HTPC used for playing Video files, HD video, DVDs, Blu Rays.
Not to be overclocked and Not to be played any games on.
My System purchased parts so far;
Athlon II X4 Quad 630 AM3
Asus M4A785TD-V 785G
1TB Samsung F3 7200rpm SATA 3Gb/s 32MB
2GB Crucial DDR3-1333 CL9 Non ECC
Antec Fusion Max
Antec EarthWatts EA430D Green - power supply - 430 Watt
A few questions I have
1) According to 'Recommended Builds by Usage' HTPC (below), it states that I should purchase a XFX HD-5670
However I wanted to know if the graphics has to be by that specific vendor (XFX) or can it be by anyone, say for example Saphire as I was thinking of buying this.
Would that be just as good?
HTPC: $838.90 (Thanks for the feedback... Psycho Sykes and obsidian86)
* CPU: AMD Athlon II X3 425 2.7GHz Socket AM3 95W Triple-Core Processor Model ADX425WFGIBOX - Retail
* MOBO: GIGABYTE GA-MA785GMT-UD2H AM3 AMD 785G HDMI Micro ATX AMD Motherboard - Retaill
* RAM: CORSAIR XMS3 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model CMX4GX3M2A1600C7 - Retail
* HSF: Not required
* GPU: XFX HD-567X-YNFC Radeon HD 5670 (Redwood) 512MB 128-bit DDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card ... - Retail ***
* HDD (OS): Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 ST3500418AS 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
* HDD (Storage): SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive ***
* PSU: Antec EarthWatts Green EA-430D Green 430W Continuous power ATX12V v2.3 / EPS 12V 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC Power ... - Retail
* DVD: LG Black Blu-ray Disc Combo SATA Model UH10LS20 LightScribe Support - OEM
* Case: SILVERSTONE Black Aluminum / Steel LC13B-E ATX Media Center / HTPC Case - Retail
* Thermal Compound: Not Required
* Accessories: Hauppauge WinTV-HVR-1600 ATSC/ClearQAM/NTSC TV Tuner MC-Kit 1183 PCI Interface - Retail
This build will allow you to play music and movies on a 1080 HD TV and light 720P->1080P gaming & DX11 compatabilty...
*** = Option Item: Can be removed to cut cost, if needed, and still maintain an acceptable HTPC performance
2) I would like to put another 2gb of ddr3 (1333) memory. I have already outlined what I have and wanted to make sure this would work on my system;
Would that be compatible with my existing RAM?
3) CPU Cooler question
Im unsure as to what CPU cooler I should buy as I have the stock one alrady. I have a large case (Antec Fusion Max see above) and a full size ATX motherboard. So I should have space to install something good but need it to be really Silent.
Some suggestions are below but can you help me decide? (No overclocking or gaming to be done, want good cooling and Silent)
The top ones Im thinking of buying
I have seen a few HTPC's using this type of cooler
1) Yes, you can purchase any manufacturer's HD5670, though if you are not intending to game on this system, you can do without it.
2) If the specs on the Corsair memory EXACTLY match those of your Crucial memory, it *should* work, but your best bet would be to either find a matching Crucial memory chip or simply replace what you have with new a 2x2GB set.
3) Can't speak to CPU coolers as I've only always used the stock heatsink/fan. My HTPC has an Intel Core2Duo E6600 and stock Intel HSF and I can't hear it at all.
Edit: I would also note that for strictly media playback, 2GB of RAM is plenty. There is no need to add more.
1) If you want full HD audio bitstreaming, the 5670 may be necessary. I believe that the 785G integrated video/sound doesn't do this, which would be a reason to buy the 5670. If that isn't a requirement, agree with above, onboard should be fine.
The onboard HD4200 GPU is good enough for HTPC. The HD5670 is recommended only because it has enough muscle to perform vector adaptive de-interlacing. The only time you would need that is for scenes panning across lines on a heavily interlaced source... like the lines on a football field for example. You probably wouldn't even miss it. If you find yourself unsatisfied with the HD4200, you could always upgrade later. XFX is a popular brand because they have a double lifetime warranty.
CPU coolers-> I use the mini ninja. Nice for tight places because it is low profile, but the 80mm fan is too loud and not PWM. I had to replace mine with a better fan and all is good now. Research any cooler you choose on www.frostytech.com. They maintain a current list of the top 5 coolers for silence and performance for both Intel and AMD.
The easy answer is to just go to the AMD Low Noise list (which starts with the Scythe Orochi SCORC-1000) and work your way down from there. The Orochi and the Zipang appear to be out of stock on newegg right now, they (or some of the others) may be available elsewhere.