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HTPC build questions

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December 24, 2010 1:44:07 AM

I am currently working a building a centralized home server that will house my dvd iso's, music, file, etc. It was originally my HTPC/media machine but it's a big hulking atx box and I wanted something that was more low key and fits into our media area. I've research quite a bit and I think I have all the pieces that I want but I thought I would get some other opinions on it;

What I want to achieve is box that's capable of handling most everything for the next five years at a minimum. This will be streaming movies from my central box, as well as the internet. I was hoping to install only linux on it but from what I have read BluRay playback is not so good on Linux right now so it's going to be a dual os box. What I want to install is MythTv (I won't be recording anything) so just front end programs, Boxee, Xbmc, and mame. Maybe other things as they come along.

I have narrowed down to the following parts:

Motherboard:

ASRock H55M/USB3 LGA1156 Intel H55 chipset microATX
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157214

CPU

Core i3 530
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115221


Case

Antec Fusion
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811129054

Monueal Moncase 320
http://www.moneual.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=158&Itemid=159

Thermaltake sd200 (comes with 270w psu)
http://www.thermaltake.com/product_overview.aspx?PARENT_CID=C_00001368



I haven't decided on memory or hard drive yet, however I have an 250gb sata hard drive I can use. For wifi, I already have a 11n capable bridge.

Although I like the Thermaltake case more then the Antec, I might go with the Moneual because It looks real nice and can take a regular ATX PSU.

My biggest concern is future proofing the graphics as much as possible. From what I have read the i3 350 has the GPU on board to take care of video, but what would it be better in the long run to go with i5 and get a graphics card instead?

More about : htpc build questions

December 24, 2010 4:01:36 AM

The Thermaltake looks great but the cooling could be better and the same for the Monueal.

Alternative:
SILVERSTONE Grandia GD05B
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Antec NEO ECO 400C 400W
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

And I think it's best to get onboard video in order to handle the movies and leave the CPU do its stuff:

ASUS M4A88TD-M/USB3
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
GIGABYTE GA-880GMA-UD2H
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Athlon II X3 450
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


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December 25, 2010 2:55:00 AM

Thanks for your input Mosox. I think I will read up some more on what my options are. I'm in no rush so I'm going to try and plan it as well as I can.
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