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HTPC - Please Review my Build

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March 17, 2011 5:49:52 PM

Appreciate the feedback on my new HTPC build below. I've been researching the boards from sometime and have had previous questions answered by rwpritchett and aznshinobi - thanks for helping get me this far.

Approximate Purchase Date: next two week (by April 1, 2011)

Budget: prefer $550 or less, but have flexibility up to $700 to meet System Usage requirements.

System Usage: Quiet HTPC for use in family room. This is purely for media output - video and audio. Audio will primarily consist of mp3 files via iTunes or WMC interface and Pandora. Video will consist of DVD, Blu-Ray, YouTube, Netflix, Hulu Plus, Amazon streaming, .mkv, and .avi files, and other video streaming services. This HTPC should last a good long while (four years) and be fully HDCP compliant, support 1080 output (1080p and 1080i), handle 24fps, and supports audio bitstreaming to both 5.1 and 7.1 systems. [I have a top of the line Intel i7 system for all non-playback tasks (file backup, video conversion, etc.).]

Parts Not Required: WMC 7

Country:
USA

Overclocking: No

SLI/Crossfire: No (don't see any reason for my system usage)

Monitor Resolution: Samsung HDTV, 1080i

Case: nMEDIAPC Black Aluminum / Acrylic / Steel HTPC 5000B Micro ATX Media Center / HTPC Case @ Newegg - $89.99 nMEDIAPC Black Aluminum / Steel HTPC 2000B ATX Media Center / HTPC Case @ Newegg - $89.99

MB: ASUS M4A88T-M LE AM3 AMD 880G HDMI Micro ATX AMD Motherboard @ Newegg - $84.99 GIGABYTE GA-MA770T-UD3 AM3 AMD 770 ATX @ Newegg - $78.99

CPU: AMD Athlon II X2 260 Regor 3.2GHz 2 x 1MB L2 Cache Socket AM3 65W Dual-Core Desktop Processor ADX260OCGMBOX @ Newegg - $69.99 AMD Athlon II X2 245 Regor 2.9GHz Socket AM3 65W Dual-Core Desktop Processor ADX245OCGMBOX @ Newegg - $59.99

GPU: GIGABYTE Silent Series GV-R575SL-1GI Radeon HD 5750 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card @ Newegg - $129.99 SAPPHIRE 100293L Radeon HD 5570 1GB 128-bit DDR3 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Low Profile Ready Video Card @ Newegg - $74.99 GIGABYTE GV-R557OC-1GI Radeon HD 5570 1GB DDR3 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready Video Card @ Newegg - $69.99

RAM: G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10600) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F3-10600CL9D-4GBNT @ Newegg - $39.99

PSU: Antec EarthWatts Green EA-380D Green 380W Continuous power ATX12V v2.3 / EPS12V 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC Power Supply @ Newegg - $39.99 ENERMAX PRO87+ EPG500AWT 500W 80 PLUS GOLD Certified Power Supply @ Newegg - $99.99

HD: Western Digital Caviar Green WD20EARS 2TB 64MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive @ Newegg - $79.99 SAMSUNG Spinpoint F4 HD204UI 2TB 5400 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive @ Newegg - $89.99

Optical Drive: LG WH10LS30 10X Blu-ray Burner - LightScribe Support - Bulk - OEM @ Newegg - $89.99

Tuner Cards: 2 X AVerMedia AVerTVHD Duet - PCTV Tuner (A188 - White Box) - OEM @ Newegg - $139.98 for both

Remote and keyboard: haven't picked either out yet. Advice appreciated on these two items.

Total cost of $764.90 $649.91 $628.91

Appreciate the feedback on where I can cut back expenses and any confirmation around the component pieces working together and meeting by System Usage requirements. I may only buy one of the tuner cards until I prove out that I need four simultaneous channels using only OTA TV.

More about : htpc review build

March 17, 2011 6:39:37 PM

You don't need that video card the onboard one is good enough.


Why do you want two tuners for? Get one, take a look at the Hauppauge line.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Other mobos - they have SATA3/USB3.
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...

HDD
SAMSUNG Spinpoint F4 HD204UI 2TB
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...



March 17, 2011 6:57:30 PM

mosox said:
You don't need that video card the onboard one is good enough.


Agreed. If you want to do light gaming get a HD 5770 at a minimum.
Related resources
March 17, 2011 7:16:53 PM

mosox said:
Why do you want two tuners for? Get one, take a look at the Hauppauge line.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

It's actually 4 tuners he's after. The Avermedia Duet has 2 ATSC tuners on each card, same as the HVR-2250 but costs nearly half as much.


mosox said:
You don't need that video card the onboard one is good enough.

mdsiu said:
Agreed. If you want to do light gaming get a HD 5770 at a minimum.
I think the OP wanted the video card because he listed bitstreaming as a requirement, presumably DTS-MA/DD-TrueHD. The onboard can only bitstream standard def DD/DTS. Also, the HD55xx and above are needed to take advantage of full post-processing of interlaced content.

You're paying a premium for that silent passive card though... maybe look into an actively cooled card that is quiet? Or, check out cards with less muscle if you don't plan to game... Sapphire has a passive HD5670 I believe that would be less expensive. Make sure the large heatsink on passive cards will fit in your case.
March 17, 2011 7:23:12 PM

for the same price, Palit makes a half-height GTS 450, which, while not silent, is fairly quiet, and would permit moderate gaming without too much trouble (medium settings generally at 1920x1080), it also handles full audio bitstreaming and

for $2 more, you could get the 3-core 435, which would speed up encoding and any game play.

March 17, 2011 8:18:13 PM

Updated my configuration above with the following components:

SAMSUNG Spinpoint F4 HD204UI 2TB 5400 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive @ Newegg - $89.99

SAPPHIRE 100293L Radeon HD 5570 1GB 128-bit DDR3 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Low Profile Ready Video Card @ Newegg - $74.99

And dropped one of the two Aver TV Tuner Duet cards (I'm going to start with one and see if I need to add a second later on).

Can I run with a lower cost MB and CPU? Especially given that I'm not going to use on the on-board Audio or Video when I have the Sapphire card?
March 17, 2011 8:19:45 PM

if you arent using SATA 3, get the ASRock 880GM, its $59.99
March 17, 2011 11:36:54 PM

That Avermedia doesn't seem to have support for Win7.

SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
You can do with 2G of RAM for now
Kingston 2GB 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
AMD Athlon II X2 255 + SAPPHIRE 100293L Radeon HD 5570
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

MSI 880GM-E41
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I would get a good tuner even if it's more expensive.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

$619.91 with your other parts

March 18, 2011 2:22:03 AM

mosox said:
That Avermedia doesn't seem to have support for Win7.
I can personally confirm that it works with Windows 7.
March 19, 2011 2:51:32 PM

Made a few more configuration changes on the setup. Went with the Gigabyte MB and GPU. Upped the size to an ATX case and MB. Dropped the CPU from 3.2 Ghz to 2.9 Ghz (same processer family, just a bit slower). And increased the PSU - the GPU says it requires 400W. The enermax has great reviews for silent use.

Thanks to all for the feedback and advise. I'm looking forward to getting the parts in this week and building out next weekend.
!