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HTPC build help

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
Hi,

I got my hands on some i5-3470 CPUs, and I want to make some HTPCs with them. I would like to make it as small and as quiet as possible.

It's main use will be to watch videos up to 1080p. At some point down the line, I might make it into a plex server so I can stream videos to my tablet/phone and whatnot. I'm not sure what the requirements are for having a plex server, but if there is a big differences, a build for both would be helpful since I have multiple CPUs.

I'm hoping to spend no more than $500 for each build, if I decide to make more than one, but the cheaper the better. Any hard drives that I attach to it later on will be through a powered usb hub, not that it would matter since they will need to be plugged in.

For the case, I was originally looking at the BitFenix Prodigy case, but there are smaller and better ones, I'm all ears.

All I have right now are the i5-3470 CPUs. I can probably get my hands on a SSD, so that won't need to be included in the price. It will most likely have a second hard drive for storage. I brought a picoPSU a while back, but I don't remember how big it is, I would have to look for it. If it's possible I would like to use a picoPSU for it's efficiency and lack of fan.

What I would need is a motherboard, RAM, case, and a video card if needed (but prefer not to if possible).

Any recommendations would be much appreciated.

Thanks
post #2 of 20
Gigabyte makes a great mITX MoBo with integrated WiFi - H77N. Trouble is that it's no longer available at many sellers as most everyone has moved on to 1150 MoBos and you need an 1155. eBay have them listed so that might be an option. If you are not doing any ripping all you need is 4GB RAM for HTPC. Integrated graphics on the CPU should be fine for 1080p video.
Photo Editing PC
(11 items)
 
HTPC
(11 items)
 
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel i7-4790k  ASUS Sabertooth Z97 Mark 2 ASUS GTX 960 2GB STRIX 16GB Crucial Ballistix Tactical DDR3 1600 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
256 GB Samsung 850 PRO WD 2TB Caviar Black Noctua NH U12S Win8.1 
MonitorPowerCase
NEC MultiSynch P221W SeaSonic G 650 Fractal Design Define R5 
CPUMotherboardRAMHard Drive
Intel i3-3225 Gigabyte H77N-WiFi 4GB Crucial Ballistix Tactical DDR3 1600 120 GB Samsung EVO 840 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
500GB WD Blue LG Blue Ray DVD Reader Noctua NH-L9i Win7 
KeyboardPowerCase
Logitech K-400 Seasonic G360 Lian Li PC Q-27B 
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Photo Editing PC
(11 items)
 
HTPC
(11 items)
 
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel i7-4790k  ASUS Sabertooth Z97 Mark 2 ASUS GTX 960 2GB STRIX 16GB Crucial Ballistix Tactical DDR3 1600 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
256 GB Samsung 850 PRO WD 2TB Caviar Black Noctua NH U12S Win8.1 
MonitorPowerCase
NEC MultiSynch P221W SeaSonic G 650 Fractal Design Define R5 
CPUMotherboardRAMHard Drive
Intel i3-3225 Gigabyte H77N-WiFi 4GB Crucial Ballistix Tactical DDR3 1600 120 GB Samsung EVO 840 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
500GB WD Blue LG Blue Ray DVD Reader Noctua NH-L9i Win7 
KeyboardPowerCase
Logitech K-400 Seasonic G360 Lian Li PC Q-27B 
  hide details  
Reply
post #3 of 20
Thread Starter 
Any recommendations for what I can get from newegg or amazon? I'm in the USA if that matters.
post #4 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by vdn20 View Post

Any recommendations for what I can get from newegg or amazon? I'm in the USA if that matters.
You don't have a lot of choices since you need an 1155 MoBo and most everything available today are 1150 and later. What form factor are you looking for? Newegg is really easy to search as you just check the boxes and it will sort things for you. Amazon is less user friendly in that way.
Photo Editing PC
(11 items)
 
HTPC
(11 items)
 
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel i7-4790k  ASUS Sabertooth Z97 Mark 2 ASUS GTX 960 2GB STRIX 16GB Crucial Ballistix Tactical DDR3 1600 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
256 GB Samsung 850 PRO WD 2TB Caviar Black Noctua NH U12S Win8.1 
MonitorPowerCase
NEC MultiSynch P221W SeaSonic G 650 Fractal Design Define R5 
CPUMotherboardRAMHard Drive
Intel i3-3225 Gigabyte H77N-WiFi 4GB Crucial Ballistix Tactical DDR3 1600 120 GB Samsung EVO 840 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
500GB WD Blue LG Blue Ray DVD Reader Noctua NH-L9i Win7 
KeyboardPowerCase
Logitech K-400 Seasonic G360 Lian Li PC Q-27B 
  hide details  
Reply
Photo Editing PC
(11 items)
 
HTPC
(11 items)
 
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel i7-4790k  ASUS Sabertooth Z97 Mark 2 ASUS GTX 960 2GB STRIX 16GB Crucial Ballistix Tactical DDR3 1600 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
256 GB Samsung 850 PRO WD 2TB Caviar Black Noctua NH U12S Win8.1 
MonitorPowerCase
NEC MultiSynch P221W SeaSonic G 650 Fractal Design Define R5 
CPUMotherboardRAMHard Drive
Intel i3-3225 Gigabyte H77N-WiFi 4GB Crucial Ballistix Tactical DDR3 1600 120 GB Samsung EVO 840 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
500GB WD Blue LG Blue Ray DVD Reader Noctua NH-L9i Win7 
KeyboardPowerCase
Logitech K-400 Seasonic G360 Lian Li PC Q-27B 
  hide details  
Reply
post #5 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alan G View Post

You don't have a lot of choices since you need an 1155 MoBo and most everything available today are 1150 and later. What form factor are you looking for? Newegg is really easy to search as you just check the boxes and it will sort things for you. Amazon is less user friendly in that way.

I figured that would be the case since I didn't see as many. I'm thinking either micro-ATX or mini-ITX. I just want something as small and as quiet as possible. And if I can run it with a picoPSU, that would be even better.

I'm thinking about one of these two motherboards, are they any good?
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157367&ignorebbr=1
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128526&ignorebbr=1
Edited by vdn20 - 10/20/14 at 8:04pm
post #6 of 20
Thread Starter 
So I'm thinking about this for a build:

Motherboard ($49.99 + 4.99 shipping)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157367&ignorebbr=1

CPU (Already have)
i5-3470

Case ($44.99)
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?sdtid=7275240&EdpNo=7838765&SRCCODE=LINKSHARE&cm_mmc_o=-ddCjC1bELltzywCjC-d2CjCdwwp&utm_source=Linkshare&utm_medium=Affiliate&utm_campaign=lw9MynSeamY&AffiliateID=lw9MynSeamY-wtSf8pv_uvfieTZC9HVtIA

Memory (Found a stick)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820148346

Can anyone recommend me a CPU cooler and how much power would the above system plus a cooler is needed to run it? I will most likely run the OS from a SSD, and have a green drive or 2 for storage. The plans for the system is to watch videos up to 1080p and maybe have it act as a plex server
post #7 of 20
Using the link below to calculate what PSU range you can use. Just enter the components you plan on using/adding then click calculate.

Online PSU calculator
http://www.extreme.outervision.com/psucalculatorlite.jsp

I am not a fan of Noctua color schemes but I would recommend the Noctua NH L9i CPU low profile cooler.
post #8 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by RogueRage View Post

Using the link below to calculate what PSU range you can use. Just enter the components you plan on using/adding then click calculate.

Online PSU calculator
http://www.extreme.outervision.com/psucalculatorlite.jsp

I am not a fan of Noctua color schemes but I would recommend the Noctua NH L9i CPU low profile cooler.

How accurate is that? I remember in the past people were saying that it overshoots the actual power needed. I'm basically wondering if I would be able to use a picoPSU
post #9 of 20
Okayyyy it overshoots by how much? I mean its not an exact science but it gives a pretty good range of what you can use. You should be able to use a pico based on the results of the calculator. If anyone suggests something else you are really going on their opinion. Then, you have to ask yourself what makes their opinion any better over the calculator? How do you know what they say is actually correct and how did they come up with their suggestion? Having the most posts or being a louder voice does not really validate an answer if that makes sense.

If you look at my build which is similar to what you posted you will see I am using a 90W PSU. So, that should give you an idea of what you might want to use. What size pico did you plan on using?

You also mentioned about the addition of other components so the calculator should give you a pretty good idea of what to use based on your desire. I am by no means a guru in the PSU area which is why I recommended the calculator but I would like to think I can extrapolate notable information.
Edited by RogueRage - 10/21/14 at 9:33pm
post #10 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by RogueRage View Post

Okayyyy it overshoots by how much? I mean its not an exact science but it gives a pretty good range of what you can use. You should be able to use a pico based on the results of the calculator. If anyone suggests something else you are really going on their opinion. Then, you have to ask yourself what makes their opinion any better over the calculator? How do you know what they say is actually correct and how did they come up with their suggestion? Having the most posts or being a louder voice does not really validate an answer if that makes sense.

If you look at my build which is similar to what you posted you will see I am using a 90W PSU. So, that should give you an idea of what you might want to use. What size pico did you plan on using?

You also mentioned about the addition of other components so the calculator should give you a pretty good idea of what to use based on your desire. I am by no means a guru in the PSU area which is why I recommended the calculator but I would like to think I can extrapolate notable information.

I didn't mean to offend you or anything, but I was trying to get an idea of how much power it would typically use. When I inputted the absolute max of what I would put into it the build, it comes out to a 157 watt minimum, 207 watt is recommended. The options I had were 2 sticks of DDR3, 1 SSD, 2 green SATA, a blu-ray drive, 2 USB devices being the keyboard/mouse, the 80mm and 120mm fans that comes with the case (might remove it if it gets too loud or if I can get away with it), and a 92mm fan for the CPU cooler (not sure if that is needed). I don't remember which pico size I had, I was planning to look for it this weekend, but I'm pretty sure it was over 100 watt, just don't remember the exact number off the top of my head. Now that I see the case that you used in your build, I really like it. I'm curious, when you decided on that case, what did the psu calculator say for you? I'm wondering if I can get away with using that case with the 90 watt PSU.
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