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443 posts

Ultimate Geek
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Topic # 107018 5-Aug-2012 13:12 Send private message

I'm just starting to cost out a HTPC - prompted by a wish to get out of Sky's clutches!

This is what I think I need:

A case
A power supply
A mobo with enough SATA connections for 2 drives
A boot drive (ssd 120gb)
A data drive 
A CPU (how fast?)
Some RAM (1gb enough?)
A TV card able to record 2 channels of terrestrial freeviewHD.
A video card. Does it matter what the video card connection is? Is HDMI any better? The TV has VGA and 3 HDMI connections and is full HD.

oh and I realise the mobo needs to have enough slots for all the cards.
And a remote, which seems to often come with the tv card.
And an OS and assorted software.
I have a decent long range keyboard and mouse already.

Am I missing anything?




TV: Sony Bravia KDL324000. Freeview|HD
PC: ASUS P8P67 Pro B3, intel i5, 8Gb RAM, 120Gb SSD, Win 7
HTPC: Antec NSK2480B case, AMD A4-5300 CPU, Asus F2A85-M LE mobo, WD Caviar Green 64Mb 2TB HDD, HD Homerun, Win7 Home Premium, RAM 1600Mhz 4Gb.
Laptop: Sony VAIO VGN-CS16G
iPad 2

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  Reply # 667771 5-Aug-2012 13:19 Send private message

Probably no need to have a seperate Data and OS drive and also onboard graphics will be fine in most instances. Maybe look at a mini-ITX setup using either Intel i3-2120 or AMD equivalent?





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  Reply # 667772 5-Aug-2012 13:20 Send private message

Defiantly go HDMI over vga. But if you don't need to carry audio over the HDMI cable as well you could get a video card with DVI only and use a DVI - HDMI cable.

79 posts

Master Geek
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  Reply # 667784 5-Aug-2012 14:11 Send private message

RAM is cheap. 1Gb is really not enough.

With 1Gb you'll be disk thrashing as virtual memory kicks in (which won't be so bad on your SSD, but still it will slow things down)

I built mine with 16Gb, a 120Gb SSD drive and a 2Gb data drive. 16Gb is probably overkill, but with memory priced under $100 for an 8GB stick why would you use anything smaller than an 8Gb stick.

79 posts

Master Geek
+1 received by user: 1


  Reply # 667785 5-Aug-2012 14:14 Send private message

And you ask if you're missing anything - a BluRay Drive. Internal BluRay writers are not that expensive. And with a quad layer disk they will write about 128Gb on a single disk (not that I can find the blank quad layer disks anywhere yet).

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Geek


  Reply # 667786 5-Aug-2012 14:19 Send private message

On my equipment analog vga produces a fuzzy picture. Even with the better rated, heavier vga cable for higher resolutions. Analog audio is a different story.

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  Reply # 667788 5-Aug-2012 14:32 Send private message

My current system uses a Hudson M1 AMD board. Cheap as chips with integrated CPU and video.

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  Reply # 667790 5-Aug-2012 14:54 Send private message

turb: I'm just starting to cost out a HTPC - prompted by a wish to get out of Sky's clutches!

This is what I think I need:

A case
A power supply
A mobo with enough SATA connections for 2 drives
A boot drive (ssd 120gb)
A data drive 
A CPU (how fast?)
Some RAM (1gb enough?)
A TV card able to record 2 channels of terrestrial freeviewHD.
A video card. Does it matter what the video card connection is? Is HDMI any better? The TV has VGA and 3 HDMI connections and is full HD.

oh and I realise the mobo needs to have enough slots for all the cards.
And a remote, which seems to often come with the tv card.
And an OS and assorted software.
I have a decent long range keyboard and mouse already.

Am I missing anything?
Definitetly HDMI and it also makes it easier altering bios setting. Using VGA just wont display bios properly on my Sony 26 inch tv but does with hDMI.
I only have 2GB memory and has been no problem yet.  When I bought it DDR3 was expensive.  I use a 120GB laptop hard drive for my OS so if Windows fails I dont lose the data as well.  Of course if my data drive fails I lose that and then would backup from backup drive.
I use an Intel i3 2120 processor and onboard graphics with no problem.
I also use Avermedia Trinity card for FreeviewUHF and Freeview Satellite.
I would also recommend Blu ray drive as they arent expensive and you can watch blu ray as well then.




HTPC AMD A4-5300 cpu, Gigabyte ga2fa75m-d3h motherboard, , 4GB DDR3 ram, onboard  graphics. Hauppuage HVR 3300 tuner,  Antec 2480B case, Windows 7 home premium 64 bit using media center

BDFL
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  Reply # 667806 5-Aug-2012 15:48 Send private message

For a HTPC you MUST USE HDMI. It's the only way you will get HD video on your TV, as well as high quality sound. Also if you use something like iTunes it will only play HD movies if it's a protected HDMI output - VGA will not work on that.





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  Reply # 669216 7-Aug-2012 18:55 Send private message

I'd recommend

Intel i3-2100
Cheap Motherboard with Onboard GPU
1x4GB Cheap RAM
HVR2200 / HVR2210
3TB WD30EZRX
64 or 128GB SSD
Antec NSK2480 Case (lncludes PSU)
MCE Compatible IR Receiver + Remote




HTPC - Intel i3-2100 / 12GB DDR3 / GA-Z77X-UD5H / HD4670 1GB / HVR2200 / 750GB + 4 x 3TB / Win 7 x64 / MediaPortal 1.5
PC - Intel e8500 / 8GB DDR2 / HD5830 1GB / Win7 x64

799 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 24


  Reply # 669245 7-Aug-2012 20:11 Send private message

I have optical out to a decoder for DTS audio which for me is a must.

Perhaps you might consider if your TV has no optical out. No point having good picture if you have tiny sound through your speakers



443 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 25


  Reply # 669385 8-Aug-2012 08:06 Send private message

That looks like a nice setup. Time for an intensive PriceSpy session I think

I have a funny old SFF HP from work under my telly, and tried out XBMC on linux on it last night - that looks like the way to go, although as a DOS/windows user of many years' standing, using linux makes me feel like I'm using chopsticks instead of a spoon - I like it, I know it's good for me, but sometimes I get cramp!

Thanks everyone for the ideas.




TV: Sony Bravia KDL324000. Freeview|HD
PC: ASUS P8P67 Pro B3, intel i5, 8Gb RAM, 120Gb SSD, Win 7
HTPC: Antec NSK2480B case, AMD A4-5300 CPU, Asus F2A85-M LE mobo, WD Caviar Green 64Mb 2TB HDD, HD Homerun, Win7 Home Premium, RAM 1600Mhz 4Gb.
Laptop: Sony VAIO VGN-CS16G
iPad 2



443 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 25


  Reply # 669402 8-Aug-2012 08:35 Send private message

Do I need the "MCE Compatible IR Receiver + Remote" if the TV card comes with a remote?




TV: Sony Bravia KDL324000. Freeview|HD
PC: ASUS P8P67 Pro B3, intel i5, 8Gb RAM, 120Gb SSD, Win 7
HTPC: Antec NSK2480B case, AMD A4-5300 CPU, Asus F2A85-M LE mobo, WD Caviar Green 64Mb 2TB HDD, HD Homerun, Win7 Home Premium, RAM 1600Mhz 4Gb.
Laptop: Sony VAIO VGN-CS16G
iPad 2

2203 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 26


  Reply # 669507 8-Aug-2012 11:03 Send private message

No you don't need if TV card includes a remote




HTPC - Intel i3-2100 / 12GB DDR3 / GA-Z77X-UD5H / HD4670 1GB / HVR2200 / 750GB + 4 x 3TB / Win 7 x64 / MediaPortal 1.5
PC - Intel e8500 / 8GB DDR2 / HD5830 1GB / Win7 x64



443 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 25


  Reply # 669553 8-Aug-2012 12:07 Send private message

I'm looking at this mobo:http://pricespy.co.nz/product.php?p=834304

Asus P8H61-M Pro

Micro ATX, HDMI, On board graphics

Look about right?

It only has PCIe slots, not PCI - is that likely to be an issue? I can't think what other cards I might put in, but for me the whole point of an HTPC is the flexibility!




TV: Sony Bravia KDL324000. Freeview|HD
PC: ASUS P8P67 Pro B3, intel i5, 8Gb RAM, 120Gb SSD, Win 7
HTPC: Antec NSK2480B case, AMD A4-5300 CPU, Asus F2A85-M LE mobo, WD Caviar Green 64Mb 2TB HDD, HD Homerun, Win7 Home Premium, RAM 1600Mhz 4Gb.
Laptop: Sony VAIO VGN-CS16G
iPad 2

2203 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 26


  Reply # 669567 8-Aug-2012 12:36 Send private message

Gigabyte GA-B75M-D3H
http://pricespy.co.nz/product.php?p=1165805
 - $120
mATX / GFX / HD Audio / PCI-E / PCI / USB3.0 / 6xSATA




HTPC - Intel i3-2100 / 12GB DDR3 / GA-Z77X-UD5H / HD4670 1GB / HVR2200 / 750GB + 4 x 3TB / Win 7 x64 / MediaPortal 1.5
PC - Intel e8500 / 8GB DDR2 / HD5830 1GB / Win7 x64

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