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Need input on HTPC build

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November 25, 2010 3:41:51 AM

* CPU: Core i3 530 2.93GHz LGA1156, $100.
* CPU Cooler: Stock cooler, $0.
* Motherboard: ASRock H55M Pro LGA1156 Intel H55 chipset microATX, $90.
* Memory: G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-4GBRL, $50. After savings/sales I think this would be a better choice?
* Graphics Card (ATI): XFX HD-567X-ZNF3 Radeon HD 5670 1GB 128-bit DDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card, $94. After savings/sales this is still good.
* HDD: Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 1TB 3.5" SATA 3.0Gb/s, $50. After savings/sales I think this would be a better choice?
* PSU:Corsair VX550W CMPSU-550VX 550W, $70. After savings/sales I think this would be a better choice?
* Case: Antec Fusion Remote Black microATX, with LCD/IR receiver/remote, $150.
* Total Cost: $605

Also I forgot about audio. Would I need or should I get an audio card to use the home theater speakers instead of the one on the HDTV? Any recommendations on a cheaper microATX case?

Thanks

More about : input htpc build

a c 91 B Homebuilt system
November 25, 2010 4:45:34 AM

WEll I have no ideas for the case, but a suggestion is going AMD. IMO you'd save more money. Another thing is I suggest going with a different PSU.

CPU & RAM Combo: Athlon II X3 445 w/ WINTEC AMPX 4gigs. Total price 118$: http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

Then after that change the mobo, I'm going to assume you won't be gaming right? So then you could just get rid of the dedicated card and get onboard video. Since this onboard video can run 1080P fine.

Asrock 880GMH/U MicroATX 4250 HD Onboard Video, plus it has USB 3.0 82$: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Then a cheaper PSU but still great is the Seasonic S12II 520w 60$: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
November 25, 2010 4:52:42 AM

aznshinobi said:
WEll I have no ideas for the case, but a suggestion is going AMD. IMO you'd save more money. Another thing is I suggest going with a different PSU.

CPU & RAM Combo: Athlon II X3 445 w/ WINTEC AMPX 4gigs. Total price 118$: http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

Then after that change the mobo, I'm going to assume you won't be gaming right? So then you could just get rid of the dedicated card and get onboard video. Since this onboard video can run 1080P fine.

Asrock 880GMH/U MicroATX 4250 HD Onboard Video, plus it has USB 3.0 82$: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Then a cheaper PSU but still great is the Seasonic S12II 520w 60$: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...



I checked out that PSU but with $10 s/h and no rebate, it actually comes out to more with less power. I want a graphic card just in case I do decide to install a game on there, but of course nothing to power hungry. Also I want to make sure it can handle all graphic application and Hi res 1080p movies without a problem. As for the CPU, I'll look into that but the price difference doesn't seem to be much, $40?

Thanks for the suggestions.
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a c 91 B Homebuilt system
November 25, 2010 5:15:31 AM

O.O Well from what I'm looking at right now, your current computer is pretty good. So Do you really need to get a more expensive cpu? I mean if you can save it it would be a good idea. After all you already have a main comp you can game on. The 4250 is defiantly not a slouch. It'll handle graphical apps, just not at max settings. Plus once you delete that dedi you save up to 100$? Usually for an HTPC build, you don't need to spend that much, I'd say 500$ is enough for an HTPC =P Just imo.
a b B Homebuilt system
November 25, 2010 9:47:04 AM

HTPC cases have a few categories - here are some to narrow down what YOU want/need

From factor:
Shape: Do you want it to look like your home entertainment system or your audio equipment
Color: black or silver/beige
remote/IR connectivity:

there are a few to fit that list : (theres a lot but within a $500 budget a few limitations)

Thermaltakes DH101 VF7001BNS
Antec Fusions have picked up quiet a number of followers - so go with that


Furthermore -what size is your TV screen?

The H55M along with the i3-processor can play content at 1080p resolution and it can do this via the HDMI which allows audio passthrough as well. SO your saving cash on GPU and soundcard. IF your gaming on it - I'd ask you to put the card in your mix. Otherwise put it in IF you think the H55's grafix needs a lil extra UMPH.

OH! Welcome to the forums!

add this to your mix - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
November 25, 2010 1:06:10 PM

Good looking build. Very similiar to one I did recently.

The i3 shouild be more than enough to handle your 1080 HD viewing, unless your going to be doing any heavy duty gaming on it. But being an HTPC I doubt it. I would chop the 5670 off your build.

Also 550W psu is a bit overkill for an HTPC build. You could get away with a 350-400W PSU. Seasonic has some highly recommended lower PSU builds. I would give you a link to one, but I'm typing this from a blackberry.

Keeping that in mind, there is also another Antec Fusion case that comes with a 80+ rated 350W and an IR receiver. Then you just have to buy a rosewill remote for approx 20 bucks and you would be set.

You also seem to be missing an optical DVD R/W drive. Or a Blue Ray drive if you are going to be using any blue ray discs on this build.

It's a good looking build though, would like to see the results.
a b B Homebuilt system
November 25, 2010 2:54:40 PM

I played PoP - The Forgotten Sands and BFBC2 on my HTPC rig off of the i3's IGPU which is no different than the one mentioned above apart for my GA-H55M-USB3 mobo and Bluray drive with a Tt DH202 case w/ remote. Rest are all carbon copy to OP's.

Mind you i'm a gamer (not a die hard one) and on this rig I achieve "playable" framerates. I still revert to either of my 2 riggs for hardcore gaming.

If your not planning on gaming on the HTPC down the line, then you can settle with a 400W 80plus GOLD here's an Antec 80plus and a Seasonic 80plus GOLD

the seasonic is modular - so should help with cable management and is also fanless
a c 91 B Homebuilt system
November 25, 2010 7:02:18 PM

Ok what I'm seeing is that i3's IGPU can handle 1080P, so why not go with AMD? If the CPU performance is practically on par, the onboard HD 4250 can perform better or just on par? I mean I agree with Lutfij that the i3's iGPU is good. But if you can get 40$ off why not do that? From Athlon II X3 to i3 you won't see a difference, plus the Athlon's give you an extra core if you plan on multi-tasking. From what I've seen the more money you can save the better.

As for Lutfij, you psu... is kinda expensive, the Antec 80+ I agree with though...
a b B Homebuilt system
November 25, 2010 7:15:01 PM

:)  bro, I believe in trade-offs:

Seasonic - expensive to buy, but it'll save a WHOLE WAD of cash cos of low energy bills on the long run. Its fanless so very hush hush. It'll help reduce cable clutter with a tight case. The money saver is the deal maker.

As for i3's I have experience with them, I can't get AMD's here ,in my country at least ,so I've lost all touch with them. Though i agree with the fact that the HD4250 will be on par...maybe a lil better but then again - you get what you pay for... something I've learnt here on the forums and on builds.

Edit - i found this too...
a c 91 B Homebuilt system
November 25, 2010 7:32:21 PM

O.O No it's not I mean you don't save A WAD load of cash... If you get the Seasonic S12II one I said, you'd save money non the less with the 80+ Bronze. Rasing your electric bill would be tri-sli 580's/480's. Not an htpc build that only uses less than 400w on load :lol: 
a b B Homebuilt system
November 25, 2010 7:44:55 PM

When you keep it running all day and having downloadable content, bluray|dvd ripping or even keeping the storage running will draw power, power that costs...an HTPC will be drawing more power than a gaming rig when you view its features on a time scale. Most, not all, HTPC's run 24/7 as they also function as a home server...(so they call it) while a gaming rig will run for a fraction of the day. Moreover a 520W 80+ bronze or a 400W 80+ GOLD...you do the math, and see who comes out on top with most energy efficient.

All i'm saying is what i've read on articles and experience: the 80+GOLD PSU will pull all the power from the outlet and pass it off to components.

Add a GPU in it, as the OP mentioned a slight itch for gaming - you have the HTPC's uptime being longer than usual. So...get my drift :) ?

OH i also forgot - get a Hauppauge 2250 tv tuner card for your HDTV needs (get two if your going to watch a show in Hi-Def and record another in Hi-Def) you can record one show in Hi-def or in normal mode if your watching it in Hi-Def.
a c 91 B Homebuilt system
November 25, 2010 9:05:51 PM

Ah ah ah, but look at his build in his sig. He has a main gaming computer therefore not needing the HTPC to run all the time. Moreover, the difference from bronze to gold is marginal, like 4%. Your not going to notice the difference. You do the math XD Electricity isn't that much. Your exaggerating what his power bill is going to be. The Athlon's don't suck power, the board doesn't either. At most the most power consuming thing is his mobo (onboard video) I don't think it justifies a 130$ PSU....
a b B Homebuilt system
November 26, 2010 4:07:44 AM

Quote:
I want a graphic card just in case I do decide to install a game on there,
amd or intel :)  lets see what the OP thinks, we've been gunning out the last few posts but he's yet to be seen...i wonder if he's wrapped up the build.

something for OP and you to read - http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/article/181
November 27, 2010 5:58:40 AM

Lutfij said:
HTPC cases have a few categories - here are some to narrow down what YOU want/need

From factor:
Shape: Do you want it to look like your home entertainment system or your audio equipment
Color: black or silver/beige
remote/IR connectivity:

there are a few to fit that list : (theres a lot but within a $500 budget a few limitations)

Thermaltakes DH101 VF7001BNS
Antec Fusions have picked up quiet a number of followers - so go with that


Furthermore -what size is your TV screen?

The H55M along with the i3-processor can play content at 1080p resolution and it can do this via the HDMI which allows audio passthrough as well. SO your saving cash on GPU and soundcard. IF your gaming on it - I'd ask you to put the card in your mix. Otherwise put it in IF you think the H55's grafix needs a lil extra UMPH.

OH! Welcome to the forums!

add this to your mix - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


Thanks, I actually joined the forum a long time ago when I was working on my current build. The mobo I pick has no on board video, but it does have a HDMI port. So are you saying I could just the cpu graphic technology for on board video? I haven't been keeping up so excuses me if I sound ignorant. The hdtv I will be using it on is a 42" 1080p.

Lutfij said:
Quote:
I want a graphic card just in case I do decide to install a game on there,
amd or intel :)  lets see what the OP thinks, we've been gunning out the last few posts but he's yet to be seen...i wonder if he's wrapped up the build.

something for OP and you to read - http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/article/181


I'm keeping up with both of your post. Just sitting back watching you guys go at it. I think I'll stick with my original PSU because in the end with the mir it would only cost $50 and offer more power for if I do or do not add a gpu. I do still feel the need to add a gpu. I rather have it and not need it then need it and not have it. Who know's how the HTPC will be used and I want it able to handle if the time comes. I also doubt I will have it on all day, maybe most of the day but not all day. I don't plan to record anything tv shows since I only have basic cable and I don't really watch tv (I think its a waste of time). This will be my first HTPC. From this experience when I build another one I will know if I need certain components or not. As for blu ray player/burner, I'm debating on that too since I already have a PS3 and I don't see myself burning any blu ray anytime soon. I might end up just getting a dvd burning.

Thanks again for your feedback. You guys offer good suggestions and I did take some time to think and research. Maybe I'm just being stubborn but I'll see how this one goes first. Originally I was going to buy a pre built one but a lot of people told me to build it, I'm mostly on hardforums. After all said and done, this build will cost me around $900 for OS, taxes from newegg (CA), s/h, input devices, etc.
a c 91 B Homebuilt system
November 27, 2010 6:13:42 AM

Lol wow that's alot of money for an HTPC build luls. Umm if you already have a PS3 then I then defaintly not recommend getting a dedi. But if your really wanting it why not flip the GPUs.... I mean put the 9800GTX in the HTPC and pick yourself up a 6850 or a GTX 460? I mean the 900$ is ALOT considering you could build a very good gaming CF i5 750 build with 1200$. Soo... I suggest you do the 9800GTX in the HTPC, get a better PSU. Then just get a 6850 to put into your main.
a b B Homebuilt system
November 27, 2010 6:32:21 AM

Quote:
900$ is ALOT
you beat me to it bro!

anything more than $500 is overkill. SO yeah I'd flip the GPU's provided I was in OP's shoes. But i read somewhere that the 9800GTX had issues with HDMI connectivity and audio passthrough...can't put my finger on it (but you could check back here)

EDIT - Found it and these 1| 9800GTX and Audio Setup and 2| Guide: HDMI audio through sound card/on-board

Quote:
I don't really watch tv (I think its a waste of time).
your sounding more like me :D 

ok - I see :) 

Quote:
The mobo I pick has no on board video, but it does have a HDMI port. So are you saying I could just the cpu graphic technology for on board video? I haven't been keeping up so excuses me if I sound ignorant. The hdtv I will be using it on is a 42" 1080p.


I also checked, here's what your connectivity look like -

The Display options are powered by the i3's or i5's IGPU, just pop the CPU into the mobo socket and then power up. Read this - So your good without a GPU as they'll run HD content at 1080p resolution. Intels IGPU aren't like they were a few years ago - CRAPPY. Now they're putting some R&D into them.

Quote:
I do still feel the need to add a gpu. I rather have it and not need it then need it and not have it.


that just means your buying something that you MIGHT not need and end up spending for something you thought you needed. When you'll need it, get it - thas something almost everyone here at Tom's will suggest. Other than that you've held on to the cash - provided your not a poker enthusiast :p . Rather than get one now...get something a lil while later. Nvidia are coming out with the 5xx series and AMD are hot on the heels of their 6xxx series. For a card like the 5670 on a 6xxx diet - you'll find it cheaper, (more power efficient) and better performing aka bang for buck.

anyways, good luck on your build!
a c 91 B Homebuilt system
November 27, 2010 9:20:55 AM

Pshhh he'd lose performance from 9800GTX to 5670. Also at his resolution, a 5670 isn't very great. Anything above 1440x900 the 5670's performance already starts deteriorating. Even at 1440x900 the 5670 starts to struggle on more high end games, IE Mafia 2. Umm the better suited GPU for anything like 1680x1080/1050 you should be spending enough to at least get the GTX 460 or the 6850. The 5770 is also not so great at 1680x1080 BUT it still performs fairly well at that res. However, at the same price as the 460, go with the 460. Performs better and minor OC's increase the perf. greatly. IE Core clock 800.
a b B Homebuilt system
November 27, 2010 10:08:44 AM

Quote:
For a card like the 5670 on a 6xxx diet - you'll find it cheaper, (more power efficient) and better performing aka bang for buck.


i meant if we got a card of an AMD's 6 series eg- 6770, it'd obviously be a better buy than a 5770. i'e wait for a higher specs card with roughly the same bugdet. You know how the 4770 we're nothing compared to the 5770...

wait a month and see where the GPU comes up with.
a b B Homebuilt system
November 28, 2010 5:17:39 AM

Ah thanks for that read - been a slow week for me! :sarcastic:  HMMMM - now that shines light over the 5770 :na: 
November 29, 2010 3:27:58 AM

If the i3 cpu can be my gpu as well then I guess I'll try it without the graphic card to see how it goes. But I will still keep the 580 PSU since it's $50 after mir. Should I up my CPU if I don't go with a graphic card?
a c 91 B Homebuilt system
November 29, 2010 3:42:06 AM

Oh darn... AMD is a no go?
a b B Homebuilt system
November 29, 2010 3:55:04 AM

No need for any extra umph :)  the i3 and the IGPU are more than enough for your HTPC use - provided you won't decode/encode video/audio on it, for that you'd need the i5. If you feel any lag, you have the option of enabling HT in your bios and get a lil extra out of your CPU. @ 1080p your 'OK' with what your going to work with - no tweaks necessary. With out a grafix card ofcourse.

BTW - cost of new build HTPC w/ new PSU, w/o the grafix card, wireless I/O Gear keyboard, tv tuner comes to exactly $500 :) 
November 29, 2010 6:49:46 AM

aznshinobi said:
Oh darn... AMD is a no go?


I used AMD when I was starting out a couple times. But I feel as if I got better performance out of Intel even though all of my AMD haven't crashed on me yet beside being decommission.

Lutfij said:
No need for any extra umph :)  the i3 and the IGPU are more than enough for your HTPC use - provided you won't decode/encode video/audio on it, for that you'd need the i5. If you feel any lag, you have the option of enabling HT in your bios and get a lil extra out of your CPU. @ 1080p your 'OK' with what your going to work with - no tweaks necessary. With out a grafix card ofcourse.

BTW - cost of new build HTPC w/ new PSU, w/o the grafix card, wireless I/O Gear keyboard, tv tuner comes to exactly $500 :) 


I would still need a OS, and optical drive from that $500 quote. And its 550 PSU not 580, typo.
a b B Homebuilt system
November 29, 2010 8:38:06 AM

LG Bluray burner - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

OS - Windows 7 Home premium - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

another $260~$270. The $500 quote is usually w/o OS - as far as I've seen.

note - I ain't that good with newegg finds I live in Bangladesh and order my stuff from uk :sarcastic: 

I tried looking for a cheaper LGA 1156 board but it just means bitting the bullet - what you have is as good as it gets for its price.

Edit : how much do you value the optical audio connectivity? dug this EVGA board - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... which lacks an optical out. With the HDMI ports on either mobo you can pass through audio seamlessly into your HTS (provided it has an HDMI input)
a b B Homebuilt system
November 29, 2010 9:24:55 PM

Yeah it looks good, but i have my doubts with the PSU placement. The rails check out ok - http://www.apevia.com/ProductsInfo.asp?KEY=X-Master-BK/... but isnt 80+ certified. The connectivity form the PSU are limiting factors, but i'm sure you can get adapter/convertors for the sata drives , should you add more.

Well the case doesn't come with a remote. Getting one on retail will set you back a few dollars again e'g: Logitech Harmony One (i think)
December 3, 2010 3:07:16 AM

So I cut down even more and most of my stuff will be bought from Amazon instead of Newegg to save on taxes and shipping. My CPU and Mobo might come from Newegg. Let me know if this is cutting to much off.

Thanks

*CPU: Core i3-540 3.06GHz LGA1156, $104-$114. i3-530 is the same price.
* CPU Cooler: Stock cooler, $0.
* Motherboard: ASRock H55M Pro LGA1156 Intel H55 chipset microATX, $90.
* Memory: Corsair TW3X4G1333C9 XMS3 4GB 2 X 2 GB PC3-10666 1333Mhz, $54.
* Graphics Card (ATI): i3 GPU.
* HDD: Seagate Barracuda 7200 1 TB 7200RPM SATA 3Gb/s 32MB Cache 3.5 Inch Internal Hard Drive ST31000528AS, $45.
* PSU: Thermaltake W0070RUC TR2 Series 430W, $41.
* Case: Cooler Master Elite 360 RC-360-KKN1-GP ATX Mid Tower/Desktop Case (Black), $40.
* Total Cost: $384
a b B Homebuilt system
December 3, 2010 7:22:46 AM

DO NOT GET THE XMS series (most people posting on Tom's with ram issues are cos of the XMP series ram's from corsair) you could get the dominators, they cost more and you won't be gaming - get either of these:

G.skill 4GB - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... - $53
Mushkin Enhanced Silverline 4GB - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... - $50
Mushkin Enhanced Silverline 4GB - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... - $49.99 :p 

"IF" you plan on getting another GPU down the line, get the seasonic aznshinobi/you preferred as you'll need a lil more juice and breathing room for it.

that cost cutting has left room for your OS and blu-ray burner. Just about $650.
a c 91 B Homebuilt system
December 3, 2010 1:00:17 PM

Huh never knew that about the XMS series. I highly recommend Mushkin, love their products. Call me a fan boy but I don't care.
a b B Homebuilt system
December 3, 2010 1:15:32 PM

^ look around in the memory section long enough and most people nag about their GA boards acting up with ram, they turn out to be XMS rams with a ****y XMP profile. :@:

Quote:
I highly recommend Mushkin, love their products. Call me a fan boy but I don't care.
gotta love the ridgeback series !

we're almost about to christen another page for this thread :D 
a c 91 B Homebuilt system
December 3, 2010 8:55:28 PM

Lol Love the ridgeback, ****ing low timings whewwww CL down in the 6s.
December 4, 2010 3:05:40 AM

Someone on Hardforum to go with the Antec Earthwatts 380w. After doing some research, I'll go with that since it seems to perform better than the thermaltake 430w. I'll go with the Mushkin Enhanced Silverline 4GB, first one mention.

Anyone know of a decent htpc keyboard/mice combo. I was thinking about these two:

IOGEAR GKM561R Black 2.4GHz Wireless HTPC Multimedia Keyboard with Laser Trackball and Scroll Wheel, $40

ADESSO WKB-3000UB Black 2.4 GHz RF Wireless Mini Keyboard w/Optical Trackball, $70.
a b B Homebuilt system
December 4, 2010 3:18:51 AM

Quote:
Anyone know of a decent htpc keyboard/mice combo. I was thinking about these two:

IOGEAR GKM561R Black 2.4GHz Wireless HTPC Multimedia Keyboard with Laser Trackball and Scroll Wheel, $40

ADESSO WKB-3000UB Black 2.4 GHz RF Wireless Mini Keyboard w/Optical Trackball, $70.


IF you've been keeping up with our posts :
the IO Gear keyboard.

but what you've found is this : http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

^ i have the standard version works great for sitting at a distance and eating popcorn with the family :na: 
a b B Homebuilt system
December 4, 2010 3:21:23 AM

:wahoo: 
aznshinobi said:
Lol Love the ridgeback, ****ing low timings whewwww CL down in the 6s.
:wahoo: 
December 4, 2010 6:14:53 AM

Lutfij said:
Quote:
Anyone know of a decent htpc keyboard/mice combo. I was thinking about these two:

IOGEAR GKM561R Black 2.4GHz Wireless HTPC Multimedia Keyboard with Laser Trackball and Scroll Wheel, $40

ADESSO WKB-3000UB Black 2.4 GHz RF Wireless Mini Keyboard w/Optical Trackball, $70.


IF you've been keeping up with our posts :
the IO Gear keyboard.

but what you've found is this : http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

^ i have the standard version works great for sitting at a distance and eating popcorn with the family :na: 


I won't need to PC to TV kit since I'll be using HDMI, as for audio cables I can provide my own or get one cheaper me thinks. So that means I'll stick to the "bare bone" version.
a b B Homebuilt system
December 4, 2010 6:23:41 AM

:)  w/ or w/o bundle they are great piece of hardware...money well spent!
!