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Old October 6, 2008, 10:38 PM
Mr. Gruntsworthy's Avatar
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Default Chucking together an HTPC from old rig

After I'm done building my new gaming/internet/WTF ever rig, I was thinking of taking my current machine and chopping it up into a cheap but effective Home Theatre PC.

Now, I want to purchase as little parts as possible and use what I already have. My current rig (the one that'll be chopped up) is listed in my sig for reference.


Here is what the home theatre pc would look like (just a rough preselection of parts):
Italicized parts are leftover parts being put into the new system.
Quote:
Case: Antec Minuet 350 mATX Black Case (350W)
OS: Windows XP SP3
Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo E4600 @ 2.4GHz, 800MHz FSB
HSF: Stock Intel cooler, some higher grade thermal paste
Motherboard: Intel DG33TL LGA775 Core2Duo MATX MB
Power Supply: Undecided; must be Micro-ATX
Graphics Card: Sapphire HD3650 DDR2 512mb PCI-E
Memory: 3GB total DDR2 @ 667MHz
Hard Drives: 1 x 160GB SATA Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 (OS, apps, local temp storage)
Optical Drives: Asus BC-1205PT Blue-Ray/DVD-RW Combo
TV TUNER:Hauppauge WinTV-HVR 1600 MCE Kit
A few questions:

1) Would this rig get away with the 350W PSU that comes with the case?

2) I know it's aging, but the 3650 is fairly cheap and offers everything I need. It also doesn't appear to be very big. will this suit me?

3) Will the TV tuner work with the system okay? the system itself is not Media Centre edition, but that doesn't matter to me. I just need to make sure it'll work with the system.


some points:

>> I don't need the system to be Media Centre Edition capable; for most things (except the tv tuner remote) i'll use a wireless keyboard and mouse to access things.

>> The TV is a decent 27" Standard Definition TV, the output will be S-video to Component output (RGB cables). I only need the HDCP compliancy if a) I want to play HD movies on my machine and/or b) I finally do get an HD TV.

>> The hard drive doesn't need to be very big; actual media content will be stored on a seperate computer, a File Server i'm building; connected via Ethernet through a (small) home network with decent transfer rates. Though if necessary I will store files in use on the HDD temporarily.

>> Noise isn't too big of a problem, as long as the thing doesn't fall outside of reasonable ambience level (no louder than an Xbox 360 minus game in tray).

information, commentary, etc much appreciated! If I think of anything else i'll edit it in.
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MAIN RIG:
Case: Antec 900
CPU : Intel E8400 45nm Core 2 Duo @ 3GHz 1333MHz FSB
RAM : 4GB DDR2 800MHz (OCZ Platinum)
HDD : Main: 120GB SSD SATA2 (OCZ) Storage: 3TB SATA2 (WD Green) Backup: 500GB External USB (Hitatchi)
GFX : HD4850 (512MB)
PSU : 610W PC Power Silencer
MoBo: Asus P5Q SE
View : Acer H213H 21.5" @ 1920 x 1080

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Old October 20, 2008, 12:34 PM
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I'm doing the same thing with my 754 baord and athlon 3700 - it has a fanless XFX 7950, and should be very quiet as the 3700 is actually a Turion from a laptop. Very little heat and so on. My problem is selecting a decent looking case. I want it to look like a component - no tower cases. But all of the HTPC cases are ridiculously expensive....
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Old October 21, 2008, 08:22 AM
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Use the same case I am: The Antec Minuet 350. Small, affordable, looks nice.
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MAIN RIG:
Case: Antec 900
CPU : Intel E8400 45nm Core 2 Duo @ 3GHz 1333MHz FSB
RAM : 4GB DDR2 800MHz (OCZ Platinum)
HDD : Main: 120GB SSD SATA2 (OCZ) Storage: 3TB SATA2 (WD Green) Backup: 500GB External USB (Hitatchi)
GFX : HD4850 (512MB)
PSU : 610W PC Power Silencer
MoBo: Asus P5Q SE
View : Acer H213H 21.5" @ 1920 x 1080

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I am a Level/Game Designer! http://mikeseguin.webs.com/
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Old November 13, 2008, 07:56 AM
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350 w should be enough for a rig like that but you can always try a power calculator and see what it comes up with. I am using an Happauge 1800 and it works fine. For media center usage I strongly suggest using Vista Home Premium. The media centrer works quite well even if not perfect, it does the job and is pretty easy to configure. The only thing that annoys me is that it uses its own recording fromat which is basically and MPEG but with a ''layer'', it's a DVR-MS format which is pretty much only readable from a computer. I don't find the software supplied with the TV tuner very interesting and it's a bit tidious to setup. On a side note, if you're using Vista Media Center and recieve your chanels through a cable box, the remote supplied with your tv tunner won't work. You'll need the Microsoft remote. There might be a work around but I am not aware of it. On the other hand, if you plug your cable right through your TV tuner than your remote should work. As you mentionned, your HHD is a bit on the low storage space side but it's ok if it's just for a temporary usage.

The HD3650 should be good enough, I am using a 3470 paired with an AMD 5200 CPU and so far it works good. I am using it on a big screen but it's not an HD TV, it's an older model. All in all your old rig should be good enough for media usage the only thing I would add is the OS and switch for Vista Home Premium.
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Old November 15, 2008, 08:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Gruntsworthy View Post
After I'm done building my new gaming/internet/WTF ever rig, I was thinking of taking my current machine and chopping it up into a cheap but effective Home Theatre PC.

Now, I want to purchase as little parts as possible and use what I already have. My current rig (the one that'll be chopped up) is listed in my sig for reference.


Here is what the home theatre pc would look like (just a rough preselection of parts):
Italicized parts are leftover parts being put into the new system.


A few questions:

1) Would this rig get away with the 350W PSU that comes with the case?

2) I know it's aging, but the 3650 is fairly cheap and offers everything I need. It also doesn't appear to be very big. will this suit me?

3) Will the TV tuner work with the system okay? the system itself is not Media Centre edition, but that doesn't matter to me. I just need to make sure it'll work with the system.


some points:

>> I don't need the system to be Media Centre Edition capable; for most things (except the tv tuner remote) i'll use a wireless keyboard and mouse to access things.

>> The TV is a decent 27" Standard Definition TV, the output will be S-video to Component output (RGB cables). I only need the HDCP compliancy if a) I want to play HD movies on my machine and/or b) I finally do get an HD TV.

>> The hard drive doesn't need to be very big; actual media content will be stored on a seperate computer, a File Server i'm building; connected via Ethernet through a (small) home network with decent transfer rates. Though if necessary I will store files in use on the HDD temporarily.

>> Noise isn't too big of a problem, as long as the thing doesn't fall outside of reasonable ambience level (no louder than an Xbox 360 minus game in tray).

information, commentary, etc much appreciated! If I think of anything else i'll edit it in.
My HTPC is very similar to yours as far as speed is concerned.I am using a AMD based sys,3500+ processor etc,etc,I am however using Vista 64 bit which i prefer over XP just for the media center alone
The only items I am saving for is a blu-ray,and a 3 or 4 series ati card .my sys works great with my 42" plasma.
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Old November 18, 2008, 12:09 PM
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350W will be much more than enough power. My q9450, 4870 1gb, p45 board, 4 sticks ram, 1 hdd, 1 dvd drive, 5 fans, and other minor extras only draw 130W at idle and 250W at load, measured at the wall. I would guess that yours would probably pull less than 90W at idle and maybe 160 full load. I'd keep the stock PSU from the case, and if it was too loud for me I'd do a fanswap. If your reference for sound is an XBox, this probably won't be necessary...
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Old November 18, 2008, 12:29 PM
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umm, i think your 4870 will draw more than you think. I would actually conzider the 20 % wastage if not even more.
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