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Assassin's Simple/Beginner HTPC Buying Guide - Page 98

post #2911 of 15912
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by rwpritchett View Post

^Is the PSU fan sucking or blowing on those?

If sucking (most likely), it seems the HSF, which blows downward, will be fighting the PSU for airflow.

I think the PSU blows out.

BTW - I added these as build options on the first page along with the 2100t and its low(er) profile CPU fan.

Click on the Mini-ITX i3 Options quicklink to see them.
post #2912 of 15912
Thread Starter 
My brother got his tax return back.

Wants a HTPC of course. He will use it mainly to just play HD movies and maybe surf the internet so I am thinking of the zacate. Plus - he's a cheapass.

What do you think between these 2 builds? I am bummed that the ASUS Deluxe ITX is deactivated/discontinued.

Intel i3 Sandy Bridge


AMD Zacate
post #2913 of 15912
So what is the easiest way to get cover art and other info using WMC and media browser?
post #2914 of 15912
Thread Starter 
BTW I noticed there is 1 Samsung 2TB F4 open box hard drive for $56 at newegg.
post #2915 of 15912
Quote:
Originally Posted by assassin View Post

My brother got his tax return back.

Wants a HTPC of course. He will use it mainly to just play HD movies and maybe surf the internet so I am thinking of the zacate. Plus - he's a cheapass.

What do you think between these 2 builds? I am bummed that the ASUS Deluxe ITX is deactivated/discontinued.

Intel i3 Sandy Bridge


AMD Zacate

#1. You know that is the way to go.
post #2916 of 15912
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by car421 View Post

So what is the easiest way to get cover art and other info using WMC and media browser?

I have been trying out Media Center Master lately and storing it locally (in the movies' individual folder) and disabling internet inside mediabrowser.

So far I am a really really really big fan.
post #2917 of 15912
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by car421 View Post

#1. You know that is the way to go.

That's what I would build.

He has a $400 budget so its gonna be tight.
post #2918 of 15912
Quote:
Originally Posted by assassin View Post

That's what I would build.

He has a $400 budget so its gonna be tight.

Tell him if he builds #2 you are going to charge him $100.00 but if he builds #1 labor is free.
post #2919 of 15912
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by car421 View Post

Tell him if he builds #2 you are going to charge him $100.00 but if he builds #1 labor is free.

I would charge a LOT more than $100 to build and completely configure a HTPC.

He's lucky he's my little brother.
post #2920 of 15912
Quote:
Originally Posted by assassin View Post

I am bummed that the ASUS Deluxe ITX is deactivated/discontinued.

Tigerdirect is still showing it active and in stock: http://www.tigerdirect.com/applicati...7BBTkwCjCECjCE
post #2921 of 15912
Thread Starter 
Thank your chris19992 for the donation.

Appreciated!
post #2922 of 15912
Quote:
Originally Posted by assassin View Post

That's what I would build.

He has a $400 budget so its gonna be tight.

#1 is what I just build for my brother too. Except I didn't use the rip jaw ram, which saved some money as well. I used 4gb of Kingston Ram and after the build we experimented with 2gb of ram and he decided he wanted to save even more money by keeping only a stick of 2gb. I kept the other stick and my next customer build is on it's way also. He saw the performance of my brother's build and decided he would just buy the other stick 2gb ram. Long story short the newegg order 361.94......Core i3 2100t, Gigabyte H67 mini itx, Rosewill mini itx case, Seagate 1tb Sata 6gb with promo code 54.99. Hopefully will arrive by the weekend if not Monday morning. I'll try to post some pics soon of all the Zacate builds and i3 builds I've done recently......Including my daughter's Zacate build with the In Win Diva mini itx case(LOL).
post #2923 of 15912
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by homewrek View Post

#1 is what I just build for my brother too. Except I didn't use the rip jaw ram, which saved some money as well. I used 4gb of Kingston Ram and after the build we experimented with 2gb of ram and he decided he wanted to save even more money by keeping only a stick of 2gb. I kept the other stick and my next customer build is on it's way also. He saw the performance of my brother's build and decided he would just buy the other stick 2gb ram. Long story short the newegg order 361.94......Core i3 2100t, Gigabyte H67 mini itx, Rosewill mini itx case, Seagate 1tb Sata 6gb with promo code 54.99. Hopefully will arrive by the weekend if not Monday morning. I'll try to post some pics soon of all the Zacate builds and i3 builds I've done recently......Including my daughter's Zacate build with the In Win Diva mini itx case(LOL).

Excellent. Can't wait to see them. Your pics are going straight to the front page.

I've used 2GB and 4GB of RAM and to me the extra $15 is worth the upgrade. But you are absolutely correct that I can likely find a 2x2GB cheaper.

What wireless adapter/card did you use?
post #2924 of 15912
Quote:
Originally Posted by assassin View Post

Excellent. Can't wait to see them. Your pics are going straight to the front page.

I've used 2GB and 4GB of RAM and to me the extra $15 is worth the upgrade. But you are absolutely correct that I can likely find a 2x2GB cheaper.

What wireless adapter/card did you use?

I'm using a belkin n wireless usb adapter, 10 bucks.....Craigslist. I currently have 3 more that I'm not using at the moment, I bought him all four for 30 bucks. Each one cost about that and it's the high performance ones
post #2925 of 15912
Either one is good Assassin! I'm partial to #2 but if you can convince him to stretch his budget, then definitely #1 . Can't go wrong either way TBH.


And my Lenovo Controller came in today. I'm going to do a comparison between it and the Dinovo Mini.
post #2926 of 15912
Quote:
Originally Posted by assassin View Post

My brother got his tax return back.

Wants a HTPC of course. He will use it mainly to just play HD movies and maybe surf the internet so I am thinking of the zacate. Plus - he's a cheapass.

What do you think between these 2 builds? I am bummed that the ASUS Deluxe ITX is deactivated/discontinued.

Intel i3 Sandy Bridge


AMD Zacate

I also really prefer build #1. You can save 10 bucks by getting the regular i3 2100. renethx shows some numbers and the power draw were actually very close. I think during video playback they were equal. Zacate just seems a little to underpowered for me personally. If dxva doesn't work you may be having problems.
Or if you live by micro center they go for 99 bucks.
Wireless for HD movies huh, good luck. I know some do it. But its not reliable enough for me. Sometimes though you gotta do it.
post #2927 of 15912
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by whiteboy714 View Post

I also really prefer build #1. You can save 10 bucks by getting the regular i3 2100. renethx shows some numbers and the power draw were actually very close. I think during video playback they were equal. Zacate just seems a little to underpowered for me personally. If dxva doesn't work you may be having problems.
Or if you live by micro center they go for 99 bucks.
Wireless for HD movies huh, good luck. I know some do it. But its not reliable enough for me. Sometimes though you gotta do it.

I agree on the wireless for hd movies. Doesn't really work. The wireless is mainly for internet.

The 2100t is to use the lower profile stock fan. The 2100 uses the bigger fan and it doesn't really fit in that case (see above pics)
post #2928 of 15912
Quote:
Originally Posted by assassin View Post

That's what I would build.

He has a $400 budget so its gonna be tight.

What about the OS?
post #2929 of 15912
Quote:
Originally Posted by David James View Post

What about the OS?

hmmhwaahaaha
post #2930 of 15912
great effort is made in this thread, thank you assassin
now have you or anyone here used silverstone PSUs ? I'm considering one of these two "strange price for 100 % modular psu" and I wanna know your opinion

http://www.sundialmicro.com/silverst...1957_2039.html

http://www.sundialmicro.com/silverst...1944_1974.html
post #2931 of 15912
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by David James View Post

What about the OS?

I have a copy of Windows 7 ready to go.
post #2932 of 15912
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by pippipseed View Post

great effort is made in this thread, thank you assassin

http://www.sundialmicro.com/silverst...1944_1974.html

Thanks!

I actually really like the 500 watt modular PSU. It looks like its the same PSU as the Corsair VX450 (which is a great PSU).

I have never used that retailer and don't know much about them but this is a great modular PSU for under $80.

Nice find.

Edit: It looks like it is $14 cheaper after shipping at this retailer. I have also never used them though.
http://www.directron.com/sstst50fp.html?gsear=1
Mostly good reviews at reseller ratings: http://www.resellerratings.com/store/Directron

Here it is on newegg:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...-065-_-Product

Edit: It also looks like Silverstone makes a "Short Cable Set":
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16812162010

I'm reading more about this PSU and liking it more. Its smaller than the normal PSU which - for the HTPC environment where cases can get full very fast - is ideal.


Looks like its really quiet as well...
Quote:


The next test, and always one of my favourites on actively cooled PC components, was the noise test. Without expensive measuring gear, the best way to test and compare noise levels is with our own tools; our ears. Given that I'm a silent computing enthusiast, I always pay the utmost attention to the noise levels of every component that passes over my test bench and gets used inside my system. I was happy to hear that the ST50F-P shared the same great silent performance as the rest of the Strider Plus series - including the ST75F-P that I still use today, long after that review. The ST50F-P was a tiny bit louder than the ST75F-P in my system, but that's likely because I was pulling a little more power from it given it's lower wattage. Overall though, the noise level was still quiet, incredibly quiet.

I like it a lot and it is by far my favorite modular option (and even has the awesome short cable set if needed). Its going on the front page for those who want/need a modular option.
post #2933 of 15912
It's too bad Enermax stopped making the 400W Liberty. The market is sorely missing good quality, quiet, modular power supplies in the 300-400W range that would be perfect for smaller cases.
post #2934 of 15912
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by rwpritchett View Post

The market is sorely missing good quality, quiet, modular power supplies in the 300-400W range that would be perfect for smaller cases.

Totally agree. It seems like there is a niche there for someone to take.
post #2935 of 15912
Thread Starter 
Assassin's Dell/Gyration Media Center M2010 CX071 LCD Remote Review with pictures

This is a review of the Dell/Gyration M2010 CX071 media center remote control.



I set out to find a remote that could meet the following criteria...
- Radiofrequency instead of IR which means no "line of sight" is required
- Green Button for extremely easy operation by my wife and parents
- Built in "mouse" to use if needed
- Backlight for easy night time operation
- Ability to control my other AV equipment

Well, I almost succeeded.

This remote was purchased on ebay for $50 shipped. Shipping took about 7 business days which is what was advertised.

In all this is a REALLY nice remote. I suspect that if you use your HTPC to record live TV then this is the only remote that you would need. It has quick buttons at the bottom to pull up recorded shows quickly and easily.

Installation:
Installation was easy but was NOT plug and play. The drivers are still available on the gyration website and can be downloaded here:
http://www.gyration.com/images/stori...sicService.zip
Otherwise installation was a snap. I bought a 6 foot USB extension so that I could hide the RF receiver in my AV console.

General HTPC Use:
A very good remote overall. I had no issues with putting my HTPC to sleep and waking it up with the remote. The green button launched mediacenter easily and from there its just a few simple moves (up, down, left, right, etc) until you have mediabrowser launched and your media playing. MB interaction was very refined and smooth with this remote --- much more so than the Lenovo remote whose trackball often "overshoots" the file you are trying to play. This is a great remote for general HTPC use although I can't that it smashes something like the $25 rosewill for just general use.

Backlight:
Awesome. No need to say anything else.

Mouse:
Amazingly precise. I was shocked at how responsive it was and was extremely impressed.

Learning Remote:
This was a major let down of this remote and is partly my fault for not researching it further. Unlike the Gyration Air Music (see picture below) this remote can only control two devices --- the HTPC and the TV. In contrast its "brother" the Gyration Air Music can control the HTPC, TV, Cable/Satellite, and one other device. However the Gyration is usually over double the cost of this remote so it may not be worth it. Since this remote was made to be used with a Dell PC I can see why they did not include other options. Still, I wish they had included them and this would have made this remote just about perfect.

Music LCD:
This really caught me by surprise how much I enjoyed it. First let me say that I have a cavernous music collection on my HTPC and have only loaded some of my wife's and my favorites in WMC. So in the WMC folder there is only about 40 or so albums so far. That came in handy because those are the files that this remote searches for to play. By hitting the music button the remote communicates to the HTPC which sends it a catalog of music it can play. Then you can search by artist, album, genre, playlist, etc and hit play to start. What's really cool is that it does this completely in the background of the HTPC and you don't even need to have your TV on to use it.
Last night we had dinner on the back patio and I was able to take the remote out there and listen and control my music through outdoor speakers while sitting on the patio. Pretty cool.

Conclusion:
So do I recommend this remote? Well it depends but for the most part - yes. For the simple HTPC user it may be a little overkill or overpriced compared to something like the $25 Rosewill. But if you want the backlight, mouse control and music control then it is definitely worth it. The live/recorded TV options seem amazing and I am sure that someone who uses it for that purpose would not be disappointed. If I could have gotten the Gyration version for the same price then this would have been the perfect HTPC remote as it could have controlled the TV, PC, Denon AV receiver and my DirecTV box.

Pros:
- Great range (probably 30 feet) and responsiveness of the RF
- Good build quality
- Accurate mouse
- Good backlight
- Liking the LCD screen for music much more than I envisioned
- High WAF (wife approval factor) and ease of use

Cons:
- Can only control HTPC and TV. No control for AV Receiver or Cable/Satellite box

Unboxing. Remote from this particular ebay seller was shipped very well.


Box contents


Remote and RF receiver

Music LCD with music catalog from my HTPC available to be controlled and played.



Picture of the Gyration version of this remote with the added devices options which this remote does not have (section A, rightmost 2 buttons).
post #2936 of 15912
Quote:
Originally Posted by assassin View Post

I have a copy of Windows 7 ready to go.

Thanks, I wish I had a copy lying around
post #2937 of 15912
Looks pretty cool. If it had a slide out qwerty keyboard I think it would be perfect. I'll probably stick with my hp wmc remote for now. It works great. The lcd display looks cool but I'm not sure if I would use it much.
Is the mouse always on or do you have to push a button. That seems like it could cause problems if it was always on.
post #2938 of 15912
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by whiteboy714 View Post

Looks pretty cool. If it had a slide out qwerty keyboard I think it would be perfect. I'll probably stick with my hp wmc remote for now. It works great. The lcd display looks cool but I'm not sure if I would use it much.
Is the mouse always on or do you have to push a button. That seems like it could cause problems if it was always on.

No, you have to hold down the center of the gyration part to use it. Once you have the cursor where you want it you let go if the button and either left or right click using the gyration button again. Pretty easy to do and NOT always on.
post #2939 of 15912
Quote:
Originally Posted by assassin View Post

No, you have to hold down the center of the gyration part to use it. Once you have the cursor where you want it you let go if the button and either left or right click using the gyration button again. Pretty easy to do and NOT always on.

That sounds pretty cool.
post #2940 of 15912
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by whiteboy714 View Post

That sounds pretty cool.

It feels like a lightsaber when you are using it.
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