McT's long term HTPC build :D

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McT's long term HTPC build :D

Post by McstylisT on Sun Apr 18, 2010 2:35 pm

Some of you may already know i am looking at making a HTPC. This was original planned last year but for one thing or another it got put back due to other things. Now this year i want to complete it. Going to be using a few second hand items ( as its only a fun build / HTPC second system to play with ).

I want to talk and discuss what my best options would be. You know i love my hardware so some components are going to be overkill but thats me. :D

CASE - Silverstone Sugo SG02 = http://www.scan.co.uk/Product.aspx?WebProductID=798105&source=froogle

Motherboard -MA74G-S2 = http://www.gigabyte.com.tw/Products/Motherboard/Products_Overview.aspx?ProductID=2813

Memory - OCZ OCZ2SOE8002GK 2GB Kit DDR2 PC2-6400 = http://computers.zipzoomfly.com/oczocz2soe8002gk2gbkitddr2pc26400ddr2800specialopseditionmemoryretail/index.html

Have a basic 650w PSU to run it.

Hard drives i need. Though will probably go with a Samsung eco green edition.

I DO have a CPU. I have a AMD Athlon X2 3800 Dual core 2ghz AM2 processor. This was to be used but now with the new board i have much better options. I can now either look to go the newer AM3 x2 240 new for around £45 mark , or consider buying second hand again and look for something like a x4 620 that goes for at most second hand £50. Maximum spend is £50

I also need a graphics card , something very small , very cool , 1080P capable with ease , a little grunt as well. Budget is around £40.

Please let me know your thoughts and any recommendations you may have.

Thanks

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Re: McT's long term HTPC build :D

Post by bob2701 on Mon Apr 19, 2010 7:00 am

I am interested in doing the same thing in the next 6 months or so. I will keep an eye on this thread and learn from you experience with your build.
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Re: McT's long term HTPC build :D

Post by 4hams on Mon Apr 19, 2010 8:06 am

This should be an interesting thread to watch. Just may motivate some of the rest of us to do the same...
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Re: McT's long term HTPC build :D

Post by smduff on Mon Apr 19, 2010 9:38 am

I would go with 4 gigs of ram first off, trust me you need it. For a video card what kind of grunt are you talking? Remember what I told you before, know what you are going to be using it for and build from there.

Everything else looks good so far McT I will be keeping my eye on this as well, we have been talking about it for so long now LOL, enjoy the build.
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Re: McT's long term HTPC build :D

Post by McstylisT on Wed Apr 21, 2010 3:31 am

smduff wrote:I would go with 4 gigs of ram first off, trust me you need it. For a video card what kind of grunt are you talking? Remember what I told you before, know what you are going to be using it for and build from there.

Everything else looks good so far McT I will be keeping my eye on this as well, we have been talking about it for so long now LOL, enjoy the build.


Thanks for the reply guys. Looking forward to doing this but its got to be when i can managed it , hence the long term part. smile

Yeah Steve , remember our conversations well dude. Though now the concept has changed slightly. Before this was a soley dedicated HTPC. Now its a mini HTPC ( with a lot smaller storage ) and a second computer with enough power to do all things in a decent fashion , though with a quiet feel and keeping as low budget as possible. :hahapirate: LMAO !! lots of things to consider there.

With the grunt of the graphics i know for my £40 budget i am not going to be expecting anything that good. But pretty much the best for the money really. I know gaming is out of the question so dont worry there. :D
I am looking at ATI 4550 / 5450 series or a Nvidia 9500GT or something similar here. Preferably 1GB graphics as my memory is going to be only 2GB to start with.

The memory is a hard one. With prices soaring lately i cant afford to spend £75 on 4GB memory. This motherboard only has 2x DIMM's as well. Though can take 8GB total. I managed to grab this good quality branded OCZ memory for £26. So its going to have to be enough for now , until maybe i can grab some new batches along the line. :(

With the CPU i know the x2 240 is going to be more than enough for my needs. Though my attention does turn to the x4 second hand , more thinking due to my lower amount of ram the quad might be more suited in this mild spec environment , not to mention a little future proof as its pretty much as new a cpu this board is able to take. Apart from a p2 945 / 940 / 920 but i wont be going that path.

Thanks guys

McT :hahapirate:

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Re: McT's long term HTPC build :D

Post by McstylisT on Sat Apr 24, 2010 4:00 am

Been mildly monitoring the CPU front.

Seems some options are good on this front at the moment for my price range.

A original phenom 9500 upwards go for around £30 on the bay. Not a massively impressive quad but four cores nevertheless.

The x4 620 seems to go for no more than £40 as well. With a standard Athlon x2 240 brand new at £45 so options are good indeed.

Still monitoring though

McT

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Re: McT's long term HTPC build :D

Post by McstylisT on Sat Apr 24, 2010 10:28 am

Hows this for a graphics solution for this potential build.

Again , no gaming but want a good windows experience. This will possibly be using Vista at some stage when i upgrade to win7 on my main rig.

Blue ray play back smoothly , DVD watching and general internet using.

This is 1GB too , as im using low 2GB memory thought it may help

http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/1GB-Asus-HD-4350-Silent-PCI-E-20-(x16)-800MHz-GDDR2-GPU-600MHz-80-Cores-D-Sub-DVI-I-HDMI
PASTE THIS IN YOUR BROWER



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Re: McT's long term HTPC build :D

Post by smduff on Sat Apr 24, 2010 11:20 am

That looks like it will do the job just fine.
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Re: McT's long term HTPC build :D

Post by McstylisT on Sun Apr 25, 2010 6:04 am

smduff wrote:That looks like it will do the job just fine.

Lovely m8. Looks like a really cool card too. This case is not the greatest for ventilation if you remember my problems before when originally trying my i7 in this SFF case. lol!

But this time i wont be using a 130w+ TDP processor Triple channel DD3 or a 4870 heating up the internals. :D Makes me wonder though if the 5770 series had been available back then if they would have made that build work as they run so much cooler than the 4870. ?? I generally think the i5 would have been better in that environment as its only 95w TDP. Though whats the point going from the Q9550 - i5 750. Changing to the i7 920 raised a few eyebrows but for me its clearly much faster in all aspects.

McT

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Re: McT's long term HTPC build :D

Post by bob2701 on Sun Apr 25, 2010 6:19 am

Looks like it will do the job. Newegg has it for $59.99 but no reviews on it.
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Re: McT's long term HTPC build :D

Post by McstylisT on Sun Apr 25, 2010 6:31 am

bob2701 wrote:Looks like it will do the job. Newegg has it for $59.99 but no reviews on it.

Yeah that is a good point. I find it harder to see any reviews on these more basic cards. The only one i managed to get a review on was the ATI 4550. Its rated as the idea low profile HTPC card. It is all i need. Its just not i am really wanting to concentrate on a 1GB version. Just a some insurance if the 2GB ram does cause a problem. :( lets hope not.

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Re: McT's long term HTPC build :D

Post by McstylisT on Sun Apr 25, 2010 6:34 am

Just found this card :D

http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=GX-162-XF&tool=3

new 5 series too. Difference is its only 512MB. The 1GB version is £50 and over my budget.

This has eyefinity as is DX11 although it probably wont be used at all.

What would you all do. Go for this or stick to my guns and look to the 4000 series for slightly cheaper.

McT

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Re: McT's long term HTPC build :D

Post by 4hams on Sun Apr 25, 2010 7:14 am

Hey Craig that card looks really good for an HTPC.

You will not be gaming and it is a silent cool running card for that case you have!!!
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Re: McT's long term HTPC build :D

Post by McstylisT on Sun Apr 25, 2010 7:21 am

In your experience though is a 512MB card enough for a HTPC (with only 2GB of DDR2 memory) for a smooth HD playback and a good windows aero feel ?

Thanks :D

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Re: McT's long term HTPC build :D

Post by 4hams on Sun Apr 25, 2010 7:53 am

Craig I do not have any experience with HTPC's. But you are not gaming. I would maybe suggest 2 more gigs of ram but that card should cover what is needed for a decent HD experience.
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Re: McT's long term HTPC build :D

Post by McstylisT on Sun Apr 25, 2010 1:07 pm

4hams wrote:Craig I do not have any experience with HTPC's. But you are not gaming. I would maybe suggest 2 more gigs of ram but that card should cover what is needed for a decent HD experience.

Fair points Joel.

Would like to have 4GB in there really but two things have not allowed this. Firstly the board only has two dimm slots. So i would have to go with 2x2GB sticks. The price of DDR2 here is ridiculous. Your looking at £85 or something along those lines brand new. Maybe £70 second hand if your lucky. That is probably my graphics card and CPU budget together. I managed to grab this 2x1GB OCZ memory for £26 to my door , so a fine deal i think. I just wished the board had more memory slots as 1GB sticks seem to be going cheaper at the moment.

No copying software or anything like that will be on this machine. It will be an OS , A good video / HD playback program ( like power DVD ) / a light Security and firewall ( Microsoft sec essentials seems a good bet ) Maybe some HTPC interface software. That is about it. Rest is films and HD content. For now. Some Browsers ect.

But want to keep it very minimal and as less process running as possible. :hahapirate:

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Re: McT's long term HTPC build :D

Post by smduff on Sun Apr 25, 2010 1:34 pm

Don't get power dvd its the shits get TMT3 which is on sale at the moment for 35%off goto DNCSF and take a look there.
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Re: McT's long term HTPC build :D

Post by McstylisT on Sun Apr 25, 2010 1:39 pm

Thanks m8. Will be looking at this indeed. :D

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Re: McT's long term HTPC build :D

Post by bob2701 on Mon Apr 26, 2010 7:21 am

smduff wrote:Don't get power dvd its the shits get TMT3 which is on sale at the moment for 35%off goto DNCSF and take a look there.

I think today is the last day of the sale. It is either 25 or 30 % or $ off I don't remember which.
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Re: McT's long term HTPC build :D

Post by smduff on Mon Apr 26, 2010 9:54 am

I'm pretty sure it was 35%, but don't quote me on that LOL.
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Re: McT's long term HTPC build :D

Post by McstylisT on Wed Apr 28, 2010 6:44 am

$hit missed this :D Not to worry i am sure when the time comes to buy we can find a deal out there somewhere that works well.

McT

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Re: McT's long term HTPC build :D

Post by McstylisT on Wed Apr 28, 2010 6:45 am

Just on the CPU front ,,, just looking this week as i think many might be ditching there old processors from new x6 ones. :D ( i would in that position ). So might find a decent little processor on the bay for hardly nothing. We shall see.

McT.

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Re: McT's long term HTPC build :D

Post by 4hams on Wed Apr 28, 2010 7:00 am

Yes this is a good time for that. may find a really good deal.
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Re: McT's long term HTPC build :D

Post by McstylisT on Sun May 02, 2010 6:27 am

Ok guys would like your input here. smile

Looking at the new AMD X3 triple cores atm. The x3 435 @ 2.9ghz and the x3 440 @ 3ghz are looking fine little processors for all things.

My first question here , the TDP is 95w for these. Do you think this should be lower in the SSF environment im using ? Would somthing like a x2 240 2.8ghz 65w be a better choice ?. A lot less powerful but can do the job. Will this little case struggle with this to keep cool. At these clocks i should not need any overclocking.

Second question , How good are the x3 processors. ? Since i will probably be buying new i can get a x4 quad 630 2.9ghz with same 95w TDP for about £10-15 more , or look second hand and pick one up for the same price as the x3 new. ?

I am completely aware these are overkill for a basic system , but i like doing things and am an enthusiast after all. :D

Graphics :

Was seriously considering the 5450 1GB GDDR3 card. But second hand i can pick up a Nvidia 9600GT 1GB GDDR3 for about £15 less. What is better all round and will the Nvidia card run cool enough for this HTPC

Thank you all

Please let me know your feelings on all of this. :D

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Re: McT's long term HTPC build :D

Post by smduff on Sun May 02, 2010 10:34 am

I think the tripple will be more than enough chip for an HTPC and as for the vid card I would stay with any card that has an HDMI out and that is passive heat is the enemy here.
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