Guide to Building a HTPC, Workstation and Server - Page 520 - AVS Forum
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post #15571 of 19295 Old 11-08-2010, 12:52 PM
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All,

Appreciate the immense work that has gone into this thread! Tons of knowledge in here!

I am finalizing my HTPC build and had some questions.

The main purpose of my box will be to play MKVs (1080p rips from BR) to a 1080p projector setup. Will not be bit-streaming, but will pass TrueHD, etc via lossless PCM.

I have a spare HD4550 512mb card lying around. Should I go with that or the Intel integrated HDMI route?

Thoughts on a good mobo these days? Thinking of going with the i3-530, unless there is a big difference with processing MKVs.

Thanks all for your help!
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post #15572 of 19295 Old 11-08-2010, 02:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jibjib View Post

Just add a large slow fan on the top.

Doing that kind of goes against the basic definition of "completely passive."

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I have an Antec case with a 120mm fan on the top. It works so well, I've considered adding it to other computers too. That big fan is runing as slow as possible and is virtually silent. I've closed off every ventilation area on the back of the computer with aluminum metal tape except for the Power supply vent. The internal temps did not go up and the hard drives may be running cooler now, since the air comes into the case near them, instead the back of the case.

Jack

My first HTPC was in an Antec P180B (great case, btw) and it had a 120mm fan on the top of the case. That looks fine for a big honkin' full tower case like the P180B but for smaller mATX cases I'm not sure it would fly with a lot of people. Plus, you'd still have to mod the case to do it. imo, you can maintain the same sort of case temps using a push-pull fan configuration with the fans mounted inside the case. With quiet case fans in place the noise would be minimal.
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post #15573 of 19295 Old 11-08-2010, 02:26 PM
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I see. What kinds of 80mm fans do you recommend?
Also, right now i'm monitoring the CPU temp. should i worry about other temps? can i measure other temps?
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post #15574 of 19295 Old 11-08-2010, 03:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wuli View Post

I see. What kinds of 80mm fans do you recommend?
Also, right now i'm monitoring the CPU temp. should i worry about other temps? can i measure other temps?

Acousti, Coolink, Noctua, and Scythe all make good, quiet case fans. Look for ones using hydrodynamic or fluid dynamic bearings.

For monitoring the temps in your system try out SpeedFan.
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post #15575 of 19295 Old 11-08-2010, 09:29 PM
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Do any of the 'good' H55 HTPC board support low voltage RAM? The intel boards seem to be the lowest power, but I don't know if they support LV ram.

Thanks,
Chris
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post #15576 of 19295 Old 11-09-2010, 07:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Micromain View Post

Acousti, Coolink, Noctua, and Scythe all make good, quiet case fans. Look for ones using hydrodynamic or fluid dynamic bearings.

For monitoring the temps in your system try out SpeedFan.

Okay, i'll look into those. thanks!
So finally, you don't think that just putting a Scythe Big Shuriken on the CPU and keeping one side fan will be enough?
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post #15577 of 19295 Old 11-09-2010, 07:08 AM
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I have tried a 4830 and a 4870 ati video card.
Neither one seems to be a true HD output.
My friend says get an Nvidia 240 card.

Are the older ati cards not a good card to try and use?
Does the 240 do something better?
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post #15578 of 19295 Old 11-09-2010, 08:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wuli View Post

Okay, i'll look into those. thanks!
So finally, you don't think that just putting a Scythe Big Shuriken on the CPU and keeping one side fan will be enough?

I'm not sure the Scythe will get you much. If your CPU is only running at 42C at load with the stock cooler it's not producing much heat anyway. If the CPU fan is noisy you could look into just replacing that alone with a quieter one. You'd save a few ducats that way vs. buying an entirely new hs/f combo.

Having one case fan vs. two is a tradeoff. One fan is going to have to move more air to maintain the same case temps as two fans so a single fan will be spinning faster. Spinning faster = more noise. Since case fans are relatively cheap, why not order two silent ones and try out various single/dual fan combinations to see which suits you best?
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post #15579 of 19295 Old 11-09-2010, 08:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ckg1999 View Post

All,

Appreciate the immense work that has gone into this thread! Tons of knowledge in here!

I am finalizing my HTPC build and had some questions.

The main purpose of my box will be to play MKVs (1080p rips from BR) to a 1080p projector setup. Will not be bit-streaming, but will pass TrueHD, etc via lossless PCM.

I have a spare HD4550 512mb card lying around. Should I go with that or the Intel integrated HDMI route?

Thoughts on a good mobo these days? Thinking of going with the i3-530, unless there is a big difference with processing MKVs.

Thanks all for your help!

I just picked up the following for my HTPC:

Intel i3-540 ($117)
ASUS P7H55-M PRO ($87)
Western Digital Caviar Blue WD5000AAKS 500GB ($40)
G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 ($65)
Existing HTPC Case/Power Supply ($0)
Existing Optical Drive ($0)
Existing Win7 ($0)

Total build: $308

Will this work well?
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post #15580 of 19295 Old 11-09-2010, 11:49 AM
 
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SO I am trying to figure out how I can help members in this thread. Can someone fill me in so I understand the basics. I know computers and peripherals obviously but do most people just build their own or buy a ready to go units here? thank you
Well I guess I could have looked at the thread title as well
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post #15581 of 19295 Old 11-09-2010, 12:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ROMAN O View Post

SO I am trying to figure out how I can help members in this thread. Can someone fill me in so I understand the basics. I know computers and peripherals obviously but do most people just build their own or buy a ready to go units here? thank you
Well I guess I could have looked at the thread title as well

Roman,

With spending enough time reading through this thread ( many hours ) and even posting some question just like you did, you will find many will build their own htpc, it's quite easy, no different than building a regular computer, but knowing hardware requirments, and planning ahead is key.

For some that don't have the time, I'm sure they buy a htpc already built, but I have never gone that route, depending on your pc building skills, buying all the components and assembling, installing some software, etc.
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post #15582 of 19295 Old 11-09-2010, 12:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ROMAN O View Post

SO I am trying to figure out how I can help members in this thread. Can someone fill me in so I understand the basics. I know computers and peripherals obviously but do most people just build their own or buy a ready to go units here? thank you
Well I guess I could have looked at the thread title as well

Most people who come to this thread are looking to build an HTPC and get some guidance on what to build (hardware/software). Renethx has put together an excellent guide which serves as the backbone of this thread, which you can see here:

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...0#post18816470

Cheers,
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post #15583 of 19295 Old 11-09-2010, 01:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wuli View Post

I see. What kinds of 80mm fans do you recommend?
Also, right now i'm monitoring the CPU temp. should i worry about other temps? can i measure other temps?

The Silent Fan List from SilentPCReview.
http://www.silentpcreview.com/article63-page2.html
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post #15584 of 19295 Old 11-09-2010, 01:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ckg1999 View Post

I just picked up the following for my HTPC:

Intel i3-540 ($117)
ASUS P7H55-M PRO ($87)
Western Digital Caviar Blue WD5000AAKS 500GB ($40)
G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 ($65)
Existing HTPC Case/Power Supply ($0)
Existing Optical Drive ($0)
Existing Win7 ($0)

Total build: $308

Will this work well?

I would add a small hard drive for your operating system. Just use the 500gb drive for storage. Install all of your apps to the smaller OS drive. It will make life a lot easier.
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post #15585 of 19295 Old 11-09-2010, 01:23 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dbone1026 View Post

Most people who come to this thread are looking to build an HTPC and get some guidance on what to build (hardware/software). Renethx has put together an excellent guide which serves as the backbone of this thread, which you can see here:

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...0#post18816470

Thank you ! I will study up on that thread before suggesting anything unless someone comes to me and knows what they want.
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post #15586 of 19295 Old 11-09-2010, 01:27 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheaterChad View Post

Roman,

With spending enough time reading through this thread ( many hours ) and even posting some question just like you did, you will find many will build their own htpc, it's quite easy, no different than building a regular computer, but knowing hardware requirments, and planning ahead is key.

For some that don't have the time, I'm sure they buy a htpc already built, but I have never gone that route, depending on your pc building skills, buying all the components and assembling, installing some software, etc.

Thank you. Yea thats above my head , I built one before but now can have my techs do it since it will be 10 times faster than I can do it.
I can see by looking at inventory that for something like this involves more specific parts.
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post #15587 of 19295 Old 11-09-2010, 01:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eopian View Post

I would add a small hard drive for your operating system. Just use the 500gb drive for storage. Install all of your apps to the smaller OS drive. It will make life a lot easier.

Using the 500gb drive for OS/apps only - HTPC will be used to stream MKVs stored on a NAS box. No media will be stored on the box. Just got a good deal on the drive!
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post #15588 of 19295 Old 11-09-2010, 02:13 PM
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Hey guys. I'm trying to get up to speed here. I am about to purchase an HDMI video card and was wondering if audio bitstreaming via HDMI is possible yet. Last I knew it was not.
Any info or suggested purchases would be great. I am playing back DVD rips, etc.

-Kevin
"audio is a slippery slope"
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post #15589 of 19295 Old 11-09-2010, 02:30 PM
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Originally Posted by vc69 View Post

Hey guys. I'm trying to get up to speed here. I am about to purchase an HDMI video card and was wondering if audio bitstreaming via HDMI is possible yet. Last I knew it was not.
Any info or suggested purchases would be great. I am playing back DVD rips, etc.

Yes, HD audio bitstreaming is supported. Look at the Nvidia GTX460 and AMD 5xxx or 6xxx.
Read these threads:
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/searc...rchid=16212020


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post #15590 of 19295 Old 11-09-2010, 04:07 PM
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Hi all,

Has anyone had any issues with one of the recommended builds, the one with the GIGABYTE GA-880GA-UD3H AM3 AMD 880G/SB850 chipset and a Supermicro AOC SASLP MV8 card?

I've got the Asus board (M4A89GTD PRO USB) with the SB850 SATA controller and it seems to clash with the SASLP. When I disable the SATA controller on the board it boots fine but not when the controller is enabled.

It may be a clash with the SB850 and the Marvell 6480 host controller on the card? I can't find any references in goole to it.

Thanks Josh
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post #15591 of 19295 Old 11-10-2010, 02:22 PM
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I looked again into my HTPC build see specs below and noticed that most of the noise is actually coming from the original intel CPU fan.
I will probably replace that with Scythe Big Shuriken, but also was thinking about Undervolting.
Can anyone comment on this.
Is it worth it?
Is there a recommended guide?

Thanks!

Quote:


Specs:
Antec microfusion 350
OCZ Onyx OCZSSD2-1ONX64G 2.5" 64GB SSD
Intel Core i3-540 Clarkdale 3.06GHz LGA 1156 73W Dual-Core
G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM
ASRock H55M Pro LGA 1156 Motherboard
XFX Radeon HD 4350 512MB (I need Svideo out for a few months until i get my new TV)
Lite-On LightScribe 24X SATA DVD+/-RW

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post #15592 of 19295 Old 11-10-2010, 03:03 PM
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Undervolting won't hurt anything, though you could introduce stability issues if you don't stress-test the undervolt thoroughly. With SpeedStep your CPU will already be undervolted when CPU cycles or low or the CPU is idle so you're duplicating Intel's efforts, in a way.

A question I should have asked previously...Are you currently using any sort of BIOS or software fan speed control?
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post #15593 of 19295 Old 11-10-2010, 04:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wuli View Post

I looked again into my HTPC build see specs below and noticed that most of the noise is actually coming from the original intel CPU fan.
I will probably replace that with Scythe Big Shuriken, but also was thinking about Undervolting.
Can anyone comment on this.
Is it worth it?
Is there a recommended guide?

Thanks!

I'm running the same CPU and MOBO. As Microman suggested, have you gone into BIOS and adjusted the thermal management? Your fan might be running at full speed. I'm sitting 2 feet from mine as I'm testing a new case and can barely hear the CPU fan.

I also use speedfan (freeware) and let it adjust the fans based on cooling needs..
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post #15594 of 19295 Old 11-11-2010, 06:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Micromain View Post

Undervolting won't hurt anything, though you could introduce stability issues if you don't stress-test the undervolt thoroughly. With SpeedStep your CPU will already be undervolted when CPU cycles or low or the CPU is idle so you're duplicating Intel's efforts, in a way.

A question I should have asked previously...Are you currently using any sort of BIOS or software fan speed control?

Quote:
Originally Posted by tomandbeth View Post

I'm running the same CPU and MOBO. As Microman suggested, have you gone into BIOS and adjusted the thermal management? Your fan might be running at full speed. I'm sitting 2 feet from mine as I'm testing a new case and can barely hear the CPU fan.

I also use speedfan (freeware) and let it adjust the fans based on cooling needs..

Thanks Guys,

Actually no, i'm not using anything right now. All I did is watch temps using speedfan, and then i manually used speedfan to decrease the cpu fan to 50% and suddenly everything was quiet.

What is the easiest way to control the fan speed in a more "liberal" way?
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post #15595 of 19295 Old 11-11-2010, 09:09 AM
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wuli,

In your BIOS there's a section title H/W Monitor. In that section you can manually set your CPU and chassis fan speeds. imo, it's the most reliable way to control fan speed because it doesn't require any additional or 3rd-party software in Windows.
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post #15596 of 19295 Old 11-11-2010, 09:13 AM
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Sounds good. I'll give it a shot once I get home.
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post #15597 of 19295 Old 11-11-2010, 04:39 PM
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Quick Question.

I'm going to upgrade my hard drive in my HTPC to a 2 terabyte drive. There are two models I'm looking at at Amazon which are both $99. A Western Digital 2 TB Caviar Green Intellipower 64 MB Cache and a Seagate Barracuda LP 2 TB 32 MB Cache. Both are SATA3. My main use is watching 720p videos though in the future I might look into capturing HD video.

My understanding is that the Green drives are slower but quieter (I do care about noise), but the Green drive also has more cache. Any suggestions on which would be best to go with?

I can provide links to the Amazon pages if desired.

Thanks.
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post #15598 of 19295 Old 11-12-2010, 07:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fallenturtle View Post

Quick Question.

I'm going to upgrade my hard drive in my HTPC to a 2 terabyte drive. There are two models I'm looking at at Amazon which are both $99. A Western Digital 2 TB Caviar Green Intellipower 64 MB Cache and a Seagate Barracuda LP 2 TB 32 MB Cache. Both are SATA3. My main use is watching 720p videos though in the future I might look into capturing HD video.

My understanding is that the Green drives are slower but quieter (I do care about noise), but the Green drive also has more cache. Any suggestions on which would be best to go with?

I can provide links to the Amazon pages if desired.

Thanks.

There is no difference for your use between 32mb and 64mb cache. SATA3 vs SATA2 (or even 1) wont make a difference either. 5400rpm is fine for htpc use.

Check out this drive instead. 2 TB. Gets great reviews. $80 shipped this weekend only. Use promo code EMCZZZN33 (if not a newegg eblast subsriber, just signup - its free).

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc..._-22152245-L0J
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post #15599 of 19295 Old 11-12-2010, 09:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eopian View Post

There is no difference for your use between 32mb and 64mb cache. SATA3 vs SATA2 (or even 1) wont make a difference either. 5400rpm is fine for htpc use.

Check out this drive instead. 2 TB. Gets great reviews. $80 shipped this weekend only. Use promo code EMCZZZN33 (if not a newegg eblast subsriber, just signup - its free).

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc..._-22152245-L0J

Thanks, I snapped one up. Cost me 86.60 though because I'm in CA. I use to buy from Newegg all the time when I lived in VA, but now I have to pay sales tax so often its cheaper to go with Amazon, but this promo code helped.

Thanks.
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post #15600 of 19295 Old 11-17-2010, 07:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dbone1026 View Post

PDVD10 cannot play BluRay folder rips (they must be in ISO). TMT3 can play BR Folder rips without the need for an ISO (which is why I use TMT3). Also, for a core i3/i5 system TMT3 comes in handy if you happen to use a player like MPC HC (I use the Arcsoft Video Decoder for vc-1 mkvs in MPC HC to get DXVA)

Can you still buy TMT3? Arcsoft web site only lists TMT5 and they want $100 for it.
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