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Discussion Starter #1
My goals are as follows:

*play 720P movies

*1080P movies

*stream 1080P Hulu content

*stream 1080P Netflix movies (Windows only)

* Bistream HD-Audio


Additionally:

*surf the internet.

*download and handle torrents and newsgroups (preferrable without impacting a movie playing - but not a deal breaker).

* possibly run emulators? (NES or SNES) Should be pretty straightforward.

* quiet system.

* wants the ability to use my Harmony 880 for general use. Web surfing would be done with a keyboard that I'll buy at a later date.

*want the ability to run OTA signals through my receiver for sound rather than relying on my tv speakers.


So I'm just about settled on this build found on another site. I hate not giving credit for the build, but I don't know if I can mention another site here.


Parts:
AMD A6-3500 Llano 2.1GHz (2.4GHz Max Turbo) Socket FM1 65W Triple-Core
ASRock A75M-ITX FM1 AMD A75 Mini ITX
Samsung Extreme Low Voltage 30nm UDIMM 4 Dual Channel Kit DDR3 1600
Realan E-i5 mini-ITX HTPC / desktop computer case (upgraded to the 84W adapter)
SilverStone NT07-AM2 low profile cooler
Patriot 32GB Torqx 2 Series Solid State Drive (SSD) (will buy whatever decent SSD is on sale at the time of purchase)


The last piece of the equation is a question.

How can I take an OTA antennae for the basic channels and have it run through the HTPC or my receiver so that I can get sound from my home theater rather than the TV speakers?

I'm looking for the most cost effective option. Also, will that piece of equipment fit into the case above or should I be considering a larger case?


Thanks for the insight all-
 

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CPU/GPU looks good for 720p playback.
 

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Are you going to use Windows 7? If so, get a bigger SSD. At least 60GB. Frankly, 120/128 is the current value "sweet spot" and makes things more convenient (and faster).


That 32GB approach made sense a year or two ago when 64GB drives were $150-200. With 120GB drives now under $100, it doesn't any more. There's a reason the companies have largely stopped making 32GB versions of their latest models.
 

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Discussion Starter #5

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sammy2  /t/1417903/build-review-and-suggestions-please#post_22175015


CPU/GPU looks good for 720p playback.

Just 720p??? Pretty sure this thing should be much more capable than that. No?
Quote:
Originally Posted by JGFreeh  /t/1417903/build-review-and-suggestions-please#post_22175062


Don't know much about the Llano processors, but from what I've heard that will be more than enough for your purposes.

As for the OTA signals, you won't be able to fit anything in that case (has no expansion slots). However, you can pick up a cheap usb stick and plug it in the back. Something like this: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16815116041

Very nice. Didn't realize that there were usb options. That should work perfectly.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zon2020  /t/1417903/build-review-and-suggestions-please#post_22175066


Are you going to use Windows 7? If so, get a bigger SSD. At least 60GB. Frankly, 120/128 is the current value "sweet spot" and makes things more convenient (and faster).

That 32GB approach made sense a year or two ago when 64GB drives were $150-200. With 120GB drives now under $100, it doesn't any more. There's a reason the companies have largely stopped making 32GB versions of their latest models.

Agreed. That was a cut and paste from the original build. There are a ton of great deals on SSD's lately. I'll definitely max out what I can get.



Any thoughts on what I would need to use my Harmony 880 with the system?
 

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The A6 handles 720p better than the i3 or Celeron without dropping frames. Both handle 1080p content just fine.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sammy2  /t/1417903/build-review-and-suggestions-please#post_22175181


The A6 handles 720p better than the i3 or Celeron without dropping frames. Both handle 1080p content just fine.

That's not necessarily true. AMD/ATI still can drop frames just like NVidia and Intel.


And my i3 and G530 have no issues with 720p.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sammy2  /t/1417903/build-review-and-suggestions-please#post_22175181


The A6 handles 720p better than the i3 or Celeron without dropping frames. Both handle 1080p content just fine.
 

Are you sure? AMD, Intel, and NVIDIA at playing back 720/1080 progressive contents in the standard DXVA2 / EVR framework are more or less the same.
 

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Rene, I thought an earlier post of yours was demosnstrating that for 720p content the i3 took 20ms but would need to do it in under 16.67ms to avoid dropping frames for Luma upsampling.


Did I read that wrong.
 

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Specific content for me that consistantly stutters is a weekly 720p mkv of Real Time with Bill Maher from HBO.
 

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It is important to analyze where the problem is.
Will you upload a short clip of that file (2 minute is enough) somewhere? I would like to test it.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sammy2  /t/1417903/build-review-and-suggestions-please#post_22175384


Rene, I thought an earlier post of yours was demosnstrating that for 720p content the i3 took 20ms but would need to do it in under 16.67ms to avoid dropping frames for Luma upsampling.


Did I read that wrong.
 

MadVR requires a lot more GPU processing power than EVR/driver's algorithm. MadVR should be discussed separately.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by renethx  /t/1417903/build-review-and-suggestions-please#post_22175419


It is important to analyze where the problem is.
Will you upload a short clip of that file (2 minute is enough) somewhere? I would like to test it.

Yes. I will have to dabble with it with mkvMerge to clip it and then I can upload it to you but I don't have an FTP server. My son, OTOH, may have that unless there's another way I can get it to you.
 

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How about 4shared.com ? You can upload a file of max 2GB. BTW where are these 720p contents coming from?
 

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I was thinking about that just last night.
 

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The build looks fine. Couple comments though:


- HDHomeRun (dual for OTA, Prime for CableCard) would be a good solution for your tuner. Its connected to your network so is accessible from other PCs as well. Its very reliable and easy to set up.

- What are you doing for storage? If you're adding several HDDs, either now or over time, consider that green drives use 5-10w each. Your 84w power supply could be pushing it a bit.

- I've seen lots of really good pricing on the A6-3500 lately ($60) or visit Microcenter for a mobo/CPU combo to save some $$. I prefer the Llano over the Celeron or i3 options for light gaming.

- I agree with comments above re. SSD size. 60GB is a minimum to house Win7 + programs but with the deals lately and falling prices generally, I'd go for a 90 or 120GB for only a few $ more.
 

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Discussion Starter #17

Quote:
Originally Posted by ljo000  /t/1417903/build-review-and-suggestions-please#post_22177057


The build looks fine. Couple comments though:

- HDHomeRun (dual for OTA, Prime for CableCard) would be a good solution for your tuner. Its connected to your network so is accessible from other PCs as well. Its very reliable and easy to set up.

- What are you doing for storage? If you're adding several HDDs, either now or over time, consider that green drives use 5-10w each. Your 84w power supply could be pushing it a bit.

- I've seen lots of really good pricing on the A6-3500 lately ($60) or visit Microcenter for a mobo/CPU combo to save some $$. I prefer the Llano over the Celeron or i3 options for light gaming.

- I agree with comments above re. SSD size. 60GB is a minimum to house Win7 + programs but with the deals lately and falling prices generally, I'd go for a 90 or 120GB for only a few $ more.

That's a great question on storage. This will be my first build, so I'm still unsure of power requirements.

I have two 500gb external drives that I had planned to connect (usb powered).

But I'm also considering a larger case so that I can drop one SSD and one large drive for storage (still using the usb drives as well).


I can bump up the power when I buy the case. Any suggestions on how I determine what to get?
 

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Get this: CORSAIR Builder Series CX430 V2 (CMPSU-430CXV2) 430W ATX12V v2.3 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Power Supply


430w, 80+ cert, $20 after MIR. As for where to put the drives, it really depends on your setup. If you want a very small HTPC to look good with other components, then a NAS elsewhere on your network can be a good option, or even just an external 4-drive bay. If you get a bigger case, you can put the drives in directly. The Silverstone GD05 can fit 2 3.5" drives in addition to slotting the SSD somewhere. That could be a good start and is easily expandable in the future via external options.


Edit: If you live near a Microcenter, they have the A6-3500 for $60 and the ASUS F1A75-V PRO Socket FM1 A75 ATX AMD Motherboard for $75 (after MIR) although its a full ATX board. That is a good deal!
 
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