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HTPC Advice

Discussion in 'General Hardware' started by gamer210, Dec 11, 2006.

  1. gamer210

    gamer210 New Member

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    Hello everyone. I've recently been thinking about building an HTPC, but don't quite know where to start. I looked around, did some pricing, and have some ideas.

    Case: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16811204004
    Motherboard: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16813130066
    CPU: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16819103733
    Memory: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16820161067
    Tuner: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16815116606

    I have a few questions though. First of all, do I have to buy a video or sound card? I was thinking the onboard video and sound would be okay. Also, I wasn't sure if I should go with the energy efficient cpu or a regular one. I think it would be better because it would produce less heat. I was also wondering if 1 Gb is enough memory. I also don't know what kind of hardware/software to get. I was thinking of using MythTV, but I have a copy of XP media center. As for the tuner, I had heard that Hauppauge was a good brand. If any one has any advice/suggestions, feel free to chip in.
  2. Zedicus

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    hauppage definatly. and try mythtv out before u go the xp route. grab a knopmyth iso, its a full htpc ready distro. as for video and sound it depends on what you need, i would recomend a higher quality sound card, something like an audigy se or turtle beach or something, especially if yur gunna hook yur htpc to a stereo. as for video, it depends on if you need things like HDMI, DVI, higher resolutions, and or if yur gunna be doing any 3d gaming on the htpc. for the cpu yes lower power stuff is usually the way to go, and as long as u go the linux route, 1g memory is plenty. also u want a huge HD if u plan on recording tv to disk and or pausing live tv an stuff like that...

    NOTE: dude, an x2 cpu is prolly SEVERLY overkill for an htpc, unless you can justify it grab a cheep low power single core something or other...
  3. AshenSugar

    AshenSugar New Member

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    my advice is look at the c7 systems, great choices for board/chip/exct specly for these htpc's.

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produ...Subcategory=446&description=&Ntk=&srchInDesc=

    these produce VERY LOW HEAT and use VERY LOW POWER, you can build them in any case you like, or in something you have laying around, i have used old casset tape cases/boxes, vhs tape orgnizers, wooden craft boxes, even an old george forman grill(no joke) to build itx setups, the nicest thing about them is the LOW TEMPS AND LOWER POWER USE, they will run anything you throw at them for htpc use and even some mild gaming!!!!
    if you need more gfx power you can add a pci x1300(yes they have them) and tuner, usb=the way to go if u really need one, they dont use more bandwith then the usb ports provide!!!

    the onboard soundcards very good on these from my exp, if you want more power again usb offers a great solution, you can get low/mid/high end soundcards for usb these days.

    honestly c7 is the way to go for these kinda builds, make a case out of something you already have around or something from a craft store :D

    my best build with itx has to be the one for my buddys grrl, used a wooden craft box from a local craft store as a case(15bucks) a micro psu(180 or 200watt) 80gb sata hdd, 1/2 high dvd combo drive(like one for laptops) it was a fun build, and after a nice paint job it looks pretty neet, wouldnt even know its a pc if yo didnt look in the back or open it(you open the box to use the combo drive, that took longest to get right, but so worth it)
  4. p-jack New Member

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    yep, hauppauge ftw! if you plan on recording tv you should get a tuner that has hardware mpeg encoding onboard (like the hauppauge PVRXXX series). also note that if you want to record one channel while watching another, you´ll either need two tuner cards or a dual tuner card (pinnacle has one available i believe).
  5. AshenSugar

    AshenSugar New Member

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    hey i was just looking for a board for a buddy
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16813181012
    this things kool, pcmcia support, plenty of power for a dvr/htpc, pcmcia pvr cards(turner/recorder cards) are very common now days, think thats what we gonna use for this system, its gonna be mounted inside an old nintendo(gutting it to make it into a pc), should be a fun build :D
  6. p-jack New Member

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    ^^i like that combo, way enough power for htpc needs... and mounting it inside a nes housing would have class! :pimp:
  7. AshenSugar

    AshenSugar New Member

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    from what i been readin the c7 versions can have the pcmcia unit added as well, but you have to order them sepretly from the board.

    eather way its a good way to make a nice small, very cool running system for digital media :)

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