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Help a first time builder with his HTPC plan.

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January 6, 2011 5:41:42 PM

I'm building a HTPC that will sit next to my TV, Audio Receiver, Digital Cable PVR, and XBOX 360. My main purposes for it are as follows:

1. MKV playback with DTS-HD and TrueHD bitstreaming to the Audio Receiver. I plan to use WMC, MPC-HC and MediaBrowser for all of this.

2. Internet Browsing once in a while.

3. DVD playback. I may add a Blu-Ray drive in the future.

4. Media Hub. For example pop in a thumbdrive or device with pictures and edit them quickly with Adobe Photoshop.

5. Maybe rip some media from time to time.

6. Act as a print server (have a printer connected and ready for the entire home at all times.

7. Quiet and Energy Efficient within reason. I'm not aiming for ultra extremes, but I want it to be better than the average PC. If it's going to be on most of the time I don't want it breaking the bank on energy costs.

8. I want it to be fast and responsive. I want the system to always be ready (leave it in stand-by). On for over 12 hours a day. Something reliable.

My Proposed Build: (Prices include item cost plus shipping, final price is net of Canadian Taxes)

AMD Phenom 955 - $145
GIGABYTE GA-MA78LMT-S2 AM3 AMD 760G Micro ATX - $70
G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series (2 x 2GB) DDR3 1333 - $55
HIS IceQ Radeon HD 5670 1GB GDDR5 PCI-E 2.1 x16 - $90
SeaSonic M12II 520 Bronze 520W 80 PLUS BRONZE - 90
(Main Drive) Western Digital Caviar Blue Hard Drive 500GB 7200rpm - $46
LIAN LI PC-V351B Black Aluminum MicroATX Case - $120
ASUS Black DVD Burner - $20

Total (net of canadian taxes): $713


Will the stock Phenom cooler be sufficient?

So is it worth it? I think I'm going to need a lot of memory in the end. The Lian Li won't cut it so I'll have it to buy an external enclosure multi-bay enclosure and hook it up to the back of the Lian Li.

If only the Lian Li and GIGABYTE mobo could fit about 5-6 3.5 HDDs...

More about : time builder htpc plan

January 6, 2011 6:56:40 PM

You could up the case to the Lian Li PC-V354. Same basic shape, but has 7 internal 3.5" bays.
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January 6, 2011 7:37:31 PM

rwpritchett said:
You could up the case to the Lian Li PC-V354. Same basic shape, but has 7 internal 3.5" bays.


That's a really great case except for two things. I hate the look of the two fans at the front. Ruins to look. And unfortunately Newegg Canada doesn't stock it.
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January 6, 2011 8:30:37 PM

There's also the Lian Li PC-Q08. That's a mini-ITX, but it has 6 internal bays. It too has a fugly LED fan on the front, but that can be fixed by replacing the fan.

Maybe consider an intel build with either s1156 or the new s1155 chips (if you can wait a bit for availability). That way you can forego the video card and have on-chip bitstreaming.

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January 6, 2011 8:47:52 PM

a 955 is pobly overkill for an HTPC.

Consider an Athlon II X3 445 or 450 and get a more-modern 880 motherboard. (AS Rock has one for $59.99, though it lacks SATA 3 or USB 3)
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