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Advice req’d, building HTPC/PVR with left over components..

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January 17, 2011 2:49:04 PM

Hey Guys,

Just upgraded my gaming rig and have some leftover components and figured I’d build a HTPC/PVR for the living room.

These are the components I have to use:

Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 Wolfdale

ASUS P5Q

OCZ DDR2 PC2-6400 REAPER HPC 4GB EDITION

ASUS EAH4850/HTDI/512M

Cool Master Hyper 212 Plus

Plan on buying the following to finish up the build...

A couple of SAMSUNG Spinpoint MP4 HM640JJ 640GB 7200 RPM

SAMSUNG Black 12X BD-ROM

SILVERSTONE ST45SF 450W

Can someone recommend a decent TV Tuner card and PVR software. My wife will get the most use out of this rig so will likely end up being a Win 7 box as she's not too Linux friendly.

Any and all advice will be greatly appreciated. Would you advise upgrading the cpu/mobo or will this be sufficient?

Thanks

RC



January 17, 2011 4:39:37 PM

Instead of that HDD, I'd get Samsung Spinpoint F3 1 TB. The one you picked is a laptop HDD.

As for decent TV tuners, I can't point you to a specific model. Hauppauge is generally one of the best brands.
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January 17, 2011 5:12:54 PM

MadAdmiral said:
Instead of that HDD, I'd get Samsung Spinpoint F3 1 TB. The one you picked is a laptop HDD.

As for decent TV tuners, I can't point you to a specific model. Hauppauge is generally one of the best brands.


I chose those drives for low noise and reliability. But if I really wanted to save a bit of coin, I could go for a larger desktop drive. The 1T laptop drives aren't as reliable as the 640s from what I gather. I was looking at the Hauppauge WinTV-HVR-2250 and from what I gather seems to have decent reviews. Just want to hear what THW readers have experienced. This is new territory for me, built many game rigs, but not a TV guy, buildings this for my significant other.

Thank you

RC
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January 17, 2011 5:54:19 PM

Laptop drives aren't a good choice period. They're louder (and slower) than regular drives. The Spinpoint F3 is darn right near silent. I wouldn't touch a laptop drive for anything other than a laptop.
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January 18, 2011 2:43:50 PM

MadAdmiral said:
Laptop drives aren't a good choice period. They're louder (and slower) than regular drives. The Spinpoint F3 is darn right near silent. I wouldn't touch a laptop drive for anything other than a laptop.


Thanks for the guidance, point taken and will likely follow. Do you have any opinion about the WD drives of the same caliber? The Western Digital Caviar Black WD1002FAEX 1TB over the Samsung?

And does anyone have any opinions about tv tuner cards? There is so much conflicting info out there. Software too, any opinions? Thanks all for the input.

RC
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January 18, 2011 2:47:40 PM

They're basically the same in terms of performance. The WD might be a touch faster, but it's also louder. Given that the WD is $90 vs. the F3 at $55, I can't see why you'd consider it.

Also, ithe WD drive wouldn't work with your board. It uses a SATA III (6.0 GB/s) connector instead of a SATA II (3.0 GB/s). If you had a brand new board with SATA III support, I still wouldn't recommend it. SATA III doesn't do anything for mechanical drives other than increase their price.
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January 18, 2011 5:46:50 PM

MadAdmiral said:

Also, ithe WD drive wouldn't work with your board. It uses a SATA III (6.0 GB/s) connector instead of a SATA II (3.0 GB/s). If you had a brand new board with SATA III support, I still wouldn't recommend it. SATA III doesn't do anything for mechanical drives other than increase their price.


Noted, thank you. I overlooked the SATAIII vs SATAII. I just picked the first 1TB WD drive, but didn't consider the SATA version.
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