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-   -   New HTPC. Advice? (http://www.hardwarecanucks.com/forum/htpc-systems-software/45181-new-htpc-advice.html)

mookster_27 July 26, 2011 09:28 PM

New HTPC. Advice?
Hey guys just a quick post before work. I have decided after a quick boxee box trial that it is time for me to build a HTPC. Boxee box was nice but I soon realised it is too restrictive for my needs. Music playback left much to be desired after using itunes for the last few years. Plus I still would have to buy a dedicated blu-ray player eventually.

Right now I am in the saving and planning phase of my build. I can play the waiting game forever so I figure I'd like to have it up and running by the end of the year (which in itself is probably too long of a deadline).

I'm truly looking for some advice on components or anything else that may come to mind. First attempt at a HTPC. The main mission is to stream content off internet with boxee or another similar program, as a blu-ray player and to watch movies/play music off my current computer over wifi. Secondary would be some gaming eg gta4 (not the lightest games) but gaming is not exactly top priority. Budget wise I wouldn't mind keeping it low(ish) don't want to get near $1000. Figure $600 is a bit more realistic.

Case - Antec fusion remote
Love my old P182's build quality, plus with an included remote I can't really go wrong.

CPU - I3-2100 or I3 2120 maybe even I5-2300
Not too sure if either chip is better than the 2100 for HTPC use.

MB - Gigabyte GA-Z68MA-D2H-B3 or Asus P8P67-M PRO
Completely pulled these out of the air, haven't really looked too deeply at MBs

RAM - 4GB PC3-10600 DDR3
Brand not really a concern at this point.

PSU - NO idea ~400w
Something that is powerful enough to be able to add a discrete graphics card down the line without being overly noisy or complete overkill.

Other components will include a Blu-ray drive and a HDD I'll steal out of my current PC.

Thanks in advance guys.

supaflyx3 July 26, 2011 09:30 PM

don't bother with a p67 or z68 mobo for an htpc, 2100 will do fine, and a 550/560 will be fine for video.

Arinoth July 27, 2011 04:37 AM

You would need to buy a dedicated graphics card were you to buy a P67 series motherboard and the only benefit of a z68 series motherboard is to allow you to overclock unlocked chips, which you shouldn't be/won't be buying for an htpc.

The 2100 should do video playback just fine, as on Intels website it claims to support HD playback, of course I can try to see if my 2100 (which is my server) can handle 1080p playback to verify this, but I'm fairly certain it will.

If you want to save some money you could go with an AMD build which will end up saving you at least 100$ on the whole build as they seem to have a very good niche market for htpcs
Any/all of these claim to have 1080p playback, now they are mini ITX, which may or may not make a difference, but for the price of under 200$ (processor and motherboard, hell you could probably include ram in that sub 200$ price) there is nothing near what intel can provide which will match for the same money spent.

NCIX.com - Buy Motherboards In Canada.

Note, this is for essentially a pure HTPC setup scenario, I can't guarantee how it'll perform gaming wise.

GT7R July 27, 2011 07:26 AM

PSU wise go for a Seasonic X-460 which will handle a GTX560 (but not more) and is fanless.
And for gaming (especially GTA 4 which is very CPU demanding) you will do better with the I5 2300.
Get a good H67 as the guys above suggested and you'll be good :)

mookster_27 August 15, 2011 05:39 AM

So lots of debating and procrastination. I did change my mind on the case, turns out measurements should always be made in order to figure out if the case you want will fit in the area provided.

I currently have a Lian li pc-v352 (black) on order from Canada Computers. I saw plenty of good reviews and the case itself looks sharp. Though the wait for it is trying my patients.

They had two in their entire inventory. Figures I'd pick a discontinued case (just over a year old and discontinued, weird?) The first one arrived on Friday, but it was an open box...missing a foot. So back to the shop to order the other one in.

I also bought an Antec earthwatts 650W. I know it's a bit overpowered but it was on sale for ten bucks more than the 380W and same price as the 430W. I also know myself and I'll probably end up wanting to through a capable discrete graphics card in there to game. This PSU allows for a fairly robust card.

Still juggling my MB options. Going with a h67 or h61 like suggested above. Didn't realize the differences for intel's chipsets.

I just want to find a micro ATX with great features. USB3 (since I have two jacks on the side of my case) sataII (not too important but would be nice, so I don't feel I am buying old tech) 1xpcie x16 (I don't have any wish to run crossfire or SLI).

I'll have to add WIFI, Tv tuner (future plans).

Sound card? (I don't think this is required at all since every board I look at has at least a 5 channel realtek chip in it.

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