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post #1 of 216 Old 08-25-2012, 01:58 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi Guys,

I have been reading and reading about HTPC's on this site. I have learned a great deal and am ready to start putting together my own. I am not new to PC's - have been tinkering with them for the past 10yrs but have never built one from scratch. I have embraced members thoughts and selections to certain parts and what would work.

Basically I want this to do the following: Watch Live TV (Comcast cablecard) and DVR, rip current DVD and BluRay collection. Also, will my xbox 360 be ableto be an extender so I could watch a recorded/ripped bluray on another TV in the house?

I have been on NewEgg and put together the following parts list, take a look and see if you see any conflicts, better coomponents, or just comments in general:

Motherboard: ASRock H77 Pro4-M LGA 1155 Intel H77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard ($90)
CPU: Intel Core i3-2105 Sandy Bridge 3.1GHz LGA 1155 65W Dual-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 3000 BX80623I32105 ($135)
Memory: Kingston HyperX 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 Desktop Memory Model KHX1600C9D3K2/8G ($51)
Power Supply: SeaSonic S12II 380B 380W ATX12V v2.3 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC Power Supply ($59)
SSD for OS only: Crucial M4 CT064M4SSD2 2.5" 64GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) ($73)
Harddrive: Seagate Barracuda ST2000DM001 2TB 7200 RPM SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive ($109)
BluRay Drive: LITE-ON Black Internal 12X Blu-ray Combo SATA Model ihes112-04 - OEM ($55)
Capture Card: Ceton InfiniTV 4 Quad-tuner Card for Watching Digital Cable TV on the PC, PCI-Express x1 Interface ($190)
Case: SilverStone GRANDIA Series GD04B-USB3.0 Micro ATX Media Center / HTPC, 8.0mm aluminum front panel, 0.8mm SECC body Case ($114)
OS: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64-bit - OEM ($99)

For a rough total of $980.

I am a HUGE audio/video phile so I want to make sure I can get the same video quality as my Sony ES5000 BluRay player and the same audio quality. Yes, I want to have my cake and eat it to - call me greedy smile.gif

Any thoughts, comments, or concerns are welcomed.........

Thanks,
Toys7505

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post #2 of 216 Old 08-25-2012, 09:24 PM
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Pretty,
Nothing that I would call wrong. You going to game or use it for video editing? If not, then pretty well balanced.
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post #3 of 216 Old 08-26-2012, 06:34 AM - Thread Starter
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No gaming here, this would be strictly for Home Theater use. Same with video editing. Once I get this rig setup and going, I will redo the main workstation that will have more "meat and potatoes" for gaming and video editing.

Question: What's everyone's thoughts on the HTPC cases that have a 7" touch screen on them? Are they worth while? Or just "eye candy"?

Also, will I be able to RIP a BluRay and watch Live TV at the same time? Or would I need to beef up some the components I have chosen?

Thanks for the input!

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post #4 of 216 Old 08-26-2012, 10:41 AM
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1. Case with touch
I guess it is inevitable someone will come out with touch. If it is a WVGA resolution 7in, it would be hard to use as the box may be positioned on a shelf. Are they resistive or projective capacitive touch?
I am using a passive cooling case on one (HD-Plex H3) and a Lian Li in the other HTPC. I think passive cooling is best for HTPC if it is only used for streaming purposes especially if you are a huge audiophile. In my case, content is in a separate server.
2. SSD
Many have said 128GB is the sweet spot today.
3. CPU
I am using 2400S/2500S in my HTPCs. A bit over power but didn't cost that much more.
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post #5 of 216 Old 08-26-2012, 12:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Toys7505 View Post

Hi Guys,
I have been reading and reading about HTPC's on this site. I have learned a great deal and am ready to start putting together my own. I am not new to PC's - have been tinkering with them for the past 10yrs but have never built one from scratch. I have embraced members thoughts and selections to certain parts and what would work.
Basically I want this to do the following: Watch Live TV (Comcast cablecard) and DVR, rip current DVD and BluRay collection. Also, will my xbox 360 be ableto be an extender so I could watch a recorded/ripped bluray on another TV in the house?
I have been on NewEgg and put together the following parts list, take a look and see if you see any conflicts, better coomponents, or just comments in general:
Motherboard: ASRock H77 Pro4-M LGA 1155 Intel H77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard ($90)
CPU: Intel Core i3-2105 Sandy Bridge 3.1GHz LGA 1155 65W Dual-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 3000 BX80623I32105 ($135)
Memory: Kingston HyperX 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 Desktop Memory Model KHX1600C9D3K2/8G ($51)
Power Supply: SeaSonic S12II 380B 380W ATX12V v2.3 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC Power Supply ($59)
SSD for OS only: Crucial M4 CT064M4SSD2 2.5" 64GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) ($73)
Harddrive: Seagate Barracuda ST2000DM001 2TB 7200 RPM SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive ($109)
BluRay Drive: LITE-ON Black Internal 12X Blu-ray Combo SATA Model ihes112-04 - OEM ($55)
Capture Card: Ceton InfiniTV 4 Quad-tuner Card for Watching Digital Cable TV on the PC, PCI-Express x1 Interface ($190)
Case: SilverStone GRANDIA Series GD04B-USB3.0 Micro ATX Media Center / HTPC, 8.0mm aluminum front panel, 0.8mm SECC body Case ($114)
OS: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64-bit - OEM ($99)
For a rough total of $980.
I am a HUGE audio/video phile so I want to make sure I can get the same video quality as my Sony ES5000 BluRay player and the same audio quality. Yes, I want to have my cake and eat it to - call me greedy smile.gif
Any thoughts, comments, or concerns are welcomed.........
Thanks,
Toys7505

A ripped Blu-Ray will be 30gigs or more. If you plan on ripping many of them, you might want to think about a more sophisticated storage array. Or, you can rip it, and shrink it to a MKV, and end up with a 5-8gig file. If you plan on doing much ripping, converting of file formats, and plan on using the HTPC at the same time, you'll want to upgrade to a true 4 core machine.

How are you handling the audio? HDMI out from the HTPC won't be full bandwith unless you do a bit of digging. Are you running the HDMI to a receiver?
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post #6 of 216 Old 08-26-2012, 03:48 PM - Thread Starter
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Norcaljason -

Thanks for the input. HDMI from HTPC to Denon Pre/Pro to TV. When you say the audio is not going to be FULL bandwith w/o digging - do you have any threads or at least point me in the right direction to find out?
Also, what kind of storage array would you recommend? I have heard if RAID 0,1,5,and 10 also Flexraid but have never used any of them.......

THanks

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post #7 of 216 Old 08-26-2012, 04:35 PM - Thread Starter
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I was looking at this i5 CPU - Intel Core i5-3570K Ivy Bridge 3.4GHz (3.8GHz Turbo) LGA 1155 77W Quad-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 4000

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819116504

instead of the i3 CPU I had originally chosen.

Would this allow me to RIP a movie and watch Live TV at the same time?

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post #8 of 216 Old 08-26-2012, 04:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Toys7505 View Post

Norcaljason -
Thanks for the input. HDMI from HTPC to Denon Pre/Pro to TV. When you say the audio is not going to be FULL bandwith w/o digging - do you have any threads or at least point me in the right direction to find out?
Also, what kind of storage array would you recommend? I have heard if RAID 0,1,5,and 10 also Flexraid but have never used any of them.......
THanks

Read this first:

http://www.anandtech.com/show/2622/2

Which Denon model do you have? If your pre/pro can't accept LPCM or decode a TruHD/DTS-MA, it's kinda a moot point.

For storage, I'd recommend going as big as you can afford.

RAID Arrays can get expensive. You can read about the advantages/disadvantages of RAID arrays here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RAID.
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post #9 of 216 Old 08-26-2012, 04:59 PM
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Here's some excellent info you should read about HD audio.

http://www.missingremote.com/guide/bitstreaming-hdmi-hd-audio-formats-your-htpc
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post #10 of 216 Old 08-26-2012, 05:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NorCalJason View Post

Read this first:
http://www.anandtech.com/show/2622/2
Which Denon model do you have? If your pre/pro can't accept LPCM or decode a TruHD/DTS-MA, it's kinda a moot point.
For storage, I'd recommend going as big as you can afford.
RAID Arrays can get expensive. You can read about the advantages/disadvantages of RAID arrays here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RAID.
This article is 4 years old!!!

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post #11 of 216 Old 08-26-2012, 05:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Toys7505 View Post

I was looking at this i5 CPU - Intel Core i5-3570K Ivy Bridge 3.4GHz (3.8GHz Turbo) LGA 1155 77W Quad-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 4000
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819116504
instead of the i3 CPU I had originally chosen.
Would this allow me to RIP a movie and watch Live TV at the same time?

You stated that you want the best video quality, that means your not going to be compressing your movies.

You can rip to mkv and watch live TV with no problems with an I3. I' not trying to talk you out of the 3570K, that's a nice chip an I wouldn't mind having one myself.

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post #12 of 216 Old 08-26-2012, 06:13 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NorCalJason View Post

Read this first:
http://www.anandtech.com/show/2622/2
Which Denon model do you have? If your pre/pro can't accept LPCM or decode a TruHD/DTS-MA, it's kinda a moot point.
For storage, I'd recommend going as big as you can afford.
RAID Arrays can get expensive. You can read about the advantages/disadvantages of RAID arrays here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RAID.

I am using a Denon AVR-3311CI as a pre/pro. It does not have a set 5.1/7.1 analog ins. Does this mean I need to re-think how I am going to do this?
And I will read up on RAID

Thanks for the tips thus far......

Toys

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post #13 of 216 Old 08-26-2012, 06:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Toys7505 View Post

I am using a Denon AVR-3311CI as a pre/pro. It does not have a set 5.1/7.1 analog ins. Does this mean I need to re-think how I am going to do this?
And I will read up on RAID
Thanks for the tips thus far......
Toys

No, Like I said earlier, that article is 4 years old. Your new computer and Denon will be able to bitsream in HD formats.

I wouldn't worry worry about raid yet. But it doesn't hurt to do a little research for the future.

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post #14 of 216 Old 08-26-2012, 07:04 PM - Thread Starter
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No, Like I said earlier, that article is 4 years old. Your new computer and Denon will be able to bitsream in HD formats.
I wouldn't worry worry about raid yet. But it doesn't hurt to do a little research for the future.

Cool, glad I didn't need to go to the wife and say I need to upgrade something else smile.gif

As for RAID - which one is the preferred setting 0? 1? 5? or 10? Also, what about flexraid? I have found an article or two on this as well. Any thoughts here?

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post #15 of 216 Old 08-26-2012, 07:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Toys7505 View Post

Cool, glad I didn't need to go to the wife and say I need to upgrade something else smile.gif
As for RAID - which one is the preferred setting 0? 1? 5? or 10? Also, what about flexraid? I have found an article or two on this as well. Any thoughts here?

Do NOT do hardware raid. For HTPC software raid is the way to go.
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post #16 of 216 Old 08-26-2012, 07:22 PM - Thread Starter
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Do NOT do hardware raid. For HTPC software raid is the way to go.

Ok, I have heard from the master of HTPC's...........smile.gif

What are your thoughts on Flexraid? Any other software I should look at and consider?

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post #17 of 216 Old 08-26-2012, 07:22 PM
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Do NOT do hardware raid.....
Why is that?
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post #18 of 216 Old 08-26-2012, 07:27 PM
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Its been discussed on here a ton. Do a search for some good discussions.
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post #19 of 216 Old 08-26-2012, 07:29 PM
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Ok, I have heard from the master of HTPC's...........smile.gif
What are your thoughts on Flexraid? Any other software I should look at and consider?
Toys

I like FlexRaid quite a bit.

I posted on here somewhere my thoughts on software Raid versus a simple NAS and most of those thoughts hold in discussing this as well.
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post #20 of 216 Old 08-26-2012, 07:32 PM - Thread Starter
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I like FlexRaid quite a bit.
I posted on here somewhere my thoughts on software Raid versus a simple NAS and most of those thoughts hold in discussing this as well.

Great! I will search and read.......thanks for your input Assassin - much appreciated

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post #21 of 216 Old 08-26-2012, 08:18 PM
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Its been discussed on here a ton. Do a search for some good discussions.
Yes, I see a lot of "Do NOT do hardware raid....." kind of good discussions but nothing substantial why hardware RAID should not be recommended. I incidentally am using all hardware RAID and see no problem with them.
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post #22 of 216 Old 08-26-2012, 08:24 PM
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Yes, I see a lot of "Do NOT do hardware raid....." kind of good discussions but nothing substantial why hardware RAID should not be recommended. I incidentally am using all hardware RAID and see no problem with them.

Start with this one.

What happens when just a single drive fails. What are the steps needed to correct the problem? Can you add full or partially full drives? What about the data on the drives when the hardware raid fails or a drive fails? Drive of the same size or different sizes? How much does it cost to build a true hardware Raid server? Do all the drives spin down except the one being used when not in use? Can you use energy efficient and energy conserving green drives?
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post #23 of 216 Old 08-26-2012, 08:45 PM
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Those are a bunch of questions with no answers. I guess you posed these meaning to say hardware RAID can't do any of these?

My true hardware RAID is built with a $50 RocketRAID 4 port card and a bunch of left over HDDs. About the same cost of a copy of FlexRAID.

Recently I swapped to a different model RocketRAID card and thinking I would have to reinitialize all the drives. To my surprise everything are still there.
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post #24 of 216 Old 08-26-2012, 08:49 PM
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Those are a bunch of questions with no answers. I guess you posed these meaning to say hardware RAID can't do any of these?
My true hardware RAID is built with a $50 RocketRAID 4 port card and a bunch of left over HDDs. About the same cost of a copy of FlexRAID.
Recently I swapped to a different model RocketRAID card and thinking I would have to reinitialize all the drives. To my surprise everything are still there.

That's not at all what I was/am saying.
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post #25 of 216 Old 08-26-2012, 09:06 PM
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That's not at all what I was/am saying.
Then what are you saying?
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post #26 of 216 Old 08-26-2012, 09:18 PM
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I have already said it. I just don't have the time to re-write it all and the search at the new AVS is junk.
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post #27 of 216 Old 08-27-2012, 08:10 AM
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????? That's like, "just believe what I'm saying and I've no time to explain what I'm saying."
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post #28 of 216 Old 08-27-2012, 09:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Toys7505 View Post

I am using a Denon AVR-3311CI as a pre/pro. It does not have a set 5.1/7.1 analog ins. Does this mean I need to re-think how I am going to do this?
And I will read up on RAID
Thanks for the tips thus far......
Toys

Your receiver will accept encrypted HD Audio streams over HDMI.

:-)
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post #29 of 216 Old 08-27-2012, 09:02 AM
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????? That's like, "just believe what I'm saying and I've no time to explain what I'm saying."

He's kind of an expert around here on HTPC's. He wrote the sticky at the top of the forum.

smile.gif
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post #30 of 216 Old 08-27-2012, 10:11 AM
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Originally Posted by NorCalJason View Post

He's kind of an expert around here on HTPC's. He wrote the sticky at the top of the forum.
smile.gif

He also wrote an outstanding guide on HTPC servers.

One problem of hardware raid is, what are you going to do if your controller fails? You typically can't rebuild it unless you can get the identical controller, and even sometimes then it won't work.

If you're really planning on a hardware raid, you might consider buying TWO controllers at the outset, so that you can have the exact same make, model and iteration as a spare unit.
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