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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey folks,

I am new to the forums, but i have enjoyed scouring the HTPC and Flat Screen TV forums for info over the last few days.

I am attempting to put together an HTPC from old computer parts and am looking for a few opinions and some advice.

My old system is an athlon 3200XP, asus k8V ATX mobo, with 1gb of ram, AIW x800pro, 200gb seagate HD, and audigy 2 zs platinum (with 5.25" front panel), pci wireless card

I plan to use my HTPC to be the frontend for a system running vista MCE. I initially only want it for media management, SD recording, and DVD playback. In the future i will want it for recording HD and playing HD-DVD movies. I recognize that i will need to upgrade in the future.

I have read a bunch of threads on HTPC cases and parts, etc but i still find myself being indecisive.

here are a few questions i'd like some advice on:

1) I have this audigy 2 zs plat, with the creative audigy2 front panel having the spdif outs. I also have a pci card for spdif out. I don't do any recording so i dont really use the front panel --- would there be any foreseeable use for installing this in my htpc? im open to getting one of the cheaper 7.1 sound cards that ive read about on the forums and sticking the audigy in my new system (using as backend/gaming rig)

2) Regardless of what case i go with, do i really want to pay extra for one with a VFD or remote? I've read mixed things on the VFDs and my unit will be sitting behind translucent glass in my tv cabinet. As for the remote, would i be better off buying the MCE remote+IR receiver for $40?

3) The case: I've looked at the Ahanix D4, the origin X11, zalman HD160, Lian Li PC-C30, antec fusion, etc. And reviews seem to be mixed on a lot of these depending on user preference, but i keep coming back to the LC20. One driver being that i'd like the two 5.25 externals, but if i dont use the audigy 2 front panel 2 isnt a complete necessity. For the parts described above, is there any reason not to go with the LC20? I am also a bit worried the knobs on the front panel will keep it from being practical to go in the case anyways. In fact the more i think about it the more i will just get a new sound card

I hate even asking about the case as there are so many threads asking this, but any opinions (based on my needs) would be appreciated
As far as looks go, i think i could be happy with several --- the lian li pc-c30, antec 2400, origen ae x11, and the lc20 are all nice looking to me.

4) PSU - i bought a corsair 520HX for my new system and absolutely love it. I plan to buy one for the HPTC as well. Does it fit ok in the LC20?

5) wireless kb/mouse with decent range...i saw a thread that recommended the lite-on kb/mouse. any other suggestions?

Guess thats it --- im looking to spend less than $500 on this little project...and i imagine another $500 when i upgrade proc/mobo/vidcard/ram in about 6-12months.

thanks for the input
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