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last look before purchase/after research..comments?

943 Views 3 Replies 2 Participants Last post by  jrandeck
Ok folks, after months of research, getting ready to finally purchase here for my HTPC build. Looking for last comments/noticeable problems before I pull the trigger.

Any would be much appreciated!


Watch/record up to 1080i live TV

Watch DVD, blu-ray, hd-dvd

Listen to up to 7.1 LPCM audio, where possible.

Video,audio to display device (TV), AVR over HDMI.

Remote control for playing/recording on PC, changing channels on cable-company STB.

Reasonably small physical footprint and noise (hoping for
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I have a Phenom 9600 in my HTPC. It seems like overkill for media playback, but I do a lot of transcoding recorded shows and it's nice to not have to wait all day to get it done.

I'm not sure about the cooling in your case. From what I've seen with my Phenom, though, anything that's rated to deal with the 90+ watt Athlon X2 chips should be able to handle a 95 watt Phenom.
i've just read some stories about people with the 9xxx series and having problems with heat even with AM2 rated fans, but i suppose it could be related more to their subsequent case cooling rather than the cpu fan itself.

Mind if i ask what case, case cooling, and mobo you have?


My case is a
LASCALA SST-LC13-S I bought way back when better looking HTPC cases were hard to find and very expensive.

I put an Arctic Cooling Alpine 64 cooler on the Phenom to see how it does. It's pretty quiet, when I was installing the motherboard I powered it up without the case fans plugged and couldn't hear either the CPU fan or the PSU fan (Enermax Liberty 400W) from 3 feet away with the case open. I wish I could say the same about the case fans. Even with a fan controller they're not nearly silent. Actually, I'll need to check whether I'm running them at full speed right now or not, I don't remember. The CPU runs about 40C idle and 55C under full load with that setup. One of these days I might put the stock cooler in just to see how it compares, but that doesn't seem bad for a cheap heat sink that's not really rated for the Phenom (hard to find small/silent ones that are, the Freezer 64 is too tall for my case--damn crossbar right over the CPU..)

My motherboard is the Gigabyte GA-MA78GM-S2H I'm using the integrated graphics with that, and I have 4GB of DDR2 800 RAM that came free in a package deal with the CPU which is why I bought the 9600 instead of waiting for the 9550.

I'm also running two Hauppauge TV tuner cards in the case (PVR-150 and PVR-350), three hard drives, and one DVD RW drive.

If I were buying right now I'd seriously consider a triple-core, I'm too impatient to wait for the 9100e, but I'm pretty happy with my setup.

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