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166 posts

Master Geek
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Topic # 114561 23-Feb-2013 14:42 Send private message

Anyone have thoughts on using quietpc.co.nz to get pre-built HTPC?  I have been doing hours of research on building my own HTPC and are at the information overload/massive confusion stage of the process. Came across their web-site and they seem very good.  Lots of good information, well laid out site and I like that I can build/customise a HTPC. Before I dive in I thought I'd see if fellow geekzoners had any useful feedback about using these guys.  My only comment is that they seem at the higher price end, but the components look high-quality, and their warranty looks good too so that may account for being at the premium end.  

My initial config/build looks like this (NZD2142).. Quietness is really important and main reason I have chosen these components.

Case                           Streamcom FC5OD EVO Black Fanless Chassis
Motherboard                 Gigabyte GA-Z77MX-D3H LGA1155 Micro ATX Motherboard
CPU                            Intel Core i5 3475S 65W Quad Core CPU
Memory                       Corsair 16GB (2x8GB) XMS3 DDR3 Memory
PSU                            Streacom 150W nanoPSU and AC/DC adapter block
Boot Drive                   KingSpec Challenger C3000-120 SATA 3.0 SSD
Data Drive                   WD 3.5in WD20EARX GreenPower Quiet SATA 6Gbs HDD OEM
Optical Drive                Streacom ST-OB2 Blu-Ray Drive
Audio                          Built-in HD audio 2/4/5.1/7.1 channel with S/PDIF optical out
Graphics                      Built-in Intel HD 4000 graphics
OS                             Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit (16GB Max)
Remote                       Streacom Internal IR Receiver and Remote Control
TV Card                       TBS 6984 Quad Satellite HD TV Card

 

 

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452 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 768376 24-Feb-2013 07:22 Send private message

Are you planning to orientate the case vertically? The heat flow diagram for it looks like it relies on vertical orientation to create a chimney effect with convection drawing cool air in at the bottom.

It's a nice looking setup but very expensive.




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

395 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 768425 24-Feb-2013 10:34 Send private message

Arent QuietPC UK based? I imagine shipping would be a killer...



166 posts

Master Geek
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  Reply # 768473 24-Feb-2013 12:50 Send private message

PANiCnz: Arent QuietPC UK based? I imagine shipping would be a killer...


I had assumed with a .co.nz domain name it was NZ based. But, you are right, they are a UK outfit! Shipping is around NZ150, which is, kinda, expensive.... Will re-think my approach. I will look at buying components here and do a price compare.  Still, it looks they do make some nice stuff... sigh, just when I thought I had a solution.

480 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 768475 24-Feb-2013 13:00 Send private message

PANiCnz: Arent QuietPC UK based? I imagine shipping would be a killer...

They are UK-based, and shipping costs would certainly be high. However their online store is quite good at displaying total shipping cost as you add items to your shopping cart.

Another factor to consider is getting hit by GST and the import entry transaction fee when it arrives in New Zealand - NZ Customs are getting "more efficient" at doing this. That would add another $350 or so to the cost of the PC. NZ Customs - Private Imports

487 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 768495 24-Feb-2013 13:44 Send private message

TRY computer lounge. They will build one for you the way you want it at a very reasonable price :)



166 posts

Master Geek
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  Reply # 768517 24-Feb-2013 14:37 Send private message

Deev8:
PANiCnz: Arent QuietPC UK based? I imagine shipping would be a killer...

They are UK-based, and shipping costs would certainly be high. However their online store is quite good at displaying total shipping cost as you add items to your shopping cart.

Another factor to consider is getting hit by GST and the import entry transaction fee when it arrives in New Zealand - NZ Customs are getting "more efficient" at doing this. That would add another $350 or so to the cost of the PC. NZ Customs - Private Imports


Gawd dang. You are so right.  That's the deal breaker.  Will try Computer Lounge or other local builder. Thanks for all your help.

260 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 768550 24-Feb-2013 17:08 Send private message

ushare: TRY computer lounge. They will build one for you the way you want it at a very reasonable price :)


yeah +1 for computer lounge

had them build me a server mid last year - fast, reasonable price, quality build.

1559 posts

Uber Geek
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  Reply # 768555 24-Feb-2013 17:33 Send private message

driller2000:
ushare: TRY computer lounge. They will build one for you the way you want it at a very reasonable price :)


yeah +1 for computer lounge

had them build me a server mid last year - fast, reasonable price, quality build.


And, they're great on warranties , even on expired warranties depending on the circumstances. 

I wonder if they read geekzone? 





166 posts

Master Geek
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  Reply # 771814 28-Feb-2013 16:58 Send private message

I ended up getting an Intel so-called Next Generation Computing. See http://www.intel.co.nz/content/www/us/en/desktops/dc3217iye-product-brief.html. This is a bare-bones PC with a small form factor (11cm x 11cm x 4cm) and a very quiet operation. It runs an i3 3217U CPU. You need to add memory and a mSata drive, plus an OS. This took the price up to close to a $1000, but that was 16GB of memory, 240GB drive and Windows 8. Main drawback seems to be lack of USB 3 , but since my media will be streamed from a NAS, that's not a bigger for me. This seems to meet my criteria of a quiet HTPC - not quite my first choice as per the initial config from Silent PC, but then the price is way less. I'll be assembling at the weekend - if all the parts arrive - and will report back.


[edit] Fixed URL.  My BBCode skills are weak....

335 posts

Ultimate Geek


  Reply # 773576 2-Mar-2013 11:19 Send private message

Tinshed: I ended up getting an Intel so-called Next Generation Computing. See http://www.intel.co.nz/content/www/us/en/desktops/dc3217iye-product-brief.html. This is a bare-bones PC with a small form factor (11cm x 11cm x 4cm) and a very quiet operation. It runs an i3 3217U CPU. You need to add memory and a mSata drive, plus an OS. This took the price up to close to a $1000, but that was 16GB of memory, 240GB drive and Windows 8. Main drawback seems to be lack of USB 3 , but since my media will be streamed from a NAS, that's not a bigger for me. This seems to meet my criteria of a quiet HTPC - not quite my first choice as per the initial config from Silent PC, but then the price is way less. I'll be assembling at the weekend - if all the parts arrive - and will report back.


[edit] Fixed URL.  My BBCode skills are weak....


I like the look of the Intel product, but looking at the specifications, I was unsure if there were any fans in the unit? Would be curious to know so please report back.

I too looked at the Streacom case. The freight is the killer with quietpc.co.nz, but I looked for similar products that were available in NZ and there was nothing.




My HTPC - Case Antec Fusion Remote, MOBO Intel DH67BLB3, CPU Intel Core i5-2400S 2.5 GHz, RAM 8GB  DDR3 1333, HDD 120Gig Corsair Force Series 3 SSD system | WD Caviar Black 2TB data, Tuners Black Gold BGT3595 dual DVB-S/S2, dual DVB-T, Video nVIDIA GeForce GT 520, 1024MB, Sound Intel® High Definition Audio (onboard), OS Windows 7 x64



166 posts

Master Geek
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  Reply # 773580 2-Mar-2013 11:36 Send private message

blur:
Tinshed: I ended up getting an Intel so-called Next Generation Computing. See http://www.intel.co.nz/content/www/us/en/desktops/dc3217iye-product-brief.html. This is a bare-bones PC with a small form factor (11cm x 11cm x 4cm) and a very quiet operation. It runs an i3 3217U CPU. You need to add memory and a mSata drive, plus an OS. This took the price up to close to a $1000, but that was 16GB of memory, 240GB drive and Windows 8. Main drawback seems to be lack of USB 3 , but since my media will be streamed from a NAS, that's not a bigger for me. This seems to meet my criteria of a quiet HTPC - not quite my first choice as per the initial config from Silent PC, but then the price is way less. I'll be assembling at the weekend - if all the parts arrive - and will report back.


[edit] Fixed URL.  My BBCode skills are weak....


I like the look of the Intel product, but looking at the specifications, I was unsure if there were any fans in the unit? Would be curious to know so please report back.

I too looked at the Streacom case. The freight is the killer with quietpc.co.nz, but I looked for similar products that were available in NZ and there was nothing.


Yes, it does have a fan and this can apparently be controlled via the BIOS.  I have booted it up via a USB drive (the mSata drive I ordered hasn't yet arrived...) and it is very quiet and fast to boot up.

It is a very nice wee box and can really fit comfortably in your hand. Amazing.

There is quite a good review at http://www.anandtech.com/show/6444/intels-next-unit-of-computing-hands-on  Once fully assembled and up and running I'll report back again.

[edit] I really, really must hone my BBCode skills.

335 posts

Ultimate Geek


  Reply # 773591 2-Mar-2013 11:53 Send private message

Awesome - thanks for the review link. Actually, in one of the photos you can see the fan unit.

For me this is a bit of a shame, so I'll be curious to know how loud it is... That said, fans can get noisier over time as they get clogged with dust.

Do you plan to use an external USB tuner with this unit? Also, what will you do for IR, or is this in-built into the unit? Lastly, what Media Centre software do you intend to use?





My HTPC - Case Antec Fusion Remote, MOBO Intel DH67BLB3, CPU Intel Core i5-2400S 2.5 GHz, RAM 8GB  DDR3 1333, HDD 120Gig Corsair Force Series 3 SSD system | WD Caviar Black 2TB data, Tuners Black Gold BGT3595 dual DVB-S/S2, dual DVB-T, Video nVIDIA GeForce GT 520, 1024MB, Sound Intel® High Definition Audio (onboard), OS Windows 7 x64



166 posts

Master Geek
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  Reply # 773601 2-Mar-2013 12:07 Send private message

blur: Awesome - thanks for the review link. Actually, in one of the photos you can see the fan unit.

For me this is a bit of a shame, so I'll be curious to know how loud it is... That said, fans can get noisier over time as they get clogged with dust.

Do you plan to use an external USB tuner with this unit? Also, what will you do for IR, or is this in-built into the unit? Lastly, what Media Centre software do you intend to use?



It isn't loud and you can barely hear it even if you put your ear next to the unit. Well, my tired old ears can barely hear it up close, other reviews say the same.  I really don't think noise is an issue.  Not completely silent granted, but as close to it as you can reasonably get.   It is very easy to take the cover off - just four screws in each corner. These screws stay in after being unscrewed - if you know what I mean - so no danger to lose.  Very quick to blow away any dust.

 

I probably won't get an external USB tuner.  Apparently an HDHomeRun (http://www.hdhomerun.co.nz/products/hdhomerun/atsc/) is a better option.  That is a 'Phase 2' purchase.  

Good question re the IR; again undecided but will use USB attached mouse/keyboard to get the initial setup going.  Another 'Phase 2' purchase I think.  (I am pretty sure this isn't built-in to the unit.)

Media Centre software will probably be Windows Media Center plus Media Browser.  This was the most common option in a poll at the AVS site (http://www.avsforum.com/t/1394442/avs-htpc-census-2012-q1-results)  I am going for relative simplicity and definitely ease-of-use so the rest of the family can work it easily.  I would have run Linux/Myth TV had I only been the only using the system.  

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Uber Geek
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  Reply # 774746 5-Mar-2013 08:09 Send private message

is your NAS an actual PC, if it is then you could run Mediaportal on the HTPC and tvserver with a tv card on the NAS.




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



166 posts

Master Geek
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  Reply # 774814 5-Mar-2013 09:37 Send private message

kiwijunglist: is your NAS an actual PC, if it is then you could run Mediaportal on the HTPC and tvserver with a tv card on the NAS.


My NAS is a rather low-powered QNAP (TS-110) which is one reason I wanted a HTPC.  The QNAP just doesn't seem to have enough grunt to run all the services I want.

I successfully built and installed the Intel NUC last night. All went very smoothly with the only issue being some over-scaling on my Samsung TV.  This appears to be an issue for some TV displays on the Intel HD4000 but I was able to over-come it with changing the resolution.  Not an optimal solution but works.  Will need to do more research to sort this issue out.  As with any new PC it takes a wee while to get in working and looking as you would like.  I am also grappling with Windows 8 for the first time, which is 'interesting' to say the least.Can't say I am a big fan of the Metro interface but that may be lack of knowledge, etc.  

One thing I will say with the unit is that is is quiet!

 

 

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