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Home Theater Computers > Assassin's Simple/Beginner HTPC Buying Guide
Hawkson's Avatar Hawkson 08:54 AM 05-02-2011
I am considering buying the lynx 2B. Its a PCI card, right? Which board can support this legacy format?

whiteboy714's Avatar whiteboy714 09:51 AM 05-02-2011
Originally Posted by hamburg113 View Post


I read some opinions in this topic. I do not agree above ideal. We can find out some articles at by using Google search.

ilovejedd's Avatar ilovejedd 10:29 AM 05-02-2011
Originally Posted by whiteboy714 View Post


Spambot probably.
dbone1026's Avatar dbone1026 10:31 AM 05-02-2011
Originally Posted by ilovejedd View Post

Spambot probably.

I actually thought it was an excellent first post that really got me thinking
WoodiE55's Avatar WoodiE55 11:45 AM 05-02-2011
Originally Posted by assassin View Post


SB i3 builds recs are loaded up on the blog. They will of course stay here at AVS too.

Here is the error that I keep getting. Just spent the past hour trying to "get in" to my first post to be able to edit.

Edit: And when I click on contact them I select gmail but there is no address pre-populated where I can send a complaint.

Edit: Here is the spinning, spinning, spinning, spinning, spinning, spinning, spinning, spinning, spinning, spinning..........................

On the Database error message you get, if you right click on that page and select View Source then paste the code here I can tell you a likely reason why it keeps crashing on you.
GatoEnFuego's Avatar GatoEnFuego 11:49 AM 05-02-2011
Originally Posted by rwpritchett View Post

4. Tweaking = ∞

Grubert's Avatar Grubert 12:01 PM 05-02-2011
What's a good 22" LED monitor for "near viewing" HTPC?
assassin's Avatar assassin 12:05 PM 05-02-2011
Originally Posted by WoodiE55 View Post

On the Database error message you get, if you right click on that page and select View Source then paste the code here I can tell you a likely reason why it keeps crashing on you.

I will.

Meanwhile the Clarkdale builds have been archived for everyone...

Edit: Seems to be working.

Edit: Never mind. Not working again.
assassin's Avatar assassin 12:24 PM 05-02-2011
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WoodiE55's Avatar WoodiE55 12:46 PM 05-02-2011
Originally Posted by assassin View Post

Here is the error:


It's an issue with the AVS server(s), a common fix would be to change the wait_timeout value in /etc/my.cnf for MySQL.

For mod/admin additional reading here are two links:
assassin's Avatar assassin 12:52 PM 05-02-2011
Originally Posted by WoodiE55 View Post
It's an issue with the AVS server(s), a common fix would be to change the wait_timeout value in /etc/my.cnf for MySQL.

For mod/admin additional reading here are two links:
I sent all three a request for help and pointed them to your post. I hope to get this all cleared up so I can continue to use this forum exclusively.

Thanks for you help.
assassin's Avatar assassin 01:11 PM 05-02-2011
Couple of great deals today...

G.Skill Ripjaws 2x2GB (4GB) DDR3 1600 - $40 shipped
This will run at 1333 just fine if that is the max RAM speed on your motherboard.

Samsung F4 2TB Green Drive
Mertline - $72 with coupon code shipped
(cannot post code per forum rules)
assassin's Avatar assassin 01:18 PM 05-02-2011
So not a good sign so far...

From one of the mods:
That's waaay too much content per post. The software isn't designed to call up that much in a single post.
Anyone have any other thoughts???
GatoEnFuego's Avatar GatoEnFuego 01:20 PM 05-02-2011
Originally Posted by assassin View Post
So not a good sign so far...

From one of the mods:

Anyone have any other thoughts???
See if they can insert 3-4 posts all at the beginning so you can break it up? Most thread starters that know it'll go big will usually "reserve" the first few.
assassin's Avatar assassin 01:21 PM 05-02-2011
Originally Posted by GatoEnFuego View Post
See if they can insert 3-4 posts all at the beginning so you can break it up? Most thread starters that know it'll go big will usually "reserve" the first few.
I reserved three. I just had no idea it would get this big.

I am not sure if they can insert more posts but I will try to ask.
assassin's Avatar assassin 01:27 PM 05-02-2011
Here are some pictures of the recommended parts and the build (thankS velillen):
Gigabyte Micro-ATX Build
Components used:
CPU – Intel i3-540
Mobo- GIGABYTE GA-H55M-USB3 LGA 1156 Intel H55 HDMI USB 3.0 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard
RAM - G.Skill 2x2GB DDR3
CASE - nMEDIAPC Black Aluminum / Acrylic / Steel HTPC 5000B Micro ATX Media Center / HTPC Case
OS Windows 7 Home premium 64 bit
Lenovo RF Keyboard and Mouse
Rosewill Windows Media Center Remote

Items on hand
320gb Maxtor IDE HDD
1TB WD Green HDD
2TB Samsung "green" HDD
linksys wireless G with speedbooster PCI adapter

Insertion of micro-ATX motherboard inside the case. Do not over tighten the screws or you will crack the motherboard. This goes without saying but tighten all screws by hand (do not use an electric screwdriver):

Inserting blu-ray drive and three hard drives into the "drive bay" attachment outside the case:

Connection of front ports and other cables (refer to the manual for these connections). Cable management using zip ties to hide cables under the drive bay.

Insertion of RAM --- they only go in 1 way so line up the notches and don't force them in. Attaching PSU to motherboard. Insertion of i3 into the motherboard --- again it only goes in 1 way so don't force it. Use locking bar to secure i3 to motherboard. Insertion of CPU fan into the motherboard. For this I push all four "tabs" down at once and you should hear a click. Don't forget to connect the fan's power cable to the motherboard at the appropriate header.

Connection of optical drives and hard drives to the PSU. Connect case fans to the PSU. A good idea here is to only connect only the designated operating system hard drive to the motherboard (i.e the hard drive that you want to have your Windows 7 installed on) to prevent accidentally installing the OS on the wrong drive. After the OS is installed you can connect the other HDs to the motherboard. Finally insert the wireless card if you have one.
Power up the motherboard via the power switch and enter bios to get it all set up the way you want. Then install Windows 7 and you are on to the software stage!

ASUS Micro-ATX Mid Tower Build - assassin
This is a build that I did recently for a friend.
Parts list:

Header Connections:

Here's what the header should look like after all the connections are made. Consult the manual for the specifics...

Front panel HD Audio connection:

Connecting Hard Drive to SATA Connection:

Chassis/Case fan and connection:

Insert RAM:

Insertion of PSU:

Mounting Bluray:

Preparing CPU Socket and Inserting CPU:

Mounting CPU fan:

Connecting CPU fan to motherboard power:

Connecting PSU power to motherboard:

Final build before tweaking the cable management:

Preparing Mediabrowser on a 71" HDTV

Mediabrowser Complete on 71" HDTV

Size comparison of mid-tower case compared to mini-itx

Gigabyte Mini-ITX Build
Parts List:
Case: InWin BP655 200w $50
Mobo: Gigabyte GA-H55N-USB3 $105
CPU: Intel Core i3 550 3.2 Ghz $130
Ram: GSkill F3-10666CL9D-4GBNQ $45
HDD: Samsung HD204UI 2TB $80
ODD: Asus DVD DRW-24B3LT $19
OS: Windows 7 Home Premium $100
Grand Total: $529
Edit: Builders of this build have told me the InWin stock fan is loud. This was easily fixed by upgrading the fan with this model: and now the build is completely silent.

assassin's Avatar assassin 01:28 PM 05-02-2011
i3 Clarkdale ATX HTPC Build - joeydrunk
Parts List:
Silverstone LC10b
Galaxy overclocked 768mb gtx 460
LG dvd burner/bluray burner
Asus Bluetooth usb dongle
Windows 7 ultimate 64bit
Rosewill wireless N card
i3 Clarkdale 550
#7 -2TB separate barracuda 5900 HDD
OCZ stealth extreme 700w PSU
Thermaltake slim X3 CPU cooler
Adata 64gb ssd
Asus p7p55de 1156 p55r ATX motherboard
Patriot sector 5 ddr3 6gb RAM

GT460 problem. Needed to get a card with a top mounted connector.

ASUS i3 Clarkdale HTPC case - car421
Here is the parts list:
Case - nMEDIAPC Black Aluminum / Acrylic / Steel HTPC 5000B - 69.99 at Newegg
P/S - Antec EarthWatts Green EA-380D Green 380W - 39.99 at Amazon
MOBO - ASUS LGA 1156/ Intel H55/ DDR3 2133OC- mATX Motherboard P7H55-M Pro - 99.99 at Amazon
Processor - Intel i3 Processor i3-540 3.06GHz - 119.99 at Amazon
HD - Western Digital 2 TB Caviar Green SATA Intellipower 64 MB Cache Bulk/OEM Desktop Hard Drive WD20EARS - 79.99 at Amazon
Memory - G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F3-10666CL9D-4GBNQ - 44.99 at Newegg
OS - Windows 7 upgrade family 3 pack - 123.99 at Amazon
Pics of the parts:

inside the case:

Drive bay flipped up:

front of case with drive bay up:

Getting the cables ready:

CPU and fan installed on MOBO, I found it much easier to install out of the case:

Memory installed:

Power supply ready to go in:

Power supply in:

Power supply hooked up:

Drive bay ready to go in:

Drive bay installed:

Another view:

Now that everything works opened back up to clean up the wires:

Nice and neat:

And back together just waiting for the cover:

I took out the DVD player because just as others have stated the door on the case is a poor design. No big deal as I still use a stand alone BR player and everything that I rip will be done on my laptop and transfered over the network to the HTPC.
The 3 case fans are silent and my fish tank makes more noise than the HTPC.[/quote]
assassin's Avatar assassin 01:28 PM 05-02-2011
Zacate Builds
Zacate Build 1: rwpritchett
Excellent zacate build with great pictures, editorial and discussion.
Zacate Build 2: Assassin for dpmb
Link with step-by-step discussion and instructions:
Parts list
Motherboard/CPU combo: AMD Zacate ASUS E35M1-I Deluxe Mini ITX - $175

Case: Rosewill RC-CIX-01 BK ITX - $50

SSD OS Drive: OCZ Vertex 2 60GB SATAII - $92 after rebate

RAM: G.Skill Ripjaws 2x2GB DDR3 1333 - $47

Storage Hard Drive: Samsung Green F4 2TB - $75

Optical Drive: Lite-On Bluray - $55

Operating System: Windows 7 Home 64 bit - $100
This is going to be a WMC/Mediabrowser HTPC.
Total price after rebate:
$594 with the Bluray drive and including the 2TB storage drive
ASUS Zacate Deluxe Build for dpmb - assassin

Preparing the Install

Installing Hardware

SSD Installation Considerations
There are actually plenty of places to install a SSD in this case. There are approximately 1 inch "overhangs" on both sides of the case that could easily fit a SSD in a vertical fashion (there are also a few holes in the case at these positions that could be used). Finally you could velcro the SSD to the top of the PSU very easily as well.
As seen in the below pictures when I tried to use one of these holes the SSD touched the top of the PSU which was okay but not ideal in one of my builds. It also would have blocked the slot in the board which would have been a PITA for him later. I wanted to give dpmb a case that I would be proud to call my own. And thus began my modification of this case which is by no means necessary for other builders.

The right side of the case was more crowded with the PSU connector and cable so the left side of the case was where I targeted a custom install which was very easy to do. I also wanted to keep it high enough from the bottom and towards the front of the case so that if he ever wants to add a card he can do so (hopefully) relatively easily --- and if not the SSD can be moved to on top of the PSU and secured with two-sided velcro.
Thus began my modification...
First I used the 3.5" bay adapter as a template to mark for perfect screw hole alignment. The 3.5" bay could not be used as this was being used for the 2TB hard drive.

I used a mechanical pencil and extended the lead enough to reach the metal and mark my drill holes. Here you can see where the Bluray drive bracket is actually "bumped out" which meant the screwheads for this SSD would not interfere with the Bluray drive install.

Next I removed all components which was annoying but necessary to prevent any damage. Then I drilled holes at the markings. Now the SSD was very secure and out of the way. Here is the view from inside the Bluray drive bay.

And from outside the case

Cable Management

BIOS and initial install

Finishing Up - Firmware Updates and Screenshots

Zacate Build #3 - okillagorilla
Corsair 32gig SSD Drive
Seagate 500Gb 5400 Drive
ASRock E350M1 AMD Zacate E350
Rosewill RC-CIX-01 - $50
G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB DDR3 SDRAM
Windows 7 Home

I installed the ssd in the 3.5 bay and the hdd in the 5.25 bay with the converter. I installed windows 7 with a dvd drive with the case open. No dvd drive in this setup, my desktop can do blu-ray rips and I will put my music + movies locally on this machine.

assassin's Avatar assassin 01:28 PM 05-02-2011
Asus Deluxe Zacate Mini-ITX in Antec ISK Case - muddyh2o
Antec ISK Series ISK 100 Mini-ITX Tower Computer Case 80W Power Supply
G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666)
ASUS E35M1-I DELUXE AMD Zacate E-350 AMD Hudson M1 Mini ITX Motherboard/CPU Combo
(I already had a 128GB SSD from my MacBookPro and a 160GB Fujitsu HD collecting dust.)

NewEgg was super quick on the delivery and as soon as the case showed up (a day later, as expected) I tucked right into the build.
This was the first PC I'd every assembled. I've never actually attached a motherboard to a case before, though I'd done pretty much everything else. The cheap metal on the Antec case only cut my fingers a few times!

It's tiny in there. I couldn't imagine HOW everything was going to fit and not start a fire!

You will need to turn the hard drive tray. The initial orientation is above, and the correct orientation is below. Otherwise the SATA cables could not be routed to the top of the motherboard. I'm not sure what Antec was thinking here.

I think the case is just a bit too tiny! Note how the SATA cables are stressing the connector. I have asked monoprice for some proper cables so I can relieve this stress. I'll post some photos of how tight the twist is for the connection to the hard drives themselves. I also need to clean up those power wires with some cable ties! Messy Messy.
Also, the RipJaws fit nicely with plenty of clearance from the side cover.

I've done hundreds of installs, and they're not all painless. I had several problems with the Windows Boot Loader trying to boot from the wrong drive, or thinking the installation was corrupt. I ended up doing the install without the second HD connected. Once the install was complete and pretty well settled (upgrades, drivers, etc) and only then did I connect the second drive. This wasted several hours.

Initial performance wasn't great. As everyone recommended, I needed to update drivers (and Windows) before things settled down. Metrics coming soon.

And here it is in position. Subtle and quiet, it does exactly what I need it to do. I'm a happy camper.
assassin's Avatar assassin 01:28 PM 05-02-2011
Reserved: Zacate Builds Part 3
assassin's Avatar assassin 01:29 PM 05-02-2011
Gigabyte i3 Sandy Bridge Micro ATX HTPC Component Case - CitznFish
Intel Core i3 Processor i3-2100 3.1GHz 3MB LGA1155 CPU
GIGABYTE GA-H67MA-UD2H-B3 LGA 1155 Intel H67 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard
G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600
SanDisk 16GB Cruzer Micro USB 2.0 Drive (for loading Windows 7 from USB drive)
Crucial RealSSD C300 64GB 2.5-Inch Drive with Data Transfer Kit
Western Digital Caviar Green WD20EARS 2TB 64MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s
CORSAIR Builder Series CX430 CMPSU-430CX 430W ATX12V Active PFC Power Supply
nMEDIAPC Black Aluminum / Acrylic / Steel HTPC 5000B Micro ATX Media Center / HTPC Case
PRO-LCD-B (Blue Text)
AE1000 802.11n Dual-Band ( 5Ghz 2.4Ghz ) Wireless USB Adapter
2.4G iPazzPort Mini Portable Wireless Keyboard Touchpad

SSD fit perfectly where the DVD would normally go. I have no use for a DVD drive so I mounted it using the existing holes ( on one side only )

Gigabyte Micro-ATX Intel i3 2100 Sandy Bridge HTPC Case - ekkx
Intel Core i3-2100 Sandy Bridge
G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800)
GIGABYTE GA-H67MA-UD2H-B3 LGA 1155 Intel H67
Antec EarthWatts Green EA-430D
Silverstone Grandia GD06
Lite On Blu Ray Drive iHOS104-08
Scythe SCSK-1100 100mm Shuriken
Rosewill WMC Remote
SAMSUNG Spinpoint F4 HD204UI 2TB
Crucial RealSSD C300
Component List

Top Cover Removed

Drive Cages Removed

Power Supply Installed (also moved the air filters to the opposite side of the fan, a tip from another thread in this forum, easier to clean)

Motherboard with CPU installed

Motherboard mounted (Arctic Silver on the CPU)

Heatsink Installed (this was painfully difficult)

Heatsink Side View

Heatsink Side View with BluRay Drive Installed (bare minimum clearance)

3.5 Hot Swappable Drive Cage with Samsung F4 2TB Installed in lower cage
Not show in the picture but I mounted my SSD on the top part of the upper drive bay

Ripjaw X Ram Installed (Cable Craziness)

Drive Cages Reinstalled

Front View of Completed Build

Rear View

View of the entertainment center with HTPC on bottom center

View of the Front Cover open (LED lights are a little bright)

HTPC keyboard that I saw at Amazon (working out great so far)

assassin's Avatar assassin 01:29 PM 05-02-2011
Gigabyte Sandy Bridge i3 2100t Mini-ITX Build - yrless11
-Apex MI-008 Case
-SB i3 2100t
-GIGABYTE GA-H67N-USB3-B3 LGA 1155 Intel H67
-G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 4GB (2 x 2GB)
-Samsung 1tb drive
-Samsung BR
The parts:

SB 2100t - lots of clearance to the PSU. With the PSU and BR drive installed, I would say only about 1/4 of the cpu has solid metal above it before the case.

Another angle:

Top view...maybe not quite as much clearance as I was thinking, too many power cables in they way:

There is ~ 3/8" between the 2100t cooling fan and the PSU on the MI-008 PSU.

You can see the issue with the ripjaws fins in this photo. You need to use standard height RAM:

Gigabyte Micro-ATX Sandy Bridge i3 HTPC Case Build - tomjoetan
Here is my complete part list:
CPU (Amazon): Sandy Bridge LGA1155 (3D) Intel i3-2100
MB (Amazon): Gigabyte GA-H67MA-UD2H-B3 - $130 + Shipping
RAM (Amazon): PNY Optima 4 GB PC3-10666 1333 MHz DDR3
OS: Windows 7 Professional
PSU (Amazon): Rosewill Green Series RG530-S12 530W Continuous
Case (Newegg): HTPC Component Style - NMedia 1000B
Hard Drive (Amazon): Western Digital Caviar Blue 500 GB
Remote: Logitech Harmony 880

Gigabyte Micro-ATX i3 Sandy Bridge HTPC Case - alexf187
My parts list for anyone that missed my earlier posts:
Intel Core I3 2100 3.1Ghz Box Socket 1155 BX80623I32100
Gigabyte GA-H67M-UD2H-B3
Kingston HyperX Blu DDR3 1600 PC3-12800 4GB 2x2GB CL9
Western Digital Caviar Green 2TB WD20EARS
Sony Optiarc BD-5300S
Antec Basiq 550W Plus
SilverStone Grandia GD05B HTPC Case
Windows Home Premium 7 SP1 64-bit EN 1pk OEI OEM DVD

ASUS Micro-ATX i3 Sandy Bridge 2100 Tower Case - Mondo Rock
OS Windows 7 - 64 bit
CPU Intel Core i3-2100 Sandy Bridge 3.1GHz 2 x 256KB L2 Cache
MoBo ASUS P8H67-M EVO (REV 3.0) LGA 1155 Intel H67 HDMI
RAM SKILL Ripjaws X Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3
Case Antec NSK 6582B Black 0.8 mm Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer
PSU With Case ... 430W Power Supply
BD Drive SAMSUNG Black 12X BD-ROM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-ROM SATA Internal Blu-ray Drive
IR Rem Rosewill WMC Remote control/Rcvr RRC-127 for Win 7
HDD SAMSUNG Spinpoint F4 HD204UI 2TB 5400 RPM x 2 ... 4TB total
SSD Crucial RealSSD C300 CTFDDAC064MAG-1G1 2.5" 64GB SATA III
Wireless Rosewill RNX-N300X IEEE 802.11b/g, IEEE 802.11n Draft 2.0 PCI
TV Tuner AVerMedia AVerTVHD Duet - PCTV Tuner (A188 - White Box) - OEM

assassin's Avatar assassin 01:29 PM 05-02-2011
ASUS Micro-ATX Sandy Bridge i5 HTPC Case Build - CarpeD1em500
On to the parts!
Case: nMediaPC 6000b
PSU: Antec Green 430w
Ram: G.Skills RipJaws (Model F3-10666CL8D-4GBRM) (4GB)
Mobo: Asus P8H67-M Pro
Brain: i5 2500k (*A note here - I did not do this upgrade for the sake of upgrade's sake. About a week ago Micro Center had a deal for this processor and a 1TB WD HDD for $200 total. I essentially traded an i3 + 2TB HDD for an i5 + 1TB HDD. (with the same price))
SSD: Crucial RealSSD 64GB
Items I had lying around the house / full system setup:
72" Mitsubishi DLP (rear-projection) - responsible for the screen bowing you sometimes see
Older Onkyo 5.1 AVR (only has optical in, no HDMI)
Microsoft Wireless Gaming Receiver - essential for emulation
Logitech diNovo Edge Keyboard
On to the build!

-The obligatory "everything unpacked shot". A note here, I didn't get the SSD until a day after I had everything else. You'll see I installed everything else, got it to boot/post, and then waited on the SSD to move forward.

Really like this case, especially for a first build. Very roomy, feels secure, 3 fans. Screw holes were not always perfect, but for the $$ very happy.

Everything taken apart and ready for pieces.

Unboxing my motherboard

I was kinda nervous during the mobo / i5 install, so I didn't take many pictures. I did get the i5 loaded and the fan installed with no problems!

Another view.

I wired up the 1TB and the RAM, and then hooked up an older VGA monitor to test. All LEDs were green, fans started spinning and we were live!

Still rather messy, but for now I felt good. System posted and now we wait for...

The SSD!

I find it funny how such small items can be so powerful and expensive. This thing is TINY and weighs very little.

No velcro around so these little 3M picture / poster hangers will have to do.

Loaded and ready to go.

Installed in the drive bays and wired up with the 1TB WD. Prior to installing Windows I did unplug the 1TB, per Assassins hints and tips.

Bit of a mess, but lets install Windows first and then clean all of that up once I finish plugging in the 1TB.

We're a go...

A few hours later I had SNES9x up and running with my Xbox 360 controller.

Childhood favorite and arguably the best game ever.... (Earthbound). NOTE - I don't have any pictures but Super Mario 64, LoZ OOT and various other N64 favorites played without any stutter at all, as of course did my 1080p test files.

Some Pandora streaming this morning. Much better using this than plugging my phone into my AVR!

Head-on view.

Cabinet shot (Xbox 360-S, Halo Reach edition, AVR, PS3-slim, HTPC)

Running smoothly!
ASUS Micro-ATX i3 Sandy Bridge HTPC Case Build - Mini Viper
Intel i3-2100, Asus H67 EVO, Silverstone Strider Modular PSU, GD06 Case, Corsair XMS3 Ram, LG Blu-ray Writer, 2x3TB Hitachi HDD, 64GB Crucial C300. Waiting on Ceton Infinitv4(sitting at my parents' house) and PP05 cabling kit for the PSU. Note I had to flip the PSU upside down from the photos since the modular cabling interfered with the HDD drivebay. Spent 2 days troubleshooting random lockups, seems it was caused by the "power saving mode" on the mobo.

assassin's Avatar assassin 01:30 PM 05-02-2011
Sb #4
assassin's Avatar assassin 01:30 PM 05-02-2011
Reserved: SB Builds Part 5
assassin's Avatar assassin 01:30 PM 05-02-2011
Budget (circa 2009) Dual Core Pentium e5200 and ATI 5450 fanless build in HTPC case - assassin
Motherboard - GIGABYTE GA-G41M-ES2L LGA 775
CPU - Intel Pentium Dual Core e5200
Case - Antec NSK-2480 painted black with spraypaint
PSU - Antec Greenwatts 380 watt (included with case)
Graphics - Sapphire ATI 5450 fanless 1GB DDR2
RAM - Corsair 2x2GB DDR2
Hard Drive (OS+storage) - WD 640GB Green
Hard Drive (Storage) - WD 2TB EARS Green
CPU Cooler - Cooler Master Geminii S
Optical - Old IDE Samsung DVD burner
New SSD - Corsair Nova Series 64GB --- $80 after rebate

SSD and the Molex-to-SATA power adapter and securing device.

Mounting SSD with Velcro!!!

Core2Duo Upgrade Build Intel Micro ATX board HTPC Component Case - Tizi
From input here, I decided to turn my old Dell XPS into a HTPC using its CPU - E6400, 4 BG of RAM, and 250GB WD HD. The wife did not like the box of the old XPS, so I convinced her we could make it look like the bluray player and replace it at the same time (take out the bluray player and XPS, and have 1 box):
The new parts: HEC case, Intel DG45ID 755 board, and Rosewill card reader:

Remove CPU, RAM, and HD from XPS (to be transplanted into new HTPC):

Remove the old thermal paste from the CPU:

Install RAM onto new board:

Install CPU onto new board/add thermal paste (Artic Silver):

I could not use the heat sink from the Dell, so I had to order this Thermaltake and installed it:

Install card reader and HD:

Install board:

Forgot about the bluray player had to order it fast - Samsung (nice). It was challenging to install due to the wiring...all had to be routed carefully:

Everything in and cleaned up:

Cover installed and top:

Installed into cabinet (looks better than the Dell box sitting on the ground and wife approved):

assassin's Avatar assassin 01:36 PM 05-02-2011
I am trying to move some data. It is still timing out.

I'll get this corrected for everyone.
assassin's Avatar assassin 01:45 PM 05-02-2011
Migration in progress.

Quicklinks still work!!!!!!
jbcain's Avatar jbcain 01:55 PM 05-02-2011
Just an update for other i3 gpu users. I just ugraded from my i3 540 with built in GPU. I went with an i5 760 (no gpu) and a gtx550i. What I CAN say is that the video performance is absolutely unbelieveable. I too was on the "it can't look that much better" boat but let me tell you first hand, WOW! so if you happen to come across ~100$ later on down the road and want to "beef" up your htpc ( i needed more power for DLNA transcoding) don't hesitate to plop a dedicated vdo card in!
badgerpilot's Avatar badgerpilot 01:56 PM 05-02-2011
Originally Posted by assassin View Post
So not a good sign so far...

From one of the mods:

Anyone have any other thoughts???
How about starting a new thread?
Tags: Rosewill Windows Vista Certified Media Center Infrared Remote Control Rrc 126 , New Logitech Harmony One Keypad Touch Screen Advanced Universal Remote Control Infrared Display Lcd
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