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New Build; Suggestions/Ideas Welcome

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 
I've been really considering an HTPC build lately. I have been reading threads in this section over the last few weeks and its really making me consider pulling the trigger. I have some ideas on what I want as far as function goes but need some suggestions and reviews on some things.

It's going to be budget oriented, want to keep it around $400 (of course less is better but at the same time this budget might go up as well.) I want it for mostly playing hd content (blu-rays to mkv's,) streaming media from netflix and other pc's in the house, music (have a nice flac collection/higher res vinyl rips and live music ect..) and then I want it to replace my lousy DVR (must be able to record at least two HD streams.)

I'm in no rush to build this so I will be piecing things together and want to look out for good deals and pieces.

1. Case suggestions; what works well for you, looks nice and will fit well sitting next to a receiver? I've seen several with a PSU's included/built in. Are these decent/quality psu's? Or should I avoid these and find a dedicated psu (suggestions?)

2. Processor/Mobo: I'm thinking AMD with integrated graphics, only needed for HD video; I dont see me playing anything other than basic games/emulators. Must have HDMI out for the tv.

3. Tuner: what works well and gets solid reviews? I've checked with local cable companies and they do have cable cards, so that shouldnt be an issue. I want to be able to watch/record HD stations on the tv.

4. RAM, I'm sure 4gigs is plenty for this setup. Which ram is the best value and fit for a HTPC build?



I'm going to keep an eye out for a 64gb ssd drive for the boot drive (Windows7 64 bit on and to keep software and the like on.) Then I will get a 1-2TB hdd for media and dvr storage. I already have a X-Fi Titanium I will use for the sound card. Then for the optical drive, I will pick up a blu-ray drive (maybe burner depending on price)

What can you suggest, what should i be on the look out for and do you need to know anything else? Also, I have a microcenter local to me and am a fan of the usual online stores as well.
Edited by Rambleon84 - 2/29/12 at 9:10am
My System
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HTPC
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
PHENOM II X4 965 ASUS M4A89GTD PRO/USB3 AM3 ATX 5850 G.Skill Ripjaws 1600 [2 x 4gig] 
Hard DriveOSPowerCase
Barracuda [1TB] 7200 Windows 7 [64 bit] Antec Truepower 650W HEC Blitz 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
A6-3500 Llano 2.1GHz Tri-Core ASUS F1A75-M PRO Radeon HD 6530D Team Xtreem Dark Series 
Hard DriveHard DriveOSPower
Barracuda 7200RPM SATA3 64MB OCZ Agility 4 128 Windows 7 CORSAIR Builder Series CX430 V2 
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My System
(13 items)
 
HTPC
(10 items)
 
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
PHENOM II X4 965 ASUS M4A89GTD PRO/USB3 AM3 ATX 5850 G.Skill Ripjaws 1600 [2 x 4gig] 
Hard DriveOSPowerCase
Barracuda [1TB] 7200 Windows 7 [64 bit] Antec Truepower 650W HEC Blitz 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
A6-3500 Llano 2.1GHz Tri-Core ASUS F1A75-M PRO Radeon HD 6530D Team Xtreem Dark Series 
Hard DriveHard DriveOSPower
Barracuda 7200RPM SATA3 64MB OCZ Agility 4 128 Windows 7 CORSAIR Builder Series CX430 V2 
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SilverStone Milo ML03B Realtek ALC892 
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post #2 of 27
I'm also looking at HTPC building, here's my $.02

1. I've read bad and good things about those added PSUs. Newegg has a Corsair CX430 pretty cheap right now..so that might be a way to go.

2. I'm on board with you, no need for a lot of power, i'm considering....
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131716
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819116409

3. I've only heard good things about Ceton Infinitv 4. I'm looking at the PCI-E x1 version, which is $200
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16815706001

4. Ram is so cheap. The difference for cheapo gskill ddr3 4 and 8 gig was like $5, so personally, i was going to just give it 2x4GB sticks
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231424

As for an SSD, that's your choice. I don't think I'll be restarting much, and Windows Media Center will probably be a startup program for me to work with the TV card and distribute the extender over the internet. So I'm looking to use a 80 GB sata drive I have at home.
post #3 of 27
Thread Starter 
Yeah, I'm going to keep an eye on the ssd's. If I can get one cheap enough (seems like several have been dropping in price lately) I will but its a want not so much as a need. You are right about the ram, if its not much of a price difference, it wont hurt to have extra.

I have heard good things about that card as well, just not sure if its overkill or I would appreciate having the capabilities to record four shows at once. Still need to research those more and see what else would be good at a lower point of if thats the way I want to go.

How would that Intel chipset compare to something like amd's llano?
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103955
Anyone have any llano mobo suggestions?
My System
(13 items)
 
HTPC
(10 items)
 
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
PHENOM II X4 965 ASUS M4A89GTD PRO/USB3 AM3 ATX 5850 G.Skill Ripjaws 1600 [2 x 4gig] 
Hard DriveOSPowerCase
Barracuda [1TB] 7200 Windows 7 [64 bit] Antec Truepower 650W HEC Blitz 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
A6-3500 Llano 2.1GHz Tri-Core ASUS F1A75-M PRO Radeon HD 6530D Team Xtreem Dark Series 
Hard DriveHard DriveOSPower
Barracuda 7200RPM SATA3 64MB OCZ Agility 4 128 Windows 7 CORSAIR Builder Series CX430 V2 
CaseAudio
SilverStone Milo ML03B Realtek ALC892 
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My System
(13 items)
 
HTPC
(10 items)
 
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
PHENOM II X4 965 ASUS M4A89GTD PRO/USB3 AM3 ATX 5850 G.Skill Ripjaws 1600 [2 x 4gig] 
Hard DriveOSPowerCase
Barracuda [1TB] 7200 Windows 7 [64 bit] Antec Truepower 650W HEC Blitz 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
A6-3500 Llano 2.1GHz Tri-Core ASUS F1A75-M PRO Radeon HD 6530D Team Xtreem Dark Series 
Hard DriveHard DriveOSPower
Barracuda 7200RPM SATA3 64MB OCZ Agility 4 128 Windows 7 CORSAIR Builder Series CX430 V2 
CaseAudio
SilverStone Milo ML03B Realtek ALC892 
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post #4 of 27
I use a Silverstone GD05 for my main HTPC and then I'm changing my other HTPC from an Antec ISK-310 to a Wesena ITX, costs a little more but I think they look great. Included PSUs really depend on which manufacturer you purchase, some good, some bad.

For the CableCard tuner, you basically have two choices, the Ceton or HD Homerunner Prime. I recommend the Ceton if you have internal space for it. There isn't anything better than those two if you want to record cable channels. Ceton just dropped it to $200 from $300/350 so it's a good buy at the moment. Though it's probably out of your $400 budget once you consider how much the 1-2TB HDD is going to cost right now.

For SSD, the Crucial M4 64GB has been hitting $80-90 recently so if you can get it, I'd go for it. Booting up faster is always nice, you won't really be utilizing it for anything else since it's a HTPC.

And here's the basics for Intel sandy bridge vs AMD APUs
  • Intel - Better overall CPU
  • AMD - Better Integrated GPU
so if you are thinking of getting a dedicated GPU for running games on the HTPC, go intel. If not, the APU is pretty good but I would probably go for a higher model than the 3400.
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post #5 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonowxeno View Post

I use a Silverstone GD05 for my main HTPC and then I'm changing my other HTPC from an Antec ISK-310 to a Wesena ITX, costs a little more but I think they look great. Included PSUs really depend on which manufacturer you purchase, some good, some bad.
For the CableCard tuner, you basically have two choices, the Ceton or HD Homerunner Prime. I recommend the Ceton if you have internal space for it. There isn't anything better than those two if you want to record cable channels. Ceton just dropped it to $200 from $300/350 so it's a good buy at the moment. Though it's probably out of your $400 budget once you consider how much the 1-2TB HDD is going to cost right now.
For SSD, the Crucial M4 64GB has been hitting $80-90 recently so if you can get it, I'd go for it. Booting up faster is always nice, you won't really be utilizing it for anything else since it's a HTPC.
And here's the basics for Intel sandy bridge vs AMD APUs
  • Intel - Better overall CPU
  • AMD - Better Integrated GPU
so if you are thinking of getting a dedicated GPU for running games on the HTPC, go intel. If not, the APU is pretty good but I would probably go for a higher model than the 3400.
So i will really have to look at the PSU reviews when buying a case, to see if getting one with vs without is a better idea. Id need about what, 350watts?

So if going llano (i dont foresee me needing a dedicated video card) something higher like a tri- or quad core A6 would be best. Yeah, I saw the 64gig Crucial M4s sold out yesterday from new egg for about $65, so i will have to keep a look out for some deals. I may just skip the ssd for the time, i'll have to think about it.

I'll check out the cable cards and cases too. decisions.... redface.gif
Edited by Rambleon84 - 2/29/12 at 12:30pm
My System
(13 items)
 
HTPC
(10 items)
 
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
PHENOM II X4 965 ASUS M4A89GTD PRO/USB3 AM3 ATX 5850 G.Skill Ripjaws 1600 [2 x 4gig] 
Hard DriveOSPowerCase
Barracuda [1TB] 7200 Windows 7 [64 bit] Antec Truepower 650W HEC Blitz 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
A6-3500 Llano 2.1GHz Tri-Core ASUS F1A75-M PRO Radeon HD 6530D Team Xtreem Dark Series 
Hard DriveHard DriveOSPower
Barracuda 7200RPM SATA3 64MB OCZ Agility 4 128 Windows 7 CORSAIR Builder Series CX430 V2 
CaseAudio
SilverStone Milo ML03B Realtek ALC892 
  hide details  
Reply
My System
(13 items)
 
HTPC
(10 items)
 
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
PHENOM II X4 965 ASUS M4A89GTD PRO/USB3 AM3 ATX 5850 G.Skill Ripjaws 1600 [2 x 4gig] 
Hard DriveOSPowerCase
Barracuda [1TB] 7200 Windows 7 [64 bit] Antec Truepower 650W HEC Blitz 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
A6-3500 Llano 2.1GHz Tri-Core ASUS F1A75-M PRO Radeon HD 6530D Team Xtreem Dark Series 
Hard DriveHard DriveOSPower
Barracuda 7200RPM SATA3 64MB OCZ Agility 4 128 Windows 7 CORSAIR Builder Series CX430 V2 
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SilverStone Milo ML03B Realtek ALC892 
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post #6 of 27
The pros at AVS HTPC sub forums have tried a battery of tests with IGP platforms and the tri core Llano is good to go with madVR's highest setting so since it's such a small $$ diff going up from the dual core variants:
Unt1-16.jpg
Edited by trog - 3/1/12 at 12:08am
El Pinguis Cattus
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WD 640GB, Hauppauge HVR-3000 (Digital FTA + STB) LG DVDRW SATA W7 Ult / Ubuntu 11.04 64 bits Acer X233H + 32" Panny LCD TV 
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El Pinguis Cattus
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Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
WD 640GB, Hauppauge HVR-3000 (Digital FTA + STB) LG DVDRW SATA W7 Ult / Ubuntu 11.04 64 bits Acer X233H + 32" Panny LCD TV 
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post #7 of 27
That is a nice build ^ but I personally am not too fond of Crucial memory. The G.Skill that herkalurk recomended earlier is nice.

If you take away the case+psu in that build then you would have about $60 left to pick a case+psu that fits your style.
Edited by Deeeebs - 3/1/12 at 11:52am
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Samsung 32GB SSD (ESXi + ISO Images) Western Digital 250GB 7200 Sata (VMs) 3 x 750GB Segate Con ES Raid 5 none 
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post #8 of 27
Thread Starter 
Trog, that looks pretty solid, I tend to agree with Deebs on the ram and I'm not a huge fan of that case either but you delivered a pretty solid build for that price.

I have a feeling getting a solid tv card is going to make me have to bump my budget up some. I may have to start puling the trigger and start buying some of these parts soon.
My System
(13 items)
 
HTPC
(10 items)
 
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
PHENOM II X4 965 ASUS M4A89GTD PRO/USB3 AM3 ATX 5850 G.Skill Ripjaws 1600 [2 x 4gig] 
Hard DriveOSPowerCase
Barracuda [1TB] 7200 Windows 7 [64 bit] Antec Truepower 650W HEC Blitz 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
A6-3500 Llano 2.1GHz Tri-Core ASUS F1A75-M PRO Radeon HD 6530D Team Xtreem Dark Series 
Hard DriveHard DriveOSPower
Barracuda 7200RPM SATA3 64MB OCZ Agility 4 128 Windows 7 CORSAIR Builder Series CX430 V2 
CaseAudio
SilverStone Milo ML03B Realtek ALC892 
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My System
(13 items)
 
HTPC
(10 items)
 
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
PHENOM II X4 965 ASUS M4A89GTD PRO/USB3 AM3 ATX 5850 G.Skill Ripjaws 1600 [2 x 4gig] 
Hard DriveOSPowerCase
Barracuda [1TB] 7200 Windows 7 [64 bit] Antec Truepower 650W HEC Blitz 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
A6-3500 Llano 2.1GHz Tri-Core ASUS F1A75-M PRO Radeon HD 6530D Team Xtreem Dark Series 
Hard DriveHard DriveOSPower
Barracuda 7200RPM SATA3 64MB OCZ Agility 4 128 Windows 7 CORSAIR Builder Series CX430 V2 
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SilverStone Milo ML03B Realtek ALC892 
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post #9 of 27
dedicated psu for reliability.If you need a power cord..goodwill! :lachen.gif: or scavenge one somewhere
338

PS..I have that motherboard..Impressed with the quality! wink.gif
Fixed...missed about the storage/blu-ray
Dedicated gpu cuz umm.."Intel HD graphics" are really bad and buggy

If you want really good RAM (It will be gimped by the board,anyway):thinking.gif: Maybe cheapest mATX z68 board??
http://www.google.com/products/catalog?q=samsung+ram&hl=en&prmd=imvns&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_qf.,cf.osb&biw=1289&bih=843&um=1&ie=UTF-8&tbm=shop&cid=1693932428983254321&sa=X&ei=IBBPT9q1BaL-sQKH5cCyDg&ved=0CIkCEPMCMAU

I swore I'd never recommend another asrock product but..in this case..http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157270
Edited by Schmuckley - 3/1/12 at 1:13pm
 
Thuban Powah!
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Thuban Powah!
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cheap! Newegg box panel ibeats with onboard. 
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AMD Phenom II X6 1075T w/2 cores locked @ 4.2+ M4a89GTD-Pro XFX Radeon HD 5870 8gb Samsung ddr3 1600 11-11-11-28@ 8-8-8-24 
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OCZ Agility2 40gb WD Blue 500GB Lite-On RASA waterblock 
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post #10 of 27
Why would you buy such an old dedicated GPU when the G620 comes with an integrated GPU? There it goes back to crucial memory again. Also that doesnt even come close to the 1-2TB the OP wanted, and the ROM drive is not even a blu-ray player...
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Samsung 32GB SSD (ESXi + ISO Images) Western Digital 250GB 7200 Sata (VMs) 3 x 750GB Segate Con ES Raid 5 none 
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