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Need help choosing RAM and SSD for my HTPC build - Page 2

post #31 of 150
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by pkscout View Post

A case? I'm assuming you're reusing a case you have, but I just want to make sure. Depending on the noise from the stock i5 cooler, you might want to think about a different CPU cooler.

Yup, I have an Antec tower case that takes a full size ATX motherboard for this build.

Quote:


I also assume you're using 64bit Win7. If not, anything more than 4gigs won't even be recognized by the operating system (actually, I think it's three gigs).

I bought a Win7 Home Premium upgrade for the $20 introductory price when Win7 first came out and never installed it up to now. Will be sure to install the 64bit disc. --- I think there's a way to install a Win7 upgrade without having to install WinXP first. Will have to try to find some info on how to do that. (I do have a legal copy of WinXP.)

Thanks,
Sky
post #32 of 150
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zon2020 View Post

The stock Sandy Bridge cooler is pretty quiet.
If you're not overclocking, I think it's adequate.

Nope, will not be overclocking.

Thanks for the info,
Sky
post #33 of 150
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by assassin View Post

Fyi most of this is in my sticky guide and my faq. Lots of other great stuff there too.

Just read your FAQ and it has a lot of great info. I think I'll follow one of the tips and scrape the factory thermal compound off the i5 heatsink and use Artic Silver instead.

Your sticky guide to building a HTPC is so humongous it would take a couple of weeks to read it all, but searching it helps.

Thanks,
Sky
post #34 of 150
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skylark View Post

Just read your FAQ and it has a lot of great info. I think I'll follow one of the tips and scrape the factory thermal compound off the i5 heatsink and use Artic Silver instead.

Your sticky guide to building a HTPC is so humongous it would take a couple of weeks to read it all, but searching it helps.

Thanks,
Sky

I was referring to just the first (guide) and second (faq) posts.

But I agree --- its a monster.
post #35 of 150
Thread Starter 
Just ordered all of the parts. Here's the final list:

Motherboard ........ Asus P8H67-V, LGA1155, H67, ATX, DDR3 1333 .... $94.99 ... Amazon
CPU .................... Intel core i5-2500K, 3.3GHz ............................. $219.99 ... NewEgg
RAM .................... PNY 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3 SDRAM 1333, 240pin ..... $31.99... NewEgg
Solid State Drive ... Plextor 64GB, PX-64M2S-02 ............................... $94.72 ...Amazon
Power Supply ....... Antec 430 watt, EA-430D ................................... $49.99 ... Amazon
Hard Drive ........... Samsung 1TB, 7200rpm, SATA 3.0GB/s, 3.5" ....... $149.99 ... NewEgg
SATA Cable ......... OKGEAR 10" SATA 6GB/s Cable, strght to rt angle ... $4.49 ... NewEgg
Thermal Cmpd ..... Artic Silver AA-1.75G ........................................... $5.98 ... NewEgg
DVD reader ......... IDE, already own (may replace with Blu-ray reader later)
DVD burner ......... IDE, already own
Case .................. Antec tower, full size ATX, already own

Total cost: $652.14 (EDIT: Did get $40 Samsung rebate so actual cost was $612.14)

Not too bad for a PC with an i5-2500K CPU (allows Intel HD3000 graphics), a 64GB SSD, 8GB RAM, 1TB HDD and a 430w PS. (Considering that typical "inexpensive" ready made i5 PCs come with less capable motherboards and without a 2500K CPU, SSD or 430w PS, and run between $600-$700.)

I'll install a SATA to eSATA adapter bracket and will run a ThermalTake BlacX docking station on it. This will allow plugging in up to 2TB hard drives for backups and unlimited media.

I decided on the 430W power supply since I may install an ATI video card if the 1080p, 24fps dup frames bother me. And I'll probably install a second 1TB or 2TB hard drive later. That would allow me to keep photos on the internal drive and be able to back up the photos to an external hard drive. Plus any future PCI cards.

I measured the length of a HDMI cable to reach our HDTV set and 40 feet will do it. Will order a 40ft, 24awg HDMI cable from Monoprice so I don't expect any problems there.

For those interested, the P8H67-V Motherboard has:

--- INTERNAL ---
4 Memory slots (240 pin, DDR3 1333 / 1066, 32GB max, Dual channel)
2 PCI Express 2.0 x 16 slots
2 PCI Express x1 slots
3 PCI slots
1 PATA (IDE) port
2 SATA 6Gb/s ports
4 SATA 3Gb/s ports
4 USB 2.0 headers (for front panel)

--- REAR PANEL---
1 HDMI
1 D-Sub (VGA)
1 DVI-D Dual Link
2 USB 3.0
4 USB 2.0
1 PS/2 port
1 RJ-45 Gigabit LAN port
1 S/PDIF Audio out
6 Analog audio ports


Will post results of this build when it's complete. (And ask questions if I have problems )

A big "Thank You" to all who helped out with an extra thanks to Zon2020,
Sky
post #36 of 150
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skylark View Post

Just read your FAQ and it has a lot of great info. I think I'll follow one of the tips and scrape the factory thermal compound off the i5 heatsink and use Artic Silver instead.

Your sticky guide to building a HTPC is so humongous it would take a couple of weeks to read it all, but searching it helps.

Thanks,
Sky

I would think before following this advise on removing the the thermal compound read this from people who really test these things.
http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/artic...nd-Review/1273
post #37 of 150
I never remove the stock compound, fwiw. I think any of the options is just fine for a typical htpc though.
post #38 of 150
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ducati 1098 View Post

I would think before following this advise on removing the the thermal compound read this from people who really test these things.
http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/artic...nd-Review/1273

Very convincing test. I'll leave the stock thermal compound on and save the Arctic Silver that I already ordered for future use.

Thanks,
Sky
post #39 of 150
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skylark View Post

I measured the length of a HDMI cable to reach our HDTV set and 40 feet will do it. Will order a 40ft, 24awg HDMI cable from Monoprice so I don't expect any problems there.

Ordered this 40ft HDMI cable from amazon instead of from Monoprice since shipping via amazon is free, while shipping via Monoprice to my location would have cost about $15.00.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00..._ya_os_product

In addition to the shipping savings, this 40ft HDMI cable is about $12 cheaper than the 40ft Monoprice HDMI cable. This cable is 26AWG compared to the Monoprice 24AWG cable but the 5 amazon user reviews are four 5-stars and one 4-stars so I think it will do the job. The cable is rated as high speed to support 3D while the Monoprice cable is rated as standard speed. (Also ordered a 6' DVI-D cable that I planned to order anyway which brought the total above $25 to qualify for free amazon shipping.)

Will post results using this cable when my build is complete.
Sky
post #40 of 150
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skylark View Post

Ordered this 40ft HDMI cable from amazon instead of from Monoprice since shipping via amazon is free, while shipping via Monoprice to my location would have cost about $15.00.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00..._ya_os_product

In addition to the shipping savings, this 40ft HDMI cable is about $12 cheaper than the 40ft Monoprice HDMI cable. This cable is 26AWG compared to the Monoprice 24AWG cable but the 5 amazon user reviews are four 5-stars and one 4-stars so I think it will do the job. The cable is rated as high speed to support 3D while the Monoprice cable is rated as standard speed. (Also ordered a 6' DVI-D cable that I planned to order anyway which brought the total above $25 to qualify for free amazon shipping.)

Will post results using this cable when my build is complete.
Sky

24AWG is larger than 26AWG.
post #41 of 150
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by assassin View Post

24AWG is larger than 26AWG.

Notice the "but" in my statement:

"This cable is 26AWG compared to the Monoprice 24AWG cable but the 5 amazon user reviews are four 5-stars and one 4-stars so I think it will do the job."

I was trying to point out that in spite of the 26AWG being smaller diameter wires than the 24AWG, the amazon HDMI cable still received 5 and 4 start reviews so I think it will do the job.

Thanks for trying to clarify,
Sky
post #42 of 150
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin2moon View Post

Thanks for all of your hard work and sharing your knowledge with all of us.

Sure nice of you to say that. Had a lot of good suggestions from others so thanks to them also.

Best regards,
Sky
post #43 of 150
Just to reiterate what someone else put - don't get a mobo because it supports IDE drives. You'll have more options if you drop that requirement and add one of these: SYBA SY-VIA-150 PCI SATA / IDE Combo Controller Card, Non Raid. Its $14 and gives you two more SATA connections as well as the IDE.
post #44 of 150
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skylark View Post

Notice the "but" in my statement:

"This cable is 26AWG compared to the Monoprice 24AWG cable but the 5 amazon user reviews are four 5-stars and one 4-stars so I think it will do the job."

I was trying to point out that in spite of the 26AWG being smaller diameter wires than the 24AWG, the amazon HDMI cable still received 5 and 4 start reviews so I think it will do the job.

Thanks for trying to clarify,
Sky

For runs of anything longer than 20 feet I would recommend as thick a HDMI as possible.

That being said the 26AWG should work fine for you.
post #45 of 150
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ljo000 View Post

Just to reiterate what someone else put - don't get a mobo because it supports IDE drives. You'll have more options if you drop that requirement and add one of these: SYBA SY-VIA-150 PCI SATA / IDE Combo Controller Card, Non Raid. Its $14 and gives you two more SATA connections as well as the IDE.

Hi ljo000,

Thanks for your suggestion. However I already ordered the Asus P8H67-V motherboard that uses the H67 chipset.

I didn't see any advantage that the P67 chipset would give since I don't overclock, plus the P67 does not support onboard video. The H67 does support some overclocking of the integrated graphics but how much performance gain there is, I have no clue.

The Z68 chipset supports onboard video like the H67 but it's overclocking capability was eliminated for the same reason since I don't overclock. ----- The Z68 has SSD caching but since I'm installing a 64GB SSD and installing the OS and applications in it, I think that would give more of a performance boost. Also, I wonder about doing SSD caching since SSD life is dependent on the number of write cycles. It's said that software can do "wear leveling" and allow the SSDs to last a long time but I still worry about it since I see where some folks have had premature SSD failures. Whether those failures were due to excessive writes to the SSD, I donno but I worry about it. In fact, I'm thinking about assigning Win7's page file to the hard drive to avoid writing to the SSD too much. I'll have 8GB of RAM which I think will cut down on Win7's need to use paging so I'm not sure whether to assign the page file to the hard drive or keep it in the SSD.

Did I miss any advantages of getting a different motherboard? I could return the P8H67-V motherboard to Amazon but I would pay for the return shipping since it's my decision and not Amazon's fault.

Thanks,
Sky
post #46 of 150
Thread Starter 
After I install the Plextor 64GB, PX-64M2S-02 SSD, since this is a new build and Win7 has not been installed yet, how should I setup one partition and format the SSD?

- Will the "Win7 install disc" partition and format the SSD properly? I have a Win7 upgrade CD (64 bit).

- Any firmware updates to install in the SSD? If so, how do I find the firmware rev level already in the SSD?

- And any suggestions for mounting the SSD to the chassis?

Thanks,
Sky (who never used a SSD before)
post #47 of 150
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skylark View Post

After I install the Plextor 64GB, PX-64M2S-02 SSD, since this is a new build and Win7 has not been installed yet, how should I setup one partition and format the SSD?

- Will the "Win7 install disc" partition and format the SSD properly? I have a Win7 upgrade CD (64 bit).

Yes. Some people, including Assassin I believe, recommend doing this initial installation with only the SSD connected and before connecting any other hard disk. Probably a good approach, although I haven't done that on mine and didn't have any problem.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Skylark View Post

- Any firmware updates to install in the SSD? If so, how do I find the firmware rev level already in the SSD?

I haven't even tried to update the firmware in my Plextors and they have worked fine.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Skylark View Post

- And any suggestions for mounting the SSD to the chassis?

If your case doesn't have a spot with pre-drilled holes for a 3.5 inch drive, there's a variety of approaches. Get a 3.5" to 2.5" bay converter. There are a variety of makes and designs. I like the SilverStone SDP08. Or get some two-side Velcro tape and stick it almost anywhere. If you search for Velcro here, there's a whole thread about imaginative places and methods of mounting SSDs, complete with pictures.

BTW, I found to my pleasant suprise when I got my new Plextor the other day that the new M3S models now come with a bay convertor in the box. That's a handy addition.

Oh, and Amazon is now selling the Plextor PX-64M2S-02 64gb SATA III SSD for only $87.61, which is a steal.
post #48 of 150
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zon2020 View Post

Yes. Some people, including Assassin I believe, recommend doing this initial installation with only the SSD connected and before connecting any other hard disk. Probably a good approach, although I haven't done that on mine and didn't have any problem.

I haven't even tried to update the firmware in my Plextors and they have worked fine.

If your case doesn't have a spot with pre-drilled holes for a 3.5 inch drive, there's a variety of approaches. Get a 3.5" to 2.5" bay converter. There are a variety of makes and designs. I like the SilverStone SDP08. Or get some two-side Velcro tape and stick it almost anywhere. If you search for Velcro here, there's a whole thread about imaginative places and methods of mounting SSDs, complete with pictures.

BTW, I found to my pleasant suprise when I got my new Plextor the other day that the new M3S models now come with a bay convertor in the box. That's a handy addition.

Oh, and Amazon is now selling the Plextor PX-64M2S-02 64gb SATA III SSD for only $87.61, which is a steal.

Thanks for the SSD installation info. Seems it's just like installing a normal hard drive except for the mounting. Velcro sounds easy.

Thanks again,
Sky
post #49 of 150
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skylark View Post

Thanks for the SSD installation info. Seems it's just like installing a normal hard drive except for the mounting. Velcro sounds easy.

Thanks again,
Sky

Well, it is if you're doing a fresh install using W7 because W7 recognizes a solid state drive and properly optimizes itself, enabling TRIM and among other things, disabling disk defragmentation, Superfetch, ReadyBoost, and some prefetching.

It would be different if you were using a different OS or reimaging using an old OS image.

EDIT: BTW, you should check that your SATA mode is set to ACHI or RAID in bios. It usually is by default, but check.
post #50 of 150
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zon2020 View Post

Well, it is if you're doing a fresh install using W7 because W7 recognizes a solid state drive and properly optimizes itself, enabling TRIM and among other things, disabling disk defragmentation, Superfetch, ReadyBoost, and some prefetching.

It would be different if you were using a different OS or reimaging using an old OS image.

EDIT: BTW, you should check that your SATA mode is set to ACHI or RAID in bios. It usually is by default, but check.

Good info regarding Win7 & SSD. Setting ACHI is on my list.

Thanks,
Sky
post #51 of 150
Thread Starter 
I made a firmware/software installation procedure. Any corrections to the order of doing things, or additions or corrections appreciated.

PREPARATION:
-----------------
1. Go to Asus website and download for P8H67-V with 64-bit Windows-7:
... a. BIOS Upgrade.
... b. Chipset drivers.
... c. SATA driver
... d. USB driver
... e. VGA driver
... f. LAN driver
... g. Audio driver
... (These are all of the drivers on the ASUS website for the P8H67-V)


AFTER HARDWARE BUILD COMPLETE: (Only SSD connected)
---------------------------------------------------------------------
1. Update motherboard BIOS if necessary.
2. Update SSD with latest firmware. (EDIT: not required)
3. Set SATA controller to AHCI in BIOS. (Advanced Host Controller Interface)
4. * Install Win7 *
5. Install chipset drivers.
6. Install VGA driver.
7. Install SATA driver.
8. Install USB driver.
9. Install audio driver.
10. Install network driver.
11. * Install all Win7 service packs and updates. *
12. * Install Microsoft Security Essentials virus protection. *
13. Reset BIOS boot sequence to boot from system drive first.

Are steps 6-10 necessary? Or will updating Win7 in step-11 do it anyway?

Steps 11 & 12: Best to install Win-7 updates before Security Essentials? Or vice versa?

Thanks,
Sky
post #52 of 150
I like both RIPjaw and Corsair DDR3 these days.

You could get the higher end ram for the same price you listed above if you look at the newegg daily deals... btw
post #53 of 150
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zon2020 View Post

Well, it is if you're doing a fresh install using W7 because W7 recognizes a solid state drive and properly optimizes itself, enabling TRIM and among other things, disabling disk defragmentation, Superfetch, ReadyBoost, and some prefetching.

It would be different if you were using a different OS or reimaging using an old OS image.

EDIT: BTW, you should check that your SATA mode is set to ACHI or RAID in bios. It usually is by default, but check.

On that note two programs I use to make things run correctly for ACHI:
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/922976
I think this is in Assassin's guides
Another one is :
http://downloadcenter.intel.com/Sear...age+Technology
post #54 of 150
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ducati 1098 View Post

On that note two programs I use to make things run correctly for ACHI:
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/922976
I think this is in Assassin's guides
Another one is :
http://downloadcenter.intel.com/Sear...age+Technology

I just flip it in the bios and stop at that.

It's like an on/off switch for lights. The light is either on or off.

It's so simple.

If the Bios is set to ACHI... then your all set.

Do this before you install windows clean on your SSD and never look back.
post #55 of 150
Thread Starter 
Mfusick and Ducati 1098,

Thank you for your additional info. Every piece helps to complete the puzzle.

Best regards,
Sky
post #56 of 150
Thread Starter 
Completed the build of my P8H67-V PC. On power on, the CPU fan spins but none of the 3 chassis fans spin. The 3 chassis fans are the original ones that came with my 6 year old Antec tower case and all have 3 pin connectors. The fans jerk and stop.

So I pulled the plugs for all 3 fans off the motherboard to prevent damage. I changed the "Chassis Q-Fan Control" in the CMOS from Enabled to Disabled and saved and exited. There are two 4 pin chassis fan connecors and one 3 pin connector. Connected one fan to the 3 pin connector and powered on but the fan just jerks, stops, jerks stops at about 2 second intervals.

With the "Chassis Q-Fan Control" set to Disabled, should the chassis fans spin constantly? Any ideas?

PS: I inserted the Windows 7 CD and it loaded and came up with the first screen to select the language. So the motherboard, CPU and RAM look good. (Have a small household fan blowing into the open case.)
post #57 of 150
some bios settings will only spin fans at certain temps??

Let it run a bit longer... ?
post #58 of 150
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

some bios settings will only spin fans at certain temps??

Let it run a bit longer... ?

I was thinking that the "Chassis Q-Fan Control" would spin fans only above a certain temp but that setting it to "Disabled" would allow the fans to spin constantly. The fans are 12 volts DC.

There are 4 fan connectors on the motherboard.

CPU_FAN:
- Gnd
- CPU fan power
- CPU fan in
- CPU fan PWM

CHA_FAN1 and CHA_FAN2:
- Gnd
- CPU fan power
- CPU fan in
- CPU fan PWM

PWR_FAN:
- Gnd
- +12 volt
- Rotation

I connected one fan on the chassis to the PWR_FAN connector so I figure it should spin since the diagram in the manual for that connector shows +12 volts. No matter how I set the Chassis Q-Fan Control the fan just jiggles momentarily about every 3 seconds.

I called Asus Tech Support but they are closed today (Xmas on Sunday so holiday on Monday?). Hopefully they will be open tomorrow.

Meanwhile, if anyone has any other ideas, please chime in.

Thanks,
Sky
post #59 of 150
Thread Starter 
Motherboard still being cooled by a household fan blowing into the open case. Hope Asus is working tomorrow.

Only the 64GB SSD is installed so far. The 1TB hard drive will be installed after the motherboard drivers and Win7 are completely done.

Installed:
- Win7
- Chipset and other drivers on my previous list
- All Win7 updates
- MS Security Essentials.

I didn't install the "SATA" driver that I had downloaded from the Asus website. Write up says it's primarily for RAID and I won't have RAID but I've seen posts saying it speeds up a single SSD which I do have. --- Should I install it?

Sky
post #60 of 150
Thread Starter 
First time I've used or seen the performance of a SSD. It's unreal.

-From the first display of Win7 (Starting Windows) to the time the spinning circle stops is 11 seconds.

- From the time Shutdown is clicked to when the power LED goes off is 6 seconds.

- Internet Explorer opens and the Microsoft home page is completely displayed almost instantaneously, like about 1 second.

- While I was installing the chipset and hardware drivers that I downloaded from the Asus website, the restarts between each driver install was so fast that the process was a joy.

If this SSD ever dies, I'll definitely buy another one. Loving all of this speed,
Sky
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