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Low Power HTPC: Please suggest components

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May 23, 2011 8:33:32 PM

I want to build a HTPC.

Approximate Purchase Date: this week

Budget Range: 300 After Rebates

System Usage from Most to Least Important: HTPC, some skype too :) 

Parts Not Required: monitor, speakers, OS

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: amazon.com, newegg.com, superbiiz.com

Country of Origin: US

Parts Preferences: I would like to use
PURE Fusion Mini E350 (IPC-E350M1) http://www.sapphiretech.com/presentation/product/?leg=&... and my existing HT setup of Onkyo receiver, 55" Samsung LCD, Niles IR receiver (all HT stuff are in closet about 50 feet from my primary TV)

Overclocking: No

SLI or Crossfire: Maybe (if that is possible)

Monitor Resolution: 1080p

Additional Comments: As mentioned above, my HT stuff is about 50 feet away from my primary TV and I use Niles IR transmitter/receiver to control it.

I need guidance on the following components:
- 4GB RAM
- Nice case (with or without external brick power adapter)
- HDD about 80gb (required only for OS, as I will be using my NAS)
- Blu-ray drive
- TV tuner and PVR (this will be very helpful/useful)
- IR Remote (with keyboard if possible)

TIA
~mys
May 23, 2011 8:49:24 PM

I think you are right that the AMD fusion is the way to go

RAM choice wont be crititical , just buy some reasonable quality 1333 MHz RAM which will be cheaper and clock to board speed anyway . Id buy on price rather than anything else .

Over kill for a mini ITX but I like the silverstone Grandia 04 or 05 . They accept m-atx boards too which might open up your choices a little . Dropping the fan speeds makes them totally silent .

The smallest capacity WD Green hard drive . An 80 gig drive is likely to be older technology and relatively noisy .
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May 23, 2011 10:55:51 PM

My Signup,

For a low power HTPC the i3 2100T is an excellent option. See the link below comparing the E350 with the i3.

http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/cpu/display/core-i3-21...

The i3 will support video encoding and general PC tasks that the E350 simply cannot. It is however MORE expensive.

Below is a suggested build for the HTPC (Approx $440).

hec Black 0.7mm Thickness SECC Steel 7K09BBA30FNRX Micro ATX Media Center 300W Power Supply / HTPC Case
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Intel Core i3-2100T Sandy Bridge 2.5GHz 2 x 256KB L2 Cache 3MB L3 Cache LGA 1155 35W Dual-Core Desktop Processor BX80623I32100T
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

MSI H61M-E33 (B3) LGA 1155 Intel H61 HDMI Micro ATX Intel Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F3-10600CL9D-4GBNT
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

SAMSUNG Black 12X BD-ROM 16X DVD-/+R 48X CD-ROM SATA Internal Blu-ray Drive Model SH-B123L/RSBP LightScribe Support (Retail)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

SAMSUNG Spinpoint F4 HD322GJ/U 320GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

IOGEAR GKM561R Black 2.4GHz Wireless HTPC Multimedia Keyboard with Laser Trackball and Scroll Wheel
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

This is a nice build all with quality components. I don't know about a TV tunner but basically add the one you want. Hope this helps. Perhaps other more experienced forum participants can comment since I am admittedly still learning.
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May 23, 2011 11:39:29 PM

Silverstone case seems to be big, anything smaller that you can suggest...
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May 23, 2011 11:46:01 PM

lifeking said:
My Signup,

For a low power HTPC the i3 2100T is an excellent option. See the link below comparing the E350 with the i3.

http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/cpu/display/core-i3-21...

The i3 will support video encoding and general PC tasks that the E350 simply cannot. It is however MORE expensive.

Below is a suggested build for the HTPC (Approx $440).

hec Black 0.7mm Thickness SECC Steel 7K09BBA30FNRX Micro ATX Media Center 300W Power Supply / HTPC Case
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Intel Core i3-2100T Sandy Bridge 2.5GHz 2 x 256KB L2 Cache 3MB L3 Cache LGA 1155 35W Dual-Core Desktop Processor BX80623I32100T
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

MSI H61M-E33 (B3) LGA 1155 Intel H61 HDMI Micro ATX Intel Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F3-10600CL9D-4GBNT
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

SAMSUNG Black 12X BD-ROM 16X DVD-/+R 48X CD-ROM SATA Internal Blu-ray Drive Model SH-B123L/RSBP LightScribe Support (Retail)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

SAMSUNG Spinpoint F4 HD322GJ/U 320GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

IOGEAR GKM561R Black 2.4GHz Wireless HTPC Multimedia Keyboard with Laser Trackball and Scroll Wheel
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

This is a nice build all with quality components. I don't know about a TV tunner but basically add the one you want. Hope this helps. Perhaps other more experienced forum participants can comment since I am admittedly still learning.


Thanks for taking your time. The above config seems to be very good, but I afraid I am locked to AMD E350. I got the Sapphire listed/linked in the OP for a very good price $91 over the weekend...
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May 24, 2011 2:40:08 AM

TV Tunner works with Windows Media Center which should take care of the recording. I think it should be ok but I have never installed one myself. Several reviews on newegg mention that it works well with media center. Perhaps another poster can help with your question.

The case looks good... The only potential issue I can forsee is the size for the Blu Ray drive. Look up the size of the drive on the Samsung website to see if it fits. The case has good price/reviews.
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May 24, 2011 2:45:07 AM

The sapphire MB only supports 2 slots SO-DIMM DDR3 800/1066 Single Channel modules, will the G-SKILL ram (dual channel) work?
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May 24, 2011 3:38:02 AM

Yep - it will work.
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May 24, 2011 3:46:13 AM

lifeking said:
Yep - it will work.

Super!!!

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May 24, 2011 12:40:05 PM

mysignup said:
The sapphire MB only supports 2 slots SO-DIMM DDR3 800/1066 Single Channel modules, will the G-SKILL ram (dual channel) work?
lifeking said:
Yep - it will work.
Hang on a minute, your motherboard uses SO-DIMM DDR3 (laptop size RAM). The G.Skill RAM listed above is desktop sized RAM. You'll need a 2x2GB RAM kit like this:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

or a single 4GB stick like this:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

BTW, I can confirm that Zacate boards use 1333 DDR3 memory just fine at 1333 speed.

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May 24, 2011 2:02:21 PM

rwpritchett said:
Hang on a minute, your motherboard uses SO-DIMM DDR3 (laptop size RAM). The G.Skill RAM listed above is desktop sized RAM. You'll need a 2x2GB RAM kit like this:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

or a single 4GB stick like this:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

BTW, I can confirm that Zacate boards use 1333 DDR3 memory just fine at 1333 speed.


Thanks for noting the diff between the memory types, also I have been drooling/looking at your setup and putting together of it at http://s179.photobucket.com/albums/w319/rwpritchett/HTP.... The link to the memory used by you doesn't seem to go to the right place.


Can you tell me if the TV Tuner http://www.hauppauge.com/site/products/data_hvr1250.htm... will fit and work in the sapphire MB which has the following expansion slots (1 x PCI Express 2.0 x16 slots, 1 x MINI PCI-E x1 slots)
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May 24, 2011 5:50:45 PM

The memory I used is desktop sized RAM, so it won't work for you anyway.

For the TV tuner, the 1250 is an excellent choice and will work just fine in the PCIe-16x slot. The Mini PCIe on your board is for a small WiFi or similar expansion card and will not work with full size PCIe cards.

If your budget allows, it's quite handy to have a dual tuner because they allow you to watch one channel while recording another. There are three popular ones to choose from

  • HDHomerun Dual ($125)
  • Hauppauge HVR-2250 ($110)
  • AVerMedia A188 Duet ($70)

    Note- you never said what country you are in. All of the tuners mentioned so far are good for ATSC and clear-QAM in the US. You may need to look further into you local TV broadcast standards if you are in UK, Australia, or another area.

    If you need any insight to my own Zacate HTPC experiences, feel free to ask.
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    May 25, 2011 12:31:11 PM

    mysignup said:
    Will this memory https://www.superbiiz.com/detail.php?name=D3-13S4GSP&ti... work with my MB which requires O-DIMM DDR3 800/1066 Single Channel modules?

    TIA
    ~mys
    Spec-wise, that memory will work with your motherboard. You may want to check with Sapphire to see if it is on their memory QVL (qualified vendor list). I can't seem to find the QVL on their website.
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    June 1, 2011 10:07:25 PM

    rwpritchett - Good catch on the RAM. Sorry mysignup... Good luck on the build.

    If you can do post the results and how everything works.
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    !