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Help with HTPC/Video Encoding Build

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January 11, 2011 1:54:16 AM

I used to build systems here and there about 10 years ago, but I have not built anything for 8 years or more.
Hadn't paid attention to hardware until I just recently started doing research.
Matter of fact my current main home desktop is a P4 from about 10 years ago.
My New system will pretty much be a multimedia pc with TV card for HDTV/DVR, and also video encoding with Sony Vegas.
I won't do a ton of encoding, but more than the average user.

I plan on canceling satellite and using a tv card recorded tv shows and internet tv, boxee.I'd like a tv card that will record cable or satellite I know they will only do clear qam channels. Just in case I get satellite or cable again in the future. That's not a deal breaker on tv card.

I'll do some casual gaming here and there, but not a lot.
I already have Windows 7 Ultimate
My budget with HD Dual Tuner TV card is about $600

I have already bought the Thermaltake V9 BlacX Case spent $70 on that after rebate.
the Corsair 650TX Power Supply $70 After Rebate

Corsair XMS3 8 GB (4GB x 2) 1333 MHz PC3-10666 $74 after Rebate

I also got the 9500GT for a whole $5 after rebate. Using that in another pc right now. Could take it out if needed.
I know it's not anything special and probably not any better than an integrated card I would get.

So I have spent about $215 not including the GPU not going to count that.
Let's budget about $420 for everything motherboard, chip,HDTV Card, Harddrive ($60 for 1tb). I have a samsung spinpoint f3 1TB but want a second 1TB drive.
If i can accomplish what I need for less great, but I also want to be future proof just in case.

I don't think I really need a Video Card other than a decent integrated one for what I am plan on using it for.
It's possible I could get into gaming in the future, but I can't see it being real big. I am pretty much a console gamer PS3 for me.
I initially thought of getting the ASUS M4A89GTD with 890GX chipset and one of the Phenom X6 chips I had read that Phenom X6 are better than X4 for video encoding.

There's only a $20 difference between the X4 Black 965 and the AMD Phenom II X6 1055T.

So that's the research I have done, I am certainly open to suggestions to you guys that are much more up to speed on these things than I am.
I always like ASUS boards years ago, but have used Gigabyte boards as well, if there is some other more affordable board out there that is a good one for less I am all ears.
I would like a board with USB 3.0.
I probably sound like I have my mind made up, but I am behind the times as far as my knowledge of current hardware goes.
I would plan to Overclock as well, but not totally necessary, I never did it much in the past, but it seems like these days it is MUCH easier to overclock.

Oh I am not in a super rush to buy it all right now. I was planning on buying things here and there when I found good deals, and hopefully have everything I need no later than March sometime.
If between now and March you know that some thing may come down in price or have a good rebate then I can wait, I think... :) 

THANKS!!!
January 11, 2011 11:08:42 AM

Oh I should add I will probably run a virtual machine or two as well.
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January 11, 2011 12:47:56 PM

The X4 would probably work out just fine, but if doing video encoding and running a few virtual mahcines, then the X6 would be PREFERRED over the X4.

Going with a good board with integrated video of at least HD 4200 would be fine for what you are doing. And with the assumption of allocating more than 1GB of memory to each of your VMs, going with more than 4GB of memory is also a good idea. So...

ASUS M4A88T-M $95 - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

AMD X6 1055T (since you will OC) $180 - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Hyper 212 $37 - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

GSKILL 8GB DDR3 1600 $90 - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

...then you will need the TV Tuner card. Maybe dropping to the X4 and / or 4GB of memory will free up some budget for you if you desire. Since you want USB 3.0 your MB costs are a bit higher than a 700 series chipset board.
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January 11, 2011 1:42:50 PM

Thanks, I was considering an 890gx motherboard but it seems like the big difference seems to be the SLI and crossfire features. something I may use in the future but not a big deal to me. That saved $50. I actually have already ordered 8gb of Corsair XMS for $74 after rebate.
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January 11, 2011 2:01:16 PM

The only other think I would consider is maybe a 'real' GPU for some gaming on the side. an 880 has only 1 slot, so ANY card will do. Its entirely optional, of course
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