How do you like my build? Nearly silent ~$500 - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 76 Old 11-19-2012, 06:01 PM - Thread Starter
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I'm building a HTPC for my living room that I want to be nearly silent. I've read through the forums and I think I've settled on my build. Would be glad to have feedback on it. I wanted it to be support 1080p, 3D video, BlueRay disc, look like an AV equipment, and be nearly silent. I will mainly be streaming online content, and video from another computer.

Case:
SilverStone Aluminum/Steel Micro ATX Media Center/HTPC Case ML03B (Black) - $53.99

Motherboard:
AS Rock LGA1155 Intel Z77 Quad CrossFireX SATA3 USB3.0 A GbE MATX Motherboard Z77 PRO4-M - $109.99

Power Supply:
SilverStone Strider 400W, 80 PLUS, Active PFC Power Supply ST40F-ES (Black) - $54.99

Processor:
Intel Core i3-3225 Dual-Core Processor 3.3 GHz 3 MB Cache LGA 1155 - BX80637i33225 - $136.99

SSD:
Crucial 64 GB m4 2.5-Inch Solid State Drive SATA 6Gb/s CT064M4SSD2 - $72.99

RAM:
Kingston ValueRAM 4GB 1333MHz DDR3 Non-ECC CL9 DIMM Desktop Memory x2 - $40.98

Optical Drive:
LG Electronics 10X Blu-Ray SATA Writer Drive with Software WH10LS30K (Black) - $74.99

Grand Total - $538.41
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post #2 of 76 Old 11-19-2012, 06:54 PM
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Where are these prices from? It looks expensive.
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post #3 of 76 Old 11-19-2012, 07:05 PM - Thread Starter
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Where are these prices from? It looks expensive.

They're the Amazon prices. Haven't really looked elsewhere. Do you recommend any good sources?
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post #4 of 76 Old 11-19-2012, 07:18 PM
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I have nearly the same machine, but with Samsung 830's and the Silencer 400w by PC Power and cooling. I can't hear my machine at all until I get within 2 feet of it.

You can get better/cheaper 1600 ram than what you listed. You should be paying no more than $34 for 2x4GB sticks.
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post #5 of 76 Old 11-19-2012, 08:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elliscs View Post

They're the Amazon prices. Haven't really looked elsewhere. Do you recommend any good sources?

Use Google Product Search.

Strider Essential (FSP-make?) is a bit louder in my taste (I built almost the same system as your for my wife). Check Seasonic (e.g. G Series 350W), although sleeved cables are difficult to handle inside this case.

You'd better choose DDR3-1866, or at least 1600, the price difference is very small.

Trinity is better for madVR if you are interested in it.

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post #6 of 76 Old 11-20-2012, 12:18 AM
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That SSD is small and overpriced.

Black Friday specials will have 120 and 128 sizes at that price.

Better models too perhaps.

I think your better with double the size for same price.

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post #7 of 76 Old 11-20-2012, 12:39 AM
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You don't need a Z77 motherboard in an HTPC, an H77 board or even a B75 board will be good enough and cheaper.

I use the same PSU in my GD05 case and it is silent, I also have a Be Quiet L7 Pure Power 300watt PSU in my ML03 case and it is almost silent (sound levels are from about 6 feet away).

I agree with the others on the RAM, go with 1600 rather than 1333.

David
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post #8 of 76 Old 11-20-2012, 05:26 AM
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Z77 is necessary when you want to run DDR3-1866/2133 @1866/2133. These memory speeds improve madVR slightly. You'd better choose Trinity A8/A10 if you are interested in this video renderer.

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post #9 of 76 Old 11-20-2012, 07:16 AM
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Originally Posted by renethx View Post

Z77 is necessary when you want to run DDR3-1866/2133 @1866/2133. These memory speeds improve madVR slightly. You'd better choose Trinity A8/A10 if you are interested in this video renderer.

I thought the Ivybridge i3's only supported at most 1600 memory?

David
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post #10 of 76 Old 11-20-2012, 07:19 AM - Thread Starter
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That SSD is small and overpriced.
Black Friday specials will have 120 and 128 sizes at that price.
Better models too perhaps.
I think your better with double the size for same price.

Can't find any SSDs on google products < $70 that are larger than what I have. Mainly I'll be streaming online content from the UK and videos from my other computers
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Originally Posted by DavidT99 View Post

You don't need a Z77 motherboard in an HTPC, an H77 board or even a B75 board will be good enough and cheaper.
I use the same PSU in my GD05 case and it is silent, I also have a Be Quiet L7 Pure Power 300watt PSU in my ML03 case and it is almost silent (sound levels are from about 6 feet away).
I agree with the others on the RAM, go with 1600 rather than 1333.
David

I want to be able to add stuff later as needed. Definitely an audio card for surround sound. I also want to keep my board future proof for a while.

madVR may be something I want to get into. I'll have to do a bit more research on it.
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post #11 of 76 Old 11-20-2012, 07:34 AM
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If you're spending that kind of money, why not get something really slick like THIS Lenovo Q190?

BTW, what do you use for UK video, TOR or have you found something better?


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post #12 of 76 Old 11-20-2012, 07:35 AM
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Overall I like the build but there are a couple improvements to make. I second the above comments on H77 vs Z77. An Asrock H77M would be plenty enough for your needs and is significantly cheaper. Around black friday / cyber monday you should be able to get a Samsung 830, OCZ Vertex 4 etc 128GB for under $80. Slickdeals.net is the best place to watch as well as signing up for the Newegg daily deals and shellshocker preview emails. If you like amazon, they may pricematch too if you find a better deal. Also you can get 8GB of RAM for the price you lists. Again Newegg dailies has something almost everyday for this.

As for futureproofing, don't plan on getting a soundcard. Bitstreamed audio over HDMI to an AV Receiver is the best SQ you can get. The only thing you may need to add is a video card if you are looking to game.
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post #13 of 76 Old 11-20-2012, 07:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mdavej View Post

BTW, what do you use for UK video, TOR or have you found something better?

Streaming over TOR sucks. You're better of paying for VPN.
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post #14 of 76 Old 11-20-2012, 07:36 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mdavej View Post

If you're spending that kind of money, why not get something really slick like THIS Lenovo Q190?
BTW, what do you use for UK video, TOR or have you found something better?

Using HideMyAss as a VPN, and then logging onto the websites. We get decent speeds. How does TOR compare?
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post #15 of 76 Old 11-20-2012, 07:45 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by mdavej View Post

If you're spending that kind of money, why not get something really slick like THIS Lenovo Q190?
BTW, what do you use for UK video, TOR or have you found something better?

For future proofing, not really possible with this build although it is very tempting. Really very tempting. I might have to think about that some more.
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post #16 of 76 Old 11-20-2012, 07:49 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by ljo000 View Post

Overall I like the build but there are a couple improvements to make. I second the above comments on H77 vs Z77. An Asrock H77M would be plenty enough for your needs and is significantly cheaper. Around black friday / cyber monday you should be able to get a Samsung 830, OCZ Vertex 4 etc 128GB for under $80. Slickdeals.net is the best place to watch as well as signing up for the Newegg daily deals and shellshocker preview emails. If you like amazon, they may pricematch too if you find a better deal. Also you can get 8GB of RAM for the price you lists. Again Newegg dailies has something almost everyday for this.
As for futureproofing, don't plan on getting a soundcard. Bitstreamed audio over HDMI to an AV Receiver is the best SQ you can get. The only thing you may need to add is a video card if you are looking to game.

So my to do list is:
  1. Downgrade to H77. I think the ASRock H77M showed up on Assassin's Blog
  2. Look for 128 GB SSD on Black Friday Deals
  3. Either increase to 8 GB of RAM (1600 or higher), or save some money with 4 GB

Will I need a separate HDMI out to manage the AV receiver and TV? Haven't had one before.
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post #17 of 76 Old 11-20-2012, 07:58 AM
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No. You will use the mobo's HDMI out and the onboard intel HD graphics to the receiver. Then receiver HDMI out to the TV. You'll probably want to get a Harmony remote too to manage everything. Head over to the AV recevier forum for recommendations but just as a benchmark, you can get an entry level 5.1 unit for $250 or less depending on what features you want.
Code:
http://www.avsforum.com/f/90/receivers-amps-and-processors

By the way, I have the H77M and an OCZ Vertex 4 SSD. With just a G630 processor it boots into WMC in 10 seconds. I think you'll be happy with your proposed build. The last bit of hardware to consider is a TV tuner if you really want to 'cut the cord'. I recommend the Silicon Dust HDHomeRun line (Dual for OTA / ClearQAM or Prime for CableCARD). These are network attached so any PC on your LAN can access the TV tuners.
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post #18 of 76 Old 11-20-2012, 08:28 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by ljo000 View Post

No. You will use the mobo's HDMI out and the onboard intel HD graphics to the receiver. Then receiver HDMI out to the TV. You'll probably want to get a Harmony remote too to manage everything. Head over to the AV recevier forum for recommendations but just as a benchmark, you can get an entry level 5.1 unit for $250 or less depending on what features you want.
Code:
http://www.avsforum.com/f/90/receivers-amps-and-processors
By the way, I have the H77M and an OCZ Vertex 4 SSD. With just a G630 processor it boots into WMC in 10 seconds. I think you'll be happy with your proposed build. The last bit of hardware to consider is a TV tuner if you really want to 'cut the cord'. I recommend the Silicon Dust HDHomeRun line (Dual for OTA / ClearQAM or Prime for CableCARD). These are network attached so any PC on your LAN can access the TV tuners.

Great advice. I'll check that out in the future. I'm building the computer and buying the TV at the same time. We're moving into our new house December 6th and this is all for the new living room. Gonna try and give Ubuntu another go for this. If not, I'll have to decide between Windows 7 and 8. On my old HTPC I had WMC with MediaBrowser.
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post #19 of 76 Old 11-20-2012, 08:34 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ljo000 View Post

No. You will use the mobo's HDMI out and the onboard intel HD graphics to the receiver. Then receiver HDMI out to the TV. You'll probably want to get a Harmony remote too to manage everything. Head over to the AV recevier forum for recommendations but just as a benchmark, you can get an entry level 5.1 unit for $250 or less depending on what features you want.
Code:
http://www.avsforum.com/f/90/receivers-amps-and-processors
By the way, I have the H77M and an OCZ Vertex 4 SSD. With just a G630 processor it boots into WMC in 10 seconds. I think you'll be happy with your proposed build. The last bit of hardware to consider is a TV tuner if you really want to 'cut the cord'. I recommend the Silicon Dust HDHomeRun line (Dual for OTA / ClearQAM or Prime for CableCARD). These are network attached so any PC on your LAN can access the TV tuners.

So for the H77M you're suggesting ASRock H77M LGA 1155 Intel H77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard not ASRock H77 Pro4-M LGA 1155 Intel H77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard right?
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post #20 of 76 Old 11-20-2012, 08:38 AM
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Originally Posted by ljo000 View Post

Streaming over TOR sucks. You're better of paying for VPN.
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Originally Posted by elliscs View Post

Using HideMyAss as a VPN, and then logging onto the websites. We get decent speeds. How does TOR compare?
Once you get it set up right, it works great and is much simpler than HMA because it doesn't mess with any network settings. THIS guy has everything already set up, so it's super easy. I only stream BBC, but I always get full HD.


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post #21 of 76 Old 11-20-2012, 08:48 AM - Thread Starter
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Once you get it set up right, it works great and is much simpler than HMA because it doesn't mess with any network settings. THIS guy has everything already set up, so it's super easy. I only stream BBC, but I always get full HD.

I'll need to try this out. We can't get full HD even though my internet is 25mb/s.
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post #22 of 76 Old 11-20-2012, 08:56 AM
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Great advice. I'll check that out in the future. I'm building the computer and buying the TV at the same time. We're moving into our new house December 6th and this is all for the new living room. Gonna try and give Ubuntu another go for this. If not, I'll have to decide between Windows 7 and 8. On my old HTPC I had WMC with MediaBrowser.

This is what I do currently - Win7 + WMC/Media browser. However, I'm thinking of simplifying it by using WMC for TV only and XBMC for the media library. I still have to use XMBC anyway for the Amazon Prime plug-in and I like it better than Mediabrowser. Easier to setup and maintain and its much faster when browsing.


Yes. This is the mobo I was referring to.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mdavej View Post

Once you get it set up right, it works great and is much simpler than HMA because it doesn't mess with any network settings. THIS guy has everything already set up, so it's super easy. I only stream BBC, but I always get full HD.

I'm going to try this tonight. I set up TOR years ago to do this and got terrible speeds. I haven't really explored it since. Also, I kind of feel bad taking bandwidth away from people who really need it trying to get around repressive regime firewalls.
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post #23 of 76 Old 11-20-2012, 11:27 AM - Thread Starter
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Here's another question. Will there be a noticeable difference between 4 Gb and 8 Gb of RAM?
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post #24 of 76 Old 11-20-2012, 11:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ljo000 View Post

This is what I do currently - Win7 + WMC/Media browser. However, I'm thinking of simplifying it by using WMC for TV only and XBMC for the media library. I still have to use XMBC anyway for the Amazon Prime plug-in and I like it better than Mediabrowser. Easier to setup and maintain and its much faster when browsing.
Yes. This is the mobo I was referring to.
I'm going to try this tonight. I set up TOR years ago to do this and got terrible speeds. I haven't really explored it since. Also, I kind of feel bad taking bandwidth away from people who really need it trying to get around repressive regime firewalls.
Never thought of it that way. I can still have a clear conscience because I probably average 1 hr of BBC streaming per month in what would be the wee hours of the morning on the other side of the globe. And as soon as my cable company adds BBCA HD I'll stop completely.
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Here's another question. Will there be a noticeable difference between 4 Gb and 8 Gb of RAM?
How many simultaneous streaming clients will you have?


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post #25 of 76 Old 11-20-2012, 12:04 PM - Thread Starter
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How many simultaneous streaming clients will you have?

Bit of a noob question, but what do you mean?
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post #26 of 76 Old 11-20-2012, 01:58 PM
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I thought the Ivybridge i3's only supported at most 1600 memory?
David

Yes, IVB officially supports up to DDR3-1600 and this is true when you use it with B75/H77/Q77 chipset. But with Z77 chipset, IVB's memory controller supports higher memory clock. That's the main advantage of Z77, as well as overcloking "K" series chips. Perhaps you often see reviews on IVB + DDR3-1866/2133, where the chipset used is always Z77.

Under DXVA / EVR video playback, H77 + DDR3-1600 is enough.

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post #27 of 76 Old 11-20-2012, 02:45 PM - Thread Starter
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Maybe choosing a different power supply. Here's two that popped up on my radar thus far. Thanks Renethx.

Any thoughts?
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post #28 of 76 Old 11-20-2012, 03:03 PM
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Maybe choosing a different power supply. Here's two that popped up on my radar thus far. Thanks Renethx. Any thoughts?

Antec Neo 400 watt for $29

Or mkII

Nothing wrong with your choices just possibly 10$ high

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post #29 of 76 Old 11-20-2012, 03:09 PM - Thread Starter
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Antec Neo 400 watt for $29
Or mkII
Nothing wrong with your choices just possibly 10$ high

How quiet is the Neo 400? Have you seen any of the others?
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post #30 of 76 Old 11-20-2012, 03:13 PM
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I have a neo. It's quiet.

Just Antec cheaps put and does not provide a power cord so plan for that.

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