AVS Forum banner
1 - 20 of 33 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
246 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Trying to figure out my first build, but have a few questions first...


Right now, I have a set top box pvr, a blu ray player, and a dvdr, all connected to my Denon 890 via HDMI. The Denon connects to the TV via HDMI.


What do I need to record stuff on my HTPC, from my DCT (HD & SD)? Would something like this work? Then I could connect my HD set top box to the card, and the card to the AVR? Right now, my set top box (which is a PVR) goes straight to my AVR, and works fine. I would prefer to buy a smaller non-PVR set top box, that can do HD, and have my HTPC record stuff.


What is the minimum speed/performance I need from my cpu (and ram) to achieve stutter-less blu ray playback, streaming, and so on? How much of a difference can video cards make here? Would I be fine getting a cpu+mobo that can do bitstreaming and have HDMI out, or is a discrete video card preferred? I have no intention of using this system for anything other than playing back various media.


I was playing around with 2 different combinations... one would be i3 530 without a Radeon 5xxxx card, the other would be an older processor (ie, Dual-Core E6500), with maybe a 5670. Still undecided, and also trying to figure out what the best card is when you factor in noise.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
350 Posts
see HERE and HERE and HERE


Will give you an idea of the current state of hardware, and a grounding in what makes a good htpc


once you have a build proposal, put it up and Im sure plenty of people will be happy to comment.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
132 Posts
My suggestion for the core components.


AMD Athlon II X2 240 Regor

GIGABYTE GA-MA785GM-US2H

G.SKILL DDR2 800 2GB

CORSAIR CMPSU-400CX 400W

AVerMedia AVerTV Combo G2


You shouldn't need a sound card or video card.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
246 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
etheesdad, thanks for the links. I read the first one here, but didn't know about the other two.


trginter, would I be able to to record hd shows with that setup? I live in Canada, and use Shaw cable. Currently have a Motorola DCT3416 hooked up to my Denon 890 via HDMI. I'd like to be able to hook up the DCT3416 to my PC, and have my PC record all the channels that the DCT3416 is able to.


Before seeing your suggestion, my build ideas were the following:


use my existing blu ray burner (move it from current pc to htpc)

not sure what tuner or capture card to get (searched everywhere, still don't see clear answer)

undecided on case + PSU (in the process of narrowing them down now...)

Western Digital Caviar Black WD6401AALS 640GB

SAPPHIRE 100293DP Radeon HD 5570 1GB

CORSAIR XMS3 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800)

Intel Core i3-530 Clarkdale 2.93GHz LGA 1156

GIGABYTE GA-H55M-UD2H LGA 1156 Intel H55 HDMI Micro ATX


or


use my existing blu ray burner (move it from current pc to htpc)

not sure what tuner or capture card to get (searched everywhere, still don't see clear answer)

undecided on case + PSU (in the process of narrowing them down now...)

Western Digital Caviar Black WD6401AALS 640GB

SAPPHIRE 100293DP Radeon HD 5570 1GB

CORSAIR XMS2 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 1066 (PC2 8500)

Intel Pentium Dual-Core E6500 Wolfdale 2.93GHz LGA 775

ASUS P5G43T-M Pro LGA 775 Intel G43 HDMI Micro ATX



My goals with the HTPC are:


- insert blu ray or dvd, watch it

- watch dvd/blu ray images from hard drive

- record HD & SD stuff from cable box & play it back

- stream video & audio from other computer to HTPC

- watch or listen any media file that is on my HTPC (avi, mp4, etc.)


In any case, I am still unsure how to hook something up to my current PVR and have the PC record stuff. It seems whatever option I pick, I won't get ALL the HD channels I subscribe to, or ALL channels in general. That's why my initial thought was to go with the HDMI card I linked before, thinking since my PVR uses HDMI to connect to my Denon 890, I can just connect it to that HDMI capture card in my PC.


For the graphics card, I'm not sure if I need it. If I do get one, it would be 55xx and up. Not sure which would be best, considering 5570, 5670, 5750. Would probably pick whichever one of those is less noisy. I definitely do want to bitstream to my Denon 890 and have it do the decoding.


As for why I want my HTPC to record instead of the PVR I already have? I plan on giving the DCT3416 to my parents, and getting a new HD box (that won't be a PVR).


What do you guys think?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,165 Posts
I think the first build should work without the video card and still have the same capabilities (hardware video decoding and HD audio protected path). It's hard to say because those parts are fairly new and still not much user feedback on their capability.


The second I'm thinking would need the card just to get decent video.


I think the Hauppauge HD PVR is the only device that can record encripted HD using component input. There are cable card tuners coming but that's still a grey area as far as cable company support, especially in Canada.


See this post with the HD-PVR recording from satellite.

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1182902


Peter
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
132 Posts
You should be able to do all of that with the components I listed.


That G2 card will let you record a digital channel while watching a different analog channel or record an analog channel and a digital channel at the same time. I'm probably going to go with the Happ 2550 which is a little more expensive than that G2 I listed so if money isn't really an issue you might want to look at that.


You won't be able to record premium channels like HBO or Showtime though. You would need a cable card, not sure about Canadian laws / regulations on that one, or a device like the Happ PVR. I'm really not sure how this works in Canada but can you receive any OTA HD channels? Either by using an antenna or plugging it directly into the wall. If so, that card will be able to record all of those. If you ordered a special HD package from Shaw then some of those channels you might not be able to record, they might be encrypted.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
132 Posts
^ Yes, what he said. To avoid any confusion the G2 card I mentioned will NOT record HD video from a STB. Only QAM.


Josh - The setup in that link is beautiful.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
246 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thank you!


You guys cleared up a lot of the confusion I had about this. In that case, I will forget about my goal of recording stuff with my HTPC for now. I can always buy the Hauppauge HD PVR later.


Since both are within my budget, I'm thinking about going with the i3 build.

In that case, what specific card would make the least noise? I'm looking at 5570 and 5670 only now.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
246 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I read about some problems in the i5/i3 thread but didn't sift through the whole thing. That's why I was kinda scared of doing the iGPU solution. But now, I'm thinking about going with an ITX board instead, and a 775 cpu, just because it would be smaller. In any case, what specific 5570 & 5670 cards are quiet? I read before that in general, the 5670 is quieter than the 5570, but not too sure about specific models (sapphire, his, etc.).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
246 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I've narrowed down the cases a lot, but I need to start thinking about the PSU. Here are my 2 potential builds:


Western Digital Caviar Green WD7500AADS 750GB SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Hard Drive

HIS H567Q1G Radeon HD 5670 (Redwood) IceQ 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready

CORSAIR XMS3 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800)

Intel Core i3-530 Clarkdale 2.93GHz LGA 1156 73W Dual-Core

GIGABYTE GA-H55M-UD2H LGA 1156 Intel H55 HDMI Micro ATX

~$510 CDN


Western Digital Caviar Green WD7500AADS 750GB SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Hard Drive

HIS H567Q1G Radeon HD 5670 (Redwood) IceQ 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready

CORSAIR XMS2 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 1066 (PC2 8500)

Intel Pentium Dual-Core E6500 Wolfdale 2.93GHz LGA 775 65W Dual-Core

ZOTAC G43ITX-A-E LGA 775 Intel G43 HDMI Mini ITX Intel Motherboard

~$515 CDN


In each case, I'll be moving my existing blu ray burner to the HTPC build. No tuner/capture card for now, and if I do get something in the future, it will most likely be the Hauppauge HD-PVR 1212 you guys suggested.


Supposing I pick one of the above 2 builds, what kind of PSU should I get? I was thinking 250-300W, but not sure if that is enough given I'd like this thing to be quiet.

Any opinions on the PSU?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
350 Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by dfn /forum/post/18290569


Supposing I pick one of the above 2 builds, what kind of PSU should I get? I was thinking 250-300W, but not sure if that is enough given I'd like this thing to be quiet.

Any opinions on the PSU?

I doubt you'll find a decent PSU in that wattage range.


Corsair VX450 or Seasonic S12 II 430w (the Corsair has the better warranty, the Seasonic has slightly better efficiency)


Re socket 775 machine - no point in buying dead hardware (LGA775, DDR2).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,974 Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by dfn /forum/post/18290569


I've narrowed down the cases a lot, but I need to start thinking about the PSU. Here are my 2 potential builds:


Western Digital Caviar Green WD7500AADS 750GB SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Hard Drive

HIS H567Q1G Radeon HD 5670 (Redwood) IceQ 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready

CORSAIR XMS3 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800)

Intel Core i3-530 Clarkdale 2.93GHz LGA 1156 73W Dual-Core

GIGABYTE GA-H55M-UD2H LGA 1156 Intel H55 HDMI Micro ATX

~$510 CDN


Western Digital Caviar Green WD7500AADS 750GB SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Hard Drive

HIS H567Q1G Radeon HD 5670 (Redwood) IceQ 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready

CORSAIR XMS2 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 1066 (PC2 8500)

Intel Pentium Dual-Core E6500 Wolfdale 2.93GHz LGA 775 65W Dual-Core

ZOTAC G43ITX-A-E LGA 775 Intel G43 HDMI Mini ITX Intel Motherboard

~$515 CDN


In each case, I'll be moving my existing blu ray burner to the HTPC build. No tuner/capture card for now, and if I do get something in the future, it will most likely be the Hauppauge HD-PVR 1212 you guys suggested.


Supposing I pick one of the above 2 builds, what kind of PSU should I get? I was thinking 250-300W, but not sure if that is enough given I'd like this thing to be quiet.

Any opinions on the PSU?

Go with the i3, but a couple of notes on your choices.


Why don't you try to get the iGPU working first. Then if you have issues you can add a dedicated card.

Why the 750GB drive? 1-1.5TB drives are where you have the best $/GB ratio.


For PSU the Corsair 450 mentioned above is a great choice. I think you could also do the 400. That is what I ordered for my build which is due to arrive today (i3 530, ASUS P7H55 Pro, 4GB OCZ 1333, 160GB SATA for OS and 1.5TB Caviar Green for storage, Corsair 400 and Cooler Master 310 case).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,974 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,165 Posts
I built a mini-ITX system using a Zotac 9300-G-E board and E6300 processor. I used a power supply from user Electrodacus on Ebay. It's an open board. He's selling the board only right now but I got a board and power brick from him. It gets you a completely silent power supply. I'd suggest either this or a Minibox PicoPSU. Ether system should not need more than about 100W. My system idles at 40W and I have not seen it above about 65W.


Pick an i3 mini-ITX board with a PCIe x16 slot. Then pick a nice cube case that also allows an expansion card so you can try the onboard first. The Apex MI-008 seems to be a popular choice. Pick a decent CPU cooler, look for something that can blow the air sideways through the case to use the side vents. Add in the PicoPSU and give it a try.


Personally, I'm buying a 2.5" drive next and a 120mm fan. I'll do something custom to get the fan blowing air over the CPU and motherboard heatsinks. I've got the stock Intel fan and a 3.5" WD drive as the only parts running inside my case and they both make too much noise.


Peter
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
39 Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by trginter /forum/post/18287288


My suggestion for the core components.


AMD Athlon II X2 240 Regor

GIGABYTE GA-MA785GM-US2H

G.SKILL DDR2 800 2GB

CORSAIR CMPSU-400CX 400W

AVerMedia AVerTV Combo G2

Is there any reason not to use a Gigabyte GA-MA785GMT-UD2H board instead? For $10 more, you get a newer board (AM3 only) that supports faster memory - it also has more positive reviews on Newegg.


Alternatively, the USB 3.0 version of this board (GA-785GMT-USB3) can be had for $5 more.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,974 Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by anonim /forum/post/18291989


Is there any reason not to use a Gigabyte GA-MA785GMT-UD2H board instead? For $10 more, you get a newer board (AM3 only) that supports faster memory - it also has more positive reviews on Newegg.


Alternatively, the USB 3.0 version of this board (GA-785GMT-USB3) can be had for $5 more.

The UD2H also has the better capacitors (D is for "durable" IIRC). So yes it is a better board. DDR3 memory is more expensive than DDR2 as well.
 
1 - 20 of 33 Posts
Top