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~$700 HTPC advice

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August 29, 2010 4:02:17 AM

Hi there,


Am doing as much research as I can on a new HTPC build before I take the plunge and make my first HTPC. I have built lots of PCs before but I realise HTPC has its own very special differences and so I'm asking the professionals!

I'm looking to spend around 700 bucks (I'm in New Zealand and $700 US is $1000 NZ -- anything over that and I'm going to get in trouble :) 

Requirements:

- Freeview capable tuner, able to record at least one channel while watchign another. It has to be satellite not terrestrial at the moment because we can't get a terrestrial signal where we live.

- Win 7 Media Centre. I have a license for Win 7 Ultimate (I guess that makes a 64-bit system a necessity as well)

- Low form factor -- needs to fit into an HTPC case, something like the Lian-Li C37B (http://www.computerlounge.co.nz/hometheatre/componentvi...)

- Quiet as possible


I think that's about it. Any advice would be fantastic!



More about : 700 htpc advice

August 29, 2010 4:14:41 AM

Well does it's function include just streaming/record or encoding/multi tasking also on the table?
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August 29, 2010 5:41:34 AM

Mostly I'm going to be watching stuff. I will record TV, watch media files, listen to music.

I don't do a lot of encoding, and what I do do I will probably do on my desktop, unless someone convinces me that being able to rip DVDs and archive them from the HTPC is a very handy thing to be able to do.
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August 29, 2010 8:13:48 AM

Ooops I just read the sticky with the posting guidelines. Sorry! Here's the template filled out:

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Within the next 6 months

BUDGET RANGE: (e.g.: 600-800) Around 700 bucks.

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Home Theatre; watching and recording TV, media files, viewing pictures etc.

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Not worried about advice for peripherals at this stage; just case and inner bits.

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: http://www.pricespy.co.nz

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: New Zealand

PARTS PREFERENCES: Very keen on using the Lian-Li case already linked in this thread, although happy to be convinced otherwise.

OVERCLOCKING: nah, not really.

SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Dont think this would be necessary for an HTPC

MONITOR RESOLUTION: Plugging into my HDTV (1080p)

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: woulkd like the TV card to be Freeview capable, have at least two tuners and it needs to be satellite compatible as terrestrial signal is out for me :( 


Cheers!
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September 7, 2010 11:57:18 PM

Hmm, noone seems to have any advice. I'm wondering if there some more information I can add in here that would inspire interest :) 
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Best solution

September 8, 2010 3:43:53 PM

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=13-131-...

or

i3-540
Asus P7H55-M PRO
LG UH10LS20
Kingston 4gb KVR1333D3K2
ASUS Radeon HD 5550
nMediaPC 6000B
Rosewill RV350

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September 15, 2010 12:11:47 AM

great! this is a great starting platform. Many thanks for your input :)  Often just knowing where to start is the hardest part.
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September 15, 2010 3:36:28 PM

If you're not going to be gaming you don't need to add the HD 5550 video card. The IGP in the i3-540 is all you need.

I would also avoid a Rosewill PSU and stick with a name like Antec, Seasonic or Corsair.
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September 15, 2010 9:12:58 PM

Thanks Dougie -- definitely a no-gaming box this one and yes, had thought that maybe an onboard GPU would be a better idea. Cuts down noise too... Do you think I would still need the 350W PSU?
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September 15, 2010 9:13:22 PM

Best answer selected by leemarrett.
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September 15, 2010 10:36:39 PM

350W-400W is a good range, even 300W just in case at some point you do decide you want to drop a HD5670 or something like that in there.

Either of the Seasonic OEM 300W or 350W 80+ Bronze PSUs will do -- depending on what's for sale and what's available. Sometimes the 350W is cheaper than the 300W and sometimes the other way around.

The Antec EA-380D is another good choice too.

I haven't found any 80+ PSUs < 300W but I've read that's because there's not much money in that for manufacturers.

I hope you can find those in NZ.
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September 18, 2010 12:19:38 AM

OK, I've taken the above suggestions and formed a first draft, tweaking where necessary for availability:

i3-540

Asus P7H55-M PRO

LiteOn iHOS104 Blu-ray drive

G.Skill F3-10600CL9D-4GBNT 2x2GB Value pack

Lian Li PC-C37B MUSE Multi-Media M-ATX Home Theatre Case

Antec Earthwatts EA380D

Caviar Blue WD10EALS, 1000GB, 7200rpm, 32MB Cache, SATA-2

Would be keen to hear if this looks OK; my current main unknown is the case. There are so many case options out there but I'm a fan of Lian-Li and this one isn't too expensive.

Thanks all for help so far! Been extremely useful. You guys rock.
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September 23, 2010 6:52:15 AM

Now you guys have helped me come to a draft machine, is it better to post these parts as a new build to get opinions?
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September 23, 2010 11:31:11 AM

leemarrett said:
anything over that and I'm going to get in trouble :) 


I hear you, brother.
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!