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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm going to build me a HTPC the next few months, and would like some input.

It is important that the HTPC design fits into my livingroom next to the TV, and that it's silent of course.

I'm going to use the HTPC for:

* Play DVD

* Play music (CD's and MP3)

* Record from TV w/timeshifting (and maybe convert to DivX for storage on CD)

* View (and edit) digital pictures

* View (and edit) digital video

I've looked at the following components:

Case: Cooler Master ATC-610-GX1
PSU : ?
Motherboard: ASUS P4GE-VM - hovedkort - mikro ATX - i845GE
CPU: Intel P4 2,53Ghz boxed
RAM: Corsair XMS2700 512MB (evt. 2 brikker til 1GB)
Hard drive: HDD-IDE Seagate 120G Barracuda V 8mb (evt. 2 stk.)
Graphic card: Sapphire Radeon 9000PRO AIW 64MB DDR AGP
CD-RW: ASUS 48x/16x/48x
DVD: Pioneer DVD-spiller IDE 16x/40x Tray Bulk (DVD-120)
Card reader: eMagic USB Combo Kortleser, intern 3.5"
Remote control: ?

I haven't listed a sound card, as I'm not a sound geek, and hope that the integrated sound card is good enough...at least for a while.

The HTPC will be connected to the TV, which has 2 scart, ordinary antenna plug and audio/video in front. How would this work?

I'm quite new to this, so all input are welcome. Also on best software for my use.


272 Posts
Originally posted by ias
I'm going to build me a HTPC the next few months, and would like some input.

It is important that the HTPC design fits into my livingroom next to the TV, and that it's silent of course.

I've used the CoolerMaster610 as my case. Components include:
  • Asus P4B533-VM motherboard

    Pentium 4 1.8GHz Northwood

    M-Audio Delta DiO 24/96

    Radeon 7000 VE (with TV & S-Video out)

    2 80GB Seagate Barracudda IV

    1 120GB Seagate Barracudda V

    Matrix Orbital 4x20 VFD

    Pioneer DVD/CD-RW (don't remember model)

    USB-UIRT remote receiver/emitter

    Zalman 300W Power Supply (I think ZM300A-APF)

    Windows 2000 Professional

My current usage is solely as a music jukebox (using JRiver's MediaCenter 9 & encoding all my CDs as APE files). I also have PowerDVD and TheaterTek installed for the occasional DVD playback.

I'm generally a Macintosh person, so this was my first self-assembled machine. It went together with no problems and has generally been as stable as I could hope for.

The main modifications I did were to remove all the case fans (the stock CPU cooler keeps the machine running about 40C & is nearly dead silent) & installing the VFD. I would like to lower the temperature a bit, but silence is more important to me.

As for the VFD, I'm finally getting around to machining the case so that it fits in the left drive bay cover.

Let me know if you have further questions!


241 Posts
If you want to save yourself a few bux you could substitute the case for the ATC-620C-BX1 -- this case is identical to the 610 except the chassis is constructed from steel (front panel is still aluminum).

You can get it here for $98 + $10 shipping: http://shop.store.yahoo.com/axion1/cscmatc620cb.html

Here are some pictures of the case from directron: http://shop.store.yahoo.com/directron/atc620.html

I just bought the case from Axion and it looks great. To save myself some cash I also opted to go with an Athlon 1800+ thoroughbred processor ($62) and a biostar M7VIG Pro mobo ($57) that supports DDR ram (on board sound is great btw).

I replaced the case fan with a 60mm Vantec stealth fan, using an enermax 300w PSU (whisper series), and a very quiet heatsink/fan from coolermaster.

Many people don't like the Athlon's for HTPCs (I've always been a Pentium guy myself), but this system idles at 43 deg. C and maxes out at about 49 - 50 deg C when I run prime for 2 hours. Plus it's quiet and can record / timeshift at high quality while watching pre-recorded shows with no frames dropped. Benchmarks put the Athlon 1800+ at about a P4 2.2Ghz level for mpeg2 encoding( http://www6.tomshardware.com/cpu/200...charts-26.html ) and it's only a few percent less than the 2.4Ghz P4.

All in all I'm pretty happy with the setup. I was expecting the Athlon to run hotter (due to all the bad hype) but this thing actually puts out less heat than my Pentium 4 1.8ghz (willamette) processor.
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