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First build, HTPC+ Bluray ripping

Last response: in Systems
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January 10, 2010 11:49:42 PM

This will be my first crack at building a system, something I plan to use as an HTPC+. I’ll be working on it with a friend who has already put together a budget HTPC, but right now after having done some research myself I’m trying to come up with a final list of components.

Here’s the rundown. Please bear with me as I’m very new to this and until two days ago barely knew what the difference between DDR3 and DDR2 was.

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: As soon as humanly possible, BUDGET RANGE: Around $700-800, before rebates.

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: I’d like to use this rig as an HD DVR and Media Center, as well as (in a few months) be ready to play and rip Bluray once I purchase a drive. I really do want it to be an effective media center (playback video and stream hulu/orb), run XBMC & Miro, and finally, use it for everyday internet surfing and productivity. It will not be used for any gaming.

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Will not need a keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers for now, will opt to purchase a receiver in about 6-12 months. I also already have a PCI TV tuner from a previous desktop I’ll just throw in here. I plan to get Win7 64-bit OS separately, outside this budget, from school.

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: Newegg, Microcenter, Amazon but not married to any of those, COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: USA

OVERCLOCKING: Realistically, not now, but possibly FAR down the road

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: Quiet is key, while being powerful enough to smoothly achieve its purposes

Right now, these are some components I’m looking at:

CASE – one of the cases from nMedia (likely 2000 series) which fits a full ATX board. ~$100

CPU – AMD Athlon II X4 630 Propus 2.8GHz Socket AM3 95W Quad-Core. $113
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

MOTHERBOARD – very unsure about this one, but was looking at the MSI 790FX-GD70 AM3 board even though there are some cheaper options out there. I really don’t want to go for a micro-ATX – call me claustrophobic but for some reason I’m paranoid about not having enough space for air flow or enough slots etc. $164
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

GPU – also very unsure here. Was originally hoping for a system that didn’t need a separate card. Thinking about HIS H467QS1GH Radeon HD 4670, though I guess there are a few other options that cost about the same. $85
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

PSU – ????

TV-TUNER – already have a Hauppauge card from before.

HARD DRIVE – 2 x 1TB Western Digital Green Hard Drives (WD10EADS) $160 (already purchased)

OPTICAL DRIVE – Samsung Super-WriteMaster SH-S223 $20 (already purchased)

RAM – G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333, PC3 10666. $100
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

TOTAL: $742

Which brings me pretty close to my target. I’d appreciate any help, advice, comments on this set of components for the purposes I’m going to be using them for. Again, thanks for your patience in dealing with a complete newbie to HTPC's . . .
January 11, 2010 12:39:43 AM

Blue-Ray ripping... Maybe you should READ the FBI disclaimer... Do you mean RIPPING OFF?
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January 11, 2010 12:52:01 AM

Is it wrong to make a copy of something you already own. For your own viewing of course.
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January 11, 2010 12:57:38 AM

For XBMC to work with Bluray movies, you need to backup the Bluray content to your hard drive. And yes, it is legal to backup your own discs for your private use.
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January 11, 2010 2:57:43 PM

The discussion about ripping for your owne used of bd disk it's not closed, some company said ' At the moment you change the support of information it's piracy'.. some other, mostly people how bought the bd disk said, 'IT's mind it's for me I can do what I want'.
As you can see the gap between those points of view it's pretty big.
My two cents... It's yours do what you want with it. And if the FBI knock at your door tell them to check those online site with gazillion of copy instead of a guy who make is own copy of his 50bd disk librairy for his children used !!!.
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January 11, 2010 3:57:52 PM

The discussion might not be closed but it doesn't need to be brought up in every thread where someone says they want to rip Blu-rays to a NAS, especially as "Blue-Ray ripping... Maybe you should READ the FBI disclaimer... Do you mean RIPPING OFF".

That's not discussing that is trolling.

And, besides, there's a subsection of that FBI warning that says it's ok to makea digital copy if you have little kids and they're always getting fingerprints all over your discs. I read that on the internet so it must be true.
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January 11, 2010 4:07:10 PM

For an HTPC, you might want to consider a graphics card that has an HDMI out, possibly an ATI 5750, something along the lines of this card. 5750s start at about $150 on newegg, but that will simplify the cabling and it should also improve (though perhaps not significantly) the audio & video signals.
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January 11, 2010 4:24:09 PM

Thanks much for the input on the graphics card. I guess the reason that I was looking at the Radeon HD 4670 iSilence4 instead was because the reviews say that it does run rather quietly, and I'm doing my best to find components that are quiet yet do the job. I believe the 5750 would be significantly louder. I'm not quite sure if the 5750 is better than the 4670 in other aspects, at least, considering that my rig won't be used for gaming? What do you think?

Also, I definitely am sensitive to the need for HDMI out (definitely a good point to be brought up and thanks for doing so), and it seems that the 4670 has it, per the description on Newegg:
"The card’s HDMI connector supports multi-channel audio formats (up to 7.1) and combines audio and video output on a single cable for direct connection to an HDMI ready display."

Does the combination of all these components work? Is there something better for my purposes?
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January 11, 2010 4:33:53 PM

Just an FYI - the 780g and above chipsets, as well as the 4xxx series are capable of audio over HDMI and full 1080p playback. If you plan on playing games, a better card would be a good idea - if not, check out the integrated graphics (785g possibly).

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January 11, 2010 7:08:34 PM

Thanks - I was thinking integrated graphics when I was originally considering an Intel build but then didn't even take that into consideration with AMD. I will definitely try the rig without the card first and then see if I need to add it in later.

Which leaves the following as my current configuration:

CASE – nMedia 2000 series case ~$100
CPU – AMD Athlon II X4 630 Propus 2.8GHz Socket AM3 95W Quad-Core. $113
MOTHERBOARD – MSI 790FX-GD70 AM3. $164
PSU – OCZ Fatal1ty OCZ550FTY 550W ATX12V / EPS12V Modular Power Supply. $55
TV-TUNER – Hauppauge card (already have it)
HARD DRIVE – 2 x 1TB Western Digital Green Hard Drives (WD10EADS). $160
OPTICAL DRIVE – Samsung Super-WriteMaster SH-S223. $20 used
RAM – G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333, PC3 10666. $100

TOTAL: $612

Does this look like it would work? If so, I'm pulling the trigger tonight...
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January 11, 2010 7:09:55 PM

Interesting. The card you had linked didn't appear to have an HDMI out in the specs when I looked. Or maybe I just missed it. Or something.

Right now, many people are recommending against integrated graphics for an HTPC, simply because current motherboards don't support all flavors of HD audio/video. That is supposed to change in the near future, but be prepared for not everything working right if buying a motherboard with onboard HDMI out. Or what Huron said. :) 
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