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New HTPC Build. Critique my build, first time building.

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June 25, 2011 4:44:27 AM

Hi everyone,
I am building a HTPC and I am new to building a computer but I have come up with the following build. I plan to be able to game, watch/record videos, store pics,docs,files, and act as a server with my new HTPC.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


The total price right now is $1000 but I also plan on adding a tv-tuner and a IR receiver with remote, so it might go up a little.

I really need the input as this is my first time building.

a c 136 B Homebuilt system
June 25, 2011 5:34:54 AM

I usually avoid threads like this where people want me to click 107 links so I can see what they bought , but today I made the mistake of clicking on your links

A 2500k is an awesome processor . Completely out of place in any computer thats not used for gaming or encoding and overclocking, but still awesome . Unlikely that you need this much horse power

The graphics card you have selected will play solitaire very well . Probably will run minesweeper at the same time . Dont expect actual gaming performance .. and that makes the cpu massive overkill

A green hard drive is a good idea . If I was using a machine as a file server I'd probably want 2 hard drives for redundancy

Mostly an SSD is not going to help much except at boot time , and you will probably not reboot all that often . You can probably live a long and happy life without one

A bluray burner is a great idea if you plan to burn bluray disks , so if you dont plan to do that get a bluray player that can burn dvd's and save the cash

The RAM is Ok but you dont need DDR 1866 . You actually dont need 8 gig either so 2 x2 gig of 1600MHz RAM with cl7 or 8 timings is probably a smarter buy

I haven't used a fanless power supply , and Im very wary about the big holes in the casing that will let heat in to the computer case . Seasonic are a good brand though . Its also very expensive . Id want to use one of their psu's with a fan . Ive had one of those on a bench plugged it in , and couldnt tell it was running it was so quiet . I'd probably get one of these
SeaSonic M12II 520 Bronze 520W ATX12V
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

The case must be pretty big for an HTPC case but with only one 120 mm fan and 2 x80 mm fans the cooling is not going to be as awesome as their adverting suggests


At some stage you should probably get a motherboard too


June 25, 2011 2:41:01 PM

Outlander_04 said:
I usually avoid threads like this where people want me to click 107 links so I can see what they bought , but today I made the mistake of clicking on your links

A 2500k is an awesome processor . Completely out of place in any computer thats not used for gaming or encoding and overclocking, but still awesome . Unlikely that you need this much horse power

The graphics card you have selected will play solitaire very well . Probably will run minesweeper at the same time . Dont expect actual gaming performance .. and that makes the cpu massive overkill

A green hard drive is a good idea . If I was using a machine as a file server I'd probably want 2 hard drives for redundancy

Mostly an SSD is not going to help much except at boot time , and you will probably not reboot all that often . You can probably live a long and happy life without one

A bluray burner is a great idea if you plan to burn bluray disks , so if you dont plan to do that get a bluray player that can burn dvd's and save the cash

The RAM is Ok but you dont need DDR 1866 . You actually dont need 8 gig either so 2 x2 gig of 1600MHz RAM with cl7 or 8 timings is probably a smarter buy

I haven't used a fanless power supply , and Im very wary about the big holes in the casing that will let heat in to the computer case . Seasonic are a good brand though . Its also very expensive . Id want to use one of their psu's with a fan . Ive had one of those on a bench plugged it in , and couldnt tell it was running it was so quiet . I'd probably get one of these
SeaSonic M12II 520 Bronze 520W ATX12V
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

The case must be pretty big for an HTPC case but with only one 120 mm fan and 2 x80 mm fans the cooling is not going to be as awesome as their adverting suggests


At some stage you should probably get a motherboard too


Thanks for the input it really helps. I forgot to add my motherboard at the time but here it is.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I think I will be able to save more money due to your input, I really appreciate it.
Related resources
a b B Homebuilt system
June 25, 2011 2:50:26 PM

What you have now is a very odd system. It can't really do gaming as the GT520 needs another 30 added to it (at least), while the 2500K (like previously stated) is too much for a generic HTPC.

If you want a quad, the 2400S is only 65W, $200 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Though I think even a 2100T should do the job fine, $135: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

The fanless 400W is good though, and with the 2100T you should be able to do completely fanless system. In that case, a passive 6850 can be dropped in for a slightly toasty yet manageable fanless gaming setup.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
June 25, 2011 3:08:41 PM

You want a HTPC right? What your building is a gimped gaming rig. If you want a HTPC that can play games your much better off buying an 1155 Core i3. For graphics I would recommend something equivelent to the 6670. It runs console ports very well, takes no additional power connections, and remains very cool.

Not sure why you would need an SSD for a HTPC either. Also your HDD isn't 7200rpm. Better off getting one since its faster. Samsung makes a 2TB 7200rpm HDD and is nicely priced

Do you really need a GOLD badge PSU? The price hardly justifies itself.
June 25, 2011 3:28:52 PM

I think you should make your mind up about whether you want this to do gaming. Here are a couple of samples:

Gaming HTPC:
CPU: i3 2100T or i5 2500S, don't bother with OC on an HTPC, you want as little wattage as possible. 35W TDP would be excellent. Also get a cooler aimed at silence.
RAM: 4GB, 8GB is overkill for this purpose
HDD: 1-2TB green SATA, unless you plan on keeping files on a server, in which case get maybe 250GB, any will do.
SSD: the one you mentioned; this is very optional. Games and media don't really need an SSD, just make sure you get a decent hard drive if you choose not to bother with this.
GPU: AMD HD6850 (power efficient or so I've heard)
PSU: Seasonic/Corsair are good IMO, but there are plenty of decent brands. 450W would be fine. I'm using a Corsair VX450W, which you wouldn't know by listening, has a fan.
Motherboard: any (preferably micro ATX) Z68 mobo from say Asus, Gigabyte, MSI, Asrock, etc.

Media HTPC:
CPU: i3 2100T is /absolutely/ fine.
RAM: 4GB is /absolutely/ fine.
HDD: Same as before.
Don't bother with an SSD.
GPU: use the integrated graphics.
PSU: same as before although even less power is required, which is a good thing :) 
Motherboard: same as before, make sure it's also Z68 and has graphics outputs such as HDMI.

You should /definitely/ get Z68 as opposed to the older P67/H67 as it both supports the onboard graphics (discrete graphics is no point really in a non-gaming HTPC), as well as Quick Sync. Unless you use a high performance server with a high bandwidth connection to do your transcoding, quick sync would be great for an HTPC. Although, high performance servers in the attic connected by GbE to a low performance HTPC is also an excellent setup (far more flexible as there aren't any noise constraints for example, and you can have a huge array of hard drives for redundancy and speed).
June 25, 2011 4:07:13 PM

shrikitiki2011 said:
Any recommended choices for cases ?

I do plan on gaming with my new PC when built.

If I was to stick with the 2500K and added the EVGA GeForce GTX 550 Ti
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

would that be better off for gaming.

If I went with the MSI Z68MA motherboard:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
is this better.

And CPU coolers any recommended choices.


As I said, don't bother with the 2500K. It would be redundant - for starters, the 'K' bit means that it's an overclocking chip. You can forget overclocking with an HTPC.

Also, if this is for gaming, that CPU is just a waste of money as the only graphics cards that will start to use the performance of the 2500 are top end, space heaters such as the HD5870, GTX 480 etc.

For gaming, get a dual core hyperthreading chip, ie. an i3. You'll want low power, so the i3 2100T would be good (low TDP, good performance).

The graphics card needs to be something mid range, as the higher end ones output waaay too much heat and use loads of power. If you want AMD get the 6850; if you want Nvidia I'd go with whatever is the best 500 series card that has a maximum of one PCI express power connector - don't know which but that's easy to find out.

I can't see anything wrong with that motherboard, and MSI is one of the well known brands, so I guess you should be fine with that.

For coolers, well it depends on the case. Also, you might be fine with the stock intel cooler especially if it's a low power chip. I'd say pretty much any tower cooler would be overkill in this case. A quick google search yields the Scythe Shuriken low profile cooler, as well as the Scythe Kozuti. You can read a review of that here: http://www.silentpcreview.com/article1209-page6.html

About the case, well just get one that has good reviews I guess. I'm not one to recommend cases as I wouldn't care if my HTPC was housed in a beige box :sol: .
June 25, 2011 8:44:05 PM

shrikitiki2011 said:
I have selected this case:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

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

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

The previous one doesn't support 2 way SLI or DDR3 1866

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

Is this more suited for gaming and HTPC needs ?


You're not even building a HTPC anymore. You've gone gaming rig. No HTPC has GTX460's in SLI. That's just crazy. You will be talking major heat issues.
June 26, 2011 4:19:54 AM

Yeah I don't plan on doing SLI in my HTPC. Thanks for the input.
June 26, 2011 4:18:21 PM

shrikitiki2011 said:
Yeah I don't plan on doing SLI in my HTPC. Thanks for the input.


Even if you are not going to SLI, you still shouldn't get a GTX460 or any card of that nature. The GTX400 series are toasters with a GPU inside. Also any other card in that performance range is going to be pretty warm in a HTPC case. I have a HTPC myself so I would know.

If I were you I would grab one of the following cards: 5670, 6670, GTS450
I own the 5670 for my HTPC and it maxes out BC2 without AA or AF on with smooth frames.

Also Silverstone makes excellent HTPC cases. I have the following case and strongly recommend it.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
!