Hello everyone, new to the forums here, and any help is welcome and appreciated!
APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: In the next month or so. Sooner the better.
SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Recording standard and HDTV, Streaming Video, Watching Movies, maybe gaming
PARTS NOT REQUIRED: OS, HDTV, 2x WD 1TB hard drives
PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: newegg, tigerdirect, buy.com, amazon.com, (any really)
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: US
PARTS PREFERENCES: Intel or AMD
SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Not sure
MONITOR RESOLUTION: Apex 40 inch 1080p LCD HDTV with HDMI and VGA possibility
My budget is about $800-$900 before or after rebates. I want the option to expand to gaming later on. I'd like a smaller receiver-looking case, and the ability to record HDTV and convert it to more manageable formats. Streaming would be nice, and wireless connectivity is a must. Remote is also a must. Would like to run Windows 7.
For a motherboard, I like to recommend the ASUS M4A79XTD EVO. This is a great board, at a great price.
Do you intend to watch BluRay on this? If not, pick up any name brand SATA DVD burner for about $30. If so, expect to drop $100 for a reader or $150 for a burner.
For a PSU, I'd recommend a Corsair 550W if you don't think you'll add a second GPU later. The only need you'd have for a second card is if you want to do some intense gaming. If you do want to add a second card, get a 650W.
I don't know a whole lot about recording, but I believe you'll need 2 TV tuners to record as you watch. I think they run about $100 each. Can someone else help out with these?
As far as cases, just go to Newegg and look for media center cases. You'll need one that fits an ATX board. You could also look at small mid towers if you don't see anything you like.
All the pieces I have above (5750, no BluRay, 650W) is ~$650. The 5770 will add $35 to that. BluRay reader will add $70, burner $120. 550W PSU is $20 less.
For a HTPC you might want to get the Phenom II X3 720 instead. The 720 has a much smaller heat signature. You will have to get a new motherboard to use the 720. I wouldn't recommend a socket 775 as its officially obsolete.
Go AM3 or 1156. AM3 would save you more money and you won't really lose any real time performance.
I would've gone done to a X3, but he wants to game later. Same reason I went with the 5770.
The Gigabyte board is good, except it handcuffs the upgrade potential. If you wanted the option to play more intense games later, you will want to be able to Crossfire GPUs. The Gigabyte board only has 1 PCIe slot.
Currently, anyone can game just fine with an X3 and a 5750. The eye candy won't be amazing but it's a HTPC not a gaming rig. I selected hardware that will game better than any console while being smaller than a desktop.
If he is looking for a dual card setup he mine as well look at getting a desktop. If he wants something to fit into his entertainment center he should stay with a HTPC.
Yep P2X3 720 is also cooler running and my experiences with SFF/HTPC DIY for my clients shows it an ideal chip for this purpose hehe In fact i am looking at the A2X3 4xx with under volting for my next builds for the ultimate cool multicore HTPCs
I also noticed that the MOBO doesn't have onboard HDMI... I guess it's not really necessary if the video card or TV tuner will? Found this review interesting on newegg:
Cons: PLEASE READ: I've never given out a one egg before. Most of the time I think it's childish and you get reviews like "Did not POST, DOA, etc.", that make you want to flag the review as not being helpful. **This is very important** As of this past month (11/07), AMD released new revisions to their top line of processors (starting with the 965 125w). DO NOT PURCHASE THIS BOARD WITH THAT (OR ANY OTHER C3) PROCESSOR. AMD supports these chips in the most current version of the BIOS (v.2002). However, in order to flash your BIOS, you have to have another AM3 processor. The board will NOT boot at all with these new processors. This should be fixed in the next 6 months for this board. I say 6 months for the fact that it takes about that time for the new BIOS to be implemented into current shipments.
Another question, ATI has a Cablecard tuner.... would that be a viable option to solve the encrypted cable dilemma? I snagged the All-inWonder HD card at Fry's today for $70, will this be suitable as my main video card?
It can hold a Micro ATX board, and the primary reason for getting it is I think I can fit two 3.5 hard drives in it, in ADDITION to a 2.5 solid state drive for the OS. I also got the All-in-Wonder HD card which has a Radeon HD 3650 video card on it.
Will I need another video card or will this be adequate?
Any additional MOBO/CPU suggestions based on this case?