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HTPC build recommendations forum

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July 28, 2011 3:58:23 PM

Hi:
I am looking to embark on an HTPC build and wanted some advice.
I have built home PC systems before, but haven't done so for some time.
My HTPC needs are fairly basic - very quiet, no gaming, mainly watching movies, videos (minor editing) , internet browsing, accessing music, photos, etc
Over time I want the system to be able to handle a TV Tuner - probably the Ceton and eventually do away with my Cable DVR. Maybe a stand-alone video card . For now the on-board GPU should do it (I'm hoping).

Here is what I've come up with so far, after browsing Tom's as well as other forums and doing some research of my own.

I would love to hear some feedback/advice.

Thanks

lasurrie

Case: Silverstone Grandia GD05 orGD06
PSU: AntecEarthWatts500W
MB: Asus P7 H55 Intel H55 LGA 1156 MicroATX (D-MPro or DM-EVO)
CPU: Intel Core i3-550 Clarkdale 3.2GHz
RAM - G.SKILL Ripjaws 4GB DDR3 PC3 12800
SSD (OS) - Crucial M4 64GB
HDD (STORAGE) - WD Caviar Green 2TB (X3)
CD/DVD: SAMSUNG SH-B123L SATA Blu-ray
OS (dual-boot) - Win7 Home Prem 64b Edition
Keyboard??



I think I would also need a CPU fan/cooler. Any recommendations?

Thanks in advance
July 28, 2011 4:12:01 PM

That machine would handle those requirements pretty easily. It is debatable that it would be overkill... For an Intel HTPC the i3-2100 and LGA 1155 platform would be better than the LGA 1156. How do you feel about AMD processors? An AM3+ HTPC would be cheaper than the Intel build. Both will fit your needs...

HD - Samsung F4 2TB is a better choice than the WD Green.
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July 29, 2011 5:51:10 AM

sadams04 said:
That machine would handle those requirements pretty easily. It is debatable that it would be overkill... For an Intel HTPC the i3-2100 and LGA 1155 platform would be better than the LGA 1156. How do you feel about AMD processors? An AM3+ HTPC would be cheaper than the Intel build. Both will fit your needs...

HD - Samsung F4 2TB is a better choice than the WD Green.



Thanks for the feedback. To be honest I've not really looked at the AMD processors. Old ex-Intel bias I guess. But I will do so.

What do you see as the plus in the Samsung? Is it the drive noise?
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July 29, 2011 1:04:16 PM

Samsung is highly recommended for their speed and reliability. For an AMD build you would be looking at something similar to the build below.


Processor: AMD Athlon II X3 445 Rana 3.1GHz 95W Triple-Core - $75

Motherboard: GIGABYTE GA-880GMA-USB3 AM3+ HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 mATX - $105

Graphics Card: Onboard HD 4250

RAM: G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR3-1600 1.5v CL9 - $37

OS / Boot Hard Drive: SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 1TB - $60

Storage Hard Drive: 3 x SAMSUNG Spinpoint F4 2TB - $80 / $240

Case: nMEDIAPC Black Aluminum HTPC 5000B - $70

Power Supply: Antec VP-450 450W - $41

Optical: LG Black 12X Blu-Ray Burner - $75
-Sale ends on 07/31


-6TB of storage
-OnBoard HD 4250 GPU will do 1080 resolution, Blu-Ray playback, and bitstream audio (HDMI audio and video)
-AM3+ motherboard for a future CPU upgrade
-Two open memory slots
-Plenty of room and power to upgrade

$703

A Welcome Addition: XFX HD 6670 - $74 after MIR
-The HD 6670 will give a somewhat better image, but the big upgrade here is the bitstreaming of HD audio formats.
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July 29, 2011 3:58:29 PM

Here's my build, probably spent a little more the normal user but for one wanted a full aluminum case with plenty of air flow and quiet running and wanted to feel comfortable with leaving it running for long periods. Mostly use mine for internet, email, movies and also ripping blu-rays, so wanted enough processing power than when I was either ripping a blu-ray or unraring a large file that I would still be able to use the pc.

Thanks

CPU - Intel Core i5-2500K $219.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Mobo - Asus P8P67-M(Rev 3.0) LGA1155 $129.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

HDD - WesternDigital Cavair Black 2TB 7200RPM $149.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Blu-Ray - Asus 12X BD-ROM $68.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

RAM - Kingston HyperX 12GB(3x4GB) DDR3 1600 $129.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Video - XFX HD-5770 1GB GDDR5 $124.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

PSU - Silverston Strider ST50F-P 500W ATX $79.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Case - LianLi PC-C33B ATX $169.99 (worth every penny)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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July 29, 2011 4:06:00 PM

rustolemite said:

RAM - Kingston HyperX 12GB(3x4GB) DDR3 1600 $129.99


Not meaning to hijack this thread, but LGA 1155 are all dual channel memory controllers. 3x4GB will have you running in single channel mode. You may want to change that to 2x4GB or 4x4GB (installed in pairs) for a more ideal setup.
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July 29, 2011 4:12:18 PM

Thanks for that I didn't even think about when I was putting the system together, just went with Asus approved MEM list for that mobo. Will have to see what I can do about that.
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July 31, 2011 5:32:39 AM

sadams04 said:
Samsung is highly recommended for their speed and reliability. For an AMD build you would be looking at something similar to the build below.


Processor: AMD Athlon II X3 445 Rana 3.1GHz 95W Triple-Core - $75

Motherboard: GIGABYTE GA-880GMA-USB3 AM3+ HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 mATX - $105

Graphics Card: Onboard HD 4250

RAM: G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR3-1600 1.5v CL9 - $37

OS / Boot Hard Drive: SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 1TB - $60

Storage Hard Drive: 3 x SAMSUNG Spinpoint F4 2TB - $80 / $240

Case: nMEDIAPC Black Aluminum HTPC 5000B - $70

Power Supply: Antec VP-450 450W - $41

Optical: LG Black 12X Blu-Ray Burner - $75
-Sale ends on 07/31


-6TB of storage
-OnBoard HD 4250 GPU will do 1080 resolution, Blu-Ray playback, and bitstream audio (HDMI audio and video)
-AM3+ motherboard for a future CPU upgrade
-Two open memory slots
-Plenty of room and power to upgrade

$703

A Welcome Addition: XFX HD 6670 - $74 after MIR
-The HD 6670 will give a somewhat better image, but the big upgrade here is the bitstreaming of HD audio formats.




Thanks for the detailed breakdown. I have a couple of other questions.

What are your thoughts on getting a CPU cooler? Do I need one? If so, what should I be getting?

Also any reasons why I maybe better off with an external blu-ray drive?
Clearly it would be costlier.

Any suggestions on a wireless keyboard and mouse?
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August 1, 2011 1:43:49 PM

lasurrie said:
What are your thoughts on getting a CPU cooler? Do I need one? If so, what should I be getting?

Also any reasons why I maybe better off with an external blu-ray drive?
Clearly it would be costlier.

Any suggestions on a wireless keyboard and mouse?



The stock CPU cooler is typically fine as you are not overclocking. The only other reason for going with an aftermarket cooler is for case clearance. In your situation you may need a low profile CPU cooler to fit in the HTPC case, however I would tell you to check the clearance of the stock one first. If you need a low profile cooler... => http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

No way are you better off with an external Blu-Ray drive. You would need eSATA speeds in order to play HD movies without playback issues. USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 just aren't fast enough. If we were talking about DVD playback that is a different issue... Having an eSATA Blu-Ray drive would limit its portability due to eSATA not being standard on all machines you may want to use the external drive on. Plus you have the hassle of providing external power. Go with an internal drive...

For keyboard and mouse I went with a Dell bluetooth keyboard and mouse combo. The keyboard has media controls and it works just fine. Would recommend going to the store and putting your hands on a combo and making sure it is something you like. Bluetooth or standard wireless doesn't matter much... This choice is all personal preference.
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August 1, 2011 3:26:14 PM

Thanks much!
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!