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Old February 8, 2011, 03:06 PM
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Question Proposed i3 HTPC unit

Hi everyone

Well, I've bought a few items to build an HTPC unit for watching movies, surfing, etc (no games), plugging into my Samsung 46" LCD, and I wonder if you can give me some advice. This is what I bought so far:

M/B: ASUS P7H55-M PRO mATX -> $100 (onboard audio/video w/HDMI out)
CPU: Intel i3 550 -> $120
RAM: 3 x Kingston 2GB DDR3 1600 RAM -> $can't remember, but cheap
DVD: LG CH10LS20 SATA 10x Blu-ray Read 16x DVD+/-R/RW w/LightScribe -> $80
HDD: WD Caviar Green 2.0 TB -> $100

I'm guessing I'll only need 4 of the 6GB RAM, but the bundle was a good price through NCIX. I bought an In-Win BL641 case (~$80), but found that it is too short and narrow, as the optical drive gets in the way of the M/B power cable and RAM chips, so I need to buy something else. To complete the unit, I'm considering the following:

Case: nMedia HTPC-1000 -> $100
PSU: I'm stuck on this one. The case will take a full-sized unit, but I'd like it to be quiet and low power consumption (maybe 350W), if possible.

Any suggestions? Am I on the right track, or are any of the parts over-/under-kill?

Thanks!
-j
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Old February 8, 2011, 11:38 PM
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Is the green drive designated to be an OS drive as well?

If it is, personally - id change that to a 7200 RPM.

In terms of PS, a good quality PS in the range of 350-400 watts is good enough.
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Old February 9, 2011, 12:17 AM
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depending on how much hell do with it, it should be fine i guess. the wd green that is. access times will be a bit on the
tomorrow side lol, but ok if hell mainly 'start a movie.enjoy it,check email from time to time' :)

any size earthwatts will do on the quiet side. dont tell me though youll use the igp gpu for video? :)

youre better off with a low end geforce or radeon, current gen of ocurse.
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Old February 9, 2011, 07:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by _dangtx_ View Post
depending on how much hell do with it, it should be fine i guess. the wd green that is. access times will be a bit on the
tomorrow side lol, but ok if hell mainly 'start a movie.enjoy it,check email from time to time' :)

any size earthwatts will do on the quiet side. dont tell me though youll use the igp gpu for video? :)

youre better off with a low end geforce or radeon, current gen of ocurse.
I just bought 2 of those boards for my buddy and I and they play movies and such just fine , how ever if he wants to play games I would agree to better gpu. Buy ASUS [P7H55-M PRO] ASUS P7H55-M Pro mATX H55 LGA1156 DDR3 PCI-16 PCI-E1 2PCI SATA2 HDMI DVI VGA GBLAN Motherboard
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Old February 9, 2011, 08:26 AM
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Thanks for the quick response everyone!

Sorry, forgot to mention - I've got a WD Blue 1T for system - I was considering a small SSD, but they're really expensive!

Re PSU, yeah I was considering the Antec Earthwatts Green 500W ($70 at NCIX)...there were a couple of possitive reviews. I'm hoping it will be quiet.

Re GPU, the reason I bought the P7H55-M PRO was because it seemed well-suited for graphics and had HDMI/DVI/etc...don't know much about graphics acceleration though - I don't really want to play games on this machine...I've got an XBOX for that, I just want to watch stored/streamed vids, surf the net, squeeze wifey, etc. Given what scruff says, maybe I'll hold off on the VC purchase and report my results to you fine folks.

But if graphics seem sluggish, the new case should accommodate a full-sized PCI-e card, so would either of these do?

XFX GeForce GT 240 550MHZ 512MB 2.0GHZ GDDR3 HDMI DVI VGA PCI-E Video Card
($55 after rebate at NCIX)

ASUS GeForce 210 589MHZ 512MB 800MHZ DDR2 PCI-E VGA DVI HDMI HDCP Video Card
($25 after rebate)

Also, re CPU, do you think I need anything better than the stock i3 fan?

Thanks a lot - you guys are gold!
-j
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Old February 9, 2011, 08:38 AM
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Oh yeah, forgot to mention...re PSU, there were good PSUs with lower ratings, but I'm aiming for the 500W not only because it's a good price, but I've read in a couple of places that aiming a little higher on the power rating vs expected power draw from components actually improves efficiency. Therefore draws relatively less power from the wall, and therefore less $ each month.

Do you guys believe that or is it just a marketting ploy to get us to buy the pricier PSUs?

Thx!
-j
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Old February 9, 2011, 10:12 AM
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ok...well that depends. good psus wont make much noise till probably being loaded pretty high.

youre going to pull maybe 100-125 watts on the 12v rail with the onboard video, so the antec 430 for exemple can do like 300 and a bit on
said 12v so itll be quit quiet.
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Old February 9, 2011, 10:50 AM
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Thx, dang - just ordered the case and the EA500D from NCIX - you're right though, the 430W would probably be more appropriate, but the EA500D was actually $3 cheaper than the EA430D, so I opted the cheapskate route (will pick up from the warehouse to save on shipping :)...plus it'll give me room for growth if/when I need it. Can't wait to pick 'em up!

Btw, thanks for the helpful links in your sig.
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Old February 9, 2011, 11:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jangyman View Post
Thanks for the quick response everyone!

Sorry, forgot to mention - I've got a WD Blue 1T for system - I was considering a small SSD, but they're really expensive!

Re PSU, yeah I was considering the Antec Earthwatts Green 500W ($70 at NCIX)...there were a couple of possitive reviews. I'm hoping it will be quiet.

Re GPU, the reason I bought the P7H55-M PRO was because it seemed well-suited for graphics and had HDMI/DVI/etc...don't know much about graphics acceleration though - I don't really want to play games on this machine...I've got an XBOX for that, I just want to watch stored/streamed vids, surf the net, squeeze wifey, etc. Given what scruff says, maybe I'll hold off on the VC purchase and report my results to you fine folks.

But if graphics seem sluggish, the new case should accommodate a full-sized PCI-e card, so would either of these do?

XFX GeForce GT 240 550MHZ 512MB 2.0GHZ GDDR3 HDMI DVI VGA PCI-E Video Card
($55 after rebate at NCIX)

ASUS GeForce 210 589MHZ 512MB 800MHZ DDR2 PCI-E VGA DVI HDMI HDCP Video Card
($25 after rebate)

Also, re CPU, do you think I need anything better than the stock i3 fan?

Thanks a lot - you guys are gold!
-j
I've got a Powercolor 5770 I can sell u cheap . I took it out of my HTPC when I put the P7H-55-m-pro board in , only played maybe 12 movies with it . I got rid of the stock cooler ( too noisy} and put a Noctura NH-C12P SE12 that I picked up on sale a while back at NCIX fo $40 , HTPC nice and quiet now.
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Old February 9, 2011, 11:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scruff View Post
I've got a Powercolor 5770 I can sell u cheap . I took it out of my HTPC when I put the P7H-55-m-pro board in , only played maybe 12 movies with it . I got rid of the stock cooler ( too noisy} and put a Noctura NH-C12P SE12 that I picked up on sale a while back at NCIX fo $40 , HTPC nice and quiet now.
Thanks scruff - I may take you up on that, though it may be over-kill in my case...for now I'm waiting for the case and psu to arrive and try out the unit sans-gc.
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