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Advice required for building my HTPC

Last response: in Systems
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June 7, 2011 5:51:03 AM

I have recently upgraded my system with Intel i3 2.8GHZ cpu, Intel DH55PJ motherboard, Kingston 2G DDR3 1333Mhz RAM running with my old cabinet (Mercury ATX with 400W SMPS). I have planned my upgrade to use my system as HTPC (playing bluray rip movies 1080p/720p and .m2ts files). I am particular that I need to have Dolby True-HD / DTS-HD output from my HTPC, for which I am planning for an ATI HD5670 graphics card. This HTPC will be then connected to my projector (JVC DLA-HD350) for movie viewing and have an AOC 18.5" LED monitor for other normal tasks.

Existing system

Intel i3 2.8Ghz CPU
Intel DH55PJ (microATX) motherboard
Kingston 2GB DDR3 1333Mhz RAM (to upgrade)
Sony DVD Writer (which will be retained for DVD/CD burning and not willing to upgrade for bluray as my movie collections are bluray rips)
Mercury ATX Cabinet with 400W SMPS (to upgrade)
OS Win7 32 Bit (smooth with all visual effects turned on)
Currentlu, using integrated Intel HD graphics and 1080p bluray are very smooth with the current config except for HD audio bitstreaming.

Upgrade list (price in ebay incl. shipping):
Corsair 4GB DDR3 RAM - Rs.2080/-
Sapphire ATI HD5670 1GB GDDR5 graphic card - Rs.5310/-
Corsair CX400 (Rs.2805/-) or FSP Saga II 400W (Rs.2110/-) SMPS in my existing Mercury ATX cabinet.

NB: RAM after upgrade becomes 6GB and planning to install 64bit Win7 OS as I prefer to install Video editing software like Adobe Premiere CS5 etc.

As per Sapphire system requirements, it required 400W SMPS, so kindly advice based on my upgrade plan which SMPS would be better. I have a tight budget and request you members to suggest any other better mix of components for my upgrade within the above budget range (+/- 10%).

Thanks in advance.

Best solution

a b B Homebuilt system
June 7, 2011 10:52:24 AM

Go for the Corsair 4GB set of sticks but only put 4GB in there, you will get better performance with 4GB in dual channel than you will 6GB in single channel.

That GPU is good, but why not go for the 6770. It's newer and more power efficient than the old 5 series.

Go for the Corsair PSU, it will be far better than the other you mentioned.

CS5 won't work well in a unit of this size unless you aren't doing much video editing or whatever. The I3 will just chug.

If you're after a new case, Silverstone do nice ones for HTPC's.
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June 8, 2011 7:18:29 AM

Griffolion said:
Go for the Corsair 4GB set of sticks but only put 4GB in there, you will get better performance with 4GB in dual channel than you will 6GB in single channel.

That GPU is good, but why not go for the 6770. It's newer and more power efficient than the old 5 series.

Go for the Corsair PSU, it will be far better than the other you mentioned.

CS5 won't work well in a unit of this size unless you aren't doing much video editing or whatever. The I3 will just chug.

If you're after a new case, Silverstone do nice ones for HTPC's.


Thank you very much for your inputs....

As you say to choose Corsair 4GB instead of using as Corsair 4GB +Kingston 2GB = 6GB (total). Pls keep in mind that my Intel DH55PJ motherboard has only 2 DIMM slots which can support 8GB total (i.e 4GB x 2). So, say if I buy 4GB now and later 4GB again it still becomes 8GB dual channel in future for more hungry applications to come. What do you say?

Yes, my mind is inclined towards Corsair PSU, maybe even Corsair CX430 if possible. Wwith regard to Video editing I will have to rethink, may be run in Win7 in 32bit and use other alternatives instead Premier. I am not planning any games to use with my HTPC and is purely FullHD movie viewing and I am particular that the graphic card is able to bitstream HD audio (Dolby True-HD/DTS-HD). As for the cabinet, I don't want an HTPC cabinet as I am not particular with the looks. So, my current budget not able to stretch for exclusive cabinet types.
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June 8, 2011 7:26:05 AM

Quote:
yes, only use 4GB of RAM and I'm cool with the 32-bit OS even tho it might be wise to go 64-bit win7.
scrap that HD 5670 and that Corsair 400..
smoother video concerning all your rips would be from nVidia, if wanting to play with Eyefinity then I say yes, to the HD Radeon class.
if the Silverstone HTPC cases are out of your budget, they are expensive.
then look for lesser alternatives.
I have several builds and this is my HTPC:

AMD Athlon™ II X3 440 (3.0GHz) Rana
ASUS M3N78-EM (AM2+) NVIDIA nForce 720a - HDMI mATX (BIOS 0704)
AMD Phenom II X4 955 BE OEM Copper Heatsink/Fan
4GB (2x2GB) Apacer DDR2 800MHz CL5
MSI TwinFrozr 1G OC GeForce GTS 250 1GB 256-bit GDDR3
Seagate 320GB Barracuda SATA 2 HDD
Seagate 80 GB, SATA 2, 8 MB
ASUS DRW-24B1ST DVD-RAM
TP-LINK TL-WN781ND IEEE 802.11b/g/n PCI Express Wireless Adapter
3.5 inch USB 2.0 Internal Card Reader
AverMedia Ultra TV M150-D TV-Tuner
BLACK CHIEFMAX MICRO ATX CUBE HTPC/MEDIA CENTER CASE - (120mm + 80mm fans)
BFG Tech GS-450 450W Dual 12V Rails (chrome)
2 (set) - Dell UltraSharp 1905FP Flat Panel LCD DVI & VGA USB
Windows 7 Ult. x32

please feel free to use as a reference tool.
good luck.

FYI - dual slotted cards run quieter and cooler than single slot cards..


Thank you very much for suggestions....

Due to budget constraint and keeping in mind a decent RAM I thought of choosing Corsair. The brand you have used in your PC is not available in India. So, I need to keep in mind the warranty part of the product and service availability based on my location.

I actually require graphics card to do the HD audio (Dolby-True-HD/DTS-HD) bitstreaming thro' HDMI, which can be connected to my AVR. So, gaming is not my preference and need a card to do the above job. I have not yet searched in nVidia for HD audio bitstreaming thro' HDMI within my price range.

With regard to cabinet, not particular about its appearance and don't want to invest for an exclusive HTPC cabinet.
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June 15, 2011 12:23:55 AM

Best answer selected by eummagic.
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