Home Theatre PC build questions

Discussion in 'HTPC' started by RhysG, Jun 21, 2010.

  1. RhysG

    RhysG Member

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    Hi all, I am looking at building a home theatre PC but am unsure of certain components - whether or not they'll be overkill or not etc. If anyone could take a look at these spec's and give me some advice it'd be greatly appreciated.

    Asus ATI Radeon HD5450 Silent 1GB Low Profile
    Logitech DiNovo Mini Palm Sized Keyboard
    Patriot PC3-10600 2x2GB DDR3 PSD34G1333KH
    Lian Li PC-C37B Black
    AMD Athlon II X2 245
    Gigabyte GA-880GMA-UD2H Micro ATX Motherboard

    Comes to about $800 all up, delivered from PC Case Gear which seems pretty expensive... it would be an easy decision if it was around $500. I don't know if it's worth it because I already have a WDTV (not Live) but am really keen to make full use of my Windows Home Server as a media server rather than having to ferry my media around on USB. Also easier to access my collection digitally than leafing through DVD wallets/browsing the server from a client and transferring to USB.

    Thanks, Rhys.

    P.S. I thought this would be better off in the AV forum than What/Where to Buy because it is pretty topical.
     
  2. OP
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    RhysG

    RhysG Member

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    ASUS AT3IONT-I Deluxe Motherboard
    Patriot PC3-10600 2x2GB DDR3 PSD34G1333KH
    SilverStone SG06 Black Cube Mini-ITX Case

    Or I could go with an ITX system but it doesn't work out that much cheaper and would the onboard VGA be enough for flawless HD playback?
     
  3. Namheul

    Namheul Member

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    The ION motherboard will display HD videos no problem, as will the 880G motherboard in your first post.
    Neither will need a discrete video card.

    Your decision will depend on whether you need more CPU power (the microATX choice) or whether you just want to watch videos (Atom choice).
     
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    RhysG

    RhysG Member

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    I'll just be watching videos, what sort of application did you have in mind for the increased CPU power?
     
  5. Namheul

    Namheul Member

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    Well, i recently built a little PC. I used:

    Intel i3-530
    Intel DH57JG motherboard (ITX)
    2 x 2GB DDR3

    I went with these specs as im a programmer/web developer, and do some video encoding too. The more powerful CPU helps with this.


    If its purely for watching videos and internet browsing, the Atom/ION combination will be perfect.
     
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    RhysG

    RhysG Member

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    Sweet, well I've been trying to shave the price a little and was wondering whether 2GB would be enough for seamless HD playback?

    Antec ISK310-150 Mini-ITX Case
    Corsair VS2GB1333D3 2GB (1x2GB) DDR3
    ASUS AT3IONT-I MiniITX ION Motherboard

    These components bring the price down to the mid $500's.
     
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    RhysG

    RhysG Member

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    Just wondering which OS is in vogue for HTPC at the moment? Not very good with Linux so looking for Windows and 3rd party software combo.
     
  8. nathanblogs

    nathanblogs Member

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    windows + xbmc, 2gb is plenty.

    I would just get the cheapest cpu + mobo + ram ( search the for sale forum ) you can find and put it with a gt210/220 or hd 5450 and use dxva2 which will play any 1080p easily.

    Also consider sound when making a htpc, make sure its quiet.

    I use a E6350, 4gb ram ( used to be 1gb ), some gigabyte board I had lying around and a hd 5450.

    1080p uses ~5% of the cpu.
     
  9. Namheul

    Namheul Member

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    That is a nice case. Nice and small too. You will need a laptop optical drive though (if you want an optical drive at all). 2GB should be fine.

    Windows 7 Media Center is perfect for a HTPC. I use it with the "Media Browser" plugin and it works great. Allow room in your budget for a Remote too.
     
  10. Omnomnom

    Omnomnom Member

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    Windows 7 + XBMC is brilliant, it is currently the setup I use.
     
  11. mr_mordred2095

    mr_mordred2095 Member

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    What about tuners? BD ROM? Antennas for tuners? HDD?
     
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    RhysG

    RhysG Member

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    BDROM is going to come a while down the track but not right now. Tuner I probably won't need because I have Foxtel IQ2 and don't see the need to record much TV at the moment or watch it live through the HTPC.
     
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    RhysG

    RhysG Member

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    I have heard great things about XMBC, I have a spare Windows 7 x86 so I will use that. I think I'll try and save money on the RAM via the FS/WTB forums but I doubt the other stuff will show up. I have budgeted for a Logitech DiNovo Mini which I want to use in place of the usual remote and keyboard/mouse. It looks the goods.
     
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    RhysG

    RhysG Member

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    OK, the current quote:

     
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2010
  15. banshee

    banshee Member

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    I use the greater CPU, mainly because I record shows & don't watch them all straight away, so use MCE Buddy to shrink them down overnight, if I have not watched them within a week...
     
  16. stevo4

    stevo4 Member

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    And is terrible to type on.

    Definitely a coffee table remote.
     
  17. OP
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    RhysG

    RhysG Member

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    Well I'm not writing my magnum opus on the thing... just need to quickly type in search strings etc. Also like the mouse/directional pad included.
     
  18. stevo4

    stevo4 Member

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    Painfully slow, just to do that.

    Till you use one.
    Also slow, and imprecise.
     
  19. Doso

    Doso Member

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    I found my dinovo mini to be acceptable, but I manly use a universal remote (logitech 525) for navigation in windows 7 media center
     
  20. Dropbear

    Dropbear Member

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    XBMC has a couple of major drawbacks

    1. No support for tuners - so you won't get any PVR functionality

    2. It runs in a tight loop - not event driven so the CPU will be basically running ALL the time -whether you're doing anything or not ..


    IMO Windows Media Centre + Media Browser is a better solution.
     

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