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Thread: New Under TV HTPC Project

  1. #1
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    New Under TV HTPC Project

    Hi all,

    I am ready to take the massive jump into the unknown and build my first HTPC, I need help to spec it out, these are the requirements, Needs to be low noise, silent if poss, needs to look like it belongs under tv, got to have have decent storage space, dual tv tuners? and all on a max budget of £500.
    Is this achievable?

    Thanks Fellas

    Danny

  2. #2
    Vive le pants! directhex's Avatar
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    • directhex's system
      • Motherboard:
      • MSI X99A Gaming 7
      • CPU:
      • Intel Core i7 5280k
      • Memory:
      • 32GiB ADATA DDR4
      • Storage:
      • Corsair Neutron XT 960GB
      • Graphics card(s):
      • MSI GTX 980 Gaming 4G Twin Frozr 5
      • PSU:
      • Corsair AX860i
      • Case:
      • NZXT H440
      • Operating System:
      • Ubuntu 17.10, Windows 10
      • Monitor(s):
      • Dell U2713HM
      • Internet:
      • FIOS
    You're looking for a lot for £500.

    Firstly, decide whether you're going for Windows or not. XP Media Center is £75 (or 15% of your budget), XP Home with some non-MCE software could cost you anything between £60 and £90. Linux will cost you some time.

    Low noise or silent strongly suggests Pentium-M or Epia - the former is expensive, the latter is slow and only gives you 1 expansion slot.

    Tuner cards are ~£45 each, or about £80 for a dual-tuner card.

    Nice under-TV cases? £40-£400.

    Storage? About £0.30 a gig right now.

  3. #3
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    here's a good one to start you

    MSI 915GM Speedster-FA4 i915 915GM PCI-E (Mobile CPU) DDR400 & DDR2 GbE LAN On-Board VGA £129.57
    Intel Pentium-M 750 Dothan (Mobile) CPU 1.86GHz 533FSB 2M L2 Cache Ratail with 3 Year Warranty £172.94
    512MB Corsair Value Select PC2-5300 DDR2 667MHz non-ECC 240 DIMM Unbuffered CL5 Lifetime Warranty £36.41
    HiperMedia Chassis, Small Form Factor (AMD Validated) Matt Black Finish, for uATX/Mini-ITX MoBo £50.47
    250GB SATA300 Samsung SpinPoint P SP2504C (7200rpm, 8MB) - NCQ £67.20

    total 458.33 (with free delivery from scan)
    no optical drive, with that case you'd need a slimline which i can't seem to find for less than £70, surely they can be found cheaper

  4. #4
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    whoops i forgot tv tuners! 2xHauppauge WinTV-Nova-T MCE Freeview add another £100 to that

  5. #5
    Vive le pants! directhex's Avatar
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    • directhex's system
      • Motherboard:
      • MSI X99A Gaming 7
      • CPU:
      • Intel Core i7 5280k
      • Memory:
      • 32GiB ADATA DDR4
      • Storage:
      • Corsair Neutron XT 960GB
      • Graphics card(s):
      • MSI GTX 980 Gaming 4G Twin Frozr 5
      • PSU:
      • Corsair AX860i
      • Case:
      • NZXT H440
      • Operating System:
      • Ubuntu 17.10, Windows 10
      • Monitor(s):
      • Dell U2713HM
      • Internet:
      • FIOS
    Quote Originally Posted by chazt
    whoops i forgot tv tuners! 2xHauppauge WinTV-Nova-T MCE Freeview add another £100 to that
    so £458, plus £100 of tuners, plus £70 of optical drive. think you're over £500, and that's before you add windows

  6. #6
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    yeah i totally messed that one up didn't i? ok semprons are fairly low wattage so will produce less heat and could be cooled more quietly and efficiently.


    AMD Sempron 64 3000 + S754 128K OEM £53.09
    MSI K8NGM-V S754 uATX nForce6100 with OnBoard VGA + PCI-E Slot DDR400 SATAII Lan 5.1Ch Audio £48.99
    512Mb Corsair Value Select PC3200 non-ECC 184 DIMM unbuffered CL2.5 Lifetime Warranty £27.47
    SilverStone "LASCALA" LC10B (BLACK) Aluminum Front & SECC Body Desktop case (w/o PSU) £72.72
    400W Akasa Ultra quiet aPFC PSU with Black 12cm Fan ( 24pin Connector ) £39.47
    Arctic Cooling Freezer 64 Pro - S754/939/940 £16.32
    Hauppauge WinTV PVR500 2xTVTuner MCE PCI Kit c/w Remote and nVidia *Gold* DVD Decoder £117.72
    250GB SATA300 Samsung SpinPoint P SP2504C (7200rpm, 8MB) - NCQ £67.20
    LG 16x Black DVD-ROM + 52x CD-ROM IDE £12.93

    £410 so enough left to buy a copy of windows

  7. #7
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    Sounds good guys, Also I forgot to mention I already have the MCE software, does that help? Also I would like to burn discs with it?

    Danny

  8. #8
    Vive le pants! directhex's Avatar
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    • directhex's system
      • Motherboard:
      • MSI X99A Gaming 7
      • CPU:
      • Intel Core i7 5280k
      • Memory:
      • 32GiB ADATA DDR4
      • Storage:
      • Corsair Neutron XT 960GB
      • Graphics card(s):
      • MSI GTX 980 Gaming 4G Twin Frozr 5
      • PSU:
      • Corsair AX860i
      • Case:
      • NZXT H440
      • Operating System:
      • Ubuntu 17.10, Windows 10
      • Monitor(s):
      • Dell U2713HM
      • Internet:
      • FIOS
    Quote Originally Posted by dannyd4315
    Sounds good guys, Also I forgot to mention I already have the MCE software, does that help? Also I would like to burn discs with it?

    Danny
    XP MCE is only available as OEM. under microsoft's licensing terms, you can't re-use it.

    Also bear in mind that there's more than just the software - there's the USB remote too.

  9. #9
    lazy student nvening's Avatar
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    Obviously he means that he has already purchased it for this build, obviously.

    I think you should save the money of a pentium m and go with a nice cool AMD of some kind which would give you the extra buget you probably need.

    These are the TV Tuners i would go for http://blackgold.tv/BuyOnline/Manual...ent.asp?sku=56

    Dual freeview goodness, and fully MCE complient.

    Also what TV will you be running this on out of intrest?
    (\__/)
    (='.'=)
    (")_(")

  10. #10
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    Just a normal CRT TV to start with, till I can afford to get the LCD. Yeah I have already purchased the software for the build.

  11. #11
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    i probably wouldn't buy a digital tuner card myself coz freeview is pretty crap imho. I got an analogue tuner to connect to my sky box, but never got round to configuring it to work properly

  12. #12
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    Silent is going to be easy as pie as long as you choose the right components baring in mind that you will be fitting this all in a HTPC case. If you are building a unit today, stay away from the Intel Pentium4, their CPU run far too hot. During a build, I did a back-2-back with a P4 Northwood and a P4 Prescott. The Northwood version (very rare these days) runs at 35C, whereas the Prescott would try to go over 60-70C and would have gone higher if it wasn't for the fact that the CPU throttle mechanism kicking in. Those temperature differences might sound excessive, but bare in mind that their's not a lot of airflow in a quiet HTPC case, so it's easy for a modern CPU to overwhelm the case's ability to expel heat.

    To keep things as cheap as possible, try to find a case that will house standard sized components. My case (Ahanix HT-400) will house an ATX motherboard as well as a standard sized PSU. You'll have more choice. It will also mean that the case is not as cramped, i.e. more airflow. However HTPC cases are not cheap to begin with, and larger sized HTPC even more expensive. I quite like the features of Zalman's new HTPC case (HD160). It's not cheap but it's very well thought out and it does include the MCE remote and VFD.

    So a build based on the components I've mentioned along with others which are silent computing champs:
    £220 Case
    £100 Intel Northwood CPU
    £35 PSU from the Seasonic S12 range
    £60 1Gb DDR/DDR2 RAM (known brand)
    £100 Motherboard (known brand)
    £40 CPU heatsink/fan (e.g. XP-120 + Nexus 120mm fan)
    £100 nVidia 6600GT card (either silent or buy an aftermarket silent cooler which is £20)
    £40 Digital TV Tuner. Personally Hauppauge Nova-T, because they constantly update their drivers and their forum is very active.
    £70 Samsung Spinpoint drives (250Gb). If you are only going to record the odd program, then a single drive will suffice. If you are going to have multiple tuners (I have 5 in mine) then you should have your OS on one drive, and your TV recordings being made to another, prefferably a RAID0 array.

    Ooops, we are way over your budget already. At the moment silent is not cheap. Things will change towards the end of the year when Intel release their conroe chips.

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