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This has been posted at htpcnews as well:


I'm pretty close to having all the components picked for my first HTPC/gaming rig. Any comments or advice would certainly be welcome:


Case - Silverstone LC16M or LC17

Processor - AMD Athlon 64 3700+, Retail

Motherboard - MSI K8N Neo4 Platinum Edition

Video Card - XFX nForce 7800GT

RAM - 1GB (2 x 512) Corsair Value Select PC3200

Hard Drives - 2 x 250GB Seagate

Optical Drive - Any recomendations?

Sound - Motherboard

Capture - Hauppage PVR 150 MCE

HDTV - Future

Cooling - Nothing additional at this time

Power Supply - ?

OS - MCE2005


I'll be connecting everything to a Denon AVR-3803 reciever and a Toshiba 57H82 RPTV.


Case - I'm undecided. I like both of these cases, but I'm not convinced I need the VFD or all of the front buttons/knobs. I also have some remote control questions, but I'll save that for later in the post. I like the capability of using so many hard drives, and it sounds like the new layout they are using in these cases shoul help out my cooling needs.


Processor - I don't think I really need much more than this. Keep in mind, I'm currently using a 7 year old Dell 400mHz machine, so this is a MAJOR jump forward. From the reviews I have read, this should be more than adequate to meet my HTPC and gaming needs. Plus I've heard that this overclocks well if I decide to go that route.


Motherboard - The main selling point of this MoBo is the 4 PCI slots. I'll eventually want 2 SD capture cards, 1 HD capture card, and possibly a soundcard (with DD Live or the new OTF DTS encoding), so expansion is a concern. I also do not anticipate a need for SLI since the video card I think I want is already overkill.


Video Card - Like I said above: this is overkill. My main concern is getting the best component connection to my RPTV (Toshibe 57H82), and being able to play some games. I suspect that this card (along with the other components) should do me well for years to come. The GT is over $100 less than the GTX, so I feel like I'm getting a pretty good value for almost top-of-the-line. I was looking at the ATI X850XT-PE, but this card is even more expensive than the 7800GT. And if I ever do decide to go SLI, I'll just have to buy a different Mobo (an another card, obviously)


RAM - I want at least 1 GB, and I've heard good things about Corsair.


Hard Drives - Will 500GB be enough for capturing TV (SD only at this time), about 250 CDs in FLAC format, and games? I seem to think so. The case can support more space if I need it, and the 250GB drives seem to be the best value. I've heard good things about the Seagates. Any recomendations?


Sound - I see no need to fork out any cash on a soundcard right now. I'll use the digital connection for CD/DVD playback, and the onboard analogs for games. I'm waiting for the right DDLive or new On the fly DTS encoding card to come out.


SD Capture - The Hauppage seems to be the popular choice. I'll probably add a second down the line.


HDTV - None at this time


OS - MCE2005. I need a licenced Windows OS anyway, and I can always try a meedio, SageTV, etc. if I'm not happy.


Cooling - I was going to try and avoid getting anything additional at this time. The processor comes with a heatsink and fan, and the case comes with 2 x 80mm rear fans. I've never payed any attention to cooling before, and I've never built my own rig, so if you think I need to do more, please let me know.


Now, onto some questions:


I am pretty confused on the remote control thing. I want to use my remote control that came with my Denon 3803 reciever, which is programmable, and my wife already knows how to use it. But if I go with a case without a VFD, what do I need to control the HTPC? I know I'll need some sort of IR receiver, but will I need an IR blaster as well? Who makes these, and how do they connect (USB, I assume)? The HTPC will have to control my sattelite reciever over IR I would imagine. Any info or links to other threads would be appreciated.


Also, I'm not exactly sure what size power supply I'll need. I saw a 430Watt PS by Seasonic that got pretty good marks over at silentpcreview.com. Will this be enough? I understand that it's more about the quality and efficiency of the PS, not necessarily the wattage.


I'd also like some avice on an optical drive as well. I'm just looking for a DVD+-RW that runs pretty silently. I'd like to keep it under $100.


All in all, that's pretty much it. With these components, I'm looking at around $2,000. I'd love to be able to pull a few dollars out of it, but I think I'm pretty close. The obvious cost cutting choice would be the video card, but I really like the looks of the 7800GT.


Thanks in advance for any advice, and thanks for all the great information on the forums.


Chris
 
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