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HTPC build

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July 28, 2010 10:57:36 AM

Hey there everyone!

I'll be looking to a new HTPC build in a few days time and will place orders for the parts once the suggestions are final.

Mobo - Gigabyte H55
CPU - core i3-530
Ram - 4GB (or 2Gb is ok, if 4Gb isnt needed) but cant choose between all the manufacturers
GPU - i'm being drawn to passively cooled cards, seen sapphires 5670 ultimate
HDD - ?
PSU - ?
case - has been decided
Cooling - dunno about that either...the key here is being as quite as possible right?

I'm open to suggestions, so changes are welcome!

Thanks guys!

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July 28, 2010 11:22:44 AM

For one you wont need a GPU, as the i3-530 has a GPU built into it that works with the H55 motherboard.

2 GB will be fine for an HTPC.

PSU I recommend an OCZ ModXstream 600W PSU because it's modular and if you're like me you want a small form factor case that looks good in an entertainment center

HDD I went with a 500 GB Seagate 7200.12(DONT GET THE 7200.11)
And a Samsung 1.5 TB Media drive to store all my recorded TV and DVD collection(quicly filling)

What case did you choose? And where will it be placed, in my case it's in a confined space so cooling as an issue at 1st.
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July 28, 2010 11:23:59 AM

Also for any HTPC I highly recommend a TV card, and if you have blurays, a bluray drive.
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July 28, 2010 11:39:14 AM

I'll second that you don't need a GPU - check out the article at anandtech about the H55 as a HTPC.

I built mine into an Antec Micro Fusion case that came with a PSU and it doesn't even come close to using that much power. I think the H55 will idle at something like 20-some watts and use only something like 80 some when at load. You'll be OK wit ha much smaller PSU.

I'll second the tuner card - love my hauppauge 2250 - works flawlesslly in Win7.
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July 28, 2010 11:44:13 AM

oh the bluray drive has been taken care of. The case is a ThermalTake VF7001BNS DH101

will be placing ontop of my Panasonic 43" projector TV , if not, it'll be placed adjacent to it but out in the open...


AH! you just bumped my head! What maker can i look for a tv tuner? i run coaxial cable for my tv

Heres the mobo that i looked up - Gigabyte GA-H55M-USB3 (rev. 2.0)

what manufacturer can i look into for the rams?
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July 28, 2010 11:49:45 AM

Hauppage makes good PCI tuner cards. A note on them. I have one, and I wish I had 2. The reason is, it's a dual tuner card, 1 High Def, the other analog. So if I want to record a high def show, I can't watch another high def show.

If you have 2 one will record the other will allow you to watch. Some dude on here had 2 PCI cards, and 3 USB coax inputs. (USB is never high def tho)

You could even use the 500W OCZ ModXstream PSU. All I can say is that they are inexpensive, modular and very good. 2 big thumbs up to OCZ.

That motherboard should be fine.

Just a note on storage, go big or go home. I've been ripping my entire DVD collection and I've gobbled up about 800 GB so far, I'm wishing I had gotten a 2TB HDD.

Other than that I think you're moving in the right direction!


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July 28, 2010 12:04:17 PM

I have another rig in my info, and i'm very happy with the OCZ rams! Do you see me buy the obsidian, gold or the value series...um yeha i'd want to get 2 of the Hauppage but i dont know the model/specs

Relax! abt the HDD - i plan to get 2 TB in raid 1(stripping) and get another 2x 500GB for the downloaded content and Collectibles :)  what dya yhink?
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July 28, 2010 12:17:24 PM

Honestly RAM in an HTPC won't matter one bit. Any RAM you pick will do perfectly fine. Obviously DDR3 tho.
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July 28, 2010 12:18:59 PM

^ yeah its obvious of which type :D 
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July 28, 2010 12:22:54 PM

If the budget allows, try to get the Hauppauge HVR-2250. This tuner has a built in splitter and so you can record two digital streams at once (or watch one while another is recording). It does FM radio too.
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July 28, 2010 12:37:53 PM

looking into it but i cant find it on amazon.co.uk...or can you advise any site that ships to uk
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July 28, 2010 12:54:23 PM

Here are some UK vendors with the HVR-2250:

http://www.google.co.uk/products?q=HVR-2250&scoring=p

I'm not wise on UK retailers so I can't recommend who to shop from, but there's a number in the link above to choose from.

Other dual stream tuners you may want to look for are the HDHomerun (an external tuner), and the AverMedia Duet A188.

Edit- One more thing: double check that any of the suggested tuners support PAL since you're in the UK and it may have been overlooked.
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July 28, 2010 1:07:23 PM

Agreed...the hauppauge 2250 has a great dual tuner. I have been able to watch one and record one show, or record both. I only wish I had more slots, so I could record 4 shows....that would be very nice.
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July 28, 2010 1:08:39 PM

it just occured to me , rwpritchett...you were in another post here... thanks for the case choice...i decided to get the Intel E4300 proc off my hands :)  ...in with a new build :D 

keyboards and peripherals are also bought.

Whats the dif between the media centre kit and the normal... would i need it cos i already have a remote with the DH101
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July 28, 2010 2:41:42 PM

The white box version of the tuner is for the card only. The MCE kit also comes with the remote, an IR receiver/blaster, and an auxillary A/V panel. If you don't know, an IR blaster transmits remote signals to cable/satellite boxes from the computer. You won't need the remote if you plan to use the iMon remote supplied with your case.

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October 29, 2010 6:22:31 AM

Best answer selected by Lutfij.
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