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HTPC New Build - Pleae Critique

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October 21, 2010 2:28:31 PM

Building my first rig in probably 8 years. Decided on an HTPC build that will be sort of dual purpose. Partly to let my two kids have a PC to use as well as to rip my BR and DVD collection and server as a media center. These are the components I have settled on. Please critique away. Trying to keep this as economical as possible.

Silverstone LC03B Case - Thought about the GD04/05 but like this look much better and have plenty of space in my setup.


Gigabyte GA-H55M-USB3 mobo - Would have preferred to go with the Asus P7H55D-M Evo but I can't find it anywhere. Newegg and Amazon both are out of stock and may not get anymore.

Intel Core i3-530 Proc - Will overclock to the 3.5-3.8 range since it appears you can do this easily and it's very stable and still runs cool.

Antec EA-380D PSU - Seems like a good and economical PSU

G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB - Purchased. The Corsair was no longer available on Amazon at the lower price so went with this RAM.

Samsung SH-B083L Sata BluRay drive - I don't need the 10x speed of the LG for almost 40 bucks more.

Samsung F4 5400 2Tb Sata Drive Purhcased, had a promo code that expires today so I went ahead and got this and will use it for meda.

Samsung F4 7200 320Gb Sata Drive Purchased, will use this for OS/Apps.
October 21, 2010 3:43:33 PM

Normally, Corsair PSU are among the best but it seems the 430CX gets pretty poor ratings compared to other Corsair PSUs.

For the same price you can get this highly rated PSU from Antec which will still be more than enough to run what you've spec'd. It also has a better efficiency rating.

Antec EarthWatts Green EA-380D Green 380W Continuous power ATX12V v2.3 / EPS12V 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC Power Supply
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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October 21, 2010 4:07:39 PM

Stay away from that Seagate drive, it's from the notorious 7200.11 series that had many issues (and it's older tech anyways).

The Samsung F3 and F4 drives are a better choice.
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October 21, 2010 4:17:17 PM

Thanks to both rw and Dougie. Updated original post.
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October 21, 2010 6:17:36 PM

that case looks like it can handle a full-height gpu, so I'd suggest a GTS 450 to give an option of game performance for your kids.
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October 21, 2010 6:20:30 PM

ScrewySqrl said:
that case looks like it can handle a full-height gpu, so I'd suggest a GTS 450 to give an option of game performance for your kids.


Thanks for the thoughts. This is just going to be for them to play flash type games on the web, they are too young for any real horsepower requiring games and I use my xbox 360 for the minimal gaming I do.
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October 21, 2010 9:32:15 PM

Hawks64 said:

Samsung F3 7200 1Tb Sata Drive - Need to decide on 1 or 2 drives still.


You could also go with a smaller 160GB-320GB "boot"/application drive (or find a good deal on an SSD) and a larger 1-1.5TB "green" drive for your media. Then when you get your NAS you can move the media drive there.
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October 21, 2010 9:42:03 PM

Dougie Fresh said:
You could also go with a smaller 160GB-320GB "boot"/application drive (or find a good deal on an SSD) and a larger 1-1.5TB "green" drive for your media. Then when you get your NAS you can move the media drive there.


Thanks for the input Dougie, and I did think about this as well, not entirely sure which route I will go yet. I have also considered RAID 1 since I will have a lot of media on the media drive it will save me a ton of time if a drive fails. What would you recommend in the 1.5Tb range to go the route of the OS/Apps drive and Media drive?
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Best solution

October 21, 2010 9:56:23 PM

I actually don't think 1.5TB is the sweet spot any longer. For the money, I'd take a look at 2TB drives. It seems 2TB drives are only running $10-20 more than 1.5TB these days and maybe $30 more than 1TB drives.

E.g.:
SAMSUNG Spinpoint F4 HD204UI 2TB 5400 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$99.99

Compared to $79-89 for Samsung or WD 1.5TB and $69.99 for the Samsung 1TB.

My favorite 1.5TB drive was the WD1500EADS which I don't see anyone carrying any longer. The new equivalent is probably in the WD AV-GP drives but the 1.5TB version of that is, after shipping, maybe $3-4 less than the Samsung 2TB.
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October 22, 2010 1:05:57 PM

Dougie Fresh said:
I actually don't think 1.5TB is the sweet spot any longer. For the money, I'd take a look at 2TB drives. It seems 2TB drives are only running $10-20 more than 1.5TB these days and maybe $30 more than 1TB drives.

E.g.:
SAMSUNG Spinpoint F4 HD204UI 2TB 5400 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$99.99

Compared to $79-89 for Samsung or WD 1.5TB and $69.99 for the Samsung 1TB.

My favorite 1.5TB drive was the WD1500EADS which I don't see anyone carrying any longer. The new equivalent is probably in the WD AV-GP drives but the 1.5TB version of that is, after shipping, maybe $3-4 less than the Samsung 2TB.


Will there be any issues with the 5400RPM drive and media playback? If not then this will be the route I go. Thanks for all your input Dougie, it's appreciated.
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October 22, 2010 1:35:54 PM

5400 is perfectly fine for media playback. Today's 5400 green drives are actually faster than 7200 drives from a few years ago due to increased platter density.
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October 22, 2010 2:23:23 PM

You're welcome. Come back and let us know how it goes. Best of luck and enjoy your new toy.
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October 22, 2010 2:37:27 PM

Best answer selected by Hawks64.
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October 22, 2010 2:39:07 PM

Started purchasing and have updated the OP. Thanks Dougie for your input throughout, have given you best answer since you have helped out with multiple questions.
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October 22, 2010 4:15:06 PM

Eek! So I clicked on your case choice out of curiosity -- didn't really think much about it except I am looking for an ATX HTPC case. You should read this: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168.... The VFD isn't going to work with that mobo unless you add a parallel port.

You can add a parallel port like this: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Too bad it takes up a slot and I think another slot gets taken up routing the parallel cable outside the box. You might try to see if there's a card with an internal parallel header and some kind of adapter.
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October 22, 2010 4:31:44 PM

Dougie Fresh said:
Eek! So I clicked on your case choice out of curiosity -- didn't really think much about it except I am looking for an ATX HTPC case. You should read this: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168.... The VFD isn't going to work with that mobo unless you find a way to add a parallel port.

This seems to be closest to your original case though no VFD

http://www.amazon.com/SilverStone-LC13B-E-Aluminum-Stee...

On a budget I'd look at either one of these two ATX HTPC cases:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

These do not come with the LCD module

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


I feel pretty stupid right now. What's the VFD?
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October 22, 2010 4:35:08 PM

The VFD is the display module in the front of the PC. The pictures on newegg and the reviews show that it has an internal parallel cable that routes out the back to be plugged into the parallel port of the motherboard. That mobo doesn't have a parallel port.



You can add a parallel port via PCI card (see revised post above) for $10.

You're getting the micro-ATX version of the Gigabyte mobo, right -- not the ATX?
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October 22, 2010 4:39:12 PM

Dougie Fresh said:
The VFD is the display module in the front of the PC. The pictures on newegg and the reviews show that it has an internal parallel cable that routes out the back to be plugged into the parallel port of the motherboard. That mobo doesn't have a parallel port.

You can add a parallel port via PCI card (see revised post above) for $10.

You're getting the micro-ATX version of the Gigabyte mobo, right -- not the ATX?


That's what I thought and why I feel so stupid. I am getting the Silverstone LC03B, not the LC03v. So no VFD display, just plain old brushed aluminum. I have no need for a display. Thanks for the lookout though.

Yep I am getting the micro-ATX version of the mobo.
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October 22, 2010 4:43:59 PM

Oh, duh. My bad. I didn't even notice the -V part on the Newegg listing.

As the Church Lady said ... never mind ...
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