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168 posts

Master Geek
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Topic # 26054 10-Sep-2008 17:52
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Well, after a chunk of research, and plenty of help from eXDee and Nety (thanks guys!), I've just placed an order for a shiny new HTPC.

I started off with a budget much smaller than the $2,000 I've ended up spending... but hey - it's only money! :)


My usage profile is going to be:
 - Predominantly freeview TV, movie playback, music & photos
 - Hooked into Panasonic 37" TV and surround sound system (with bluray player)
 - Occasional gaming... This will be the best gaming rig I've ever had!  (I use an Inspiron 1720 laptop)
 - A wee bit of oogling... ie. simple, clean, nice, asthetics is important


I've just given Computer Lounge the go-ahead, to procure the parts and build my machine... 5 days from now... and I'll have a shiny new toy!
I'm sure it's not too late to change if I've made some big mistake... but I'm pretty sure it's good to go!


Here's the specs:
(Sorry, I've ordered from Computer Lounge, but most of my research done at C1)

Case Silverstone LC16-M
PSU Silverstone ST50F 500Watt PSU
MOBO Gigabyte GA-MA78G-DS3H  
CPU AMD ATHLON64 X2 6000+ WINDSOR 3.0GHZ
RAM Corsair Twin 2x2048-6400
HDD 2 x Caviar SE16 640GB
Tuner http://www.c1com.co.nz/shop/images/wishcart.gif
HVR-2200
Video EN8600GT SILENT/HTDP/512M
Sound  
OS / S/W Vista Ultimate
EPG (will install MediaPortal)
KB & Mouse Wireless KB & Mouse
802.11g/n WMP300N
CD/DVD/B-Ray DRW 2014S1T Black
Remote Logitech 525 Universal
Assembly & OS  Assembly & OS install, and burn-in


Total Price - $2033



Thoughts, comments, suggestions, etc are all welcome!


Edwood.

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Uber Geek
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  Reply # 163627 10-Sep-2008 21:39
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Nice job, i hope computerlounge sorted everything out for you.
I think i've already said enough, so i'll leave it at that.

138 posts

Master Geek


Reply # 163640 10-Sep-2008 22:52
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I would have to say I find the choice of an 125W 6000 X2 a bit strange but I am sure you have your reasons.

Personally I would go with a 65W proccessor, especially when the graphics card will be doing the H.264 decoding. In my case I am running a 65W 5200 X2 which does all the decoding in software, I can watch all channels inclduing TV3 and the machine on uses around 55W on average, idles a bit below that.

However all the best, I am sure you machine will run very sweetly!



168 posts

Master Geek
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  Reply # 163644 10-Sep-2008 23:33
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Well... I wouldn't be surprised if people found anything about my setup strange... I really don't know what I'm doing, and have taken various bits of advice from all over the place...

I guess, the 6000 x2 gives me more 'grunt' for gaming...  I don't really understand the impact of having all those extra watts... I guess it means it's hotter, and I have to put more cooling in, and have to work extra hard to keep it quiet?

Hmmm... I also read a review on the 6000 x2 just now that says "...it seems that this cpu on average use will use about 60w of power instead of the 125w adveritsed..."

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Master Geek


  Reply # 163650 11-Sep-2008 00:29
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You've bought it now so dont go second guessing yourself or you'll start getting dissapointed when you don't need to be.

As I leave my htpc box on all the time I chose a 65W processor as it meant the chip would run cooler (I underclocked it as well) so I get away with a passive heatsink solution. Although your micro is rated at 125W it will only every run at that temp under full load. Under usual HTPC idleing yuours will run close to 65W so the extra electricity cost should be negligible over a month. You will not be able to run a passive heat sink as your cpu will get too hot when gaming. The factory heat sink will be fine. The factory heatsink I received with my AMD 5600+ was very quiet (just not silent - so it had to go!).

enjoy your new toy.



168 posts

Master Geek
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  Reply # 163678 11-Sep-2008 08:21
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Thanks imadog... one of the reasons for my post, is that I figure I've got a short period of time to change things beofore computerworld actually start building it.  I'm sure if I asked to downgrade the CPU this morning, it wouldn't be a problem, they are both stocked items, and they have to wait for the case to arrive before the start work anyway.


I wonder if I could 'tune down' the CPU - effectively 'underclock' it.  ...then if I started playing a CPU intensive game, I could turn it up again...

I'm really tempted to change, but I guess I will wait and see, and eventually join the trend of incremental upgrades to reach the ultimate cool & quiet machine.


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  Reply # 163721 11-Sep-2008 10:45
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If you setup the vista power features correctly then it will underclock when it does not need to do much and ramp up when it needs too (ie when gaming).
I would not gett too concerned about it.







Media centre PC - Case Silverstone LC16M with 2 X 80mm AcoustiFan DustPROOF, MOBO Gigabyte MA785GT-UD3H, CPU AMD X2 240 under volted, RAM 4 Gig DDR3 1033, HDD 120Gig System/512Gig data, Tuners 2 X Hauppauge HVR-3000, 1 X HVR-2200, Video Palit GT 220, Sound Realtek 886A HD (onboard), Optical LiteOn DH-401S Blue-ray using TotalMedia Theatre Power Corsair VX Series, 450W ATX PSU OS Windows 7 x64

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  Reply # 163794 11-Sep-2008 15:37
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Nety: If you setup the vista power features correctly then it will underclock when it does not need to do much and ramp up when it needs too (ie when gaming).
I would not gett too concerned about it.

This is not a vista feature, its known as AMD cool n quiet or Intel speedstep. Works on XP and even linux if you install the driver.

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  Reply # 163796 11-Sep-2008 15:42
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eXDee:
Nety: If you setup the vista power features correctly then it will underclock when it does not need to do much and ramp up when it needs too (ie when gaming).
I would not gett too concerned about it.

This is not a vista feature, its known as AMD cool n quiet or Intel speedstep. Works on XP and even linux if you install the driver.


True but it is a bit more "tuneable" in Vista. Mostly I was saying Vista as that is what Edwood is purchasing.







Media centre PC - Case Silverstone LC16M with 2 X 80mm AcoustiFan DustPROOF, MOBO Gigabyte MA785GT-UD3H, CPU AMD X2 240 under volted, RAM 4 Gig DDR3 1033, HDD 120Gig System/512Gig data, Tuners 2 X Hauppauge HVR-3000, 1 X HVR-2200, Video Palit GT 220, Sound Realtek 886A HD (onboard), Optical LiteOn DH-401S Blue-ray using TotalMedia Theatre Power Corsair VX Series, 450W ATX PSU OS Windows 7 x64



168 posts

Master Geek
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  Reply # 163958 12-Sep-2008 10:39
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Cool! (pun intended)

Good to know!  I did have a quick 'google', and had concluded that I'd find some advanced options under the power management settings... I won't waste my time looking in the wrong place now... I'll load (or just locate) the AMD power managment toolset.


Ta much

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