The eleventy-hundredth HTPC build

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Chivas
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Joined: Wed Aug 24, 2011 8:27 pm
Location: Australia

The eleventy-hundredth HTPC build

Post by Chivas » Thu Aug 25, 2011 5:45 am

Hey guys. I've enjoyed losing a few hours reading through the pages here and want to thank you all already for a great and informative site.

After much deliberation, I plucked the courage to post my HTPC planned build for any thoughts and comments.

This will be a purely HTPC, not gaming or serving files/media.

Mobo: Asus E35M1-M Pro
RAM: 4Gig Kingston generic (1x 4gig stick)
HDD1(OS): OCZ Solid 3 (going SDD for quiet / power consumption advantages as opposed to speed)
HDD2(recordings): WD scorpio blue 320gig
Hauppauge HVR2200
Win 7 Pro 64 bit
Optical: Whatever generic Blu Ray drive is on offer at the shop I go for ie: LG, Samsung etc at ~$70
Power supply: Pico PSU 150XT
All in a Silverstone ML03 Case.

I understand the 150W power supply is massive overkill but I can't find any smaller pico psu's that have 24pin connector plus the p4 connector.

I originally planned on having just the SSD but I believe I'll only be left with 30gig for TV recordings - Plenty for 99% of the time as they will be moved across to a WHS automatically, but I would prefer just a little bit more. I guess I could drop the scorpio and use that coin towards a bigger SSD. It would still be dearer to purchase but it would be 1 less HDD to power. It's also 1 less thing making noise :)

Anyway, it'd be great to hear any thoughts - Cheers!

Jim G
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Re: The eleventy-hundredth HTPC build

Post by Jim G » Thu Aug 25, 2011 9:21 pm

I'd probably go for the single bigger SSD if you can stretch to that... not having that extra heat generating/spinning/noise generating part is worth it imho along with the power savings - while small, it all adds up. Also... that motherboard is passively cooled, iirc, which leaves you with only the case fans as the moving and noise generating parts... a good situation to be in!

Do you need W7 Pro? You might save a few bucks and get Home if not...

Chivas
Posts: 10
Joined: Wed Aug 24, 2011 8:27 pm
Location: Australia

Re: The eleventy-hundredth HTPC build

Post by Chivas » Thu Aug 25, 2011 10:52 pm

Jim G wrote:Do you need W7 Pro? You might save a few bucks and get Home if not...
I'd love the ability to rdp in to these machines but I guess this is not a huge priority... Will see how the Missus responds to the $$ figure when I tell her :)

Chivas
Posts: 10
Joined: Wed Aug 24, 2011 8:27 pm
Location: Australia

Re: The eleventy-hundredth HTPC build

Post by Chivas » Fri Aug 26, 2011 2:30 am

This post may not make sense by the time it hits the thread, however I'm now convinced on only having the single drive, be it ssd or not.

I'm really considering swapping out the ssd and replacing it with a wd scorpio blue 320gig, which from what I can tell should be virtually silent anyway? I intend on planning 2 identical HTPCs so I would save about $300 on this alone.

MikeC
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Re: The eleventy-hundredth HTPC build

Post by MikeC » Sat Aug 27, 2011 5:39 am

imo, 320gb is too small for a htpc. Go for at least 500gb.

I've got a 2tb WD Green in mine, mounted atop sticky pieces of sorbothane rubber blocks. Since the htpc is hardly ever moved, it's perfecly safe. The htpc is always on, and I never hear it. With the TV sound on, it is impossible to hear it. After >2 yrs downloading HD movies & tv series, etc, it's over 70% full.

Chivas
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Joined: Wed Aug 24, 2011 8:27 pm
Location: Australia

Re: The eleventy-hundredth HTPC build

Post by Chivas » Sat Aug 27, 2011 2:26 pm

If this machine was holding all of my movies I certainly would agree with you. My plan is to have all my movies, music etc on a home server that will have terrabytes of room. The HTPCs only need enough to store tv recordings temporirarly. Once a show has been recorded it will be automatically moved to the server and thus the space made available again. :)

kater
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Re: The eleventy-hundredth HTPC build

Post by kater » Sun Aug 28, 2011 12:37 am

You might want to reconsider the SSD choice - Solid 3 and other drives with the new SF controller are known to cause issues. For all I've read this is not the safest SSD to buy now. Lots of SSD maker have/had issues (including Intel) but of all these the new SF problems are the most common - BSODs, freezes, missing drives in BIOS etc.
My personal choice would be Crucial M4 / C300, Intel X25-M or Samsung 470. Also, Kingston has some nice offering of cheaper drives. If you're worrying about performance of such cheaper or simply slower drives - don't worry. I recently upgraded from X25-V 40 GB - an oldish drive with some really low specs (only 40 MB/s write speed, yay) to Crucial M4 64 GB, a much quicker drive on paper, SATA III and all. Still, the real life difference that I can see and feel is almost imperceptible. System boots now some 3 sec faster (<30 sec instead of <35), everything else works just as snappy. So, my point is, if you need to go for larger capacity (and you obviously want/need to do so) you can safely choose an ordinary, oldish SATA II drive with unimpressive figures, and you'll still have a snappy system.
The new Samsung 470 looks great too and you'd probably be able to buy an OEM verions of it. As always, X25-M is a great drive, still kicking some serious buttocks.

Chivas
Posts: 10
Joined: Wed Aug 24, 2011 8:27 pm
Location: Australia

Re: The eleventy-hundredth HTPC build

Post by Chivas » Sun Aug 28, 2011 1:20 am

kater wrote:You might want to reconsider the SSD choice - ....
Thanks for the info on these. I agree people can get very carried away with benchmark figures and this drive is x points faster than that one... Real world use is far less obvious. I've convinced myself now to go with a 2.5inch non-ssd drive. If for some reason it's too noisy I'll deal with that when I have to.

Can't wait to get my hands on these parts and start building!! Thanks to all for your input.

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