Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question
Solved

My HTPC build... some questions before i buy

Last response: in Systems
Share
August 29, 2011 3:56:13 PM

pentium dual core 3.0GHZ socket775
4GB DDR3 1333 (kingston)
intel 40GB SSD
Asus P5G41T-M/LX 1333 Fsb DDR3 Vga Skt 775
Antec Fusion Remote case
Video card Powercool Go Green
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


- This computer will be used 90% for watching 1080P HD video from XBMC using a very heavy-graphic skin (Aeon)

- The other 10% will be occasional gaming. I plan to be playing ONLY starcraft2. SC2 recommended settings is Geforce 8800 GTX or HD 3870. The video card i will be buying is superior to recommendations but i have read that it is not good for gaming. I want to play Starcraft2 with minor or no lag at LOW GRAPHICS

- How can i be sure that all my pieces will fit in my case (antec fusion remote) ?

- Should I buy a dedicated sound card ? Will it really makes a difference ? I have a $3000 sound system so i would have like to have good audio, but i already have a $700 receiver.... Should i invest in a good sound card or stay with the onboard audio ?
Also, will my onboard sound card be able to output true dolby digital 5.1 and DTS ?

- I'm very concerned about overheating. This computer will stay on 24/7 and run with minimum fans. Do you think it will run at acceptable temperature with a small HTPC case ? I'm planning to use only 1x 120mm fan from the case, in addition to CPU fan and PSU fan

- Could you confirm me that all my pieces will be compatible together, just to be sure ?



I'll be buying it very soon so please reply fast :) 

Best solution

August 29, 2011 4:23:41 PM
Share

Hi there, welcome to the forums.

First things first, you are going with an outdated system. Anything on socket 775 is going to be expensive, run slow, and probably give off a lot of heat.

What I would look at is either the AMD E-350 boards or the new Fusion A6-A8 processors. They run quite cool, and are cheap for what you get.

With that in mind, here's my recommended build:

CPU: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $110

Mobo: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $70

RAM: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $25

SSD: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $85 (better/cheaper than an Intel SSD)
OR
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $115 (for reliability)

Storage drive: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $80 (optional)

Blu ray drive: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $70

So that's the basic assembly. The case is up to you, but make sure to run it by us first.

Now, this system will spank a Core2Duo system anyday. It's cooler/faster/probably cheaper. Note, no graphics card. That's because the GPU is onboard! It's a 6530D, which is WAY better than a 5450, and will run starcraft just fine.

But here's the next part. A sound card.

Since you have a nice system, it's a good idea for sure. How much you want to spend however, is up to you. This seems to be one of the best budget cards out there: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... and it outputs Dolby 5.1 like you asked. Not sure about DTS, I'm not an audiophile xD

So, let me know what you think!
August 29, 2011 4:48:59 PM

Quote:
First things first, you are going with an outdated system. Anything on socket 775 is going to be expensive, run slow, and probably give off a lot of heat.

What I would look at is either the AMD E-350 boards or the new Fusion A6-A8 processors. They run quite cool, and are cheap for what you get.

I already spent a lot of time looking for an E-350 or Intel Atom, it was my first choice because it is low power and fanless, but i came to the conclusion that the GFX incredibly sucks and no matter what i do i will not be able to play Starcraft2. CPU is too low and onboard GFX totally sucks. However, i never really paid attention to A6-A8 CPU since i didnt know it.

I don't really care if my system is outdated as i don't really need a lot of CPU power, but if it produces a lot of heat you are right i should get something else.


Quote:
SSD: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 20-227-725 $85 (better/cheaper than an Intel SSD)
OR
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6820148441 $115 (for reliability)

OCZ is really better than intel ? I have read a LOT of bad feedbacks.... I dont know the other brand tho

Quote:
So that's the basic assembly. The case is up to you, but make sure to run it by us first.

The case will be Antec fusion Remote... Can you confirm me the pieces you posted will fit inside this case?

Quote:
Mobo: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6813157261 $70

Doesnt have integrated Optical audio OUT damn :(  Is it possible to find a board with Optical out and including the same integrated graphics ?

Quote:
Since you have a nice system, it's a good idea for sure. How much you want to spend however, is up to you. This seems to be one of the best budget cards out there: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] xonar%20dx and it outputs Dolby 5.1 like you asked. Not sure about DTS, I'm not an audiophile xD

No optical out :( 

And i have read a lot of bad reviews on ASUS Sound cards... Lots of failtures and bugs... I think i'll stick with creative!! Maybe an X-Fi....
Related resources
August 29, 2011 5:00:07 PM

Yeah I would look at the A6 I suggested, it's going to work well, while not using much power at all.

I recommended the OCZ based on this article right here: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/ssd-solid-state-nan... But you can do whatever. I would take a Crucial M4 over an Intel SSD anyday though, as the M4's are more reliable than Intel SSD's IMO.

Here's the Cheapest A75 board I could find with optical out: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Huh, really? I've heard of failed sound cards from both camps, but I always thought Creative was no longer the way to go.. However, you know better than me on sound cards haha :)  I suppose you could try the onboard, and if it's crummy get a sound card.

Let me know what ya think ;) 
August 29, 2011 5:16:35 PM

This board is expensive but it's very cool... USB3, SATA3, integrated video and audio... And i really like Asus

Do you know if the first board (ASRock A75M-HVS) has audio over hdmi ? I wouldnt need the Optical Out if i can get audio and video through same HDMI cable

Since many years i keep being told that AMD runs hotter than Intel.... Is it still the case with A6-A8 ? If so, maybe i should go with a core i3 or core i5... I found a cheap core i3 for 120$
August 29, 2011 5:26:04 PM

The first board, the ASRock. also has USB3 and Sata3. And, ASRock is actually owned by Asus!

Yes, I believe it does in fact deliver audio over HDMI. However, doesn't that defeat the purpose of having a $3,000 sound system?

Well, here's the deal. While an i3-2100 would no doubt run cooler, it doesn't have the same onboard video power that the A6 has. In fact, the A6 straight up smokes the i3 when it comes to video performance! So basically you'd have to get a discrete video card, which defeats the purpose of getting a CPU with onboard video in the first place!

So an i3-2100+5670 GPU ($200) would be much hotter and noiser/use more power than the A6 ($110), since the A6 has an intergrated GPU about on par with a 5670. IMO, the A6 wins there.
August 29, 2011 6:24:56 PM

Ok, thanks a lot!! After days of search and considering dozens of different things, i think maybe i found the best choice for my needs :) 

Before i buy it, how can i know if everything will fit in the Antec Fusion Remote black case ? With ASUS F1A75-M FM1 board

Thanks a lot
August 29, 2011 6:38:00 PM

Yup! Packing stuff in that tiny case will be a nightmare, but it will all work.

EDIT: Hold it! It appears that you may have to mod the case a little to get the SATA cables to plug into the mobo, since the Asus uses 90 degree ports. Are you comfortable with that?
August 29, 2011 7:14:24 PM

Hmm what do you mean "mod the case" ?? Sounds hard for me... i'd prefer a motherboard that would fit in :(  and i really want the case for the remote
August 29, 2011 7:23:33 PM

Well, here's where I'm getting it from: "MOBO mounting is tight around the edges and does not allow room for any side connections. I'm using an ASUS P8P67-MPro motherboard, which has side mounted SATA connectors. I had to modify the case in order to plug in the SATA connections."

That's from a review on Newegg. The easiest fix would be to select a case with top mounted sata ports.

Also looks like everyone thinks the LCD display is just a piece of trash, idk how that might change your impressions. I personally think the case is well overpriced and that you'd get a better deal by buying a better case and purchasing a separate remote.

If not, here's a mobo that has optical out and top mounted SATA: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

August 29, 2011 7:34:52 PM

I see... i don't know how the modification would be hard to do, impossible to know without buying it

i don't really care about the LCD screen, i was buying it because of the remote... It have a power ON button!! I found only 2 other cases with a remote power on and they were way overpriced...
I really want to be able to power on/off the computer without using sleep mode and you can't do that with USB remotes

i also heard about SIMEREC PCS-1 but it sounds like a lot of trouble to install the IR receiver on the case...
http://www.instructables.com/id/Universal-IR-Remote-Pow...
August 29, 2011 7:40:59 PM

Like I said man, it's all up to you. The Gigabyte mobo I linked is just as good as the Asus.
August 29, 2011 7:58:59 PM

Yeah i think i will go with the gigabyte board

okay last question... i just realized my case comes without power supply so what do you suggest me for a power supply ? Something that runs cool and quiet with as less fan as possible

newegg reviews of Antec Fusion Remote says it "takes ATX PSU" so does that means i can take a PSU i was using for a desktop computer ?

Thanks again
August 29, 2011 8:07:47 PM

Thanks a lot! Gonna order it very soon, probably in a hour or two... still need to think about which SSD i'll take, but i'll keep the rest of the setup you listed
August 29, 2011 8:12:51 PM

If you really are trying to play SC2 on this, we would need to know the resolution you are going to try to play at to give you a good recommendation. Otherwise, the A6 is a great chip for an HTPC with occasional gaming. Without the gaming requirement, or on small enough display / low enough resolution, the E-350 fusion chip would be a better option (lower power, meets requirements, cheaper)
August 29, 2011 8:14:54 PM

As for SSD, go with the best deal you can find. You might want to avoid drives with older generations of the sandforce controller.
August 29, 2011 9:10:44 PM

Quote:
If you really are trying to play SC2 on this, we would need to know the resolution you are going to try to play at to give you a good recommendation. Otherwise, the A6 is a great chip for an HTPC with occasional gaming. Without the gaming requirement, or on small enough display / low enough resolution, the E-350 fusion chip would be a better option (lower power, meets requirements, cheaper)

I plan on playing with lowest graphics and resolution
August 29, 2011 11:28:50 PM

the E-350 may be up to the challenge. http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/amd-e-350-atom-d525... However, I'd still get the A6 if you want to be able to play any other games, as the A6 will probably max SC2, and would probably even run BF3 well on low settings!

It's about a $60 difference, so your call. The A6 is a much more powerful system both in the CPU and GPU, but it's also more expensive. The E-350 is cheap and doesn't use much power, but it's also a rather weak system.
August 30, 2011 4:09:32 AM

yeah ill stay with A6 i think.... ive seen good and bad reviews about E-350's ability to run SC2

trying to get a pricematch at NCIX right now...
August 31, 2011 8:32:56 PM

Since i'm from Canada i have to order on newegg.ca instead of newegg.com
The memory you listed is twice the price on newegg.ca so i'm trying to find an alternative at around $30

Would this memory fit with the gigabyte motherboard?
CORSAIR Vengeance 4GB 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model CMZ4GX3M1A1600C9

It looks like the same thing than the one you suggested, but i can't find this model in my motherboard's supported memory list.... If someone can confirm me it will work with my Gigabyte GA-A75M-UD2H motherboard i'll buy it, i really like the heatsink on it
August 31, 2011 8:45:39 PM

Oh, you are from Canada? My bad, I would have done better!

Well here's the deal. Newegg.ca has exuberant shipping fees for canadians. So much so, that it's not worth going through them. Instead, try and find the parts from these sites:
Directcanada.com
canadacomputers.com
NCIX.ca

NCIX is the best bet, but those other 2 sites sometimes have what NCIX doesn't.
August 31, 2011 8:54:02 PM

Yeah, that's the 3 main websites i usually buy from.... I like NCIX because of the price match

But do you know if this memory would fit with the Gigabyte board i was going to buy?
Corsair Vengeance 4GB 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model CMZ4GX3M1A1600C9
September 2, 2011 2:26:17 AM

Best answer selected by ungovernable.
September 2, 2011 8:40:10 PM

I'm ordering all pieces from DirectCanada but since a couple of days i'm still thinking about the case.... i've narrowed all options to two cases:

http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...
I like this case because of the remote that allows to POWER ON.... Problem is that the case will be stuck in my TV Stand and there wont be a lot of room for the air intake of the two 120mm fan (there will be only 2-3" between the case and the TV Stand). I wonder if my hardware would overheat in those circumstances

Second choice is Lian li:
http://www.directcanada.com/products/?sku=12610AC8684&v...

Cheaper, and Lian Li is high quality.... I like it because it has a lot of room and there's no way my computer can overheat with those big fans.... And air intake wont be blocked by my TV stand since the intake fan are on the front....
Con's are the annoying LED, but i can change the fans. Biggest con is definatly that it doesn't comes with a remote.... And maybe that it's a little too big...


I'd take the Antec if i was sure it wouldn't overheat when gaming, but i'm scared since the two 120mm fans will be almost blocked...

What would you do ?
September 2, 2011 9:10:56 PM

Honestly, I would not be real worried about the CPU overheating. It gives off a fairly low amount of heat, and as long as there aren't a ton of cables in the way you should be fine. A few inches is all a fan needs in my experience.
The Antec Fusion is a bit expensive for my tastes, but still a nice case. If you like it, go for it!

September 2, 2011 10:25:36 PM

Ok, thanks. I'll go with my first choice (Antec fusion remote) and hope that the temperature will stay cool

so here's what i bought



Quote:
From DirectCanada:


Gigabyte A75M-D2H mATX AMD FM1 A75 2PCI-E16 1PCI-E1 1PCI DDR3 HDMI DVI SATA3 USB 3.0 Motherboard

1 Yes $88.49 $88.49

G.SKILL Ripjaws X F3-12800CL9D-4GBXL 4GB 2X2GB DDR3-1600 CL9-9-9-24 Memory

1 Yes $26.18 $26.18

AMD A6-3650 APU W/ AMD Radeon 65XX HD GFX Quad Core Processor Socket FM1 2.6GHZ 4MB 100W Retail Box

1 Yes $112.27 $112.27

Crucial M4 SSD Micron C400 64GB 2.5IN Solid State Disk Flash Drive SATA3 6Gbps

1 Yes $109.69 $109.69

This order will ship via Free Ground Shipping
This order is FULLY insured for the full value

Shipping & Handling

Insurance

Sub Total

GST(5%)

No PST - Outside BC residents

Total


$0.00

$5.05

$341.68

$17.08

$0.00

$358.76



From newegg:

Quote:
Antec Black Aluminum / Steel Fusion Remote Black Micro ATX Media Center / HTPC Case

Subtotal: $148.49
Shipping: $18.59
Handling: $0.00
GST/HST: $8.35
Grand Total: $175.43



Total 535$ for my HTPC.... A bit expensive but i guess it's because of my $175 case.....

Thanks a lot for your time, you helped me a lot, without you i would have probably bought a shitty Dual Core or an Atom :p 
September 3, 2011 3:13:15 AM

Haha, I'd guess it's the SSD and the case, yeah. By the way, are you planning on getting a mechanical hard drive? To store video and such? You'll find a 64GB SSD fills up fast ;) 

No problem! If you have any more questions, be sure to shoot me a PM :) 
September 3, 2011 3:36:43 AM

Well i already have a couple of WD Green 1.5TB & 2TB's laying around so i should be fine for now :) 
The SSD will be used only for OS and installed games... i'll try to keep a lot of empty space, i heard that SSD performances goes down if you use a lot of space

I didn't list a PSU because i'll use an old power supply i already have here.... But i'm considering buying a more silent one soon...
I heard about fanless PSU, is it enough for my computer or will i need something else ?

How many fans on that Antec PSU ?
September 3, 2011 3:42:49 AM

The Antec has a single, large 120MM fan. Big fans cool more but stay quiet.
Not sure about fanless PSU's! Good question.

But if you already have one, no worries it should work fine. What brand is it?
September 3, 2011 3:57:44 AM

it's a cheap "Orion" brand.... i'll buy cooler master or antec eventually... i wonder which one is the most quiet
September 3, 2011 9:08:09 PM

Hmmm i just heard that some power supplys have a fan that is activated only when a lot of heat is produced.... do you know any ?
September 4, 2011 12:46:06 AM

As far as I know, most quality PSU's do that. And honestly, the PSU is not the fan that's gonna be loud. Chances are you will hear the case fans over the PSU fan.= (which are still going to be quite quiet no doubt) So I wouldn't worry!
!