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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
OK been a few years since i last built a PC never built HTPC.

But decided on the Moneual 312 (Only one the wife liked the look of)but thats about it the rest is up in the air. looking to spend upto £1000 on the front end machine.

Aim is to have a near silent good looking front end machine hence the 312 that i can play all my media from. This i intend to put on a gigabit ethernet network where i will store all my media (3x2TB Seagate Pipeline or better if you have suggestions).

Requirements Are HD Video and 7.1 sound, BluRay, DVD, CD, Home Movies playback.

Current thoughts:

8GB DDR3 1600Mhz Corsair RAM (is this good enough)

MOBO Asus P8P67-M Rev3.0 Intel LGA1155 Sandybridge (are there better boards for this sort of application)

GPU Nvidia GT430 2GB Low Profile(or is there a better GPU option)

CPU Intel i5 2500k Sandybridge (or should i go with i3 as most people on here seem to use it is there a reason)

PicoPSU 160w (Will this be OK)

BD-Rom ??(Open to suggestions)

Fans ?? very quiet ones.(What is considerd best method need advice on this)

Not sure whether to only use a 64GB SSD in the front end or will i need HDD in there aswell is i want to store my media an a different machine any advice if any one has gone done this route gratefully accepted.

Have tried to troll through most of this thread and i think i ended as unsure by the end only thing i really decided on was the PicoPSU but i bet someone now turns round and says that isnt a good option...LOL. hope not

Any help or advice on this would be much apprieciated

Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
I'd never built a PC until earlier this year, but it has been good fun. There was a lot of trepidation on switching it on for the first time. Will it work or have I stuffed something up?.....LOL


I have the following setup:

Intel i5 2500k

Asus p8H67M EVO

No dGPU

Nestek xZero 400w PSU

Scythe Shuriken Low Profile

BD Rom LG CH 10LS20

Kingston 4Gb HyperX Blu RAM


With other bits and bobs the cost was well under a grand.


I'm not sure about the 160w PicoPSU, you may struggle to power the i5 @ 95w and the other bits especially if you add a graphics card and bd rom drive. I'm really pleased with the Nestek, it is completely silent. It does have a fan in it, but it is only supposed to turn on if the psu gets warm. I've never heard it come on.... There is space behind the PSU for the cables, but with 3 HDs in the case it would become very tight. Not an issue if you're only putting in an SSD.


If you go down the route of MPC-HC and MadVR, you may find that the NVIDIA GT430 is a bit underpowered for some files, especially interlaced material. There are plenty of threads in this forum about it. I have held off for the moment, because I'm finding that the HD3000 Intel iGPU work fine in *most* cases. Some files deinterlace badly and would probably benefit from the NVIDIA CUVID processing via LAVCUVID. The minimum card really for doing this properly is the GTS450 and theres only one available to fit the low profile cases. It is from Palit and by all accounts it runs very hot and had a loud fan, it has been likened to a jet engine... I'm waiting until the Autumn or Spring until new cards are released in the hope that there may be a 500 series card that would be powerful and cool enough in low profile configuration to work (the 520 doesn't cut it). In the meantime I'm happy with the internal iGPU.


8Gb is a bit of overkill for a HTPC probably.


Take care when selecting a BD drive. Some of the longer ones will not fit easily. I took advice from this thread and got this LG one and it works fine.


SilenX fans are quiet. I have 3 40mm ones at the back. 5V from the PSU isn't enough to get them started, 12V is just audible with all 3 going at once. I'm planning on getting a resistor to undervolt them to 7V. It should work. A MoBo with 3 or 4 fan headers for case fans would be useful as you could speed control them all vs. the temperature.


The Moneual was the WAF for me too..... The only regret is the low profileness of it and lack of NVIDIA good low profile cards. And perhaps the 3x 40mm fans rather than something larger and hence quieter.


Cheers,


SBR


Thanks For the response i have moved the thread to hear and copied your response as i couldnt sort the quote bit.
 

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I was going to say the same regarding the amount of RAM and GPU...


On a normal day, 2G of RAM with a nice GPU is more than adequate, but in case you want to run a 64bit OS, then you're better off with 4G RAM.


Anything more than that is more or less a waste WRT RAM availability in an HTPC.


I would consider a 5XX NVIDIA GPU on the other hand...


I installed my GTX460 since October (or November) last year, and since then it's been songs of praise for NVIDIA everyday...


Not sure which version of the newer 5XX matches with the GTX460, but I would advice you to reconsider the 430 in the list.


For the mobo, I usually look for one without an onboard GPU or onboard sound. Although it becomes harder to find these days.


If you choose the right GPU, you will get one that can carry audio over HDMI as well, so you have only on cable connecting your HTPC to the AVR or TV...
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by balky /forum/post/20828758


I would consider a 5XX NVIDIA GPU on the other hand...


I installed my GTX460 since October (or November) last year, and since then it's been songs of praise for NVIDIA everyday...


Not sure which version of the newer 5XX matches with the GTX460, but I would advice you to reconsider the 430 in the list.


For the mobo, I usually look for one without an onboard GPU or onboard sound. Although it becomes harder to find these days.


If you choose the right GPU, you will get one that can carry audio over HDMI as well, so you have only on cable connecting your HTPC to the AVR or TV...

If I had a full height case I would not hesitate to put in an NVIDIA card (probably a GTX 560Ti with a quiet fan system-apparently the more 'powerful' gaming ones don't do bitstream 7.1 very well so would be a waste.). I don't want to put a jet engine that you can fry eggs on in there as it is quite a tight case for airflow and it is in the lounge, so the GTS 450 is out. There isn't really an updated low profile GT 430 out at the moment, the GT 520 has some poor reviews for HTPC use and not up to the MadVR renderer (superb image quality by the way-definitely recommend installing this if you can).


A H67 or Z68 MoBo would do for now, as you can use the onboard HDMI out for now (does 7.1 audio via PCM and bitstream the hi def audio formats) and add in a low profile card later if you want (when a good one becomes available.). I have very little frame drops/stutter with the HD3000 on the i5 2500k with MadVR in exclusive mode with any high def interlaced or progressive content. The 2500k is easily powerful enough to software deinterlace these formats. I can recommend the asus one that I have. Had no problems with it. The Intel drivers are a bit flaky, but that's another issue and not limited to the asus MoBo.


Good luck,


SBR


PS. Ask me anything you like about my setup... Happy to help.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by balky /forum/post/20828758



If you choose the right GPU, you will get one that can carry audio over HDMI as well, so you have only on cable connecting your HTPC to the AVR or TV...

Or you can use an H61, H67 or Z68 motherboard with a Sandy Bridge processor and bitstream HD audio and 1080p over one cable connecting your HTPC to your AVR and not have all the extra heat of a separate graphics card,


An i3-2100 works nicely.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thats great dont need GPU hadnt realised how powerfull the onboard was on the i5 looked into after you had mentioned it. I will put less RAM in just thought £44 for 2x4G corsair 1600's was cheap and at that price why not.Could i just stick a cheap graphics card in just to use the hdmi port and utilise the onboard graphics. you also say no to the PicoPSU it seemed that was the way forward.

Thanks
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Divecarl /forum/post/20829341


.Could i just stick a cheap graphics card in just to use the hdmi port and utilise the onboard graphics. Thanks

No. If you intend to use the on-chip Sandy Bridge graphics, you need a motherboard with an H61, H67 or Z68 chipset, and a built-in HDMI port.


P67 motherboards cannot take advantage of the on-chip graphics.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Divecarl /forum/post/20829341


£44 for 2x4G corsair 1600's was cheap and at that price why not.

Very true.... Go for it. For the sake of a tenner you may as well!

Quote:
Could i just stick a cheap graphics card in just to use the hdmi port and utilise the onboard graphics.

You don't need a cheap graphics card to make use of the hdmi port. The H61, H67 and Z68 MoBo's come with it already onboard.


SBR
 

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Oh, and be really careful choosing a CPU cooler. Too wide and it will obstruct the BD drive connections or potentially the PSU. Too tall won't fit in the case with the lid on(made this mistake initially! :Embassasment: )


Space in the case is quite tight, so plan the build and cable routes carefully. A nice case that wasn't available when I was building is the Wesena range. Have you shown these to Mrs Divecarl? Although I'm not sure the non LCD ones come with an inbuilt remote option which is very handy for turning on and off.


I like the look of the E7 case without LCD as it can accomodate a full height PCI card. It doesn't seem to be available in the UK though. The E5 would be an interesting option with a full height PCI on its side, via an adapter, but the cooling options for this case I think would be limited (probably need to be a low power build).


SBR
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sandy B Ridge /forum/post/20828906


If I had a full height case I would not hesitate to put in an NVIDIA card (probably a GTX 560Ti with a quiet fan system-apparently the more 'powerful' gaming ones don't do bitstream 7.1 very well so would be a waste.). I don't want to put a jet engine that you can fry eggs on in there as it is quite a tight case for airflow and it is in the lounge, so the GTS 450 is out. There isn't really an updated low profile GT 430 out at the moment, the GT 520 has some poor reviews for HTPC use and not up to the MadVR renderer (superb image quality by the way-definitely recommend installing this if you can).


A H67 or Z68 MoBo would do for now, as you can use the onboard HDMI out for now (does 7.1 audio via PCM and bitstream the hi def audio formats) and add in a low profile card later if you want (when a good one becomes available.). I have very little frame drops/stutter with the HD3000 on the i5 2500k with MadVR in exclusive mode with any high def interlaced or progressive content. The 2500k is easily powerful enough to software deinterlace these formats. I can recommend the asus one that I have. Had no problems with it. The Intel drivers are a bit flaky, but that's another issue and not limited to the asus MoBo.


Good luck,


SBR


PS. Ask me anything you like about my setup... Happy to help.

TBH, I assumed a full height case without looking...


I have a silverstone LC-20M case and I remember it was a lucky escape to get the MSI gtx460 hawk card to fit in the case...

Airflow in the silverstone case is really excellent... I use MSI afterburner to keep the GPU fan speed at constant 40% and have never had any heating issues...

I generally tend to keep a distance from onboard stuff... maybe that's just me...
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thanks Everyone this is where i am at now.


Case: Moneual 312

MOBO: Asus P8H67-M Evo

CPU: Intel Core i5 2500k Sandy Bridge

PSU: Nesteq ASM X_Zero 400w

CPU Heatsink: Scythe Shuriken Rev.B

Case Fans: Scythe Mini Kaze 40mm (x3)

BD: Sony BWU 500S-WWW

RAM: Corsair 1600 (2x4G)

SSD: OCZ SSD 60G Solid 3

and possible HDD WD 2TB Caviar Green until gigabit network installed


Have i missed anything other than software which i am looking at Win7 Home Prem, XBMC, DVD Fab.


Thanks again
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Has anyone had experience with a gigabit ethernet setup where the front unit only has an SSD and the Main Storage is on Normal HDD,s somewhere else. Has anyone had or can for see problems in this setup. Thoughts,Opinion advice welcome.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
SBR i have just taken a look at the Wesena E series not quite as nice as the moneual. The ultra slim was slightly appealing but the fact there is only room for one expansion slot ruled it out in case i want to put graphics card and maybe DTV i would have to choose which one.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Divecarl /forum/post/20828197


you may find that the NVIDIA GT430 is a bit underpowered for some files, especially interlaced material. There are plenty of threads in this forum about it.

It seems that opinion on this forum has shifted again, and the GT430 is now considered adequate for HTPC duty. So you may wish to go with your original plan.


SBR
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Thanks SBR, but as you say the GT430 is only adequate so may aswell stick to the onboard HD3000 until something much better and quiet comes along. I chose the Sony BD as it is a little shorter than the LG and also has 3D capability whether ill ever use that i dont know but it is there. Also decided to add a Compro Videomate S800F DTV card. So i think the hardware side is pretty much sorted.

I am looking at loading Win7 Home Prem 32bit as an operating system, XBMC as my media server then not sure whether to use DVDFab or DVD Clone for ripping the ISO's to my server, any opinion?
 
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