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HTPC build.Singapore

bongfreak

Junior Member
Feb 7, 2014
3
0
0
Hi Guys!

I have been using WD Live Hub with NAS and PS3 as my AV setup. I want to change to setup with the HTPC as the focal point. I am using a Pioneer AV receiver with Polk speakers and a Samsung 55 inch LED TV and will continue to use them as well as the PS3 for playing Blu Rays

I am based out of Singapore and am sourcing all my components from Amazon. Its cheaper and they have free delivery to SG on most items. That being said, returning stuff will be very painful and so i wanted your advice on selecting the right components:

I have gone through the threads and assasin's blog have settled on the following components:
CPU -Intel Core i5-4570 3.2GHz
MOBO -MSI ATX DDR3 1333 LGA 1150 Z87-G45
RAM - 2X 4 GB G.Skill DDR3 PC3-19200 2400MHz Trident X Series CL10 (10-12-12-31) Voltage 1.65V
PSU -Corsair CX430M 430 Watt ATX/EPS 80 PLUS Bronze ATX12V/EPS12V 384
CPU Cooler -Noctua NH-U14S U Type, 6 Heatpipe,140mm
HTPC CASE -Silverstone Tek GD08B Aluminum ATX / SSI-EEB / SSI-CEB
KB -Logitech Wireless Touch Keyboard K400
SSD -Samsung 840 EVO-Series 120GB 2.5-Inch SATA III
HDD -2 X WD30EZRX WD Caviar Green 3 TB SATA III 64 MB Cache

I wont be using this for live tv or for heavy gaming. I will use the setup for watching movies in 1080P and DTS HD sound. I have a lot of content (around 6.5 TB) which i will consolidate on the two drives). There are are two more 3TB NAS on the network. I might also add another HDD and a Blu Ray Burner in the near future.

Here come the questions:
-Is this setup adequate ? The current cost is 1050 USD and that's my budget. Any comments on conflicts between components will be really welcome.
- I will use XBMC as the front end. I have an option to get either windows 7 or 8.1 for 20-35 USD (subsidized by my firm). Given that cost is not an issue, what should i go for?
- The HTPC will be almost always on. So heating and noise is a concern. Do i need to change the cooler or the stock fans on the case.

Thanks!! :)
 

Charlie98

Diamond Member
Nov 6, 2011
6,210
38
91
Why the i5? Unless you are encoding, that is, converting a DVD to another format like .MP4, you do not need an i5, something as simple as a Pentium will do... in any event, knocking it down to an i3 would save you a little money and you would suffer no performance hit.

If you are not overclocking the CPU, you don't need a Z87 mobo. Something like this Gigabyte H87 board would serve you just as well and save you some money. Because you are not spec'ing a GPU, you don't really even need an ATX board, dropping down to a mATX board like this Gigabyte board and a smaller case like the Silverstone GD-05B would save some money as well.

The RAM spec'd is 1.65V... you need 1.5v, and I would skip the 2400MHz RAM... 2x 4GB sticks of any reasonable 1600MHz RAM will do, you will not see any benefit in the faster RAM.

PSU is good... it's what I used...

The CPU cooler is complete overkill... the stock Intel cooler will be fine. Really, it will. Streaming video requires very little CPU horsepower... In fact, I don't think you'll be able to stuff that cooler into that HTPC case. Something to look at, anyway.

Everything else is fine. Personally, I use 7200RPM drives in my HTPC, they are usually cheaper and I just don't trust the Green drives yet.

If you plan to use Windows Media Center (WMC) at all, it comes with W7, otherwise W8.1 is fine.

As far as heat, unless you are doing something very taxing with the CPU (encoding particularly) the CPU will almost stand idle... generating very little heat. A bunch of case fans and a big CPU cooler will only make the unit louder. I would build it using the stock components, then if heat becomes an issue you can add components later... but I really don't see the need.

What your original build really is is a gaming computer minus the graphics card... not at all necessary for HTPC duty.
 

bongfreak

Junior Member
Feb 7, 2014
3
0
0
Hi Charlie98,

Thanks for lot the response.

I should have mentioned that I do want to rip discs and so thought that the i5 was a good choice.

Have looked at a different Mobo and RAM combination. Sticking with the Z87 and 1600 Mhz RAM (kingston) if I am inclined to to tinker with the setup later.

Your last comment interested me the most. I didn't think the specs were good enough as a gaming machine. At the risk of digressing from my original question, which graphics card would you suggest?

For the time being, I think i will skip the CPU cooler. I have to look at a low profile cooler anyway (you are right. the one i selected originally might not fit the case). Will the absence lead to overheating if I rip discs?

Thanks again. Cheers!!
 

QueBert

Lifer
Jan 6, 2002
21,683
200
106
I semi agree with Charlie98, but depending on the skin he uses the CPU might actually make a difference. Some of the more eye candy laced skins are really processor intensive. So an older C2D or something that could easily play 1080p content would not handle certain skins well at all.

Now I've never done tests on this, or seen any actual benchmarks, I just know from my personal systems that depending on the skin sometimes you need a CPU that's a lot beefer than simply something that plays HD video flawlessly.
 

Charlie98

Diamond Member
Nov 6, 2011
6,210
38
91
If you are going to rip any reasonable amount of DVDs, especially BDs, the i5 is a good choice. Personally, I rip my DVDs on my i5 desktop and then transfer them to the HTPC... 8 minutes vs about 35. The only reason to keep with the Z87 board is to OC the CPU, if you want that functionality you need to get an 'unlocked' K CPU... the i5-4570K. The included CPU fan will work well, even for encoding, but if and when you start to OC you will need to address the issue of an aftermarket CPU cooler... but you will have the case already and can properly choose a cooler that will clear in the case.

For a dedicated GPU it depends on what you are playing. A decent generic GPU would be something like a GTX650ti or GTX760 (and the Radeon equivalents.) But it largely depends on what you play and how much you want to spend. The iGPU with the i5 chip can handle some gaming, but nothing heavy duty.
 

bongfreak

Junior Member
Feb 7, 2014
3
0
0
Hi Guys,

Have decided on the final specs. Going with a H87 mobo as on mulling over it I figured i wouldn't do any overclocking.

A couple of friends of mine had sound sync issues while streaming with the WD green drives and swear by the Seagate 7200 HDDs. So will swap the WD for those.

Thanks to you the cost of the rig is reduced by 200 USD which can go towards a graphics card if I am so inclined.

Cant wait for the stuff to be delivered!

Cheers!!:)
 

piasabird

Lifer
Feb 6, 2002
17,183
60
91
I think the RAM is overkill. I cant see overclocking a HTPC box if you are not gaming. However, if you want to use really fast RAM that is your option. Seems like all RAM is expensive anyway.

I am using a wireless setup and so far it is working great. I am using an i3 4330 3.5ghz with the 4meg cache and HD 4600 graphics. I had some doubts that wireless would work this well with DSL. I am using a Gigabyte Z87N Wifi Ver 2.0 Motherboard and it seems to work great. It has 802.11ac/n with bluetooth. The MB is ITX, but they make similar motherboards in MATX.

For Ram I am using Gskill Ares 1600 DDR3 (2 x 4gb).
Using one 1GB WD Blue Hard Drive.
No SSD. I Don't think streaming video cares if you have an SSD.

While this is a MINI-ITX Motherboard ATX or MATX would work fine also. I used the Cooler Master 130 Elite, but I think as a case it is just so so. Once I put an optical drive, and a Hard Drive in it with a power supply and front USB 2 and USB 3 and HD Audio, it is like wires everywhere; especially that thick 24 wire harness for main power.

Good luck with your build.
 

Charlie98

Diamond Member
Nov 6, 2011
6,210
38
91
A couple of friends of mine had sound sync issues while streaming with the WD green drives
Haven't heard that one before. That sounds more like streaming problems, not HDD issues. It occasionally happens to me, too, and I have 7200RPM drives. Personally, I think it has to do with CPU utilization at that moment...

I Don't think streaming video cares if you have an SSD.
No, but my impatient wife does...! :whiste: Either way, I would have a separate OS drive in the HTPC; although I had my old OCZ SSD laying around at the time of the build, I would have sprung the extra loot for an SSD.
 

Fallen Kell

Diamond Member
Oct 9, 1999
5,445
146
106
Yeah, I have not seen any problems at all with WD Greens for HTPC usage, including when I had 4 tuners hooked up and recording as well as playback on the local TV+2 remote TVs via media extenders (PS3 which needed transcoding for the formats, and a media extender that did not need transcoding).

That being said, the main thing that you should be worried about is noise if this is in your living room and on 24x7. I would look on silentpcreview.com and see if they reviewed the Seagate hard drives you are looking at and compare them with the greens. It might not be much of a difference in which case, it really doesn't matter what you get, but if it is a 4 or 5db difference and you are talking 2 drives, that will be a real noticeable difference.
 
Last edited:

Gizmoho

Junior Member
Oct 26, 2014
1
0
0
Hi Guys!

I have been using WD Live Hub with NAS and PS3 as my AV setup. I want to change to setup with the HTPC as the focal point. I am using a Pioneer AV receiver with Polk speakers and a Samsung 55 inch LED TV and will continue to use them as well as the PS3 for playing Blu Rays

I am based out of Singapore and am sourcing all my components from Amazon. Its cheaper and they have free delivery to SG on most items. That being said, returning stuff will be very painful and so i wanted your advice on selecting the right components:

I have gone through the threads and assasin's blog have settled on the following components:
CPU -Intel Core i5-4570 3.2GHz
MOBO -MSI ATX DDR3 1333 LGA 1150 Z87-G45
RAM - 2X 4 GB G.Skill DDR3 PC3-19200 2400MHz Trident X Series CL10 (10-12-12-31) Voltage 1.65V
PSU -Corsair CX430M 430 Watt ATX/EPS 80 PLUS Bronze ATX12V/EPS12V 384
CPU Cooler -Noctua NH-U14S U Type, 6 Heatpipe,140mm
HTPC CASE -Silverstone Tek GD08B Aluminum ATX / SSI-EEB / SSI-CEB
KB -Logitech Wireless Touch Keyboard K400
SSD -Samsung 840 EVO-Series 120GB 2.5-Inch SATA III
HDD -2 X WD30EZRX WD Caviar Green 3 TB SATA III 64 MB Cache

I wont be using this for live tv or for heavy gaming. I will use the setup for watching movies in 1080P and DTS HD sound. I have a lot of content (around 6.5 TB) which i will consolidate on the two drives). There are are two more 3TB NAS on the network. I might also add another HDD and a Blu Ray Burner in the near future.

Here come the questions:
-Is this setup adequate ? The current cost is 1050 USD and that's my budget. Any comments on conflicts between components will be really welcome.
- I will use XBMC as the front end. I have an option to get either windows 7 or 8.1 for 20-35 USD (subsidized by my firm). Given that cost is not an issue, what should i go for?
- The HTPC will be almost always on. So heating and noise is a concern. Do i need to change the cooler or the stock fans on the case.

Thanks!! :)
Hi. I am new.

Trust you probably would be running your HTPC by now.

Looking into building my HTPC, which will run PLEX MEDIA SERVER (https://plex.tv/) in it.

There will be 3 - 5 devices (iOS and Android) that will log into this server to remotely access the media (mainly movies, tv shows, pictures and home videos).

Now I am testing this setup using an Acer laptop (Win7, i5 with 8GB RAM) It's beautiful. My son is accessing my media from HK on his iPhone & iPAD and my wife is logging in from her office on her Android phone.

Of course, I can access from any room in the house on my home network. In the living room I can run the desktop version of PLEX HOME THEATER.

Believe Plex is more stable than XBMC, which I had tried out.

In my next post, I will invite inputs to my planned acquisition of the components.

Cheers.
 

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