New HTPC build Advice

Hey folks. I did a bunch of searching and reading on this forum along with numerous others but my requirements are a bit different than what I've come across though not entirely ... maybe I'm just picky, ha!

I need some advice on a new HTPC build. I'll put notes next to every component with my thoughts. Thanks in advance!

Requirements: Main purpose is for Home Theater 1080P and lossless audio (DD-HD and DTS-HD) via HDMI, converting and encoding of MKV files and rendering home movies, web browsing and other stuff that really doesn't "matter". Fast reboot times - if I experience a problem in the middle of a movie I don't want a lot of down time.

Budget: Prefer to keep it under $1300. I know it can be had for a lot less and that would be great but I set my budget based on my expectations of what I need it to do. I could spend more but I'm also getting a Synology DS1513+ to house my media and other files.

Coolermaster Elite 130 - I've heard that there are some airflow problems but this is one of the best cases to fit on my shelf with the rest of my theater system. I have about 15 inches of depth to work with but the width is where I need to conserve space.

Asus Z87I-Deluxe - Little pricey and I don't really need the built in wireless but I like that it has the Z87 chipset and ability to control the fans so I can set it to whatever is necessary based on what I'm doing i.e. make it quiet during movies.

i7-4771 - This is where is gets to be a bit overkill. This processor certainly is not needed for an HTPC but based on the fact that I'm wanting to do converting, encoding and rendering it may be helpful. Also thinking this may help with boot times. I am not going to be overclocking so I'm hoping to get away with the stock air cooler.

CPU cooler (if stock doesn't work like I need it to)
GeminII M4 - Low profile so it'll fit, ha!

Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3 1600 MHz (PC3 12800) (CML8GX3M2A160​0C9) - As I understand it 8GB will work great but I may have selected memory that is too high in performance for what is necessary and could maybe get something cheaper.

Corsair TX750 - This one I need some serious help with. I want something that will run cool (so efficient), be quiet and allow me to add a graphics card later on if I want to. In the end, I think I can cut corners here and get something cheaper.

Samsung 840EVO 120GB - I chose to go with an SSD for the quick boot times. Other than that no real reason. If I go with the above case I have room for an HDD if I ever want one but considering the Synology I don't think I will.

I need a suggestion on this one. Everything I'm finding with a USB receiver looks "flimsy" or cheap. I use a Harmony One so compatibility is key here.

Windows 8.1 Pro 64bit + WMC
As much as a grit my teeth at Windows 8 I guess I don't have many other options. I'm choosing to go with Pro and WMC as a backup to XBMC. Evidently they are having problems with their HDMI audio and stuttering video with their latest release.

Thoughts? Suggestion? Comments? All very much appreciated! Be honest ... you won't hurt my feelings.
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More about htpc build advice
  1. this is for a home theater, so get a low-profile dedicated gpu, as you will run 1080p hd movies smoother. try a low-profile of the radeon 6670 or 6770, for only $65-$90.
  2. Danbuscus25 said:
    this is for a home theater, so get a low-profile dedicated gpu, as you will run 1080p hd movies smoother. try a low-profile of the radeon 6670 or 6770, for only $65-$90.

    Thought about briefly and its not a bad idea. I might be able to save on the motherboard and get something cheaper if I can find something where I can control the fans and get a GPU. Will the GPU pass through audio?
  3. by pass through audio, what do you mean? and for an htpc, the mobo is not very important as your cpu will never run at full load.
  4. I know that running HDMI through the mobo will pass through both video and audio... but will a dedicated GPU pass through the audio on HDMI or just the video? Also you're right on the fact that the mobo isn't that important for just and HTPC but I'm going to have this thing doing some other stuff on the side like converting, encoding and rendering MKVs and home video which is why I chose the mobo and processor that I did.
  5. that is a good question, and i think that you cant run audio through one of those cards, but i think you can just run a second cable for the audio. idk, i would ask that question on the forums.
  6. Guess I can always get it without the card and if it doesn't work right get the card and then figure it out from there lol
  7. should be ok :D i hear the i7 integrated graphics are pretty good.
  8. What about the rest of the setup? Any input on that other stuff? I know some of it is just not necessary I'm just not sure what else to get... been years since I've build anything.
  9. well, as you stated the cpu is a little overkill, but cuz you will be doing cpu intensive thinga while playing movies, its fine. and also, i would try to cut back a tad on the cpu, mobo, and psu and try to get 16gb of ram.
  10. Ok switched out the PSU for a SeaSonic G Series 550watt and saved about $30. That 16GB of ram if I stick with the same type is about $100 +/- more
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