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View Full Version : My HTPC needs new parts, care to help me?


turtle
2010-02-15, 01:25
So I have a case, motherboard (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813121387) (Intel DP55WG) and CPU (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115214) (i7 860). This is my only starting point. I need to get graphics card, RAM, optical drive, PS. I'm thinking of a tuner card to.

This is the RAM (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231277) I'm looking at getting. It's rated pretty high and fits the voltage level my motherboard has set for the max (1.6V).

So for optical I'm thinking this BD (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827106325) and this DVD burner (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827135204).

Graphics and power supply is next and where I'm really stuck.

What I would really like is a remote control and ease of use for my wife. I'm going to be running Win7 Ultimate 64 bit (because I have a license collecting dust right now.) I like the idea of being able to have a card that will allow me to pull OTA signals for video and use it like a DVR for things like the Olympics and such.

So what kind of graphics card to I need that will handle BD playback at 1080p plus maybe a little more. I'm not planning to make this a hack, but the easy ability is a nice bonus.

The PS only needs to power one additional HDD. I might even get a green one just in case. I'm also going to be folding this machine 24/7. I don't know if the graphics card is better than folding the CPU, but I'll certainly have it running either one based on which is best for the team. :)

Anything else I'm missing?

PB PM
2010-02-15, 01:50
For a HTPC look at some of the small profile ATI cards, like the HD4350, which should be more than enough for 1080p and its super cheap. Standard connections on that card are, DVI-I, VGA and it isHDCP Compliant, oh it also has an HDMI port.

GPU folding leads to a lot of heat, not something you really want in an HTPC, unless you want a noisy box next to your TV.

PSU, I think you could get by with 500W supply, like the Antec Earthwatts.

To be honest that machine looks like major overkill for a HTPC...

turtle
2010-02-15, 02:12
It is by all means overkill for a HTPC. :D

...but I got such a good deal on the CPU and motherboard that I couldn't pass it up. I'm sure I'll use it to encode DVDs and such too, but it's main duty is to F@H be a HTPC.

$25 isn't bad for this card (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814127436) then? Sounds like what you recommended.

PB PM
2010-02-15, 02:18
If you want something cool and quiet, yup. As long as you have no intention whatsoever of playing any games on it, that card is fine for watching 1080p from the reviews I've read of it. If you want something a little beefier, go for the HD5450, which is considered the best passively cooled video card on the market.

turtle
2010-02-15, 02:35
How about this (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817371034) PS? Think it'll be enough for my. I went ahead and added the 5450 instead of the 4350.

turtle
2010-02-15, 02:55
Oh, here's my case (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811119161). I found it while searching around NewEgg. I got it for free too.

PB PM
2010-02-15, 03:03
Looks like the PSU should be enough, with your setup and two drives.

I have the predecessor to the case you selected and they are nice to work with, unless you need to clean the dust pads under the front panel. The front panel itself is really cheap, I think my power button was half broken when I got it, but it still works. Cheap cases are what they are though, the Cooler Master Elite series are nice for the price.

turtle
2010-02-16, 01:17
I ordered my stuff! :) I'm pretty excited too. As I mentioned earlier, it's going to run Win7 Ultimate.

OS - Free*
Cooler Master Elite 335 (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811119161) - Free*
Antec EarthWatts Green 430W (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817371034) - $49.99
Intel DP55WG (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813121387) - $109*
Intel i7 860 (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115214) - $129*
ZEROtherm CORE92 CPU cooler (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835887023) - Free*
G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231277) - $104.99
POWERCOLOR AX5450 512MK3-SH Radeon HD 5450 (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814131339) - $44.99
ASUS Black 2MB Cache SATA DVD Burner (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827135204) - $24.99
LITE-ON Black 4X BD-ROM (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827106325) - $61.99

$254 for the Intel motherboard and processor. $286.95 for everything outside of my Intel deals. $540 for a modest HTPC. Not to shabby if you asked me. :D Now I need a capture card for OTA TV so I can DVR things I want to see later.

*These items were through promotions and specials from Intel's Retail Edge.

ironlung
2010-02-16, 12:50
I guess my advice is too late but if you ever plan on running ubuntu for your htpc needs, stay away from ATI. ATI makes horrible linux drivers. I just got a geforce gt220 and could not be happier.

I have both Windows7 and ubuntu on my puter, but run ubuntu almost all the time. My ubuntu machine also acts as my time machine; together with boxee I couldn't be happier!

turtle
2010-02-17, 11:51
Thanks for the input. Thankfully Linux isn't importand to me. This really is made to play movies and livingroom computing.

Last night I ordered a tuner card that gave me a free remote too. :)

DIAMOND ATI TV Wonder HD 650 Tuner (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16815306020)
Diamond All in Wonder Green Button Remote with USB Receiver (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16800996087)

Both were $60.98 after shippping. I'm pretty pleased with my set up from the specs. Not to get the parts and get it running! :) Most will be delivered Thursday and I have no idea about the tuner yet.

ironlung
2010-02-21, 15:12
Hey turtle in case you get tired of that remote, you can use its IR port for a harmony. I bought my harmony for $30 refurbished and can't believe I didn't get one sooner.

turtle
2010-02-24, 13:27
Wow!!! Junior is one quiet machine! I built him last night finally and I'm really impressed with this machine. My fish tank is louder than this PC. I mean, really.

I haven't done a benchmark on it yet, that'll come in a few but I just had to post how impressed I am with this computer. Beast really is a beast after having this thing next to me. Now, I haven't run F@H on it yet so I don't know how it'll handle the heat at that level.

turtle
2010-02-24, 16:06
CINEBENCH R10
************************************************** **

Tester : turtle2472

Processor : Intel(R) Core(TM) i7 CPU 860 @ 2.80GHz
MHz : 2.66
Number of CPUs : 8
Operating System : WINDOWS 64 BIT 6.1.7600

Graphics Card : ATI Radeon HD 5400 Series
Resolution : <fill this out>
Color Depth : <fill this out>

************************************************** **

Rendering (Single CPU): 4630 CB-CPU
Rendering (Multiple CPU): 17092 CB-CPU

Multiprocessor Speedup: 3.69

Shading (OpenGL Standard) : 5498 CB-GFX


************************************************** **

Seems to be about the same as Beast. :\

Edit: Wow, I was way wrong. :(

CINEBENCH R10
************************************************** **

Tester : turtle2472

Processor : Intel(R) Core(TM) i7 CPU 920 @ 2.67GHz
MHz : 2.66
Number of CPUs : 8
Operating System : WINDOWS 64 BIT 6.1.7600

Graphics Card : ATI Radeon HD 4800 Series
Resolution : <fill this out>
Color Depth : <fill this out>

************************************************** **

Rendering (Single CPU): 4192 CB-CPU
Rendering (Multiple CPU): 6393 CB-CPU

Multiprocessor Speedup: 1.52

Shading (OpenGL Standard) : 8447 CB-GFX


************************************************** **

PB PM
2010-02-24, 16:41
Those results look right. It is expected that the graphics wouldn't be as good, since the HTPC has a video optimized card, vs. pure performance.

turtle
2010-02-24, 21:49
Good point. I was stuck on the horrid Multi-CPU thing with Beast instead of being so please with my HTPCs abilities.

Now to move Junior to his new home with the meda center. :)

turtle
2010-02-28, 01:25
Ok, I need help again.

How do I get Blu-Ray playback? I thought it was built in until I loaded up Fireproof tonight. Seems Win7 doesn't have native playback.

PB PM
2010-02-28, 02:03
I thought Win7 did have native Blue-ray... then again I don't have a blue-ray player so I've never been able to check.

turtle
2010-02-28, 02:34
It supports the drive and the file format but not video playback. :(