How to Ask For New HTPC Build Help - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 46 Old 02-18-2011, 08:41 AM - Thread Starter
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Approximate Purchase Date: (e.g.: this week (the closer the better))

Level of Expertise at building and configuring a HTPC: (Complete newbie, beginner, average, or advanced user)

Budget Range: (e.g.: 600-800) Before / After Rebates

System Usage from Most to Least Important: (e.g.: watching 1080p/720p, Netflix, view streaming media other than Netflix/Pandora, Recording OTA signals or cable, encoding HD files, network required (wired vs wireless), gaming, surfing the internet, other programs such as photoshop, autocad, etc)

Size of HTPC case: (any, "component size", or small form factor. Also doesn't hurt to list your maximum dimensions including anything that may limit case size (such as the shelf it is going on is only 14" deep, for example))

Case Make and Model: (Is there a particular style or manufacturer that you prefer? Or do you not have a preference?)

Optical Drive Needed: (if yes do you need a DVD reader/burner, Bluray reader, or Bluray reader/burner?)

Parts Not Required to buy: (e.g.: keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers, OS) **Include Power Supply Make & Model, Case Make/Model, etc if Re-using**

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: (e.g.: newegg.com, ncix.com -- to show us selection & pricing)

Country of Origin: (e.g.: Grand Fenwick)

Parts Preferences: by brand or type (e.g.: I would like to use an AMD CPU & ASUS mobo with a 100" Peojection screen and full tower case. Also provide your rationale behind why you prefer a particular brand or platform)

Data Storage: (Are you going to be storing your data/movies on this PC or at another location to be accessed over your network?)

Home Theater Setup: (Receiver, HDTV, etc)

Additional Comments: (e.g.: Need to have a window and lots of bling, I would like a quiet PC)
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post #2 of 46 Old 02-18-2011, 08:41 AM - Thread Starter
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Borrowed from Tom's Hardware.

I'm open to suggestions to improve it.
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post #3 of 46 Old 02-18-2011, 08:45 AM
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THANK YOU!
Anything to bring some order to these threads that are becoming quite unorganized an fragmented.
As an aside, I'd like to see a sticky for remote controls/keyboards. I think there is one but people continue to create new ones and the information gets lost. Your guys are saints for continuing to repeat answers to the same questions that are asked over and over.
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post #4 of 46 Old 02-18-2011, 08:51 AM
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This is really good. I got the below suggestion from hardwarecanucks....

IF YOU plan on overclocking or run the system at default speeds.
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post #5 of 46 Old 02-18-2011, 08:52 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shftup View Post

This is really good. I got the below suggestion from hardwarecanucks....

IF YOU plan on overclocking or run the system at default speeds.

IMO I don't really think you should ever overclock a typical HTPC. If you are gaming on it perhaps but that is more a question for the gaming forum.
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post #6 of 46 Old 02-18-2011, 10:45 AM
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I agree, that being said if you using your HTPC for encoding, or other related tasks that use cpu cycles, then overclocking becomes relevant.

Some do not have multiple computer for different tasks.

Anyways, just a thought.

Either way, I like the thread.
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post #7 of 46 Old 02-18-2011, 12:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shftup View Post

I agree, that being said if you using your HTPC for encoding, or other related tasks that use cpu cycles, then overclocking becomes relevant.

Some do not have multiple computer for different tasks.

Anyways, just a thought.

Either way, I like the thread.

agreed, also in some cases overclocking can save money by way of using a cheaper CPU and or GPU and maybe upgraded cooling.
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post #8 of 46 Old 02-18-2011, 12:41 PM - Thread Starter
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That's fine, I'll add it. Still don't agree with it though for how 99% of the people on AVS Forum use their HTPCs.
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post #9 of 46 Old 02-18-2011, 01:29 PM - Thread Starter
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post #10 of 46 Old 05-14-2012, 07:57 AM - Thread Starter
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We need to sticky this.
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post #11 of 46 Old 05-14-2012, 08:00 AM
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I would add to it an explicit call out for "do you need an optical drive?" and "where are you going to store your media?" and "what HTPC features are you planning to use (watch Netflix HD, watch Blu-ray rips, listen to music on Zone 2, etc.)?" since these make all the difference in hardware choice IMHO.

 

 

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post #12 of 46 Old 05-14-2012, 08:04 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StardogChampion View Post

I would add to it an explicit call out for "do you need an optical drive?" and "where are you going to store your media?" and "what HTPC features are you planning to use (watch Netflix HD, watch Blu-ray rips, listen to music on Zone 2, etc.)?" since these make all the difference in hardware choice IMHO.

Data storage is already included as is system usage.

Will add the optical drive question.

Edit: Added size of HTPC case
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post #13 of 46 Old 05-14-2012, 08:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by assassin View Post

IMO I don't really think you should ever overclock a typical HTPC. If you are gaming on it perhaps but that is more a question for the gaming forum.

I disagree. For gaming, encoding, and any CPU heavy task it becomes a factor.

While your right for a traditional HTPC only PC build- a broader range of use might warrant it.

Plus- Overclocking is often extra value since the performance is increased significantly while price is not always increased significantly.

Edit: added below

Quote:
Originally Posted by shftup View Post

I agree, that being said if you using your HTPC for encoding, or other related tasks that use cpu cycles, then overclocking becomes relevant.

Some do not have multiple computer for different tasks.

Anyways, just a thought.

Either way, I like the thread.

Yes. +1


Quote:
Originally Posted by Calcvictim View Post

agreed, also in some cases overclocking can save money by way of using a cheaper CPU and or GPU and maybe upgraded cooling.

Yes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by assassin View Post

That's fine, I'll add it. Still don't agree with it though for how 99% of the people on AVS Forum use their HTPCs.

Glad you came around.

If your right then 99% of the time it won't be a factor anyhow. Personally I think it's more like 20%

But the way I see it is anyone that plans to overclock or has the knowledge about such a thing- probably does not need much help in the build process or component selection. They probably know enough and more than normal people.

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post #14 of 46 Old 05-14-2012, 08:54 AM - Thread Starter
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We can continue to agree to disagree on both the prevalence and usefulness in overclocking in the htpc setting.
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post #15 of 46 Old 05-14-2012, 09:05 AM
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post #16 of 46 Old 05-14-2012, 09:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by assassin View Post

Data storage is already included as is system usage.

Will add the optical drive question.

Edit: Added size of HTPC case

Looks good. I think this needs a new thread however -- a single post with the questionnaire in a closed thread would be preferred. We don't want people responding to this thread with their build questions -- it would be good to make explicit "start a new thread for your build". They also should not have to wade through the remarks/arguments about what questions to put on the questionnaire/arguments about overclocking. K.I.S.S.

 

 

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post #17 of 46 Old 05-14-2012, 09:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StardogChampion View Post

Looks good. I think this needs a new thread however -- a single post with the questionnaire in a closed thread would be preferred. We don't want people responding to this thread with their build questions. They also should not have to wade through the OT remarks/arguments. K.I.S.S.

Suggest that you add "view streaming media other than Netflix/Pandora" to the "usage" question. There are different issues if someone wants to be watching a variety of streaming sources other than the main three or four for which there are no, and probably will never be any, plugins to the popular front ends. That should be identified up front because it requires different choices especially for software.

Second, I'd suggest deleting the overclocking question, because regardless of whether some people do it, if someone is on this forum asking basic hardware choice questions, the presumption should be that they will not be and should not be overclocking their system. Raising that at the outset as a choice that needs to be addressed is not productive.
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post #18 of 46 Old 05-14-2012, 09:33 AM
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Yeah, I'd say remove the "First or Secondary" (not important given other questions about HT setup, etc.) and "Overclocking" questions, add "Case make/model" to the remark about PSU next to 'parts not required" (or a general "include brand/model of all parts being reused")

 

 

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post #19 of 46 Old 05-14-2012, 09:38 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zon2020 View Post

Suggest that you add "view streaming media other than Netflix/Pandora" to the "usage" question. There are different issues if someone wants to be watching a variety of streaming sources other than the main three or four for which there are no, and probably will never be any, plugins to the popular front ends. That should be identified up front because it requires different choices especially for software.

Second, I'd suggest deleting the overclocking question, because regardless of whether some people do it, if someone is on this forum asking basic hardware choice questions, the presumption should be that they will not be and should not be overclocking their system. Raising that at the outset as a choice that needs to be addressed is not productive.

Quote:
Originally Posted by StardogChampion View Post

Yeah, I'd say remove the "First or Secondary" (not important given other questions about HT setup, etc.) and "Overclocking" questions, add "Case make/model" to the remark about PSU next to 'parts not required" (or a general "include brand/model of all parts being reused")

Done and done.
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post #20 of 46 Old 05-14-2012, 09:39 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StardogChampion View Post

Looks good. I think this needs a new thread however -- a single post with the questionnaire in a closed thread would be preferred. We don't want people responding to this thread with their build questions -- it would be good to make explicit "start a new thread for your build". They also should not have to wade through the remarks/arguments about what questions to put on the questionnaire/arguments about overclocking. K.I.S.S.

Agreed. Let's get the list narrowed down and then I will create a new thread and ask the mods to sticky it.
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post #21 of 46 Old 05-14-2012, 09:54 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zon2020 View Post

Deleted

I liked the comments that you deleted, fwiw. I agreed 100%.
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post #22 of 46 Old 05-14-2012, 10:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by assassin View Post

I liked the comments that you deleted, fwiw. I agreed 100%.

Stardog was right; it wasn't the place for it.
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post #23 of 46 Old 05-14-2012, 10:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by assassin View Post

I liked the comments that you deleted, fwiw. I agreed 100%.

By the way, seeing your response in the Graphics Card Suggestion thread (with which I agreed), made me think whether you should add to the "Parts Preferences: by brand or type" question "and do you actually have a genuine reason for that preference that is based on today's competing products and technology?"
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post #24 of 46 Old 05-14-2012, 10:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by assassin View Post

We can continue to agree to disagree on both the prevalence and usefulness in overclocking in the htpc setting.

AGREE.

I would probably not even include it in a thread like the one being discussed. It's just no appropriate. Overclocking really should not be an issue in a noobie build thread. It won't be a factor most of the time, and to anyone who it might be a factor would know enough to seek out the additional information they needed.

Overclocking has little use in designing or building a HTPC.

My only disagreement at all really is purely on the basis you reject the idea entirely and automatically across the board.

While it's not needed here- I always feel like you think it's a crime or something.

Encoding video on an overclocked PC is a wonderful thing, as is gaming performance. Perhaps this forum is not the place to consider such things most of the time- but to reject the idea someone might want to do it automatically seems short sighted sometimes.

There are plenty of mixed use PC on these forums. Many of them game or encode or do other non traditional HTPC stuff where the extra boost in power might be useful. Infact, I think most of us here have a CPU or PC that's excessive beyond the recommendation for HTPC application. Right? How many even normal posters on are i5 and i7 ? I am not saying recommend this. Just don't discredit it without knowing how it's used.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zon2020 View Post

Deleted

?

Quote:
Originally Posted by assassin View Post

I liked the comments that you deleted, fwiw. I agreed 100%.

What did I miss?


Quote:
Originally Posted by assassin View Post

Agreed. Let's get the list narrowed down and then I will create a new thread and ask the mods to sticky it.

It's a good idea. But in general the same threads will pop up and many of the OP starting them won't even have read the sticky.

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post #25 of 46 Old 05-14-2012, 10:25 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

My only disagreement at all really is purely on the basis you reject the idea entirely and automatically across the board.

While it's not needed here- I always feel like you think it's a crime or something.

Encoding video on an overclocked PC is a wonderful thing, as is gaming performance.

Which might be a valid argument except that...

a) there is a home theater PC gaming forum locate here: http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/forumdisplay.php?f=145

b) as Zon2020's deleted post eloquently put it there is just no reason to really overclock for HTPC (or really even PC) anymore. I will not continue to reiterate this point. I have dealt with HTPCs that have been toast due to overclocking gone horribly wrong and as he pointed out very well in that post there is minimal gain, if any, when overclocking a HTPC.
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post #26 of 46 Old 05-14-2012, 10:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

AGREE.
It's a good idea. But in general the same threads will pop up and many of the OP starting them won't even have read the sticky.

When that happens, it'll be easy to reply with a link to the sticky and say, kindly, "please fill this out -- this is what people need to know to start".

 

 

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post #27 of 46 Old 05-14-2012, 10:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zon2020 View Post

By the way, seeing your response in the Graphics Card Suggestion thread (with which I agreed), made me think whether you should add to the "Parts Preferences: by brand or type" question "and do you actually have a genuine reason for that preference that is based on today's competing products and technology?"

Yeah, it might be worth putting next to "Parts Preference" "please explain why you prefer these parts". And, really, Biostar? Full tower? Bad examples .

 

 

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post #28 of 46 Old 05-14-2012, 10:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by assassin View Post

Which might be a valid argument except that...

a) there is a home theater PC gaming forum locate here: http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/forumdisplay.php?f=145

b) as Zon2020's deleted post eloquently put it there is just no reason to really overclock for HTPC (or really even PC) anymore. I will not continue to reiterate this point. I have dealt with HTPCs that have been toast due to overclocking gone horribly wrong and as he pointed out very well in that post there is minimal gain, if any, when overclocking a HTPC.

yeah. I totally agree with all this.

for HTPC there is no point in overclocking.

But there is certainly a speed benefit and performance boost in CPU heavy tasks with overclocking. While not a HTPC type usage- it would greatly benefit other stuff. I can't say I agree universally against overclocking- in a PC type application. Your a bit extreme on that.

I can tell you with absolute certainty that a quad core running 4.0+ ghz is just way faster than a basic dual core i3 variety.

Even just re-adjusting the turbo boost to run higher makes a difference in simple stuff like waiting for a large zip or winrar to complete- or a handbrake conversion to finish.

Your 99% right about the HTPC side- but not about "(or really even PC)" part of it.

I wish I saw the deleted post cause I am curious. But I think this is enough on this topic for this thread. It's not needed.

We all agree deleted the overclock part from the proposed sticky and it's just not needed in a discussion about building a HTPC at all.

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post #29 of 46 Old 05-14-2012, 10:57 AM
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How about a line for level of technical expertise? I can't stand it when someone posts a thoughtful question only to have some drone say "read assassin's guides". The guides are great but a specific issue or advice, it can be much more efficient to turn to the forum.
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post #30 of 46 Old 05-14-2012, 11:00 AM - Thread Starter
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How about a line for level of technical expertise? I can't stand it when someone posts a thoughtful question only to have some drone say "read assassin's guides". The guides are great but a specific issue or advice, it can be much more efficient to turn to the forum.

Sure. I can include that.
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