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Need help with HTPC spec

J

jpslotus

Guest
Hi Guys, New to this so need a bit of help, I am intending building my 1st HTPC and am not sure about which components to order.
For starters I'm very keen on the Zalman HD503 for the case and would like to use Windows 7, also I would like to retain the Harmony 555 remote that I'm currently using. The HTPC will be used for playing Blu Ray discs, storing and playing SD & HD movies and music, I would also like to record TV shows with it and use the internet via my wireless router.
I have no intention of using it as a gaming machine.
It will be connected to my Onkyo TX-SR507B 5.1 amp and Toshiba 42" LCD.

Any advice would be very much appreciated.
Thanks
 

0ldfart

Established Member
please read the sticky at the start of this section of the Forum

also HERE

and HERE

you could also browse through some of the existing build threads

Once you have a build proposal, put it up, and Im sure people will be happy to get back to you with pros and cons
 
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jimnorth

Established Member
I also considered the Zalman HD503 but no one in the UK had stock until February. Ended going for the Silverstone CW02 instead. If you're prepared to wait or have found some instock then I think it's a good choice and a stunning looking case. :smashin:
 

ProfQ

Standard Member
Hi,

I built my Zalman 503 over the Xmas break. I can only say, if you can find a stockist, go for it, you will not be disappointed. I'm not saying it's perfect, but it is rather good.

IMHO strong points are
-overall build quality
-ease of assembly
-ventilation
-support for 4 HDD and 2 SSD, w front access hot swap feature for 1 HDD.
-big enough for current long graphics cards
-remote and software are superb

some of it's weaker points are
-fans a bit noisy (though it has an integrated low/high fan speed switch).
-though acceptable, it's a bit biggish in size

I built mine using an Intel quadcore, Asus MB, 3 HDD and a ATI Radeon Card w integrated HDMI, also a 550W silent PSU. I'm running Windows 7 Ultimate. It has been flawless.

Good luck,
 
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scorpionix

Established Member
Hi there jpslotus

I'm looking at a very similar list of requirements and build specs to yourself. I decided to go for the HD501 case in stead tho as I'm not a fan, or user, of displays or buttons on the case - I just find them distracting. But aesthetics aside, and with the addition of a WiFi card or dongle my build ideas would give you one route to investigate. Find my proposed parts list under 'New Build HTPC based on i3 & H55'.

Hope it is of some help.

ProfQ - can you give us some more details of your build - esp what CPU cooler you're using please ?
 
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ProfQ

Standard Member
Hi there jpslotus

I'm looking at a very similar list of requirements and build specs to yourself. I decided to go for the HD501 case in stead tho as I'm not a fan, or user, of displays or buttons on the case - I just find them distracting. But aesthetics aside, and with the addition of a WiFi card or dongle my build ideas would give you one route to investigate. Find my proposed parts list under 'New Build HTPC based on i3 & H55'.

Hope it is of some help.

ProfQ - can you give us some more details of your build - esp what CPU cooler you're using please ?

Hi,

The CPU cooler route for me, was a path I would not recommend due to the size, a Zalman CPU fan.
Let me explain, My wife had given me a Zalman 9700NT CPU fan as a present last year to use in one of my builds, so I used that, although it is a bit tall for the 501-503 case. This necessitated modding the Zalman case lid, since the cpu fan happens to land exactly where Zalman put the top (indented) vent of the case.

If I had bought a CPU fan for this build, I would have gone w a Scythe, or a Thermalright, which is what I have on my big rig at home.

In all fairness, though the Zalman 9700NT needed this mod, it has worked flawlessly. I only ask two things of a CPU fan -quiet, but cool. And it has done that w ease, even during a 24 hour torture test of my media pc.

I stayed away from the WiFi cards because I tend to move large files through my home network. Thus I run a Gigabit LAN.

Cheers,
Ramon
 
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