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Another HTPC build to check out

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February 15, 2011 7:56:19 PM

Hi All,

First time posting here but been getting a lot of good information reading these threads. I also wanted to get some feedback on my HTPC build. Below is what i plan to buy and was wondering if my processor was overkill. I am concerned about the heat.

I don’t plan on doing any gaming on this system. I am simply going to use this to watch HD TV with Window Media Center and all its goodies. I am also going to add a CETON InfiniTV 4 Digital Cable Tuner.

Overall I am pretty confident in this build just keep thinking about which processor I should go with.
For starters:

Case: Silverstone Black GRANDIA GD05B
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Motherboard: ASUS M4A785-M AM3/AM2+/AM2 AMD 785G HDMI Micro ATX AMD
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Proccessor: AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

-OR-

Processor: AMD Phenom II X2 555 Black Edition
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Hard drive: Western Digital AV-GP WD10EVDS 1TB
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Power Supply: CORSAIR Builder Series CMPSU-500CX 500W
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

TV Tuner: Ceton InfiniTV 4
http://www.cetoncorp.com/products.php

Thanks for your feedback!

More about : htpc build check

a c 90 B Homebuilt system
February 15, 2011 8:32:49 PM

Hello Spyke562;

Nice choice of case;
You might want to check it's actual measurements against the actual spot where you plan to have the case.
It's bigger than it looks. Allow extra room for the rear panel connectors (2"-3").

You can easily step down a size in PSU to the CORSAIR CX430 PSU It's just as quiet as the 500W model. And both are 'overkill' for a under 200watt system.
Corsair CX430 Power Supply Review

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a b B Homebuilt system
February 15, 2011 8:39:17 PM

Are you using some DDR2 you already have handy? Otherwise, go for a DDR3 motherboard.

About the CPU, yeah both are overkill for your described uses. An Athlon X2 is plenty enough. But if the budget allows, both processors you've chosen will get the job done.

BTW, good luck getting the Ceton card. I hear the wait is pretty long.
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Related resources
a c 90 B Homebuilt system
February 15, 2011 9:00:58 PM

Ceton InfiniTV 4 Review

With the Ceton InfiniTV 4 doing most of the heavy lifting I think it's safe to drop the CPU down to a dual core CPU.
And even the Phenom II X2 555 Black Edition is much more than you need.
Athlon II X2 250 Regor 3.0GHz would be plenty of power.

I'm guessing you have 4GB of DDR2 RAM picked out?
Because of the low cost of DDR3 vs DDR2 these days I think you can break even (or close to it) by getting a 880G microATX board and DDR3 RAM. I went back and forth quite a bit on the USB 3.0 / SATA 6Gb/s question and finally came down on the upgrade to the USB 3 option.

I'm also thinking a discrete HTPC video card to help with the HD playback isn't a bad option either.
Something like a HD 5450 or GT 430.
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February 15, 2011 10:23:07 PM

Hi WR2 & rwpritchett,

Thank you very much for the suggestions!

I also like this case. However space is a bit of a problem for me. I am only allowed to have it in the shelve inside my entertainment center (wife won’t let me sit out in the open :p ). However it will be open in the back (I can cut a hole out for the case).

Basically, the space I have to work with is H-10” max, W-18” max, D-16 max”. I hate my entertainment center but that’s totally other topic ;) . I hope this case fits OK because I had a hard time finding one to fit.

As for the power supply I will totally go for the CORSAIR CX430 PSU.

As for the motherboard I really like the idea of the ASUS M4A88T-M/USB3 motherboard. By going with this board will 2GB of DDR3 RAM be OK for a while? I did have 4GB of DDR2 picked out for the other board

And if I do go for that motherboard I will also settle for the AMD Phenom II X2 555 Black Edition even though it is still overkill.

As for the video card I am going to see how the onboard plays out and then if needed go for the video card.

Lastly, for the Ceton card, I don’t mind waiting for something like that. This card sounds awesome. I have a friend who has it and loves it.

Thanks again for the input...it was really helpful!
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Best solution

a b B Homebuilt system
February 15, 2011 10:38:03 PM

spyke562 said:
I also like this case. However space is a bit of a problem for me. I am only allowed to have it in the shelve inside my entertainment center (wife won’t let me sit out in the open :p ). However it will be open in the back (I can cut a hole out for the case).
Ah! Welcome to the HTPC DIY club. You've discovered one of the tenets of the HTPC crowd! We call it WAF (Wife Acceptance Factor). There are rumors of the existence of HAF, but I've never personally witnessed it in all of my years of forum browsing.
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a c 90 B Homebuilt system
February 15, 2011 10:46:36 PM

I believe 2GB of DDR3 RAM will be fine forever for what you intend.
The 'test the onboard graphics' plan is sound. It's a super easy upgrade to 'sneak in' later.
Should be no problem fitting the case into the place you have picked out. Even cooling should be adequate, especially with a cut out in the back around the PSU.

What do you plan to use for a controller?
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February 15, 2011 11:07:31 PM

@rwpritchett – LOL I like the acronym. My wife even laughed when I told her that! I have also not come across the HAF.

@WR2 – Thanks for the reassurance on the 2GB and case. I like making sure I am on the right track. As for the controller I have a Harmony 650 so I was hoping to get a Windows Media Remote and IR receiver combo and use the IR receiver with my 650. The spare remote I could use for my XBOX. I am new to the Harmony remotes. I just mine this past x-mas and am loving it!

Do you guys think the Windows Media Remote and IR receiver combo will work?
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a b B Homebuilt system
February 16, 2011 11:46:01 AM

Yeah, lot's of us use a Hamony remote with a USB IR receiver from another remote. I personally use a Harmony 510 with my integrated USB IR. You'll have to scour reviews to see how good it is for a harmony though. Some remotes don't use the Microsoft standard IR commands, rather they emulate keyboard key functions and don't work as nicely.

The AVS remote IR receivers seem to work well with harmony remotes and their cheap. Read some newegg reviews and see if any of them will work for you.
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February 16, 2011 5:15:38 PM

Hi rwpritchett,

Thanks for the heads up on the USB IR receiver. I found a Rosewill WMC Remote for Win 7. From reading the reviews on this one (and AVS remotes) I see quite a few people are buying them just for the USB receiver!

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=80-101-...

Again, thanks alot for reading my posts. I will post a final build with everything soon. Then I can start the purchasing process!

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February 16, 2011 5:16:49 PM

Best answer selected by Spyke562.
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