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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
First off, sorry for adding to the numerous other similar threads such as this. Been reading about HTPCs for a while, and finally have some extra cash to make one and just wanted some feedback before I go forth.


This will be for my parents. I want it to run XBMC and use the Windows Remote. Needs are pretty minimal. Will just be watching medium quality video files and listening to MP3s (that will be streamed over wireless from my NAS). My main priority is to ensure that XBMC runs quick and smoothly (which, I imagine, shouldn't be too hard with the hardware available these days).


This is what I have:

MOBO: GIGABYTE GA-H55N-USB3 LGA 1156 Intel


CPU: Intel Core i3-530 Clarkdale 2.93GHz


CASE: APEX MI-008 Black Steel Mini-ITX Tower Computer Case


RAM: G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB)


Questions:

- Will the 250W PSU and small case be enough to power and keep my system cool?

- Will this be able to run Blu-ray movies well off of a Blu-ray drive?

- SSD or HDD? All data will be stored on NAS, so anything above ~30GB is useless to me. I would much rather have more speed than useless HDD space (if the SSD will truly make a difference.. even if it's just a little).

- I'm considering making this a Linux box. I haven't seen much regarding my current MOBO and compatibility, but other GIGABYTE MOBOs seem to be compatible, so I'm assuming I'll be okay with this one.

- Is on board GPU enough?


I think that is all the questions I have right now. All of this will cost me ~$300, which, IMO, is fantastic. Still need to look for a Blu-ray drive and HDD/SSD. My main concern is everything running smoothly (with no indication of the system struggling to run front end software, OS, audio/video) and everything being cooled/ventilated adequately (will be in fairly open space).


Thanks in advance.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by dpatel304 /forum/post/19542175


This is what I have:

MOBO: GIGABYTE GA-H55N-USB3 LGA 1156 Intel


CPU: Intel Core i3-530 Clarkdale 2.93GHz


CASE: APEX MI-008 Black Steel Mini-ITX Tower Computer Case


RAM: G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB)


Questions:

- Will the 250W PSU and small case be enough to power and keep my system cool?

- Will this be able to run Blu-ray movies well off of a Blu-ray drive?

- SSD or HDD? All data will be stored on NAS, so anything above ~30GB is useless to me. I would much rather have more speed than useless HDD space (if the SSD will truly make a difference.. even if it's just a little).

- I'm considering making this a Linux box. I haven't seen much regarding my current MOBO and compatibility, but other GIGABYTE MOBOs seem to be compatible, so I'm assuming I'll be okay with this one.

- Is on board GPU enough?


I think that is all the questions I have right now. All of this will cost me ~$300, which, IMO, is fantastic. Still need to look for a Blu-ray drive and HDD/SSD. My main concern is everything running smoothly (with no indication of the system struggling to run front end software, OS, audio/video) and everything being cooled/ventilated adequately (will be in fairly open space).


Thanks in advance.

250 watts is more than enough especially since you are using the on board GPU.


Yes, you can run Blu-ray provided you have the software.


Yes, the SSD will make a difference. Don't go smaller than 30GB.


Integrated GPU is more than enough for 1080p.


Note: I would be worried about the height of the heatsink on that RAM. I have used this case and its pretty tight.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by assassin /forum/post/19542205


250 watts is more than enough especially since you are using the on board GPU.


Yes, you can run Blu-ray provided you have the software.


Yes, the SSD will make a difference. Don't go smaller than 30GB.


Integrated GPU is more than enough for 1080p.


Note: I would be worried about the height of the heatsink on that RAM. I have used this case and its pretty tight.

Thank you for the quick and helpful response. Will just swap out the RAM with something else, just to be safe. Only picked those because it had tons of good reviews on newegg and the price was good. There are plenty of others I can get, though.


I'm guessing I don't need to be concerned with cooling/ventilation either, correct? Also, is the CPU/MOBO combo going to result in snappy/quick performance.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by dpatel304 /forum/post/19542305


Thank you for the quick and helpful response. Will just swap out the RAM with something else, just to be safe. Only picked those because it had tons of good reviews on newegg and the price was good. There are plenty of others I can get, though.


I'm guessing I don't need to be concerned with cooling/ventilation either, correct? Also, is the CPU/MOBO combo going to result in snappy/quick performance.

You may want to get a 120mm fan. This post was invaluable...
http://www.silentpcreview.com/article905-page5.html


The 120mm fan will do a good job cooling the case and will make the CPU fan work less resulting in much less noise.


G.skill makes great RAM. Just pick some in that price range --- you won't notice the difference unless you are gaming anyway.


If you get a SSD you will have VERY quick/snappy performance. If you get a HDD you will also have quick/snappy performance (minus the VERY).
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Cool..thanks for the link on the fan. I'll probably wait and see what sort of deals they've got for Black Friday and Cyber Monday before I bite. The price is already great, but might as well wait and see. Thanks for your help.
 
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