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$600 (CDN) HTPC

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July 21, 2010 2:44:51 PM

Greetings all,

I am putting together an HTPC in the $600 Canadian range for someone. This will be my first HTPC build and I would like some feed back to see if any changes need to be made to what I have selected. I am primarliy concerned with video output. This client will be using a home theater projector, and I need to know if a video card needs to be added, or if the on-boad HDMI will suffice.

Thanks in advance,

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Immediately

BUDGET RANGE: $600 +/- Before Rebates

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Blu-Ray, HD TV recording, Steaming Video etc.. General HTPC use.

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers, OS

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: www.bestdirect.ca , www.directcanada.com

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: Canada

PARTS PREFERENCES: AMD

OVERCLOCKING: No
SLI OR CROSSFIRE: No

MONITOR RESOLUTION: Unsure

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: Will be playing through "BenQ W1000 HDTV 1080P DLP Projector 1920X1080 2000 ANSI 3000:1 2XHDMI Component"


What I currently have selected:

Case: Nmedia HTPC-6000B Desktop Media Centre Case
https://www.bestdirect.ca/products/204759/HTPC-6000B/NM...

PSU: BFG GS-550 550W
https://www.bestdirect.ca/products/214625/BFGR550WGSPSU...

CPU: AMD Athlon II X3 440
https://www.bestdirect.ca/products/227078/ADX440WFGIBOX...

Mobo: MSI 760GM-E51 mATX AM3 760G DDR3
https://www.bestdirect.ca/products/225847/760GM-E51/MSI...

RAM: Corsair VS2GB1333D3 2GB 1X2GB DDR3-1333
https://www.bestdirect.ca/products/216648/VS2GB1333D3/C...

HDD: Western Digital Caviar Blue 500GB
https://www.bestdirect.ca/products/115540/WD5000AAKS/We...

Blu-Ray Reader: Liteon IHOS104 4X BLU-RAY
https://www.bestdirect.ca/products/222338/IHOS104-06/Li...

TV Tuner: Hauppauge WINTV-HVR-1600 PCI TV Tuner
https://www.bestdirect.ca/products/165271/1101/HAUPPAUG...

$602 Shipped


Client want to use either this projector: BenQ W1000 HDTV 1080P DLP Projector or something similar in specs
http://www.bestdirect.ca/products/222562/W1000/BENQ/

I have never dabbled in large format display or projectors. Will the onboard video be able to handle Blu-Ray with a projector, as well HD TV?

I am interested in hearing your feedback,

Thanks!

More about : 600 cdn htpc

July 21, 2010 3:09:48 PM

The 760G chipset lacks the UVD that you need to play blu-ray. Change your motherboard selection to a 785G or 880G chipset. Something like this.

Also, you should go for a better quality, efficient PSU with lower watts like this.

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July 22, 2010 12:03:41 PM

rwpritchett said:
The 760G chipset lacks the UVD that you need to play blu-ray. Change your motherboard selection to a 785G or 880G chipset. Something like this.

Also, you should go for a better quality, efficient PSU with lower watts like this.



Thank you so much for the info and quick reply!
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July 27, 2010 10:34:23 PM

Ok, I took your advice and reworked with a 785G. Final build looks like:

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium Edition 64BIT DVD OEM
$104.23

AMD Athlon II X3 440 Triple Core Processor AM3 3.0GHZ 1.5MB L2 Cache 95W 45NM Retail Box
$83.93

Corsair VS2GB1333D3 2GB 1X2GB DDR3-1333 240PIN DIMM Memory
$52.20

ASUS M4A785T-M/CSM mATX AM3 DDR3 AMD 785G PCI-E16 PCI-E1 2PCI 6SATA GBLAN Radeon HD 4200 Motherboard
$87.21
http://www.bestdirect.ca/products/?sku=223168&kw=m4a78

Liteon IHOS104 4X BLU-RAY Reader BD-ROM Drive SATA Black OEM
$61.88

Western Digital Caviar Blue 500GB SATA2 7200RPM 16MB 8.9MS 3.5IN NCQ Hard Drive OEM 3YR MFR Warranty
$39.79

Nmedia HTPC-6000B Desktop Media Centre Case ATX Black 1X5.25 1X3.5 5X3.5INT Card Reader No PS
$87.51

Antec Earthwatts Green 380W Power Supply ATX12V V2.0 Active PFC 80PLUS Bronze 80MM Fan
$44.42

BenQ W1000 HDTV 1080P DLP Projector 1920X1080 2000 ANSI 3000:1 2XHDMI Component
$1,129.70
http://www.bestdirect.ca/products/222562/W1000/BENQ/

Hauppauge WinTV HVR-2250 Media Center Kit Dual TUNER/ ATSC HDTV / QAM Receiver /RADIO / TV / PCIe
$146.49
http://www.bestdirect.ca/products/?sku=219916&kw=2250

My primary concerns are with the items linked, and hoping playback on the projector should be all well and that the motherboard meets all the demands for viewing various HD sources through the reader and TV tuner.

Can you foresee any setbacks?

I also wanted to double check the audio chipset is fine for surround sound. Says there is a 7.1 audio solution on the chipsets mfg website, but it's always nice to get reassurance!
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July 28, 2010 12:07:11 AM

The 7.1 surround is only possible using the analog outputs I believe. According to this article, the 785G boards are limited to 5.1 surround sound over HDMI. If you need better audio over HDMI, maybe consider an Intel i3/H55 build. You could also go for an HD

My only other comment is that you should go for a bigger media drive. 500GB will go fast if you store any video on it.
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July 28, 2010 12:52:16 AM

rwpritchett said:
The 7.1 surround is only possible using the analog outputs I believe. According to this article, the 785G boards are limited to 5.1 surround sound over HDMI. If you need better audio over HDMI, maybe consider an Intel i3/H55 build. You could also go for an HD

My only other comment is that you should go for a bigger media drive. 500GB will go fast if you store any video on it.


I was thinking the same thing, but the whole thing is already a few $$ over budget, but still doable. As long as the 5.1 is still HD. How will an AMD x2 compare with x3 in regards to everyday HTPC use like PVR/streaming and such. If there is not much difference I would cut back on the CPU and boost HDD.
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July 28, 2010 2:50:47 PM

Just to clarify: the AMD board can pass dolby digital and DTS 5.1 surround over HDMI. Only the Intel can also pass HD audio (Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio) with onboard audio at this time.

HD audio is only found on blu-ray discs while the traditional DD/DTS is the standard surround sound found on DVD's and broadcast HD programming.

That being said, HD audio can be added at a later time to an AMD setup by adding any HD5xxx series video card (i.e. HD5450) or a select few newer Nvidia Geforce cards. You must have a receiver capable of decoding HD audio to make use of this feature by the way.

About the processor, an X2 is perfectly capable for HTPC duties. An X3 would help more if you plan to encode video or use other software that takes advantage of multiple cores. With the onboard graphics of the 785G, most of the video processing will be handled by the GPU, not the CPU.
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August 6, 2010 12:40:34 PM

Thanks for the answers everyone. I was about to commit to the build above, but at the last possible minute, the client wants to upgrade the projector to a BenQ W6000 http://www.directcanada.com/products/?sku=10690PR0121&v...

I am so not a projector guy...and don't want to take a last minute crash course. Any projector people here who can tell if the motherboard listed (ASUS M4A785T-M/CSM mATX AM3 DDR3 ) can handle the video requirements?

this client in invested a lot of money in a home theater, and I want to be certain there's going to be no video playback problems.

I was clear to him that I don't do projectors, but I would look into it.

Thanks anyone who can help!
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