-ray and mild gaming(mainly LOTR online).

TV: Samsung 46" LCD (LA46F81BDX)
http://www.samsung.com/au/consumer/detail/detail.do?gro...

System spec idea:
CPU: Intel E8400 3.0ghz
MB: GIGABYTE GA-X48T-DQ6 LGA775 X48 DDR3 BOARD
memory: Corsair Twin3X 4096MB 240-pin DDR3 1600hz PC-12800 Twin Pack (2x 2048mb sticks) w/Dominator heat spreader, 9-9-9-24
Video: ATI radeon hd4850 (not sure on brand yet. preffer hdmi out without convertor. atleast 512mb needs to run 1920x1080p on everything flawlessly)
HTPC case: yet to be decided(must be ATX and i think some type of touch screen, look like hi-fi equipment not a pc, good ventilation, quite)
Power supply: yet to be decided( must be quite)
sound card: yet to be decided(maybe ASUS Xonar HDAV1.3. Sound card has to be able to do all blu-ray sound formats through analogue out with no down conversion)
HDD: 300Gb Western Digital VelociRaptor as OS drive prob a 1TB to store movies,music and downloads
Optical Drive: PIONEER BDR-202BK BLACK SATA DVD-RW DRIVE AND BLUE-RAY WRITER
OS: Probably vista x64 unless convinced otherwise.
MEdia centre software: have no idea. hopefully something which doesnt down convert analogue. IS media centra in vista x64 good enough.

Any and all help appreciated.
as said needs to do 1920x1080p on everything without a prob, needs to be able to use exsiting surround amp so prefer analogue output with support for :Linear PCM (LPCM), Dolby TrueHD, DTS-HD High Resolution Audio, DTS-HD Master Audio.

Thanks in advance
June 15, 2008 2:10:48 PM

Motherboard and Memory : I would skip DDR3. GA-X48(T)-DQ6 offers very little above GA-X48-DS4 so you could save a bit here. Corsair Dominator 1066MHz DDR2 kits are also much cheaper so you could get 8GB.

A case with a touchscreen. I guess money is no problem for you. :) 
Thermaltake DH 102 VH2001BNS ($500), Zalman HD160XT Plus ($550), Origen AE S16T ($600).

PSU : Corsair 550VX is good enough for single GPU systems. If you think you need more check PC Power & Cooling 610W or 750W Silencer, Corsair TX 650W, TX 750W.

Everything else looks good, Vista X64 is the way to go, and I have no idea about media center software as I use the standard desktop.

Good luck with the soundcard selection.
June 15, 2008 3:04:39 PM

Skip DDR3- total waste of money +1 for Andrius on that one.

Go with the motherboard Andrius suggested or an X38 like the Asus P5E.

I would pick up 2 of the new 4850s. Yes you finally have a case for Crossfire. Two will make sure that 1920x1080 runs flawless now, and will max out games in the future. :) 

Power Supply, this one: PC Power and Cooling Quad 750W: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817341011&Tpk=PC%2bPower%2band%2bCooling%2bQuad%2b750

Media Center is Vista Home Prem is pretty good. MCE is actually one of the better things MS even came up with.
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June 16, 2008 3:06:59 AM

would i really need crossfire? only want blu-ray and a say LOTR online at 1980x1080p cant see running any other games got a 360 and wii.
instead of crossfire am i better off waiting for the hd4870?

so ddr2 wont slow down the e8400? so me going intel over amd is a good idea?

8gig ram makes sense

is there and draw bakes going vista ultimate 64 other then driver issues? would that be the best op for a media system ddoing blu-ray?

June 16, 2008 3:11:10 AM

E8400 default FSB is 333 (FSB1333) which is DDR2-667. You can move the FSB to 400 (FSB1600) to get the E8400 to 3.6 and you are now 1:1 with your RAM.

1920x1200 and the higher is the point where Crossfire begins to make sense. Start with one and if does not perform as you wish add another. One should be ok, but higher quality games, you make a case for X-Fire.

Driver issues are the only real drawback. For 8GB of RAM you have no choice. Home Prem or Ultimate are your 2 choices. Home Prem is fine for the majority of uses.
June 16, 2008 3:31:42 AM

thanks shadowduck. you make perfect sense in me not going ddr3. save the money spend it somewhere else.

only reason i was thinking vista ultimate64 was becasue ive read its the only OS that will handle true blu-ray. is this correct?

going 8gig ram because OS will handle it not really any other reason. i wouldnt think of going below 4gig anyway. is 8 gig overkill or am i on the right track for blu-ray and 1920x1080p res.

newegg dont send to australia :(  wish they did even with our dollar there a great buy. any other ideas ???

still not sure on power supply. the PC POWER AND COOLING one i havnt been able to find in australia. the system will be on 24/7 so dont wont wasted power heat or noise. would only ever have max 2 hard drives in there 1 when server comes on line and a blu-ray player/burner. crossfire not sure but maybe.
June 16, 2008 3:41:52 AM

8GB is good if you plan on doing any kinda of video editing or photo stuff. Photoshop, Premiere etc LOVE RAM.

According to MS Home Prem and Ultimate both do HD.

I don't know whats good to buy from in Aus, only US, Canada, and UK. Sorry.
!