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First HTPC help!

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January 20, 2013 3:32:13 AM

Hey all,

So the plan is to build a htpc which will probably also to be used for light gaming. I don't plan on overclocking. In the long term will probably attach this to an AV receiver. Budget isn't really an issue, but in saying that I don't plan to waste my money.

Antec Fusion
Intel Core i5 3570K LGA1155
ASRock H77M.H77
OCZ Fatalt1ty 550W Modular PSU
Antec TriCool 120mm
Western Digital WD30EFRX RED NAS- 3TB

G Skill 8G(2x4G) DDR3
F3-12800CL9D-8GBRL

or

Corsair 8GB (2x4GB)
MZ8GX3M2A1600C9

Will add a GPU later if I feel the need.

So basically my questions are first of all with the AsRock motherboards, I've read that some people have had ram compatibility issues, so I looked at the AsRock site for their supported memory and well I cant really find much decently priced ram which is on their list (even though it is a long list). If i use either of the ram choices stated above will it work? (sorry if this is a dumb question) If not which ram would you recommend? or which motherboard would you recommend?

2. Is the i5 overkill? would my current needs suffice with an i3?

3. Is using the WD red a suitable HDD? (also ok to install OS on) I do also have an old ssd which I can use purely for the os if necessary

4. If I am connecting this to an AV receiver would I need a sound card?

5. I've heard a lot of good things about Noctua 120mm 1300RPM P-Fan but they are $25 each, would the standard antec tri cool fans suffice?

Any and all advice welcome and greatly appreciated.

Thanks

More about : htpc

January 20, 2013 3:45:59 AM

2. Is the i5 overkill? would my current needs suffice with an i3?
hell yeah i5 is overkill

i3 3225 with HD 4000. you will never need any dedicated gpu, unless you want to suck more electricity without any improvement

3. Is using the WD red a suitable HDD? (also ok to install OS on) I do also have an old ssd which I can use purely for the os if necessary
use that ssd for OS, and any HDD 7200RPM will do, regardless its brand, as long as it is cheap. usually seagate is popular choice

4. If I am connecting this to an AV receiver would I need a sound card?
no, onboard soundcard is more than enough

5. I've heard a lot of good things about Noctua 120mm 1300RPM P-Fan but they are $25 each, would the standard antec tri cool fans suffice?
stock fan from intel will be sufficient :) 

just to make sure you pick micro atx case to keep its size compact and lovable :) 
rosewill line-M is good

or bitfenix desktop case
January 20, 2013 3:47:12 AM

Quote:
If not which ram would you recommend? or which motherboard would you recommend?


This is what I would recommend: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Quote:
2. Is the i5 overkill? would my current needs suffice with an i3?


If you don't plan on overclocking you don't need to purchase the 3570K, this is a good 1/2 way point but it's still an excellent CPU: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Quote:
3. Is using the WD red a suitable HDD? (also ok to install OS on) I do also have an old ssd which I can use purely for the os if necessary


Definitely reuse any parts you can. The WD Red drive should be fine.

Quote:
4. If I am connecting this to an AV receiver would I need a sound card?


Not necessary. I don't use one on mine and I have it connected to an AV receiver. Just get a two prong audio to auxiliary cable at Radio Shack for $5 and you're set.

Quote:
5. I've heard a lot of good things about Noctua 120mm 1300RPM P-Fan but they are $25 each, would the standard antec tri cool fans suffice?


You don't need to splurge on fans until you get your build up and running.

If you want to build an HTPC the initial build is OK except for the power supply. I'd suggest something like this if you don't really have a budget:

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3470 3.2GHz Quad-Core Processor ($149.99 @ Microcenter)
Motherboard: ASRock H77M Micro ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($69.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: Mushkin Blackline 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($35.57 @ NCIX US)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 500GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($59.98 @ Outlet PC)
Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 660 Ti 2GB Video Card ($284.98 @ Newegg)
Case: Fractal Design Node 605 HTPC Case ($134.99 @ NCIX US)
Power Supply: PC Power & Cooling Silencer MK III 500W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V Power Supply ($64.58 @ NCIX US)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($22.98 @ Newegg)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) ($89.98 @ Outlet PC)
Total: $913.04
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-01-20 00:47 EST-0500)
Related resources
January 20, 2013 4:14:19 AM

AMD Radeon said:
2. Is the i5 overkill? would my current needs suffice with an i3?
hell yeah i5 is overkill

i3 3225 with HD 4000. you will never need any dedicated gpu, unless you want to suck more electricity without any improvement


hey thanks for the quick reply. the only reason I was heading toward the i5 was because of light gaming. Nothing really intense, more from a social aspect. e.g. getting a couple of steering wheels and pedals to play need for speed etc.

im assuming that the i3 would handle this easily?

thanks
January 20, 2013 4:16:22 AM

if it is old NFS underground, mostwanted, i believe HD 4000 is capable running those :) 

different story with NFS shift and above LOL
you need real fast dedicated card like gtx 660 and above, afaik nfs favors nvidia card

and still i3 can handle those game with dedicated GPU
January 20, 2013 4:18:53 AM

g-unit1111 said:

CPU: Intel Core i5-3470 3.2GHz Quad-Core Processor ($149.99 @ Microcenter)
Motherboard: ASRock H77M Micro ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($69.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: Mushkin Blackline 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($35.57 @ NCIX US)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 500GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($59.98 @ Outlet PC)
Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 660 Ti 2GB Video Card ($284.98 @ Newegg)
Case: Fractal Design Node 605 HTPC Case ($134.99 @ NCIX US)
Power Supply: PC Power & Cooling Silencer MK III 500W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V Power Supply ($64.58 @ NCIX US)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($22.98 @ Newegg)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) ($89.98 @ Outlet PC)
Total: $913.04
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-01-20 00:47 EST-0500)


Thanks, that's really helpful. I'll look to sub out some of my parts. I will probably stick wit the Antec case - only using it because it was given to me and unless there is a clear advantage not to use it, i might as well :) 

Just out of curiosity is there a particular reason you chose the 500gb blue?

Thanks
January 20, 2013 4:20:52 AM

Thanks AMD Radeon,

Easy saving of $100 there!

With the motherboard, does it make a difference if the selected ram is not on the supported ram list dictated by ASrock? (Didn't even know there was a supported ram list until I started researching the board and found some people were having an issue)
January 20, 2013 4:40:22 AM

^ i have never heard ram has compatibility issue with mobo

afaik, ram can conflict with cpu : intel favors 1,5v ram, and some ram is 1,65v which isnt fully recommended. kingston hyperx is usually 1,65v. corsair, gskill, are usually 1,5v
January 20, 2013 4:48:21 AM

ahh okay awesome, thanks so much
January 20, 2013 5:06:43 AM

omie said:
Thanks, that's really helpful. I'll look to sub out some of my parts. I will probably stick wit the Antec case - only using it because it was given to me and unless there is a clear advantage not to use it, i might as well :) 

Just out of curiosity is there a particular reason you chose the 500gb blue?

Thanks


I personally don't pay tons of money for storage - the 500GB blue drive is cheap and efficient and gets the job done. If you need more - get a good 128GB SSD like a Vertex 4 or Samsung 840.
!