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HTPC newbie requesting some assistance

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
Looking to turn my current PC build listed in my sig into an HTPC. I don't game as much anymore and barely use my PC due to having a pretty powerful work laptop. I'm trying to only use the components I already have in my current PC.

I'm willing to look at other graphics/video cards since I know the 8800GTX might be overkill for an HTPC and might require too much power and are noisy. Need help with finding a video card that will handle 1080p and has integrated audio via the HDMI cable. Not looking for something crazy. Preferably have it be priced in the range of $150 or how much ever I can sell the 2 8800GTX's for.

I was reading the HTPC beginners guide and decided to answer the following questions to help anyone who is willing to help me.

Video features:
*Playing DVD: Important
*Playing Blu-Ray: Not important
*Playing HD-DVD: Not important
*Playing archived video files at up to 1080p: Important
Audio features:
*High-quality output for external amplifier: Important
*Multi-channel positional output for 5.1/7.1 audio: Important
PVR (Tivo-esque) features: Not important
Storage features:
*Store compressed audio files: Important
*Store uncompressed audio files: Important
*Store compressed video: Important
*Store high-def video: Important
*Read from SD/MMD/Compact Flash etc: Important
"Computing" features:
*Browse web & send/read e-mail: Somewhat important
*Archive CDs/DVDs: Important
*Archive Blu-Ray discs: Not Important
*Archive HD-DVD discs: Not Important
*Burn DVD (+R, -R, DL): Important
Gaming features: Not important
Network features:
*Playing streaming internet video (Hulu, YouTube): Important
*Play streaming internet/local audio (Pandora): Important
*Play streaming local compressed video: Important
*Play streaming local high-def video: Important
*Serve streaming audio: Important
*Serve streaming video: Important
Aesthetic features:
*Small physical footprint: As small as possible for a Full ATX MB
*Attractive/professional appearance: Important
*Outward appearance indistinguishable from home audio/video components: Somewhat Important
*Low noise levels: Important
*Low power consumption: As low as possible for components without having to purchase additional

Summary:

Looking for help and opinions on:
1. Video card that will handle above request, cost friendly, HTPC friendly
2. HTPC case with small physical footprint for Full ATX MB

Important note: Already have 2 - 1TB HDDs so I will be using those for storage versus the 2 - 250GB seagates listed in my sig.

MB is not the same as the one listed in the sig and is an nVidia Chipset only so ATI will not work.


Thanks in advance and please post questions!
Edited by bibek888 - 5/17/11 at 8:09am
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post #2 of 22
It doesn't look like your looking to do any gaming. But I would recommend a AMD/ATI 5450. A perfect option for a HTPC
post #3 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by bibek888 View Post
Need help with finding a video card that will handle 1080p and has integrated audio via the HDMI cable. Not looking for something crazy. Preferably have it be priced in the range of $150 or how much ever I can sell the 2 8800GTX's for.
Radeon HD 5450, HD 6450, GT 430 or GeForce GT 520. The 5450 can often be found for $20 after rebate. These are available in fanless, low-profile configurations which should fit any case, bar those which can't accommodate any expansion card (not really a problem with mATX or ATX cases). These even allow Blu-ray playback and should consume much less power than your 8800 GTX SLI.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bibek888 View Post
Video features:
*Playing DVD: Important very, very easy
*Playing Blu-Ray: Not important easy
*Playing HD-DVD: Not important easy
*Playing archived video files at up to 1080p: Important doable up to 1080p30
Audio features:
*High-quality output for external amplifier: Important can do HD audio bitstreaming or 7.1 LPCM
*Multi-channel positional output for 5.1/7.1 audio: Important
PVR (Tivo-esque) features: Not important can do HD audio bitstreaming or 7.1 LPCM
Storage features:
*Store compressed audio files: Important HDD function
*Store uncompressed audio files: Important HDD function
*Store compressed video: Important HDD function
*Store high-def video: Important HDD function
*Read from SD/MMD/Compact Flash etc: Important USB peripherals function
"Computing" features:
*Browse web & send/read e-mail: Somewhat important very, very easy
*Archive CDs/DVDs: Important HDD function
*Archive Blu-Ray discs: Not Important HDD function
*Archive HD-DVD discs: Not Important HDD function
*Burn DVD (+R, -R, DL): Important optical drive function
Gaming features: Not important
Network features:
*Playing streaming internet video (Hulu, YouTube): Important relatively easy, Netflix performance dictated by CPU
*Play streaming internet/local audio (Pandora): Important easy
*Play streaming local compressed video: Important doable up to 1080p30
*Play streaming local high-def video: Important doable up to 1080p30
*Serve streaming audio: Important software/network function
*Serve streaming video: Important software/network function
Aesthetic features:
*Small physical footprint: As small as possible for a Full ATX MB
*Attractive/professional appearance: Important case function
*Outward appearance indistinguishable from home audio/video components: Somewhat Important case function
*Low noise levels: Important fanless versions of GPU available
*Low power consumption: As low as possible for components without having to purchase additional low-end GPU such as HD 5450 and GT 520 have pretty low power consumption

Summary:

Looking for help and opinions on:
1. Video card that will handle above request, cost friendly, HTPC friendly
2. HTPC case with small physical footprint for Full ATX MB

Important note: Already have 2 - 1TB HDDs so I will be using those for storage versus the 2 - 250GB seagates listed in my sig.


Thanks in advance and please post questions!
  1. HD 5450, HD 6450, GT 430, GT 520
  2. Cooler Master Elite 360 - Not as pretty as some Lian Li and Silverstone cases but not bad for the price.

While the above-mentioned cards will do what you're asking, I do recommend going a bit higher on the video card, e.g. HD 6570 or similar, for better post-processing, etc. Not only that, these should have better video decoding capabilities for more difficult videos such as high bitrate 1080p60 which some modern AVCHD camcorders are using.
Edited by rui-no-onna - 5/17/11 at 8:04am
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post #4 of 22
Thread Starter 
...mistake
Edited by bibek888 - 5/17/11 at 8:20am
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post #5 of 22
& How will ATI not work?
post #6 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mbudden View Post
& How will ATI not work?
The actual MB I have in the PC right now is not the ASUS P5K E...I ended up replacing that one with an eVGA nForce 680i SLI. I'm right to assume that is an nVidia only MB correct?

EDIT: Sorry, I completely forgot that only matters for when you are looking to go SLI.
Edited by bibek888 - 5/17/11 at 8:17am
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post #7 of 22
I 2nd the CM Elite 360. I have my HTPC in one and they will accomodate ATX mobo's. You can also stad it upright, or have it resting horizontally.



Here is a look at the inside:


I would highly recommend one of these cases. I am also running an ATI 5570 GPU, but since you said you need Nvidia, I would go with the GT 520.
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post #8 of 22
I'd use this for a case if I was building an HTPC.

Might be out of your budget though.


http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...m=120724331152 That would be a good fit for your HTPC as well. It's cheap as hell and works fine for everything above.
post #9 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by spacegoast View Post
I 2nd the CM Elite 360. I have my HTPC in one and they will accomodate ATX mobo's. You can also stad it upright, or have it resting horizontally.

I would highly recommend one of these cases. I am also running an ATI 5570 GPU, but since you said you need Nvidia, I would go with the GT 520.
I was hoping for something that looks more like a A/V Receiver I guess...I have a nice Pioneer and kinda wanna keep that sleek look. I was thinking of something along the lines of the nMedia HTPC 6000B unit...Price is important and I wanna stay around $100 or less.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16811204037

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Master Chief View Post
I'd use this for a case if I was building an HTPC.

Might be out of your budget though.
Price is important and I wanna stay around $100 or less, so yea that one is a little out of my range.
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
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Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
2 x Seagate 7200.10 250GB SATA (Raid 0) LiteOn SATA DVD-ROM & LiteON SATA DVD-RW Windows 7 (64bit) 2x Samsung 23" 906B Widescreen 
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CoolMax 700W Antec 182B 
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
E8400 @ 3.7 ASUS P5K-E eVGA 8800GTX SLI 2x2GB Corsair Dominator 1066 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
2 x Seagate 7200.10 250GB SATA (Raid 0) LiteOn SATA DVD-ROM & LiteON SATA DVD-RW Windows 7 (64bit) 2x Samsung 23" 906B Widescreen 
PowerCase
CoolMax 700W Antec 182B 
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post #10 of 22
Personally, I'd get a Silverstone
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16811163174
Something like that.
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