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Ok, so Ive reconfigured my nonexistent HTPC yet again. Thoughts?


Intel E8400 Wolfdale Processor

GIGABYTE GA-EP35-DS3R Motherboard

Crucial Ballistix Tracer 2GB (2 x 1GB) DDR2 Memory (or something else on the comp list if I see it cheaper)

XFX GeForce 8600GT Video Card (Zalman fan)

LG Blu-ray/HD DVD-ROM GGC-H20L Optical Drive

Undetermined 450W power supply (possibly the Corsair mentioned above)

Undetermined Mid-tower case (Dont like any of the HTPC cases in my price range)

2 x Samsung Spinpoint 750GB HDD for media, a 3rd smaller drive for software.

Will probably add a Haupage PVR and Imon IR at some point later.


Only thing Im second guessing right now is I may want a video card with 512MB memory (Im not planning to game on it, but its very possible still...plus I am planning on having a second monitor output).
 

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Renethx:


I was checking out your recommendation for the premium II rig. I like your mother board selection. I was looking for something with a few high powered pci-e slots. Future proofing. I was wondering if this board would be a good choice for the yet to be released Asus Xonar 1.3 hdav? Or would a scaled down board (less sound) in the same chip set be a better idea?
 

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Discussion Starter · #2,523 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by ENDContra /forum/post/14271171


Ok, so Ive reconfigured my nonexistent HTPC yet again. Thoughts?


Intel E8400 Wolfdale Processor

GIGABYTE GA-EP35-DS3R Motherboard

Crucial Ballistix Tracer 2GB (2 x 1GB) DDR2 Memory (or something else on the comp list if I see it cheaper)

XFX GeForce 8600GT Video Card (Zalman fan)

LG Blu-ray/HD DVD-ROM GGC-H20L Optical Drive

Undetermined 450W power supply (possibly the Corsair mentioned above)

Undetermined Mid-tower case (Dont like any of the HTPC cases in my price range)

2 x Samsung Spinpoint 750GB HDD for media, a 3rd smaller drive for software.

Will probably add a Haupage PVR and Imon IR at some point later.


Only thing Im second guessing right now is I may want a video card with 512MB memory (Im not planning to game on it, but its very possible still...plus I am planning on having a second monitor output).

GeForce 9600 GT is perhaps the best choice for HTPC and casual gaming.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2,524 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lostclusters /forum/post/14271828


Renethx:


I was checking out your recommendation for the premium II rig. I like your mother board selection. I was looking for something with a few high powered pci-e slots. Future proofing. I was wondering if your if this board would be a good choice for the yet to be released Asus Xonar 1.3 hdav? Or would a scaled down board (less sound) in the same chip set be a better idea?

As for the number of PCI Express slots (x16, x8), P7N Diamond is the best choice for the Intel platform. Yup, if you go with the upcoming HDMI sound card, the bundled sound card is a waste of money. But the price of P7N Diamond is not particularly high compared with, for example, eVGA nForce 780i mb (without a separate sound card).


The midrange/high-end mb also supports dual PCIe 2.0 x8 (if you insert a second graphics card or a RAID controller card, the first slot will be automatically lowered to x8, that does not affect the performance of the first card in most cases).
 

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Hiya,


Could you have a look at my suggested setup and give comments please. I'm wanting to upgrade my Xbox running XBMC with a dedicated HTPC but not with anything too expensive.


Although XBMC has its benefits, I think I might shift to running the HTPC on Vista OS with MediaPortal as I'm not skilled in Linux.


As I'm in the UK, the costs are in pounds using the cheapest I can find on the web:


Case: Silverstone LC20 Black: £74.35

Motherboard: Gigabyte P35-DS3P: £62.41

CPU: Core 2 Duo E7200 S775 2.53Ghz: £61.42

Memory: 2x1GB DDR2 PC2-4200: £25.84

Graphics Card: Gigabyte GeForce 8500 GT GV-NX85T2565

Hard Drive: Samsung Spinpoint T166 500GB HD501LJ: £37.37

Optical Drive: Logitech LGGC-H20L Blu-Ray and HD-DVD - £62.12


I'm still in need of advice on two things. It is likely that I'm also going to run my webserver on this PC so would like it to be on 24/7. I'm therefore looking for a quiet PSU and CPU cooler. Any ideas?


CPU Cooler (with fan):

PSU:


Finally, as I'm in the UK we don't yet have HD over freeview. I'm therefore likely to use the following TV tuner until we get to that stage:


TV Tuner: Hauppauge WinDVD PVR-500 - £66.33 - IT247.com


Many thanks
 

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Discussion Starter · #2,526 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by Woggle /forum/post/14278380


I'm still in need of advice on two things. It is likely that I'm also going to run my webserver on this PC so would like it to be on 24/7. I'm therefore looking for a quiet PSU and CPU cooler. Any ideas?


CPU Cooler (with fan):

PSU:


Finally, as I'm in the UK we don't yet have HD over freeview. I'm therefore likely to use the following TV tuner until we get to that stage:


TV Tuner: Hauppauge WinDVD PVR-500 - £66.33 - IT247.com

Cooler: stock cooler, Scythe Ninja Mini (fanless), ZEROtherm BTF90


PSU: Corsair VX450W, Seasonic M12II-430
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by papes510 /forum/post/14257160


Ok so after a few weeks of researching i decided on my gear. Now for some reason the more i research the specifics of what i bought i feel like i made wrong decisions (im incredibly indecisive) and want to return my graphics card and maybe my mb.


anyway looking for opinions.


1Gx2|CRUCIAL BL2KIT12864AA804

VGA ASUS EN8600GT MAGIC/HTP/512M RT

VID DEV AVERMEDIA AVERCOMBO

CPU INTEL|C2D E7200 2.53G 775 45N R

MB GIGABYTE GA-EP35-DS3R 775 P35 RT

CPU COOLER ZEROTHERM|BTF90 R


Thanks!
Quote:
Originally Posted by renethx /forum/post/14257837


Your system is nice and well-balanced. Did you find any problems with the graphics card and the mb? Which graphics card and mb do you look at? There are plenty of other good solutions and maybe I can help you.

Ok complete newby question. So everything is up and looking good. i have the card connected to my tv with vga for now until i get a dvi-hdmi cable. so now whats the best way to get the sound working?...the mb has an spdif output but the graphics card doesnt have an input for it. the tv has 3 hdmi inputs.


any suggestions/guidance would be great. thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter · #2,528 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by papes510 /forum/post/14279602


Ok complete newby question. So everything is up and looking good. i have the card connected to my tv with vga for now until i get a dvi-hdmi cable. so now whats the best way to get the sound working?...the mb has an spdif output but the graphics card doesnt have an input for it. the tv has 3 hdmi inputs.


any suggestions/guidance would be great. thanks!

The ASUS EN8600GT MAGIC/HTP/512M card has an internal S/PDIF connector (circled in the picture below).




Connect it to the mb's internal S/PDIF connector by a cable like this one . A generic DVI-to-HDMI adpater will carry HDMI audio (S/PDIF pass-through in this case).
 

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First off, this thread is an excellent guide. There's tons of valuable info here. Thanks!


So, I'd like to replace my large, loud, and heat generating PC with a smaller, quieter, more energy efficient HTPC. Media would be streamed via Cat5e Gigabit from a server in another room to this HTPC. Of course, it must playback all file types including HiDef. I already have Seagate 250GB SATA HD, Sony BDUX10S BD Rom, AverMedia PCI Combo, and Vista Premium 32 that I will recycle. Here are the new parts I'm considering:


Intel DG45ID (when it becomes available)

Intel e7200 Wolfdale

G.Skill 2x1GB DDR2 800

InWin MTJADE GLS300


I'll be using MediaPortal 1.0.rc1 and MPC-HC with all the necessary codecs for frontend.


Questions:


1. I've seen few uses of the Mt.Jade case. Can anyone provide any feedback as to the heat dissipation abilities and noise factor of this design?


2. Will this configuration allow for a single HDMI cable directly into my HDTV to provide video and audio? I'm currently only utilizing the stereo speakers on the TV, but would like to upgrade to 5.1 system down the road.


3. Cost is always a consideration. I can get all these new parts for around $400 US. I'd like to stick to that budget. I've looked at the 780G model for around the same price.


GIGABYTE GA-MA78GPM-DS2H

Phenom 8450 Toliman 2.1GHz

G.Skill 2 x 1GB DDR2 1066

InWin BT566T.300BL case (Mt.Jade case seems to be Intel specific)


I'm partial to Intel, but would consider AMD if it will perform better.


4. I'm trying to avoid the use of discrete graphics to keep cost/heat/power requirements at a minimum. Since I will be doing ZERO GAMING on this machine, is that reasonable?





Any thoughts or comments?
 

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Discussion Starter · #2,530 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob_Esc /forum/post/14279906


First off, this thread is an excellent guide. There's tons of valuable info here. Thanks!


So, I'd like to replace my large, loud, and heat generating PC with a smaller, quieter, more energy efficient HTPC. Media would be streamed via Cat5e Gigabit from a server in another room to this HTPC. Of course, it must playback all file types including HiDef. I already have Seagate 250GB SATA HD, Sony BDUX10S BD Rom, AverMedia PCI Combo, and Vista Premium 32 that I will recycle. Here are the new parts I'm considering:


Intel DG45ID (when it becomes available)

Intel e7200 Wolfdale

G.Skill 2x1GB DDR2 800

InWin MTJADE GLS300


I'll be using MediaPortal 1.0.rc1 and MPC-HC with all the necessary codecs for frontend.


Questions:


1. I've seen few uses of the Mt.Jade case. Can anyone provide any feedback as to the heat dissipation abilities and noise factor of this design?


2. Will this configuration allow for a single HDMI cable directly into my HDTV to provide video and audio? I'm currently only utilizing the stereo speakers on the TV, but would like to upgrade to 5.1 system down the road.


3. Cost is always a consideration. I can get all these new parts for around $400 US. I'd like to stick to that budget. I've looked at the 780G model for around the same price.


GIGABYTE GA-MA78GPM-DS2H

Phenom 8450 Toliman 2.1GHz

G.Skill 2 x 1GB DDR2 1066

InWin BT566T.300BL case (Mt.Jade case seems to be Intel specific)


I'm partial to Intel, but would consider AMD if it will perform better.


4. I'm trying to avoid the use of discrete graphics to keep cost/heat/power requirements at a minimum. Since I will be doing ZERO GAMING on this machine, is that reasonable?

The Intel system supports multichannel LPCM/DTS/DD over HDMI, while the AMD system supports only stereo LPCM/DTS/DD. If this is your concern, you'd better choose Intel. Pentium Dual-Core E5200 2.5GHz ($84) will be released on August 10. This should be enough for your purpose. E7200 will be $113 and E7300 (2.66GHz, $133) will be released on the same day.
 

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His recommendations have gotten fairly old now, as he doesn't mention the P45 nor X48 chipsets. Also he doesn't seem to know about Silverstone, Origen, or Moneual cases. So I've had to start research over from scratch. Good effort though.


So far I have it narrowed down to the Moncaso 932 case and one of these:
Code:
Code:
Mobos (P45)                     Mem                     PCIe                    USB     Sound                   Power
Asus                                                                    
+       P5Q3 Deluxe/WiFi-AP     DDR3-dual-1600 16G      3(16),2(1),2(PCI)       10      ADI® AD2000B 8 Ch HiDef 16ph
        P5Q-E                   DDR2-dual-1200 16G      3(16),2(1),2(PCI)       12      ADI® AD2000B 8 Ch HiDef 8ph
+       P5Q Premium             DDR2-dual-1200 16G      4(16),1(1),2(PCI)       14      ADI® AD2000B 8 Ch HiDef 16ph
        Maximus II Formula      DDR2-dual-1200 16G      2(16),3(1),2(PCI)       12      SupremeFX X-Fi 8-Ch             
                                                                        
MSI                                                                     
        P45 Diamond             DDR3-dual-2000 8G       2(16),2(1),2(PCI)       12      X-fi Xtreme             268/388w
-       X48 Platinum                                    4(16),2(1),1(PCI)       12                              260/357w
No clear winners here. I want integrated graphics (for the case LCD) and lots of room for PCI cards (whether PCIe or otherwise). I don't know which PCI, cards are coming in these days, so it's a question whether more 16bit or 1bit is better.


I really like the idea of ASUS' EPU-6 Engine, assuming that it's not just marketing hype, much less whether it works in Linux.


Of course for PSU it will be a Silver or Gold-rated one on the 80Plus site.


... Will be running MythTV over Kubongo, and HD DVR will be this machine's main role. The PCIe video card will drive my projector, and must have BluRay hardware decode; haven't gotten that far yet tho. I hear R5000 HD support for MythTV is unreliable, but HD-PVR has lots o' problems too. What's a poor girl to do?
 

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I would just like to say in regards to the Antec Fusion 430 listed in the Mid Range mATX build, this case is amazing, I did a LOW END II build except I included this case, and my CPU (E2220) doesn't ever go over 35 degrees C, and is usually 20-25C, on the Stock Cooler.


My friend has a similiar build except he is using a TOWER, and his runs 55-65 degrees C.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by TiaoMacaleh /forum/post/14282385


Will any of those low cost systems, run any .h264 .mkv 1080p videos without any problem whatsoever?

With my low end II build, I threw everything I could at it and have had 0 problems so far. I am incredibly impressed with its performance.


Thanks again to renethx.
 

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Reading in other foruns i saw some people mentioning that .mkv files doesnt support hardware aceleration, is that true?


If yes, what people do to run such videos?
 

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From reading and advice from folks on this thread I built the system below.

Looks great and sound s good but noticed a problem today.

Streaming lossless wma I noticed audio dropouts about every 3 or 4 songs (no one logged on to the main machine.)

I suspected wireless problems.

Later my son was watching a Blue-Ray movie and noticed drop outs in the audio.

Where would be the best place to start looking?

Thanks


SILVERSTONE Black SST-LC17-B

ENERMAX MODU82+ EMD525AWT 525W

GIGABYTE GA-EP45-DS4P

Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 Wolfdale 3.0GHz

Crucial Ballistix 2GB

SAPPHIRE 100233L Radeon HD 3450 256MB

SAMSUNG SpinPoint T Series HD501LJ 500GB

LITE-ON Black 12X DVD-ROM


Linksys WRT160N Router

Linksys WMP300N PCI

Optical out to Denon 4802

HDMI out to Panny 1080p
 

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Haven't seen this mentioned yet but surely it makes sense to wait for the Intel DG45FC Mini-ITX ? Core-2-Duo ready, HDMI 1.3, a board that will fit with ease into those slim HTPC cases, and IGP graphics from the Intel GMA X4500 chip, so not shabby either.


For me, having built two HTPCs lately, one in a desktop form factor, yhe Thermaltake DH-101, so it's not ugly - just big. Too big for my next HTPC, which will have to sit on a living room glass shelf and really look the part. I'd love to use the Silverstome ML-02 for example, but wouldn't want to lose the power of a full HDTV ready HTPC by bailing out to a Via-Mini ITX solution.


What do you think?


EDIT: AVS already has a thread here . Expected August/September.
 

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boydn1, the first place to start is to see whether the disk is busy. If so, you are disk-bound. Second, you see no problems with video stuttering? If so, I can't help as I'm a Linux type and Winduhs sux.


David O, I hadn't even looked at Intel mobos, but will now, thanks. I see that the X4500HD has hardware decode of mpeg2, AVC, & VCI, but I don't have time to look up whether one of those is BluRay format. I consider hardware decode of BluRay vital, as that's how I'll be storing all my Myth recordings.


I hear ya on the large case. I finally capitulated with the Moncaso 932 giant, but am not happy with the size at all. However sorting out all the mini and micro cases and figuring out all their respective gotchas and limitations has proven impossible for me with what little time I have. I must have at least audio (preferably X-Fi Elite Pro), a couple of PCIe 1bit slots, 10 USB2's, and a PCI slot.
 
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