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Old March 14, 2010, 09:32 PM
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Default Switching to HTPC, a few questions

Hey everyone, just a few questions before I decide to jump into an HTPC. I don't use my desktop system as much as I used to, so my plan is to sell off most of my components. I will be keeping my harddrives, but other than that I will be going with lower end components.

After selling most of my components and monitors etc, I plan on picking up a 40-50" tv of some sort and just run the HTPC along with my 360 and PS3.

Theres a few thing I'm still uneasy about, first of all....Cases

Now I would like to be able to keep my Noctua fans, as they are nice and quiet, so I'm looking for an HTPC case that supports 120mm fans. The only one I have come across is the Antec Fusion Max. It's not a bad case and seems to fit what I want pretty nicely, but I would like to see if there any others to choose from. Cost is not a huge issue, but I don't want a $700 case with a touchscreen.

Second is the whole sound thing. I imagine that I will just run the system directly into the TV to begin with. Though I plan on setting up some sort of surround sound system with a receiver at a later date. I'm pretty stupid when it comes to the whole audio system thing so a little advice here would be nice. Should I run HDMI? or a L/R channel? Do I need a soundcard? I understand that ATI cards will send audio through their HDMI, will this bypass my soundcard?

Third is the video card. I'm planning on a 5770, since I will also be doing some gaming on the system. The main issue with the graphics card goes back the the whole HDMI sound thing I mentioned above.

Here is a rough parts list for what I plan on throwing in the system:

Intel Core i3 530 Can I passively cool this?
Motherboard???? Any suggestions?
4gb DDR3
DVD burner
ATI HD 5770
Corsair power supply, probably a 500-600 watt
Already have a few terabyte HDD's
Soundcard???? Do I need one?

I think that's all the questions I have, any answers are greatly appreciated!

Last edited by Iamcanadian7; March 14, 2010 at 09:39 PM.
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Old March 14, 2010, 09:50 PM
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Run a wire through a wall or behind couch if your system is to big. You have a good system keep it or put it in a smaller case. TV are going to 120 Hrts they will take good system to run them at 1080p or more.

Fore sound go optical glass fiber. Littel gray square on IO sheild.
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Old March 15, 2010, 07:57 AM
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I've been thinking about i3 530 too, using its built in GPU and no graphics card to save on heat and energy. Any H55 ($100) motherboard will do.
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Old March 15, 2010, 11:58 AM
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for a case with 120m fans, there's also the antec new soltion which seems to be a more cheap/basic version of the fusion, but it comes with a 380 watt pu

Newegg.ca - Antec New Solution NSK2480 Black/Silver 0.8mm cold-rolled steel MicroATX Desktop Computer Case 380W Power Supply - Computer Cases


nmediapc also has a few htpc cases that support a 120m fan but they also have 80mm fans in them
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Old March 15, 2010, 12:01 PM
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Yeah, I prefer the fuzion case to that one. I'm looking to avoid 80mm fans if possible.
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Old March 15, 2010, 03:40 PM
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I have been a HTPC fan for 2 years. The case is up you...it's a presonal thing. But do pay attention to the cooling. As for passive cooling on the CPU, I don't think that is a good idea or doable even. I personally have used Silverstone cases and have found them to work just fine. Skip the cases with an Imon remote because they have limited MCE compatability. Best to go with a MCE remote..ie easier.
The video card is fine for 1080p...It is the CPU you need to worry about...faster is better. If the file you are playing does not support GPU acceleration the CPU does ALL the work. Do make sure the vid card is a 2 slot design...ie vents out of the case.
The PSU should be a little larger than required...it will produce far less heat than one that is working hard. As for the motherboard....the choice is yours...depends on budget.
for ram..2 gigs is enough...but I guess 4 can't hurt.
if you are using MCE...check out a prog called MyMovies...if you are going to store movies in the HTPC. It is a must have.

edit...also...you might look into a home server, running windows home server. You can build one cheap. You just need a case to hold alot of drives. This way you HTPC needs only one drive and it can be a SSD. All the media is stored on the server. The HTCP only needs to run the software. You will need to connect the two with wired gigalan...but a switch for that is like $30-$40 and cat 6 cable is not much more than regular lan cable....so cost is not really an issue. Running the cable might be, that is usually the main problem for most.


edit...as for the 120 hertz comment above....."Run a wire through a wall or behind couch if your system is to big. You have a good system keep it or put it in a smaller case. TV are going to 120 Hrts they will take good system to run them at 1080p or more.".....they are now @ 240 hertz....it's called marketing. Mine has more hertz than yours. the signal your TV gets is....24 frames per second to 29.97 frames per second depending on format. What in the world would you need something with a refresh rate of 120 to 240 frames per second for? BTW...the 240 hertz tv has four quadrants in it..each @ 60 hertz...4 X 60 = 240. Pure marketing BS.

If you are using WMC...you might as well bookmark this site now...lots of info here... The Green Button

Have fun with HTPC.
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Old March 21, 2010, 01:02 PM
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came across this htpc case from silverstone today, with 3 120mm fans
http://www.bestdirect.ca/products/22...%20Technology/
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Old March 24, 2010, 10:32 PM
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On the sound card issue... I've heard that ATI cards can pass audio through the HDMI but I don't use that option on mine so I can't say for sure. But no yo don't need a sound card. If the ATI's can pass audio through the HDMI then get a surround receiver that has HDMI inputs and it will process the audio that way. If not you can use coax/optical to the receiver.
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Old March 24, 2010, 10:43 PM
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Yep biff has it right for the sound, the ATI card should be able to pass both audio and video from your system through hdmi to your receiver/tv. You will want to make sure that you have a decent receiver as there are some lower end ones that wont do any audio processing from hdmi and just sends it straight to the tv so be careful of that.

If you really want it to be extremely quiet you could just water block the cpu and gpu so that you have almost no fans (except for the rad)
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Old March 25, 2010, 07:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wi-Fuzzy View Post
Skip the cases with an Imon remote because they have limited MCE compatability. Best to go with a MCE remote..ie easier.
My case has iMON. Bought it thinking it was a good idea at the time but found out the remote is crap. I now tell the iMON software to use use a MCE remote and have a harmony setup as an MCE remote and it works nicely. One thing I really like is that the software can remap remote buttons based on what application is running. Gives another level of customization should you need it. Of course if the MCE software can do this then never mind any of this.
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