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Help me spec a new general use/HTPC

devil1916

Novice Member
Im looking for a bit of help with a new PC. My current PC is 5 or 6 years old and still does everything i need it to, however its getting a bit slow and i want to upgrade the connection to my TV to HDMI. My PC sits in my hall and i have put in place a 15m HDMI cable for connection to my amp and tv. I have no requirement for it to be silent or for the case too look particuarly good, the cheaper the better as my budget is only around £400 stretching to £500 at a push.

I only use my PC for surfing, storing photos, and playing music. No gaming at all, i have a pS3 for that. I use media portal for watching tv shows and movies that are on my hard drive and this is currently connected via an s-video to scart cable, which gives a watchable picure but not great, hence the upgrade to HDMI.

Been reading stacks of threads and put together a few components, but ive only ever upgraded a pc never built from scratch so compatibility might be way off:D

Case - http://www.ebuyer.com/product/127584 £24.60
PSU - http://www.ebuyer.com/product/135453 £19.99
Motherboard - http://www.ebuyer.com/product/141600 £51.99
Processor - http://www.ebuyer.com/product/143202 £86.85
Hard Drive -http://www.ebuyer.com/product/139739 £65.57
Graphics Card - http://www.ebuyer.com/product/141131 £48.38
Memory - http://www.ebuyer.com/product/116755 £29.99
OS - http://www.ebuyer.com/product/123052 £62.87

Total £390.24 with delivery £401.29

The parts im not sure about are 32 or 64 bit vista and do i need anything else to get audio through the HDMI.

Improvments and suggestions greatly appreciated, Thanks
 

Daveybryce

Novice Member
If you are sticking with the intel route then may i suggest either the G35 or newer G45 motherboards as they have HDCP compatibility and HD audio onboard.

However if you went the AMD/ATI route, you could

go for a dual core X2 or a quad core with the Gigabyte GA-MA78GM-S2H board which has excellent onboard graphics but can also be put into crossfire mode with your chosen graphics card giving you more graphical power. Also this motherboard is capable of installing upto 16GB of DDR2 ram.

Points to note: max wattage for CPU is 95W
DDR2 ram must be 1.8 volts.

As for vista 32 bit or 64bit, if you are planning on installing more than 4gb you will need 64bit. I would suggest that you probably only need 32bit for what you want out of it.

May i suggest as an AMD route

Motherboard - http://www.ebuyer.com/product/142347 £53.56
Processor - http://www.ebuyer.com/product/144637 £48.99
Memory - http://www.ebuyer.com/product/98710 £31.14

I have this almost this setup in my pc and i can upscale everything to 1920 x 1080 using FFDshow. Picture is fantastic and it copes with all MKV container files thrown at it. I also use mediaportal with it an it looks stunning through the HDMI.

Just some ideas for ya, but good luck:smashin:
 

devil1916

Novice Member
Case - http://www.ebuyer.com/product/127584 £24.60
PSU - http://www.ebuyer.com/product/135453 £19.99
Motherboard - http://www.ebuyer.com/product/142347 £53.56
Processor - http://www.ebuyer.com/product/144637 £48.99
Hard Drive - http://www.ebuyer.com/product/139739 £65.57
Graphics Card - http://www.ebuyer.com/product/141131 £48.38
Memory - http://www.ebuyer.com/product/98710 £31.14
OS - http://www.ebuyer.com/product/123052 £62.87


Total £355.10

If i go with the suggestions above its about £40 cheaper, Which would allow me extra funds for a wireless/bluetooth keyboard and mouse or possibly more Ram. Can anyone confirm that everything i have chosen is compatible?? also any other recomendations?? and also do i need to add anything to get audio over HDMI. I did run a 15m optical cable in my skirting however had a major problem at the end of my living room upgrade and found the cable had been damaged right at the end so no longer works
 
Get a better PSU. In my opinion a saving there could cost you in the long run.
 

EndlessWaves

Distinguished Member
You can probably throw out the graphics card entirely if you're not gaming since the onboard graphics has the same video decoding - UVD - as the HD 3650.
 

devil1916

Novice Member
You can probably throw out the graphics card entirely if you're not gaming since the onboard graphics has the same video decoding - UVD - as the HD 3650.
If i ditch the graphics card, should i spend the extra money on extra ram or a better processor??? The only other possible factor is a might get a camcorder in the next 6 months so would possibly be doing a small amount of video editing

And the one question i cant seem to find an answer on anywhere, will i get audio and video through the HDMI from the motherboard
 

reggs

Standard Member
You need a CPU cooler as well. I'm following this thread as I'm rebuilding a HTPC myself and this one seems extremely cheap with some good writeups.

CPU Cooler - http://www.ebuyer.com/product/105995 - £6.14
Arctic Cooling (AC-ALP-64) Alpine 64 CPU Cooler

Any one recommend it ??
 

devil1916

Novice Member
You need a CPU cooler as well. I'm following this thread as I'm rebuilding a HTPC myself and this one seems extremely cheap with some good writeups.

CPU Cooler - http://www.ebuyer.com/product/105995 - £6.14
Arctic Cooling (AC-ALP-64) Alpine 64 CPU Cooler

Any one recommend it ??
It certainly gets good reviews.

Case - http://www.ebuyer.com/product/127584 £24.60
PSU - http://www.ebuyer.com/product/131052 £19.99
Motherboard - http://www.ebuyer.com/product/142347 £53.56
Processor - http://www.ebuyer.com/product/144637 £48.99
Hard Drive - http://www.ebuyer.com/product/139739 £65.57
Graphics Card - http://www.ebuyer.com/product/141131 £48.38
Memory - http://www.ebuyer.com/product/98710 £31.14
OS - http://www.ebuyer.com/product/123052 £62.87
CPU Cooler - http://www.ebuyer.com/product/105995 - £6.14

Total without the graphics card would be £312.86

Is there anything i have missed?? If i ditch the graphics card, should i spend the extra money on extra ram or a better processor??? The only other possible factor is a might get a camcorder in the next 6 months so would possibly be doing a small amount of video editing

And the one question i cant seem to find an answer to anywhere, will i get audio and video through the HDMI from the motherboard ??
 

Daveybryce

Novice Member
You don't need a cooler as the processor comes as Retail. which means you get processor/heatsink and fan. Also AMD heatsinks and fans have a pre application of Thermal compound so you don't need any of that either. it's literally a plug and play. The mobo will control your fan speed keeping it as quiet as possible under the various cpu loads.
 

reggs

Standard Member
You don't need a cooler as the processor comes as Retail. which means you get processor/heatsink and fan. Also AMD heatsinks and fans have a pre application of Thermal compound so you don't need any of that either. it's literally a plug and play. The mobo will control your fan speed keeping it as quiet as possible under the various cpu loads.
Thats correct but I've always found the included coolers to be really noisey...
 

Daveybryce

Novice Member
The fact that these processors are only 45w and have 2 cores and for what devil wants to use it for, it will be at a whisper anyway with the stock cooler. I bought a 2350e and the stock cooler is fine. The case fans are generally more noisey than the cpu fan and GPU fans can be very loud.

Spend your money on some silent case fans that have adjustable speeds for them as you can keep your fans very quiet or at a level lower than an AV receiver or DVD player.
 

Zarch

Well-known Member

devil1916

Novice Member
Cheers, thats it been ordered, Im working the next 4 days so probably wont get it started till monday or tuesday. but i still coulnd resist going for next day delivery as im too impatient. Im sure there will be a deluge of where does this bloody wire go:D
 

Sprewell

Standard Member
Ive ordered the exact same system but ive got an antec fusion instead. So Ill keep you updated on how i get on aswell.
 

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