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Help - Low Budget HTPC Build Suggestions - Page 4

post #31 of 47
I know I'm late to the party, but just a clarification on the ATI HD4xxx vs. HD6xxx.

If you want Blu-Ray playback, then you want Dolby TrueHD or DTS-HD sound stream

The HD4000 series will not do DTS HD or TrueHD pass through, unless you are using a sound card that is capable of that. Nearly all on board sound cards will not do DTS-HD or Dolby TrueHD, so you have to rely on the ATI HD Audio to do this. Problem is ATI never got the rights to do this on the HD4000 series.

So while the marketing of the HD4000 says it can do it, it can only pass through HD Audio if you have a sound card that is capable of HD sound.

The HD5xxx and HD6xxx will not have this problem. The HD Audio on the GPU will be able to process HD sound and pass it through to HDMI.
post #32 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by mathelm View Post

I think you guys are way over building for a HTPC. I just built one last month around a AMD Athlon II X2 260 Regor 3.2GHz($64.99) on a ASUS M4A88T-M LE HDMI Micro ATX Motherboard($84.99) with 4gigs of ram($24.99). Win 7 ($79.95). Referb Seagate Barracuda 750GB 7200 RPM boot drive(pre-flood)($34.99). PS Cool Master 500w ($50). Used Ceton Infinity 4 Ebay ($180) Case Craigalist ($20). W/ two 2TB drives from old build. The cpu could stand to be a tick faster, maybe an X3. It has no problem running all 4 tuners and a couple 360 extenders, but it takes it 20 to 40 seconds to catch up when media center is first started after a reboot. After that, no issues what so ever, and very quiet thanks to a 65watt cpu.
Considering it replaced a Vista system with a Intel E6700 on a Asus P5B Deluxe and Ati X1950 pro running 8 tuners with only 2gigs ram available thanks to the 2 hauppauge SD tuner cards. With 2 HDhomeruns. It also had no problems except the time it took to display the recorded programs (700 to 1000 of them), 20 seconds (new system is instant with 1400 plus). I was getting around to building the new htpc above when the MB died on me.
I can't yet speak to blu-ray playback but have a couple on the way. I don't expect any issues though, plus my plan is to rip them onto an HD with DVD Fab....
Hope this helps...thumb.gif
337

We are over building you say but any of the Llano based builds listed here costs at least $200 buck less than yours, and it uses all brand new parts, not refurbs and craigslist discarded parts!
Quote:
AMD Athlon II X2 260 Regor 3.2GHz($64.99) on a ASUS M4A88T-M LE HDMI Micro ATX Motherboard($84.99) with 4gigs of ram($24.99). Win 7 ($79.95). Referb Seagate Barracuda 750GB 7200 RPM boot drive(pre-flood)($34.99). PS Cool Master 500w ($50). Used Ceton Infinity 4 Ebay ($180) Case Craigalist ($20).

Your build costed a total of $540 from the prices you listed here and half of those pieces are refurbs and junk which someone else threw out, I would say you overpaid for yours!

No disrespect intended, your build might work for your needs and from looking at what you spend on, your highest costing part is the Ceton, but the OP hasn't mentioned any needs of recording TV or using the HTPC as a DVR box, he just wants to play blu-ray and stream and use it for P2P sharing and downloading, so if you are suggesting the OP build his rig the way you did yours he would be spending way over his budget and ending up with a system that is not worth the money.

So don't know what your intention of sharing your build here was, if it was showcasing, well there are other threads just for that within OC, but if it was to try and help the OP, you would want to read his stated needs for this build an fine tune your suggestion.

@OP - mathelm's build is not what you would want to build for your needs!
Quote:
The HD Audio on the GPU will be able to process HD sound and pass it through to HDMI.
- that is true, and let me state this again, you don't need a video card if you are going with the Llano build! Did you finalize your parts yet?

All the best again!
 
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post #33 of 47
Friend of mine went through quite a few issues getting BLU-ray playback from a PC. The issues were mainly software and involved the sound quality he wanted. At the end of the day (where he finally got what he wanted) he said it would have been a lot easier buying a dedicated BLU-ray player and not try and go BLU-ray through the PC. He did say it was a great learning experience.
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post #34 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cabur View Post

Great, thank you. I have an older HDD that I will probably use for the time being just to get my system going. I had seen someone recommend this build on another site:
Case: APEX DM-3-A HTPC Computer Case Details
Motherboard: ASRock H61M-GE LGA 1155 Intel H61 HDMI Micro ATX Intel Motherboard Details
CPU: Pentium G620 Details
RAM: G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) Details
BR-ROM Drive: SAMSUNG Black 12X BD-ROM Details
What are your thoughts on this build? Do you think it will be able to handle what I will be using it for?

i like that build..however..the graphics is somewhat lacking..a dedicated graphics card would be needed

i.e you would need to add these..

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817153023

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814150564

which adds $170 to the cost..you could skimp a bit more on the mobo..biostar one is $50

however..this is a great performer for minimum cost scenario..only other option is the llano build
Edited by Schmuckley - 12/8/11 at 7:48am
 
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post #35 of 47
Thread Starter 
These are the parts I ended up buying:

APU: AMD A4-3300 Llano
MoBo: ECS A75F-M2
RAM: CORSAIR 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR3 SDRAM 1333
PSU: COOLER MASTER Elite Power RS-400-PSAR-J3 400W
BR-ROM: LG Black 12X BD-ROM

Thank you all so much for your help.


@PCCstudent - I don't own any BLU-rays, I mostly download BR. I really just needed a computer that could handle playing downloaded BR because my old computer kept skipping when trying to play BR downloads. I just wanted the BR drive so that I could play BR whenever I rented one and I figured it was worth the extra $30 for the occasional rent instead of buying a dedicated player for $100-$200. Thank you for the info though.

@flyin15sec & Dad2David - Again, I'm a little confused. Will my current setup be able to play good surround sound or will I need to get a separate sound card? As long as it works and sounds fine, I will probably just use the integrated sound and then buy a better sound card later if I need to.
post #36 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by PCCstudent View Post

Friend of mine went through quite a few issues getting BLU-ray playback from a PC. The issues were mainly software and involved the sound quality he wanted. At the end of the day (where he finally got what he wanted) he said it would have been a lot easier buying a dedicated BLU-ray player and not try and go BLU-ray through the PC. He did say it was a great learning experience.

Not true at all, I have built 3-4 HTPC's for myself or others within the past 2 years and all them played Blu-ray, and played it really well, equal quality compared to a Blu-ray player or my PS3, with 5.1 surround when equipped! The only issue with playback is that Win Media Player, WMC or most of the other free media players like VLC does not support the blu-ray format yet, why they don't include that is beyond me, hopefully Win 8 will change that! So you need to either buy or download a free blu-ray player. That is probably what your friend had a problem with "getting BLU-ray playback from a PC" as you said!

FREE Blu-ray playing software is not easy to find, but if you are buying a retail (NOT OEM) blu-ray drive for your HTPC that should come bundled with some good retail software which are full versions and won't expire - like Cyberlink Power DVD 9 or 10 (you'll never get the latest version free in a bundle but you don't need it for playback), Corel WinDVD Pro etc! These get integrated to WMC once you install them, so if you have set your HTPC to boot into WMC as I have then you need not go wnyhere else to play bluray's, just pop the disc in or load the iso image file (using a virtual drive) and you are good to go!

If you are looking for a free player then, things become a little more complicated for playing it, no problems with quality here either, I emphasize the free players also have full 1080p quality and with 5.1 surround sound if you have the speakers to support it (you can't get surround sound with a 2.0 speaker setup)! But the only one I came across is called DA Player, which as far as I know does not have a way to integrate this with WMC or XBMC, which means that if this is your default player it will load outside of WMC when you pop a blu-ray disc, but that is a minor issue, you can just watch you movie and exit the application to comeback to WMC. Of course someone might have found a way to integrate this into WMC already that I'm not aware of because I don't use this player anymore at all, since I got the other 2 mentioned above!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Schmuckley View Post

i like that build..however..the graphics is somewhat lacking..a dedicated graphics card would be needed
i.e you would need to add these..
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817153023
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814150564
which adds $170 to the cost..you could skimp a bit more on the mobo..biostar one is $50
however..this is a great performer for minimum cost scenario..only other option is the llano build

The only reason why the Llano would be better is because of better graphics at the same price and you don't need a discrete graphics card even if you are going with the G620, Intel HD 2000 (IGP) is more than capable of doing what the OP wants his HTPC to do! Don't know why thought it was necessary to get a $130 GPU for an HTPC with no gaming, even if it was the Intel build!
 
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post #37 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cabur View Post

These are the parts I ended up buying:
APU: AMD A4-3300 Llano
MoBo: ECS A75F-M2
RAM: CORSAIR 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR3 SDRAM 1333
PSU: COOLER MASTER Elite Power RS-400-PSAR-J3 400W
BR-ROM: LG Black 12X BD-ROM
Thank you all so much for your help.
@PCCstudent - I don't own any BLU-rays, I mostly download BR. I really just needed a computer that could handle playing downloaded BR because my old computer kept skipping when trying to play BR downloads. I just wanted the BR drive so that I could play BR whenever I rented one and I figured it was worth the extra $30 for the occasional rent instead of buying a dedicated player for $100-$200. Thank you for the info though.
@flyin15sec & Dad2David - Again, I'm a little confused. Will my current setup be able to play good surround sound or will I need to get a separate sound card? As long as it works and sounds fine, I will probably just use the integrated sound and then buy a better sound card later if I need to.

Yes your Llano will play the HD surround sound well with the on-board sound card, I have mine connected to my Yamaha receiver using HDMI and it plays surround sound whenever the movie is recorded in 5.1 (not all movies are), and I have 7.1 speaker setup, hope you do have the surround sound already setup with speakers and a receiver, don't you?
 
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post #38 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dad2David View Post

We are over building you say but any of the Llano based builds listed here costs at least $200 buck less than yours, and it uses all brand new parts, not refurbs and craigslist discarded parts!
Quote:
AMD Athlon II X2 260 Regor 3.2GHz($64.99) on a ASUS M4A88T-M LE HDMI Micro ATX Motherboard($84.99) with 4gigs of ram($24.99). Win 7 ($79.95). Referb Seagate Barracuda 750GB 7200 RPM boot drive(pre-flood)($34.99). PS Cool Master 500w ($50). Used Ceton Infinity 4 Ebay ($180) Case Craigalist ($20).
Your build costed a total of $540 from the prices you listed here and half of those pieces are refurbs and junk which someone else threw out, I would say you overpaid for yours!
No disrespect intended, your build might work for your needs and from looking at what you spend on, your highest costing part is the Ceton, but the OP hasn't mentioned any needs of recording TV or using the HTPC as a DVR box, he just wants to play blu-ray and stream and use it for P2P sharing and downloading, so if you are suggesting the OP build his rig the way you did yours he would be spending way over his budget and ending up with a system that is not worth the money.
So don't know what your intention of sharing your build here was, if it was showcasing, well there are other threads just for that within OC, but if it was to try and help the OP, you would want to read his stated needs for this build an fine tune your suggestion.
@OP - mathelm's build is not what you would want to build for your needs!
Quote:
The HD Audio on the GPU will be able to process HD sound and pass it through to HDMI.
- that is true, and let me state this again, you don't need a video card if you are going with the Llano build! Did you finalize your parts yet?
All the best again!

My point wasn't so much directed at the OP, (although he could take from it the CPU, MB and Mem = $175, plus he could go way cheaper on the MB) it was more to the systems I saw listed here as "HTPC". Connecting your pc to your TV doesn't make it a Home Theater PC. It turns your TV into a monitor. A HTPC has one purpose, theater entertainment. Be it blu-ray, streaming or DVR, it is all things having to do with video playback (hence the "Theater" part of the tittle). Mine is purposed built for one thing, Home Theater. It is not a gaming rig or even a word processor. It doesn't even have a keyboard or mouse attached to it. It is for Home Theater. You're right in saying that you don't need a tuner to make it an HTPC, but all content inputs are a plus. Right? Personally I don't have time to watch 80% of what mine records, but when I do have the time to sit down, there's always something on. My real point with the ceton was to show that the little AMD cpu could quietly handle 4 tuners (it will actually do 8+ w/ the hdhomeruns) plus a couple extenders.

What are you ragin' on my case for? It's presentable (plus an HTPC case doesn't really need to be seen, I mean if you're watchin' the case and not the screen, I think you may need that tuner card after all), it works, it was $20 bucks. What's not to luv about that? Plus it added greatly to my case fan collection.thumb.gif

If you could though, please lay out in detail how you can build a quality Llano system for $340. We'll skip the OS and blu-ray drive (as I did above) and go ahead and drop the HD (what with prices spiking n all) and make that an even $300. Keeping in mind that my MB and CPU together cost only $150 (yes free shipping and no tax) and does have ati HD 4850 grahics w/HDMI,DVI and VGA outputs (which I am using) built into the board.


Reason for edit
: I need to change the "HERE" above to mean in the HTPC forum. While researching OCing my A6-3650, I end up reading way too many threads. So Dad2David was right that the "overbuild" part did not really apply to this thread. Brain fart...redface.gif
Edited by mathelm - 12/8/11 at 12:49pm
post #39 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cabur View Post

These are the parts I ended up buying:
APU: AMD A4-3300 Llano
MoBo: ECS A75F-M2
RAM: CORSAIR 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR3 SDRAM 1333
PSU: COOLER MASTER Elite Power RS-400-PSAR-J3 400W
BR-ROM: LG Black 12X BD-ROM
Thank you all so much for your help.
@PCCstudent - I don't own any BLU-rays, I mostly download BR. I really just needed a computer that could handle playing downloaded BR because my old computer kept skipping when trying to play BR downloads. I just wanted the BR drive so that I could play BR whenever I rented one and I figured it was worth the extra $30 for the occasional rent instead of buying a dedicated player for $100-$200. Thank you for the info though.
@flyin15sec & Dad2David - Again, I'm a little confused. Will my current setup be able to play good surround sound or will I need to get a separate sound card? As long as it works and sounds fine, I will probably just use the integrated sound and then buy a better sound card later if I need to.

I take it all back, except for the definition of HTPC part. If I had waited a few more months (till now), Thats about the rout I would take also. No case listed, but I come up with $257 on that setup. Good job. thumb.gif I think the Liano will give you much more room than I have to handle bigger loads in the future. I have a A6-3650 in my main rig here and luv it. Although the onboard graphics in a 2 monitor setup are pretty crappy on the 2nd vga monitor.

FYI, if you're gonna rent BD's, you should check out DVDfab. It can rip them onto you HD (I've only ever used it for dvd's so investigate that first) and even reduce their size/quality by whatever ratio you specify and/or convert them to different formats if needed.
post #40 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by mathelm View Post

My point wasn't so much directed at the OP, (although he could take from it the CPU, MB and Mem = $175, plus he could go way cheaper on the MB) it was more to the systems I saw listed here as "HTPC". Connecting your pc to your TV doesn't make it a Home Theater PC. It turns your TV into a monitor. A HTPC has one purpose, theater entertainment. Be it blu-ray, streaming or DVR, it is all things having to do with video playback (hence the "Theater" part of the tittle). Mine is purposed built for one thing, Home Theater. It is not a gaming rig or even a word processor. It doesn't even have a keyboard or mouse attached to it. It is for Home Theater. You're right in saying that you don't need a tuner to make it an HTPC, but all content inputs are a plus. Right? Personally I don't have time to watch 80% of what mine records, but when I do have the time to sit down, there's always something on. My real point with the ceton was to show that the little AMD cpu could quietly handle 4 tuners (it will actually do 8+ w/ the hdhomeruns) plus a couple extenders.
What are you ragin' on my case for? It's presentable (plus an HTPC case doesn't really need to be seen, I mean if you're watchin' the case and not the screen, I think you may need that tuner card after all), it works, it was $20 bucks. What's not to luv about that? Plus it added greatly to my case fan collection.thumb.gif
If you could though, please lay out in detail how you can build a quality Llano system for $340. We'll skip the OS and blu-ray drive (as I did above) and go ahead and drop the HD (what with prices spiking n all) and make that an even $300. Keeping in mind that my MB and CPU together cost only $150 (yes free shipping and no tax) and does have ati HD 4850 grahics w/HDMI,DVI and VGA outputs (which I am using) built into the board.

I take it that you haven't read this thread at all, and not even what the thread starter had posted in Post #1, then you wouldn't have posted your build here! As I said for showcasing your builds there are numerous threads within OC, and there is nothing bad about being proud of your concoction!
Quote:
If you could though, please lay out in detail how you can build a quality Llano system for $340. We'll skip the OS and blu-ray drive (as I did above) and go ahead and drop the HD (what with prices spiking n all) and make that an even $300. Keeping in mind that my MB and CPU together cost only $150 (yes free shipping and no tax) and does have ati HD 4850 grahics w/HDMI,DVI and VGA outputs (which I am using) built into the board.
The answer to this is in post #6, those were pre black friday prices, but it includes the stuff you wanted to remove (O/S, DVD drive etc are included in there), remove that and even at current prices you should get very close to the $300 ballpark number! Or check post #35 - what the OP has finally chosen, would also be within his budget! Do the math!
Quote:
It's presentable (plus an HTPC case doesn't really need to be seen, I mean if you're watchin' the case and not the screen, I think you may need that tuner card after all), it works, it was $20 bucks. What's not to luv about that? Plus it added greatly to my case fan collection.thumb.gif

- to that I say, to each his own! if you are happy with it then that is all that matters!

But please don't tout that as the most cost effective way to build an HTPC, because it isn't, there are much better options with much newer and better parts, which would last longer and perform better and come with warranties!
Quote:
Originally Posted by mathelm View Post

I think you guys are way over building for a HTPC.
- my response was to this statement of yours, and the alternative build you posted. While yours might have worked for you, it definitely was not a cost effective way to go about doing it, that was actually way over priced a build ($540)! In fact if you would have posted here on OC or on any other forum asking for a critique or suggestions about that build either me or someone here would have told you that! But too late for that now!

Again not meaning to tell you what to do with your money, that's your choice, but just providing an honest feedback hoping it might help you or someone else who would be reading this thread! If there is a better option available then why would you waste money buying & building something like that, I wouldn't! That is why 2thAche asked you whether you posted from another era or somewhere back in time!

Anyways OP finished his build - so we are all done here!
Edited by Dad2David - 12/8/11 at 9:30pm
 
HTPC 2011
(14 items)
 
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
AMD A6 - 3650 APU ECS A75F-A FM1 AMD A75 AMD Radeon 6530 HD Graphics - Integrated with t... Kingston HyperX 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRA... 
Hard DriveHard DriveOptical DriveCooling
HITACHI Deskstar 3TB 7200 RPM SATA 6.0Gb/s x 1 Patriot Memory PYRO 60 GB Solid State Drive Samsung 12x BD-ROM/16x DVD Writer Drive APU Stock Cooler 
OSMonitorPowerCase
Windows 7 Home Premium - 64 Bit Samsung 67-Inch 1080p LED Powered DLP HDTV CORSAIR Builder Series CX430 V2 430W ATX12V v2.... Antec Fusion Remote Black Micro ATX Media Cente... 
AudioOther
YAMAHA RX-V671 7.1-Channel Network AV Receiver Logitech Harmony One Remote 
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Reply
 
HTPC 2011
(14 items)
 
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
AMD A6 - 3650 APU ECS A75F-A FM1 AMD A75 AMD Radeon 6530 HD Graphics - Integrated with t... Kingston HyperX 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRA... 
Hard DriveHard DriveOptical DriveCooling
HITACHI Deskstar 3TB 7200 RPM SATA 6.0Gb/s x 1 Patriot Memory PYRO 60 GB Solid State Drive Samsung 12x BD-ROM/16x DVD Writer Drive APU Stock Cooler 
OSMonitorPowerCase
Windows 7 Home Premium - 64 Bit Samsung 67-Inch 1080p LED Powered DLP HDTV CORSAIR Builder Series CX430 V2 430W ATX12V v2.... Antec Fusion Remote Black Micro ATX Media Cente... 
AudioOther
YAMAHA RX-V671 7.1-Channel Network AV Receiver Logitech Harmony One Remote 
  hide details  
Reply
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