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75 posts

Master Geek


Topic # 29390 5-Jan-2009 23:14 Send private message

Hi all,

Tomorrow (Tuesday) I plan on buying all my parts for my media center and just want some opinions on what I'm buying.

Currently have HVR-3000 which will be the tuner. The motherboard I plan on using is one I already have - Albatron K8SLI-AM2 and I have 1.5gb of ram that I can put in it(will buy more later if needed). The parts I plan on buying are:

- AMD 64 X2 5200+ 2.6GHz Dual Core With Original Athlon Fan and Heatsink

-
Seagate 500GB SATA 7200rpm 32MB Hard Drive

-Asus 8600GT Slient 512MB PCI-E Video Card

Basically I want to be able to watch FreeviewHD and record it. Also want to use it to watch 720P and 1080P movies (have some rips, will prob buy a bluray drive later).

My plans are to use Mediaportal and was thinking to use XP MCE as the OS(or should I use some version of Vista?).

Should that system be able to handle what I want to do okay? All the above parts are from PCOnlineshop.co.nz which I thought would end up being cheaper in terms of shipping etc if I buy all the parts from the same place.

I'm basically trying to build this as cheap as I can but still make a very good system.

All thats left now is the Case and powersupply, I would like to get a nice case but don't really want to spend much more than $100-$150 for both the case and powersupply. Any recomendations? A black case would be best :-)

I really do appreciate any help :-)

Thanks all,

Matt :-)

oh and this will all be hooked up to a 40" 1080P Samsung LCD :-)

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300 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 12


  Reply # 187695 6-Jan-2009 08:05 Send private message

If you care about noise you will need to replace the original Athlon fan with a quieter one and spend money on a power supply with a quiet (or no) fan. If you care about asthetics you will need to spens $300-$400 or so on a decent case.....

What you have spec'd is fine although I wouldn't bother with XP MCE. Something like XBMC coupled with GBPVR will do just fine.

773 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 41

Subscriber

  Reply # 187700 6-Jan-2009 08:21 Send private message

mattie47: Hi all,

Tomorrow (Tuesday) I plan on buying all my parts for my media center and just want some opinions on what I'm buying.

Currently have HVR-3000 which will be the tuner. The motherboard I plan on using is one I already have - Albatron K8SLI-AM2 and I have 1.5gb of ram that I can put in it(will buy more later if needed). The parts I plan on buying are:

- AMD 64 X2 5200+ 2.6GHz Dual Core With Original Athlon Fan and Heatsink

-
Seagate 500GB SATA 7200rpm 32MB Hard Drive

-Asus 8600GT Slient 512MB PCI-E Video Card


oh and this will all be hooked up to a 40" 1080P Samsung LCD :-)


Only drawback with the asus 8600gt silent is that it doesn't support spdif passthrough for the dvi/hdmi connection to the tv. If your tv doesn't support having a analogue in for the audio linked to a hdmi port, this could be a stumbling block. If you plan on always having a receiver on to listen to the audio, this might not be a problem, but, it would not be as convienent as having the audio over the hdmi connection. You can see the tracks on the pcb where the connetion would be, however, these components are not populated on this video card.

Note - I haven't looked to see if your motherboard has a spdif header.

1924 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 92

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  Reply # 187703 6-Jan-2009 08:49 Send private message

http://www.silentpcreview.com is a great place to sort out silent components. I used it to spec my machine and it is now quieter than the Mysky.




Nexus 5, Galaxy Note 10.1, ASUS UX31e Ultrabook, Mysky HDi, 2talk

198 posts

Master Geek
+1 received by user: 1

Trusted

  Reply # 187708 6-Jan-2009 08:57 Send private message

mattie47: Hi all,

Tomorrow (Tuesday) I plan on buying all my parts for my media center and just want some opinions on what I'm buying.



Hi Mattie,

Let me know how you get on.

I'm interested to see how you find the graphics card.

Planning to build a new HTPC myself soon.




921 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 14


  Reply # 187729 6-Jan-2009 10:30 Send private message

As far as not spending a fortune on a case goes, you should check Trademe now and then as peeps put them up for sale at reasonable prices. Theyre fairly uncommon on there but you never know.

Something like these perhaps?

http://www.trademe.co.nz/Computers/Components/Cases-power-supplies/Cases/auction-195818610.htm

http://www.trademe.co.nz/Computers/Components/Cases-power-supplies/Cases/auction-196112914.htm

They might well sell for more than you stated you want to pay but will almost certainly be cheaper than new

I cant talk however, I spent over $500 on case alone....




HTPC: Silverstone Crown CW02 case | Asus P5Q-L main board | Intel Dual core E8400 3.0GHz CPU | Thermalright Ultra120-Extreme Passive CPU Cooler | Blackgold BTG3540 TV Tuner & Hauppauge PVR-150 MCE Edition | Asus EN9600GT-Silent Passive GPU | 4GB Supertalent DDR2 800 RAM | 5+TB HDD space | LiteOn DH-401S BD/DVD/CD reader | Corsair HX-520w PSU | 1 single Noctua Silent Case fan | Logitech diNovo Bluetooth Media Desktop | Logitech Harmony 785 Universal Remote | Logitech Wireless Rumblepad 2 | Windows 7 Media Center, MediaBrowser & Arcsoft Total Media Theatre

814 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 87


  Reply # 187740 6-Jan-2009 11:28 Send private message

Yeah get vista if you're planning on running Freeview HD. The video renderer in Vista (EVR) is MUCH better than xp's VMR9. MediaPortal all the way! It might take a little more work to get up and running but it's well worth it. You might want a bit more RAM for vista.





75 posts

Master Geek


  Reply # 187752 6-Jan-2009 12:24 Send private message

"Yeah get vista if you're planning on running Freeview HD" Thats what I was thinking due to reading it renders the stream much better. Which version of Vista should I use? as this machine will be purely for a media center I'd think i'd like a really lightweight version of vista without all the extras etc. In saying that I may want to try Vista media center but for now I think Mediaportal will be perfect :-)

UPDATE: The HDD and GFX Card are "on order" and am awaiting a reply from pcshoponline to see when they should be expecting them back in stock. The - AMD 64 X2 5200+ 2.6GHz Dual Core With Original Athlon Fan and Heatsink is deff the CPU I will get (may buy it from another online shop though) but may change the HDD and GFX Card for something else. Reguarding the HDD, I was going for one with a 32mb cache but as that ones "on order" should one with a 16mb cache be sufficient? I'm actually thinking of getting a 4gb pendrive and having the OS installed on that inside the case and have the HDD spin slower when not in use. Good idea?

Thanks,

Matt

921 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 14


  Reply # 187768 6-Jan-2009 13:25 Send private message

If you never plan on using vmc you can get away with home basic but otherwise its one of the others, ultimate obviously being considerably more expensive. Home premium is the one to go for IMO as it's only about $30-$40 more than basic and your a#$! is covered :) Ultimate is twice the price but if you plan on using lots of tuners of the same type, its the way to go

Also, you won't fit any of them on a 4GB pen drive. Youd need a 16GB or more to be comfortable




HTPC: Silverstone Crown CW02 case | Asus P5Q-L main board | Intel Dual core E8400 3.0GHz CPU | Thermalright Ultra120-Extreme Passive CPU Cooler | Blackgold BTG3540 TV Tuner & Hauppauge PVR-150 MCE Edition | Asus EN9600GT-Silent Passive GPU | 4GB Supertalent DDR2 800 RAM | 5+TB HDD space | LiteOn DH-401S BD/DVD/CD reader | Corsair HX-520w PSU | 1 single Noctua Silent Case fan | Logitech diNovo Bluetooth Media Desktop | Logitech Harmony 785 Universal Remote | Logitech Wireless Rumblepad 2 | Windows 7 Media Center, MediaBrowser & Arcsoft Total Media Theatre



75 posts

Master Geek


  Reply # 187778 6-Jan-2009 14:00 Send private message

Asmodeus: If you never plan on using vmc you can get away with home basic but otherwise its one of the others, ultimate obviously being considerably more expensive. Home premium is the one to go for IMO as it's only about $30-$40 more than basic and your a#$! is covered :) Ultimate is twice the price but if you plan on using lots of tuners of the same type, its the way to go

Also, you won't fit any of them on a 4GB pen drive. Youd need a 16GB or more to be comfortable


The OS I use in terms of price isn't an issue (as I get them all for free through the courses I'll be doing this year as a student(or so I'm told by friends who are already doing it))

dolsen: Only drawback with the asus 8600gt silent is that it doesn't support spdif passthrough for the dvi/hdmi connection to the tv. If your tv doesn't support having a analogue in for the audio linked to a hdmi port, this could be a stumbling block. If you plan on always having a receiver on to listen to the audio, this might not be a problem, but, it would not be as convienent as having the audio over the hdmi connection. You can see the tracks on the pcb where the connetion would be, however, these components are not populated on this video card.

Note - I haven't looked to see if your motherboard has a spdif header.



This is my motherboard here. It does have "1 x RCA SPDIF IN/OUT" on the back of it though.

Regarding the "asus 8600gt silent" I'm pretty sure its out of stock any way from that supplier. What other PCI-E GFX Cards should I look at getting around the $100ish mark? Would prefer to get a silent one like that ASUS but yeah...

I realise I said this would be purely for media center but I MAY use it for the odd game down the line if/when I get a wireless keyboard and Mouse (currently have a MCE remote only) so hence wanting the 8600GT.

Thanks all for the help!!

Matt

921 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 14


  Reply # 187802 6-Jan-2009 15:16 Send private message

mattie47: The OS I use in terms of price isn't an issue (as I get them all for free through the courses I'll be doing this year as a student(or so I'm told by friends who are already doing it))


Ultimate it is then :)

Home premium is fine for general use in NZ though as it's not often that you'd be needing 4 tuners of the same type now is it...?




HTPC: Silverstone Crown CW02 case | Asus P5Q-L main board | Intel Dual core E8400 3.0GHz CPU | Thermalright Ultra120-Extreme Passive CPU Cooler | Blackgold BTG3540 TV Tuner & Hauppauge PVR-150 MCE Edition | Asus EN9600GT-Silent Passive GPU | 4GB Supertalent DDR2 800 RAM | 5+TB HDD space | LiteOn DH-401S BD/DVD/CD reader | Corsair HX-520w PSU | 1 single Noctua Silent Case fan | Logitech diNovo Bluetooth Media Desktop | Logitech Harmony 785 Universal Remote | Logitech Wireless Rumblepad 2 | Windows 7 Media Center, MediaBrowser & Arcsoft Total Media Theatre



75 posts

Master Geek


  Reply # 187849 6-Jan-2009 18:31 Send private message

Okay Update: Well I've practically been on my pc all day (finally my week off from work) trying to find good prices etc and so far I think I have the CPU and HDD sorted.

Ive picked -  ATHLON64 X2 5200+ BRISBANE 2.7GHZ for $111.95

and WD CAVIAR SE16 640GB for $122.95

Including shipping etc. those two come to a total of $245.90

The HDD has a 16mb cache rather than a 32. Will this have really any affect? I mean what advantage is there in having a faster cache? as for about $7 less I can get a 500gb Seagate with 32mb cache but in doing so I loose 140gb...

Now its down to GFX card and case/PSU. Both of which I think have been most awful in trying to find a nice case yet cheap.

I'm keeping an eye on this but just one question regarding it - I seem to think I read it can do only 1080i not P. In building a Media Center where I may get a bluray drive in the months to come, wouldn't I want to get a gfx card capable of doing 1080P? So, what would be the minimum card I'd need to do this if this is the case?

The next thing is the Case/Powersupply. As I mentioned earlier I don't have terribly much to spend on this whole build (was hoping it wouldn't exceed more than $400 which it prob will).

The cases I've been looking at are this, this and this. The first one doesn't have a powersupply but it's only $5.90 for shipping. The 2nd one is just some cheap one someone else on here bought. The last one I'd really like but then there is shipping cost (they estimate $41 to chch) and I'm sure it will go for more than $100. There is also this which I am thinking about as its $85 (I can pick up) and it has an LCD and 400W PSU. It looks like it can sit on its side (due to what looks like the CD-ROM logo sideways) which is whats wanted but yeah.


 Any opinions reguarding this is greatly appreciated!

Thanks,

Matt

300 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 12


  Reply # 187856 6-Jan-2009 18:58 Send private message

The Silverstone is the best of those cases. Bear in mind though it does not include a power supply. I don't know where he got his shipping rates from. Should be $20-25 to CHC.



75 posts

Master Geek


  Reply # 188076 7-Jan-2009 19:51 Send private message

Bought the Silverstone for $115 :-) what PSU should I go for? really don't have a clue. Was just going to get some 400W one but I guess im after quiet at the same time so yeah :-)

722 posts

Ultimate Geek


  Reply # 188102 7-Jan-2009 21:12 Send private message

It appears that 85/8600GT cards are fast becoming obselete. I use an Asus EN8500GT silent graphics in my main HTPC but they are no go if you intend to do ANY gaming, at all. Not something I would recommend for your HTPC, but each to their own. Evne the 8600Gt are not overly great at rendering games. You could look at this.

As for PSU, both my ones are also not available: Enermax Noisetaker II 420w which is very quiet & has a cool-down cycle after turning off your HTPC. Silverstone, Seasonic, Antec are all very efficient  brands, but they do cost. If you just go with any old PSU, be aware the cheaper models tend to have a bit of noise associated with them: cheaper bearings, etc.

Regarding your concern about graphics cards & Blu-ray, basically, anything above a 7600GT model can playback Blu-ray. If it says HDCP compliant you will be okay. Ideally. it should have an HDMI connector, which you will note the 9400GT linked does not. But I use a DVI>HDMI dongle to my 32" LCDTV. I run my sound co-ax through a receiver, though.





Silverstone LC14 HTPC Case/Intel E4600 CPU/GA-EP35-DS3 MOBO/Asus EN9500GT graphics/2GB RAM/total 2TB HDD space/HVR-2200 & 2X 150MCE tuner cards/LG GGC-H20L BD Drive/MCE2005/Mediaportal/TVServer 1.1.0Final/LG 55"3D LED-TV/Denon AVR-1803 receiver/X1 projector

198 posts

Master Geek
+1 received by user: 1

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  Reply # 188104 7-Jan-2009 21:21 Send private message

1gkar: It appears that 85/8600GT cards are fast becoming obselete. I use an Asus EN8500GT silent graphics in my main HTPC but they are no go if you intend to do ANY gaming, at all. Not something I would recommend for your HTPC, but each to their own. Evne the 8600Gt are not overly great at rendering games. You could look at this.

As for PSU, both my ones are also not available: Enermax Noisetaker II 420w which is very quiet & has a cool-down cycle after turning off your HTPC. Silverstone, Seasonic, Antec are all very efficient  brands, but they do cost. If you just go with any old PSU, be aware the cheaper models tend to have a bit of noise associated with them: cheaper bearings, etc.

Regarding your concern about graphics cards & Blu-ray, basically, anything above a 7600GT model can playback Blu-ray. If it says HDCP compliant you will be okay. Ideally. it should have an HDMI connector, which you will note the 9400GT linked does not. But I use a DVI>HDMI dongle to my 32" LCDTV. I run my sound co-ax through a receiver, though.



Hi 1gkar

On the basis of those comments I'm wondering if picking up a 8600GT would be a good buy price/performance wise if they are now being left behind.

I'd be planning just to use my system as a HTPC.

Just looking at your specs .. does the e4600 cpu and 2 gig ram work fine for you?

It seems a number of threads which list specs of HTPC systems have higher mem and cpu grunt.

I'm not trying to be rude so please don't take it that way, rather wondering if I was to build a HTPC system if the higher powered processor and more than 2 gig of ram is really needed?

I see you are using MCE2005? Have you used MCE on Vista?

I'm planning on using Win 7 MCE when it becomes available.




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