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HTPC Tender #1

post #1 of 4
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I'll be looking at a HTPC Overhaul in the near future possibly during either Q3/Q4 or earlier. I've put together this preliminary HTPC Tender #1 and I am wondering if there are any suggestions/comments.

Note the absence of Speakers. I have not yet confirmed or finished the speaker selection and would be willing to appreciate comments/selection on 2.1 Speakers.

post #2 of 4
you dont want to spec anything until llano comes out (june?)
And why get a 6 core? your not gaming with a 6450, dual core has more than enough power.
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post #3 of 4
Heya,

Based on what you're saying you're using it for, you have way more hardware in that machine than is needed for HTPC work. An x6 processor is certainly not needed for playback. A humble dualcore will do it. You won't notice a difference between the two for playback. Now, if you're looking to encode things, you will appreciate having an x6 CPU on there (such as ripping things, encoding to different formats, etc). So if you plan on also encoding/ripping lots of content often, then keep the x6, if not, get a dualcore instead for $60.

Don't even buy a discrete GPU. That onboard HD42xx will decode bluray just fine. It will handle everything just fine. Save that money. It will enhance nothing here.

Do you want small form factor? You have selected a large case. You could get a smaller setup for a mATX setup to reduce foot print and not have a bulky computer case that is obvious sticking out for a HTPC. Lots of options here for mATX cases that are very sleek looking and smaller. Check out the ones that look more like non-computers. Example: HTPC Case.

Here's a suggestion (based on you being in CA):

GIGABYTE GA-880GM-USB3 $95
Ripjaws 4GB $50
nMEDIAPC HTPC case - $100ish
Dualcore Regor 3ghz CPU - $60

$300ish shipped in Canada. Will playback 1080p, bluray, etc no problems. Has optical output and HDMI of course.

If encoding a lot, again, the x6 is fine to go to if you're doing that. If not, stick to a dualcore for HTPC, it won't do anything more with a better CPU except use more wattage.

-- Now, you mentioned audio. How awesome do you want your audio to get? You can get some computer speakers or some powered book shelves. Or you can move up to a receiver and some loud speakers. Personally, after having great audio, you never want low end audio again. I would get a receiver and some nice bookshelves. Or at the very least, get some good powered bookshelves such as the M-Audio AV 40's. Do not buy some computer-intended-speakers if you can help it. But again, I highly recommend a basic receiver with optical in. Attach speakers as you can buy more and more and more.

If you can get a receiver, get two of these, they're on sale right now (and are fantastic for this cost): Polk Monitor 50's $110 each, get two. And later, add monitor 40's for surrounds, a C2 for center and pick up a nice 12" sub if you need even more base--I will say though, the 50's and 40's here will output so much bass that unless you're a bass-head, you'll shake walls already as it is.

Very best,
Edited by MalVeauX - 5/14/11 at 12:50pm
post #4 of 4
I wont recomend monitor 50's unless you are on a tight budget. I have 3 of them, all in the front and wish I would have went with 60's at minimum and you DO need a sub. The 40's are nice for surrounds though.
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Western Digital Blue 500gb none Windows 7 x64 46" lcd 
KeyboardPowerCaseAudio
RII Antec EarthWatts EA-380 Norco 420 Polk Audio Monitor50 x5 
AudioAudioOther
Polk Audio Monitor 30 x2 Bic F12 sub Acoustic Research ARRX18G 
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Server
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Phenom II 965 Asrock 870 Extreme3 Sapphire 6850 sniper 2x4gb DDR3 1600 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
WD blue 500gb cheap dvd-rw 7 x64 21" LG 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
KA-558 Antec TP-750 NZXT Gamma MX518 
Mouse Pad
Xtrac Ripper 
CPUMotherboardRAMHard Drive
Athlon II x2 240 Biostar A870u3 2x2gb gb ddr1066 Samsung h154ui 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveHard Drive
Samsung 204ui Western Digital WD10 EADS Western Digital WD20 EARS Western digital WD2500 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
Western Digital Blue 500gb dvd burner Windows 7 x64 Remote Desktop 
PowerCaseOther
Antec EA500-d Norco 470 Flexraid 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Athlon II x4 620 ASUS M3A78-EM 5450 G.Skil 2x2gb DDR3 1600 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
Western Digital Blue 500gb none Windows 7 x64 46" lcd 
KeyboardPowerCaseAudio
RII Antec EarthWatts EA-380 Norco 420 Polk Audio Monitor50 x5 
AudioAudioOther
Polk Audio Monitor 30 x2 Bic F12 sub Acoustic Research ARRX18G 
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