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post #1 of 20 Old 11-23-2008, 09:46 PM - Thread Starter
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Hey thanks for stopping by....

I am thinking about building an HTPC and it needs to be able to do the following: i) HDMI out to my Samsung LCD, ii) optical out to my home receiver, iii) massive storage, iv) quiet, v) network access (not in any particular order) Also, am not sure if I should make the system Blue-ray capable since I have a PS3 and don't own or plan on buying any Blue-Ray movies in the near future. Nor, have I been able to decide on a tv-tuner - any advice would be appreciated!

I would appreciate any feedback if you have past experience with any of these components or recommendations for alternative gear. Thanks.

Wish List
- CPU: AMD Athlon X2 4850e 2.5 GHz 2x512KB L2 Cache Socket AM2 45W Dual Core Processor ($59.99)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16819103255

- Mobo: Gigabyte GA-M578LI-S4 AM2 NvIDA nforce 570 SLI MCP ATX AMD ($79.99)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16813128014

- Case: Silverstone Grandia GDOIMX Black HTPC ATX Case Built-in LCD Display, Front USB, Firewire, & Audio Ports ($249.99)
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applicati...IN#detailspecs

- PSU: Corsair CMPSU-550VX 550W ATX12V V2.2 SLI Ready 80+ Certified ($97.99)


- Fan: Thermaltake CL-PO464 80"mm ($64.99)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16835106114

- Video Card: Sapphire 100265L Radeon HD 4830 512 MB 256-bit GDDR3 ($109.99)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...on%20HD%204830

- RAM: 2 - Kingston HyperX 2GB 240 Pin DDR SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) ($28.99 each)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16820104030

- HDD: 2 - WD Caviar Green WD10EACS 1TB SATA 3.0 Gb/s ($99.99 each)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16822136151

-Optical: Samsung SH-5223Q/BEBN 22x DVD+/-RW SATA OEM Internal Drive Black ($34.99)
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applicati...396&CatId=1624

- Sound Card: Diamond XtermeSound X571DDL 7.1 Channel 24 bit 96 HKz PCI-interface ($49.99)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16829111002

Total System Cost: ~$1,005.84 plus Uncle Sam's cut and shipping.....
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post #2 of 20 Old 11-25-2008, 02:48 PM - Thread Starter
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bump for feedback

Christmas is coming soon.....need to get the wishlist out

Any comments are greatly appreciated!
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post #3 of 20 Old 11-25-2008, 03:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nalij View Post

Hey thanks for stopping by....

I am thinking about building an HTPC and it needs to be able to do the following: i) HDMI out to my Samsung LCD, ii) optical out to my home receiver, iii) massive storage, iv) quiet, v) network access (not in any particular order) Also, am not sure if I sure make the system Blue-ray capable since I have a PS3 and don't own or plan on buying any Blue-Ray movies in the near future. Nor, have I been able to decide on a tv-tuner - any advice would be appreciated!

I would appreciate any feedback if you have past experience with any of these components or recommendations for alternative gear. Thanks.

Wish List
- CPU: AMD Athlon X2 4850e 2.5 GHz 2x512KB L2 Cache Socket AM2 45W Dual Core Processor ($59.99)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16819103255

- Mobo: Gigabyte GA-M578LI-S4 AM2 NvIDA nforce 570 SLI MCP ATX AMD ($79.99)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16813128014

- Case: Silverstone Grandia GDOIMX Black HTPC ATX Case Built-in LCD Display, Front USB, Firewire, & Audio Ports ($249.99)
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applicati...IN#detailspecs

- PSU: Corsair CMPSU-550VX 550W ATX12V V2.2 SLI Ready 80+ Certified ($97.99)


- Fan: Thermaltake CL-PO464 80"mm ($64.99)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16835106114

- Video Card: Sapphire 100265L Radeon HD 4830 512 MB 256-bit GDDR3 ($109.99)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...on%20HD%204830

- RAM: 2 - Kingston HyperX 2GB 240 Pin DDR SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) ($28.99 each)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16820104030

- HDD: 2 - WD Caviar Green WD10EACS 1TB SATA 3.0 Gb/s ($99.99 each)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16822136151

-Optical: Samsung SH-5223Q/BEBN 22x DVD+/-RW SATA OEM Internal Drive Black ($34.99)
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applicati...396&CatId=1624

- Sound Card: Diamond XtermeSound X571DDL 7.1 Channel 24 bit 96 HKz PCI-interface ($49.99)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16829111002

Total System Cost: ~$1,005.84 plus Uncle Sam's cut and shipping.....

newegg doesnt charge tax so uncle sam can go screw himself
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post #4 of 20 Old 11-25-2008, 03:39 PM
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I've always had good success with Hauppague tuners.

The 4830 card is overkill unless you are planning on gaming. If you're not a hardcore gamer, get a 4650 which will pass 7.1 LPCM audio to your receiver over HDMI. Thus, rendering unnecessary your sound card choice.

You can get a cheaper micro ATX board, or at least similarly priced (780G) that will use less power, if thats a concern. But, it looks good.
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post #5 of 20 Old 11-25-2008, 03:41 PM
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u dont really need a soundcard the onboard stuff is good
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post #6 of 20 Old 11-25-2008, 04:49 PM - Thread Starter
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Everyone thanks for the advice!

mr007 - thanks for pointing that out....def a nice to know.....also thanks for the advice on the sound card....now i can spend that $$$ at the bar

redtyler1 - Hauppage was definitely my top consideration, thanks for confirming.....I am not a gamer and thus i will def. look into the 4650 as an option (thanks for the suggestion)....and less power -> less heat -> less noise, more smiles so again thanks....also i looked into a micro ATX board, my concern is the size of the board for future additions
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post #7 of 20 Old 11-25-2008, 07:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mr007 View Post

newegg doesnt charge tax so uncle sam can go screw himself

Is the ability to screw oneself a good thing or a bad thing? And how is that an acceptible substitute for taxation?

Quote:
Originally Posted by nalij View Post

Nor, have I been able to decide on a tv-tuner - any advice would be appreciated!

I couldn't find a reference to your OS choice and whether you want the TV tuner to support ATSC (OTA) or QAM (cable). The AVerMedia m780 supports native QAM with Vista Media Center's TV Pack 2008 (Fiji). I don't believe Hauppauge has this support. Setting up QAM manually is a huge pain in the butt.
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post #8 of 20 Old 11-25-2008, 07:38 PM
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Total of 12
Avermedia A180s so far, one dead at 2years another has gone partially funky (only tunes up to RF25) but the rest are going realy strong. For a specialized situation I'm using a HDHomerun too, but the A180 is my lasting love and it does cable QAM with TV Pack 2008. I'm certain that another tuner will someday tempt me but I'm loyal (but not quite monogamous) for now...

JJ
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post #9 of 20 Old 11-25-2008, 07:39 PM
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GA-M578LI-S4 is a two year old model (Socket AM2, released in May 2006) and there is no CPU upgrade path (for the upcoming 45 nm AM3 processors that will last through 2010). GA-MA78G-DS3H or the upcoming GA-MA78G-DS3HP is a better choice. Or GA-MA78GM-S2HP for mATX.
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post #10 of 20 Old 11-27-2008, 09:53 AM - Thread Starter
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Happyfunboater - my current provider is Optimum so I would need a QAM set up - particularly one that supports a cable card so I can record those HD channels...my plan is to initialize the set up with MCE and not Vista....i've read a few forums about the pain to get QAM going right, thanks for the heads up

JJ - Thanks for the confirmation that Avermedia turners are not the way to go...as you have had 12 in two years....i think ill go with a Hauppage model when i find out that suits all my needs

renethx - some of the BEST advice yet...exactly the type of info i was looking for....i will certainly look into your two suggested ATX boards


Thanks again everyone....Happy Thanksgiving
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post #11 of 20 Old 11-27-2008, 10:03 AM - Thread Starter
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Also, forgot to mention that I would like to format my HDD in RAID 1...if that has any influence on the future recommendations
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post #12 of 20 Old 11-27-2008, 11:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nalij View Post

JJ - Thanks for the confirmation that Avermedia turners are not the way to go...as you have had 12 in two years....i think ill go with a Hauppage model when i find out that suits all my needs

I think JJ was actually saying the opposite. He's got 12 units, and only two have failed. He loves the AVerMedia cards.
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post #13 of 20 Old 11-27-2008, 11:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nalij View Post

Happyfunboater - my current provider is Optimum so I would need a QAM set up - particularly one that supports a cable card so I can record those HD channels...my plan is to initialize the set up with MCE and not Vista....i've read a few forums about the pain to get QAM going right, thanks for the heads up

Given what you're read about the pain of getting QAM going, are you really sure you want to use MCE instead of Vista? TV Pack 2008 (Fiji), which automates QAM support, is only available for Vista. You also mentioned that you were leaning towards Hauppauge. Are you sure they support QAM under MCE or VMC?
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post #14 of 20 Old 11-27-2008, 01:04 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HappyFunBoater View Post

Given what you're read about the pain of getting QAM going, are you really sure you want to use MCE instead of Vista? TV Pack 2008 (Fiji), which automates QAM support, is only available for Vista. You also mentioned that you were leaning towards Hauppauge. Are you sure they support QAM under MCE or VMC?

I already own a copy of MCE and am not a big fan of Vista...so unless i get it free i dont see myself going to get a copy anytime soon...i'd rather wait to see what windows 7 has to offer....

And no I am not sure that Hauppuage supports QAM for MCE, which is why I havent selected a tv card yet

If you know of a solid card for MCE preferably made by Hauppuage that supports QAM and potentially a cable card - let me know....

appreciate the feedback
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post #15 of 20 Old 11-27-2008, 01:08 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HappyFunBoater View Post

I think JJ was actually saying the opposite. He's got 12 units, and only two have failed. He loves the AVerMedia cards.

Got it....thanks on the clarification....

what's your opinion on either manufacturer?
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post #16 of 20 Old 11-27-2008, 01:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nalij View Post

Got it....thanks on the clarification....

what's your opinion on either manufacturer?

I don't know too much more than what I've already mentioned, but here it all is:

I installed a Hauppauge card about a year ago in a Vista x64 system with 4GB of RAM and never got it working. There was a known issue with 4GB systems (not x64, surprisingly). I don't know if they ever fixed the problem, but I'd like to assume that they did. I switched to the AVerMedia M780 (with a free Media Center remote and IR hub) and haven't had a problem since day one.

I always got the impression that Hauppauge was the "king of the hill" for TV tuners, but with QAM support under Media Center AVerMedia seems to have surged ahead. Just from reading various forums, I "think" that Hauppauge only supports QAM under their own application, not Media Center. I could be wrong. And I am also pretty sure (again, just from reading forums, not first hand experience) that only AVerMedia supports TV Pack 2008. But if you're stuck with MCE then TV Pack 2008 is out of the question.

Given how hard it is to set up QAM, are you sure you really want it? On my local cable the QAM stations are barely more than I can pick up via antenna. I think I get a few extra PBS stations. You won't get any of the encrypted QAM channels. I'm lucky enough that I can use a cheap indoor antenna and pick up the local stations with almost 100% signal level. This might not be an option for you.

Good luck!
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post #17 of 20 Old 11-29-2008, 02:50 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nalij View Post

Hey thanks for stopping by....

I am thinking about building an HTPC and it needs to be able to do the following: i) HDMI out to my Samsung LCD, ii) optical out to my home receiver, iii) massive storage, iv) quiet, v) network access (not in any particular order) Also, am not sure if I should make the system Blue-ray capable since I have a PS3 and don't own or plan on buying any Blue-Ray movies in the near future. Nor, have I been able to decide on a tv-tuner - any advice would be appreciated!

I would appreciate any feedback if you have past experience with any of these components or recommendations for alternative gear. Thanks.

Wish List
- CPU: AMD Athlon X2 4850e 2.5 GHz 2x512KB L2 Cache Socket AM2 45W Dual Core Processor ($59.99)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16819103255

- Mobo: Gigabyte GA-M578LI-S4 AM2 NvIDA nforce 570 SLI MCP ATX AMD ($79.99)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16813128014

- Case: Silverstone Grandia GDOIMX Black HTPC ATX Case Built-in LCD Display, Front USB, Firewire, & Audio Ports ($249.99)
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applicati...IN#detailspecs

- PSU: Corsair CMPSU-550VX 550W ATX12V V2.2 SLI Ready 80+ Certified ($97.99)


- Fan: Thermaltake CL-PO464 80"mm ($64.99)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16835106114

- Video Card: Sapphire 100265L Radeon HD 4830 512 MB 256-bit GDDR3 ($109.99)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...on%20HD%204830

- RAM: 2 - Kingston HyperX 2GB 240 Pin DDR SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) ($28.99 each)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16820104030

- HDD: 2 - WD Caviar Green WD10EACS 1TB SATA 3.0 Gb/s ($99.99 each)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16822136151

-Optical: Samsung SH-5223Q/BEBN 22x DVD+/-RW SATA OEM Internal Drive Black ($34.99)
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applicati...396&CatId=1624

- Sound Card: Diamond XtermeSound X571DDL 7.1 Channel 24 bit 96 HKz PCI-interface ($49.99)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16829111002

Total System Cost: ~$1,005.84 plus Uncle Sam's cut and shipping.....


Update -

Per the advice of renethx I will now be purchasing the upgraded Gigabyte mobo
GIGABYTE GA-MA78G-DS3H AM2+/AM2 AMD 780G HDMI ATX AMD Motherboard (86.99)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...=GA-MA78G-DS3H

I also found an old DVD +/- RW drive in my closet so that will cut some $ off the final bill...but...have yet to find a tv turner

And since I am saving rougly 30 bucks on not purchasing a DVD drive, I changed the case I am going to get....

Thermaltake VF7001BNS DH101 HTPC Computer Case - Front LCD Display, Remote (269.99)
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applicati...776&CatId=3429
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post #18 of 20 Old 11-29-2008, 04:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mr007 View Post

newegg doesnt charge tax so uncle sam can go screw himself

The heck they don't; Newegg collected $29 in tax on my recent order.

Cheers, Tp

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post #19 of 20 Old 11-30-2008, 11:50 AM
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Of course it depends on which state you live in. I've never been charged sales tax by Newegg. They don't ship from my state.

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post #20 of 20 Old 11-30-2008, 12:22 PM
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Quote:
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The heck they don't; Newegg collected $29 in tax on my recent order.

They're located in California, so you obviously pay tax, if you live in the same state.
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