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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok, need some help and suggestions here. First, let me tell you what I want out of this system (budget around $1000-1500), not a true HTPC by definition, but in spirit
I mainly want a fairly quiet HTPC (no loud fans) that will 1. play multiple formats - mostly HD files, such as (MKV, WMVHD, AVI, MPEG HD) I have a lot of high-bit HD files that I would like to be able to play through Miro or Windows media player flawlessley, e.g. (smooth playback, no studdering when scanning through files - not sure if that's a memory, cpu, or gpu issue?) A graphics card that does most of the decoding, relieving the CPU and heat issues. 2. Something I will be able to do minor gaming on, such as Left 4 dead with fairly good settings. 3. Something that will be able to handle Blu-ray writing/ripping at decent speeds. 4. Can handle video editing/encoding duties at a decent to good rate. 5. Also will want something compatible with Windows 7 and lots of RAM.


As this will be my first build, I would like to make it as simple as possible, by hopefully being able to find some pre-assembled items, like a motherboard with, cpu, gpu, power supply combined. I want to do the least amount of assembling required
Something along the lines of this http://dealitem.com/Deal/1316309/ZOT...30-1.6GHz.aspx I just don't think that would be enough for what I want. Also, this is the case I want to use, so consider that when making suggestions: http://www.nmediapc.com/htpc8000.htm

I saw this on ebay:
http://cgi.ebay.com/Vintage-Style-Me...item4cedb794ec

Not sure about how good that processor/gpu would handle what I'm looking for.


I wish there was a place I could just pick my parts and have someone build it for me.
 

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I wish there was a place I could just pick my parts and have someone build it for me.[/QUOTE said:
It's pretty easy to build a system. Pickout the parts, screwin the mobo, plug in everything and you're good to go. You can build a system in 10 minutes unless i'm missing anything. I guess the windows install might take an hour but it doesn't need any imput.
 

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Athlon II X4

Gigabye 770 motherboard

As much ram as you want to put in it

Radeon HD5750 or 5770

SSD for boot drive(read reviews, the OCZ Vertex is good, the Vertex LE is great)

As many WD Green drives ending in EARS as you want to cram in it.


As far as case, how pretty does it need to be?
 

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That thing on ebay is a POS; I'd stay clear of that....


I'd go with a regular build... or a tall htpc build (that you can add full size cards later).


This is really simple... you want a gaming system... build a gaming system... with a htpc case... any true gaming system will blow the socks of htpc work it is required to perform.


Of course, you have to weigh in how loud it will be... for example, I'd never put my server or main computer in my living room... they both have fans out the butt since they are powerful systems. You don't hear my htpc... I would not game on it either.
 

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Hey great choice in case!


I may be a little bias since I use one like it.lol

It is a terrific looking case though. It looks even better in person. It is also much larger than the pictures lead you to believe. You should be able to fit pretty much anything you want it in. It will be easy to build a very nice HTPC around it and blow away that pre-built unit on ebay!


If you have a local computer shop and not comfortable goofing with it. You could order your parts from recommendations here. Have a local shop to install the parts. It shouldn't take them longer than 2 hours from start to finish. Just negotiate with them on the labor.
 

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Actually that nMediaPC case is pretty decent, has a 140mm rear fan, and could make for a pretty quiet system, if you like the way it looks. HERE is the case on newegg.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Do you guys think an AMD/Radeon setup would be better than an Intel/Nvidia combo for what I want? I originally was going to go with an i7 920. Remembering I want the card to do a good chunk of the decoding and don't want a leafblower sound. Also could someone suggest a specific model - Artos said Radeon HD5750 or 5770, but there's probably a dozen from different mfgs. Thanks for the help!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by bimmerfreak0 /forum/post/18204737


ripoff, 600-700 in parts at best...

yeah, now that I researched the parts - memory/graphic card were pretty crappy and had bad reviews.


Can you not post newegg links here...I wanted some opinions on parts I picked so far, but the links don't seem to work?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by bimmerfreak0 /forum/post/18204737


ripoff, 600-700 in parts at best...

agreed. not the best parts and big premium. You can build a much better system yourself and cheaper. or at least same price but with much better components.


This made me laugh though:
Quote:
FEEDBACK



IF FEEDBACK IS NOT ACCURATE, YOU WILL BE BLOCKED AS A BUYER. MUST LEAVE ACCURATE FEEDBACK TO PROVIDE TECHNICAL SUPPORT FOR HARDWARE INSTALLATION. PLEASE LEAVE 5-STAR DSR RATING SO WE CAN PROVIDE OUR 5-STAR SERVICE LEVEL. WE WILL GO ABOVE AND BEYOND TO MAKE OUR EBAY CUSTOMER'S HAPPY. PLEASE SHOW YOUR SUPPORT BY LEAVING ACCURATE AND TIMELY FEEDBACK.

So if I understand this correct if you leave 5 star feedback then and only then you will get support and remote configuration that they promise


Pretty lame extortion technique. and if you dare to leave anything other than perfect feedback then you are on your own with no "extra" services that they offer so you might as well do it yourself and save butt load of money in the process
 

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Don't buy a complete system just to rip it apart and throw away the case. That's silly. Buy what you want from the beginning and assemble it yourself.




Personally, I think 8GB of RAM is overkill. I do everything you want your machine to do and more, and with only 4GB I rarely see more than 60% RAM usage. Whatever else you change, I would almost certainly keep the 905e. It's very powerful, but eats less than half as much juice as the higher-end Phenom II X4 chips. It's also dead silent with the stock cooler.


I also think that case is ugly as sin, but to each his own.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by candre23 /forum/post/18205344


Don't buy a complete system just to rip it apart and throw away the case. That's silly. Buy what you want from the beginning and assemble it yourself.




Personally, I think 8GB of RAM is overkill. I do everything you want your machine to do and more, and with only 4GB I rarely see more than 60% RAM usage. Whatever else you change, I would almost certainly keep the 905e. It's very powerful, but eats less than half as much juice as the higher-end Phenom II X4 chips. It's also dead silent with the stock cooler.


I also think that case is ugly as sin, but to each his own.

LOL, thanks man. I like the vintage look, but I guess it's not for everyone.


That looks like a good build. I am tempted to go for the AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition Deneb 3.4GHz though, it's only $5 more, but seems a lot more powerful. Although, I'm not sure how much of an advantage it will give me. If the 905e draws a lot less power and makes my system more quiet, might be worth it. I do want a lot of RAM because even now on my system that has 3GB, it sometimes studders or has trouble with a lot of HD files. Also, I heard modular power supplies are the way to go for HTPC, anyone able to tell me what the advantage would be in this case?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by The_Dude78 /forum/post/18205733


If the 905e draws a lot less power and makes my system more quiet, might be worth it.

It is. A 965 will definitely require a big aftermarket cooler to get down to the same noise level as the 905e with the stock cooler. Honestly, even a 905e is more than enough processor for your requirements.

Quote:
I do want a lot of RAM because even now on my system that has 3GB, it sometimes studders or has trouble with a lot of HD files.

Whatever is causing your stutter, it has nothing to do with RAM. HD video decoding is not memory-intensive. As long as you had a decent CPU or GPU, you could do flawless HD playback with 512MB RAM or less.

Quote:
Also, I heard modular power supplies are the way to go for HTPC, anyone able to tell me what the advantage would be in this case?

The only benefit of a modular PSU is that you can remove the unused wires, so they're not in the way. This is helpful in compact HTPC enclosures, where space is tight and proper airflow is vital. The case you picked is actually quite large. You should have no problem tucking the unused cables out of the way, and airflow shouldn't be an issue.
 

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That build looks pretty good, but I would offer these suggestions. I would use a GIGABYTE GA-770TA-UD3 AM3 AMD 770 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard and the 965. It offers USB 3.0 and 6GB SATA 3.0, and you can use a Zalman 9900 or a Zerotherm silent cooler. Both are pretty quiet. I prefer G-Skill 1333 ram, I have never had any issues with any of my builds and you might want to go with 8GB if you are doing editing. That 5770 is a pretty good all around card, but if you want more you can always go for a 5850 or 5870 if you got the dollars. They are super cards and the Eyefinity support is cool, though you might want at least a 750 watt PSU. Remember, the more you load down a PSU, the harder and hotter it will have to work. A 750w PSU will run cooler and quieter at 60% than a 550w at 85%. It will last longer too. Coursairs seem to be the best and quietest on the market now. Sorry I cant post links just yet. You can PM me if you have any further questions.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
How does this build look, any problems you guys see?



Also, does anyone know the difference between the 5770 Radeon in my list and this one:



This one is $20 cheaper and seems to have a lot more reviews, but I don't know any performance differences.


And how about this motherboard as a sub for the one in my list?
 

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The Gigabyte 770 offers USB 3.0 and 6GB SATA 3.0 and the two vid cards are basically the same except the (black) Sapphire has better cooling.
 

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The difference in the video cards is that the cheaper one uses the reference PCB layout and reference cooler, the first one you listed is fully custom, so aftermarket coolers may or may not fit.


As for the board, I would get the 770, more features for the dollar and performance is every bit as good, just without the onboard video.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Ok, thanks for all the suggestions...here's what I decided on...


Can someone verify that it's all compatible, and also if there's anything else I'm going to need when assembling my first HTPC? I'll be picking up the Hard Drive and ordering the case too, so I have that taken care of, just want to make sure there's nothing else I'm missing.

 
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