Yet another HTPC build

Hi all,

First of all, I want to thank you guys for making my life a lot easier with all the expert advise in other threads. Kudos for you all.

And now for business:

After several years playing around with streamers, I've decided to build my own HTPC because of these reasons:
1. Not loving my Boxee Box any more
2. Gave Foxtel enough of my hard earned money
3. Always wanted to build a computer from scratch (until now I only took them apart ;) )

So, this is what I expect my HTPC to do:
1. Streaming all types of content (mkv, m2ts, avi, ISO, etc) including Blu Ray rips (all my content is on a NAS)
2. Watch and record free to view TV
3. Download content (via Usenet) - this also means uncompressing downloaded material
4. Serve content to a laptop and to the Boxee Box
5. Be very quiet, look good and have excellent performance
6. Will be on 24x7x365

This is what I don't need my HTPC to do:
1. Games
2. Rip DVD/Blu Rays

All in all, I guess it's a pretty standard list of HTPC requirements.

Here is the list of components that I am thinking of:
1. CPU - Intel i3 3225 (
2. MoBo - Intel BOXDH77EB (
3. Case - Lian Li PC-C37 (
4. PSU - Seasonic S12II 430W (
5. RAM - G. Skill 4GBNQ (
6. HD (for OS) - Samsung SSD 830 64GB (
7. HD (for TV recordings) - WD Caviar Green 2TB (
8. TV Tuner - Hauppauge HVR2200 (
9. Software - W7 + XBMC

- Have I covered all the bases? Do I need to change/add anything to make it work flawlessly?

- I'm a bit worried about the noise factor and would appreciate any comments on this. I'm planning to build this up and then see (hear) if it good enough or if I need to change/add fans, heatsink, CPU cooler.
Any suggestions for for comparable and quieter components would be great.

- I am not that happy with the case, but it is the only slim case that I found that is:
a. Under $300
b. Slim (no more then 10-11cm)
c. At least one expansion
d. Looks good and of good quality
The only other option was the Node 605, but I don't want another receiver like box in the living room (even though it is one of the most beautiful cases out there)
I think I went over all the known brands of cases and probably most of the lesser known, but would be very happy for any suggestion for an alternative case.

Thanks guys any help is greatly appreciated
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  1. I just completed a cheaper build for similar purposes. I went newegg with Celeron G540. Here are the case and MB I used, which should work for core i3:

    Biostar MB:

    Here is another MB possibility for you, also cheaper than the Intel:

    For the case, I went with APEX DM-387, only $50, comes with its own PSU, and I believe it is slim enough for you (about 10cm):

    If you go with your own PSU, something you would need to check to make sure is if it will fit in a slim case. One more reason to consider a case with built in PSU.
  2. Also I should add, regarding the APEXDM-387 case, one slight problem is that there are only two SATA power connectors from the stock PSU. You do not list a DVD drive in your build so this would give you one for each HDD but no extras.

    It does come with I believe two extra molex cables from the PSU. So if you plan to add a DVD drive, you would need one that takes Molex cables or get a Molex-to-SATA adapter.
  3. You could also consider the Silverstone ML03B case. It's inexpensive and half-height.

    Also, I suggest you swap your Intel motherboard for a Gigabyte equivalent. Intel boards are overpriced for what you get, and Gigabyte is my favorite HTPC brand because their boards do not blink the power LED when in S3 standby (very annoying in a home theatre setup).

    Edit- another note to add... you can save a little money by going with the 380W version of the Seasonic PSU. What you've listed will only pull about 150W at full throttle.
  4. Thanks for the replys.

    Yes, it seems that my mobo choice isn't the best one.
    After some comments and a bit of research, I actually think that I'll go with a B75 board, and not H77. Couldn't find any advantages of using H77 for me and the difference between the Intel H77 and the Asrock B75 comes to $40.
    Will also look at GB B75 boards, but from what I see the Astock B75 (ASRock B75 Pro3-M) is highly regarded.

    As for the PSU, I actually looked for the 380 but for some reason here in Australia they are not sold. The lowest S12 is 430W.

    Aristotelian, thanks for the case suggestion, but I don't think APEX is the one for me.
    Also, this is the one component that I am happy to pay more for then less. I think in these things you get what you pay for especially around build quality.
  5. An 80 PLUS Gold PSU would keep the power consumption ever so slightly lower while also keeping the heat/noise down. The Seasonic G Series is usually pretty reasonably priced.

    The Silverstone LC-19 is nice and comes with a 120W fanless PSU. That should cope with your build fine, the i3 is only 55W and you have a green HDD and SSD etc.
  6. OK, so I've decided to change a couple of things:
    Mobo: I think B75 is enough for me, so opted for a cheaper ASRock -
    ASRock B75 Pro3-M (

    SSD: Can't find anyone that has the Samsung 830 64GB in stock, so decided to go with an Intel 330 120GB

    PSU: Still staying with the Seasonic 430W as I can't find an alternative in Australia (no 380 here, of any relevant brand)

    HDD: Heard some negative comments on the WD Greens, so am thinking of the Seagate 2TB. However, I'm a bit worried that it'll be noisier then the Green.
  7. jmsellars1 said:

    The Silverstone LC-19 is nice and comes with a 120W fanless PSU. That should cope with your build fine, the i3 is only 55W and you have a green HDD and SSD etc.

    The LC-19 looks nice, but has only a single HDD slot and I need two (I guess I can just sticky tape the SSD somewhere, but I think I prefer to put it in a drive slot).
  8. Seagate are pretty well known for quieter drives, doesn't guarantee you will get a quieter one though as even two drives of the same model can vary in noise. Since you're using the drive for pure storage though, I would probably get a low RPM drive. A 2.5'' drive would be good as well. You're going to notice low noise a lot more than the time it takes to access mass data I suspect.
  9. I've decided to dump the mATX build and go with a mini ITX.

    I'm thinking if this setup:
    TV Tuner: Hauppauge HVR2200 (
    Case: Antek 310-150 (
    HD: WD Blue 2.5" 1TB WD10JPVT (
    SSD: Intel 330 120GB (
    CPU: Intel I3 3225 (
    MoBO: ASRock B75M-ITX (
    RAM: Crosair XMS3 2x2GB (

    Hopefully it'll be quiet enough, but if not I can change the stock fan and switch the stock PSU to a PicoPSU. I'm sure that these two changes will quiet down the build to acceptable levels.

    Would love to hear any comments you more experienced guys/gals have as I have no experience with this kind of build (even just a "+1/-1" would be helpful).

    Cheers and merry xmas
  10. Looks good, should be relatively quiet as well. If not you could always get a pico PSU and a quiet CPU cooler like the Scythe Kozuti or something like you said.
  11. I just had an idea actually, dunno if you've already bought it but the A10-5700 should give better all around performance for the same price as the i3. The i3 should stay slightly cooler though.
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