Originally Posted by Mfusick
I know when I first joined this forum I fell victim. I followed the trend that was saying all you need for HTPC is a celeron
So what is your story? If you could change something about your first HTPC purchasing what would you change?
What advice would you give someone or wish someone gave you when you started out?
Built a bunch of HTPCs now, and never regretted building with a celeron. They always did exactly what I built them for
Originally Posted by Mfusick
Having built like 20 HTPC's the little things are the things that matter most, like does your motherboard have a fan speed controller and enough headers to control all the appropriate case fans... does the case have USB3.0 on the front? If so, you'll want a mobo with that header too. Do you want to use an IR device built in to the front of the case?
You always tend to overstress the fan controller bit in my opinion. This is because it's of little importance to me. Popular cases like lian li and nmediapc include fans that you can simply wire to your psu. My thermaltake tower is the largest collection of fans I've ever had in any build, and it came with psu fan connections. Most mobo fan headers aren't PWM anyway, so I fail to see any benefit to finding a mobo with a bunch of fan headers. Unless your doing some super tower build there aren't going to be that many fans needed
I find myself never using USB3 ever, with the exception of my rMBP
Originally Posted by Aryn Ravenlocke
This thread speaks to exactly why I've been putzing about the HTPC forums for the past month. I'm trying to make sure that the machine I end up with (whether I build or purchase off the shelf) is able to do the things I need it to do the first time. I want to leave a little wiggle-room for increased performance demands, but I don't want to overshoot the mark so much that I am using a .50 caliber Desert Eagle when a lady's clutch .22 Beretta would have done everything just as nicely.
I now know I am best off making my HTPC and my server separate machines, something I originally was not going to do in order to save money on the second machine (which it turns out can be rather inexpensive). I now know that, despite many claims to the contrary, that those i3 PCs I was looking at really aren't going to handle everything I need them to. Coming here, I have actually found many places where I was clearly over-spending (like investing in a high-end vid-card), meanwhile, I have found a few places where I would be wise to invest a bit more.
Why do you "know" you are best off making your HTPC and server separate machines? i3 will transcode all day long no sweat, just depends on how many simultaneous transcodes you want at a time
To me this gets right to the heart of what I consider wrong with the opposite end of the spectrum
This forum was what I'd consider the best I've found thanks largely in part to highly knowledgable, high value posters who truly know the answer to "can this build do this?"
In a lot of other forums, I see a lot more people who don't actually know the answers to that answering the questions with hand-wave responses like "might as well just get an i7." There are a lot of those type of answers polluting this forum recently
In almost all cases, if you *think* you need an i7 or xeon then you most likely *don't* need it. You know if you need it. Also, let's not pretend an extra $60+ for an i7 over and i5 doesn't add up along with someone *advising* you to also spring for an 850 pro, ddr3-2400 ram, z9X mobo, etc. You'll end up with a miscellaneous extra $150 or so spent. For someone coming in thinking that a $100 firetv was going to hit the mark, advising in this direction just pushes more people out of the community since they think the entry cost is too high for a single htpc. What's worse is all that advise tackles a strange subset of usage - what if you want to transcode (and not build a separate server) or run svp or madvr. There's a lot of people like myself who think 24p looks good all on it's own and their tv can handle it just fine. SVP tackles a strange scenario where people use a poor tv display with an overpriced cpu to manufacturer 60 frames from 24 since their tv can't handle 24 properly