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HTPC New Build

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January 6, 2010 3:06:45 PM

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: As soon as I get the parts narrowed down, asap.

BUDGET RANGE: Trying to stay under $1000 US.

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Acrhiving my blu-rays and DVD's, Streaming, light gaming (not much more then WoW probably), music, photos, whatever else you need an HTPC for. I don't plan on using it as a DVR/Watching Live tv so no need for any cable/tuner cards.

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Pretty much everything except the TV, router.

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: Newegg seems to be the cheapest, but anywhere that is cheaper, works too. COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: US

PARTS PREFERENCES: by brand or type Doesn't really matter for this HTPC.

OVERCLOCKING: No SLI OR CROSSFIRE: No

MONITOR RESOLUTION: (1920x1200) 46" Sony Bravia

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: Just started looking into an HTPC yesterday and have done some research, but so many possibilities make it overwhelming and more complicated then it needs to be. But I have narrowed down some parts that I have decided upon. Not really concerned about noise, ps3/xbox 360 can't be any quieter then this.

Here are the things that are pretty much in.

Case - Antec Chassis NSK2480 mATX Mini Desktop380W P/S Black/Silver - $105.99
http://www.acnt.com/product.asp?pf_id=CSANSK2480

Hard Drive (Torn between these 2, not sure which is quieter/better) Am leaning toward the samsung. - $179.99

SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3EG HD203WI 2TB 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Western Digital Caviar Green WD20EADS 2TB 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Optical Drive Blu-Ray - LG Black 8X BD-ROM 16X DVD-ROM 40X CD-ROM SATA Internal Combo LG Blu-ray Reader & 16X LightScribe - 99.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Video Card - ASUS ENGT220/DI/1GD2(LP) GeForce GT 220 1GB 128-bit DDR2 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready Low Profile Ready - 69.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Software - Windows 7 Home - OEM - 104.99

Total so far- 560.95

Still need Mobo/CPU/Ram/IR Receiver I think. Keyboard and mouse as well, but I haven't looked at that yet.

Definitely want 4gb RAM, not sure which platform to go for though, AM3 or 775. So that is where I am looking for some help/suggestions. After I figure out the Mobo/CPU ram is easy.

I know the MCE remotes come with a receiver but its proving difficult finding one that the receiver will go in the second external 5.25 bay. Remote doesn't matter much since I will be grabbing a Harmony remote, just don't want an external IR receiver looking retarded, but if need be that is all I can find for relatively cheap then so be it.

I think that is it for now, thanks for reading/helping :) 

More about : htpc build

January 6, 2010 4:19:17 PM

Have narrowed down a couple keyboards.

This one is near the top since it is bluetooth.

Microsoft Wireless Entertainment Desktop 7000 (Silver) - No F keys is annoying. - $77.00
http://www.amazon.com/Microsoft-Wireless-Entertainment-...


This one has my interest, but no mouse would make any sort of gaming difficult, other then that I like it alot. Not bluetooth, either.

Zippy 2.4 GHz Long Range mini wireless keyboard with touchpad mouse - $60.00
http://www.ergogeek.com/2-4-ghz-long-range-mini-wireles...


Another bluetooth but no fancy buttons, has number pad/f keys a little cheaper then the Microsoft.

iOne Gemini M2 Bluetooth keyboard mouse combo w/ Bluetooth Dongle - $50.00
http://www.ergogeek.com/ione-gemini-m2-bluetooth-keyboa...
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January 6, 2010 4:24:04 PM

Check out what I'm running (More Information > Member Configuration). I built an HTPC for basically the same purpose. The biggest price difference will be the 8 GB of RAM, which I did only because I was getting it for basically 1/2 price.

To start, I'm not a big fan of mATX. It may not be rational, but I just don't care for them.

So I'm going to ignore that part of it. I'm sure I can find a mATX board if you're really concerned about it.

HDD: I don't know much about the 2 TB drive. I do know that the F3 1 TB is an excellent drive, and 2 of them will cost $10 less. The WD, however, is not a good choice. You're going to want a 500 GB platter drive (which the F3 1 TB is), and the only WD that has this is the 2 TB Caviar Black, which is more expensive. Total $170

GPU: A better one, assuming a regular sized build, is the HD 5770 for $155, or it's smaller brother, the HD 5750 for $140. These are essentially the perfect HTPC video cards. They're cool, quiet and powerful. The 5770 is the first recommendation because its more powerful, allowing you to game if wanted.

CPU: Phenom II X4 955 BE $166. One of AMD's more powerful offerings. Would go with an i5 for a gaming build, but this keeps the cost down.

Mobo: Asus M4A77D $70 after rebate. An ATX board, but very good and cheap. Will not allow Crossfire, so if you change your mind about that later, too bad.

RAM: G.Skill Eco 2x2 GB 1333 mhz CAS Latency 7 $100. Very similiar to the Ripjaws (which after shipping, are cheaper). These are just lower voltage, which means less heat and less noise.

PSU: Reaching another reason I don't care for mATX/HTPC case builds. You don't have a choice on the PSU. Many of them are a specific size for the case. I would like to recommend a 450W Corsair $65 after rebate. This is powerful enough for 1 card, but probably not 2 (if you change your mind about Crossfire).

Total (including optical): $826. Plenty of room for a good case, Windows and whatever else. If need be, you can do with a cheaper CPU.
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January 6, 2010 4:36:20 PM

When you say you want to archive your Blu-ray/DVDs, do you want to rip them straight to ISO or VOB or do you want to encode them into say MKV/H.264? It makes a big difference in how much horsepower you need for your GPU/CPU.
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January 6, 2010 4:38:51 PM

Dougie Fresh said:
When you say you want to archive your Blu-ray/DVDs, do you want to rip them straight to ISO or VOB or do you want to encode them into say MKV/H.264? It makes a big difference in how much horsepower you need for your GPU/CPU.



Plan on encoding them to MKV.
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January 7, 2010 2:52:53 PM

Gonna switch it up a bit to keep costs down some. And wait about another month till I move into the new house.

Switch to the Samsung 1TB drive to start off. Save about 70ish.

Going with an integrated GPU, but not sure which is better, the nvidia 9300/9400's boards or ati 785 boards.. Save about the same without having to buy a GPU.

Anyone have any idea which chipset is better? Figure I ask here then do some searching :D 
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