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First time build HTPC - Trouble choosing mobo and cpu

I'm struggling to narrow down my search for the right mobo and cpu for my situation. I am building a HTPC that will be used to watch Blu Ray videos, HD TV and streaming internet at 1080p and 7.1 audio. I don't want any lag.

My initial budget was $1500 but it appears my build would have been very overkill (i5-2500K, ASRock P67 PRO3 (B3), AMD 6950, 8GB G skill, 60Gb SDD, 2Tb HDD, XFX 850). Any suggestions are greatly appreciated.
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  1. Best answer
    Most people don't want a full size case for there HTPC, they also don't want it to be loud.

    Here is a silent mATX build for you with options:

    Sources:
    http://www.quietpc.com/us-en-usd/home
    www.Newegg.com

    Case:
    Fractal Design Define Mini Computer Case $120 (Mid Apr11) (has 3 channel fan controller included)
    http://www.fractal-design.com/?view=product&category=2&prod=58
    http://www.quietpc.com/us-en-usd/products/pc-cases/fd-define-mini
    $120
    Motherboard:
    ASUS P8P67-M PRO (REV 3.0) LGA 1155 Intel P67 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard
    $150
    CPU:
    Intel Core i3-2120 Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz
    $150
    RAM:
    G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR3 1333 F3-10666CL8D-4GBXM
    $47
    PSU:
    COOLER MASTER Silent Pro M600 RS-600-AMBA-D3 600W
    $80
    GPU:
    SAPPHIRE Vapor-X 100284VXL Radeon HD 5750 1GB (has a stock silent cooler installed)
    $113
    SSD:
    G.SKILL Phoenix Series FM-25S2S-60GBP1 2.5" 60GB SATA II MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)
    $150
    HDD
    Western Digital RE4 WD1503FYYS 1.5TB 7200 RPM 64MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Enterprise Hard Disk designed to run continuously.
    $179.00
    Blu Ray/DVD/CD RW
    LG Black 10X Blu-ray Burner WH10LS30 LightScribe Support 10X BD-R 2X BD-RE 16X DV...
    $89.99
    OS:
    Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit OEM
    $100

    Total $1180

    Upgrades if you also want to game on it.
    CPU
    Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz (3.7GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor
    $224.99
    CPU Cooler:
    Noctua NH-C12P SE14 Top-Down CPU Heatpipe Heatsink with NF-P14 Fan
    $86.11
    RAM:
    G.SKILL Ripjaws X 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR3 1600 F3-12800CL8D-4GBXM
    $54.99

    pick one GPU card they are all fast and silent:
    SAPPHIRE Vapor-X 100314VXSR Radeon HD 6870 1GB (has a stock silent cooler installed)
    $230
    MSI R6950 Twin Frozr II OC Radeon HD 6950 2GB (has a stock silent cooler installed)
    $310
    PowerColor PCS+ AX6970 2GBD5-PP2DHG Radeon HD 6970 (has a stock silent cooler installed)
    $375

    Addtional case Fans: (got to cool it with the power increase)
    Fractal Design 140mm Silent Series Cooling Fan
    $19.06
    Fractal Design 120mm Silent Series Cooling Fan
    $14.66
  2. WR2 said:



    Thanks for the info WR2. The BIOSTAR board was high on my list but it only has 6 audio channels. Does this limit the board to only powering a 5.1 setup? I.e. if I connect the board to my receiver via an hdmi cable, will it pass thru 7.1 audio? Or will only 5.1 be supported via the hdmi cable? Thanks again.
  3. If you are passing the digital audio over HDMI, then you'll be using the audio integrated with the Sandy Bridge CPU and have 7.1. The 5.1 audio spec'd on that Biostar board is referring to the Realtek ALC892 analog ports using 1/8" mini-jacks.
  4. Thanks jerreddredd. It looks like the ASUS P8P67-M PRO (REV 3.0) is out of stock on newegg and amazon has a 2-3 week shipping timeline. It looks like the ASRock P67 PRO3 (B3) is in stock. Any opinion on that swap? It has no reviews but the pre REV 3 version had good reviews.

    I definitely like the GPU you recommended - the Sapphire Vapor-X! The only downside I see is it doesn't support hdmi 1.4a, but I don't plan on getting a 3d tv anytime soon. By the time I do, it will probably be time to upgrade everything anyway. Thanks!

    As far as the RAM goes - it seems so cheap to upgrade to 8GB. Would you mind explaining why you chose the 1333 vs the 1600?

    Thanks again.
  5. bigmantrav said:
    Thanks jerreddredd. It looks like the ASUS P8P67-M PRO (REV 3.0) is out of stock on newegg and amazon has a 2-3 week shipping timeline. It looks like the ASRock P67 PRO3 (B3) is in stock. Any opinion on that swap? It has no reviews but the pre REV 3 version had good reviews.

    I definitely like the GPU you recommended - the Sapphire Vapor-X! The only downside I see is it doesn't support hdmi 1.4a, but I don't plan on getting a 3d tv anytime soon. By the time I do, it will probably be time to upgrade everything anyway. Thanks!

    As far as the RAM goes - it seems so cheap to upgrade to 8GB. Would you mind explaining why you chose the 1333 vs the 1600?

    Thanks again.



    since it was just a HTPC, the 1333 ram would suffice (save a few bucks). I did put the 1600 as an upgrade in case you wanted to game on it also. 4 GB is usually enough, but if you have extra $ then get 8Gb. I was just t trying to save $.

    the ASRock Mb is a full size ATX board and the ASUS is a mATX. if you go for the ASRock you will need a different case (bigger) than the one I quoted.
    here is a silent full size ATX case http://www.quietpc.com/us-en-usd/products/pc-cases/fd-definexl
  6. Best answer selected by bigmantrav.
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