Need advice on proposed HTPC setup

yoooooooooooo just realised something!!!!

your trying to put a ATX mobo into a Matx case!!!

if you look at the case you will see the i/o shield cutout, if you count the pci slots next to it you only have 4.

those 4 slots that can be used on the mobo will be the pci-e x1, pci-e x16 then the next 2 pci-2x1 you need a smaller board
 
what do people think of THIS bundle for the HTPC?

Asrock skt-am2 n68c-s ucc s/v/l M-ATX 2000mt/s motherboard
AMD sempron 140 CPU
4gb ddr3 ram (2x2gb i would imagine)

being a M-ATX with only 1 pci-ex1 slot a pci-ex16 and 2xPCI slots you can use all four slots on the motherboard.

or you might want to look at a bigger case :( shame that silverstone is really nice. although you might be able to use a usb wireless dongle instead of a pci-ex1.

if you go with a M-ATX motherboard i think you will only get 1x PCI-E x1, 1x PCI-E x16 and 2 PCI slots.
if so you might want to find a PCI-E x1 / PCI dual freeview tuner, a PCI dual satellite tuner, your GPU and then you either have a pci slot for wireless or a PCI-E x1 for wireless depending on the tuners you get.

i also found THIS.

might same you a little bit. and will fit into the case. although the cpu cooler might need upgrading to the scythe shruiken but not sure if it will fit the cpu/mobo as im not 100% sure on AMD but someone can comment.
 
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aktivemac

Active Member
yoooooooooooo just realised something!!!!

your trying to put a ATX mobo into a Matx case!!!

if you look at the case you will see the i/o shield cutout, if you count the pci slots next to it you only have 4.

those 4 slots that can be used on the mobo will be the pci-e x1, pci-e x16 then the next 2 pci-2x1 you need a smaller board

Whoa, thanks for that. In my haste to fit all my cards into it I just grabbed at another board that had enough room.... Eek.

Right, back to the 2 x PCI, 2 x PCI-e slots drawing board :)
 

mattclarkie

Distinguished Member
Any commentary on the triple-core AMD cpu? or the RAM? Also very keen to know peoples thoughts on the graphics card?

Thanks again!!

95w CPU in a HTPC seems like the wrong choice. You would probably equal performance with a 65w non-Sempron.
 

aktivemac

Active Member
Right, thanks for all the comments on the last setup. Nearly made a big mistake on the mobo front, but hopefully corrected that below.

I've now moved back to a mATX mobo and now added a PCI dual DVB-T tuner and a PCI dual DVB-S tuner, leaving the PCI-e x16 for the GPU and the PCI-e for the wifi.

Spec:

Case
Silverstone Milo ML03B Micro ATX, Black, Slim/HTPC Case

PSU
600 WATT OCZ PSU - Stealth XStream 2

Motherboard
Asus M4A785TD-M EVO, AMD 785G, AM3, PCI-E (x16), DDR3 1333/1600/1800, SATA 3Gb/s RAID, uATX

CPU
AMD Athlon II X3 445, Rana, Triple Core, S AM3, 3.1GHz, 1.5MB Total Cache, HT 2000MHz, 95W, Retail

HDD
1TB Western Digital WD10EARS Caviar Green, SATA 3Gb/s, 5400+rpm, 64MB Cache, 8ms

RAM
Corsair Memory XMS3 4GB DDR3 1600 MHz CAS 9 XMP Dual Channel Desktop

Video card
512MB Asus HD 5450 Silent, PCI-E 2.1 (x16), 800MHz GDDR2, GPU 650MHz, 80 Cores

Freesat Tuner
PCTV Dual Sat Pro PCI 4000i

Freeview Tuner
KWorld DVBT PC160-2T PCI, Dual Digital TV Tuner

Infrared Receiver
Windows 7 Vista XP Media Center MCE PC Remote Control and Infrared Receiver

Wifi card
Edimax EW-7612PIn 300Mbps Wireless 802.11 b/g/n PCI Express Adapter

Blueray
Samsung Blu-Ray Combo, SH-B123L/RSBP, SATA, Retail

Accessories
DVI to RGB Plugs - cable

Total Price = £516

Hopefully I'm honing in on a system that will work. Any comments, helpful as always.

Thanks,
Richard.
 

aktivemac

Active Member
what do people think of THIS bundle for the HTPC?

Asrock skt-am2 n68c-s ucc s/v/l M-ATX 2000mt/s motherboard
AMD sempron 140 CPU
4gb ddr3 ram (2x2gb i would imagine)

being a M-ATX with only 1 pci-ex1 slot a pci-ex16 and 2xPCI slots you can use all four slots on the motherboard.

or you might want to look at a bigger case :( shame that silverstone is really nice. although you might be able to use a usb wireless dongle instead of a pci-ex1.

if you go with a M-ATX motherboard i think you will only get 1x PCI-E x1, 1x PCI-E x16 and 2 PCI slots.
if so you might want to find a PCI-E x1 / PCI dual freeview tuner, a PCI dual satellite tuner, your GPU and then you either have a pci slot for wireless or a PCI-E x1 for wireless depending on the tuners you get.

i also found THIS.

might same you a little bit. and will fit into the case. although the cpu cooler might need upgrading to the scythe shruiken but not sure if it will fit the cpu/mobo as im not 100% sure on AMD but someone can comment.

Thanks for all the help. Some interesting bundles there, need to have a think about that. Pretty keen on keeping the silverstone case, so might have to stay with mATX.

That heatsink is a beast :)
 

aktivemac

Active Member
95w CPU in a HTPC seems like the wrong choice. You would probably equal performance with a 65w non-Sempron.

If I went for this CPU which is a similar price to the one I had:

AMD Athlon II X2 265, Regor Dual Core, S AM3, 3.3GHz, 2MB Cache, HT 4000MHz, 65W, Retail.


Would this one have a similar performance to the 95W one I originally selected, even though its only dual core, vs triple core?

Thanks!
 

slobdog

Standard Member
If I went for this CPU which is a similar price to the one I had:

AMD Athlon II X2 265, Regor Dual Core, S AM3, 3.3GHz, 2MB Cache, HT 4000MHz, 65W, Retail.


Would this one have a similar performance to the 95W one I originally selected, even though its only dual core, vs triple core?

Thanks!

I have one of these

AMD Athlon X2 245 2.9GHZ Socket AM3 2MB Cache Retail Box

and it doesn't have any issues. It is lower wattage and spec than yours, so shuld be ample!

Cheers
 

aktivemac

Active Member
I have one of these

AMD Athlon X2 245 2.9GHZ Socket AM3 2MB Cache Retail Box

and it doesn't have any issues. It is lower wattage and spec than yours, so shuld be ample!

Cheers

Thanks. Quick question, what is the benefit of a lower wattage CPU? Is it simply that it uses less power, or does that mean it runs cooler/quieter, which I guess is desirable for a htpc?

Richard.
 

mattclarkie

Distinguished Member
It runs much cooler, therefore the fans run slower, therefore the computer is quieter. Particularly in a confined case where heat can be a real problem.

My HTPC runs a processor that is 45watts and pretty ancient and runs flawlessly, unless you are planning to crack the human genome any chip available today will handle HD and Windows 7 fine, and the one you listed will certainly. The graphics card is the major bottleneck for HD, and even a £20 jobby now will be more than capable.
 
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aktivemac

Active Member
It runs much cooler, therefore the fans run slower, therefore the computer is quieter. Particularly in a confined case where heat can be a real problem.

My HTPC runs a processor that is about 4 years old, unless you are planning to crack the human genome any chip available today will handle HD and Windows 7 fine, and the one you listed will certainly. The graphics card is the major bottleneck for HD, and even a £20 jobby now will be more than capable.

Thanks for the reply. That makes perfect sense, I'd rather my living room didn't sound like a wind tunnel, so I get the logic :)
 

aktivemac

Active Member
I just made a rather obvious realisation; unfortunately the case that I selected only takes low profile expansion cards (and some of the cards I want to use aren't low profile).

After a bit of a search for other suitable cards that are low-profile, I determined it would be easier to change the case.

Another Silverstone case called the GD05 is also microATX but takes full sized cards, its quite nice too (albeit a bit more expensive, £70 vs £50)

Scan.co.uk: Silverstone GD05B Grandia Micro-ATX Case w/o PSU - SST-GD05B

This takes the whole price upto: £540
 

aktivemac

Active Member
Right, sorry for the stream of posts, but the below is what I'm considering as my final spec and I'm about to order the components from the various websites.

Any last minute comments, or any mistakes I'm about to make?

Thanks again!

Richard.

Total price £569

Case
Silverstone GD05B Grandia Micro-ATX Case w/o PSU

PSU
Coolermaster RS-500-AMBA-D3 Silent Pro M 500W Modular Power Supply

Motherboard
Asus M4A785TD-M EVO, AMD 785G, AM3, PCI-E (x16), DDR3 1333/1600/1800, SATA 3Gb/s RAID, uATX

CPU
AMD Athlon II X2 265, Regor Dual Core, S AM3, 3.3GHz, 2MB Cache, HT 4000MHz, 65W, Retail.

HDD
Western Digital Caviar Green 1.5TB WD15EADS Hard Drive

RAM
Corsair Memory XMS3 4GB DDR3 1600 MHz CAS 9 XMP Dual Channel Desktop

Video card
512MB Asus HD 5450 Silent, PCI-E 2.1 (x16), 800MHz GDDR2, GPU 650MHz, 80 Cores

Freesat Tuner
PCTV Systems PCTV DualSat Pro PCI 4000i Satellite TV Tuner

Freeview Tuner
KWorld DVBT PC160-2T PCI, Dual Digital TV Tuner

Infrared Receiver
Basic Windows 7 Vista XP Media Center MCE PC Remote Control and Infrared Receiver

Wifi card
Edimax EW-7612PIn 300Mbps Wireless 802.11 b/g/n PCI Express Adapter

Blueray
Samsung Blu-Ray Combo, SH-B123L/RSBP, SATA, Retail

Accessories
DVI to RGB Plugs - cable (for outputting to slingbox)

CPU Cooler
Scythe Shuriken RevB Quiet Low Profile CPU Cooler
 
me thinks he's ready to pop that HTPC build cherry lol.

your lineup looks good and i cant see any majour issues. EXCEPT! i dont see arctic silver 5 on your list lol.

after market TIM is always better than manufacturer supplied.

but yeah you look good to go.

please take lots of photo's of each step n show us your build. im going to follow your build VERY closely as im looking into building a HTPC now and kinda using your build as a blueprint lol
 

aktivemac

Active Member
me thinks he's ready to pop that HTPC build cherry lol.

your lineup looks good and i cant see any majour issues. EXCEPT! i dont see arctic silver 5 on your list lol.

after market TIM is always better than manufacturer supplied.

but yeah you look good to go.

please take lots of photo's of each step n show us your build. im going to follow your build VERY closely as im looking into building a HTPC now and kinda using your build as a blueprint lol

Ahh yes, good point - I'll order some arctic silver right away :)

I've ordered all the parts now, but set delivery to my work address so will hopefully pick them all up on 4th Jan (1st day back) - I'll take photos and post a full build overview in time.

Thanks for everyone's help!!

Richard.
 

aktivemac

Active Member
A small HDD for the boot drive (250gb), perhaps a 2.5"?

I've seen a few people talking about boot drives on these forums and others. Is the benefit that you don't have to lose your media if you need to reformat windows? is that setup common place in HTPCs?

Thanks.
Richard.
 

I Am Custard

Well-known Member
love this thread.

Really inspired me to have a go.

I get so lost in what I need.

Thanks for the read :)
 

mattclarkie

Distinguished Member
The main theory behind a boot drive is:

The drive with the OS is most likely to fail. So keep your data off it (not a substitute for back-ups).
You can often get better performance from small single platter drives compared to multiple platter drives. So get your OS on it, especially if using an SSD which will be pretty small but lightening fast.
You can R.A.I.D Mirror data drives for data redundancy. If you want to mirror you really want your OS on a separate drive as you don't want to mirror your OS.


It can be also be useful for dual-booters. I often have 3/4 OS installed so it is simpler to have data on a Data drive because the 4 partition (excluding extended) limit.

If you partition your OS and Data on a single drive you won't lose your data if you reformat your OS drive. At the least you want to keep the OS and Data on separate partitions.
 

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