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Need Assistance with First Build

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 
Hey all,

I've built a bunch of gaming rigs for myself and am taking my first shot at building an HTPC. I just have one problem... I have no idea where to start! If it isn't a gaming rig I am at a loss. So here is the general idea of what I am aiming for...

1. I want to be able to record live tv (I have HD service so it would be nice to record in HD as well)
2. I want to be able to watch my movies and possibly rip them on a network device for storage and playback at any time (BD and DVD collection)
3. I have a large audio library (All FLAC) that I currently have on a NAS that I would like to be able to play through the HTPC.
4. I would like to make it as quiet as possible
5. Web browsing, Netflix, Pandora, etc. are all nice bonuses and definitely wanted.
6. A smaller footprint and classy look. I'd like it to blend well with the other stuff in the media center.

> I will not be using it for gaming... I have a ps3/wii/xbox360 and gaming rig for that.
> I have an available HDMI port on my tv
> I do not have a surround sound system at this time but it will be following shortly after building this HTPC so I welcome suggestions in this department as well.
> Budget: I am not worried about budget at this time.

HTPC Build (Based off Recommendations):
Mobo:
Zotac Z68 Supreme
CPU: Intel Core i5-2400S
Memory: ?
OS HDD: Crucial RealSSD C300
Case: ?
Power: ?
Ext. Cards: ?
Other Peices: ?


File Server Build (Based off Recommendations):
Mobo:
?
CPU: ?
Memory:
OS HDD: Intel 320 Series 80GB SSD, SATA II
Storage: 12x Seagate Barracuda XT 2TB, SATA III
Case: Lian Li PC-P80
HDD Cages: 3x iStarUSA Hot-Swap
Power: ?
Ext. Cards: Ceton InfiniTV 4 Quad
Ext. Cards: Areca ARC-1880ix-12 SAS Controller Card
Other: ?
Edited by cwinchell - 7/1/11 at 9:28am
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post #2 of 25
Athlon II x2
780-880 chipset motherboard
ati 5450 or above
Hauppauge HD PVR or colossus when it comes out for recording HD CABLE or SAT. OR since money isnt an issue the best way would be with the ceton infinitv 4 or Silicon Dust equivalent (when released) if you have cable and not sat.
Windows 7, windows media center, with media browser plugin
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post #3 of 25
Thread Starter 
I've been reading that the new i3-i7 chips are better than any AMD solution at the current moment. Also I heard that you shouldn't need a video card that onboard video for the more current boards can handle 1080p output just well. I don't know if I need it for encode/decode or whatnot...??

With the Ceton infiniTV, I need a cable card to plug into it?? Can this just be a card that is rented directly from the cable company - or since I already have a set-top box could I just pull the one from there? I definitely like the idea of having a card that can go inside the HTCP to remove the clutter from the media center cabinet.
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post #4 of 25
Thread Starter 
Any complaints about using this motherboard?
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16813130269

It is one of the very few (that I can seem to find) that have 5+ SATA 6G ports.
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Samsung 226BW 2ms LCD ULTRA X4 850W Coolermaster HAF932 
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post #5 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by cwinchell View Post
I've been reading that the new i3-i7 chips are better than any AMD solution at the current moment. Also I heard that you shouldn't need a video card that onboard video for the more current boards can handle 1080p output just well. I don't know if I need it for encode/decode or whatnot...??

With the Ceton infiniTV, I need a cable card to plug into it?? Can this just be a card that is rented directly from the cable company - or since I already have a set-top box could I just pull the one from there? I definitely like the idea of having a card that can go inside the HTCP to remove the clutter from the media center cabinet.
Quote:
Originally Posted by cwinchell View Post
Any complaints about using this motherboard?
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16813130269

It is one of the very few (that I can seem to find) that have 5+ SATA 6G ports.
Core i3/i5 can't playback 24p material propperly.
More people have issues with than onboard than not. More than likely do to high bitrate encodes.
Ya you need to rent a card from the cable company, I heard most charge around $5 or nothing
Sata 6gb is overrated you won't even break the 1.5Gb/s with a mechanical hard drive. If you grab a board with 1 (if you plan on using a SSD). But hey if the cash is flowing that is a pretty nice board.
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KA-558 Antec TP-750 NZXT Gamma MX518 
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Athlon II x2 240 Biostar A870u3 2x2gb gb ddr1066 Samsung h154ui 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveHard Drive
Samsung 204ui Western Digital WD10 EADS Western Digital WD20 EARS Western digital WD2500 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
Western Digital Blue 500gb dvd burner Windows 7 x64 Remote Desktop 
PowerCaseOther
Antec EA500-d Norco 470 Flexraid 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Athlon II x4 620 ASUS M3A78-EM 5450 G.Skil 2x2gb DDR3 1600 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
Western Digital Blue 500gb none Windows 7 x64 46" lcd 
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post #6 of 25
Thread Starter 
I really don't know much about AMD as I have never built an AMD machine before - Sounds like they are better suited for the HTPC at this point due to playback problems on the new i3/i5/i7 boards.

What proc should I be looking for to give me great performance combined with this board yet keep the heat down?
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post #7 of 25
Thread Starter 
I've updated my original post with some of the parts. Nothing is final yet and I would appreciate anyone giving suggestions or objections!
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post #8 of 25
Thread Starter 
I've been reading about the differences (or lack there of) between the Phenom II and the Athlon II... which brings me to my first question.. Is an L3 cache helpful to an HTPC's daily duties?

Now as far as I see they are both similar in price, speed, and power consumption... why would one want to purchase an Athlon II over a Phenom II (or vice versa)?

At this time, due to recommendations at this forum, I am leaning towards a Athlon II..
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post #9 of 25
Thread Starter 
Well, wow.... I have had no other input since hick?

Thank you hick for your help, I was hoping for more insight but maybe this isn't a good forum for this kind of question? Can someone point me into the right direction?
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post #10 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by cwinchell View Post
I've been reading about the differences (or lack there of) between the Phenom II and the Athlon II... which brings me to my first question.. Is an L3 cache helpful to an HTPC's daily duties?
Nope. Not at all. For simple media playback, even a Celeron E3200 or Athlon II X2 210e would allow for some wiggle room.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cwinchell View Post
Now as far as I see they are both similar in price, speed, and power consumption... why would one want to purchase an Athlon II over a Phenom II (or vice versa)?

At this time, due to recommendations at this forum, I am leaning towards a Athlon II..
I don't know what prices for you are like but Athlon II's are generally less expensive than Phenom II's. Power consumption of the Athlon II is also slightly lower idle (I'd estimate around 10W diff) and probably considerably lower at full load. Sure, Phenom II's are faster in certain tasks but unless you're gaming or doing CPU intensive tasks on your HTPC, I don't really see much need for it.

I do, however, suggest going for a different card than the XFX HD-567X-YNF3. The small fan just doesn't inspire much confidence in terms of noise levels. I have an XFX GT 240 with a similar fan and it was annoyingly high-pitched. Meanwhile, my Sapphire 100287VGAL HD 5670 was very quiet.
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