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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.