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post #1 of 7 Old 03-03-2012, 10:49 PM - Thread Starter
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I'm planning to build an HTPC to do the job of DVR (replacing a Tivo HD), Blu-ray player, music player, etc... I'm planning to run 64-bit WMC 7 (which I have already), going optical audio to the receiver, and HDMI to the 50" 720p plasma (my old Denon receiver doesn't support hdmi). I'd like it to be as quiet as possible (though it will be in an entertainment center).

Here's my plan so far:
  • Case: Silverstone Grandia GD05b (Amazon, $89.99)
  • PSU: PC P&C Silencer MkIII 400Wt($50w/mir) or 500Wt($60w/mir)
  • Mobo: ASUS P8Z68-M Pro ($125)
  • Proc: i3-2125 (Microcenter, $119.99) or i3-2105 (Amazon $134).
  • Cooler: Scythe SCBSK-2100 BIG Shuriken 2 Rev. B ($47.99, Newegg)
  • Memory: 8gb (2x4gb) g.Skill Ripjaws or Ripjaws X 1600 memory (~$47).
  • TV Tuner: Ceton InfiniTV4 PCIe (Amazon, $199).
  • SSD for the OS: Corsair Force GT SataIII 90GB ($145) or 120gb ($170).
  • HD: Western Digital Caviar Green WD20EARX, 2TB, Sata3 ($119, Newegg)
  • Blu-ray: LG WH12LS38 12X SATA BLU-RAY BURNER ($85), or ASUS BC-12B1ST/BLK/B/AS - OEM, Blu-ray read, DVD write ($58).
  • Zalman Fan Mate 2 + a y-cable 3pin to 4x 3pin.
  • Remote: I have a Harmony One remote.
  • IR Receiver: No idea.

My few questions are:
  1. Can anyone suggest a good IR receiver that will work with the Harmony One, and control WMC well?
  2. 400 watt or 500 watt power supply? (I suspect 400 is plenty).
  3. 90gb or 120gb SSD? (or should I go down to 60-64gb? It is mainly for the OS...).
  4. Which flavor of the g.Skill memory? And with the mobo and big shuriken 2, will I have any problem fitting the memory (or anything else on the motherboard)?
  5. Is the blu-ray burner worth the extra $27?
  6. Is there anything else I'm forgetting? (I have built computers before, but never a HTPC.)

Any other suggestions (or modifications)?

Thanks!

-mathferret

p.s. thanks to Assassin and his guides, etc., which have saved me a lot of time...
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post #2 of 7 Old 03-04-2012, 01:30 AM
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http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_saca...ceiver&_fscr=1 Top one in the link.

Search around a bit on e-bay . I bought this one from a US seller as I did not want to wait 30 day's for an over seas seller and the risk was also to high for me . You don't need the remote . You need to use assassins guide to help you set the Harmoney up . Really makes it easier.

The 400 watt is plenty .... actually more than you need but not an area to skimp on either

64 gig ssd is plenty. Crucial M-4 and the Samsung - 830 are both excellent drives . I have the Sammy and LOVE it .

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...=1w1ru9zv2c0jo

I used this ram and works really well .

Do u really burn BD s ? Cause if not then no , the extra $ could be spent better. BD player = yes , BD burner = no .

You don't need the Shrunken as the factory cooler works well . I use it and never load higher than 45 C .

You don't need 8 gigs of ramm unless you just want it for , well ... wanting it !


You have a REALLY sweet build going here.

BTW ... as you already point out , all of this info is at the guides . Go ahead while your planning your build and get Assassins paid guides if you have not already . Using The Guides, I already saved you enough money to do so and still pocket some to boot

BTW #2 ... WELCOME TO THE FORUM
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post #3 of 7 Old 03-04-2012, 09:23 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the suggestions!

I'll go with the 400 watt, and the blu-ray combo drive.

I'll stick with the 8gb cuz it's not that expensive (<$20 diff) and I really want it. I couldn't find the 8gb version of the 4gb memory you linked to at Newegg, at least, but I'll look around for it.

I've read some reviews saying the stock heatsink/fan is a little loud and/or whiny. The Big Shuriken 2 and its quiet PWM 120mm fan shouldn't have that problem. I suppose that I could install the stock one and test it out first, but having little kids I'd like to get the hardware installation done and in the cabinet quickly. So, if I install the first one and then decide to swap it out, I have to wait for it to ship, arrive, do the install, etc...

Any opinion(s) about the noise/sound of the stock fan vs. the Big Shuriken 2? And, the stock fan is short enough to fit under the blu-ray drive, right? (If I'm not getting any benefit from the change, then it's not worth the cost, but if it does make it quieter, my wife will probably be happier...).

And, if you've ever used this Mobo with a Big Shuriken 2, do you have any opinion about whether I'll have any problem installing it, or fitting the memory (I'll only be using 2 slots if 2 of them are blocked...) and PCIe card (for the Ceton)?

As for the IR receiver, are

(I can't yet post urls)
(search for HP MCE remote IR Receiver and find two by Gu Cheng Fulfilled by amazon, one with 6 reviews, one with 17, but both seeming to be the same hp ir receiver + remote).

the same thing? (At $22, it is a few more dollars than the top ebay link, but with Amazon prime I'll get it quickly, and probably with less hassle.) Is there any advantage to the Flirc (which is a similar price to the amazon version of the HP IR receiver)? Only problem I see with the flirc is that I'd need to get a longer cord so I can mount it somewhere visible to the remote.

Thanks again for your help!
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post #4 of 7 Old 03-07-2012, 07:35 AM
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I'd suggest running multichannel analog audio from your PC to your Denon. I too have an older Denon and the multichannel analog inputs sound much better than optical audio. Most Pre-HDMI Denons have 6 or 8 channel analog inputs.
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post #5 of 7 Old 03-07-2012, 12:45 PM
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1) Can anyone suggest a good IR receiver that will work with the Harmony One, and control WMC well?

I use a harmony One with a lenovo IR reciever I got from eBay. No issues. Just like this one:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/New-Original...item4ab1575928


2) 400 watt or 500 watt power supply? (I suspect 400 is plenty).
I used the 400watt that you mentioned. It is AWESOME!


3)90gb or 120gb SSD? (or should I go down to 60-64gb? It is mainly for the OS...).
I used 64Gig for OS only. No issues. All media on a WHS serer in the garage.


4)Which flavor of the g.Skill memory? And with the mobo and big shuriken 2, will I have any problem fitting the memory (or anything else on the motherboard)?

I think physical size is the only real issue. Buy the stuff with no heatsink if you are worried.

4) Is the blu-ray burner worth the extra $27?
Not in my media PC. Its by the TV in the living room. I'd never burn anything on mine. I do that on my workstation. I dont ahve any optical device in my HTPC at all.

5) Is there anything else I'm forgetting? (I have built computers before, but never a HTPC.)

A HTPC is just like any other PC. Just make it as silent as possible. In a form factor that fits your location. The Intel chips with built in graphics are great on Sysboards with HDMI out. You dont need a GPU at all. Its great!
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post #6 of 7 Old 03-07-2012, 01:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mathferret2000 View Post

I'm planning to build an HTPC to do the job of DVR (replacing a Tivo HD), Blu-ray player, music player, etc... I'm planning to run 64-bit WMC 7 (which I have already), going optical audio to the receiver, and HDMI to the 50" 720p plasma (my old Denon receiver doesn't support hdmi). I'd like it to be as quiet as possible (though it will be in an entertainment center).

Here's my plan so far:
  • Case: Silverstone Grandia GD05b (Amazon, $89.99)
  • PSU: PC P&C Silencer MkIII 400Wt($50w/mir) or 500Wt($60w/mir)
  • Mobo: ASUS P8Z68-M Pro ($125)
  • Proc: i3-2125 (Microcenter, $119.99) or i3-2105 (Amazon $134).
  • Cooler: Scythe SCBSK-2100 BIG Shuriken 2 Rev. B ($47.99, Newegg)
  • Memory: 8gb (2x4gb) g.Skill Ripjaws or Ripjaws X 1600 memory (~$47).
  • TV Tuner: Ceton InfiniTV4 PCIe (Amazon, $199).
  • SSD for the OS: Corsair Force GT SataIII 90GB ($145) or 120gb ($170).
  • HD: Western Digital Caviar Green WD20EARX, 2TB, Sata3 ($119, Newegg)
  • Blu-ray: LG WH12LS38 12X SATA BLU-RAY BURNER ($85), or ASUS BC-12B1ST/BLK/B/AS - OEM, Blu-ray read, DVD write ($58).
  • Zalman Fan Mate 2 + a y-cable 3pin to 4x 3pin.
  • Remote: I have a Harmony One remote.
  • IR Receiver: No idea.

My few questions are:
  1. Can anyone suggest a good IR receiver that will work with the Harmony One, and control WMC well?
  2. 400 watt or 500 watt power supply? (I suspect 400 is plenty).
  3. 90gb or 120gb SSD? (or should I go down to 60-64gb? It is mainly for the OS...).
  4. Which flavor of the g.Skill memory? And with the mobo and big shuriken 2, will I have any problem fitting the memory (or anything else on the motherboard)?
  5. Is the blu-ray burner worth the extra $27?
  6. Is there anything else I'm forgetting? (I have built computers before, but never a HTPC.)

Any other suggestions (or modifications)?

Thanks!

-mathferret

p.s. thanks to Assassin and his guides, etc., which have saved me a lot of time...

Thanks for using the guides. Glad I could help.

Answers:

1. The HP MCE IR receiver is highly recommended on AVS. I use it as well. Its on ebay for about $15.
2. 400 watt is plenty. I am using that PSU as well not. Its silent.
3. 64GB is plenty for just the OS and programs. No reason to waste money on the 90GB+ size.
4. If you are unsure about memory heatsink clearance just get the "standard" memory. Get the DDR3 1600 since you are getting a Z68 board. Something like this will work and will work with the Shuriken.
5. Depends if you want to burn blurays. If not then don't get it and save the money. Not needed for ripping bluray as a reader is just fine.

Otherwise looks like a great build!
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post #7 of 7 Old 03-10-2012, 07:44 AM - Thread Starter
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I ended up going with:
  • Silverstone Grandia GD05b
  • PC P&C Silencer MkIII 500Wt
  • ASUS P8Z68-M Pro
  • i3-2125
  • Scythe SCBSK-2100 BIG Shuriken 2 Rev. B
  • 8gb (2x4gb) g.Skill Ripjaws
  • Ceton InfiniTV4 PCIe
  • Crucial M-4 64gb SSD
  • Western Digital Caviar Green WD20EARX, 2TB, Sata3
  • ASUS BC-12B1ST/BLK/B/AS - OEM, Blu-ray read, DVD write
  • Zalman Fan Mate 2 + a y-cable 3pin to 4x 3pin.
  • pre-existing Harmony One remote.
  • pre-existing Windows 7 Professional 64-bit
  • Flirc IR receiver

I'm still waiting for the Flirc to be shipped... aside from that, the machine is up and running. A few comments so far.
  1. The build wasn't difficult. Yes, it was more difficult than any non-HTPC computer I've built, but still not bad at all. (e.g., several cable configurations had to be tried and then changed, like the SATA cables and the power cables to the drives... this is usually a lot more straightforward in my experience).
  2. The right-angle SATA cables that came with the mobo were 0/3. (The one for the blu-ray wouldn't clear the shuriken fan), the SSD (across the top of the PSU, cable through that rubber flap thing wouldn't get through there), for the HD, it wouldn't clear the PSU. Fortunately, I had 3 regular ones that I picked up ahead of time.
  3. The Big Shuriken is a bit tricky to install since once it is on the processor, you screw it in from under the mobo. With only 2 hands to work with, this was tricky (I turned the mobo over, holding the Shuriken to the mobo with one hand, which is a bit terrifying).
  4. Sure enough, one (or possibly two) of the four memory slots is partially blocked (the memory I got wouldn't have worked there, but lower profile RAM would probably have worked there) by the Shuriken.
  5. Modular (or partially modular) PSUs are great.
  6. With case fans powered to about 7V, the computer is inaudible. At 12V, the marketing on the box as "3 silent 120mm fans" or something like that, it not accurate. Not loud, but not silent. Some of this is definitely going to be the fault of the filter, and the things blocking the airflow on the inside, but it just isn't silent until 7V or so. Hopefully, this will be cool enough.
  7. Wow is an SSD fast. Under 20 seconds from power button to can open a program.
  8. The Ceton seems to be a bit picky about the signal strength of the cable signal that gets to its card (I think more so that the TIVO HD we have). Behind one splitter (disconnecting the TIVO) it was fine-ish (the diagnostics passed it, but from picture issues, I'm guessing the signal was only marginal, whereas the TIVO still thought that signal was fine --- cable guy is coming out today to work on that). Trying to split the line to go to both the TIVO and the HTPC made it entirely fail to work (OOB wouldn't lock). Until I get the IR and have everything tested, I want the TIVO still there, so
  9. Assassin's paid guides are nice to have.
  10. The windows media center TV setup is a bit weird. It kept claiming that my computer isn't digital cable ready. I checked in the Windows Media Experience rating, and it had rated my graphics at 1.0. I re-evaluated, and it got to 5.0 at least for everything. Still, WMC balked. So, I found digital cable advisor, and that convinced WMC that it was all good.

I'm quite happy with it so far. It looks great on our 50" plasma (only a 720p).

I'll try to post some pictures in a few days. Hopefully, the flirc will get here in a few days too, so that I can transition the recording duties from the Tivo to the HTPC.
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