I am building my first HTPC. I have been designing & building systems for 10+ years, and I have learned in that time that it is always beneficial to have input from others. This helps to ensure the components I choose are good quality, but most importantly I hope to catch any hardware issues or incompatibilities before shelling out the money & finding out on the back-end, after the build. So, without further ado, I'd like to provide you with my potential HTPC specs & see what you think. Please let me know your opinions on the products I have chosen, as well as any hardware issues you may see. Tips & alternate suggestions are always welcome!
MB: Gigabyte GA-MA785G-UD3H 785G ATX
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Asus M4A78T-E 790GX ATX (I haven't quite decided on this yet, & there are a couple other potential boards I am debating. See my other thread )
RAM: Kingston HyperX 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model KHX6400D2LLK2/4GR
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Crucial 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10600) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model CT2KIT25664BA1339 (Obviously this will depend on my choice of mobo
Video: ASUS EAH5770/2DIS/1GD5 Radeon HD 5770
TV Tuner: Hauppauge WinTV-HVR-2250 Media Center Kit Dual TV Tuner 1213 PCI-Express x1
PSU: Enermax Liberty ELT500AWT 500W
HDD: 2x Western Digital Caviar Green WD10EADS 1TB SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5"
BD Drive: LITE-ON Black BD-COMBO SATA Model ihes108-29
Case: nMEDIAPC Black Aluminum / Acrylic / Steel HTPC 6000B ATX Media Center
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SILVERSTONE Black Aluminum front panel, 0.8mm SECC body GD01B-R ATX Media Center (This is purely an asthetic choice I have yet to make. I think both cases are suitable & will provide an excellent medium for my build)
OS: Win7 Ultimate
I still have a couple of decisions left to make, but I am very interested to get any input you may have. My ultimate purpose for this build is oging to be my attempt at an AIO HTPC
Yes. I am trying to avoid buying 1 or more consoles, BD player, pay for cable/satellite service +equipment rental (for DVR), and eventually have a surround sound solution in place as well. So I do want to game, but I also want to balance that out with a moderately low power consumption & keep the system as quiet as possible.
Yes, I have an Insignia 46" 1080P LCD HDTV. The reasons I have chosen the WDs are 1st - I have been using WD HDDs for years & have never had an issue; 2nd - I already own one of them which is currently being used as an external HDD for data storage on my current desktop (which was too old to support the interface & data capacity, hence the external application). I am strongly considering purchasing a 64GB SSD drive to run my OS from & then use the HDDs in a RAID configuration.
Well the $$/GB and the tech for me with regards to SSDs have not settled to a stable pattern for me personally to jump into it but if within your means why not ^^ Actually i do up rigs such as these but peeps go for shoebox/mATX cases that dun take up too much space in the living room but looks are subjective hehe
I'm not a big fan of mATX. I think there's a certain element of beauty in a nice, full-size tower or case. I agree with you on the $$/GB ratio of SSDs; however you can pick up a 32-64GB SSD drive for right around $100, which isn't bad considering the performance you get when compared to the relatively small storage space. I also agreed with you on the technology, until I read the "Performance Zooms with New Firmware for Intel 34nm X25-M SSDs" article here on Toms Hardware. I really feel like the manufacturers are driving hard on resolving the driver issues that have been plagueing the technology, and have started to make some head-way. There's still some lingering questions & issues though that are out there, so I'm not planning on it right now, but it is something I'd like to entertain within the next year.
Since you are going to purchase new RAM, I suggest you go DDR3 since it will be the standard for a few years while DDR2 is being phased out. The Asus board you mentioned is DDR3 but the Gigabyte is DDR2. Change the Gigabyte selection to GA-MA785GT-UD3H for the DDR3 version of that same board.
I actually already own the DDR2 RAM, I purchased it last year during the Cyber Monday sale on Newegg.com....So it is actually an easier solution for me to go DDR2. I am only considering the DDR3 solution because of exactly what you said, the long-term solution would be DDR3 since DDR2 seems to pretty much be at the end of it's life.