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Suggestions for this htpc setup

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
I'm fairly new to the htpc build and have been researching daily since finishing exams a couple of weeks ago.

This is what I have come up with so far and feel like I am very close to pulling the trigger and ordering the components.

Motherboard: Asus P7H55-M Pro Micro ATX Intel $95 link
or ASRock H55M/USB3 R2.0 Micro ATX Intel $87 link

Processor: Intel Core i3-550 $115(basically same price as 540 and 530 model) link

Memory: G. Skill F3-12800CL9D-4GBRL $55 link

Hard drive: Western Digital Caviar Black 1Tb $87 link

Case: nMediaPC HTPC 5000B $60 link

Power Supply: Corsair CMPSU-430CX $34 link

Tuner: Hauppauge WinTV HVR-1250 $40 (mainly for hd channels through antenna) link

Keyboard/Mouse: Logitech MK320 $33 link

Using Windows 7 64 bit

That's it for now. I will be using this mainly for watching media files, netflix, recording and pausing hd local channels, quick and easy access for all ripped dvds and music, eventual blue-ray add on, and that's about it (not going to be used for gaming). I'll have it hooked up to an hd capable tv through the hdmi out.

From my research it seems that all these pieces are compatible with each other. Any suggestions for alternative parts would be much appreciated.

post #2 of 10
Looks pretty decent. The Asrock board has Realtek audio drivers. I also rec. gigabyte boards for their build quality. I would suggest you go with a 2TB green drive over the black. The possible extra performance probably won't be realized when working with media files.
post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 
Ok, I originally had the WD Green Caviar 2Tb but changed to the black just because I would have my OS and any programs also on it. If the green drive can run the os and programs without much difference I will definitely go that way for the added storage.
post #4 of 10
Drop the black drive. Go with the biggest, and cheapest hard drive available.
Performance difference will be next to nothing of a difference.

Nice mouse and keyboard. Logitech can have some really worthless products that fail, but they sure are pleasant to deal with when trying to get issues resolved. They just replaced my 2.5 year old $75 G7 gaming mouse with a G700 for free. No hesitation. Great experience. Let us know whatcha think. Looks tempting.

I like how you shopped around for the best deal.

Subscribe to the newegg and tigerdirect and other retailers email news letters. Lots of good deals from time to time. (side note. its almost a spam like how often they refresh their deals.)

Pull the trigger already.
post #5 of 10
Drop the drive and go with a Seagate 5900 RPM Barracuda, I have 8x these and they are big, fast and cheap. I had WD drives but they do this funky thing with the block sizes that make it work bad in RAID and in any scenario where you don't align the partitions on a 2048 byte boundary, keep that in mind.
post #6 of 10
I personally do not see the point of RAID in a HTPC. We are talking about media, not mission critical work. I just keep a backup of irreplacable personal photos/videos which does not end up being terabytes. For everything else important, I have the hard copy media.
post #7 of 10
This is the 2TB to get when it is priced at $80 (it goes up and down like a yo-yo):

Samsung Spinpont F4 2TB

It will run your OS and applications just fine.

Look at this NewEgg combo (i3/H55/1TB/4GB):

I recently built an HTPC with this (it was even better on Black Friday) and I am very happy with it.

I strongly agree on the RAID being unnecessary. Backup your media, don't replicate it. It's fairly static and easily backed up. The first time you delete something you didn't mean to you'll understand and that's way more likely than a drive crash.

If you've got the cash, a nice way to go is with a 40-64GB SSD for your OS/apps and a 1-2TB drive for you media. Make sure you get a case that'll hold a couple of drives so you can expand or think ahead about getting a NAS or home server.
post #8 of 10
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the info on the hard drives, I can get the Samsung Spinpoint 2Tb right now for $80 using this promo code "EMCZNNY88" (think it expires on the 26th). It looks like it will make it into my build thanks to that price. Seems to have much better feedback than the WD 1.5TB for $60 that I was leaning towards.
post #9 of 10
Thread Starter 
Ok, I ordered everything and have assembled most of it. But the next step is to install the motherboard drivers using the cd supplied with the ASRock board; however I don't have a cd drive. Is it possible to copy the files from the cd to a flash drive and install the drivers that way or can I go ahead and install the operating system and then download the drivers from the internet?

So close to powering this thing on for the first time....
post #10 of 10
Wish I had gone RAID. My green 2tb drive just dumped (clicking), and I lost over 300 ripped movies. I am not looking forward to reripping them all. And another green 2tb drive is starting to make my system crash..... so I am sure it won't be long for that drive to dump either. My HTPC would not even boot into windows with the drive installed in the case. I had to remove it and put it in my hard drive caddy (USB external caddy), just to get my computer to boot up. Was working fine for 6 months or so..... then one day my system just started crashing, and eventually I could not even boot up until I unplugged the drive and removed it from my case. My case has 2 other drives installed and only after removing the 2tb drive was I able to boot up.

Spend the money and RAID.

I also noticed that the two drives that are giving me grief both have the same controller board (pcbs). I have yet a third green 2tb drive that has a different circuit board configuration on it..... and that one seems to be doing fine (so far). Probably WD dropped one design (perhaps due to failures) and started using a different design. All drives are the exact same MODELs. But not ALL the exact same models have the same circuit boards on them.

Anyway.... I see a real reason for raiding my HTPC now. Failures on these larger drives is still a very real problem. At least for me.

I use a USB external drive caddy, that I thought was the culprit on one of my Green 2tb drives. But this other drive was mounted inside my HTPC... and it appears to be on its way to failure. I am just about ready to send the failed drive back to WD for replacement (it just clicks), but I am going to try to swap the circuit board first with my other drive and see if I can't save my data..... as sometimes the circuit board can cause the "click of death".

If I don't go RAID...... at the very least.... I won't be trusting my HTPC to another green drive in the future. I'd go black or choose another drive.

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