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HTPC Build Advice Needed

Discussion in 'System Builder's Advice' started by bettz, Sep 18, 2012.

  1. bettz

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    Hi all i've been messing with my Revo rl70 for the past week and i'm very impressed with it.I've showed my parents what it can do and they want one but in a case that would fit in there tv unit.I was after some advice & help on what parts would be best?

    My dad would like to be able to play some pc games old total war games etc nothing to new but the more future proof it is will be a bonus!! Would it also be possible to record tv? then he can sell his humax box ??

    I'll mostly try and source the parts from ebay

    Also Capable of flawless 1080 playback
    HDMI out
    Blue Ray Drive

    He's looked at a few cases he likes
    Lion-Li Cases & Antec Fusion Cases
    I was thinking of at least a 1TB Hdd
    We wouldn't need an O/s as i've windows 7 Home

    Any Advice?

    I think the list of components I need is

    Case:Antec Fusion Remote
    Motherboard:
    Processor:
    Psu:
    Gpu:
    Ram:
    Tv Card:
    Hdd:
    Blue Ray Drive:
     
  2. Wrathier

    Wrathier

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    Blue-ray drive: LG Intern SATA Bluray reader 10x / DVD±RW 16x CH10LS28 (Bulk)

    Very nice silent drive. - Cheap as well.

    HDD: Western Digital Intern HDD Caviar Green 2TB (IntelliPower / 64MB Cache / Sata 6Gb/s / NCQ)

    Very silent and cheap, though fast due to SATA 600 and the cache.

    CPU: Intel Core i3-2100T 2,5GHz / 4MB / Socket 1155 (Boxed)

    I bought this CPU mostly for one reason.

    The fan is extremly low profile. Therefore, I did not had to go and buy another fan for the HTPC.

    More than enough power to both play and playback any movie without issues. (Tested with massive Blue-ray issues, most new movies and also "normal blue-ray movies on disc".

    Ram: Corsair 8GB DDR3 PC3-10600 1333MHz SO-DIMM (9-9-9-24) (CMSO8GX3M2A1333C9) (2x4GB)

    8 Gigabyte cheap nice ram. - Works as intended nothing special, but I like the brand.

    Motherboard: ASUS P8H67-I PRO - Intel H67 / m-ITX / PCI-E / VGA

    Many great futures on the board like automatically clocking etc.

    Chassis: Thermaltake Element Q - Svart (200W)

    I gotta say: I love Antec Fusion Remote. For my first HTPC build, I was not willing to pay that much for the chassis and I also would have issue with the space next to the TV.

    Personal taste. - I am a big fan of Thermaltake and the included powersupply is very nice. Also, it is very very small.

    This build do NOT need a extra graphic card. The build in HD controller is more than enough for games and movies. I would probably not play BF3 on it though :)

    For mouse and keyboard in the living room where this RIG is places, wife and me uses:

    http://mobilemouse.com/

    It is great and very very easy to use. It is also very responsive.

    Some pictures of the RIG:

    [​IMG] mini fan

    [​IMG] Side of HTPC

    [​IMG] Front with drive

    [​IMG] Back of HTPC

    [​IMG] mobile mouse
     
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2012
  3. Ikaruga

    Ikaruga

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    But the price difference is more than $50 compared to the i3-2100, so you could have had a quieter custom cooler for the saved money, not to mention that the i3-2100 is also faster while it only needs max(!) 10-14W more at full load.

    ---

    Anyway, to OP: if you want to game on the rig as well and if it also fits the budget, perhaps you may consider to undervolt an i5 instead, but again, only if you have some extra money to burn to make the build more future-proof. They need extremely low (almost i3-ish) power when undervolted.... but... well, HTPCs are mostly connected to 1080p displays where most of the games gonna be GPU bond anyway (i3 vs i5 CPUs doesn't make much difference at that resolution most of the times), so an i3 is more than enough for casual gaming. You better go with a regular i3 and a stronger GPU, me thinks.
     
  4. eidairaman1

    eidairaman1

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    heck for a HTPC id put in a slim Optical drive and a 2.5 Size HDD/SSD. Max out the ram capacity so there is no issues.
     
  5. Wrathier

    Wrathier

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    I must inform, here I would have to pay like 3 times for a slim drive with half the capabilities the drive I bought got. They are very expensive slim drives compared to old fashion onces.
     
  6. eidairaman1

    eidairaman1

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    what country are you in?
     
  7. Wrathier

    Wrathier

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  8. Wrathier

    Wrathier

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    I am currently in Sweden :):toast:

    I only buy hardware from www.webhallen.se - No matter if it is 50sek cheaper or not. I prefer to buy stuff from the same place, tends to be less hasle when I replace stuff.
     
  9. eidairaman1

    eidairaman1

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  10. Wrathier

    Wrathier

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  11. Ikaruga

    Ikaruga

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    Indeed, you right in that case:toast:.
    But I wonder why is the regular i3 so expensive in Sweden:confused:
     
  12. Wrathier

    Wrathier

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    That is an excellent question. Its like half the price almost of my I7 I2700K..

    I guess prices are just a little slow to drop up here in the north. We are not so many folks and I do not think the sales are massive like in some other countries.

    For example, my Asus 680 Direct CU II OC costs still 5000 SEK here and I bought it at release for 5245 SEK. - I guess that is very expensive compared to the states for example.
     
  13. DrunkenMafia

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    I have the antec fusion and love it. I have had it for about 4yrs now and everything still works great on it. I would definitely go for a case which can take std components over the smaller ones which need slim drives and itx boards etc. Mainly because they are so much cheaper and you have a lot more options.

    I will say one thing - Make sure you get a 60 / 120gb SSD for the OS to run off. It made a world of difference with mine, especially when clicking on media centre etc. Load times went from up to 10sec for media centre to load to about 1.5. And they have dropped sooo much in price lately (I am considering raid 0 SSD's for my media centre - 2x60gb agility 3 drives are under $100)

    A few points I have found along the way:

    • AMD make great HTPC's. I have a X4 550BE and it is more than enough horsepower.
    • I would tell you to consider FM1 but its a bit of a dead socket. Go for AM3 mATX.
    • 16gb ram is more than enough, 8gb is plenty too but again its cheap as chips these days.
    • Don't waste money on a bluray burner, you won't use it. Just get a player.
    • at least 2tb hdd space, it fills up quick when you are recording HD TV!!
    • Invest in a decent CPU cooler, nothing worse than listnening to the Whirring of a fan in the quiet parts of the movie. Beware of height with Antec fusion.
    • Invest in a quiet PSU. 450w is heaps big enough.
    • If you want a basic gamer try for a passive card or if you need more power go for a card with a non reference cooler which will be silent during movies anyway.
    • i3 / i5 may be a better option but I have no experience with those in a HTPC. I guess they would be good with a pcie graphics card.

    Just my 2 cents worth and a few tips. :)
     
  14. eidairaman1

    eidairaman1

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  15. Wrathier

    Wrathier

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    Excellent tip. However, up here I had a problem finding a fair priced motherboard 17*17CM supporting 16 GB ram. But then again, I play games on my pc from my system spec in signature and watch movies and listen to music on the HTPC.

    I love your suggestions though and think it is decent if you want to use it as both a gaming rig and a htpc. For example, my htpc makes not much noise and it uses very very little electricity. Its not build to have 450 Watt power supply as it uses hardly any power at all.

    Perhaps in the future when I make a HTPC for everything with massive gfx etc more than a 200(220 bronze rated is the TT power supply) would be needed.

    (But then again, are we still talking about a HTPC?) Back to topic. I use the I3 2100T (Specs: http://ark.intel.com/products/53423/Intel-Core-i3-2100T-Processor-(3M-Cache-2_50-GHz)) in order to take advantage of the HD2000 graphic witch is pretty powerfull.

    At least way more than enough for a HTPC. It can play different titles, even crysis, but it wouldnt be awesome. It uses almost no power therefore generating less heat and therefore I do not need any chassis coolers. Only 1 cpu cooler.
     
  16. Jetster

    Jetster

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  17. Wrathier

    Wrathier

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    Agreed. Seriously it doesnt matter much. If you use it for almost nada, it works with almost any solutions. :)

    It all comes down to personal preference and I would not buy AMD anynmore even if I was paid to do it.

    - By the way, it start to matter a lot if you turn off your pcs or not. I never shot my stuff off.

    - And regarding the power, mine uses less than 15watt idling.

    According to http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/cpu/display/core-i3-2100t_11.html it is using down to 10 watt.
     
  18. Jetster

    Jetster

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    All I own is Intel. My last AMD was the FX55. I just shocked how well this little socket is for the price. Other than that I agree with you

    No arguing the i3s they are clearly nice chips
     
  19. Wrathier

    Wrathier

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    I just checked up on that.

    If I was to the "other side" I would also have been looking into that. It seems nice.

    I forgot to add at first, that the motherboard and chassis does support a large 1 sloted graphic card without issues. I just dont have the need for it. Cheers.
     
  20. bettz

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    Thanks for all the advice guys i've been looking around and so far have come up with this

    Ideally i'd like it to be a low powered htpc.The prices are rough estimates but i'm still looking to cut costs further

    Case: Antec Fusion £118

    Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-B75M-D3V, £40

    Processor: Intel Core i3 3225,£110

    Psu: Be Quiet E9 Straight Power 480W £90

    Gpu: ATI Radeon 6450 £20

    Cpu Cooler: Scythe Shuriken £20-£30

    Ram: Corsair 4GB DDR3 1600MHz Memory £20

    Tv Card: BlackGold USB twin DVB-T BGT3550 £90

    HDD:SSD to install Os £50
    1 TB HDD £50
     
  21. Wrathier

    Wrathier

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    Great. It is going to be awesome :)
     
  22. bettz

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    Thanks mate first time building a htpc.I've just gotta get a Antec Fusion case for under £100 gutted as i missed one on ebay that went for £36.99 the other day

    I'm that impressed with some of the htpc builds that im contemplating selling my iMac :slap:
     
  23. Wrathier

    Wrathier

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    Ha ha awesome man :)

    What did you think of the little TT chasis I took a few pics of?

    It is called Thermaltake Element Q: http://www.thermaltakeusa.com/product.aspx?s=1321&id=1896

    There is one LARGE - with it though. The front is so plastic. You do not notice it much in the living room, but it is truly a shame. But okay it costed 89.9639 USD so it is not a furtune.
     
  24. Ikaruga

    Ikaruga

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    May I ask why do you need the 6450 with such a "strong" IGP as the HD4000? Get a "proper" card or just use the IGP imo.
     
  25. bettz

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    I was going to just use the HD4000 as it would cut costs But would it be able to cope with games such as rome total war?

     

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