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[New System Build] HTPC $1500 Budget

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June 5, 2009 2:46:44 PM


APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: (SOON) BUDGET RANGE: ($1,500)

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: (Watching Cable/DVD's/BR's, Listening to music, Burning DVD's/CD's, Storage, Surfing/email, General living room use) Going to run audio directly to amp then out to 5.1 surround, and video directly to TV.

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: (Need everything)

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: ( newegg.com)

MONITOR RESOLUTION: (Samsung 50" 1080p)

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: (I would like a quiet/reliable/HTPC that is completely capable of handling anything I throw at it)

Proposed Parts List:

Case--Antec Black Aluminum / Steel Fusion Remote Black Micro ATX Media Center / HTPC Case

OP--Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 32-bit for System Builders

Motherboard--DFI LP JR P45-T2RS LGA 775 Intel P45 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard

Memory--G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 1066 (PC2 8500) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory

CPU--Intel Core 2 Duo E7400 Wolfdale 2.8GHz 3MB L2 Cache LGA 775 65W Dual-Core Processor

Video--HIS Hightech H465PS512P Radeon HD 4650 512MB 128-bit GDDR2 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card

Drives--(2) HITACHI 0A38016 1TB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive

Burner--LG Black 8X BD-ROM 16X DVD-ROM 40X CD-ROM SATA Internal Combo LG Blu-ray Reader & 16X LightScribe DVD±R DVD Burner

Power Supply--FSP Group ZEN 400 400W ATX 2.2V SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC Fanless Power Supply

Turner Card--Hauppauge WinTV-HVR-2250 Media Center Kit Dual TV Tuner 1213 PCI-Express x1 Interface

Sound Card--HT | OMEGA CLARO Plus+ 7.1 Channels 24-bit 192KHz PCI Interface Sound Card

Keyboard/Mouse--Logitech LX 710 Laser Black USB Cordless Standard Desktop

Wireless--Rosewill RNX-EasyN1 IEEE 802.11b/g/n USB 2.0 Wireless-N 4.0 Dongle (1T1R) Up to 150Mbps Data Rates WPA/WPA2 (AES, 64,128-WEP with shared-key authentication) WPS PIN, PBC (Hardware WPS Button) QoS-WMM

TOTAL--$1,468.82
Any input would be greatly appreciated.
June 5, 2009 3:24:11 PM

IMHO, a DFi motherboard is overkill for an HTPC. Save some cash and go ASUS or something.
Or invest the money in a better CPU cooler...? I'm not a huge fan of stock coolers in $1k systems.

Buy Vista64, no reason you should be using a 32-bit operating system.

Otherwise, looks pretty solid to me.
June 5, 2009 3:35:23 PM

Something like this--- --for the CPU

Do I gain anything going from 32 to 64???
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June 5, 2009 3:55:11 PM

upstatesledder said:
Something like this--- --for the CPU

Do I gain anything going from 32 to 64???


Yes, that's actually my favorite cooler for Intel builds.
Just make sure that it will fit in your HTPC case.

32 bit would only allow you to access about ~3GB of RAM. 1GB of your RAM would go unused.
64 bit will allow you to access all 4GB of your RAM.

Consider using the Windows 7 Release Client until 2010, and then buy it when Windows 7 is mainstream.
(Google this, and you'll see what I mean)
June 5, 2009 4:19:52 PM

I don't think the Freezer 7 will fit in the Antec fusion case. Maybe go with a lower profile cooler like the Scythe mini ninja or shuriken?

Also, consider the new E6300 over the E7400. Same clock speed, only 1MB less L2 cache, $40 less.

I used to use the Logitech 710 for my HTPC and didn't like it. I went to a keyboard with built in trackball and like it much better since it's a lot more 'couch friendly' than using a mouse. Plus the keyboard has shortcut keys on the side edges and every time you pick it up you'll open things like MS paint etc.

You could also save some money with a quiet actively cooled PSU (Seasonic, Corsair, Antec EW). They're completely inaudible from 10' away.
June 5, 2009 6:08:51 PM

How 'bout this?--


Proposed Parts List:

Case--Antec Black Aluminum / Steel Fusion Remote Black Micro ATX Media Center / HTPC Case

OP--Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 32-bit or 7

Motherboard--ASUS P5Q-EM LGA 775 Intel G45 HDMI Micro ATX Intel Motherboard

Memory--G.SKILL PI Black 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F2-6400CL4D-4GBPI-B

CPU--Intel Core 2 Quad Q8400 Yorkfield 2.66GHz LGA 775 95W Quad-Core Processor Model BX80580Q8400

Video--HIS Hightech H485QT512P Radeon HD 4850 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported IceQ4 Turbo

Drives--(1) Western Digital Caviar Black WD1001FALS 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drives
(1) Western Digital WD20EADS 2TB SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drives

Burner--LG Black 8X BD-ROM 16X DVD-ROM 40X CD-ROM SATA Internal Combo LG Blu-ray Reader & 16X LightScribe DVD±R DVD Burner

Power Supply--ENERMAX PRO82+ EPR525AWT 525W ATX12V Ver.2.3 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC Power Supply

Turner Card--Hauppauge WinTV-HVR-2250 Media Center Kit Dual TV Tuner 1213 PCI-Express x1 Interface

Sound Card--HT | OMEGA CLARO Plus+ 7.1 Channels 24-bit 192KHz PCI Interface Sound Card

Keyboard/Mouse--Logitech LX 710 Laser Black USB Cordless Standard Desktop

Wireless--Rosewill RNX-EasyN1 IEEE 802.11b/g/n USB 2.0 Wireless-N 4.0 Dongle (1T1R) Up to 150Mbps Data Rates WPA/WPA2 (AES, 64,128-WEP with shared-key authentication) WPS PIN, PBC (Hardware WPS Button) QoS-WMM
June 5, 2009 7:05:30 PM

Depends on what you're doing... do you really need the quad? That's going to not only cost a bit more, but produce a good amount of excess heat and consume quiet a bit of power. However, if you're going to be ripping and encoding (you only state that you're going to burn and watch) things, the quad will be well worth it...

You should get a 64-bit OS! I can't emphasize this enough. It doesn't cost anything extra!
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.microsoft.com/Windows/windows-7/download.asp... << 64-bit!!

As for the drives, might be a better (and cheaper, faster) idea to RAID a couple of 1TB drives. 2 1TB drives would only be $180 shipped, while 1 2TB drive is $230 shipped. I personally would get 3x 1TB drives and put them in a RAID-0 (or get 4x 1TB and put them in RAID-5 for fault tolerance) for the speed -- much better performance and space for the dollar as well.

A 4850 is really overkill for a HTPC unless you intend to do gaming. If you're not gaming or anything, just go back to the 4670 - that's plenty of muscle, and then some.

As for the power supply, if you aren't going to use the rebate, that unit is not worth $105.
IMO, this unit is a lot better (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...)...
Instead of having to worry about how many amps each device is pulling from it's 12V rail, PC&C units have only 1 12V rail -- 49A of power.


June 5, 2009 7:53:12 PM

I went with a full ATX platform so as leave open future graphix card expansion options. This also gave me plenty of room for air cooling flow control and sound deadening foam. The case that I used is a Lian Li C32 which is a rack mount. There new version is the one that I was looking for but was not available at the time. It has the hot swap H.D. cage and ESATA port on the front. It is a big 4u case and sticks 1" out from the back of the entertainment furniture but has the same height, width and color as my AVR. The depth of the case allows the warmed air to be released outside of the entertainment center from that 1" protrusion. That protrusion also allows me to patch cable the equipment without having to pull the equipment out from the rack which is real handy. This being a full ATX case, it has two 120mm fans mounted mid case so with a little acoustical foam I was able to separate the front chamber of the case from the rear so that there was a positive sequential flow of air through the case that was then deposited outside the entertainment console in to the greater room. The fan rarely comes on. The processor that I used is a Phenom 9350e which has 65 TDW is a quad core and operates at 2 Ghz. I have not been restrained in the number of applications I can run at one time or in my ability to expand hardware. I really enjoy its power and how cool it runs. I also use a Silverstone Imon display which has a IR receiver for the DVR functions remote control. A wireless keyboard with a integrated mouse is essential. I bought a Gene at amazon.com for $65. It works great.
June 6, 2009 2:55:58 AM

Well after some more research and advice the build is looking more like this....



Case -- Antec Black Aluminum / Steel Fusion Remote Black Micro ATX Media Center / HTPC Case

Motherboard -- GIGABYTE GA-E7AUM-DS2H LGA 775 NVIDIA GeForce 9400 HDMI Micro ATX Intel

CPU -- Intel Pentium E5200 Wolfdale 2.5GHz LGA 775 65W Dual-Core Processor Model

Memory -- G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory

Power Supply -- Bfg Tech 550W EPS12V

TV Turner -- Hauppauge WinTV-HVR-2250 Media Center Kit Dual TV Tuner 1213 PCI-Express x1 Interface

CPU Cooler -- Scythe Ninja Mini

Sound Card -- HT | OMEGA CLARO Plus+ 7.1 Channels PCI Interface Sound Card

Burner -- LG Black Blu-ray/HD DVD-ROM & 16X DVD±R DVD Burner SATA Model GGC-H20L

Hard Drive -- Western Digital Caviar Green WD15EADS 1.5TB SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive

OS -- Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 64-bit for System Builders or #7

Wireless -- D-Link DIR-625 IEEE 802.3/3u, IEEE 802.11b/g, IEEE802.11n Draft 2 RangeBooster N Router and Rosewill RNX-EasyN1 IEEE 802.11b/g/n USB 2.0 Wireless-N 4.0 Dongle (1T1R) Up to 150Mbps Data Rates WPA/WPA2 (AES, 64,128-WEP

Keyboard -- Logitech LX 710 Laser Black USB Cordless Standard Desktop

Any other comments or thoughts??? I'm happy with it, guess I was going a little overboard to start with, that's typical though. Now I've got enough $$$ to buy a great amp for my speakers.
!