Do I need a graphics card??

I am putting together the parts needed to set-up my HTPC and need some help on required parts. The system will be using 9 - 3.5" hard drives, 2 - CD/DVD combo drives, wireless LAN, and HDMI outputs. I do alot of video editing like splicing VOB files and format conversions and I was wondering if a graphics card was needed for this setup? Also, would a 650w power supply be enough to handle running all of the necessary hardware?
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  1. If you go with an i3 processor and an H55 motherboard, it does full HD audio & video with its integrated graphics.

    If you go with any other combination, a discrete video card is recommended.

    650 W is probably overkill for most HTPC setups, though you'll probably want more than 400W with all those drives. There are some power calculators in the build stickys at the top of the forum that might be of use.
  2. If you have a motherboard with onboard graphics, no a video card is not "required". It may still be a good idea since you deal with videos.

    650W is overkill. The biggest draws in a build are the GPU and CPU. A 650W unit has enough power to run a full build with two GPUs. I would estimate that all the excess HDDs *might* equal one card. You could probably go with a 450W unit and be fine. To check for sure, use this PSU calculator to double check.

    EDIT: A rough guess as to the rest of the hardware yielded a need for 440W at 90% usage and 10% aging.
  3. You need something for graphics, be it an integrated GPU or a discrete graphics card you still need something. For an HTPC, the IGP in the newer i3's and i5's would be sufficient as would the IGP from the 780G, 785G, 790GX, or 890GX chipset for AMD.

    A smaller power supply will be more efficient and generate less heat, something like the corsair 400CX or the antec EA 380 would be plenty for it and cheap.
  4. I've heard that integrated MOBO's can bottleneck when doing intensive video editing. I have no intention on using the set-up for gaming, just playing movies from the HD's and a TON of video editing. obviously an i5 processor would be much faster, but I dont want to tie up my comp for hours converting VOB file to wmv, mp4, and such. with that said would the i3 and H55 MOBO be able to perform up to par?

    I tried using the wattage calculator from newegg and it said I should have over 800w of power....although I included a video card since I was having trouble finding a MOBO that could handle all 9 HD's, 2 DVD drives, and had HDMI output all in one. So the 650w PSU should handle this set-up with no problems right?
  5. The Newegg one bases it off of using a poor quality unit, and keep the unit at its most efficient level (50% of load).
  6. According to the PSU calculator at using an i7/920 and a HD5770 (likely overkill), plus making some assumptions about fans and throwing in a tuner yielded a requirement for 471 watts, so the short answer to your second question is "yes." As to the graphics card, yes you'll need one of those too, if only because the kind of CPU-intensive work you're doing would benefit from an Intel CPU, specifically a Core i7. Since Intel + Integrated Graphics = FAIL, you'll need a graphics card. I'm assuming 1080p resolution. If you will do any gaming at all on this system, a HD5770 is probably the lowest GPU you want. If there will be absolutely no gaming, you'd probably find a HD5570 sufficient.
    Of course, you haven't stated a budget, but the number of hard drives you're including make me think this is a pretty serious endeavor that will have a reasonable budget.
    On the PSU, in general find a model that has full range active PFC (no little voltage switch) and 80+ certification. I'm partial to Antec, but Corsair, Seasonic, PC Power & Cooling, and Enermax are also among the better brands. You're going to need a lot of connectors, so read the PSU specs for those, although you could use some splitters if you have to. Check out the Seasonic X-650. This 80+ gold unit is so efficient and runs so cool that at low loads it does not even need to run its fan, a definite plus for a HTPC.

    Oh, on the PSU calculator I think I also figured an additional PCIE x4 card for a RAID / controller for the drives not directly connected to the mobo.
  7. I want to do this build once an not need to upgrade for at least 2-3 years. My last computer was a store bought Compaq presario I purchased almost 5 years ago....SUPER slow editing video. I already have all the HD's as well as the 650w power supply, so my budget will be around $500.....hopefully including $160 for the Antec 1200 case. If I dont need the graphics card I can spend the extra coin on a better MOBO so I can take advantage of all 9 sata hook-ups.
  8. Going back to the original post, it sounds like you have a couple of dissimilar requirements.

    For most people, an HTPC is a low-power/low-noise computer that is primarily just going to be displaying/recording video and not doing anything really processor-intensive. For that purpose, an i3/H55 using integrated graphics would be fine.

    On the other hand, if you do a lot of video editing, that will benefit from the higher-end i7s that have hyperthreading, and would require a discrete graphics card (because the i7 doesn't have an adequate integrated solution, not because you need graphics horsepower). Obviously, this sort of computer can also act as an HTPC, but it generally isn't referred to as an HTPC for its primary purpose.

    A budget, or a post in the form of the sticky "How to Ask for New Build Advice" would be very helpful in getting more consensus and/or helpful comments.
  9. A mobo with 9 SATA ports will not be cheap. You'll still need two more (but they could be IDE) for the pair of optical drives.
    What PSU do you have?
    Also, if you've got a handful (or two) of older, 40GB, 80GB, or even 200GB drives, you could get one or two 1TB-2TB drives and not have to worry about the noise, heat, cables, or connections of nine drives.
  10. Sorry about the format....I am going to repost this build advice in the proper form. Thanx for the help everyone. Also.....the drives are western digital green drives: 5 - 2TB, 4 - 1TB. Currently 3.5 of the 2TB's are full of VOB files. hopefully I wont get around to using up the extra 1TB drives but wanted a build that would be able to handle everything if I needed to. Im a movie addict as you can see from the amount of storage Im using.......THANX AGAIN EVERYONE!!!
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