HTPC Help

Discussion in 'HTPC' started by cassius, Apr 7, 2010.

  1. cassius

    cassius Member

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    Hi All,
    Ive been asked by my brother in law to put together a HTPC and I have done some research but have a question regarding the motherboard. I was trying to keep to a m/ATX board but am worried about the addon cards that I have listed below. Given the choice of motherboard, will the addon cards fit OK.

    The board I have selected has 1 x PCIe 16x, 2 PCIe 1x (grey slots), and 1 x PCI slot. So given these slots, I was thinking the 5570 in the PCIe 16x slot, the Hauppauge tuner card in one of the PCIe 1x slot and the wireless NIC in the PCI slot. Would this work or would I be best selecting an ATX board.

    Im open to better ideas or options should there be something I should be considering. No gaming will be done on this PC, it will primarily be a HTPC.

    PC Build:
    Hauppauge HVR-2200 Hybrid Dual Tuner Card $176.00
    Samsung 1.5TB Silencer Series 32M $125.00
    OCZ 60G Agility SSD 64M Cache $245.00
    Kingston 4GB(2 X 2GB) DDR3-1333MHZ $122.00
    Microsoft Windows 7 Pro 64bit OEM $154.00
    SilverStone 500W Half Modular PSU $65.00
    Samsung SH-B083A Blu-Ray Combo SATA $125.00
    Intel Core i5 661 $242.00
    Tenda W322P Wireless N PCI Adapter $34.00
    SilverStone LC10-E BLACK HTPC $139.00
    XFX ATI HD5570 1GB DDR3 PCI-E2.0 DVI/ HDMI $112.00
    Asus P7H55D-M EVO MB $157.00
    Total $1686.00

    Thx for your assitance.
    Cheers
    Clay
     
  2. Oppressa

    Oppressa Member

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    What does he intend to do with it? CPU, GPU and therefore mobo are a bit overkill for a TV/movie/sound centre...
     
  3. OP
    OP
    cassius

    cassius Member

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    Wants to mainly for a recording, playback, blueray and general stuff but no gaming.

    GPU I thought of putting in to take the processing away from the CPU when playing back video and blueray, as when doing a bit of research they recommend it.

    I mainly want to know if the MB can accomodate the addon cards in the setup.
     
  4. Oppressa

    Oppressa Member

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    Okay well to answer your question, yes the mobo will support the cards. Other than that though what you're essentially buying is a gaming rig that's going to most likely be noisy when watching movies with that GPU and without a quieter CPU cooler. Also not sure which exact model that Silverstone is... have you researched noise levels on it?
     
  5. Namheul

    Namheul Member

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    If you are getting a motherboard with the H55 or H57 chipset, combined with an i3 or i5 CPU, you will not need a seperate GPU. The motherboard can handle HD content.
     
  6. Oppressa

    Oppressa Member

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    And AMD wise the 780V, 785G or 790GX chipsets all have onboard GPUs
     
  7. OP
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    cassius

    cassius Member

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    so best to leave out the GPU? Ive heard that it is best to get one to take away some of the processing power to display HD content...is that right?
     
  8. spaceman_g

    spaceman_g Member

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    I know this is not what you asked, but here is a build I did for my folks a month or so back:

    • WD CAVIAR BLACK 1.0TB 7200/32MB/SATA2 $117
    • GIGABYTE MA785GM-US2H AM3 $109.00
    • Samsung SH-B083A Blu-ray/DVD Combo Drive$149.00
    • GEIL 4GB KIT ULTRA DDR2 PC8500# [GX24GB8500C6UDC]$129.00
    • TP-LINK WIRELESS N 300M USB ADAPTER# [TL-WN821N] $39.00
    • ANTEC NSK2480B "SOLUTION SERIES" 380W HTPC $139.00
    • AMD PHENOM II X2 Dual Core 550 BLACK EDITION CPU, 3.1GHz (80W) $139.00
    • LOGITECH CORDLESS DESKTOP EX100 $59.00
    • GIGABYTE HD4550 600M/1600M 512MB/DVI/HDMI $59.00
    • aver twinstar AVerMedia AVERTV-TS-USB USB 2.0 $80.00

    It handles everything you want to throw at it, is quiet and considerably cheaper with less heat output than the system you are suggesting.

    Onboard video would have normally handled the output, but I was driving a large screen at 1:1 pixel mapping and just wanted a bit more overhead - as it is the GPU is passively cooled.

    Not telling you what to buy, just throwing up another possibility :)

    Cheers, G

    EDIT: ended up using different model gigabyte mainboard and DDR3 - should have stuck to the build above as that is what I have and it unlocks the 2 extra cores in the processor flawlessly - DDR3 board = not so easily
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2010
  9. Namheul

    Namheul Member

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    Yes it is right. BUT the onboard GPU on a H55/H57/780G/785G/790GX motherboard will do this too. A discreet GPU is just extra power, heat and noise that isnt needed in a HTPC. The only reason you would want one is if you want to play games too.

    If you realise later on you want one, buy one. Better to have not wasted the money to begin with.
     
  10. Oppressa

    Oppressa Member

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    Out of interest, why the GPU seeing as there was one onboard?
     
  11. spaceman_g

    spaceman_g Member

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    I found that the onboard just wasn't up to driving the panel as well as the 4550 did, there was a kind of washed out fuzziness. I know the board has unified decoders, however, off-loading the decoding to the 4550 made a difference and the hdmi 7.1 passthrough was a bit problematic via the onboard also.

    for $50 it was worth the effort
     
  12. OP
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    cassius

    cassius Member

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    thx for the advice so far, its great to have willing helpful members...

    Given the mATX board I have chosen, how would i go about placement of the addon cards.

    There are 2 PCIex1 slots (grey ones) then the 16x PCIe... etc so would I place the Digital tuner (Hauppage 2200) in the first PCIex1 grey slot, followed by the 5570 GPU in the PCIex16 and the wireless card in the PCI slot...

    In regard to the GPU Ill have to sway the brother in law regarding the removal of the 5570, but for the moment Ill keep it included.
     
  13. stevo4

    stevo4 Member

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    Keep it, or look to getting a 5450 if you want to save a bit of money.
    And be able to output(bitstream) the HD audio codecs to a reciever.
    That is something the 4xxx series GPU's cannot do.

    The GPU can be used to off load the decoding of the HiDef video codecs, VC-1 and H.264, by programs like Total Media Theatre and PowerDVD.
    So include a GPU.
     
  14. cyrax83

    cyrax83 Member

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    i bought a avermedia twinstar usb for my htpc, should have it this saturday.

    and $1680 for a htpc ? You really dont need that much grunt. I built a htpc 2 weeks ago from some new parts and second hand parts from the forums. Can handle 1080p content and everything i throw at it.

    Antec case 2480 (was in new condition from the forums) - $55
    motherboard new - $70
    ram new 2gb - DDR3 - $60
    3tb hard drives - $240
    twinstar tuner - $70
    e7300 second hand - $60
    ati 4350 hdmi - $35
    noctua silent fan for psu - $15
    existing audigy 2 nx with optical cable

    $590 for a completely silent 1080p system
     
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2010
  15. Oppressa

    Oppressa Member

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    Nice work cyrax. That's a HTPC. Silent and 1080p capable. As opposed to sticking gaming PC parts in an HTPC case.
     
  16. spaceman_g

    spaceman_g Member

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    grabbed an avermedia twinstar for my folks and it rocks - great picture quality, good software for using outside media centre, the only thing that sucks is the included remote control, which is complete pants.

    I am thinking about getting one to augment my existing twin cards for those late night movies when two tuners is just not enough :D

    that and i can plug it into the office pc and escape if I wish
     
  17. stevo4

    stevo4 Member

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    With fans, it is not going to be completely silent.
    Not necessarily gaming parts.
    Depends on what you want to do with the box, and how reliable you want to make it.
     
  18. cyrax83

    cyrax83 Member

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    It's pretty damn near silent. You can't hear it from about a meter away.

    The PSU fan has been replaced by a low rpm noctua, the intel hsf stock is pretty quiet and inaudible but can be replaced by a chunky heatsink if necessary, and there are 2 case fans which are low rpm also and pretty silent, and the video card is passive.
     
  19. OP
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    cassius

    cassius Member

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    Could someone please confirm if i go with the ASUS board that I would install the cards this way...if I have explained it correctly that is :)
     
  20. Oppressa

    Oppressa Member

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    Well he's taken steps in the right directions and as long as you can't hear it during quiet scenes in movies that's all you need.
     

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