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Advice on new HTPC/Home PC Build

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August 18, 2010 4:38:15 PM

So, I've been thinking about building an HTPC for a while, and I think I'm finally ready to take the plunge. I recently bought a 42' flat screen HDTV, and my laptop is getting pretty old, so what I'd like to do is build something that's good enough to use as a home computer, but that can also double as an HTPC so I can output media to the HDTV. I've been doing research and have a tentative list of parts, but it's been about 7 years since I build my last computer, so I wanted to run this by the forum and see if I can get any good critiques. My current part list is also a bit more expensive that I had planned on, so if I can get this to be a bit cheaper, that would be nice.

In terms of usage, I'd like this PC to be able to play all types of media without any lag (be able to do deinterlacing without artifacts, the works). I'd also like to use it as my home PC, so I'd like it to be pretty fast. I do a little video editing (via Blender) and photoshop, and I imagine I might play a game or two, though I don't care about having great resolution and settings for games because these will be rare. I'd also like this computer to be generally fast so that it can last me 4 years or so as my primary computer.

My current parts list is as follows:

Intel Core i5 750 Processor 2.66 GHz 8 MB LGA1156 CPU I5-750BOX - $194.99

MSI Intel Core i7/ Core i5/ Core i3/ LGA 1156/ Intel H57/ 4DDR3-2133(OC)/GbE/ HDMI/ DVI/ VGA/ eSATA/1394 Micro ATX Motherboard H57M-ED65 - $140.03

Sapphire Radeon HD 5570 - 1 GB DDR3 HDMI/DVI-I/VGA PCI-Express Graphics Card 100293L - $74.99

Corsair 4GB Dual Channel Corsair DD3 Memory for Intel Core i5 Processors -$89.99

2x Western Digital Caviar Black 1 TB Desktop Hard Drive (for a RAID 1 array) - $170

Antec Fusion Remote Black Micro ATX Media Center / HTPC Case - $139.95

500W Stealth Xstream Psu - $54.99

Logitech Cordless Desktop Wave Pro Ergonomic Keyboard and Mouse - $79.05

Acer H243H bmid 24-Inch Widescreen LCD Display (Black) - $208.98

-----------------------------------------
total: $1153

One of the main things I can't decide on is whether to OC the i5. I've heard of people getting some nice timings doing that, but I don't want to generate too much heat in the case, or be forced to have a loud CPU fan. If I can reasonably OC it with a quiet $30 CPU fan, I'd go for it.

What do you guys think?

More about : advice htpc home build

August 18, 2010 9:33:50 PM

I probably wouldn't overclock any CPU in an Antec Fusion... and most beefy CPU coolers won't fit in there very easily (or at all). It would be smarter to drop your $30 CPU cooler money into an upgraded video card instead I'd say.

Now for your components - most things look pretty good, but here's what I'd recommend:

1) change out your motherboard for either:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
or
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

2) Switch those Caviar Blacks for Caviar Greens / other 5400rpm drives. Blacks are nicer, faster, and have a better warranty - but for media drives that are already in Raid 1, Greens should do the trick, and are quite a bit cheaper.

3) That graphics card is nice, but the DDR5 versions are just coming out as well. I think Tom's just did a review of the 5550 and 5570 newer versions...

Anyhow, take or leave anything you like from what I said! Those are just my thoughts on your system.
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