AVS Forum banner
1 - 18 of 18 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
75 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
HI AVsers,


Ok, I'm about to build my first HTPC. I've created a BoQ of all hardware required, and the setup I want. I would like your comments and avise on this.


Some of the above components might not be compatible with each other. If that's the case, I'll appreciate you highlight it and give me feedback.


Let me give you a brief background of my usage and what I want to do:

Why Do I want HTPC?


Well, It's about time to upgrade my PC which I build 5 years ago. This time, I want to have my PC inside my living room, and use my existing TV and sound system (i didn't


select a sound system yet).


I don't mind spending a little bit more now, and have something that will last for at least 5 years.

What do I have as of now (my hardware)?


- TV: Samsung LED Series 7, 52''

- Multimedia Player: Popcornhour C-200.

- Storage: Qnap TS-809 Pro (12 TB).

- Satellite: Humax receiver, HD.

- UPS: APC 1500 VA Smart-UPS.

What will be my usage of this HTPC?


Mainly I'll be using it to browse the web, download movies and data, so I'll be doing a lot of archiving (large files), and I need power for this.


Moreover, I want to have something for gaming as well. However, I'm not a big gamer, but my friends who will be visiting are.

I would also would like to use XBMC for my multimedia collection (+1500 movies).


I also watch a lot of movies, tv shows...etc. Currently, I'm using the Jukebox with Popcorn hour, but I want to move to XBMC or MediaPortal.

From time to time, I'll also be editing movies, photoshopping...etc.)



Therefore, I want a powerful HTPC and at the same time a silent HTPC.

My future upgrades?


I'm also thinking to upgrade my TV to a Home cinema projector (an HD).

What I want from you
?



Ok, I would like your review, as many of you have built HTPCs and got experience. I would like to know what hardwares do you recommend (if any).


I would also like to know the level of noise that this system will have.



Feel free to comment and give your suggestions.


Thank you guys.



P/S. Price is an important factor. While looking at the BoQ, you will see very expensive things (e.g. CPU, video card..etc.). Please suggest anything cheaper.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
23 Posts
Good luck building your HTCP. Parts list looks awesome. Between myself and my brother, we have many of the same parts and components. I am reading this on my iPhone which won't allow me to click onto to the product URL. Comments below:


1. No matter what anyone tells you the processor is not overkill. Running your TS-809 needs it. I assume your video library will be huge and you are probably into photography.


2. I like the gigabyte mb. Just make sure it has USB 3.0. You might want to go up to the 5 or 7 series. I believe they have more copper for better passive cooling.


3. Upgrade CPU cooler. I have an Origin case with a thermalright air cooler with two quality low noise 120 fans. I am looking at going to water-cooling to reduce the noise. The best aircooler for the price cool master hyper 212+ or Prolimatech Armageddon. Water cooling ( have a system built for your case and video card). Be sure to stress quite over heat dissipation under full load.


4. Make sure the memory you chose is tri-channel and is suited for a 1366 mb. 3 sticks at 4 gig each should be more than enough. Always buy matched memory kits.


5. SSD. OCZ vertex 2 is what I just upgraded to. A little faster than the intel. I went for the 120 gig for about $230 on sale at newegg


6. I love my dinovo edge keyboard. Nothing I have ever tried is better. Mini is great too. Family likes to use the mini. I like the full keyboard.


7. Video card. I currently use a fanless 4770 and love it. Tried the 5870 but it was too loud. The 6970 will be a great card but probably too loud unless you water cool.


8. Bluray drive. You might want to buy a retail drive with cyberlink software included. Just a couple of bucks more over OEM. I think plextor, samsung and lg come with cyberlink. Plextor B940sa is a little faster than your LG. That said I personally use an lg and an onlite drive. Bad luck with Sony a few years back.


8. Front end. I prefer windows media center as the front end over xbmc and media portal. I have had problems with xbmc under windows 7.


9. Psu looks good for running the 5770. I doubt it will handle the 6970.


10. Case. I believe the zalman case is manufactured by origin/ahanix. Mine has a 7" touch screen that I actually turn off most of the time. Look at adding sound damping material to the sides and top.


11. My samsung 730 occasionally has HDCP handshake issues. Don't know why. I run everything through my pioneer vsx 32 avr. Never a problem hooking hdmi directly to tv. If you are going to run the projector and tv in same room, make sure you buy an avr with 2 hdmi in. I like the denon 4311 ci. The issues with the receiver have finally been fixed. Mine never had a problem. For my projector I have the epson 8400ub. The 8700ub is the newer model. That projector with a quality avr and speakers Is incredible.


Good luck with the build.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
23 Posts
Couple of other things. You may want to wait until intel sandy bridge chips come out next year. Different socket size again with the next generation. Better cache and CPU and gpu integration.


AVR recommendations: anything but an onkyo. Old onkyo x06 and x07 models run hotter than a toaster I don't know if they fixed this in the x08 models. I made the mistake of buying a 607 for the basement. I have had to replace 6 capacitors myself since it is out of warranty. It is now in the garage A decent cheap receiver is the pioneer 1120 or vsx 32. Both allow networking but won't stream pandora directly from the unit. I use an old iPhone and a Bluetooth adapter to do this. Both Value Electronics and J&R are authorized retailers. They will match or come close to newegg prices. Buy over the phone and you get the manufacturer's warranty. No manufacturer warranty from newegg.


Look at the denon 2311 ci and the new yamaha 687. Both are fine.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
75 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank you Chris, superb feedback
appreciate it.


- Regarding the video card, I think iI'll go with the 5770 fanless.


- Yes, the mb is a usb 3.0.


- bluray drive, I'll find something with the cyberlink as you suggested.


- About the projector, I'm still researching it, but most probably, I believe in the next 2 months, I'll get it. I'm looking at the Epson 8350 or Epson 8700UB. Any feedback?


- Oh, about the NIC, I'm just thinking now again to get two NICs and do the teaming. I'll do the same with the TS 809, this way, I'll get more throughput, and I need it for transfering data to the Qnap.


Please note, upon updating the parts list, I'll reply to this thread with the updated one.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
23 Posts
The second NIC really helps with the TS-809. I did the same for my brother. It's not overkill. You might want to get a netgear switch. I'll look up the model number. Netgear 8 port switch made a difference too compared with the cheap one he was using on his old NAS. I built my brothers media server with 12g trichannel ram. That seems to be more than enough for his video and photo editing. RAW files a pretty large to work with. His photo software puts a load on his 960 processor but it can handle it. There was no hexacore 15 months ago.


Either epson projector is worth the money. The 8700 ub has deeper black levels pushing a higher contrast ratio. The 8350 offers a few more lumens as a result. I have setup the 8400ub in all types of light conditions. I doubt there would be much difference between the two in a semi bright room. In a dark room the 8400ub on a 120" screen is awesome. The anomorphic lens does a great job. The up down and side to side lens control helps with settings up the projector for movie night in the backyard. You can try the 8350 and upgrade in a couple of years. Projectors improve dramatically as compared to tv's. I bought the 8400ub about a year ago before the 8350 came out. I use it for work and at home.


You can find cheap cables at monoprice.com. Test everything before you run the cables. Long hdmi cables can have problems. If over 35 to 50 feet you will need a repeater.


I will probably rebuild my own HTPC after the new sandy bridge procs come out. I don't think I will be as lucky as you and five years out of it.


Have fun.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,764 Posts
I'd actually suggest going with a SeaSonic X650. It'll probably work fanless in your case but at least the fan is there if the need arises. Cheaper than the X460, too.


Intel seems to be more reliable on the SSD front, if a bit less speedy. I suggest the Intel 120GB for $230 ($1.92/GB). Among Intel's line-up, it's got the best price/GB ratio. I actually got mine for $200 ($165 if I ever get my rebate) as part of Black Friday sales.


Imho, 3TB drive is too expensive. You can get a couple of 2TB drives (and still have some change left) for the price of one 3TB drive.


You can't install 8 sticks of RAM on your mobo. Go with 3x4GB instead for triple-channel operation.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
75 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
ilovejedd,


Thanks for your inputs.


I'll review the memory comment.


About the 3TB disks, you are right, I might get smaller disk size, since I really don't need more than 1 or 2 TB locally, since I have a 12TB NAS. I'll need this 1 or 2 TB only to be used for buffer while downloading movies and stuff, before I transfer them to my NAS.


Thanks
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
23 Posts
The logitech comes with a blue tooth adapter that can be paired with other devices if I remember correctly. That can save you $50 or any generic bluetooth adapter will work. Asus makes one for about $10.


Other comments on the hard drive are correct. With your TS-809 you can get by easily with a 2T drive. Either Intel or OCZ SSD drives are fine. I just remember back in the early days when Intel had Trim problems. That has long been eliminated.


You do need to use tri channel ram. Look for sticks that are sold in groups of 3 or 6. Like I said 3 x 4 gig Corsair sticks should be fine. I primarily use Corsair but have no problem using other major brands.


If you really need to cut back on price, you can always go with an Intel 930 processor. I think the Netgear switch is the FS-608. I checked out the model number on their website. Didn't have the chance to look at the bottom of mine. Eventually you will have cat 5e or 6 running all over your house. This switch does make a difference and its only $40.


A projector and AVR will really make your home theater. My son plays Call of Duty with his friends on a 10 ft screen with 5.1 sound and its incredible.


Good luck setting everything up. You should end up with one of the fastest HTPC's ever built. Post a picture after your done.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
75 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Ok guys, I'm about to close this parts list and place an order.


the changes i made:


- instead of OCZ, i chose Intel.



Now, I was just thinking about hte PSU (the Seasonic X-460 460 Watt Fanless Power Supply), will it be enough to power up this PC configuration? I was going through a website to calculate the power requirement for a PC (power calculation too: http://support.asus.com/PowerSupplyC...Language=en-us )


and it shows me I need minimum 550 Watts. So the mentioned PSU isn't sufficient, for this config., am i right?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
696 Posts
You could probably run without any problems on the 460, but I would never skimp on power if you plan to game or push the machine in any way. You'll have some nice hardware in the box, it would be a shame to under-power it all .I suggest going with 550W or greater PSU, there are plenty of extremely quiet ones with large fans that are practically inaudible.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,764 Posts
Again, my suggestion stands:
Quote:
Originally Posted by ilovejedd /forum/post/19644866


I'd actually suggest going with a SeaSonic X650. It'll probably work fanless in your case but at least the fan is there if the need arises. Cheaper than the X460, too.

I seem to remember reading a review which mentions it works fanless up to 200~300W. You've got a fanless PSU idle and the fan slowly ramps up when pushing the system (e.g. gaming). Best of both worlds, really.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
75 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
ilovejedd & hdvids,


thanks guys. i think i'll go with the SeaSonic X650, as ilovejedd suggested.


Will the casing handle this PPSU, in terms of size/dimension? Im planning for Zalman 503HD
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,016 Posts
The core i7 950 is $199 at microcenter B&M which can be oc'd to reach close to 980 for a fraction of the price. Unless your folding or benching the money can be redirected to other things - like get 2 160gb intel's and raid 0 them for os/apps. For gpu i'd go with nvidia 460 1gb (~ $150 on sale) or amd 6950 (~$200).


The problem with upgrading every 5 years is that you'll end up buying the top of the line processor ($1000 980x) and with the next tick-tock cycle the newer upperline cpu's can overpower it. This is why I prefer buying not the top of the line but somewhere between midline and the upperline which will give you the best bang for your buck. Spend the remaining money elsewhere.


The x650 was on sale for $94. There is a newer version of it out (x660?). For silent gpu's read the review they have done and recommended on silentpcreview.com.


Based on some of your component selection, noise is a factor so I'd recommend looking at the site above. Secondly what about power usage - thoughts on green computing (yes there is an app ahem forum for that too). Enjoy!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
75 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Hi everyone....


I'm replying to my initial post, where I wanted to build my first HTPC (mid-high range).


Above, you will find the detailed list of all the items that I wanted to buy.


I would appreciate if someone can now review it (it has been few months since i built that list), and give me additional feedback.
 
1 - 18 of 18 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top