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  1. #1
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    Dec 2010

    New HTPC Build Help

    I am building an HTPC for my parent's home. I have less than a week to research because I need to have it built and ready to go in two weeks. The budget is around 2500 but that is flexible.

    I am new to this stuff and I need help. I have built a PC before, but I still don't know a lot about this. I have been researching a bit lately, but it is hard to figure out where to begin. I am hoping you guys can ask my questions to narrow down what it is exactly that I want.

    This is going to be from scratch, meaning I also need to purchase a TV as well.

    The majority of the $ will be going toward the TV, which is going to be 55" at the very minimum. Should have specified that, sorry.

    Basically, what the HTPC will be used for is:

    -Netflix/Watching movies that we have downloaded/blueray movies
    -Streaming youtube videos
    -Webcam chatting
    -Playing music
    -Viewing family pictures

    I have Dish network. The Dish already has DVR playback. That has nothing to do with the HTPC - that is just something separate, because I think it will be too much of a hassle to integrate satellite into the HTPC.

    It will be HDMI. We do have an external hard drive, but I'm sure it won't be enough and we'll have to store things in the HTPC hard-drive, or if it gets too loud, upstairs on the desktop PC and then network it to the HTPC downstairs somehow.

    I was going to start from here, but a lot of that stuff in the link is over my head. From what I gather, I should figure out the type of mobo, because that will determine the type of case (form factor). It's a shame that the most recent edition (holiday edition) - he is making you pay for

    I'm the type of person that likes to research everything to death before purchasing, to ensure that I get the most bang for my buck. So I tend to stray away from generic cookie cutter build recommendations, especially if it is outdated. But I would still consider the various parts on an individual basis.

    Anything would be appreciated including:

    • links to guides for htpcs
    • links to good deals for tvs/pc parts
    • any advice/guidance


    Would this suit my needs? http://www.boxee.tv/

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    Dec 2010
    Budget wise for the actual HTPC - I was thinking 400, 600 at the very most but I'd prefer to stay under. I already have an OS CD for win 7 so that isn't an issue.


    How would I go about choosing the form factor? You think the case should determine the form factor? I thought it would be vice versa, since mobo is more important I am assuming.



    My parents have DISH network - at first I was not going to bother integrating it. But I just want to be sure. Is it really a big hassle? I thought it was based on reading this.

    http://www.dbstalk.com/showthread.php?t=166854

    Am I missing something? Do I not just need a tuner card and coax? Also, the DISH receiver is upstairs, and the HTPC will be downstairs, so that may be another problem right?

    As far as the CPU - could I not just buy a decent CPU and then offload some the processing power to the GPU - is that feasible? I heard it may not work in Netflix though.

    So here is what I am thinking for price range:

    Mobo - ~$60 (most likely microATX)
    CPU - ~$60 (maybe a dual core AMD?)
    GPU - ~$80 (HDCP-capable, and maybe even passively cooled)
    RAM - ~$40 (ddr3, 2gb is fine, 4 is overkill)
    HDD - ~$70 (2TB!)
    PSU - ~$?? (modular?)
    Case - ~$??
    Case Fan - Necessary??
    Blu-Ray/DVD Player - ~??
    Blue-ray software - will I need to buy this?
    OS - Win7 Home 32 bit (I have the trial version)
    Media center - XMBC or WMC (free)

    TV - ~$1500 (55+", HDMI, 1080P)
    Speakers - ~?? (surround wireless? Probably too expensive)
    Remote - ~?? (MCE?)

    How does that all look? Am I missing things? Wireless card? Do I need that? Should I do OTA HD?

    For the TV, I was going to with this one - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16889005129

    It is an LED-LCD - seems like a good deal - what do you think?

    Thanks for all the help.
    Last edited by kenny536; 12-21-10 at 12:11 AM.

  3. #3
    Excellent to see someone interested in building an HTPC from scratch. I’ve built 2 HTPC’s for myself, one recently and one 2 years ago. I still use both.
    Firstly, if you are wanting to play BluRay discs, I’m gonna recommend building a Windows 7 HTPC, preferably using Windows Media Center. It is the least painful option because other solutions require you to strip out encryption and navigate to the stream folder inside the BRD. If BluRay disc playing isn’t a concern, perhaps some of the other solutions like Boxee or XBMC are worth looking into. I haven’t used these solutions extensively so I can’t comment on them.

    I just recently built a new HTPC. A link to the parts list is HERE. Let me explain my personal methodology behind how I use the thing. Maybe if it is close enough to your needs, you can use it as a starting point. Here are the things I do:

    • Play ripped BluRay movies (MKVs)
    • Play BluRay discs
    • Play Netflix movies/shows
    • Browse photos / play slideshows
    • Play Music / Home Movies

    Let me first emphasize that ALL of this is done inside 7MC (Windows Media Center)’s 10 foot interface. Everything can be done with the remote, no mouse needed. The main use for the computer is for playing ripped BluRay movies. Windows Media Center with the MediaBrowser plugin (free) provides an excellent interface for picking a movie and having it instantly play. I also play BluRay discs with the use of Arcsoft’s Total Media Theater plugin. This software you have to pay for, but it is worth it IMO if you want to play BluRays pain-free in 7MC. 7MC has a Netflix tile, free to use – it doesn’t really get any better than that. Photos are awesome to browse in 7MC. The photo screen saver looks really sweet. I’ve impressed every guest who has come over. Music and home movies are easy to play as well.

    I have 2 HTPC’s, and a file server. Everything is connected via gigabit LAN. When I drop photos/movies into a shared folder, they are instantly accessible on the HTPCs. Until I got my 2nd HTPC, they weren’t networked. For a while I was fine with just 1 HTPC and having local storage on it.

    Now I will break down my build and explain why I picked each component:
    • RAM, BluRay drive: Nothing special, these are just compatible and they work. Also, I dont have any HDDs on this - you can choose those yourself.
    • MOBO: I like Gigabyte because they have great build quality and I like their BIOS. I undervolt the CPU which results in lower temps, lower fan noise, and lower power usage. The 880G chipset has integrated AMD HD 4250 graphics. This is more than capable of running a 1080p screen, so no need for a dedicated graphics card. This also sends audio out through HDMI, as well as video. The form factor is micro ATX.
    • CASE: This case turned out to be excellent. All the fans are incredibly quiet, almost silent. The layout is perfect and can harbor several hard drives. I bought an extra case fan just to increase airflow, but it isn’t necessary. It holds a micro ATX board and fits great in my entertainment setup as well as looks amazing. It has a memory card reader built in, so often I put in my SD card and Media Center prompts for showing the pictures.
    • Remote: This is a cheap Media Center remote that works perfectly and has great range.
    • PSU: I generally only buy PSU’s from Corsair or SeaSonic. This one fit the budget at the time, is silent and has enough power for future expansions.
    • Processor: 3.0ghz quad core is almost overkill for an HTPC, but for $100 it was a great deal. It has 95W TDP, so it isn’t a heat monster. I undervolted it so it works out well.

    Here is the idea for my build. It does what I want to right now perfectly. One of the things I love about custom built HTPCs is that you can change/upgrade your software easily and when you want. You can change out parts and upgrade them. I picked a CPU that would last a while. My PSU can easily handle a dedicated graphics card if needed. If in a few years 3D really takes off, all I will need to do is drop in a graphics card and done – 3D ready machine. The HTPC doesn’t really outdate itself as fast as a gaming PC, so I can see myself using this for 10 years even.

    I could go on and on about this, I’ve spent a few years now researching, learning, tweaking, and perfecting my setup. It’s just that though – MY setup. Different people have different needs so it may not be ideal for everyone. Let me just say a few more things.

    I don’t have TV hooked up with the HTPC currently. Aside from the Happauge PVR device (expensive), there isn’t any way to get satellite hooked up to it nicely. CableCard is ok for Cable providers, but it has its drawbacks and right now I don’t have cable based TV. If I were you I wouldn’t try to integrate Satellite into your HTPC.

    The last thing I’m gonna say before you respond with your questions (please do) is that picking out the hardware was maybe 15% of the battle. Having your software setup correctly makes a big difference. Tweaking Windows tasks, power management, codecs, plugins, etc… is something that took a while to get down and if you get to that point, I’d be happy to share what I do on my setup.

  4. #4
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    Dec 2010
    Thanks mrjspeed.

    So my family decided they don't want anything less than a 60 inch TV.

    Right now, the best deal I can find is this one: LG 60" 1080p 120Hz LCD HDTV

    http://www.newegg.com/product/produc...82E16889005166

    This is a recent deal on Newegg - 1300 for the LD550. It was sold out last night but it looks like they restocked. It is relatively the same price as the PK550. Putting aside the plasma vs lcd discussion, it still seems like it is better than the PK550 (60 inch plasma). What do you guys think?


    Regarding HTPCS, I think it will be easier for me to decide on one thing at a time. So right now, I will focus on CPU and motherboard.

    Based on what I want to do, please help me weigh the cost and benefits of the following:

    Also, please feel free to suggest other options!

    CPU OPTIONS:

    - AMD Athlon II X2 240 (2.8Ghz) - $57
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16819103688

    - AMD Athlon II X2 245 Regor 2.9GHz - $60
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16819103687

    - AMD Athlon II X3 445 Rana 3.1GHz 3 x 512KB L2 Cache Socket AM3 95W Triple-Core Desktop Processor - $77
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16819103872

    - AMD Phenom II X2 555 Black Edition 3.2GHz Socket AM3 80W Dual-Core - $90
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16819103846

    I don't see any reason to go with the $57 when I can pay $3 more for the 2.9 Ghz. But is the triple core the best deal? Or is it even needed?

    MOBO OPTIONS:

    - MSI 740G Motherboard mATX AM3 - $50 (integrated ATI Radeon 2100)
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16813130288

    - GIGABYTE GA-MA785GM mATX - $70 (integrated ATI Radeon HD 4200)
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16813128394
    or
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16813131595

    - ASRock 880GMH/USB3 Micro ATX - $82 - (integrated ATI Radeon HD 4250)
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16813157197

    - GIGABYTE GA-880GM-UD2H AM3 AMD 880G Micro ATX - $90 (integrated ATI Radeon HD 4250)
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16813128439

    CPU/MOBO COMBO:

    - ASUS M4A785-M Micro ATX: $65 (integrated ATI Radeon HD 4200)
    - AMD Phenom II X3 Black Edition Heka 2.8 GHz Triple Core - $76
    Combo Discount: -$15
    Combo Price: $126
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboD...t=Combo.564800

    - ASUS M4A88T-M AM3 AMD 880G HDMI Micro ATX AMD Motherboard: $85 (integrated ATI Radeon HD 4250)
    - AMD Athlon II X2 260 Regor 3.2GHz - $68
    Combo Discount: -$17.00
    Combo Price: $136
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboD...t=Combo.573213

    - GIGABYTE GA-MA785 Micro ATX: $70 (integrated ATI Radeon HD 4200)
    - AMD Phenom II X2 555 Black Edition Callisto 3.2 GHz Dual Core: $90
    Combo Discount: -$15
    Combo Price: $145
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboD...t=Combo.572323

    HTPC COMBO:

    $501
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboB...&SID=u00000687

    OTHER COMBO:

    $250
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboB...t=Combo.548019

    What do you guys think?

  5. #5
    really, even a cheap single-core proc can play 1080p video (as long as you have graphics that can handle hardware acceleration), so any proc you get will work ok. Really the only thing that getting a faster speed proc will do is make browsing through the menu systems more smooth and buttery, as well as better future proofing your rig. At the same time though, I usually go for Athlons over Phenoms. They are cheaper and eat less power, which in tern means a cooler and quieter system.

    I'd also recommend a mobo with at least HD 3200 or higher (aka 780g chipset or higher). 785g and 880g are great and are able to bitstream a few 5.1 formats if your family hooks it up to a nice audio receiver.

    I'd either go for the $136 combo or the X3 Rana + an 880g mobo if your budget can fit it.

  6. #6
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    Dec 2010
    Thanks mrjspeed!

    So I think I have a pretty good grasp on what kind of CPU/Mobo to purchase, and I want to shift focus for now.

    We purchased a $1600 Sony - BRAVIA 60" Class / 1080p / 120Hz / LED-LCD HDTV - KDL60EX700 (DISPLAY MODEL) from Sam's Club - no tax.

    Next thing I want to focus on is the speaker system, which I am a complete newbie at, but I have been researching a bit.

    Budget max is $400-450ish - is there anything out there like this for that price that meets the below requirements?

    Living Room - 17x20x17
    Kitchen - 17x12x9
    The wireless rear speakers in the kitchen will be 30 feet away from the TV.

    Home theater surround sound system requirements:

    - 5.1
    - wireless rear speakers (or cheap enough for me to buy a wireless rear kit like Rocketfish for $100?)
    - HDMI input
    - AV Receiver (either dedicated or included in the blueray or DVD player)
    - reasonably high wattage
    - DTS-HD or TrueHD audio format (how important is this?)
    - good cross over design and THD
    - 14 guage speaker wire should be adequate (right?)

    Anyone know anything that meets this criteria?

    So the best deal I've found so far is the Sony HTS-S370 - which meets all the above requirements besides the wireless rear speakers, which would be an additional 75-100$ to purchase (RocketFish). There was a recent deal in the past few months where this system, with a coupon code, was about $235 shipped - unfortunately, it is about a $100 more than that now. Anyone have any good deals/recommedations or advice?

    Thanks!

    P.S. We also purchased this for the universal remote:

    http://www.amazon.com/Lenovo-Multime.../dp/B0036VO67I
    Right now, it is $26 shipped with a coupon code

  7. #7
    I'll let someone else chime in for the speaker setup, I'm not an expert on that kind of thing. I will say though that to get the receiver to decode TrueHD or DTS-HD, you ned to bitstream it from the HTPC. There isn't any integrated solutions that can do that, so you'd need to get a standalone card like an HD 5450. The 4200 series can only bitstream 5.1 tracks. But, if you're only interested in 5.1 (not 7.1) then it shouldn't matter I suppose.

  8. #8
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    Dec 2010
    Mrjspeed - along with the radeon HD 500 series, the clarkdale i3 processor should be able to handle those audio formats too, right?

  9. #9
    Not sure what it was Member Theocnoob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kenny536 View Post
    Mrjspeed - along with the radeon HD 500 series, the clarkdale i3 processor should be able to handle those audio formats too, right?
    absolutely. Your choice of CPU will not really have an impact on your audio format support in any way whatsoever.

    Personally I don't see the point of Clarkdale. At all. Two cores at 32nm and a 45nm GPU on one package. Becaaause...... why?

    Kinda pointless in the price range it lives. For a similar amount of money one could go to the AMD AM3 socket and a quad core CPU- especially if one wanted to use a graphics card and not integrated (bleh) graphics. The clarkdale core will give you lower throughput than the AMD. Even the 955 chip, which was pretty pricey not so long ago, is pretty cheap now. You could get into a Phenom II quad, which I consider much more respectable than a clarkdale, for not a significant price difference. Certainly not for the performance.

    I'd look into it.

  10. #10
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    theocnoob - based on the audio section of this guide, they list the i3 processor as one of the things that can support the higher audio formats.
    http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...#Introduction: Classification of HTPC Systems

    So doesn't that mean that processor would have an impact on audio format? Or am I missing something?

  11. #11
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    I have been researching speaker systems heavily the last couple days, and I think I finally have a winner that meets all my requirements.

    Sony HT-SS370 1 kW 5.1 Home Theater System

    It is $258 shipped at thenerds.net with the -$8 holiday couponcode.

    With the Bravia Sync, it is a perfect fit with our new Bravia TV.

    The two requirements that it does not meet, by itself, is the wireless rear speakers and the true-HD/DTS-HD audio decoding in the A/V receiver.

    The wireless rear speakers problem can be solved with the universal Rocketfish set, so +$110 (but we have a gift card!).

    As for the true-HD/DTS-HD, that can still be done via LPCM even if the AV/Receiver does not decode that audio format. I have a PS3 and the blueray on there will do the decoding for those HD audio formats - so the blueray will do the decoding and send it to the A/V receiver.

    So knowing that I am doing this, will it change any of the requirements for the hardware I need? I'll still be fine without a dedicated GPU? Whether that is having the GPU in the mobo, or included in the Intel i3 Clarkdale, either one will support the true-HD and everything else, right? Are there any problems that you guys anticipate I will have?

    So the total will be:

    $259 - Speaker system
    $110 - Rocketfish
    $15 - Tall front speaker stands
    $238 - Pinnacle 56 Inch TV Stand with 2 Glass Doors - NEX1210 [link]

    = $622

    Now that all this is done, I can refocus on the HTPC hardware!

  12. #12
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    Do you guys see any need for an additional blu-ray player in my HTPC if I am already going to have one in my SONY PS3, which will be with the HDTV anyway, since it is needed for the trueHD/DTS-HD decoding. Also, wouldn't I need to buy blu-ray software if I went with a blu-ray player/DVD combo drive? I'm thinking of just going with a $15-20 DVDRW drive and leaving the blu-ray playing to the PS3, just to save $40 - although I know the ps3 can play dvds as well

    Here is what I am thinking now - please let me know your opinion on this build for the HTPC:

    -Intel Core i3-540 Clarkdale 3.06GHz LGA 1156 73W Dual-Core Desktop Processor BX80616I3540
    -ASUS P7H55-M/CSM LGA 1156 Intel H55 HDMI Micro ATX Intel Motherboard
    -G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3
    -Seagate Barracuda 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal HDD
    After combo discount for the 4 above (-$33)
    = $300

    CASE:

    I am thinking this case will be perfect for the price:
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16811204037
    $70 nMEDIAPC Black HTPC 6000B ATX Media Center / HTPC Case
    With that case, there is no need to buy an internal card reader.

    PSU:

    OCZ ModXStream Pro OCZ600MXSP 600W (Modular)
    $63 with promo + $20 MIR

    total = $433
    - MIR = $413
    Should I get this PSU instead?
    Link

    Am I forgetting anything? I will be using my ps3 as the blu-ray/DVD drive.

    Will all these things be compatible with what I want to do? Am I missing any ports that I will need? Will I need anything else?

    What about wires?
    Besides an HDMI cable, what else will I need?
    I was told that I may need an adapter cable from video card to TV? Are they called displayport to HDMI cables?
    http://www.monoprice.com/products/su...04&cp_id=10428
    I am here, but I am not sure which one I need.. especially when they assign genders to the adapters.

    Do I need to purchase any other remotes aside from the Lenovo one I purchased? I noticed that has buttons to forward, play, rewind, and things like that along with functioning as a keyboard and mouse. Will I be able to sync all that with my PS3 blurays/DVDs? What about the DISH?

    Thanks!

  13. #13
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    CPU/MOBO Combo:

    Intel Core i3-550 Clarkdale 3.2 GHz
    + ASUS P7G55-M PRO

    - $220 Newegg


    Hard Drive:

    Western Digital 1.5 TB Caviar Green SATA Intellipower 64 MB Cache Bulk/OEM Desktop Hard Drive WD15EARS by Western Digital

    - $60 Amazon


    PSU:

    Ill just go with the non-modular PSU, 30$ after MIR.
    Antec EarthWatts Green EA-380D Green 380W Continuous power ATX12V v2.3 / EPS12V 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC Power Supply

    - $30 Newegg


    RAM:

    CORSAIR 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333

    - $44 Newegg


    DVD Burner:

    LG DVD±RW SuperMulti Drive Black SATA Model GH22NS50B
    - $16 Newegg

    = $370

    Now that I think about it, perhaps I should get the blu-ray player for $40 - only $24 more. Since the PS3 will not be able to rip blu-rays, and the blu-ray player on the PC will. Unfortunately, it is sold out now, but I will just wait until it is back.
    Newegg.com - LITE-ON Black 4X BD-ROM 8X DVD-ROM 32X CD-ROM SATA Internal 4X Blu-ray Reader Model iHOS104-06 - Blu-Ray Drives

    So that would make the total $354.

    Will I need to use a TV tuner card for anything? Integrating the DISH satellite to the HTPC? Is that possible? Or is the TV tuner card just for recording DISH programs on to the HTPC?

    I apparently have the following stuff lying around from a couple years back:
    extra wireless adapter, tv tuner card, and a NVIDIA eGeforce-8600GTS

    I can put the first two things to use, any need for the dedicated GPU? Just unnecessary clutter, right?

    Lastly, I'm thinking of integrating bluetooth as well, but I doubt that comes with the motherboard. I'll just go with a USB bluetooth receiver for cheap.

  14. #14
    wont be able to tune Dish TV, or any other satellite service. The only thing would be something that accepts component/hdmi inputs and that would be out of your price range. Even then, you'd need IR blasters to basically control your DISH stb and funnel everything through your HTPC. To me its a lot less hassle to just switch inputs between dish and HTPC.

  15. #15
    Not sure what it was Member Theocnoob's Avatar
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    Specific CPUs do not handle specific formats. All CPU's that you can get off the shelf today speak X86 and X64. All audio formats can be read on an X86 machine in one manner or another.

    No CPU exists at market today too pokey to 'not handle higher audio formats'. For that to be an issue you'd have to rent a DeLorean and make your way back about twelve years. And that's an expensive rental. I've looked into it.

    My suggestion, honestly, is to make a not very good system with really nice I/O. It's an HTPC. Are you going to overclock it? No. Does the motherboard have to be great? No. Does the CPU have to be great? No. Does the videocard need any measure of decent 3D performance? No.

    Do you want good video playback? Yes. Do you want great sound? Yes.

    Bleh motherboard
    Bleh CPU
    Bleh RAM
    Bleh GPU
    Awesome soundcard
    nice looking case
    reliable PSU

    there's your system.

    So, for example, a dual core Phenom II. If you can unlock the other two cores, great, if not, doesn't really matter. Cheap. Better choice than clarkdale. Way cheaper.

    A not bottom tier, but low range board from a good manufacturer, like gigabyte, with not many power phases and no MOS cooling. (buy MOS heatsinks. Ten bucks max)

    Something last gen, or gen before last. Something like a (possibly used even) 4850 or 4870 will be more than you need. If you want good HDMI out, get a newer gen card with HDMI 1.3 or 1.4 that gives you added options, like exporting audio digitally via said HDMI signal to a receiver, which would then pass the video to your TV and the audio to speakers. Or to output audio to your TV when you don't want to use your speakers. Another option is a 'hybrid' output which gives more options, for example, an ASUS Xonar Essence STX outputting to a nice set of headphones and a nice analog speaker system while preserving the HDMI out function with a good card.

    Going to something like that would run your cost up though.

    If I were in your shoes for audio and video I'd probably go to a lower 5 series ATi card with HDMI and an Auzen Meridian. Depending on your sound requirements and video output requirements (do you want to output in cyan yellow magenta or red green blue for example. Do you use a receiver? If you use a PC speaker system is it digital?) these could change.



    How do you feel about used parts? A lot of stuff is for sale on the forum and you can trust that you'll get a perfectly good part IMO.

    You definitely want a dedicated GPU. You can build on a clarkdale if you really want to. It's not an issue. You could shave a few bucks if not. Not a huge difference mind you. I just don't like clarkdale.

  16. #16
    I suppose everyone has their priorities when it comes to HTPCs. I agree with Theocnoob, the i3 doesn't have anything special audio wise, it just does it like any other proc. If you read something it was probably marketing hype.

    Me personally, I get by great with integrated video and audio. I'm probably not an audiophile, because I think everything sounds absolutely fantastic from my mobo's HDMI port to my Receiver. Stuff that is decoded sounds awesome to me. Stuff that is bitstreamed, well, you can't argue that a sound card will give you something better there because the Receiver will decode the tracks.

    I don't have a need for a dedicated GPU and even if one was handed in my lap, I don't see it improving performance. Although, the 880g/785g is really one of the best integrated solutions available - its really an ideal HTPC solution. Plus, its nice not having to worry about heat/noise from a dedicated card. That being said I will put a card in my current rigs once/if 3D takes off. By that time there may even be integrated solutions to power through that (HDMI 1.4a etc).
    For me its about silence, low power consumption , low heat output. But again, everyone has different priorities. Some people need HTPCs to game on, in which case they are pretty much just gaming PCs.

  17. #17
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    Tried putting the PC together tonight. I think I may be doing something wrong. After finally putting everything in the case and plugging everything in through the PSU - I am not getting any power. The only thing I see that turns on is the Standby LED Powerlight on the motherboard. I really don't want to take everything out and troubleshoot it - but that is the only thing I can think of right now.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by kenny536 View Post
    Tried putting the PC together tonight. I think I may be doing something wrong. After finally putting everything in the case and plugging everything in through the PSU - I am not getting any power. The only thing I see that turns on is the Standby LED Powerlight on the motherboard. I really don't want to take everything out and troubleshoot it - but that is the only thing I can think of right now.
    4-pin CPU power plug plugged in on the motherboard ? It should be someone near the CPU socket.

    I only suggest this as I've done it many times in the past.

    Dell Optiplex SX260 running ubuntu
    PS3 <Optical> Compass DAC/Amp -> Audio Technica AD700

  19. #19
    Registered
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Okay fixed it.
    I didn't know that I had to hook up the power switch from the case. In the desktop I built 2 years ago, flipping the PSU switch would turn everything on, at the very least the CPU fan, but I guess it is different in this one.

    I have another problem though, of course.
    Now my problem is that the CPU fan is unbearably loud for some reason. Could this be something to do with the motherboard or the cpu fan not being secured in the case? I thought they were pretty secure but something is definitely wrong. Also, one of the case fans is making a slight ticking noise - it is annoying even by itself even when i unplug the cpu fan - not sure why bc the other case fan right next to it is perfectly silent.

  20. #20
    Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Montreal
    Not sure what people aren't understanding regarding the i3, i5 and i7, they can decode HD audio codecs ie DTS-HD, and TrueHD , no need for an additional sound card. That's why an i3 is a good HTPC choice. Also the i3 can play 1080p fine since it's DXVA compatible. I don't know why their so much hate for it.
    Gaming Rig
    cpu - Intel Core i5 760 @ 3.5 gHz
    mobo - Asus P7P55-E LX
    vid card - Gigabyte GTX 460 1GB @ 850core/1700shader/2000memory
    ram - GSkill GBNQ 3x2gb DDR3 @ 9-9-9-24 1T
    hd - WD Black 640gb - OCZ Vertex 2 60gb
    psu - Corsair TX750
    sound - Asus Xonar Essence STX
    case - Lian-Li PC-60FNWB
    OS - Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit
    PSN: Aenimosity

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