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Need advise on a future HTPC build

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Last response: in Systems
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June 1, 2011 9:11:29 AM

Hi everyone,

I need a lot of help and advise. I recently bought a house and would like to build a HTPC. The main reason for building a HTPC is energy efficiency. I already have a high end system that runs anything I throw at it, but it uses way to much power to be left on all day. I would really like a system that is:
- Very quite
- Can stay on all day with costing me a fortune (Downloading mostly, so a very low idle power usage would be great)
- Looks stylish
- Won't cost thousands to build
- Will last for a few years (I don't want to have to upgrade expensive parts like a CPU every year)

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Approximate Purchase Date: I'll be moving in 4 months, so I should have time to wait for deals, but I don't mind having everything ready today.


Budget Range: 600 to 1000 dollars. I live in The Netherlands and prices are a lot higher here. We also don't have rebate's.


System Usage from Most to Least Important: Downloading, Movies, Music, Streaming media, Internet browsing, photos, and so on. I won't be streaming data from my main PC.


Parts Not Required: Speakers, HDTV, maybe a 1 TB HDD from my main system, but 7.200 rpm might be too loud. XBOX controller. I have a decent sound card in my current PC which I might use. OS



Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Newegg (I know, Holland doesn't have newegg but I like the user reviews and information on newegg)


Country of Origin: The Netherlands


Parts Preferences: None in this case. I only require power efficient, low noise parts.


Overclocking: Maybe. I can overclock but due to power efficiency I probably won't, who know I might even underclock the system.


SLI or Crossfire: Maybe. As I said; this isn't a gaming system, but I've heard that AMD Llano parts will allow hybrid crossfire with 66xx cards, so I might do this for some casual lazy couch gaming.


Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080


Additional Comments: I don't mind waiting for a few month to get the right deals. I would like a HTPC that is very quite, very power efficient and that will power a HD system for a few years without major upgrades. I really need a lot of advise as I'm finding it really difficult to make up my mind. The system will be connected to 50/50mbit fiber broadband connection.

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POSSIBLE parts:

CPU:

AMD E-350 (Probably too slow?); AMD A-series Llano quad-core with 400 stream processors (for causal gaming with hybride CF and these seem to be very power efficient staying between 65W and 90W TDP) or Intel i5 2100 3.1 Ghz SB 65W (Seems a little power hungry when compared to AMD's APU line up, especially as it's only a dual core)

Heatsink:

Something quite.

RAM:

4 GB (2 x 2) 1333 or 1600 memory. This isn't that important.

Case:

I'm currently looking at the Zalman HD503, but it's so hard do find any decent review of HTPC cases. If anyone knows a decent site please let me know.
(http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...)

PSU:

Be Quite 430W or something similar. Anything quite and efficient will do. Preferably a 80+ bronze and above.

Motherboard:

AMD E series: ASUS E35M1-I Deluxe (Fanless)

AMD A series Llano: Nobody really knows

Intel: Haven't got a single clue. Preferably something with a decent sound output over Optical out.

HDD:

1 x SSD for the OS and programs. Probably a 60 to 80 GB SSD on SATA 3
Vertex 3?

1 x 2 TB 5.400 rpm. I'm happy with my current Seagates, but I'd have to read a few reviews on current drives. Any advise?

GPU:

If I go along the AMD APU route, I'll probably add a AMD 66xx series card for hybrid crossfire. These cards can be powered down when not in use, right?
In all other cases the onboard GPU will most likely suffice, right?

I hope I'm not missing anything and I really hope you guys can help me out. Should I wait for AMD as I still have a bit of time, or do you reckon Intel in the way to go. I won't be doing any thing intensive on the system so speed isn't a must.

Please help me and if anyone knows a decent site or reviewer for HTPC's please let me know.

Thanks for reading this and I hope to hear from you soon.

Greets,

Dylan

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June 1, 2011 3:26:41 PM

My last HTPC build used the ASUS E35M1-I Deluxe mother board you are considering. If you want any insights about how it handles media, just let me know. If you want build details, check out the link in my sig.
June 3, 2011 7:44:39 AM

rwpritchett said:
My last HTPC build used the ASUS E35M1-I Deluxe mother board you are considering. If you want any insights about how it handles media, just let me know. If you want build details, check out the link in my sig.


I would love to know how it handles media. Any detail would be great. I've read your photo guide and it's great! Thanks for the info.
!