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First HTPC

post #1 of 31
Thread Starter 
This is my first build of a HTPC, and I have no idea where to start.

As of right now all I have is the 775 out of my moms computer that they messed up somehow.

I want it to use it as a rig to hook up to my home theater system via HDMI.

I will be using it to stream video, download, burn, and pretty much anything else I want to do.

Some features I would love is to use it as a cable box/DVR. Almost dead silent. Low power usage.

I will not be using for DVD or BR play.

I also don't want it as big as my HAF X.

So help?

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post #2 of 31
Thread Starter 
Also I would like to shy away from a SSD as I feel the cost of it is too high currently.

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post #3 of 31
    
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post #4 of 31
Thread Starter 
Thank you kind sir.

Anyone have any specific hardware suggestions? Or any direct suggestions?

Also is a WC setup truly overkill?

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post #5 of 31
To be honnest i would say water cooling would be overkill, since you would never really be stressing the cpu to benefit from it although from what i remember it can be quieter but a nice set of fans can be just as good. Depending on your budget (might help to post so people could get an idea biggrin.gif ) i would go with a dedicated video card (nvidia 430 or so) since integrated graphics by intel has some issues with 24fps playback (frame will be added every few mins because of it).
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post #6 of 31
Thread Starter 
Budget would be say below 800? Since the base is a 775 I would say the parts would be cheaper?

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post #7 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mako0312;12912768 
Budget would be say below 800? Since the base is a 775 I would say the parts would be cheaper?
If you have that big a budget, you could maybe even go Sandy Bridge depending on your other requirements.
  • First, what are you planning on recording? Over the air? Digital cable with premium channels? Satellite?
  • What parts do you have on hand?
  • What form factor are you targeting?

Usually, when building HTPC's, the first thing I look for is a case I like and whose dimensions will fit in the designated space. Once I've got that figured out, that's when I start picking out the parts. Forget water cooling. It's an unnecessary expense given most HTPC duties are pretty low load. Heck, a lot of folks get by with just the stock cooler.

As for the Intel 24p issue, with Sandy Bridge, you could actually get close to 23.976 fps if you turn off UAC. With UAC disabled, Nvidia and Sandy Bridge are on par with each other at 23.972 and 23.973 fps respectively. ATI has it closest at 23.978 fps.
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post #8 of 31
Thread Starter 
I'll be recording cable. Ota if necessary.

All I have right now is the CPU.

And I just want something that I don't have to worry about heat and that is definitely smaller then my haf x.
post #9 of 31
Exactly what CPU would that be? If it's still a Pentium 4, I'd say don't bother. If it's Core 2 microarchitecture, perhaps. However, building something AM3-based might actually be cheaper so that's another thing you may want to consider. If you go with LGA-775, you'd likely need to buy a motherboard+discrete GPU. If you go with AM3, you'd need to buy motherboard (880G/890GX)+CPU. The cost for LGA-775 MB+GPU and AM3 MB+CPU would probably cancel out and if your CPU was an older Allendale or Conroe, the AM3 build with Athlon II X2 would likely be faster.

When you say cable, can you be more specific? Do you require a set-top box to get all the channels you subscribe to? Or do you just plug in your TV directly to the wall socket. If you require a set-top box to view all the channels you're subscribed to, then most likely you'd need a CableCARD tuner such as the Ceton InfiniTV4 ($400). If you just plug it directly to the wall, then something like the Hauppauge HVR-2250 (~$120) and several other cheaper options would work quite well.

Just saying smaller than your HAF X is too broad. Do you care if it looks like it's part of your AV equipment? Exactly how much smaller do you want it to be? My sig rig is little bigger than a shoebox and I've got PC's that are little bigger than a Wii. Perhaps you still want full ATX but just want something a little slimmer such as the Cooler Master Elite 360?
Edited by rui-no-onna - 3/29/11 at 9:24am
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post #10 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mako0312;12912768 
Budget would be say below 800? Since the base is a 775 I would say the parts would be cheaper?

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800? hmm.. you can make a pretty good build with that, with 775 i you could use the new sandy brige cpu which is very power efficient (im currently doing a HTPC/server off of a 2500k right now thats about ~$800) but if you go with 775 you could build it for less then $350~450 for sure.

For a hard drive a samsung f4 2tb or WD green 2tb, Although ive read some articles that say the f4 is more power efficient.

For sandy bridge build i would say a 2100T ($100-120), very power efficient and a gigabyte/asus h67 matx mobo would run you ~$100.
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