Hey there folks,
"first time caller, long time listener, love the show" and all that jazz
I have been sporting HTPC's pretty much constatnly since MCE 2005 rolled. Over the years I upgraded, replaced, downgraded (for silence), and overall evolved my same HTPC over those years.
The latest itteration was:
C2D e7400, 2GB ram, OCZ 60GB Core series SSD (about 2 or 3yr old now), no bulk disk (No tuner, all data stored on a 25TB file server), Asus Blu-Ray Rom, Gigabyte SilentCell 9600GT vid card.
That machine works fine but is hot, inefficient, a bit noisy (stock HSF, noisy fans in the PSU and large Silverstone case, and overall just getting a bit long in the tooth.
I am moving in a few months and have to ditch my AT&T U-Verse and am being forced to get Cable (Comcast) again so I am looking to avoid a cable companies tuner box and going back to running my own tuner in my HTPC (Ceton). I am also looking to make this the most efficient machine I have ever built and silent. I also want good bitstream capabilities via HDMI, and good playback with Blu-Ray, h.264, etc... The Sandybridge gear seemed like a great option.
So... just about the time I went to buy the gear... Intel calls foul on the x67 chipsets, and they dissapear from the market. I already own one SNB machine (my workstation is a i7-2600K, on an Asus P8H67-M EVO board using the iGP and I am impressed! - and yes I know I have an overclockable CPU I am not overclocking... doesnt mean I wont get a z68 chipset in the future.) So I wanted another regardless of the defect.Here is what I ordered:
- Motherboard: Asus P8H67-M LE) I found someone selling it as a "defect" SNB motherboard a few days ago - which is DAMN hard right now! (2/23). I am not worried about the SATA II ports if I need more expansion I'll just do USB3 to SATA converters and use the USB3 controller. or buy a 20$ SATA card.
- CPU: Intel i5 - 2400S - To support 4 HD streams being recorded, Extenders, and viewing other content at the same time I wanted something that will scale for the long term, but be efficient. And since all the real low power SNB Cores arent coming out it seems when they were scheduled - I went with a Intel i5 - 2400S CPU. I originally wanted to hold out for a 2390T, but I just read those are only being sold to OEMs at first. Also seeing that the i5-2500T is priced $100 more than this CPU... yikes!
- Mem: 4GB of DDR3 (G.Skill Ripsaw X 1333 CL7)
- Disk: OS - OCZ 60GB SSD, TV vid - WD AV-GP 2TB Disk - the OCZ may be replaced at some point... if I can find any evidence of it causing system jerkyness or hiccups its gone. I have a OCZ Vertex 2 in my workstation and it is fantasticly fast compared to the Core series.
- Optical: Asus Blu-Ray Drive
- Case: Lian Li PC-C37B HTPC case (this case freaking RULES... So nice.) Using just the HSF to pull air into the case and the natural convection for the PSU.
- PSU: Seasonic X Series 400W Fanless (vents perfectly out the vents on the top cover of the Lian Li Case and since the machine will be so low power even under load... it shouldnt get more than luke warm).
- HSF: Scythe Big Shuriken 120mm (fits under the low profile HTPC case just fine and is silent. It also pulls air in perfectly from the top vent on the Lian-Li case.
- Tuner: Ceton InfiniTV4 Tuner (on the waiting list... wainting 4 or 5 more weeks I guess)
- W7 x86 (Just easier to fight with codecs and such with one code path and nothing seems to really benifit from x64 code bases at this point wiht a HTPC other than more memory)
- TMT5 (for the Blu-Ray)
And a few other bits I am picking up from reading around here to get the metadata populated on the screen for videos.
So with all that, I figure this is a good HTPC to get me another bunch of years and be quiet and functional. No add in card for now, and just using the iGP for video play back. (no 3D gaming, or anything like that, just video).
I've read about the 24p issues (same as most other GPU's it seems), but I am not overly concerned, I tend to keep my system at 60hz, but may change. And if you kick off UAC (which I have disabled anyway) it seems it gets closer to the proper sync rate.Any thoughts, recommendations, warnings?
One of the biggest items I need to be sure works as expected is the bitstreaming of 7.1 via HDMI.