New AMD HTPC

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Late February

BUDGET RANGE: $700-$800 (AUD)

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: recording and viewing tv, movies, online video streaming, media server

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: DVD drive (will get blu-ray at a latter date), mouse, keyboard, Media Center remote

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: I really don't mind. I will source the parts locally anyway.

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: Australia

PARTS PREFERENCES: AMD CPU, Gigabyte mobo

OVERCLOCKING: no

SLI OR CROSSFIRE: no

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1080p 40 inch Samsung LED TV

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: Extremely quiet, must use windows media center and be capable of bitstreaming HD audio (I know that this can only be achieved with 5XXX series graphics cards)


I have put together a list of components that I like the look of.

CPU - AMD Athlon II X2 240 2.8GHz Socket AM3 Box

Motherboard - Gigabyte GA-MA785GMT-UD2H

HDD - Western Digital Caviar Green WD10EADS 32MB 1TB

RAM - Corsair XMS3 DDR3 PC10666/1333MHz CL9 2x2GB or similar with better latencies

Case and PSU - Antec NSK2480B (Black) with Antec Earthwatts 380W PSU

OS - Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium Eng (64-bit OEM)

GPU - Unsure of GPU. Was thinking of building the system and adding a passive cooled HD 5400 or HD 5500 series GPU when they are released.

CPU cooler - Scythe Ninja Mini Rev. B (running fanless)

Case fans - Replace stock Antec Tri-Cools with 2x 800rpm Scythe Slipstreams

TV tuner - I have no idea what tv tuners would be suitable. I would like to be able to record from my STB and record while being able to watch live tv.


1) What should I do about the GPU? It must be able to bitstream HD audio and be as silent as possible. The HD 5670 is too loud for my liking.

2) Do I really need the minja or will the stock cooler be sufficient?

3) If I get the minja should is swap the PSU fan with the one from the minja? I have read that there is a noticeable difference in noise but I do not want to void the warranty. What I am really asking is whether the stock PSU fan is very loud.

4) Are there any better case fans than the Scythe Slipstreams that are not going to cost an arm and a leg? (I refuse to pay 80 AUD for two noctua fans)

5) I have no idea when it comes to tv tuners (I have built gaming PC's but never a HTPC). What cards would be able to record from my STB and view live tv while recording?

Any suggestions and help with this build would be greatly appreciated. Silence is key with this particular build. I want it to blend in with the background noise. I have a PS3 and that is too noisy for me.
12 answers Last reply
More about htpc
  1. Quote:
    1) What should I do about the GPU? It must be able to bitstream HD audio and be as silent as possible. The HD 5670 is too loud for my liking.

    Which brand? A different brand might mean a quieter card.

    Quote:
    2) Do I really need the minja or will the stock cooler be sufficient?

    Well, you are mainly watching movies...so I think the stock cooler will be enough.

    Quote:
    3) If I get the minja should is swap the PSU fan with the one from the minja? I have read that there is a noticeable difference in noise but I do not want to void the warranty. What I am really asking is whether the stock PSU fan is very loud.

    Most of the time for me that hasn't been a problem for me.

    Quote:
    4) Are there any better case fans than the Scythe Slipstreams that are not going to cost an arm and a leg? (I refuse to pay 80 AUD for two noctua fans)

    I am not sure.

    Hopefully I was of help! :D
  2. This hard disk will be better:
    Samsung Spinpoint 1TB
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822152185&cm_re=spinpoint-_-22-152-185-_-Product

    Get a AMD Athlon II x4 620... Good for your needs and it will last you a long time

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103706&cm_re=athlon_620-_-19-103-706-_-Product

    Getting a Passively cooled HD5000 card is a good option for a HTPC. I say go for it!

    :)
  3. greenmonkeytooth said:
    ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: Extremely quiet, must use windows media center and be capable of bitstreaming HD audio (I know that this can only be achieved with 5XXX series graphics cards)
    Just FYI... the new Clarkdale i3/i5 processors can bitstream HD audio when coupled with an H55/H57 chipset motherboard. You may want to go Intel if you aren't fully committed to AMD.

    http://www.anandtech.com/cpuchipsets/showdoc.aspx?i=3704&p=3
  4. Agree with rwpritchett. The i3s were built to be HTPC CPUs. They use less power, generate less heat and have integrated graphics. They're also not much more expensive than AMD CPUs.
  5. That looks like a great option! How is the performance of the integrated graphics?Will it allow me to watch live sports without banding?
  6. I assume so. They'll handle full HD with ease...
  7. So, have you heard an HD5670 to know they are too loud? I have the HIS HD5670 512MB card and it's absolutely silent, even with the cover off my PC case.

    I'd go the Core i3 / H55 route anyway. How it will do with sports though it's hard to say. You're probably referring to de-interlacing the stripes on the field, right? There was an article, Anandtech I think, that showed anything under a HD5670 couldn't handle that. I can't speak for the IGP in the Core i3.

    http://www.anandtech.com/video/showdoc.aspx?i=3734&p=4

    "... In fact the only practical reason that Vector Adaptive mode matters is that it handles one thing better than Motion Adaptive: angled lines. The lines on sports fields suffer badly from interlacing artifacts, and Motion Adaptive mode can’t completely reconstruct them correctly; you need Vector Adaptive to accomplish this. So the only issue with the 5450 as an HTPC card is that it’s not a great choice for watching sports on a large TV where Motion Adaptive Deinterlacing would result in jagged lines on the field."
  8. Quote:
    You're probably referring to de-interlacing the stripes on the field, right? There was an article, Anandtech I think, that showed anything under a HD5670 couldn't handle that. I can't speak for the IGP in the Core i3.


    Yes that is exactly what I was reffering to. If it is going to ruin my sports channels then I do not think that the HD 5450 is for me. I may end up going the route of the HD 5670 but I am concerned that it will be too loud. You claim that it is silent in your system. Silent for one person may not be silent for another.

    I don't think that the core i3 is an option for me as the total platform cost is $200 more than the AMD option.
  9. 5) I have no idea when it comes to tv tuners (I have built gaming PC's but never a HTPC). What cards would be able to record from my STB and view live tv while recording?

    Does anyone have anything to add about tv tuners? I am pretty noobish when it comes to this particular area.
  10. anyone?
  11. Here, you need to do some reading:

    http://www.hdtvtunerinfo.com/
  12. Well, you don't have to take my word for it:

    http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/HIS/Radeon_HD_5670_IceQ/27.html
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