Assassin's Hardware Guide

Discussion in 'Home Theater PCs' started by assassin24, Aug 15, 2012.

  1. assassin24

    assassin24 HTPC Moderator

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2005
    Messages:
    394
    Likes Received:
    0
    This is a link to my free hardware guide which I try to keep as updated as possible.

    Assassin Hardware Guide (updated for 2016)

    Table of Contents:


    1) What to Expect

    2) The Basics
    Definition of Parts
    Beginning Considerations

    SOFTWARE OVERVIEW

    3) Operating System Summary
    Linux/OpenElec
    Mac OS
    Microsoft Windows
    32bit vs. 64bit
    Windows 7
    Windows 8.1
    Windows 10

    4) Front End Software Summary
    Kodi
    Emby
    J River
    Plex

    5) Codec Summary
    LAV Filters
    Haali Media Splitter
    Shark007 Codec

    6) Antivirus, Antimalware, Antispyware Software
    Microsoft Security Essentials (antivirus)
    Peerblock (antispyware)

    HARDWARE OVERVIEW

    7) CPU Selections
    What is M.2 and SATA Express
    Skylake CPU (Intel)
    Haswell CPU (Intel)
    AMD FM2 (AMD)

    8) Motherboard Selections
    M.2 & SATA Express Boards
    Skylake Motherboards
    Haswell Motherboards
    AMD FM2 Motherboards

    9) Solid State Drives (SSD)
    mSATA & m.2 Cards

    10) RAM

    11) Hard Drive

    12) Power Supply Unit (PSU)
    Fanless & Silent PSU
    Pico PSU

    13) HTPC Cases
    Standard Cases
    Large Cases
    Mini Cases
    Touchschreen Cases

    14) Heatsink & Fan Options
    Low Profile CPU Coolers

    15) Wireless Internet Options
    AC vs. N Explanation
    USB
    PCI-E
    Powerline Adapters

    16) Optical Drive (DVD/Blu-ray) Options
    Slim Optical Drives

    17) Input/Control Devices
    Remote Controls
    Full Size Keyboards
    Mini Keyboards
    USB Adatpers / Receivers

    18) HDMI Cables

    19) Cable Card, TV Tuners & Devices

    20) Graphics Cards

    21) Barebone Systems

    22) Assassin HTPC "Quick and Easy" NewEgg Build lists
    Basic HTPC Build
    Mid-Level HTPC Build

    Enjoy!

    Assassin HTPC Hardware Guide
     
    #1 assassin24, Aug 15, 2012
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2016
  2. ecosmartpc

    ecosmartpc Member

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2012
    Messages:
    67
    Likes Received:
    0
  3. el-Capitan

    el-Capitan Senior member

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2012
    Messages:
    551
    Likes Received:
    1
    Definitely recommend! I've learnt a lot from your guides. Thank you.
     
  4. cytoSiN

    cytoSiN Platinum Member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2002
    Messages:
    2,226
    Likes Received:
    0
    Really informative. Nominate for sticky.
     
  5. TheVrolok

    TheVrolok Lifer

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2000
    Messages:
    18,960
    Likes Received:
    3
    Marked for a read at home
     
  6. Chapbass

    Chapbass Platinum Member

    Joined:
    May 31, 2004
    Messages:
    2,913
    Likes Received:
    1
    Used this guide quite a bit, assassin knows his stuff. Can you sticky this for us please?
     
  7. assassin24

    assassin24 HTPC Moderator

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2005
    Messages:
    394
    Likes Received:
    0
    Sure. No problem!
     
  8. billyb0b

    billyb0b Golden Member

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2009
    Messages:
    1,227
    Likes Received:
    0
    i've purchased his guide too! it's a must for a great HTPC experience
     
  9. sgbroimp

    sgbroimp Junior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2012
    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    I purchased an HTPC from Assassin. The purchase experience was excellent, but what really impressed me was how they stepped up when I had a problem (which was not their fault, strictly speaking) 8 months later. Terrific folks to deal with.
     
  10. assassin24

    assassin24 HTPC Moderator

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2005
    Messages:
    394
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks for the feedback. I will pass it on to Ben.
     
  11. assassin24

    assassin24 HTPC Moderator

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2005
    Messages:
    394
    Likes Received:
    0
    Ivy Bridge i3 section updated. Enjoy.
     
  12. flocko

    flocko Junior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2012
    Messages:
    18
    Likes Received:
    0
    Just got finished reading the i3 additions .

    Very nice write up and really like the reality check on the 4000 graphics . Seems for most it will be moot but for others it could come in handy for that occasional light gaming itch .

    BTW ... Grats on the new position here at one of the best tech sites on the net . They (Anand) have themselves a REAL winner !
     
  13. ahgem2000

    ahgem2000 Junior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2012
    Messages:
    10
    Likes Received:
    0
  14. assassin24

    assassin24 HTPC Moderator

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2005
    Messages:
    394
    Likes Received:
    0
  15. assassin24

    assassin24 HTPC Moderator

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2005
    Messages:
    394
    Likes Received:
    0
  16. assassin24

    assassin24 HTPC Moderator

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2005
    Messages:
    394
    Likes Received:
    0
  17. Tony_Montana

    Tony_Montana Junior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2011
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    nice job assassin!
     
  18. Annisman*

    Annisman* Golden Member

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2010
    Messages:
    1,659
    Likes Received:
    3
    Hey Assasin, something I haven't seen mentioned in your guide: Music playback.

    For me, I have alot of .wav files for higher fidelity music. Obviously these tracks need to be played in a stereo output. Is there a program besides WMC that would be better for this playback or a way to know exactly what or where the music is being processed by ?

    Or should we just direct WMC to our music collection and just hit the play button ? Is there more to it ?

    I mean, for my PC I know my Xonar sound card is doing the processing, and I use mediamonkey for playback, I know it's in 2 channel mode PCM 44.1 Khz. I'm just a little fuzzy on playing through my htpc (and Polk speakers) versus my regular PC+Xonar sound card and headphones.

    Thanks.
     
    #18 Annisman*, Nov 4, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2012
  19. billyb0b

    billyb0b Golden Member

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2009
    Messages:
    1,227
    Likes Received:
    0
    this is a great guide for a really nice HTPC experience. I purchased the full guide earlier this year and used it exclusively for the extensive software setup.

    it also contains good info on hardware, but i did not use that portion of it.
     
  20. assassin24

    assassin24 HTPC Moderator

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2005
    Messages:
    394
    Likes Received:
    0
  21. Annisman*

    Annisman* Golden Member

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2010
    Messages:
    1,659
    Likes Received:
    3
    Asassin, love your guide it has been worth 10X the price.

    Just wanted to point out that the mediabrowser game plug-in is no longer free to use, it is a premium feature.

    Also, would you suggest using Mediabrowser's picture library plugin or just use WMC's standard library viewer ? Thnx.
     
  22. pauldun170

    pauldun170 Diamond Member

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2011
    Messages:
    3,341
    Likes Received:
    32
    Rosewill 101 case mentioned in guide has been discontinued.
     
  23. assassin24

    assassin24 HTPC Moderator

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2005
    Messages:
    394
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks. Did some updating today.
     
  24. assassin24

    assassin24 HTPC Moderator

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2005
    Messages:
    394
    Likes Received:
    0
  25. Annisman*

    Annisman* Golden Member

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2010
    Messages:
    1,659
    Likes Received:
    3
    Hey assasin, I'm having a strange issue that just popped up.

    When media center launches, the default background is now coming up (I changed it via your guide) Also, many of my libraries are not showing up in Media Browser. The only Library showing is the one on my local hard drive. The other libraries (on my external) are no longer appearing.

    The external hdd is fine, I can access it under my computer, and all the files are there. I double checked to make sure Media Browser was still including those folders in the library, and it is.

    I updated Media Browser, then updated Media Center Library, still not showing up.

    This is all the troubleshooting i wanted to try without going further and messing something up, have you heard of an issue like this before ?

    Two things recently happened that may have triggered this.

    1. Windows installed new updates (not sure what they were)
    2. My HTPC failed to boot and windows went into it's 'check for problems' mode. It asked if I wanted to restore to a previous date, and hit 'no'. The HTPC then booted up fine shortly after.

    Anyways, just looking for a couple tips on where to look to resolve this kind of issue, or wondering if you have run into it yourself.

    My HTPC is setup just like your guide says, so you know what I'm dealing with in terms of hardware/software.
     
Loading...