All About Building An HTPC (MoBo, CPU, Cards, Other Gear, Software) - Page 15 - Canadian TV, Computing and Home Theatre Forums
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post #211 of 340 (permalink) Old 2007-12-31, 11:50 AM
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Question Will this setup work?

Hi everyone,

I'm in the process of buying parts for an htpc. Here's a list of what I intend to build it with:
  • Processors (CPUs) AMD Athlon X2 BE-2350 Dual Core Processor Socket AM2 2.1GHZ 2X512KB 45W 65NM SOI Retail Box
  • Motherboards Gigabyte GA-MA69GM-S2H 690G mATX AM2 1PCI-E16 1PCI-E4 2PCI HDMI Video Sound GBLAN 1394 Motherboard
  • Memory (RAM) Patriot Extreme Performance 2GB 2X1GB PC2-6400 DDR2-800 CL4-4-4-12 Dual Channel Memory Kit
  • Video Cards Integrated
  • Computer Cases Antec NSK2480 BLACK & SILVER DESKTOP CASE MICRO ATX EA380 HIGHEFF PSU $98.38
  • Power Supplies Included with case: 380Watt
  • Hard Drives Western Digital SE16 500GB SATA2 7200RPM 16MB Cache 8.9MS NCQ Hard Drive OEM 3YR MFR Warranty
  • DVD Writers Pioneer DVR-212D Black DVD-RW 18X6X18 DVD+RW 18X8X18 DL 10X SATA 2MB OEM DVD Burner No Software
  • Sound Cards Integrated $0.00 $0.00
  • TV Tuner (DVB-S) Digiwave 103G DVB-S Digital FTA Satellite Tuner PCI Remote
All this would cost me around 550$ +tax and shipping.

I was wondering if it's a good choice for an htpc or should I go with something like the Netgear EVA8000 or the D-Link DSM-520.

Thank you for your help!
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post #212 of 340 (permalink) Old 2007-12-31, 01:21 PM Thread Starter
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That is a nice and comprehensive first step into an HTPC.

Toss in a copy of Windows and SageTV and that will make one nice box.

The only major change I would make would be to install a silent version of an HD2600 Pro or a silent version of a GeForce 8600 GT. Although the 690G does an admirable job on all content, there are post processing features that may be desirable that are not in the 690G that are in those two series of card I suggested.

Gigabyte actually makes a silent version of each and they are both HDCP compliant and are available for about $100.

Don't get me wrong though. I have the Asus 690G based board and it is fine. Like I said above, the onboard video does an admirable job.

The only question I have for you is do you intend on installing TWO 500 GB drives? The reason I ask is that the prices of Terabyte drives is rapidly dropping so I would personally advise that you get one 500 GB drive and hold for a little bit to get any additional drives.
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post #213 of 340 (permalink) Old 2007-12-31, 04:43 PM
 
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As que3jxp said, it should make a nice HTPC.

Regarding the video card comment, unless you get a discount when purchasing the whole system, I would simply use the integrated video and go from there. If you are satisfied with its ouput to your TV quality wise, you just saved ~90-100$. If not, you can always purchase it at a later time.

Make sure you have a good return policy if you go with the Netgear EVA8000 or the D-Link DSM-520. If you feel its not good enough, too restrictive compared to a full HTPC, you always have the option to change your mind.
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post #214 of 340 (permalink) Old 2007-12-31, 05:48 PM
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megab, if you are in or near Montreal you should also put in an ATSC tuner card to get the OTA HD stations for free.



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post #215 of 340 (permalink) Old 2007-12-31, 08:28 PM
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Smile

Thanks everyone for the reply!!!

First of all I would only put one 500GB drive. I don't think I will need more at the moment.

As for the ATSC tuner, do you have any example? I'm near Montreal and this would be very interesting.

I was wondering if anyone used the antec case I mentioned. Does it perform well and would I'd be better buying something like this:
http://www.antec.com/us/productDetails.php?ProdID=93480

Thanks again everyone, I appreciate the help

P.S. To the moderator: Thanks for the formatting of the post!
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post #216 of 340 (permalink) Old 2008-01-01, 10:55 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
First of all I would only put one 500GB drive. I don't think I will need more at the moment.
The one lesson on storage I learned in the last few years of HTPCs is that you never have enough. Once you start storing ripped DVDs and start downloading TV shows that are not on TV anymore, well, you chew through a ton of space.

I have gone from 250 GB to very close to 1.5 TB now for all of the media content that I store, record, save for rainy days or repeat nights. And I plan on blowing past the 2 TB mark just to guarantee that I am not stopping to shuffle files and shows around.
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post #217 of 340 (permalink) Old 2008-01-01, 01:22 PM
 
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I am using a NSK2400 (the previous version) for my HTPC and it works fine for me. You only have to be careful with your heatsink selection due to height restrictions. However, if you plan on using the stock cooler or some of the now available low height heatsink such as the mini ninja that may be a moot point. I have no experience with the NSK33XX, only the NSK44XX (bigger).

ATSC in Montreal? Reception wise, you can check the appropriate subforum here to see what is available to you: http://www.digitalhome.ca/forum/forumdisplay.php?f=129

Card wise, I'd go with a combo PCI/PCI-E dual tuner so you can record both SD and HD at the same time like the Hauppauge HVR-1600/1800. Its readily available in the Montreal area or online.
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post #218 of 340 (permalink) Old 2008-01-01, 02:27 PM
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Thanks again everyone!

I just realised that my tv (http://ca.lge.com/en/products/model/...v_32lc7d.jhtml) already support NTSC/ATSC/QAM. I think I will stick with the satellite card for the moment.

Just another question about the cpu cooler. Does the stock one will do the job, or should I buy something better?

Thanks!
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post #219 of 340 (permalink) Old 2008-01-01, 05:34 PM
 
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The stock coolers are meant to be used with the CPU they come with and cool them properly. So, yes, they're meant to do the job fine.

The only thing to consider will be noise depending on the location of your HTPC and, in that aspect, most aftermarket heatsink are more efficient at cooling your cpu (better thermal) and/or use a fan that will be more quiet than stock cooler and/or a combination of both.

Here, my HTPC runs an AMD 3200+ using the stock cooler with the fan speed controlled via SpeedFan (software). Under 45c, it turns the fan off. Above 45c, it turns it on at ~40% (silent at ~1meter in front of the case). Above 55, 100%. The fan only turns on when I am watching HD content (temp hovering ~48c) and never at full speed. The only full time active cooling is the PSU and 1x120mm TriCool Fan running at LOW setting near the CPU as exhaust.
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post #220 of 340 (permalink) Old 2008-01-01, 06:37 PM Thread Starter
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Actually, the stock HSF units with the AMD X2 CPUs combined with the AMD "Cool-n-quiet" technology makes for a VERY quiet and reasonably efficient cooling solution. Let me go so far as to say that it passes the "Can run all night in the bedroom without being heard" test.

My suggestion is that you try the packaged HSF first and if it is not to your liking, then invest in a different HSF.
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post #221 of 340 (permalink) Old 2008-01-01, 06:43 PM
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megab, your TV's ATSC tuner will only allow you to watch HD programming in real time. It does not allow you to record HD programs onto your PC, so definitely an internal ATSC tuner is a great thing to have. See this thread about them:

http://www.digitalhome.ca/forum/showthread.php?t=42094



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post #222 of 340 (permalink) Old 2008-01-01, 07:58 PM
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I think I have all the answers I need to purchase my htpc

Thanks everyone!

I'll post some pics if I have time.

Best regards,

Bruno
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post #223 of 340 (permalink) Old 2008-01-01, 11:49 PM
 
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Originally Posted by que3jxp View Post
Actually, the stock HSF units with the AMD X2 CPUs combined with the AMD "Cool-n-quiet" technology makes for a VERY quiet..
Some things must have changed. My AMD X2 3800+ AM2 Windsor came with an all aluminum cooler that was very noisy when the machine was doing encoding (2AM-11AM) so I had to replace it with an aftermarket.

Anyhow, I concur to try the packaged HSF. Noise is very subjective
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post #224 of 340 (permalink) Old 2008-01-02, 12:10 AM
 
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Thumbs up

I am impressed by the choices made. I also echo the comments about possibly upgrading the video card to an nVidia 8600GT. Not essential but a good option to keep open for the future. 750 GB drives have dropped quite a bit in price and deliver close to equal cost per GB as 500GB drives. WD has standard as well as low power "green" drives in the 750GB and 1TB sizes. Both are very good choices for HTPC. I am pulling the 500GB drive in my HTPC and replacing it with a 750GB model I got for $153.
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post #225 of 340 (permalink) Old 2008-01-02, 06:37 AM Thread Starter
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The fact that it is a Windsor core may be the issue.

The X2 chips I am most familiar with are all Brisbane.
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