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I’m a newbie trying to build (or will have it built) a high end HTPC. Main wants are play/burn Blu-Ray, DVR (watch one channel while recording another and pause/rewind live TV), 5.1 surround sound, HDMI output to a 61’ TV. It will run 24/7 so heat or the lack of heat is very important. From my own research I think I have a good list of products. I’m looking for advice on my list of products:

Antec/Fusion Black 430 HTPC-430 watt power supply (already purchased)
Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 (I heard can it very hot)
OCZ Platinum 4GB PC6400 DDR2
Radeon HD 4850 or HD3850
Visiontek / TV Wonder 650 PCI HDTV (not a dual tuner)
Sound Blaster X-Fi Fatal1ty Prof Series (is this high-end)
Western Digital GreenPower 1TB (is bigger best)
Intel DG33BUC 775 (must be mATX any recommendations)
LG Blu-ray GBWH20L (alredy purchased)
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  1. That 4850 will heat the inside of that case so much you'll fry eggs on it, and is overkill.

    Dual slot cooling (exhausts out)

    Stock cooling on a core 2 duo is very quiet, so I would not recommend a different cooler. Get some Arctic Silver 5 however.

    For sound see also the ASUS Xonar series.
  2. Three questions:

    1) Are you planning on playing games with this setup?

    2) Do you plan on connecting to a 5.1 receiver with optical/coaxial out?

    3) Would you consider an AMD build for this HTPC?

    For the Antec Fusion cases, I suggest that you take a look at the Scythe Mini Ninja for a CPU cooler. You can actually run the mini ninja in that case without a fan (review). One of the Fusion's 120mm fans sits right next to the cooler like this:

    Motherboards? I would recommend not going with an Intel branded board because they are expensive for what you get, tend to be picky about RAM, and do not have a lot of options available in the BIOS. I suggest you shop for Asus or Gigabyte boards.
  3. Thanks you for your reply
    I will not play any games
    I would like an optical out, any recommendations
    Also why is the 4850 overkill.
    I do not want to upgrade this for 5 years min.
  4. If not playing games, then yes the 4850 is overkill. Plus it adds a lot of heat and noise to the system.

    If you will be using optical out, then I suggest you don't get a sound card and get a motherboard with onboard optical out to let your receiver do the 5.1 decoding.

    Consider this popular HTPC setup:

    GIGABYTE GA-MA78GPM-DS2H AM2+/AM2 AMD 780G HDMI Micro ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail $105
    micro-ATX, optical out, and onboard 780G w/128MB sideport memory that can handle blu-ray video with ease, low power, no chipset fans, DVI+HDMI+D-sub video

    AMD Athlon X2 4850e 2.5GHz Socket AM2 45W Dual-Core Processor Model ADH4850DOBOX - Retail $77
    Low watt (45W), dual core, inexpensive
    AMD Phenom X4 9750 2.4GHz Socket AM2+ Quad-Core 65nm Processor HD9750WCGHBOX, Retail Box $215
    Currently the fastest 95W version of the Quad Phenom if you plan to encode video with your HTPC

    The rest of your list looks fine to me.
  5. the gigabyte board above and the proc was the ones I was looking at. Although I am concerned about power usage. I have a new post going located
  6. So that card you suggested will drive 1080p content to a 61" hdtv?

    if so, is it just games being put on a big hdtv that would require a more powerful video card?
  7. It's not the size of the TV but the needed resolution.

    Yes, movies and such require less GPU muscle than modern 3D games.

    The 3850 I listed should serve you quite well. It will even drive some games well, just not the graphically intensive ones at that resolution.

    Something like the original Call of Duty, or World of Warcraft, or many other titles a few years old would still run fine.

    The 3870 I linked just happens to have all the features you need at a good price... consider the gaming a bonus ;)
  8. And for WoW high settings and Crysis(or future games like crysis)?
  9. I suppose it could be a slight stretch at maximum settings on WOW. Would have to be tested.

    Crysis... mixed low to medium settings.
    COD4... medium stings mostly, maybe a few low.

    Just educated guesses.

    I would be more concerned about heat in 3D gaming. Even though you get a card that vents out the back like that you still get added internal heat. You have a case full of components already, reducing airflow in a tight area.

    You'll need to be mindful of that.
  10. I don't intend to get a traditional htpc case, i'll get a tower that will sit next to my entertainment center and will connect to my receiver and hdtv.

    The tv will be my monitor and used for avi movies/television shows and for gaming

    on another thread someone recommended 2 4850's, but the reviews on them singularly say they run very hot so I can't imagine what two will be like.

    I'm now thinking an x2 but would like some opinions/answers/advice:

    will crossfire of 4850's get unbarebly hot for the case?
    get 4850x2
    get 4870x2?
  11. Don't hijack others threads, it makes it way too confusing.
  12. Thanks for all the great info..this has turn to another gaming topic
  13. Sigh.
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