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New HTPC Build - Any Issues?

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November 23, 2009 2:15:36 AM

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!

CPU: AMD Athlon II X2 240 Regor 2.8GHz AM3 65W TDP

MB: Gigabyte GA-MA785G-UD3H 785G ATX
- or -
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
- or -
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
- or -
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

More about : htpc build issues

November 23, 2009 3:00:41 AM

Hmm when u state AIO HTPC would gaming be one of the tasks to be performed on it? Else the HD 4200 IGP would be fine and merely sip power
November 23, 2009 3:04:59 AM

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.
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November 23, 2009 3:07:17 AM

This would be hooked up to a Full HD LCD TV 24/7 i assume? Also consider the Samsung F3 1TBs for HDDs ^^
November 23, 2009 3:16:35 AM

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.
November 23, 2009 3:22:21 AM

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
November 23, 2009 3:55:38 AM

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.
November 23, 2009 2:47:55 PM

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.

November 24, 2009 1:18:17 AM

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.
!