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Htpc help

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December 2, 2009 3:37:49 PM

I recently got a great deal on some computer parts that i later found out is probably the wrong direction for me. but anyways i will tell what i want, then what i have and you can maybe fill in the gaps and make suggestions. I want a htpc that i can put a blu ray optical drive in. store movies, have hooked up to 50" plasma, home theater system. I want it to be a high performance system stream off internet.
ANY suggestions or alternatives would be great. Let me know if im leaving something out. Also, do you know of any good places to stream or download high-def/bluray. Thanks
This is what i have
processor: xeon x3220 server
hard drive: 1.5 terabyte seagate
video card: msi 9500 gt 1 gb
memory: 4 gigs kingston 800mhz ddr2
OS: Win 7 Ultimate 64 bit

dont have
motherboard: need suggestions, should i go with a server board? (looking at intel 3210shlc
blu ray drive: i have no idea
case: open to ideas (looking at antec fusion remote max)

More about : htpc

December 2, 2009 5:56:04 PM

What's your budget for everything? Do you plan to output audio to a HD audio receiver or just stereo in the plasma? Video through HDMI or component?

You can use ANY parts to build a HTPC. There's no restriction. Do you have any other computers in the home? Do you want to share the media with them? What kind of media? If so, you're looking at a HTPC/server or a HTPC + a media server. The 1st will cost a bit of dough while the latter can set you back $200-ish w/o the optical & hard disks.

For a bluray reader, it's just $60. For a burner, it's $100+. Make sure the drive has W7 drivers.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=E...

The Antec Fusion HTPC case is MATX & supports full-size expansion cards. You're looking at MATX mobos. However, all matx mobos come with IGP - onboard video.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=E...

The only thing to pay attention for in a mobo is the cpu support. If you don't already have the cpu, swap it out for something more generic like a Q9550 as it will be supported by almost all newer mobos. Take this board for example. It does support the X3220, but the revision of the supported cpu is not mentioned.

http://processormatch.intel.com/CompDB/SearchResult.asp...
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December 2, 2009 8:10:35 PM

Budget isnt the most important thing, i would rather have something that ill be happy with and i wont have to worry about for a while. The video card i have has a hdmi port, so i will probably utilize that.
I will be hooking it up to a home theater receiver. I wont be using it for anything else other than the living room htpc.

If i get a blu ray burner, is burning blu ray as easy as burning dvd, or are there alot of encryptions?

I already have the x3220, does processor have do be compatible to ddr3 or just mb?

Do I have to get a server motherboard, what are the benefits of server motherboard, what would be youre reccomendation for this systems motherboard (under $200). I am just getting into computers, so im not overclocking yet, but eventially might.

If i dont care about the information stored (just media), does raid serve any purpose.

Do you think that the msi 9500gt 1gb videocard is good enough to display 1080p on a 50" plasma tv. Just bluray, no gaming.

Thanks for your help, I have been reading other peoples forums for weeks for a motherboard. If i can just get that i can atleast have something to work with.


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December 3, 2009 2:51:22 PM

Any help would be appreciated
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Best solution

December 3, 2009 3:35:02 PM

Quote:
If i get a blu ray burner, is burning blu ray as easy as burning dvd, or are there alot of encryptions?


Yes, but a 25GB BD-R WILL take much longer to burn than a 4.7 GB or 8.5 GB DL DVD+/-R/RW. Even at the same speed.

Quote:
I already have the x3220, does processor have do be compatible to ddr3 or just mb?


No, you just need to make sure the mobo supports the cpu out of the box. Most new boards can support it after a bios update. Which is a catch 22 since you don't have another cpu. You could pay a store to flash the bios for a small fee.

Quote:
Do I have to get a server motherboard, what are the benefits of server motherboard, what would be youre reccomendation for this systems motherboard (under $200). I am just getting into computers, so im not overclocking yet, but eventially might.


No, any new more expensive board will support the cpu. The thing is your cpu is a rare item in the realm of mainstream. It's used in a server environment. But you're shopping at mainstream computer stores/e-stores. Let me look for one. Most server boards are full ATX - won't fit the Antec case.

Intel BOXDQ45CB
Intel BOXDG45ID

The full size ATX boards have better cpu support. These are the only 2 MATX ones I found at newegg.com that support your cpu.

Quote:
If i dont care about the information stored (just media), does raid serve any purpose.


RAID 1 most def. Basically it needs 2 same size disks and clones the 1st one to the 2nd. In the event of data loss, it will auto clone the missing data from the good drive.

Quote:
Do you think that the msi 9500gt 1gb videocard is good enough to display 1080p on a 50" plasma tv. Just bluray, no gaming.


It's more than fine. I think your main concern would be noise since you're putting the HTPC in the same room of the HDTV. You don't want to hear the BD/DVD drive to grind while watching a movie. The quietest way to do it is to stream the content from elsewhere to a media player ($100-ish by Western Digital, noiseless, no moving parts) - like a home server from another room. But to each his own.
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