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HTPC Rebuild/Upgrade

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 
This will actually be HTPC v2. The previous was my original desktop a Dell 4500. When I couldn't watch HD Over The Air TV without stuttering and after a series of adding parts to the Dell, I decided to build a new PC specifically for HTPC use.

That build is going on five years old and still works fine, but for one thing. When I tried to encode video files, it thermals and crashes. About 7-8 months ago, I removed the stock HSF and put on an aftermarket HSF + Arctic Silver and I still have the problem.

The other reason to update/upgrade is power usage. Even though my 5000+ BE is running at stock speeds (it was OC'ed at one point) and is a 65W TDP CPU, it draws close to TDP at idle. When you include the HD4670, two drives (internal) and two drives (external), draw has to be in the 70+ Watt range at idle, I don't have a wattage meter yet, I'll pick one up soon.

So in light of all that and despite being unemployed smile.gif I went ahead with a rebuild under a strict budget.

The case will be reused, its a Antec Sonta III Mid-Tower with 550W Earthwatts PSU Bronze Rated 80. Also reused with be the 640GB Samsung Internal SATA II drive, ATI 650HD PCI Tuner/Capture Card and VBox Cat's Eye 150 HDTV PCI card.

Based on what components I wanted to keep, the new motherboard had to have at least two legacy PCI slots. I decided to go with the ASRock A75-M

Based on Tom's Hardware testing on how memory bandwidth effects AMD APU performance. They felt the best balance of performance and value was 1600Mhz memory. So with that I purchased with the motherboard Patriot Signature series memory 4GB (2x2GB) 1600Mhz.

Total Price with shipping (Free) - $98.99

I had already purchased an AMD A6-3500 APU for $69.99 at Fry's via Price Match with Microcenter. I had originally wanted to get it at $66.99. Its fallen to $59.99! Oh well, total was $76.11 with local sales tax (California).

The final piece of the puzzle was decide what to put the OS on. I have a 40GB SATA I drive and the Samsung I previously mentioned. I could have used the 40GB. But I decided naaa. I thought about making a partition on the 690GB drive and installing the OS there. Naa...

I decided to go with an SSD. I search high and low for a good price. I found one on Craigslist! Private party had a 60GB OCZ Agility 3 for $50. I jumped on it. I saved $13 over purchasing a different OCZ drive from Staples using one of their $25 off $75 or more coupons. The Agility is considered the better drive and I went with that..

Pictures of Parts -

2012-05-09202553.jpg

2012-05-03164118.jpg

I need to plan around my workouts and what I watch Live or Record. In otherwords I need to find a gap in Recordings, along with a break in my workout schedule. I depend on public transportation. It takes roughly 3.5-4 hours to workout. That includes the bus trip both directions, waiting on buses as well.

Anyway, this will be a fresh install of the OS so Windows 7 sets SSD defaults. Stay tuned more to come...
The Media Center
(14 items)
 
Storage Server
(4 items)
 
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
AMD K12 A75M AMD Radeon HD 6530D Patriot Memory  
RAMHard DriveHard DriveOS
Patriot Memory  OCZ Agility 3 Samsung F3 Windows 7 Build 7100 - 32 bit 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
AOC LE24H067 Logitech Antec Earthwatts 550W Antec Sonata III 500 
MouseMouse Pad
Logitech RAIDERS! 
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The Media Center
(14 items)
 
Storage Server
(4 items)
 
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
AMD K12 A75M AMD Radeon HD 6530D Patriot Memory  
RAMHard DriveHard DriveOS
Patriot Memory  OCZ Agility 3 Samsung F3 Windows 7 Build 7100 - 32 bit 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
AOC LE24H067 Logitech Antec Earthwatts 550W Antec Sonata III 500 
MouseMouse Pad
Logitech RAIDERS! 
  hide details  
Reply
post #2 of 3
Looking good so far. Have you thought about trying out XBMC rather then Windows?
CHILZ - Lan Rig
(17 items)
 
CANARY - Main Rig
(16 items)
 
CADILLAC - HTPC
(14 items)
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel i5-4570s Asus H97M-Plus AMD R9 280 G.Skill RipjawsX 16 GB (2x8) 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveCooling
250 GB Samsung 840 240 GB Kingston 3 TB USB 3.0 Drive Custom Loop 
OSMonitorKeyboardPower
Windows 10 Preview BenQ GL2450 Filco MajesTouch2 Ninja PC P&C Silencer Mk III 600 W 
CaseMouseMouse PadAudio
Fractal Design Core 1000 Mionix Castor Monoprice XXL JL Amps + Custom Morel Bookshelf speakers 
Other
Scythe Kama-Panel 3 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
FX-8150 @ 4.6 GHz Fatal1ty 990FX Pro 9800 GTX+ 512 MB G.Skill Ripjaws X 1866 CL9 
Hard DriveHard DriveCoolingOS
120 GB OCZ Vertex 3 1 TB WD Black 5x 120mm + MCP350 + EK Supreme HF + MicroRes Windows 8 Consumer Preview 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
2x Dell U2212HM Logitech G110 Cooler Master 850W Silent Pro Cooler Master 690 II Adv. 
MouseMouse PadAudio
Razer Death Adder 3.5G Staples Gel Cushion Asus Xonar DG + Senn. PC333D 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Q6600 Acer X1800 ATI 5670 2 GB Kingston 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
2 TB WD Green Asus BD-R Windows 7 Home Premium Sony 50" LCD 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Acer Media 220 W SFF Acer X1800 Acer Optical 
Mouse PadAudio
The TV cabinet Denon 2808 7.1 AVR + Dahlquist 350W 8" Sub + Kl... 
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CHILZ - Lan Rig
(17 items)
 
CANARY - Main Rig
(16 items)
 
CADILLAC - HTPC
(14 items)
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel i5-4570s Asus H97M-Plus AMD R9 280 G.Skill RipjawsX 16 GB (2x8) 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveCooling
250 GB Samsung 840 240 GB Kingston 3 TB USB 3.0 Drive Custom Loop 
OSMonitorKeyboardPower
Windows 10 Preview BenQ GL2450 Filco MajesTouch2 Ninja PC P&C Silencer Mk III 600 W 
CaseMouseMouse PadAudio
Fractal Design Core 1000 Mionix Castor Monoprice XXL JL Amps + Custom Morel Bookshelf speakers 
Other
Scythe Kama-Panel 3 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
FX-8150 @ 4.6 GHz Fatal1ty 990FX Pro 9800 GTX+ 512 MB G.Skill Ripjaws X 1866 CL9 
Hard DriveHard DriveCoolingOS
120 GB OCZ Vertex 3 1 TB WD Black 5x 120mm + MCP350 + EK Supreme HF + MicroRes Windows 8 Consumer Preview 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
2x Dell U2212HM Logitech G110 Cooler Master 850W Silent Pro Cooler Master 690 II Adv. 
MouseMouse PadAudio
Razer Death Adder 3.5G Staples Gel Cushion Asus Xonar DG + Senn. PC333D 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Q6600 Acer X1800 ATI 5670 2 GB Kingston 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
2 TB WD Green Asus BD-R Windows 7 Home Premium Sony 50" LCD 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Acer Media 220 W SFF Acer X1800 Acer Optical 
Mouse PadAudio
The TV cabinet Denon 2808 7.1 AVR + Dahlquist 350W 8" Sub + Kl... 
  hide details  
Reply
post #3 of 3
Thread Starter 
I am running XBMC for Windows in conjunction Windows Media Center. However after initially being happy with it, its not quite what I hoped. I am running the newest build "Eden".

The first problem was the ESPN Add-on never worked. Of course I understand these things are being developed and offered for free, so development happens when it happens and between Linux, OSX and Windows builds all could be causing the problem who knows. Maybe a fresh install of Windows might help that. After that, the You Tube Add-on which worked perfectly until a few weeks ago, keeps jumbling my subscriptions to where different thumbnails show up at different times. Doesn't sound like an issue but it is, I was directly accessing some of the channels I subscribed and if it moves around when it wants too, I can only find those videos under "New Subscription Videos" and after doing much scrolling.

Finally ROM Collector Browser. I may have made a mistake when setting it up by not putting a (*) before a file type, say .zip. In either case its not your typical Windows installation and setup of software, I had to physically add folders so XBMC could see the files. In fairness you have to do this with Media Browser plug-in Game Browser, but you only have to point too it, not add it in another part of Windows and then go back to the program.

I may end up with putting XBMC Eden inside Virtual Box and see if I can get things to work before trying it again. I could just clone my current OS, but WMP is giving me problems.

I still use Windows Media Center for Live TV and will continued to do so for Live TV and a few other things not covered by XBMC.
The Media Center
(14 items)
 
Storage Server
(4 items)
 
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
AMD K12 A75M AMD Radeon HD 6530D Patriot Memory  
RAMHard DriveHard DriveOS
Patriot Memory  OCZ Agility 3 Samsung F3 Windows 7 Build 7100 - 32 bit 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
AOC LE24H067 Logitech Antec Earthwatts 550W Antec Sonata III 500 
MouseMouse Pad
Logitech RAIDERS! 
  hide details  
Reply
The Media Center
(14 items)
 
Storage Server
(4 items)
 
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
AMD K12 A75M AMD Radeon HD 6530D Patriot Memory  
RAMHard DriveHard DriveOS
Patriot Memory  OCZ Agility 3 Samsung F3 Windows 7 Build 7100 - 32 bit 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
AOC LE24H067 Logitech Antec Earthwatts 550W Antec Sonata III 500 
MouseMouse Pad
Logitech RAIDERS! 
  hide details  
Reply
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