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HTPC advice

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August 9, 2012 6:56:54 AM

hi everyone, first time poster. figured i'd ask for some advice here. i'm going to be building an htpc in the next couple months but i had a couple questions. first off, i have an asus gtx 460 directcu top gfx card that i can use in the build since i'm upgrading my gaming rig to a geforce 660 ti, but one question is if this card is overkill in this type of system. here are the parts i was looking at buying:

cpu: i3 2120 3.3GHz
mobo: Gigabyte GA-B75M-D3V
ram: G.Skill value series ddr3-1333 (2x4GB)
drive: lite-on ihes112-04 blu ray reader
case: cooler master elite 341
psu: antec

i also already have an intel x25 120gb ssd as an OS drive and a samsung spinpoint f4 2tb for media. did i make any crucial mistakes in putting together this list? i know a lot of people are recommending the amd llano cpu but since i have a discreet gpu, i didn't need the onboard graphics.

lastly, anyone have good recommendations on a possible replacement blu-ray drive? the lite-on i chose has great reviews but it's oem with no software. no sense getting a blu-ray drive that can't play blu-rays. :na: 

thanks for the help in advance.

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a b B Homebuilt system
August 9, 2012 1:24:43 PM

Yes, the GTX460 is serious overkill for an HTPC (media only) system. That doesn't mean you cannot use it. If it's within budget, I'd probably recommend keeping the GTX460 as a spare for your gaming system, should the unthinkable happen, and adding in a low-end graphics card (like the HD6450 or GT620/GT630).

Your system build looks fine except you'll never need more than 4GB of RAM. As far as a retail Blu-Ray drive, I found this Samsung Blu-Ray Drive at Amazon, but you might want to look to see if there are any sales going for blu-ray software. Sometimes you can find it for as much as 50% off. If there are any sales, just get the OEM from Newegg.

-Wolf sends
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a b B Homebuilt system
August 9, 2012 3:56:11 PM

Personally, I'd just pony up and buy the BD playback software separate and get the cheapest OEM drive. When they bundle the software, it can be a crapshoot for what you actually get.

Typically, the software is one or more versions behind the latest/greatest or they gimp some of the playback features like HD audio passthrough, 3D playback, or something else.

My 2ยข.
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August 9, 2012 7:23:29 PM

which software would you recommend? most of the major ones (nero, powerdvd, windvd, etc.) have pretty bad reviews.

the mobo i chose only has 2 ram slots, is 4gb really okay since i can't add sticks and would have to just replace them if i needed more memory?

and thanks for the responses, guys. this is only my second computer build and my first htpc so it's reassuring to have your input.
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a b B Homebuilt system
August 9, 2012 7:35:52 PM

My HTPC (see the specs in my signature) has been running with only 4GB of RAM since I built it several years ago. It's never been an issue.

I've been running PowerDVD 9 for my Blu-Ray playback. Aside from a few required upgrades, it hasn't given me any problems (other than it does not run natively in Windows 7 Media Center).

Note: That is merely a statement of fact and not a recommendation.

-Wolf sends
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August 9, 2012 7:58:47 PM

thanks for that. another question: is there a good budget case that may or may be better/smaller than the CM elite 341 but still be able to fit a discreet gpu? since it is an htpc, i guess size does matter at least a little bit. i was originally looking at the thermaltake vf6000bws but it's a little out of my price range and i wasn't sure if it could fit the geforce gtx 460.
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a b B Homebuilt system
August 9, 2012 10:23:18 PM

I don't think you're going to find a much smaller case that case still accept a full sized graphics card. The Thermaltake VF6000BWS would accept the full sized card, but I'm not a fan of the power supply being installed directly above the motherboard/CPU.

-Wolf sends
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August 9, 2012 10:45:43 PM

i guess heat would be more of an issue with that tight setup. thanks again. i really appreciate the help.
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August 9, 2012 10:46:26 PM

Best answer selected by geoffropuff.
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