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Newbie HTPC build, Is this OK?

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 

Here is the parts I planning on getting. Can someone tell me if they would be ok


SilverStone Sugo Series SG02B-F-USB3.0 ABS / SECC Steel MicroATX Desktop Computer Case with 2 x USB3.0 ports (Black)



MSI FM2-A75MA-E35 FM2 AMD A75 (Hudson D3) HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Micro ATX AMD Motherboard



AMD A8-6600K Richland 3.9GHz Socket FM2 100W Quad-Core Desktop Processor - Black Edition AMD Radeon HD 8570D AD660KWOHLBOX



CORSAIR CXM series CX430M 430W ATX12V v2.3 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply



LG Black 12X BD-ROM 16X DVD-ROM SATA Internal Blu-ray Drive Model UH12NS30 - OEM



Western Digital Red NAS Hard Drive WD30EFRX 3TB IntelliPower 64MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive




Kingston SSDNow V300 Series SV300S37A/120G 2.5" 120GB SATA III Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)



What kinda RAM do I need?


What about the power supply? will it be good enough??

post #2 of 24
Plenty of of computer there should be fine and then some
RU doing a lot of encoding (DVD /BR ripping ) or just playback I'm assuming with a 3 TB drive you will storing some DVD /BR or downloads ?

240 pin desktop ram Crucial is good 8 Gb DDR3 1333 or 1600 ram should be fine either 2 x 4 GB or 2 X 8 gb sticks Crucial is a good brand .
unless you are gaming them maybe 16 GB I'm assuming not since no video card was mentioned. in that case you would want an FX CPU or Intel
set up w gaming card

2x4 = 8 GB http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820148544

2x8 = 16 GB http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820148704

You can use 1066 but I would use PC 1333 or PC 1600 or 1866

EDIT ******** with a solid state drive you might want to consider 16 GB ram that will keep the read write's down with open apps on the s/s
drive and make it last longer

If you are going to attach USB devices you might want a 550 ~ 650watt
PSU you have a 100watt CPU 450 w will work but extra overhead of a larger PSU should make it more stable.
Edited by tubetwister - 11/9/13 at 10:20am
post #3 of 24
Thread Starter 

thanks for the reply, do u think this setup is a bit over power?


Should get a weaker CPU? what can I do to save some money on my current setup?


I will be mainly using this for watching movie via xbmc and internet.


I will be during all my ripping on my i7 4th gen desktop.


light to no game at all due to I already have another desktop plus xbox


I was reading people use 1866 or better ram on that motherboard. do I really need to do that?



post #4 of 24
thanks for the reply, do u think this setup is a bit over power?

Should get a weaker CPU? what can I do to save some money on my current setup?

Depends on how many client devices (TV's or music players ) you will be serving at one time also any 3D playback ?
You can add a 3tb drive to your existing desktop and stream to your TV with a ~ 35.00 raspberry board if you want to make it simple .
read this : Turn a Raspberry Pi Into an XBMC Media Center in Under 30 Minutes
Raspberry plays 720P but for DVD rips only that's plenty .

Or if you have a PS3 just use WMC front end and DNLA wifi stream to that from your desktop and attached drives
PS3 is also an excellent Blue ray player PS 3 makes a good HTPC just doesn't support XMBC but it does support WMC .
for one client PS3 will do everything you need and a decent wifi streamer also just use the PS3 HDMI to TV or AVR and you're all set .

For just playback to 1 or 2 clients at once all you need is an Intel Pentium G3220 Haswell + 1150 board 4 or 8 GB PC 1333 ram and metal drive
You have the i7 for encoding so playback is no sweat although you can encode with G3220 .
G3220 has built in decent HD graphics .

A little spendier and you can get the G3220 1150 board 8 gb ram + a SS drive
it will boot in 10 sec or just get a metal drive it will be plenty fast just not as fast as SSD .

G3220 handles most tasks well you won't notice the difference from 1333 to 1866 ram for your uses only in demanding video gaming .
G3220 Haswell is excellent choice for HTPC + light gaming

You could even use an IB G2020 and 1155 board
but the G3220 is a little faster both graphics and CPU wise . even the G3220 or G2020 w/4 gb ram and metal drive will give you excellent HD playback just as good as the one you were going to build .
Edited by tubetwister - 11/12/13 at 11:49am
post #5 of 24
You might be surprised at how cheap you can build a pc for just HTPC uses. I was looking at a $38 AMD Sempron cpu and a $40 mobo. If you think about the internal components of a roku, wdtv live smp, etc, Their components are tiny compared to the pc you are building. Granted they do not need resources to sustain an OS like Windows or anything.

btw, did you mention you were just using this to play dvd rips? Have you ever thought about the WDTV live player ($85ish)? Or other like player. They play my dvd rips great, even over wifi. And the wdtv supports menus too. just my 2¢
post #6 of 24
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by johnBlanker View Post

You might be surprised at how cheap you can build a pc for just HTPC uses. I was looking at a $38 AMD Sempron cpu and a $40 mobo. If you think about the internal components of a roku, wdtv live smp, etc, Their components are tiny compared to the pc you are building. Granted they do not need resources to sustain an OS like Windows or anything.

btw, did you mention you were just using this to play dvd rips? Have you ever thought about the WDTV live player ($85ish)? Or other like player. They play my dvd rips great, even over wifi. And the wdtv supports menus too. just my 2¢

I will be using this to replace my dvd player and I will be ripping all my dvd/BR to the hard drive and play it via xbmc. also thinking about installing plex for the streaming to my phone and tablet.


Plus I will be using this as DVR in the future.


Do I really need to build a HTPC?


I do already have a desktop with i7 4th gen and a 2TB HDD.

post #7 of 24
Is this for your house? Where is that computer? and where do you want to put the htpc that you are building? Where will all the files stay (server pc)? What kind of rips r u planning on playing? VIDEO_TS, BDMV, BDMV ISO, MKV, etc.?

If you use a htpc you have unlimited possibilities and really can have anything you want. The only downside is the size of the computer, unless your using an nuc, and the additional work of maintaining an operating system. And the price.

If you go with a set top box like the wdtv live smp, kdlinks, boxee, etc, you will have to research and prepare your media a specific way to play nice with these. There are limitations with all of them.

These set top boxes are great for simplicity, plug and play, no OS mainentence, small footprint, small price.

Some people have found a middle ground, the NUC. Next Unit of Computing. It's no more than a super small form factor pc. You can put one of these together for around $300. Check em out on Amazon.
post #8 of 24
Thread Starter 

One of the reason I want to build a HTPC my modern/router is by my tv, and my desktop is in my room. So I need a HTPC to hard wire to my router at a HTPC/Server.


In the future, can I get a need case, and use all my motherboard/CPU and all the hardware, turn that into a media server????


After all the reading, i'm really interested in Plex and will setup a network with Plex. So I can watch my movie collection in my gf house.


And the big Plus would be I want to use my HTPC and turn that into DVR in the future.

post #9 of 24
You don't need to hard wire HTPC/Server.You can stream an HTPC over wifi I do it everyday works just fine ofc nothing beats a wire .

I have 1 PC hard wired and 2 PC's and a PS3 all on WI FI LAN no issues .
Wi Fi streams HD video just fine sometimes I will have 2 HD movies and PS3 or 1 or 2 PC's 's + movies on wifi LAN all at once no problems.

I would not waste money on a Sempron CPU they are single core and very slow probably will not playback 1080p well at least in windows +. MB graphics chip will likely have crappy non HD support or HDMI .Most of the inexpensive FM 2 and cheaper AM3 3 boards don't have HDMI ports . AMD A4XXX and FM 2 board with HDMI isn't that much more .

The Intel Pentium S/B ,I/B are way better they come with HD video and the 1150/1155 main boards have HDMI . that would be my preferred
choice for inexpensive HTPC . Also it leaves an upgrade path in case you want to expand it later .

An inexpensive AMD A4-A6 XXX + FM2 board with HDMI out will playback 1080P HD just fine anything less than that for HD playback might be too slow when you factor in windows overhead .

If really want to build an windows HTPC use the Intel solutions or at least a decent 2 or 4 Core AMD APU .

If you already have win 7HP and WMC (windows media player ) on your desktop you can turn on media streaming from there to a WD live or PS3 or something like that and you won't need Plex .

Since you already have an i7 desktop use it put a 3tb internal or external drive in it and get a WD media player or a PS 3 done and done

You can stream content from i7 box and at the same time be using the i7 box for something else or watching 2 different HD video in two rooms with the i7

Another thing to consider is a laptop and external drive if need portability you can get an i3 laptop cheap now and you can strap an external drive to it .
Edited by tubetwister - 11/13/13 at 1:32pm
post #10 of 24
Thread Starter 

thanks for the great detail. I'm looking at this as long term solution for my media system. I could go with the laptop and external drive route, but I really don't want to run out of space in the external drive,  then I will need to get a new drive.


Also if I want to setup a DVR, any other options beside building a HTPC?


I like Plex cus I can stream movie away from home using tablet or Roku? can I do that with something else?



post #11 of 24
Originally Posted by tubetwister View Post

You don't need to hard wire HTPC/Server.You can stream an HTPC over wifi

There are not many people who can stream 1080p over wifi. Unless there is some sort of compression or transcoding involved. If your able to stream full 1080p rips with full Hi-Res audio over wifi, I would love to hear your method. Cause I'm about to wire my house this weekend.eek.gif

If the tiny processor in a wdtv live can play 1080p, I'm sure that sempron can do it. Of course if you don't mind spending the $ there are better cpu's that will give you more mileage. That Sempron is only 45 watts. Low on power consumption.
post #12 of 24
I have my nas hard wired to ATT RGW 3801 802.11 b/g it has no problem streaming Netflix 1080p which is as you say compressed it was made for U Verse triple play TV,Phone and internet I use it for Internet connection and Lan no problems although as you say it probably would choke on uncompressed BD. realistically maybe I would expect to see only ~ 20mb throughput .I stream DVD5 ,DVD 9 and .iso 480p and low bit rate 1080P Netflix /Amazon which is admittedly compressed to less less than 10 mb/sec . I just rent an occasional BD disc and spin it in the PS3 .

I don't think Op was planning on streaming BD.if so then hardwire would ofc be the way without using something else. like a powerline adapter not even sure that would work well enough .. There is one member here that says he is getting solid BD /HD wifi with a ASUS RT-56U router + D-Link DAP-1522 bridge. Set up for 5 ghz and 40 mhz bandwidth connection. but that's over $200.00 right there .

I don't think you are going to playback 1080p on Windows 7 real well with a Sempron maybe on Linux though that might work fine but he is still going to need HD video most cheap am3 boards don't support HD very well if at all .

Sempron is in ancient P4 territory performance wise and most of the cheaper AM3 boards don't support HD you would likely need an HD vid card . I just replaced HD and did a clean W7 install on a sempron box I haven't seen anything that slow for years I could be wrong but the sempron seemed like it ran slower than some P4's I've had in years past but might work on fine on Linux but then there is still the HD video issue .

.Athlon II x 2 or II x3 and an HD 6450 fanless with a cheap am3 board would work fine the II X 2 is maybe 65 watts the card maybe 20 watts the Athlon II x 2 and II x 3 can be had all day on paybay for less much less than $50.00.

An AMD A4 or .A6XXXX with HD video and FM 2 board wouldn't be that much more though even better an Intel Pentium GXXXX S/B I/B that leaves an upgrade path.

OP could get an refurb win 7 hp or win 7 pro core duo desktop from newegg strap a big drive on it cheaper than he could build a Sempron box and have a way better box .

OP already has an i7 desktop he could strap a drive to and use that and a media player and be done for less than 2 bills .

Some folks are getting 1080P out of a $35.00 raspberry PI now so lots of solutions .
Edited by tubetwister - 11/14/13 at 9:28pm
post #13 of 24
with what you are describing the Intel pentium S/B I/B build would be good and leave an upgrade path just make sure the MB has HDMI out most 1150 /1155 aftermarket boards do some of the OEM boards may not ofc you could alwayse use DVI-D to HDMI cable but that does not carry audio like HDMI so an HDMI board is best

They have 3 TB external drives now your talking maybe ~ 6-700 2 hr DVD movies what RU planning as a source for DVR an onboard OTA tuner or video capture
that might work a PC hard drive is not compatible with satellite / cable DVRs .... at least easily .
Edited by tubetwister - 11/14/13 at 10:03pm
post #14 of 24
Thread Starter 

I just bought this desktop which was on sale for $299.




I have two questions


1. I know the win 8 is pre-install on this computer, what if i get a new motherboard, and a new case. Will i be able to use the win 8???


2. Should i keep this, and not build my own? I think i got it in a very good price, but i looked up it only have 2 SATA connection. i would like to put more than 2 HDD plus Blu-ray drive.

post #15 of 24
Just get a PCIe controller card to add more drives RU contemplating Raid or just extra Sata ** drives ?
You can get an inexpensive 2 port card your MB should have at least one unused Sata port or you can get a 4 port card or any number of controllers or configurations
a 4 port card would give you at least 6 total devices maybe 7 depending on your existing MB .

I linked a low profile card in case you have a slimline box . there are plenty of other ones you will want at least a Sata III spec card or Sata 6 if you plan on getting Sata 6 drives .

ofc then there is the 12V power supply issue for additional drives you may have to upgrade your power supply as well to get some additional wattage and more 12V rails. If you try to spin too many drives of an OEM PSU they might spin slower than spec and otherwise cause system instability ,file corruption or worse. You can probably run one extra drive as is any more maybe not .

Or maybe just get one or more 3 or 4 TB drive . Best way just get an NAS enclosure and stuff some some drives in it and network it. your new PC .

Cheapest way might be to put your components and upgraded PSU + controller card in a bigger case with some drive bays and stuff spme big 2+ TB drives in it
several ways t go about it NAS enclosure ofc is best way.

Your link went to a printer or something so I'm assuming you bought a slimline dell Pentium or an something AMD A4*** desktop Plenty for an HTPC . playback and as for W8 the licence key is is tied to your motherboard.

If you are planing on ripping lots of DVD's to fill those HDD's you might want a 4 or 6 core AMD (A8 /A10 Apu ) or an Intel i3/i5 CPU and amd a4*** is going to be slow going the Pentium should be quite a bit faster.

IF your motherboard does not have HDMI out you might want to add an HD 6450 that way you will have HDCP output compatibility. HDCP is a copy protection system digital pathway between your graphics card or PC and your monitor or TV . The HD6450 will also have 1GB of of it's own Ram and also take some the load off of your CPU
a good inexpensive upgrade .

Sometimes a call to M$ can get you a new auth. if you change boards but you don't need a new board at this point .
Edited by tubetwister - 11/30/13 at 2:00pm
post #16 of 24
Thread Starter 



  • AMD A10-5700 Processor
  • 8GB DDR3 Installed Memory
  • 1TB Hard Drive
  • Integrated AMD Raedon™ HD 7660D Graphics
  • DVD+/RW drive
  • 6 in 1 Card reader, supports (SD, SDHC, MS, MS Pro, MM, MMC plus)
  • 802.11 b/g/n
  • Windows 8
  • Dimensions: 14.49"(H) x 16.93"(L) x 6.89" (W) (17.63 lbs.)
  • 1 Year warranty


it does have HDMI i believe.


How can i do that if i want to put and use most of the component and use it in the


SilverStone Sugo Series SG02B-F-USB3.0 ABS / SECC Steel MicroATX Desktop Computer Case with 2 x USB3.0 ports (Black)



I know i would need a new MB, and case, maybe a power supply too.


if i get a SSD, can i reuse the windows 8 from the HDD that come with the system?



Just trying to save some money since i got a great deal on this desktop. but it might be more trouble to do all the swap to save a few bucks

post #17 of 24
Looks like a real good deal the A10 AMD APU should be fine you probably already have an micro atx motherboard it should fit in the new case .

For the case you linked You will just need 2 3.5" drives for a total of 3 HDD and 1 ODD , a PCIe drive controller card some Sata cables 1 - 5.25 to 3.5" external HD hot swap adapter Maybe an upgraded ATX 12V PSU then you can populate it with your PC HD and 2 - 3.5" drives of your choice and your existing ODD.

A far cheaper and simpler solution would be this http://www.startech.com/HDD/Enclosures/Dual-35in-USB-3-Hot-Swap-Trayless-SATA-Hard-Drive-Enclosure-with-Fan~SAT3520U3R you can get ones that house more drives but 2, 3 or 4 TB drives will hold a lot and you still have 3 HD total without disassembling your PC and voiding your warranty all you need is that and a USB cable,.

Not much advantage to a SS system drive in an HTPC other than faster boot time as your media will still be stored on metal drives anyway and if you only have 3 HDD with one being SS (unless you want to get a **TB SS drive very expensive ) you will loose some storage capacity because one 5.25 bay will house your existing ODD ( DVD/CD drive ) .

The Silver streak case will accept an micro ATX board and ATX or ( ATX -12V likely what you will need PSU ) another case with more expansion and built in PS would be

If you want re purpose your current system drive to storage onlyyou would only gain a maybe ~ 150 - 200 GB ( if that ) of storage at best if you take out the bloatware .

You can install W8 on another drive you might need to retrieve product key in case you are asked for it.

AFAIK as long as you don't change the motherboard you shouldn't have to call M$ . Your current MB should be fine in the new case .The Silver streak case is Micro ATX motherboard & ATX PSU compatible so you should be fine.

Check your specs at Lenovo likely you have an micro ATX board in there already . Most OEM boxes have been using micro ATX motherboards for some time now . A lot of cases accept Micro ATX or ATX motherboard & ATX or ATX 12V PSU (same mounting )
Edited by tubetwister - 12/1/13 at 3:35pm
post #18 of 24
Edited by tubetwister - 12/1/13 at 3:31pm
post #19 of 24
Thread Starter 

Interesting... thanks for the info. I'm now wondering if i have a micro ATX in this Lenovo desktop. I cant really open it otherwise i will not be able to return back to staples.


if it does have a micro ATX, all i really need is 2 more HDD and a power supply (Which i already ordered one).


If i get one of those PCIe card,



How does that work?? Can i setup Raid on the drive connect via PCIe?

I could just buy 2 more HDD, then i will be good to go.


So found some info here

This is the hardware manual for the H535

At Page 34, it is the drawing of the motherboard, can you tell if that is mirco ATX? i think it is.




Edited by leung19 - 12/2/13 at 8:57am
post #20 of 24
can you tell if that is mirco ATX? i think it is.

looks like micro ATX board an ATX board would have more expansion slots . I don't think most OEM's have used ATX boards for years .
How does that work?? Can i setup Raid on the drive connect via PCIe?

If you are using the external drive enclosure with 2 external drives you would connect via USB and have a total of 3 HDD you wouldn't need an extra Sata controller the SAT3520U3R enclosure has one
you would only need a USB cable.

Below is the spec on the enclosure it has USB 3.0 capability much faster than USB 2.0 . USB 3.0 is backwards compatible with USB 2.0 however as are the cables . you can combine the 2 external drives so the OS sees it as one big one or keep the drives separate .
The SAT3520U3R USB 3.0 to Dual 3.5-inch SATA Trayless Hard Drive Enclosure makes adding fast external storage easy, by turning any two 3.5-inch internal SATA hard drives into an external hard drive. Large capacity drives (tested with up to 4TB per bay) can be used to greatly enhance your computer's storage/backup capabilities.

The hard drive enclosure features a trayless system that eliminates having to mount and fasten the hard drive into the enclosure or tray, for quick and easy installation or removal.

Using the SuperSpeed USB 3.0 interface, which is up to 10 times faster than the previous USB 2.0, makes backing up and transferring large files faster than ever, while still being usable on older USB 2.0 systems. With built-in RAID capabilities (0, 1, BIG, JBOD), the two drives can be combined for speed, redundancy or capacity or even left as separate drives, based on situation needs.

You could always want get an PCIe to USB 3.0 host adapter card and speed things up handily between the raid box and your PC you can use up to 4TB drives in the star tech enclosure. with extra USB 3.0 ports you can add more raid boxes later if needed. Your PC should be fine as is with ab raid enclosure and optionally a USB 3.0 adapter plenty of CPU there.
Edited by tubetwister - 12/2/13 at 4:06pm
post #21 of 24
Thread Starter 

thanks for the great info again,


I think i'm going to get a PCIe card with SATA adapter


For example, can I do RAID with the following setup??


2 HDD hook up to my PCIe card via SATA adapter




2 HDD hook up to my motherboard?


How will the computer read?


Also if I use PCIe SATA adapter, does it limit the speed on reading/writing of the HDD? How does it compare to direct connect to the MB? Is the speed the same??


I don't think I want to get the external HDD case yet, I would like to keep everything internal for the time being.



post #22 of 24
The PCie adapter uses the same pci buss as the motherboard Sata chip same speeds metal hdd aren't very fast maybe ~100 MB/s read /transfer on a good day with a good drive most drives are a little slower than that .The new Seagate single platter drives are getting 100MB/s +.
Write speeds ofc are a little slower plenty for watching movies though .HD video streams typically aren't more than 5-7MB/s
no performance to gain from Raid with ~3 drives

PCIe 1.0 slot can handle 250MB/s end to end on each lane faster than any metal drive even though Sata III is theoretically 300 MB/s it never happens on metal. You can get a 2 ,3 pr 4 port card .Your motherboard probably has only two Sata ports one for HD and one for ODD .

. With the drive controller card you can configure to raid or not.

The three main types of RAID setup are RAID 0, RAID 1, and RAID 5. RAID 0 works by concurrently writing a fraction of the file over multiple disks. This means faster read/write times, but with the caveat that if one drive fails, the whole array gets corrupted. This type of setup is better for non-critical data. RAID 1

You can use Windows 8 Storage Spaces think of it as a drive extender kinda like WHS and not even bother with raid at this time W8SP is already in win 8
You can pool different storage drives even different size drives without the need for a separate system drive but you will have to partition your boot drive separately from the drive pool W8SP partitions are not boot able no big deal .
Edited by tubetwister - 12/4/13 at 5:21pm
post #23 of 24
This is really good info. Thanks. I have 8 sata ports on my mobo. But for me that wasent enough. I have two 2tb and one 1tb drive for my movies. Plus an os ssd, 2 odd, and another personal hdd. I bought a mediasonic probox which holds 4 drives and connects via esata. It holds the same 5tb drive setup. I use win7 drive manager to span these drives into one 5tb drive. I use the free program sync something (i forget) to keep both 5tb spans in sync. I dont trust raid even though i could be managing my drives better but this works for me. Just to give you some other setups out there.
post #24 of 24
Thread Starter 



I will be shopping for a PCIe controller!!!


I got my new power supply in today and my new blu-ray drive. I'm going to put that in the H535 and get the HTPC going.


Currently all my movie file is at my i7 desktop, what would be the best way to move it to the new desktop??



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