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103 posts

Master Geek

#28540 3-Dec-2008 17:56
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I've been reading this forum and plotting my htpc since, er, probably March or April. I was originally hoping that Linux and Freeview HD might become friends, but I've given up and am planning to roll with Vista.
Now that I'm down the final calls, I have a couple of final questions, especially as the build cost is getting up there.

Motherboard: This has been pretty confusing. Currently looking at the Gigabyte MA770-DS3. Seems pretty good, but the boards with 780G and integrated graphics look to have a few better features (on the fly over-clocking, newer sb700 southbridge).
RAM: I'm looking at getting the bits from a wholesaler through work, and the person I'm dealing with at work is suggesting I should get 4Gb instead of 2Gb (and has come back quoting a DDR2 1066). Is this overkill?
Remote: Is the one that comes with the Silverstone alright, or should I look further afield?

Any advice, really appreciated!

Silverstone LC16 Silver HTPC case with card reader & VFD
Athlon X2 5200 2.8GHz
Gigabyte MA770-DS3 AM2+
ASUS EN9400GT 512MB Silent
DDR2 1066 4GB Kit Turbo
3.5" 1TB Western Digital HDD
Vista Home Premium OEM

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Mad Scientist
23068 posts

Uber Geek

Lifetime subscriber

  #181869 3-Dec-2008 20:10
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RAM: I'm looking at getting the bits from a wholesaler through work, and the person I'm dealing with at work is suggesting I should get 4Gb instead of 2Gb (and has come back quoting a DDR2 1066). Is this overkill?

- i;ve just upgraded from 2-4 gig of ram. there is A LOT of difference ONLY if you multitask. i consistently hit 3gig of RAM USED after running a couple of hours and now have nearly no slowdown from pagefile access (well i said nearly didnt i, vista is a bit of a resource hog).

according to an article i read (sorry lost the page) when you open multiple programs, the memory usage of the later programs are larger than they would be if you opened them alone. what the??? but makes sense - otherwise i would never hit 3gig of ram used!

Involuntary autocorrect in operation on mobile device. Apologies in advance.

900 posts

Ultimate Geek

  #181875 3-Dec-2008 20:55
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If it's going to be a HTPC only then 2GB is plenty.  I run 2GB on Vista using MediaPortal and never get near using up the memory.  You don't need particularly fast RAM either.  I'm using some generic DDR2 667 I think.  I put my HTPC together a while ago and the specs were mid level then.

If you want to future proof your PC and/or use it for something other than a HTPC then go ahead with your specs.  But if you're looking to trim prices you can.  For example: I have a AMD X2 3600, 2 x 1GB DDR 667 Ram, NVidia 8500GT, HVR2200, 1 x 320GB and 1 x 500GB disk.  I use the smaller disk for OS, music, photos, timeshifting and some other bits and pieces.  The larger disk is for TV recordings (it was added later).

My setup never gets stressed and I've had it streaming live TV (V8s from memory) to a 2nd PC whilst TheWIFE watched something else on the HTPC (also live TV).

You'll be more than fine with your setup.



103 posts

Master Geek

  #181900 3-Dec-2008 23:33
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Thanks for the advice! Really appreciated. Most of the bits (e.g., CPU) are now pretty much bottom end.
I've read good things about the HDD (very quiet, low power consumption, plus should fit my 200+ CDs, plus a bit of TV), and it's pretty cheap now.

I thought I was about ready to lock and load. I have one price from a local supplier for the works (c$1800, including assembly); OR, I could probably save about $200 by picking up the core bits from computer lounge, but going elsewhere for the case and things. An interesting decision awaits tomorrow!

75 posts

Master Geek

  #182522 6-Dec-2008 20:51
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Ref the IMON Remote that comes with the LC16M case, it works perfectly once its setup correctly have a look at this link for more info

2890 posts

Uber Geek

  #182571 7-Dec-2008 11:58
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Overkill on the ram, also ram seems much more higher spec'd compared to the cpu which would bottleneck.  Go for slower speed and save money.  4gb is not necessary, you can get away with 2gb.  Don't go slower with the cpu.

HTPC / Home automation (home assistant) enthusiast.


103 posts

Master Geek

  #182574 7-Dec-2008 12:16
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Thanks again for the replies. Planning to order this afternoon, and hopefully all the bits should be here by next weekend.
Was never too serious about the 1066 RAM, going instead for DDR2 800 2Gb, and a little bit tossing up between saving $10 versus dual channel.
I had also been thinking about saving $16 and going for the X2 5000, but I notice that the specific chips I'm comparing between have different L2 cache sizes, and it probably makes sense to have more cache there.


103 posts

Master Geek

#183548 11-Dec-2008 15:25
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I have all the bits now. Except the case. Cry
Tomorrow I guess.

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