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what can an htpc do..

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
I know it sounds like a weird question but, I've been considering making changes to my rig (like completely scrap it for bits, sell up and move on) and I was considering downsizing to an htpc. Now in my mind I need an uber fast rig that does everything super fast etc etc, but when I think about it I only really use it for the odd bit of gaming and watching movies, music, browsing etc. So is it possible to build an htpc with all that?

Heres what I have going on in my head:
Antec nsk2400 (will need modding for length of card)
3ghz Intel c2d
4gb ram @ 800
9800 gtx (open to suggestions for a more cost effective card)
Asus p5e-vm
Asus xonar d2 sound card
additional graphics card or matrox system for two additional monitors


With that said is it really worth investing in a smaller sized board?
or shall i just stick with what i've got and just change the insides a bit?
post #2 of 11
Well, I'm halfway in the process of building an HTPC for myself as well (halfway due to money....I get it and end up spending it on other things lol). So hopefullyu soon enough I will be building one.

I am by far no expert since this is my first venture into the HTPC world, and well, my first real build as well (though I have toyed around with my current pc somewhat).

But anyways, from what I ahve gathered, the only real difference with an HTPC from any other rig is that most HTPC are run nearly all day in a living room or entertainment room. So the idea is to try to keep an HTPC quiet, which usually means limited overclocking (if not underclocking) to produce less heat for less fans and noise. The other thing that most HTPCs have over normal computers is storage.

Other then that, and HTPC pretty much seems to be a normal computer. Its just a computer used as your entertainment center, so most people want them quite and cool.
My System
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
q6600 Pegatron-Benicia 9500GS 4.0 GB 
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320GB Blu-Ray Player Vista 64 20" Viewsonic 
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HP 
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My System
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q6600 Pegatron-Benicia 9500GS 4.0 GB 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
320GB Blu-Ray Player Vista 64 20" Viewsonic 
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HP 
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post #3 of 11
Dude, you can build an HTPC out of a P-III if you want to. Mine is an old Northwood P4 3ghz/2gb ram/geforce 6200, and I use it for games and movies and as a DVR.

And as far as going with an mATX board, you only really have to if the case you pick doesn't support a full ATX.
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Intel Core i5-3470 ASRock Z77 Extreme6 16 GB G.Skill Sniper DDR3-1600 1TB WD Caviar Black 
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4TB WD Caviar Red Cooler Master Hyper 212+ VMWare ESXi NZXT Crafted Series Tempest 410 
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Hard DriveCoolingOSCase
4TB WD Caviar Red Cooler Master Hyper 212+ VMWare ESXi NZXT Crafted Series Tempest 410 
OtherOtherOther
LSI 9280-16i4e RAID Card Intel I350 Quad Port Gigabit NIC Intel Pro/1000 PT Dual Port Gigabit NIC 
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post #4 of 11
Thread Starter 
well as regards the matx board is there any real disadvantages other than the notable lack in pci ports etc...and what nice atx htpc cases are there?
post #5 of 11
Thread Starter 
i plan to keep this thing hidden but i also wanna rag it like hell with a couple of pc games every now n then, are there any watercoolable htpc cases?
post #6 of 11
I would recommend going with an AMD system. Their mATX mobos really outclass any others with ports and options. Their TV cards are also rated among the best.
ChemX1200
(13 items)
 
  
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Intel Q6700 @ 3.6Ghz DFI UT X48 T2R VisionTek HD4870 OCZ Titanium DDR800 (2x 2Gb) 
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3x WD RE3 500Gb RAID0 On Areca1210 1x Pioneer BD-RW 1x Asus DVD-RW Lightscribe Windows 7 Ultimate X64 Dell 24" G2410 LED LCD 
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ChemX1200
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Intel Q6700 @ 3.6Ghz DFI UT X48 T2R VisionTek HD4870 OCZ Titanium DDR800 (2x 2Gb) 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
3x WD RE3 500Gb RAID0 On Areca1210 1x Pioneer BD-RW 1x Asus DVD-RW Lightscribe Windows 7 Ultimate X64 Dell 24" G2410 LED LCD 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Unicomp Customizer 104 Corsair 850W Mod. Cables Antec 1200 Logitech Performance MX 
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post #7 of 11
Thread Starter 
hmm I might consider it, but atm im still set on intel, i had some bad experiences building this rig that kinda put me off amd. so just weighing things up...as much as i love hte htpc cases (are there any nice full atx ones??) i might just stick with what i've got and mod it some more and fill it with new insides
post #8 of 11
the 780G board is pretty much the current standard for new HTPCs, as its onboard video can output via HDMI and can decode 1080p video on its own. Because of this, you can get a cheap single core AMD processor and be fine for any video playing. My personal HTPC is built using a gigabyte 780G, an Athlon 4200 X2, a 750GB hard drive, and a relatively cheap HTPC case. It works flawlessly, has no problem matching my tv's resolution (720p), and can do gaming. Of course, it won't play COD4 at max or anything, but running low-medium settings games look great.
post #9 of 11
Thread Starter 
cheers h33b. ill still consider it and price things up soon. cheers for input guys
post #10 of 11
my htpc consists of an amd athlon xp 1600+ and 512 mb of PC133 memory. Toss in a DVDROM and 2 x 250 GB hard drives alongside windows xp and Meedio and there you have it. The machine used to be my primary computer but when i built my sig rig, i decided to go HTPC and figured it was a decent start.
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