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HTPC build advice.

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May 6, 2010 8:57:23 PM

Hey guys. Been reading this forum for a long time but joined for the first time today, hey hey.

I am taking the plunge and am building a HTPC for my sitting room, I have been looking into it for a while and now I have some spare time I'm gonna get cracking on this mo'fo!

I want your advice, basically the build is gonna sit beneath my Samsung HDTV where I will be able to play movies and music through it. I have alot of HD video, you know, bluray rips and h264 stuffs. I want to use the build to watch and record uk freeview too using Windows MCE probably.

What I want to know is is the build listed below ideal for a HTPC setup for playing hd video content (not really gonna be doing encoding, got a sweet rig already where I can do that), while keeping fairly low noise and power consumption.


The build:

Case
Moneual Moncaso 312 (Not really gonna move on this one, looks *** hot and matches my existing equipment)
http://www.quietpcusa.com/Moneual-MONCASO-312-HTPC-Case...

CPU
Core i3 540 (using as the gpu too since it's built in. One of my main concerns).
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Mobo
Asus P7H55D-M EVO (Like the idea of usb 3.0, pretty good reviews all round, fanless cooling, yea yea)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Memory
4GB (2x2GB) Corsair (1333mhz): (I hear memory isn't a massive issue in a htpc..)
http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/4GB-(2x2GB)-Corsair-XMS3-Classic-DDR3-PC3-10666-(1333)-Non-ECC-Unbuffered-CAS-9-9-9-24-150V


PSU
480W Be Quiet Straight Power (Worried about this fitting in the case give the length, may touch the optical drive :S, nice and quiet though)
http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/480W-be-quiet-Straight-p...

HDD
60GB OCZ Vertex SSD (I have a pretty good server in my home and all my data is centralized, so the drive is only for the os and programs. TV would be recorded to the server hopefully. SSD for speed, less noise and energy consumption)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CPU cooler
Scythe Shuriken BIG 120mm (Space issue, but should fit as I have seen one in a moncaso 312 case on another forum, should be quiet since 120mm? Also may get one or two 40mm and use then as an exhaust)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

TV Tuner
Hauppauge Win TV Nova-TD 500 ( I live in the UK so want freeview for sure and dual tuner. Can I get freeview hd channels with this card? Also the case accepts low-profile card only, this card is low profile with full size bracket :S where can I get a compatible bracket??)
http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/Hauppauge-Win-TV-Nova-T-...


I am probably gonna go with windows 7 and media centre for tv and boxee for movies, tv shows and music frontend. I have been using boxee on one of my other machines, I love it.

As stated my main concern is using the intergrated GPU on the i3 clarkdale... Is this going to be ample for HD playback?

Any advice you guys can give on the whole build/specifics would be awesome :D 















More about : htpc build advice

May 6, 2010 9:26:06 PM

Yes, the i3 and its integrated GPU are an excellent foundation for a HTPC that will be displaying HD content. They're also plenty fast, cool running, and very efficient.
May 6, 2010 9:31:55 PM

Awesome, cheer buddy. settled a few concerns. I think finding a decent, low-profile, passively cooled gpu would be an impossible task!
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May 6, 2010 10:04:48 PM

What about a blu-ray drive??

BTW, Moneual cases are nice (using a 832P here). If you want a matching keyboard, quietpcusa also sells the Moneual MK700.
May 6, 2010 10:10:11 PM

rwpritchett said:
What about a blu-ray drive??

BTW, Moneual cases are nice (using a 832P here). If you want a matching keyboard, quietpcusa also sells the Moneual MK700.



That keyboard is pretty sweet. I have the logitech harmony one which I am gonna be using primarily, but I will definitely be checking out that board for managing my boxee frontend.

Ooops totally forgot the odd. ITs a bluray (obviously) lg drive.

LG CH08LS10
http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/LG-CH08LS10AUAR-8x-Blu-R...

My main issue is will there be room given the length of the drive and psu. According to my calculations (very questimated) there will be a 8mm gap between the psu and odd :S
May 7, 2010 1:09:22 PM

I can't find the actual noise level of the fan used on the Scythe, but that is the only thing I see as a possible issue.

I was previously using a Thermaltake Big Typhoon on my HTPC, and it was nice and quite until the bearings went after a few years.

I'm now using the Big Typhoon with a Thermaltake ISGC Fan 12 and I'm very happy with how quiet it is.

So, see if you can find any stats that indicate the fan operating at 16db or so and you'll be fine.
May 7, 2010 1:33:07 PM

firebird said:
I can't find the actual noise level of the fan used on the Scythe, but that is the only thing I see as a possible issue.

I was previously using a Thermaltake Big Typhoon on my HTPC, and it was nice and quite until the bearings went after a few years.

I'm now using the Big Typhoon with a Thermaltake ISGC Fan 12 and I'm very happy with how quiet it is.

So, see if you can find any stats that indicate the fan operating at 16db or so and you'll be fine.



Thanks for the reply. According to Scan.co.uk (http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/Scythe-Shuriken-BIG-120m...) the noise level is rated between 12.91 and 28.89 dB. Is that gonna be noisy in the compact case?

I am also gonna pick-up two of these 40mm fans in case this rig runs too hot (http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/40mm-Fractal-Design-4000...) they are rated at 13 dB so shouldn't be too bad if I have to use them.
May 7, 2010 4:22:56 PM

I can't tell from the pics of the case, but as long as there is a vent on the top to pull in cool air, it looks like you'll be fine. I took out the 60mm exhaust fans I had on my case (older Ahanix Dvine with modded vents on top of case, which is about 2x as tall as your case) and it stays nice and chilly with the CPU fan as the ONLY fan in the case.
May 7, 2010 10:35:25 PM

Sounds like promising stuff. It seems there is plenty on ventilation on top of the case making the cooler I have chosen ideal. Hopefully I wont need the 40mm fans but I will buy them anyway since they are so cheap, will only install then if the temps are running too high. Thanks for the advice, the only issue now is whether the psu and odd will fit in the case given their lengths may overlap. Guess I will just have to take the plunge and buy! will report back.
!