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HTPC specs and advice

Discussion in 'System Builder's Advice' started by Cybrnook2002, May 23, 2008.

  1. Cybrnook2002

    Cybrnook2002

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    Does this look good for under $1000.. All parts newegg of course.

    2 x LITE-ON Combo Black SATA Model DH-52C2S-04 - OEM $22.99 each
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827106100

    2 x Western Digital Caviar SE16 WD4000AAKS 400GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM $69.99 Each
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136076

    1 x EDIMAX EW-7128G PCI Wireless Card - Retail $22.99
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16833315041

    1 x Hauppauge WinTV-HVR-1600 MCE 1183WB NSTC/ATSC/QAM/FM Tuner w/MCE Remote(White Box)PCI Interface - Retail $ 99.99
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16815116010

    1 x SUPER TALENT 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model T800UX4GC5 - Retail $79.99
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820609218

    1 x GIGABYTE GA-G31M-S2L LGA 775 Intel G31 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail $64.99
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128078

    1 x Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 Kentsfield 2.4GHz LGA 775 Quad-Core Processor Model BX80562Q6600 - Retail $219.99
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115017

    1 x SILVERSTONE Black Aluminum front panel, 0.8 mm SECC body SST-LC17-B ATX Media Center / HTPC Case - Retail $119.99
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811163055

    1 x HIS Hightech H365P512GNP Radeon HD 3650 512MB 128-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported iSilenceIII Video Card - Retail $119.99
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814161220

    1 x CORSAIR CMPSU-450VX 450W ATX12V V2.2 Power Supply - Retail
    Item #: N82E16817139003 $69.99
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139003

    I want it to be quick, quiet and able to handle pretty much anything minus gaming for the most part. Maybe occasional gaming. but mainly for TV recording, movie playback, movie streaming and audio streaming. Perhaps a home server for things.

    Edit, minus one of the DVD roms for a DVD burner. Whatever 10 bucks give or take.
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2008
  2. beyond_amusia

    beyond_amusia New Member

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    For an OS I'd say go with XP MCE 2005... Vista's media center is much slower.
     
  3. Cybrnook2002

    Cybrnook2002

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    I already have a few to pick from, I have Windows XP pro SP1, Windows XP PRO MCE 2005 32 bit. Vista Ultimate 32 bit, and Vista Ultimate 64 Bit. All legit , store bought copies. But, i think im going to be running Vista 64 bit, so I can use all the ram. Thanks for the advice though.
     
  4. beyond_amusia

    beyond_amusia New Member

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    lmao. Go for it. I overlooked the RAM. =P
     
  5. ktr

    ktr

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    Vista's MCE > XP MCE.

    It has a lot more features.
     
  6. rampage

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    800 GB of storage, 4 gig of ram, a quad core cpu and 2 DVD ROM drives to me this seams a bit of over kill for a HTPC, it out dose what alot of ppl have as a main rig...

    wouldnt you be better of almost swapping the quad core for the e4400 you have in your system specs and sticking to 2 gig of ram in the HTPC...

    ppl would have seen me make simlar post before but to me a HTPC is a small low/medium power rig that is capable of outputing somthing like 1080P video

    also wouldnt you be better off getting a better quality PSU, it may be over kill but i have a 600watt OCZ StealthXtream in my main rig and HTPC, its a great psu and just swapping to it droped my systems power draw by 50 watts just because of how efficent it is
     
  7. Cybrnook2002

    Cybrnook2002

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    Thanks for checking it out. Well, the 800GB is a must for me. I have 800 Gb at the moment on my pc, and with all the movies and music I have, I constantly find myself deleting things to make room for more. Now, that said, I also have games and dual OS installed. So, I figure if I have just vista, Perhaps a game or two, and leave the rest of the space for Media, it should be enough for me. " dvd roms so you can do an instant Burn if you want to , Disc to Disc. 4 Gigs (Its vista). And the Quad, well, I was also thinking about that if it was overkill. But, its going to be networked (via wireless), So, if someone is in the living room watching a movie or some thing, I still want the potential for my PC, and my GF's or whoever to be logged on perhaps streaming to another area of the house. I may even set up an FTP. So, I want good performance, and I figure with the quad, It can delegate task better than a dual core, as this pc with be mostly multitasking. But I am open to a different processor if you have any cheaper suggestions. Also, for the Micro ATX board. The only reason I really went with this one, is it supported the Quad. With my pc now, its ok. But I think I will let it run its days out as my board chipset is a P965. I think the Video card and Tv tuner should be ok, but I have never had a tv tuner before. So I want something thats going to be ok for the TV signal transfer. When they do away with analog broadcast. And the PSU is over %80.

    Also, do you guys know of any cool little remotes I could use to navigate this when im on the TV. Instead of a wireless keyboard and mouse, is there some small touchscreen device I could substitute for those, and not pay an arm and a leg.
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2008
  8. Neuromancer

    Neuromancer

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    I am in the same boat

    My HTPC is also going to have a quad core CPU in it, but I think I am holding off until the 45nms come down in price.

    Quadcore just rips through video encodes... in fact on my main rig I had a quad.. i never tried rencoding a movie while playing a video game before... COD4 was stutter free and the video was still encoded very quickly.

    45nm = 10% better performance in this area clock for clock

    SSE4 adds another 10-15% better performance for video encodes, but so far only DivX implements it.

    Also consider what software you are using. If you use CCCP with the new FFDshow and play 720p and display on a 1080p TV the processor is going to handle the upscaling. There is software that offloads it to the GPU.. but im not real familiar with that although I intend to because I am going to be stuck with a dual core in my HTPC for a little while

    With an HD recorder and only 800GB of storage there will be a lot of reencoding going on. Live HD just takes up too much space. So repackage it into AVIs with 720p resolution and you can get nice 2-4GB size movies, with 750GB hdds coming down in privce.. one for TV shows one for movies, one for pausing the unencrypted stuff.


    I see you are going with the 1600... the 1800 is the PCIE version... since the motherboard you selected only has 2 PCI slots and you are adding a wireless card.. you might want to think about the 1800. This leaves you room to add in a soundcard with Dolby/DTS encoding :)



    If you do drop down to a cheaper processor (E7200 for instance) you should take the money saved and upgrade to a 3850 512MB. Not that you need the horsepower for HTPC duties but you did say that you intend to do some gaming. I used my 3850 512MB to play 1080i upscaled content (ffdshow so CPU based) on my HDTV while gaming on the monitor :)



    However if no gaming then it does not matter which ATI card you get. For some reason... ATIs upscaling ability is the same acros all their cards from 2400 up through 3870X2... While purevision only competes with ATIs whe nyou reach the 8800 series :S I do not understand, but it was a good read. I will try and dig up the link.
     
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  9. Cybrnook2002

    Cybrnook2002

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    Thanks a bunch for the info, send that link if you find it. The reason I was aiming to the 1600 was yes, it was the PCI version. The graphics card I chose was a "passive" colling card, and when you look at the heat sink, and how it designed, I fear that if I got the PCIe version, the heatsink and card would not play well together.
    Yes, I also use the CCCP and have for a while. I love it, and it really adds to my "universal" experience as I am able to view a wide variety of formats and resolutions.

    I feel the same with the Quad, Im not just going to be using this for playback, but also for encoding and decoding, burning on the fly, ANYTHING media related I want it to be able to handle it, with ease. I feel that the better the money invested now, the more future proof it will be. As I don't see the resolutions creeping up any higher than 1080i/p anytime soon. The more powerful I make it now, the happy I will be for quite some time.
     
  10. Neuromancer

    Neuromancer

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    Ahh...

    I did not notice that about the card. I am using a 2600 pro in mine and its the standard HIS dual slot cooler. So I actually thought the PCIE tuner would give you more room LOL

    I found this one that interesting, but is only a 9600vs 3870... its not the one that I was thinking off before that tested mulitple cards but it is newer.

    Ahh found it

    I linked directly to the CPU usage of all the cards.. but the entire article is a must read :)



    As for remote..

    MCE remote is like 40 dollars? Harmony for $100+ will control everything in your AV rack including the computer.

    Use a PDA as a remote control I am going to try something similar but with virtualBox running WindowsCE and this software and a 17"touch screen lcd.

    that of course assumes that I do not find better software for the touchscreen. It wont be wireless but mounted on an LCD arm and pushed back against the wall when not needed.
     
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