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Time to "tweak" the HTPC

post #1 of 35
Thread Starter 
Current specs:

AMD Phenom II X2 555
4 GB G.Skill DDR2 1066
1.5 TB Seagate 5900 RPM drive
Dual LG Blu-Ray Burners: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827136137
MSI 785 GTM-E45 Motherboard
Silverstone ST70F 700w power supply
Logitech DiNovo Edge keyboard

Case: Silverstone GD01-MX

The time has come to upgrade the HTPC due to the following limitations:

a) Memory: The current board is limited to a max of 8 GB DDR2 1066.
b) Storage: The 1.5 TB drive has only 400 GB left
c) Card Reader: The card reader that originally came with the computer only worked with 32 bit OSes


Plans:

New motherboard: Asus M5A78L-M (Can take up to 32 GB)
Memory: 8 GB of DDR 1333 G.Skill Ripjaws w/ 7-7-7-21 timings
Increased storage in the form of two or three 3-4 TB HDs
Hauppage Colossus HD video capture card
New card reader (already installed)

After upgrading my desktop to an 8 Core FX, I am planning to move the Phenom X4 over to the HTPC

Side Note: My DiNovo Edge's battery is not taking a charge. Debating whether or not to replace the battery or the keyboard itself.
post #2 of 35
Thread Starter 
I am also considering a Solid State Drive for startup. After reading Assassin's HTPC blog, I may consider a Samsung, Crucial, or SanDisk 128 GB SSD.
post #3 of 35
840 pro is the fastest drive, but the intels see known for reliability.
post #4 of 35
Thread Starter 
So far, the SanDisk I have has been reliable as well. In fact, my wife flipped out when she saw what was a seemingly slow computer come up almost as fast as my i7 laptop.
post #5 of 35
that is good to hear
post #6 of 35
Thread Starter 
Looking at WD 3 TB drives. Unfortunately, they don't have the Green Series in 4 TB.
post #7 of 35
You are changing the MoBo but not the CPU?

Why do you need a Blu-ray burner at all?
post #8 of 35
if i were you i would buy only a new dGPU (i.e. nVidia 630) and an ssd
post #9 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony_Montana View Post

if i were you i would buy only a new dGPU (i.e. nVidia 630) and an ssd

I agree with this.
post #10 of 35
Thread Starter 
a) One poster mentioned changing motherboard, but not processor. I did not delve into that. I am planning to move my Phenom X4 965 to the HTPC. My desktop is getting rebuilt with an 8 Core AMD FX.
b) The blu-ray burners I have are used for more than BD playback
post #11 of 35
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony_Montana View Post

if i were you i would buy only a new dGPU (i.e. nVidia 630) and an ssd

SSD is in the plans. Eventually, I will look at dGPU.
post #12 of 35
8 core for HTPC? must be doing some serious encoding of recorded media smile.gif.

new plans look good.
post #13 of 35
Have a look at http://rfpcremote.com for a remote power button as you already have DiNovo.
post #14 of 35
"Have a look at http://rfpcremote.com for a remote power button as you already have DiNovo."

Pointless if you are using the HTPC to record TV. rolleyes.gif
Edited by Heuer - 5/12/13 at 6:22am
post #15 of 35
I also agree with the gpu suggestion. The DDR3 board has a lower integrated gpu than the 785 board(dx10.1).
post #16 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Heuer View Post

"Have a look at http://rfpcremote.com for a remote power button as you already have DiNovo."

Pointless if you are using the HTPC to record TV. rolleyes.gif
So does this work with an existing RF Remote? I checked the link but it really doesn't explain that part?
post #17 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by PrinzII View Post

Side Note: My DiNovo Edge's battery is not taking a charge. Debating whether or not to replace the battery or the keyboard itself.

Replaced one, worked fine (charged, used, recharged) a few months. Not charging again, and no plans to repeat the exercise

Also, I don't think you'll see huge benefits from 1066->1333

I can't imagine you needing more than 8GB either, so unless you had "other-than-htpc" plans it doesn't make much sense to upgrade the board just for those.

SSD and entry level GPU should be all that's needed. A good SSD can be repurposed if you upgrade, GPU probably won't be of much use later. Neither would the motherboard, so pricewise it's kind of a wash
post #18 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by gonzo90017 View Post

So does this work with an existing RF Remote? I checked the link but it really doesn't explain that part?

No, it doesn't work with other RF remotes.
post #19 of 35
Gonzo, why exactly would you want or need a remote power switch on an HTPC? You realize it can't wake on LAN or wake to record when completely powered off, right? Is there some benefit to this that I'm missing?
post #20 of 35
An IR remote will wake the computer out of sleep. That's how I power up mine. (in standby it's <10w of power) Otherwise if it is shutdown, I just use a WOL app on my smartphone to power it on from the couch.
post #21 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by w1retap View Post

An IR remote will wake the computer out of sleep. That's how I power up mine. (in standby it's <10w of power) Otherwise if it is shutdown, I just use a WOL app on my smartphone to power it on from the couch.
Yes, that's what most of us do, I think. Hence my question as to why anyone would want or need to remotely cut the power entirely, breaking the ability to wake with an IR remote or with WOL. Seems unnecessary to me when standby works so much better.
post #22 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdavej View Post

Gonzo, why exactly would you want or need a remote power switch on an HTPC? You realize it can't wake on LAN or wake to record when completely powered off, right? Is there some benefit to this that I'm missing?
Why not? I have a server that holds all my media and runs MediaPortal. It holds 3 internal Dual Tuner ATSC cards. It does all my recording and sends live tv to all of my other pcs on the network. So all my other pcs are basically just extenders. Before adding SSD Drives to the extenders I would put them in hibernation when not it in use (don't mind the wake time). Now they are put to Standby so this device would be great. With the SSD, the wake up from an OFF power state would be similar to what it was with Hibernation and add to that the power savings. Yes I know it would only be a few dollars but every little bit helps. wink.gif
post #23 of 35
Your other PCs are extenders but they can't be used to initiate a recording using the tuners in the server, correct? I'm trying to figure out something similar but the bottleneck always comes back to needing shared tuners and scheduled transfer of recorded TV files back to centralized server. While xbox as extenders work fine I'd prefer to build my own hardware.

Thanks.
post #24 of 35
Quote:
Your other PCs are extenders but they can't be used to initiate a recording using the tuners in the server, correct?
Wrong. MediaPortal has a shared guide so I can see what's currently recording on the server and can initiate a recording from the PC Extender. I can also see the upcoming schedule of recordings.
Quote:
I'm trying to figure out something similar but the bottleneck always comes back to needing shared tuners and scheduled transfer of recorded TV files back to centralized server
In my case the server holds my 3 dual tuner cards (for a total of 6 tuners). And since the recordings are made, kept, and shared from there, there is no need to move them anywhere else.

Shared tuners? Don't really get what you mean? If you mean that you run out of tuners, a good idea would be to install more. In the beginning I didn't think I would ever need more then 4. But boy was I wrong. I find myself frequently recording 5 shows at once. Especially during this past Fall TV Season.
post #25 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by gonzo90017 View Post

Why not? I have a server that holds all my media and runs MediaPortal. It holds 3 internal Dual Tuner ATSC cards. It does all my recording and sends live tv to all of my other pcs on the network. So all my other pcs are basically just extenders. Before adding SSD Drives to the extenders I would put them in hibernation when not it in use (don't mind the wake time). Now they are put to Standby so this device would be great. With the SSD, the wake up from an OFF power state would be similar to what it was with Hibernation and add to that the power savings. Yes I know it would only be a few dollars but every little bit helps. wink.gif
If that's really what you want, then go for it. I'd rather burn an extra 5W than deal with that silly remote. Let's see, $23 for the switch kit, plus a few bucks per year for batteries, let's say $25 versus 5W x 18hr/day x 11 cents/kwh = $3.50/year, which is 7 years to use enough energy to pay for that god-awful home-made switch, even more if you include yearly remote battery costs.

No thanks.
post #26 of 35
Believe me I would if there were any way I could get it to work with my existing RF remote. biggrin.gif
post #27 of 35
WOL can power up a completely shut down PC as well. Unplugging is best in terms of energy saving as some inefficient PCs can consume up to 9W even after completely shutting down.

gonzo, I found another rf remote power switch: google Logisys RMPC02 - but I don't think it's a learning one either.
Edited by tahn - 5/16/13 at 4:47pm
post #28 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by gonzo90017 View Post

Believe me I would if there were any way I could get it to work with my existing RF remote. biggrin.gif
Oooo... that's a nice remote! Where did you get that?
post #29 of 35
that's a zeevee. gonzo, do you know what frequency it uses?
post #30 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdavej View Post

Oooo... that's a nice remote! Where did you get that?
They used to sell it a while ago in the Zinc.tv website.
Quote:
gonzo, do you know what frequency it uses?
I haven't the slightest clue. Is there any way to find out?
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