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HTPC - Which e350 based mobo?

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November 15, 2011 2:50:48 PM

Hi,

I am planning to build a htpc that will handle bluray, tv record and playback / media server of recorded shows, hulu, netflix.

Here is my planned setup:

Mobo:
Asus E35M1-IDELUXE
or
E35M1-M PRO

Chasis:
ITX - Antec Mini ITX Case ISK300-65
mATX - SilverStone Aluminum/Steel Micro ATX Media Center/HTPC Case ML03B (Black)

RAM: 8gb
2 Kingston ValueRAM 4GB 1066MHz DDR3 Non-ECC CL7 DIMM Desktop Memory

Main HD:
OCZ Technology 120 GB Agility 3 SSD- 3G SATA 6.0 Gb-s 2.5-Inch Solid State Drive AGT3-25SAT3-120G

Secondary HD:
A green sata drive (not sure yet) - for recorded shows

TV card:
Avertv MTVHDDUWB HD Duet (White Box)
1 if I go with the itx board
2 if i go with the matx board

I want to be able to record multiple tv shows and perhaps watch bluray or netflix at the same time. A possibility is to even record 2 or 3 shows at once (if I went with the multiple cards).

I also want to be as green as possible. The antec case has a 65watt power supply. Would that be enough to power an itx configuration?

If not, I would prob go the mATX way and get a few more pci slots. Although one will have to go the way of a wifi adapter sincei it's not included.

More about : htpc e350 based mobo

a b B Homebuilt system
November 15, 2011 4:48:52 PM

I've got a very similar setup. Check out the build in my sig. I've changed a few things since I wrote up my build:

I now have an AverTV Duet for the tuner
I now have a Crucial M4 64GB SSD for the OS drive.

I can give you up to date power draw too. It's dropped since I did the initial build:
Idle = 36.0W
Blu-Ray (WALL-E) = 46.7W
Sleep = 1.6W
Shutdown = 0.8W
November 15, 2011 5:08:50 PM

What about if you watched bluray while recording a tv show? and perhaps someone wanted to stream a recorded show? Think it would draw more than 65W.

Does getting a 65w power supply over a 300 watt power supply save me anything? or do both supplies use the same amouint of power unless a device needs more?

Which mobo do you have? the matx is nore versatile but the itx probably uses less power.
Related resources
a b B Homebuilt system
November 15, 2011 5:25:33 PM

I've got:

E35M1-I Deluxe
2x2GB DDR3-1333 RAM
Crucial M4 64GB SSD
Hitachi 120GB 5400rpm 2.5" HDD
AverMedia AverTV A188 Duet
Antec ISK-310 w/150W PSU

The 65W picoPSU bundled with the black ISK is much more efficient than the 150W power supply in my case, so power draw will be less than what I've posted. And yes, the system will only draw the power it needs. Also, keep in mind that with that picoPSU, it is limited to 65W because of the external brick. You can actually swap out the external brick for a higher power one if you need it, but with any Zacate or Ion build, 65W is plenty.
November 15, 2011 5:53:07 PM

Hi,

I know this might seem like a stupid question.. but what does external brick mean? and how many watts do you think a tv card would use when recording 2 shows?
November 15, 2011 7:40:06 PM

Ok... That was a dumb question. Googled and got the answer.

But I an wondering... Does your itx mobo have hardware video acceleration? The asus site isn't clear about much. Like it says the matx pro board has all the hd features but not the itx.
a b B Homebuilt system
November 15, 2011 10:43:24 PM

Yeah, the ITX supports video hardware acceleration. If you can be patient, I can run some tests to see what power consumption is when recording.
November 16, 2011 2:59:04 AM

I can be patient. I'm not planning to build anything until after black friday.

What do you think? Should I go the way of the mATX so that I can have extra pci slots? And perhaps room for a 1 5.25", 1 3.5", and 1 2.5". I cant find any itx cases that will allow one of each. plus i'll be able to have dual output which i think could be good.

btw.. do you think i'd be able to browse internet on one monitor while wtaching tv on the other monitor without any trouble?

do you think i need 8gb or is 4 enough?
a b B Homebuilt system
November 21, 2011 11:59:32 AM

OK, I've run some recording tests. For my hardware, there is very little power required to record TV:

Idle: 36.3W
WMC recording 1 TV show: 40.8W
WMC recording 2 TV shows simultaneously: 41.7W

Oh, and 4GB is plenty of RAM for HTPC.
November 24, 2011 4:52:54 PM

Hi,

I read that:

"The obsolete ALC887 audio chipset wouldn't be my choice for a HTPC but this isn't an issue for me because I don't plan to hook up speakers or use it for a HTPC. While lacking the latest and greatest audio it's plenty good enough for MP3 playback or even lossless music formats up to 24bit/96khz. "

Is this a bad choice then for an htpc? And I will onyl be using hdmi and havign a receiver do all the decoding anyway. I am actually considering the mATX board so i can get a few more slots.

And just to be certain, if I have a 380 watt power supply instead of a 65w external, it wont increase my electric bill but because the devices are low power users. is tht right?

My main concern is power consumption. I want to keep my electric bill low.

And I'll just go with 8gb of ram anyway. it's 20 bucks/stick :-)

thanks,
J
a b B Homebuilt system
November 24, 2011 8:04:19 PM

The system will only pull the power it needs, so don't worry about using a 380W PSU.

If you are using HDMI, then you won't be using the realtek ALC887 audio anyway so don't fret about that either.
November 26, 2011 1:31:21 PM

ok..thanks for all these answers.

how do you measure the wattage by the way?

also.. any recommendations for a green 3.5" hd for videos?

thanks again man... you're great

Best solution

a b B Homebuilt system
November 27, 2011 2:42:39 AM
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I use a kill-a-watt meter. You can pick one up at Home Depot.

The best green drives are the Samsung F4 and the WD Green.
December 3, 2011 11:03:20 PM

Best answer selected by kappa10j.
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