Need advise - New HTPC

Hey guys, how are you doing?

ok.. I've finally bought a tv panasonic 54" g25 Plasma, and now I'd like to build a htpc to enjoy tv series and movies, but also I will use it probably to listen to music and online radios.
For the case I'd like an horizontal and probably one for htpc.
Initially I will connect to the TV through hdmi but then I will connect it to the receiver (as soon as I buy it).

ok now the data:

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: asap
BUDGET RANGE: 700 - 1000 but of course the cheaper the better
SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: watch 1080p movies, work as a home server to download movies from the net, may be watch tv
PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Monitor, I will use my 54" panasonic and for mouse I'll use logitech air. But
PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: Probably newegg but if there is one cheaper pls suggest, also I live on south florida.
OVERCLOCKING: don't think so
SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Again doesn't make sense for htpc purpose
MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1920x1080
ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: A quiet PC will be better since it will be on the living room and probably on a lot of hours. Also may be I will buy too a good tv turner.

and my questions:
1) Do you think it's going to be much better to buy a separate sound card?
2) I will need a lot of space for storage since I download a lot of movies, so I'm not sure if I should have 3 or 4 hd here or buy a separated NAS (each movie is between 8 to 10 gb)
3) Since the TV is huge may be in future I will use some picture in picture feature, so the processor will have to be power enough.

I have no idea about the budget. I think that with 1000 will be ok but please forgetting about that please let me know what do you think.
thanks.


Ari
14 answers Last reply
More about need advise htpc
  1. 1. Not usually, if you find you need one buy it later.
    2. A separate storage is not needed, but might be nice for file sharing or backup.
    3. Not a big deal. At this budget you don't need to worry.

    If you are placing this in your living room, your first consideration is appearance. Your choices will determine further parts:

    - HTPC case designed to fit in with other equipment on a shelf
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811129054&cm_re=antec_fusion-_-11-129-054-_-Product

    - Small cheap case that will be hidden
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811119193&cm_re=Cooler_Master_Elite-_-11-119-193-_-Product

    - Larger case that will look nice and be a conversation piece.
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811119150&cm_re=Cooler_Master_Cosmos-_-11-119-150-_-Product


    Beyond that it's not really hard, but some of the hardware choices might change.

    AMD Phenom II X2 545 Callisto 3.0GHz
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103694&cm_re=AMD_Phenom_II-_-19-103-694-_-Product

    Gigabyte 785G mATX AM3 board
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128432&cm_re=785G-_-13-128-432-_-Product

    OCZ Platinum 4GB 1333 DDR3
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820227478&cm_re=DDR3_4GB_1333-_-20-227-478-_-Product

    The video will likely be enough from the board, but you might want to cut yourself a bit more margin with a discrete card:
    ATI Sapphire 4550
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814102819&cm_re=4550-_-14-102-819-_-Product

    And some big quiet drives:
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136514
  2. Almost forgot the most important part... power. If you are going to end up with a lot of big drives, let's put a slightly larger than usual PSU into the mix... this one is quiet and efficient and very high quality... just a bit larger than you actually need:

    Antec NEO ECO 520C
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817371030&cm_re=NEO_ECO-_-17-371-030-_-Product
  3. hmmm ok you are the expert, but don't you think that that video is not enoght?

    and also, I'm worried about th cpu..
  4. The usage you gave: watching movies, downloading, surfing the net, picture-in-picture... None of those things require any real GPU muscle or processor speed. You could do just as well with a slower processor and onboard video, but since your budget would cover it I thought you would want a bit more margin... maybe you'll want to have multiple stream to various locations around the house or something, or maybe you'll want to encode video.

    If you are going to get a small HTPC case and really need a lot of storage, then you might want to consider an NAS.

    If you want to get a stronger hotter CPU and video card, then you need to consider a larger case.

    Now, if you want to play games on high settings in full 1080, then you will need a stronger GPU.
  5. I definitely will need storage and I'm not sure if I will need to encode video in real time, so probably I'll go with a better cpu and gpu... may be a i5 and a radeon hd 5000 what do you think?
  6. Cool.. let me check it and I'll send you my feedback.

    thanks !!!
  7. Proximon said:
    1. Not usually, if you find you need one buy it later.
    2. A separate storage is not needed, but might be nice for file sharing or backup.
    3. Not a big deal. At this budget you don't need to worry.

    If you are placing this in your living room, your first consideration is appearance. Your choices will determine further parts:

    - HTPC case designed to fit in with other equipment on a shelf
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811129054&cm_re=antec_fusion-_-11-129-054-_-Product

    - Small cheap case that will be hidden
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811119193&cm_re=Cooler_Master_Elite-_-11-119-193-_-Product

    - Larger case that will look nice and be a conversation piece.
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811119150&cm_re=Cooler_Master_Cosmos-_-11-119-150-_-Product


    Beyond that it's not really hard, but some of the hardware choices might change.

    AMD Phenom II X2 545 Callisto 3.0GHz
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103694&cm_re=AMD_Phenom_II-_-19-103-694-_-Product

    Gigabyte 785G mATX AM3 board
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128432&cm_re=785G-_-13-128-432-_-Product

    OCZ Platinum 4GB 1333 DDR3
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820227478&cm_re=DDR3_4GB_1333-_-20-227-478-_-Product

    The video will likely be enough from the board, but you might want to cut yourself a bit more margin with a discrete card:
    ATI Sapphire 4550
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814102819&cm_re=4550-_-14-102-819-_-Product

    And some big quiet drives:
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136514



    I like your setup exept for one thing
    the hard drives
    you need one maybe 60gb SSD(for OS) and like one or two more 2tb 7200 rpm HDDs for file storage

    SSD: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820227461

    HDD: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822148506

    (The SSD will provide for a quieter operation because it has no moving parts!+it is EXTREMELY FAST)
  8. Proximon said:

    Question, do you know if the hdmi of this card has both audio and video?

    Anonymous said:
    (The SSD will provide for a quieter operation because it has no moving parts!+it is EXTREMELY FAST)

    Hmmm, like it a lot... definitely I will go with this
  9. Yes, the 5670 can output audio and video through the HDMI port. You just have to select HDMI as the main audio output source.
  10. ok.. now another dumb question...
    surfing another threads found out that asus has really interesting home theater cards.
    http://usa.asus.com/ProductGroup2.aspx?PG_ID=deBXUzMkKnQuGLGK

    I see and they are expensives: http://www.newegg.com/Store/BrandSubCategory.aspx?Brand=1315&SubCategory=57&name=ASUS-Sound-Cards&Order=PRICE

    but I'm not sure what do you think, make sense for the quality?
  11. I wouldn't waste my money on those. Give the audio over HDMI a shot. You can always add a sound card later if you think you need to. My guess is that you'll be more than happy with the audio over HDMI.
  12. Justin_2 has a point, but you'll have to balance the worth vs. cost to see if it's worth it for you. At your given budget range i would say no.
  13. torcator said:
    Question, do you know if the hdmi of this card has both audio and video?


    Hmmm, like it a lot... definitely I will go with this


    As i said SSD is SUPER FAST But is only for the Operating system!
    you'll need a second 2tb drive for file storage!
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