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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have been reading for some time but have finally decided to build my own htpc. I have a budget of $1500, give or take and want to get something that will play 1080p at 7.1 dts-hd along with my blu-rays.


I know the 785g is coming out shortly so it sounds like that might be the place to start.


I would appreciate your recommendations on board, cpu, memory, graphic card and case. I know this alot to ask but I have not found all this in one place with any agreement. Though, I know I will get many different opinions.


I am excited to build this and get going. My hp hdx16 laptop doesnt cut it.


Thanks


Jim
 

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The more you're exposed to, the better. Here is a link to my web page documenting my HTPC build. I can't knock any suggestions, I just know that mine does what I want it to do. The web page is not finished yet, but hopefully you can get something out of it. I did a years worth of research before I built mine. Mainly looking at buyer feedback on newegg.com.


I actually have not installed a TV tuner yet, but use it for lots of 1080p content and music.


Best of luck!


neilshtpc.weebly.com
 

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awesome page neilrec! will look forward to updates. Only question though on my end is, don't you think you may be overdoing it a little? I'm looking into buliding an HTPC but my budget is around $500. I've been told that it will work for watching blu ray, music, etc.
 

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Your budget makes me drool!

You could build 2 awesome HD HTPCs and still have money left over....well almost.


What do you intend to do with this machine?

Where do you want to use it?

Do you want a stylish HTPC case?

Do you need tuners?

Big storage?

HD encoding?

Blu-Ray burning?

Do you have a HDMI receiver capable of decoding HD audio tracks?

Do you prefer AMD or Intel or don't really care?


You can build a HD capable machine starting from $300. So need to know your preferences before suggesting anything.
 

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In what respect? I think the RAID may be unnessesary nowadays. I tried to go above and beyond a little just so there would be no question on performance. I'm a wanna be "Geek" so I'm sure there are better ways and cheaper ways of getting the same result. My problem was getting current info that I understood. I would be more than greatful to have any input 'cause there's no doubt I want to build another one : )
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by neilrec /forum/post/16848574


In what respect? I think the RAID may be unnessesary nowadays. I tried to go above and beyond a little just so there would be no question on performance. I'm a wanna be "Geek" so I'm sure there are better ways and cheaper ways of getting the same result. My problem was getting current info that I understood. I would be more than greatful to have any input 'cause there's no doubt I want to build another one : )

You can build a 'green' HTPC for as low as $200 not counting the case.

I like your build. However, you should know that even the most powerful processors can brought to their knees with software raid. Because software raid is completely dependent on the CPU, it gets tied up in doing the raid calculations. In that scenario your Q6600 will do a better job than dual-cores.

BTW: you went way above and beyond, not just a little. I play HD videos on single-core P4s, so a Quad-Core (to me) is way beyond.

Its just an opinion.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by jlenz /forum/post/16847925


I have been reading for some time but have finally decided to build my own htpc. I have a budget of $1500, give or take and want to get something that will play 1080p at 7.1 dts-hd along with my blu-rays.


I know the 785g is coming out shortly so it sounds like that might be the place to start.


I would appreciate your recommendations on board, cpu, memory, graphic card and case. I know this alot to ask but I have not found all this in one place with any agreement. Though, I know I will get many different opinions.


I am excited to build this and get going. My hp hdx16 laptop doesnt cut it.


Thanks


Jim

Rate these three things in order of importance:


Aesthetics


Silence


Small Size


That'll help decide what route you need to go. There are so many options it's not even funny.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
This is all great stuff, especially the webpage. It really opened my eyes to what I really need.


I plan to use this in my theatre room for blu-ray viewing. I have a denon 4308 so the audio is set so I think I think big storage, no tuners, since I already have my directv setup with dvr. as for amd or intel, I really dont care, I just want a powerful machine that I can upgrade throughout its life.


Thanks for the feedback.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hirent /forum/post/16848552


Your budget makes me drool!

You could build 2 awesome HD HTPCs and still have money left over....well almost.


What do you intend to do with this machine?

Where do you want to use it?

Do you want a stylish HTPC case?

Do you need tuners?

Big storage?

HD encoding?

Blu-Ray burning?

Do you have a HDMI receiver capable of decoding HD audio tracks?

Do you prefer AMD or Intel or don't really care?


You can build a HD capable machine starting from $300. So need to know your preferences before suggesting anything.
 

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 AMD CPU-MB combo: Phenom II X4 955 (3.2 GHz Quad-Core) + 790GX Board - $240

The CPU is top-of-the-line from the AMD stable and comes with a heavily discounted board. Its Socket AM3 so you should be able to upgrade if you so wish. Board has HDMI out with HD video deocding so you don't need a separate video card.
Sound Card: Asus Xonar HDAV Slim - $150

The HDMI out from the board goes into this sound card and the HDMI out from this card goes to your receiver.

Memory:


$50 for 4GB, $100 for 8GB.

Note: 8GB will require a 64-bit Operating System.
Hard Drives :

$75 and up for 1 TB drives, take your pick. I would say at least 4TB for BD storage. I like the Hitachi 1 TB drives but they are sold out currently.


These are just suggestions, you will have to read about them and do some research to see what you like the best.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by ArtosDracon /forum/post/16849837


Rate these three things in order of importance:


Aesthetics


Silence


Small Size


That'll help decide what route you need to go. There are so many options it's not even funny.

I would say


Silence

aesthetics

size


Thanks.
 

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I would say get a decent mATX board with a good chipset (say, an gigabyte 780G board), a good phenom II X4 CPU, 4GB of RAM, the ASUS XONAR Mentioned above, 4TB of hard drive space, and an ATI 4670.


This will still be under your budget and be more than enough for quite a long time. You can even use 4 x 1.5TB HDs for 6 TB of HD space and still be in your budget.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I have done some additional reading and looking at the feedback I received. Here is what I am thinking about. I would appreciate your comments. Keep in mind my main purpose is playing blu-ray media. I have directv with dvr so I am not looking at a tv tuner.


Case - SILVERSTONE Black Aluminum front panel, 0.8 mm SECC body GD01B-MXR ATX Media Center


CPU - Intel Core i7 920 Nehalem 2.66GHz 4 x 256KB L2 Cache 8MB L3 Cache LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Processor


Power Supply- CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX 750W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Compatible with Core i7 Power

Supply


Motherboard - GIGABYTE GA-E7AUM-DS2H LGA 775 NVIDIA GeForce 9400 HDMI Micro ATX Intel Motherboard


Memory - G.SKILL 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Triple Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9T-6GBNQ


Hard Drive - Western Digital Caviar Green WD10EADS 1TB 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive


Blu-ray - LG Black 8X BD-ROM 16X DVD-ROM 40X CD-ROM SATA Internal Combo LG Blu-ray Reader & 16X LightScribe DVD±R DVD Burner


CPU Cooler - Scythe SCMNJ-1000 80mm Sleeve "NINJA MINI" CPU Cooler


Graphics Card(Not sure if needed due to motherboard choice) - SAPPHIRE Toxic 100269TXSR Radeon HD 4890 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card


Chipset Cooler(Note sure if needed) - Thermaltake CL-C0034 Copper Fan & Heatsinks


Remote - Logitech Harmony one


Keyboard/Mouse - Logitech mx3200

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?


Audio(Do i need with denon 4308) - ASUS Xonar HDAV1.3 Slim


Software


Windows 7 64bit

Windvd 9

Anydvd

My Movies

FFdshow

Virtual clone drive


Thanks again for your help.


Jim
 

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Quote:
CPU - Intel Core i7 920 Nehalem 2.66GHz 4 x 256KB L2 Cache 8MB L3 Cache LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Processor


Motherboard - GIGABYTE GA-E7AUM-DS2H LGA 775 NVIDIA GeForce 9400 HDMI Micro ATX Intel Motherboard



Audio(Do i need with denon 4308) - ASUS Xonar HDAV1.3 Slim

Your CPU and Board are not compatible. The CPU is a LGA 1366 while the board is a LGA 775. Go with one of the Intel Quad-Core CPUs; Q9400/Q9550 or up.

The 9400 chip is great at decoding HD video, don't spend money on something you don't need.

You will get a TMT software player with the sound card, no need to buy another. In fact, any other software will not work with the sound card.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
So what you are saying is I dont need the graphics card? What about the audio, the asus sonar? Do I need this with my denon 4308 which will do dts-hd?


Finally, Should I change the cpu or the board? This is another option for the board and I believe the right one. I put the wrong one before.


Foxconn BloodRage LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX Intel Motherboard


Thanks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hirent /forum/post/16850906


Your CPU and Board are not compatible. The CPU is a LGA 1366 while the board is a LGA 775. Go with one of the Intel Quad-Core CPUs; Q9400/Q9550 or up.

The 9400 chip is great at decoding HD video, don't spend money on something you don't need.

You will get a TMT software player with the sound card, no need to buy another. In fact, any other software will not work with the sound card.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by jlenz /forum/post/16850963


So what you are saying is I dont need the graphics card? What about the audio, the asus sonar? Do I need this with my denon 4308 which will do dts-hd?


Thanks.

If you want to Bitstream HD audio data to your receiver this is currently the only solution. There are no other sound cards that can do this.

And no, you don't need the super powerful/expensive graphics card.
 

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if you aren't going to be gaming, there is NO reason to go with the 4890. Maybe the 4850 if you want to play a couple games here and there, but the 4670 will be more than enough for your HTPC needs (even the onboard will be enough since you are getting an add-on sound card).
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by jlenz /forum/post/16850074


This is all great stuff, especially the webpage. It really opened my eyes to what I really need.



Glad it helped, You've prompted me to start on my 6 month review page, since I've been using it since Feb. I like your case choice...of course. I don't think I'm knowledgeable enough to make comment on the other choices.
 
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