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I'm new and want to build a HTPC :p

post #1 of 52
Thread Starter 
Hello,


I want to build a Home theater pc, I'm a bit on a budget and this is what I plan to build:

CPU
: Intel celeron G550 2.6GHZ

Motherboard: ASRock B75M R2.0 or ASRock B75 Pro3-M
(suggestions?, main difference the pro has this: http://www.asrock.com/feature/Blu-ray/index.asp and has also 4 ram slots which I won't be using and an 8pin motherboard connection insted of a 4 pin)

Ram: Crucial Ballistix ddr3 4gb 1600mhz 1.5V (non ECC) CL9
GPU: I will be using the onboard HD 2000

Cooler: Stock cooler from the celeron

Case: Epsilon HTPC1 (it's basically the same as the MS-Tech MC-1200 and Techsolo TC-2200 but without the PSU)

PSU: Seasonic SS-300SFD (The case only take SFX psu's)

Casefan:I'm hoping to use an Nexus 120mm PWM real silent fan. But if I take the "pro" motherboard (with 4 ram slots and 24bit audio) it will obstruct the 120mm mounting hole. So I can only use an 80mm fan... (Sharkoon silent eagle 80mm 1000 rpm in that case wink.gif)

BOOT-DISK
: Crucial M4 64 gb or Samsung 840 120GB (not decided yet) (of course 120gb is better, but i'm on a budget tongue.gif )

total: +- 300 euros


Storage: My raspberry pi will host all my music and video on a samba server wink.gif




So I still have some questions:

1) My main concern is noise, I've chosen my components very carefully, I don't want to sit next to a tornado. Is this going to be a quiet system? Am i'm missing something?

2)
I will be using openelec (xbmc on linux), Does anybody know if the celeron G550 support HD audio bitstreaming over HDMI in openelec? (dts HD master and dolby true HD)

3)
I will be using my HTPC in combination with my Onkyo tx-nr807, I'm going to passtrough audio over HDMI to the onkyo, will the downscalling to 16 bit happen with the B75M R2.0, or is this only when u use the integrated audio chip?

4) Is there a problem with 24p content with the HD2000? :s

5) I also want to dual boot the openelec with windows 7, to play a game sometimes, nothing really heavy, trackmania forver nation, halo combat evolved, HAWX, all pretty old games, will they run on my HTPC?

6) So, I want to dualboot, can I do that with grub? I think mce remote wont work in grub smile.gif. Can I write a script in openelec that I can launch from openelec that says: reboot this computer and choose Windows 7 in grub. (He needs to do this only once,the next time I boot, I want to boot in openelec.) So default boot in grub is openelec and I can launch a script from openelec to boot the next time windows 7 (ONLY the next time tongue.gif). Is this possible? Can anyone help me with that, are there guides on the internet?

7) Will this HTPC play all content I throw at it? (I don't care about 3D tongue.gif )

8)
Is it powerfull enough to transcode a movie (PLEX) and playback another movie at the same time? So the kids can watch a movie on the tablet (transcoded) and the mother can watch a movie on the television (regular playback)?

These are all my questions smile.gif. I hope somebody can help me figure them out;)


Thanks in advance
post #2 of 52
If you don't mind, can you say where in Europe you are and where you're getting your case and PSU? Thanks!

1) The Intel stock cooler is usually quiet but it can be hit-or-miss. You can try it since it's included and if it's not to your liking at that time put in something different. There are a lot of choices for Intel LGA1155/1156 coolers.

I leave the other questions to other. I just thought since I am asking a question I should answer one smile.gif.
post #3 of 52
Thread Starter 
Hello, thank you for your answer smile.gif

I'm propably gonna buy my stuff @ www.azerty.nl or @ www.zercom.eu. Both are internet stores in the netherlands, but they have a 'real-life' store where you can pick up your hardware smile.gif. Azerty has one in Raalte (http://goo.gl/maps/79btA) (Not far from the german border I think) and zercom has a store in Eindhoven (http://goo.gl/maps/LXpdr).

The main problem is the height of the case if I want to install another cooler, the scythe shuriken is the only one that fits I think (and propably a few others) tongue.gif
post #4 of 52
Thread Starter 
Anybody?
post #5 of 52
Your system is pretty barebones to be used as a gaming rig. If you're planning to install Windows 7 for games, why not just use XBMC in Windows instead of openelec? The Eden release will definitely support HD audio. I have no experience with the openelec version so I don't know what it supports, but it should be listed on their website. I believe all of the Ivy Bridge CPUs support HD audio, but I'm not entirely sure about the Celeron. 80mm fans tend to run louder since they have to spin faster to move the same amount of air as a 120mm fan so go with the 120mm fan cooler if noise is a major concern. I'm also not familar with Plex, but transcoding can require a lot of CPU usage and I don't believe the Celeron is up to the task, especially if you want to use the PC for other things at the same time. You should probably consider moving up to at least a CORE i3 or an i5 Intel CPU for what you're asking it to do. For gaming you'll also want to consider a separate graphics card rather than using the integrated GPU in the Intel CPU. More RAM couldn;t hurt either, although 4GB is more than sufficient for a HTPC.

The bottom line is that your PC is probably OK as a HTPC as long as you just want to watch TV or movies. For heavy duty tasks like gaming or transcoding, you'll need to beef it up quite a bit more. I've used 64GB SSDs for HTPCs and they're OK as long as you don't want to install much beyond the OS and a few apps. Otherwise, go for the 120GB SSD. You should also consider a 2nd drive for storage if you ever plan to use it for recording TV.
post #6 of 52
Thread Starter 
Hmmm, thank you. I want to use openelec, because it boots fast, and I've used xbmc on my windows laptop and had alot of trouble... (... stopped working, constant updates, playback issues frown.gif )
The games I will be playing are games like Halo, which is 10 years old I think, I don't know if this is a problem for the igpu, I'm not gonna play metro 2033 on it or something very demanding.


The cpu is a sandy bridge celeron and not an ivy bridge, The only thing that's different from an i3 is, 1mb less cache, no hyperthreading and a lower clock.
The plex site says 'For 1080p transcoding, a Core 2 Duo 2.4ghz CPU', I think the celeron is better?

About the 80mm vs 120mm fan , I know a 80mm will be louder, but the problem is I can only go with the 120mm fan if I take the B75M motherboard, And if I take the ASRock B75 Pro3-M, I will need to use the 80mm fan, But if I take the B75M motherboard, I don't have this: http://www.asrock.com/feature/Blu-ray/index.asp , Does blu ray audio also downscale when passtroughing it to my onkyo receiver? Or does it only downgrade to 16bit when using the DAC from the pc? If it doesn't downscale when passing throug the audio to my onkyo, I will take the B75m, else I think, I need to take the pro bord, since audio is important to me wink.gif , does anybody know if the blu ray audio downscales when passing through it over hdmi to a receiver without having this feature: http://www.asrock.com/feature/Blu-ray/index.asp

Hmmm what you said about the ram, you're right wink.gif , 8Gb doesn't hurt and ram prices are cheap. I'm considering 8gb instead of 4gb.
probably I will need to install a 120gb ssd if I want to dualboot wink.gif

And the extra hard drive, that's also a good point. But can't I record television to my NAS?

thank you smile.gif
post #7 of 52
The Celeron is at the bottom end of the Intel product line. You can at least bump up to a Pentium for just a little more. Gaming uses a lot of CPU and GPU power so you're probably going to tax the system to the limit even with an old game like Halo. I'm not sure if WMC will allow you to use a NAS as your recorded TV folder location.
post #8 of 52
If you want to game on integrated graphics then AMD trinity is your best bet.
post #9 of 52
Trinity has better graphics but a weaker CPU than a comparable Intel, or so I'm told. I'd definitely go with a separate graphics card if you plan to do any sort of gaming. It's like trying to get Ferrari performance out of a Hyundai. It's fine for basic transportation, but not so much if you want to race with it.
post #10 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffkro View Post

If you want to game on integrated graphics then AMD trinity is your best bet.

If you want to "light" game.

Very important qualifier and important to let people know. The trinity really is not a great "gaming" platform in the strictest sense of the word when you are dealing with many gamers who usually have some pretty demanding expectations.
post #11 of 52
I find it better to build a pc and wait to find out you buy a game or can't run a game and then just add an affordable video card.

If you never hit that point then you saved money not buying something you don't need.

You can always add a video card anytime.

I'd rather a 1155 with video card for gaming. But bumping up to a faster CPU with less video core might make sense.
post #12 of 52
Thread Starter 
The problem I can't go with amd is because amd driver for Linux doesn't support hd audio bitstreaming over HDMI ;(. The Pentium cost +- 20 euros more (50% extra! eek.gifeek.gif ), the only plus u get is 100 MHz extra on the gpu (it's the same gpu, so I can just raise the multiplier a bit on the Celeron, no big deal...). And the Pentium gives you also 1 mb of extra cache... which you don't really notice, only slightly improvement in benchmarks...
Celeron has the same base as the Pentium. And the Pentium on his turn is in fact an i3 without hyperthreading and without some fancy features like quicksync etc. I don't think it's really worth spending 50% more on a cpu, which isn't much better :s, or am I wrong?

My main concern is that my dedicated GPU will be sitting there, consuming power and producing heat when watching a movie in openelec. And if I need to buy a GPU, It will need to be a low profile gpu, and it needs to be an NVidia because amd drivers doesn't support HD bitstreaming frown.gif, and all low profile NVidia card suck atm.

Does anybody know if I buy a motherboard without the 'blu ray audio feature' , will it downscale when passing through audio to my receiver? (3) ?

Thanks smile.gif
post #13 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by assassin View Post

If you want to "light" game.

Very important qualifier and important to let people know. The trinity really is not a great "gaming" platform in the strictest sense of the word when you are dealing with many gamers who usually have some pretty demanding expectations.

No a great platform is core i5 + $300 graphics card.
post #14 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffkro View Post

No a great platform is core i5 + $300 graphics card.

Saying "if you want to game" isn't really being honest about the capabilities of the Trinity platform in regards to what a lot of games expect when choosing a platform. Like I said its important to qualify exactly what type of gaming can be done.

That's all I am saying.
post #15 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by captain_video View Post

Trinity has better graphics but a weaker CPU than a comparable Intel, or so I'm told. I'd definitely go with a separate graphics card if you plan to do any sort of gaming. It's like trying to get Ferrari performance out of a Hyundai. It's fine for basic transportation, but not so much if you want to race with it.


Consider your point completely Ship High In Transit 'ed on. smile.gif
post #16 of 52
The newest open elec build is based on Frodo, and it bitstreams all formats with sandy or ivy integrated. I tested this with my parents g630 before handing it over to them with Windows installed

Dual booting is covered better in the oe forums, I've not read many users here doing that with OE, but it should be simple aside from using the MCE remote in grub

Integrated graphics will handle everything outside 3d (disabled or not included in the Pentium and celeron line)

You can definitely play halo and hawx. I've played both of those titles on the much weaker ati 9600 mobile with and 64 (laptop). The 550 would easily handle those titles and plenty of emulators

I do not really know about the sixteen bit question, but I can tell you that audio splitters use the Intel pch for audio processing so the realtek portion doesn't matter
post #17 of 52
Thread Starter 
Okay great smile.gif

Yeah , letting the MCE remote work in grub will be hard I guess tongue.gif, do you know if there are tutorials out there?

I think I will be using my OVU422000/06 (HP Part #: 5070-2584) (HP infrared usb receiver) in combination with a harmony 600 remote. But I was thinking, are there infrared usb receivers that emulate keyboard presses and support a harmony remote? So I can use my harmony remote in grub, because my pc thinks it's a keyboard tongue.gif ?

thank you
post #18 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffkro View Post



Consider your point completely Ship High In Transit 'ed on. smile.gif
Ahem. I was referring to an older stock Hyundai, like the original Accent. tongue.gif And FYI, at the end of the day you're still driving a Hyundai, not a Ferrari. biggrin.gif
Edited by captain_video - 1/21/13 at 5:34am
post #19 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by bosiwow View Post

Okay great smile.gif

Yeah , letting the MCE remote work in grub will be hard I guess tongue.gif, do you know if there are tutorials out there?

I think I will be using my OVU422000/06 (HP Part #: 5070-2584) (HP infrared usb receiver) in combination with a harmony 600 remote. But I was thinking, are there infrared usb receivers that emulate keyboard presses and support a harmony remote? So I can use my harmony remote in grub, because my pc thinks it's a keyboard tongue.gif ?

thank you
The HP IR receiver is a very popular model. I use it with my Harmony One and it works great.
post #20 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by bosiwow View Post

Okay great smile.gif

Yeah , letting the MCE remote work in grub will be hard I guess tongue.gif, do you know if there are tutorials out there?

I think I will be using my OVU422000/06 (HP Part #: 5070-2584) (HP infrared usb receiver) in combination with a harmony 600 remote. But I was thinking, are there infrared usb receivers that emulate keyboard presses and support a harmony remote? So I can use my harmony remote in grub, because my pc thinks it's a keyboard tongue.gif ?

thank you

I'm thinking this is correct

I like the Flirc USB receiver, but there are other cheaper options

I believe they are all registered as a USB HID, but I'm not sure how to get this to occur early on

I think it's possible, but I've not done it from my limited experience. I've not edited grub or advanced bios loading options very often

I had two boot options after a windows 7 installation (W7 and W8 Consumer preview) and the usb receiver wouldn't allow me to choose between them, so it always chose the default option after the countdown timer. I didn't go any further with it
post #21 of 52
Thread Starter 
Hmmm, I think I need to find an infrared receiver that will work with the harmony and that's detected as a keyboard. If anyone know something like that, let me know wink.gif


Thanks wink.gif
post #22 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by bosiwow View Post

Hmmm, I think I need to find an infrared receiver that will work with the harmony and that's detected as a keyboard. If anyone know something like that, let me know wink.gif
I don't think there is such a thing. A USB IR receiver will be detected as either a USB HID device or eHome receiver (or something to that effect). There are apps like EventGhost that convert IR signals to keyboard inputs to emulate an actual keyboard from an IR remote. EventGhost allows you to use any remote to control PC functions via keyboard actions or shortcuts. It can also be used for specific Windows controls, such as maximizing or minimizing windows. The USB UIRT is a popular IR receiver used with EventGhost, but it's a bit pricey at about $50 U.S. There are other receivers that work with EventGhost that are less expensive. There should be a list of compatible receivers on the EventGhost website, IIRC.
post #23 of 52
Well the standard WMC eHome receivers can receive keyboard commands. That's exactly what I do via the "MCE Keyboard" profile in the Logitech Harmony software. The HP MCE IR receiver is one such receiver. I'm not entirely sure what the OP is trying to accomplish though. Do you just want to send keyboard commands via your Harmony remote?
post #24 of 52
The HP MCE IR receiver works with EventGhost. I have both the HP and USB-UIRT. The only reason to get the USB-UIRT is if you have a program that has a plug-in specifically for it, such as Homeseer. Otherwise you can use EventGhost and the HP for 95% of what the UIRT is capable of doing.

Saying all that, you will probably realize you don't even need keyboard input. I just use SMS text entry with the numberpad during the few times I need text, otherwise I remote desktop connect to the HTPC from the laptop. Lately I've been using the Ceton mobile app whenever I want to search and record TV.
post #25 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by bosiwow View Post

Yeah , letting the MCE remote work in grub will be hard I guess tongue.gif, do you know if there are tutorials out there?

This is why the OP was looking for a usb IR receiver that registered itself as a "keyboard"

Wireless keyboards (like my dinovo edge) will work in Grub as well as the microsoft boot menu, but a receiver that registers as a usb-HID will not (out of the box at least)

I've experienced this first hand with the Flirc receiver, but I don't know if there is any way to change this

You'd essentially be trying to modify the USB info bit related to which type of hardware is present
post #26 of 52
Thread Starter 
Hmm I was thinking, if I wan't to use windows, that's if I want to play a game or browse the web, => so I need a keyboard in windows, so why not just take the keyboard to select select the entry in grub redface.gif. Just realised this tongue.gif.


But now I have another question, If I plug in the HP ir receiver, can I turn on the HTPC from cold boot? My motherboard has following options:
USB Keyboard/Remote Power On
USB Mouse Power On
RTC Alarm Power On
Ring-In Power On
PCI Devices Power On
PS/2 Keyboard Power On

I really want to be able to (cold) boot up the htpc with the harmony smile.gif Will the remote presses be detected when the pc is off? will it cold boot ? smile.gif

Thanks
post #27 of 52
No cold booting with the HP ir receiver. It will wake the PC from sleep which is what most people around here do (sleep instead of shutdown). I'm in the on 24/7 camp myself.
post #28 of 52
These are some solutions for cold booting.
post #29 of 52
Thread Starter 
thank you guys wink.gif

So if I buy http://store.antec.com/Product/accessory-veris_media/veris-basic/0-761345-30124-4.aspx , And install it correctly, I will be able to boot up my computer with the harmony remote?
And does it work under linux/openelec? Can't find if it works with openelec out of the box when I set my harmony to MCE remote.

(and does it work in grub tongue.gif ? )
Edited by bosiwow - 1/24/13 at 12:13am
post #30 of 52
The Antec has a built in iMon/Soundgraph IR receiver. I would never recommend iMon to anyone. I doubt it would work in Linux since it barely works in Windows. Why not just run S3 sleep?
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