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Thread: Possible HTPC project

  1. #1
    Does he need a reason? Funkstar's Avatar
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    • Funkstar's system
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    Possible HTPC project

    I abandoned an HTPC project a few months ago and sold the system. Now i'm thinking about starting a new one. just can't help myself

    This time however i'm going for a (near) silent setup.

    I found this range of passive cases and accessories while hunting around:
    http://www.kustompcs.com/acatalog/mC...sive_HTPC.html

    any thoughts? anyone used or seen these in the flesh? There aren't many reviews of it, and Kustompcs is the only place i could find it in the UK. If i do this the box will be in the living room, on a book case with nothing directly above it. so heat should rise quite nicely away from it.

    One problem i have though it motherboard, processor and graphics. Should i go Core2Duo, Core2Solo or AM2 Energy Efficient?

    I'll mainly be running MediaPortal and watching Freeview, but i'm also tempted with getting satelite. My plasma is SD only, so i don't have to worry about decoding HD content. Onboard graphics should be fine, but it looks like that isn't an option with Core2 motherboards (at least the ones that Scan has on offer right now). I have no idea what all the numbers mean with regards to Nvidia and ATI cards.

    Hard drives i have. so other than case and cooling, all is need is mobo, cpu and memory and perhaps graphics

    any advice it greatly appreciated, i really haven't been keeping up with all the ins and outs .

    EDITT: Looks like MediaPortal required a DX9 card with 128MB ram, so i will need a new card and can't re-use either of my aging Matrox ones, which is a shame.
    Last edited by Funkstar; 10-08-2006 at 10:53 AM.

  2. #2
    Asking silly questions menthel's Avatar
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    Surely go as cheap as possible? With 939's and am2's going at dirt cheap prices and there being some damn fine asus matx boards out there, surely that would be the best option. Its what I did! Then again, looks like money is no object with those cases! I have an antec nsk2400, very nice and quiet. And about £60 with decent psu!
    Not around too often!

  3. #3
    Does he need a reason? Funkstar's Avatar
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    • Funkstar's system
      • Motherboard:
      • Gigabyte EG45M-DS2H
      • CPU:
      • Intel Core2Quad Q9550 (2.83GHz)
      • Memory:
      • 8GB OCZ PC2-6400C5 800MHz Quad Channel
      • Storage:
      • 650GB Western Digital Caviar Blue
      • Graphics card(s):
      • 512MB ATI Radeon HD4550
      • PSU:
      • Antec 350W 80+ Efficient PSU
      • Case:
      • Antec NSK1480 Slim Mini Desktop Case
      • Operating System:
      • Vista Ultimate 64bit
      • Monitor(s):
      • Dell 2407 + 2408 monitors
      • Internet:
      • Zen 8mb
    I want a HTPC style case that is as quiet as possible. These are the only ones i could find that didn't look like a bag of spanners and i know will be quiet. I also figure i'll be replacing the PC components long before i need to change the case, so spending bigger there is justifiable. Budget is cetrailally not unlimited. If this happens, i'll be spending less than £1000 on it in total. I already have storage and DVB-T cards.

    what is the power output of regular AM2 processors? I figure that with using passive cooling for an complete system i'll need to make sure i don't end up with a CPU that is pumping out mega heat.

    I figure ~£150 for the CPU going by what is available on Scan, and another £100 - £150 on a board.

  4. #4
    The King of Vague Steve B's Avatar
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    get one of the energy efficient processors. they're thin on the ground but if you can pick one up, they have a very low TDP and so dont produce much heat at all. I doubt ull be able to cool it completely passively, as you'll need something to shift the air.

    You could try the Hoojum series on Scan, they're quite nice cases, or try kustompcs for some of their other media monkeys.

  5. #5
    radix lecti dave87's Avatar
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    I couldn't actually get onto the kustom pcs site (is it down?) but how about if you are only dealing with SD content, using a Pentium M? With everyone heading off to Core2Duo and the like they should be fairly cheap and still pack a punch?

    Dave

  6. #6
    Does he need a reason? Funkstar's Avatar
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    • Funkstar's system
      • Motherboard:
      • Gigabyte EG45M-DS2H
      • CPU:
      • Intel Core2Quad Q9550 (2.83GHz)
      • Memory:
      • 8GB OCZ PC2-6400C5 800MHz Quad Channel
      • Storage:
      • 650GB Western Digital Caviar Blue
      • Graphics card(s):
      • 512MB ATI Radeon HD4550
      • PSU:
      • Antec 350W 80+ Efficient PSU
      • Case:
      • Antec NSK1480 Slim Mini Desktop Case
      • Operating System:
      • Vista Ultimate 64bit
      • Monitor(s):
      • Dell 2407 + 2408 monitors
      • Internet:
      • Zen 8mb
    Quote Originally Posted by Steve B
    get one of the energy efficient processors.
    My plan exactly, i just don't know whether it should be AMD or Intel. Not built an Intel box since '98 or something (Celeron 300 o/c to 450 ). but if Core2 is the way to go for good power/heat/price ratio then thats fine.

    I don't like the Hoojum cases, i want a AV component shaped case. None of the other HTPC cases looks quite like an AV component, they are too PC-based in their design. the mCubed ones are much better IMO

  7. #7
    The King of Vague Steve B's Avatar
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  8. #8
    Does he need a reason? Funkstar's Avatar
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    • Funkstar's system
      • Motherboard:
      • Gigabyte EG45M-DS2H
      • CPU:
      • Intel Core2Quad Q9550 (2.83GHz)
      • Memory:
      • 8GB OCZ PC2-6400C5 800MHz Quad Channel
      • Storage:
      • 650GB Western Digital Caviar Blue
      • Graphics card(s):
      • 512MB ATI Radeon HD4550
      • PSU:
      • Antec 350W 80+ Efficient PSU
      • Case:
      • Antec NSK1480 Slim Mini Desktop Case
      • Operating System:
      • Vista Ultimate 64bit
      • Monitor(s):
      • Dell 2407 + 2408 monitors
      • Internet:
      • Zen 8mb
    it's not bad, but nothing special

    Another thing i liked about the mCubed was all the 5.25" bays. It actually encourages you to use hard drive coolers/enclosures to quieten your drives. I was planning on doing this anyway. None of the other cases give you teh space to do that.

    There will be a DVD-RW, 2x 400gig WD drives in drive boxes and i think a 2.5" as the boot drive.

  9. #9
    The King of Vague Steve B's Avatar
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    sounds good its expensive though

  10. #10
    Does he need a reason? Funkstar's Avatar
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    • Funkstar's system
      • Motherboard:
      • Gigabyte EG45M-DS2H
      • CPU:
      • Intel Core2Quad Q9550 (2.83GHz)
      • Memory:
      • 8GB OCZ PC2-6400C5 800MHz Quad Channel
      • Storage:
      • 650GB Western Digital Caviar Blue
      • Graphics card(s):
      • 512MB ATI Radeon HD4550
      • PSU:
      • Antec 350W 80+ Efficient PSU
      • Case:
      • Antec NSK1480 Slim Mini Desktop Case
      • Operating System:
      • Vista Ultimate 64bit
      • Monitor(s):
      • Dell 2407 + 2408 monitors
      • Internet:
      • Zen 8mb
    yeah, thats the down side. and it weighs about 27KG. with everything else is there, it will be a bitch to move. i'm guessing somewhere in the order of 35 - 40KG

    So... ignoring the case any recomendations on motherboard and CPU combinations?

    decided now i would like dual head graphics so i can use it as a regular PC on another monitor when not using MediaPortal. Will be a lot spedier than my laptop i think.

  11. #11
    The King of Vague Steve B's Avatar
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    could pair an ee x2 with a cheaper uATX motherboard.
    my x2 4200+ and NF-95 are going into my media rig, once its completed

  12. #12
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    What about this one:

    http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/Produ...oductID=212714

    I put a Sempron 3000 (754) on a uATX board in one of these with 2 DVB-T cards and an AGP 9600SE and it works a charm. The iMon (ihate ithe iprefix...) remote/display works very well too. I can post some piccies if you want.

  13. #13
    root Member DanceswithUnix's Avatar
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    • DanceswithUnix's system
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    Quote Originally Posted by Funkstar
    what is the power output of regular AM2 processors? I figure that with using passive cooling for an complete system i'll need to make sure i don't end up with a CPU that is pumping out mega heat.
    I noticed Scan have an energy efficient X2 4200 for 145 quid.

    Still, with cool & quiet enabled I have seen standard CPUs measured at around 7W when idle. Something like an Arctic Cooler Silencer 64 Ultra should stop you from going deaf.

  14. #14
    The King of Vague Steve B's Avatar
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    is it possible to fit that beast into an htpc though? u could saw it in half

  15. #15
    root Member DanceswithUnix's Avatar
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    • DanceswithUnix's system
      • Motherboard:
      • Asus X470-PRO
      • CPU:
      • 3700X
      • Memory:
      • 16GB 3200MHz
      • Storage:
      • 1TB Linux, 1TB Games (Win 10)
      • Graphics card(s):
      • Asus Strix RX Vega 56
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    Not the 14 quid monster one, the little 6 quid one.

    this one

    OK, still not dinky but in with a fighting chance. I think it will fit on socket AM2, if Scan ever ship my RMA replacements I might have a chance of trying it.

  16. #16
    Does he need a reason? Funkstar's Avatar
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    • Funkstar's system
      • Motherboard:
      • Gigabyte EG45M-DS2H
      • CPU:
      • Intel Core2Quad Q9550 (2.83GHz)
      • Memory:
      • 8GB OCZ PC2-6400C5 800MHz Quad Channel
      • Storage:
      • 650GB Western Digital Caviar Blue
      • Graphics card(s):
      • 512MB ATI Radeon HD4550
      • PSU:
      • Antec 350W 80+ Efficient PSU
      • Case:
      • Antec NSK1480 Slim Mini Desktop Case
      • Operating System:
      • Vista Ultimate 64bit
      • Monitor(s):
      • Dell 2407 + 2408 monitors
      • Internet:
      • Zen 8mb
    this is actually what i had in mind for processor cooling
    http://www.kustompcs.com/acatalog/info_1278.html

    I saw the AM2 EE on scan earlier, paired with this
    http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/Produ...oductID=443859

    would work for me. I don't need PCI-E. This gives me scope for my three DVB-T tuners and a firwire card with one slot spare. Might use it for wireless, or a DVB-S card in the future.

    Just need to decide if i go ahead and do this, or put it on the back burner again for a while

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