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Building a HCPC in a Claritas Case

Discussion in 'Desktop & Laptop Computers Forum' started by Jon, Feb 14, 2005.

  1. Jon

    Jon
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    Hi,

    Firstly I would like to say thankyou very much to Ron at Claritas for spending so long on the phone with me and trying to help a newb out with my first HCPC build!! If you want excellent customer service then Ron's your man!!! Right down to business, I have put together a list of hardware I think I need but want to be sure thats its suitable and that there is nothing better out there. All comments and recomendations very much appreciated! My main concerns are video and audio quality, not to worried about games and other applications, this is mainly for movies and music.

    Claritas 390M PC case - £260.00
    Showshifter+remote+tv card (as per power buy section on this forum) - £85.00
    ASUS P4P800-VM mother board - £60.00
    Intel Pentium 4 530 1mb socket 775 800 fsb (BX80547PG3000E) - £100.00
    Radeon 9600 advan pro 256MB AGP (11018-13-20) - £74.00
    512MB 184Pin DIMM PC3200 DDR RAM Non-Parity CL3 (CT6464Z40B) - £43.00
    Zalman CNPS7000B-ALCU Super Flower Cooler - £26.00
    C Sonic PSU - £70.00
    Barracuda 7200.8 NCQ 300GB SATA150 7200rpm 8MB (ST3300831AS ) -£110.00
    Pioneer DVD+ - R/RW 16x duel layer (DVR-108BK ) - £50.00

    If I have forgotton anything or you feel that one or more of the items listed is not up to scratch then please let me know!

    Cheers

    Jon
     
  2. mjn

    mjn
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    Change the HDD, 2 x 200gb are same cost as 1 x 300gb.
     
  3. Tim Cooper

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    Theatertek 2, XP pro OS?, decent sound card (M-Audio Audiophile 2496 cheap ATM), the most excellent Mark Grant mains cable ;) decent coaxial sp/dif cable, Mark Grant? decent VGA cable again I think Mark Grant may do these.
    Let us know how you get on.
    Tim.
     
  4. Tim Cooper

    Tim Cooper
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    MJN got a link? :lease:
     
  5. mjn

    mjn
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  6. zAndy1

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    Wouldn't bother with a 256MB graphics card, 128MB is enough for HTPC duties. I'd also be tempted to go for an Athlon 64 3200 Winchester as they run very cool and not too power hungry either, oh and they're fast! There should be some mATX Athlon 64 motherboards around now. I'd also be tempted to go for 1GB of RAM to be honest, shouldn't cost anymore than £100 but for the extra £50 I think it's worth it, you'll save a bit by getting a 128MB graphics card anyway! If you need a Freeview digital card I'd go for a Nebula card, you can add showshifter if need be but doesn't the nebula come with PVR software anyway? Oh and I'd probably get an NEC burner (3520A) instead of the Pioneer.. Also factor in cost of OS (Win XP Pro), dvd decoders (I'd recommend Nvidia decoders). You don't need a soundcard straightaway, add one later if you feel the need, to be honest the sound I'm getting from the spdif output of my motherboard is pretty good, I'm not in any hurry to get a soundcard put it that way!

    Cheers,
    Andy
     
  7. GrahamMG

    GrahamMG
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    If you decide on TheaterTek 2 for the player (and why not now its stable), I would seriously recommend the NVidia 6600GT graphics card.....

    SPDIF off the motherboard can be vastly improved upon but it costs so leave that for another day......
     
  8. MikeC

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    FYI i don't think that your CPU will fit your motherboard :confused:

    I have a P4P800VM and it only takes a P4 Socket 478 cpu........
     
  9. GrahamMG

    GrahamMG
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    P4P motherboards are indeed Intel P4 CPU's only....
     
  10. Jon

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    Thanks everyone for your help, i will start looking for the bits and pieces suggested!

    Jon
     
  11. Jon

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    Tim or anyone else who might know,

    Where is the best place to buy theatertek 2?

    Thanks

    Jon
     
  12. zAndy1

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  13. Jon

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    I just checked and that was ex VAt so near £130 inc VAT, looks like the best option is gonna be 2 200's. How much space does a 2 hour movie take up on the HDD?

    Cheers

    Jon
     
  14. mjn

    mjn
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    Direct from Theatertek directly i believe
     
  15. Jon

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    Thanks for the info Andy and MJN!
     
  16. Jon

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    Sorry to be a pain guys, but do i want the advanced audio pack?
     
  17. Jon

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    Andy,

    Which one would you recomend, there was a recomendation for the Geforce 6600GT? is this OTT for DVD playpack? Is there a cheaper model that i could buy that wont reduce playback quality? Thanks for your help!!!

    Cheers

    Jon
     
  18. mjn

    mjn
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    Allowing only 1 x 5.1 sound track, no extras, about 4-5gb

    Edit: i've just ripped Rollerball which is 1hr 59min, with 5.1 DD, came out at 4.8gb
     
  19. Jon

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    Cheers Mate!
     
  20. Jon

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    Thanks everyone for your help, its very much appreciated!!! I have changed my list to include most of the suggestions, this is still open to improvment. Graham suggested the 6600GT, is it worth the extra money for a non gaming system i.e. will i notice any difference between the 9600 and the 6600GT for DVD playback? I have changed procesors to the athlon 64 3200, but its not the winchester as i cant find a MATX board for the winchester, is this CPu ok or is the winchester alot better, if so does anyone know of an MATX board for it? Heres my updated list, please feel free to comment: -

    Claritas 390M PC case £260.00
    Remote Bob (remote wonder) £20.00
    Athlon 64 3200+ S754 512Kb Box £125.00
    Gigabyte S754 VIA K8T800 MATX A L R £49.00
    Radeon 9600 Advan Pro 128MB AGP DVI-I VO (11018-12-20 ) £60.00
    2 * 512MB 184Pin DIMM PC3200 DDR RAM Non-Parity CL3 (CT6464Z40B) £94.00
    Zalman CNPS7000B-ALCU Super Flower Cooler £26.00
    C Sonic PSU £70.00
    2* 200gb Maxtor £140.00
    NEC ND-3520A Silver x 16x16 DVD±RW Dual Layer DVD-Writer, OEM UK £43.00
    MAudio Audiophile 2496 £60.00
    TheaterTek DVD 2.0 with Advanced Audio Pack £50.00


    Thanks again for all your help, very much appreciated :thumbsup:

    Jon
     
  21. Tim Cooper

    Tim Cooper
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    Jon,
    Are you planning to use your HCPC as a pre-amp? if not you do not need the Theatertek advanced audio.
    Take a gander at this thread with regards to hardware specs.
    http://www.avforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=188234
    I'm an Intel fan for HCPC, & an AMD fan for everything else :D
    Tim.
     
  22. Jon

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    Thanks Tim, That saves me a tenner!! Could you elabourate on why you feel Intel are better for HCPC, i have read your post and you mentioned stability as an issue with the AMD's, now more confused than ever!!

    Cheers

    Jon
     
  23. betamac

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    You are definately better off with the AMD Athlon 64 range, not only are they 64 Bit ready, they run much cooler than P4's (which is a Huge + for HCPC) and you get way more bang for your buck with AMD

    That is of course my oppinion but most the people i have run into have gone the AMD 64 route in there HCPC's and not regretted it
     
  24. Jon

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    Thanks for your advice mate, have you or your mates had any problems with stability or stuturing etc?
     
  25. Tim Cooper

    Tim Cooper
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    Hi Jon,
    This is my own personal opinion only i don't want to enter into any p!ss1ing" contests :)
    I'm on my 4th HCPC every one has run with Intel chips for stability, years of gleaning forums such as these has led me to conclude Intel based machines make better HCPC's.
    My main machine runs AMD because the bits i bought were for a AMD based HCPC, it didn't work, stuttered like mad, so my main machine got an instant upgrade :) The chip was a Barton cored 2500+ & a Gigabyte GA-7N400 PRO2 with 512mb crucial DDR. This was the 3rd time i had tried using a AMD XP chip, the others were an xp 1800 on a via chipset (megacrap) & a sis chipset MSI board (crap).
    My mate ran a xp1600 HCPC for a couple of years then it started to stutter,don't know why, he changed everything, but this bugger would not stop, he now runs an Intel.
    If you do want to keep on the AMD route Zandy is your man, I bought his "old" (Intel) machine, it is near enough the spec i mentioned (mine runs a 2.8ghz 800fsb chip) he now runs a AMD solution.
    The main question you have to ask yourself is "what do i want my HCPC to do" play films, watch TV, play music, do a bit of HI-DEF, or do i want to play games, run a frontend (xlobby, my HTPC et-al) surf the net, run a PVR etc etc etc.
    I'm a firm believer in the KISS principle (keep it simple stupid) as your experience/confidence grows make your HCPC do more.
    One thing from that list i missed out was a hard drive, Seagate, 5 yr warranty & quiet....nuff said ;)
    Tim.
     
  26. Jon

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    Thanks Tim, i think i will go the intel route! I've just com across the HT-400S case that is being sold on quiet pc, has anyone see one of these in action, it looks nice and will take a full size PSU and MB, its also £55 cheaper, any comments?

    Cheers

    Jon
     
  27. Tim Cooper

    Tim Cooper
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  28. Tim Cooper

    Tim Cooper
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  29. Jon

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    Thats good to know Tim thanks again! i think i am almost there now, just got to decide on the Graphics card, edging towards the 6600gt as its got component already, dont know anything about PCI express though, i take it i would need a special mb for this or does it just plug straight into a standard PCI slot?

    Cheers

    Jon
     
  30. Tim Cooper

    Tim Cooper
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    Don't go there Jon you will tie yourself in knots :D PCI express requires a PCI express slot so yes a new mobo is required along with (AFAIK) a new CPU.
    Is your graphics card decision based solely on there being a ready made component out available?.
    What's the HCPC going to be feeding?
    Tim.
     

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