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Budget HTPC rig

Discussion in 'System Builder's Advice' started by Pinchy, May 7, 2008.

  1. Pinchy New Member

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    Ok I am stumped on a couple of things.

    For starters, I will mention that I want this thing to be VERY POWER EFFICIENT. Lowest power is a lot better, because it will be on or on standby for most of the time.

    Now, it will be connected to my Acer 32" LCD HDTV (1080i/720p) TV via (hopefully) DVI-D.

    I basically want help on:

    Motherboard/CPU
    PSU
    Graphics
    Tv Tuner card
    Wireless card

    Here are proposed specs:

    Mobo: Gigabyte GA-G33-DS2R Motherboard
    CPU: e2220 CPU
    RAM: 2GB PC6400 generic
    GFX: Onboard OR hd3450/8400GS
    Hard drive: easily sorted out
    DVD Drive: DVD burner for now, blu ray later when prices fall
    Case: Icute Ibox
    Power supply: ? (thinking generic 400W)
    Tv tuner card: no idea
    Wireless card: no idea




    So what I basically need help with:

    AMD or Intel? I actually have the Gigabyte motherboard here, but am willing to sell it and buy a 780G or trade on these forums. The main reason for that is that I would be able to get the onboard IGP which is fairly decent plus (dont quote me) but I think AMD uses less power?

    Also with that: The G33 has onboard VGA and HDMI. My TV doesnt have HDMI but has DVI-D (which is the video part of the HDMI). Should I just get a DVI - HDMI adapter for the TV and plug the sound in normally via RCA/headphones?

    Power supply: any suggestions? Want to keep it cheap but want one that will use min power at all times.

    Graphics: Im thinking of getting the 3450 or 8400GS with the G33, but if I get the 780G I will stick to the onboard. What do you think?

    TV Tuner: Ok I need a LOT of help on this one. Again, trying to keep cost in mind, but it NEEDS to have a remote and support 1080i/720p tuner (as the TV I have doesnt have an inbuilt digital tuner). Id like one that has FM as well, but I am not picky. A dual tuner would be cool as well, but again, not necessary. It can be PCI or PCIe 4x compatible as the G33 (not sure about the 780G) has two PCI's and a PCI4x (as well as the primary PCIe16x).

    Wireless card: A decent wireless-N PCI card to suite my Lynksys WRT330N router. The centrino laptop with a G card gets full reception and no cut outs when in the position the HTPC will be in. Again price is a big factor to consider.




    If you can be bothered, check with www.staticice.com.au to see if the products are avaliable in Australia. PLEASE do this for any TV tuner recommendation as there are no where near as many here as there are in the states.


    I think thats about it :D. If you can answer just 1 thing it would help :)

    Thx in adv!
     
  2. W1zzard

    W1zzard Administrator Staff Member

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    1 gb ram is enough. if you want discrete graphics go for ati 2400 or 3400.

    i doubt you can beat amd when price is concerned.
    cheap am2 cpu + 780g mobo (740 has no UVD) + no graphics card = usd 160 or something

    any random cheap psu should do the job. if you buy a better one you should be able to run it silent by sticking something (non-metal) in the psu so the fan cant turn
     
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  3. suraswami

    suraswami

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    Look for my thread on how I configured my Blu-ray/HDDVD Media PC.

    I think G33 won't cut it in terms of performance. The CPU is good and will use less cpu cycles. 8400GS will not help you in playing BD/HD comfortably. Go with 3450. For additional expense on the video card I would just go with 780G mobo. This will reduce heat output from additional video card, fan noise etc. If you haven't bought the E2200 cpu, my advice is pick up one of the BE23xx series or the E4xxx series CPU from AMD paired with 780G mobo. I think over all cost will be reduced.

    Please post all the things you already have and I can help you setting it up right. (I have gone thru lot of pain in setting the pc right)

    My PC is always on Standby. wakes up for recording programs and goes back to sleep. Plays BD/HD disks perfect with vibrant colors. Friends suprised that PC can do lot of things in Living room.:D

    :toast:
     
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  4. Pinchy New Member

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    Thx for the fast reply :)

    The reason I got it as 2GB RAM is because once I get the 4GB kit for my rig, I will have 2GB left over. (Its only $45 of 2GB of the stuff lol). Also will be running Vista (forgot to mention), so with the extra GB I may as well turn pagefile off.

    Yeah exactly what I was thinking. If I can get a straight trade from my G33 to a 780G (G33 costing $120) I will simply need to get a cheaper AM2 CPU, which will probably do the same job as the e2220. (With the added benefit of no need for a graphics card).

    PSU: $22 400W should do the trick...


    What I have:

    Brand new (fresh from RMA): Gigabyte GA-G33M DS2R
    2GB PC6400 RAM

    Will look for your thread now :)
     
  5. suraswami

    suraswami

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    Make sure it supports S3 state proper voltages and it is damn quiet. I use Ultra psu and it is damn quiet.
     
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  6. Pinchy New Member

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    Thanks for that, I will make sure of it :).

    Would like some suggestions on the TV tuner (especially) as well as the wireless card :D.

    Also going to post in the BSTG forum to see if there is anyone up for a G33/780G trade.
     
  7. JrRacinFan

    JrRacinFan Served 5k and counting ...

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    Also, if you go with W1zz's suggestion, you could enable hybrid crossfire and at least do some older games if that interests you also. Like Doom 3 Quake 4 and the such ....
     
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  8. wiak

    wiak

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    agree
    AMD Athlon X2 5000+ Blacky + Gigabyte GA-MA78GM-S2H + 2GB OCZ RAM = nice :D
     
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  9. Pinchy New Member

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    Well looks like I will go AMD if the right trade comes along :)

    Still asking for tuner help :D
     
  10. wiak

    wiak

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    any ASIC if your american ;P
    or DVB of your european
     
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  11. Pinchy New Member

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    Aww im neither :p..
     
  12. farlex85

    farlex85 New Member

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    I've had a lot of trouble finding a tuner myself, there don't seem to be any fully endorsed ones. Are you doing HD? And what software platform will you be using for the htpc?
     
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  13. Pinchy New Member

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    Yeah want a HD one. (1080p prefered, incase I ever get a better tv.....but 1080i/720p is enough). Can be PCI or PCIe 1x.

    Ill probably be running Vista and guess I would want the tuner to be comatible with their media center (as it is a htpc after all lol).
     
  14. farlex85

    farlex85 New Member

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    This is the one I've kind of been leaning towards: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16815116015
    It seems to be compatible w/ many platforms, vista being one of them, and seems for the most part to be fairly good. Its a big brand in the tuner market, and many companies package products w/ their cards.

    The only thing is, when checking customer reviews, on newegg and elsewhere, the reviews are decidedly mixed. Many people complain of various issues, and its difficult to know whether to chalk that up to user error or a somewhat faulty card. Unfortunatley, most tuners seem to share this lack of equal reviews, so........
     
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  15. Pinchy New Member

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    Lol, cant even get that model around here :(.
     
  16. wiak

    wiak

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    DVB-T in australia i think
    any DVB-T card will do

    you will also need
    DVBViewer with faad2 wrapper
    http://www.dvbviewer.info/forum/index.php?showtopic=23347&st=15&p=171813&#entry171813
    Cyberlink PowerDVD 7.x

    Australia is using the same system as norway, also MPEG-4/H.264 with HE-AAC audio
    the only software that will play it on any DVB-T card is DVBViewer
    i think
    you should check, i haven no clue where to find out what MPEG standard australia uses
    hope this helps
    i got the usb dvb-t from ebay
    http://search.stores.ebay.co.uk/the...485QQsaselZ424823525QQsatitleZDVBQ2dTQQsofpZ0
    the store is sold out hehe

    Digital-Everywhere FireDTV and FloppyDTV is also good, and will allow watch of pay content to

    anyway
    greetings from the land of teh vikings. norway
     
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