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New HTPC Build

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April 29, 2011 5:06:41 PM

Hi all!

I am gonna take a crack at building a HTPC. I have never built in a small case and have only used full-sized ATX Mobos in full-sized towers. I just want to make sure everything in my build is compatible as well as practical for what I will be using it for.

Approximate Purchase Date: This month or next

Budget Range: 400-600 (can go higher if need be, but nothing over 800)

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Watch TV (through either HD Homerun Prime or a Tuner Card), Watch HD(1080P) Movies, Music, DVR, Surf Net

Parts Not Required: Keyboard, Mouse, Display, Cables, Software

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Newegg

Country of Origin: USA

Parts Preferences: Intel CPU, otherwise whatever works and does not fail

Overclocking: Nope

SLI or Crossfire: No need

Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080, 1920x1200, Possibly higher? I am using a Samsung 40'' LCD 1080P HDTV 120FPS

Additional Comments: I will be using Win7 x64 Ultimate. Would like a nice black Case that will look nice next to my other A/V units. I would love to have a remote or an RF/IR sensor to use a remote or else I want a HTPC device such as a mouse/remote/keyboard or something like that to navigate the system. Also, would the integerated graphics in the Sandy Bridge be enough to playback 1080P movies and stuff like that without getting bogged down? I am not a big fan of lag in any form and I have read about the 23-24FPS problem with losing a frame and if that would pose a problem in playback would going with a P67 MOBO and a low-profile graphics card be an option?

This is basically what I have so far, the case and graphics is what I am really concerned with, I don't want to run into any issues with playing back movies.

Newegg Saved Wishlist of the HTPC Build

Mobo
ASRock H67M (B3) LGA 1155 Intel H67 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard
ASRock H67M-GE/HT LGA 1155 Intel H67 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard

CPU
Intel Core i3-2100 Sandy Bridge 3.1GHz

RAM
G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR3 1600 Is 4GB enough? Would 8GB be better?

PS
Diablotek PHD Series 380W Micro ATX Power Supply

Cases - can't decide which one is best (Cases with a PS I will not be buying the one above)
Antec Black Aluminum / Steel Fusion Remote Black Micro ATX Media Center / HTPC Case
nMEDIAPC Black Aluminum / Steel HTPC 2000B ATX Media Center / HTPC Case
APEVIA Black SECC Steel / Aluminum X-MASTER-BK/500 ATX Media Center / HTPC Case

CD/Blu-Ray
LITE-ON Black Blu-ray Burner Its a burner because its really not all the more expensive than a reader... looking to the future!

HDD
Western Digital Caviar Black 500GB 7200 RPM Boot Drive
Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Media Drive

Have I covered all the bases? Do I need to change/add anything to make it work flawlessly? Currently I stream movies from my PC to my 360 which some movies don't work a lot of the time (hardware issue?) so I wanna make sure when I play them directly from or stream to this HTPC it will work with no probs.

More about : htpc build

April 29, 2011 5:19:34 PM

I don't know if this board down below fits in your budget, but you seem like one of those gismo guys and this board comes with everything including a "remote control".

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $134.99 FREE SHIPPING
ASRock H67M-GE/HT (B3) LGA 1155 Intel H67 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard

http://www.asrock.com/mb/overview.asp?Model=H67M-GE/HT <----- More info, specs, and pics of that board and what it comes with

http://www.expertreviews.co.uk/motherboards/1282768/asr... <---- professional review of that board

http://www.asrock.com/news/events/201102ex/warranty.htm... <---- Asrock two year warranty

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $59.99 - $39.99 after mail-in rebate card FREE SHIPPING
EVGA 01G-P3-1430-LR GeForce GT 430 (Fermi) 1GB 128-bit DDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready Video Card
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April 29, 2011 5:27:43 PM

Haha gismo guy! Yeah thats me! And I believe I did forget to include that board in my post as well, I was looking over the specs of that and really liked what I saw. Thanks for the additional links as well! I am leaning towards using that one as well.
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April 29, 2011 5:31:34 PM

Katzie said:
Haha gismo guy! Yeah thats me! And I believe I did forget to include that board in my post as well, I was looking over the specs of that and really liked what I saw. Thanks for the additional links as well! I am leaning towards using that one as well.

I edited that post up above and threw in that vid card. It's a low wattage, and low profile card that's recommended on here a lot for these kind of builds along with peeps building video editing rigs. I believe they have that same vid card on amazon for free shipping...anyways it's worth looking into.

I'm not too keen on this onboard/on die video that comes with these cpu's. Dedicated graphics card is the only way to go imo.
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April 29, 2011 5:33:24 PM

if you are building an htpc then you want to look at this guide, as it is very detailed and the guy gives good advice

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1302559

ps: if you are going sandy bridge and are not into playing games then stick to the integrated graphics as they are more than enough for watching HD and ditch the gt 430
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April 29, 2011 5:42:35 PM

check this combo out for $500

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboBundleDetails.aspx?I...

Intel Core i3-2100 Sandy Bridge 3.1GHz LGA 1155 65W Dual-Core Desktop Processor BX80623I32100
GIGABYTE GA-H67M-D2-B3 LGA 1155 Intel H67 SATA 6Gb/s Micro ATX Intel Motherboard
hec Black 0.7mm Thickness SECC Steel 7K09BBA30FNRX Micro ATX Media Center 300W Power Supply / HTPC Case
AVerMedia AVerTVHD Duet PCTV tuner (A188) MTVHDDUET PCI-Express x1 Interface
Seagate Barracuda ST31000524AS 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
Kingston 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1066 (PC3 8500) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model KVR1066D3N7K2/4G
Rosewill Windows Vista Certified Media center Infrared Remote Control RRC-126
LITE-ON Black 4X Blu-ray Reader SATA Model iHOS104-06 - OEM
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April 29, 2011 6:15:16 PM

I wont be playing any games. This is strictly for TV use only. I can't game well on my couch =D So if theres no problems (and I am kinda skeptical on the integerated graphics) then I wont be buying a additional graphics card.

Thanks for the combo, it looks good! Only thing is if I don't need a tuner card then I dont wanna get one... same with remote if I can get one with a mobo
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April 29, 2011 10:10:18 PM

People can say what they want about integrated graphics (and I can definitely see the benefit in having a separate vid card), but I have had a lot of success with it.

I have recently done an HTPC build using an i3 2100 and I am able to play blue ray quality vids at 1920 x 1080 resolution with no stuttering or display problems. As well I have used this same chip in two non-gaming home builds and they run great.

HTPC builds aren't usually intended for gaming, since as you say it would be very awkward to do from the couch, so onboard graphics would be sufficient for your use.

Just make sure you go with a case you like for an HTPC build (since it's most likely going to be in your living room).
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April 29, 2011 10:27:59 PM

JordoR said:
People can say what they want about integrated graphics (and I can definitely see the benefit in having a separate vid card), but I have had a lot of success with it.

I have recently done an HTPC build using an i3 2100 and I am able to play blue ray quality vids at 1920 x 1080 resolution with no stuttering or display problems. As well I have used this same chip in two non-gaming home builds and they run great.

HTPC builds aren't usually intended for gaming, since as you say it would be very awkward to do from the couch, so onboard graphics would be sufficient for your use.

Just make sure you go with a case you like for an HTPC build (since it's most likely going to be in your living room).

I see what your saying, but graphics cards aren't just for gaming. They come in all shapes, sizes, and variety's and for all different applications...not just gaming.
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April 30, 2011 5:30:04 AM

Thanks for the input. At 1080P integrated graphics is fine, but if I go over that resolution, I can always add in an additional GPU in the future if I need it, but for the initial build, I am seeing that onboard in the way to go. Thanks guys!!
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April 30, 2011 5:39:41 AM

btw that combo i mentioned is $490 now

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April 30, 2011 2:54:10 PM

Why_Me said:
I edited that post up above and threw in that vid card. It's a low wattage, and low profile card that's recommended on here a lot for these kind of builds along with peeps building video editing rigs. I believe they have that same vid card on amazon for free shipping...anyways it's worth looking into.

I'm not too keen on this onboard/on die video that comes with these cpu's. Dedicated graphics card is the only way to go imo.



For what I am going to do with the HTPC, I'll let you know if the Sandy Bridge graphics are up to par on my standards (I am kinda picky and notice little things that may not bother others). If I end up not liking the integrated graphics, I see the 520 is out... when will the 530 be out? I also compared 2 of each of the 430s and 520s, and was wondering if the lower stream processors but higher clock on the 520 outweigh the 430, since both of them are essentially the same price (save the $40 430 with rebate).


520 vs 430

Also, has anyone used either the nMEDIAPC Black Aluminum panel & Steel HTPC 1000B Micro ATX Media Center / HTPC Case or the APEVIA Black SECC Steel / Aluminum X-MASTER-BK/500 ATX Media Center / HTPC Case? I hate the grill on the front of the latter one but it comes with a PS and is bigger/holds more if I plan to upgrade the drives. The first one has a very nice sleek finish to it and has a nifty LCD (bonus points) but no PS and looks... small. Would like to hear some feedback on these 2 cases as I narrowed it down to just these 2. The Antec one is too expensive and I heard the LCD on it sucks even though it looks like a very nice unit.

nMEDIAPC LCD add-on
Looks like I gotta spend $30 more to get the LCD on that case...
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April 30, 2011 6:35:07 PM

Newegg just dropped the price of that 430 today by another $20.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $59.99 - $39.99 after mail-in rebate card FREE SHIPPING
EVGA 01G-P3-1430-LR GeForce GT 430 (Fermi) 1GB 128-bit DDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready Video Card
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!