New Build, can u advise me please?

Mosschops

Active Member
Hi All

After asking lots of questions and getting lots of advice i have now started to get some idea for the spec. Its not ging to be a gaming machine but i do want to be able to play 'some' games - not the latest. I want to play Blue-ray and it will be connected to a Denon amp AVR-1906 (connected to a 5.1 Kef speaker system) and a 42" Panasonic TH-42PV500B. In the case of the MoBo's and Processor i have listed multiple options as not sure which will be best for my needs

Antec Fusion Black Case
HDD Samsung Spinpoint HDD 1TB x2
Heatsink - Scythe Mini Nija
PSU - Tagen Silent 480w
Optical Drive - Blue Ray Any suggestions?
Fans ??? Will i need anymore?
OS Vista Home Premium
MoBo Gigabyte GA-MA78GM-S2H ???
MoBo Rev 1.0 Gigabyte GA-MA78GM-S2H
Processor Athlon 64 X2 4850+
Processor AMD Athlon 64 X2 5400+ (2.8GHz)
Processor AMD Athlon 64 X2 4850e 2.5GHz Socket AM2 Energy Efficient.
RAM Corsair 2GB/3GB Do i need 3GB? Any particular type of memory?
Graphics Card Ati 3650 Passively cooled? Do i need a seperate card?
Sound ??? Will the built in sound on the mobo be ok?
TV/Freeview/Cable Card ??? - Recording from all 3 - Suggestions please?
 

kmark40

Novice Member
This is what I used, based on popular choice


  • Samsung SpinPoint F1 HD103UJ 1TB Hard Drive SATAII *32MB Cache* - OEM
  • Antec Black Fusion V2 MATX MediaCenter Case - Aluminium Front Bezel with 430W PSU
  • Gigabyte GA-MA78GM-S2H 780G Socket AM2+ onboard VGA 8 channel audio mATX Motherboard
  • AMD Athlon 64 X2 4850e 2.5GHz Socket AM2 Energy Efficient 1MB L2 Cache Retail Boxed Processor
  • Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium -SP1- Licence and media - 1 PC - OEM - DVD - 32-bit - English
  • LG Electronics Blu-Ray & HD-DVD-Rom Combo 16x DVDRW Black SATA - Retail Box With Software
  • Corsair 2GB Kit (2x1GB) DDR2 800MHz/PC2-6400

Graphics Card Ati 3650 Passively cooled? Do i need a seperate card? - Board comes with integrated graphics. If you want some gaming you could consider that one or go for one of the new Ati HD 4670 cards
Sound ??? Will the built in sound on the mobo be ok? - Yes
TV/Freeview/Cable Card ??? - Recording from all 3 - Suggestions please? - I dont know much about these

Hope that help
 

devo

Active Member
Optical Drive - Blue Ray Any suggestions?
LG Electronics Blu-Ray & HD-DVD-Rom Combo 16x DVDRW Black SATA - Retail Box With Software - Ebuyer

MoBo ...
Have a look at any board based on the AMD 780g or Nvidia 8200 then check off any other features you need

Processor ...
AMD 4850e is a good choice

RAM Corsair 2GB/3GB Do i need 3GB? Any particular type of memory?
2GB ddr2 800MHz

Graphics Card Ati 3650 Passively cooled? Do i need a seperate card?
On board graphics will be fine. Can always upgrade later if needed for games.

Sound ??? Will the built in sound on the mobo be ok?
Yep
 

Mosschops

Active Member
:thumbsup: Thanks guys - should also have mentioned, im budgeting for £1000 or less - gaming is NOT a priority but i want to be able to game on it str8 away (Not the latest games so not wanting a high spec graphics card) i have quite a bit of space so can cope with a large (ish) case but not a tower (The girlfreind has too like it lol) Will i need more fans or a more powerfull PSU ?


Ta
 

DarkDogZA

Active Member
I would think your current PSU has enough juice. I Have a 500w psu in my HTPC and a 700w psu in my mainpc. What I would suggest is your have a goggle for the amount of juice that your cpu choices drink (See my .sig for pc specs)

On the fan front, a lot would depend on the airflow in your case. I have pretty good airflow in my case and have replaced the stock fans with Zalman in an effort to keep things quieter but cool. Not had any heat issues thus far.
 

kmark40

Novice Member
i've got the antec fusion with stock fans and that case remains icy cold
 

Stephen Neal

Distinguished Member
Yep - my Fusion is running with both 120mm fans on low. I'm even considering removing one to make it even quieter - as the 4850e/780G combo seems to run pretty cool.

I'm not a gamer at all - but have built a machine almost exactly to this spec - (I went for a silver rather than black case and prefer the VFD display to the LCD) and am very happy. I really wanted Firewire - and was really glad the Gigabyte Mobo has it onboard.
The only limitation for HTPC use is that it is PCM2.0 or DD/DTS 5.1 bitstream only via HDMI - no 5.1 or 7.1 PCM or bitstreaming for the advanced HD audio codecs now in use for Blu-ray (like PCM5.1, Dolby True HD or DTS Master Audio).
 

kmark40

Novice Member
same here. Thinking about the hd 4670 for the 5.1 pcm and possible gaming. Waiting for the passive version
 

BEEMB

Standard Member
Yep - my Fusion is running with both 120mm fans on low. I'm even considering removing one to make it even quieter - as the 4850e/780G combo seems to run pretty cool.
Agree - mine is running very cool with the same spec. I'm taking one out tonight.

If I replace the one standard fan left with a quieter one I'll barely hear it.

Just deciding on which fan to go for ...

The Silenx iXtrema Pro Quiet Fans I've just found out have the best noise to air flow in the industry ..
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Mosschops

Active Member
Yep - my Fusion is running with both 120mm fans on low. I'm even considering removing one to make it even quieter - as the 4850e/780G combo seems to run pretty cool.
So if i just use the fans the case comes with, will i still need a Heat Sink (Scythe Mini-Ninja) or is this needed regardless of fans

[/QUOTE]
The only limitation for HTPC use is that it is PCM2.0 or DD/DTS 5.1 bitstream only via HDMI - no 5.1 or 7.1 PCM or bitstreaming for the advanced HD audio codecs now in use for Blu-ray (like PCM5.1, Dolby True HD or DTS Master Audio).[/QUOTE]

lol now you have lost me completely with this :) I want to connect my HTPC to my Denon amp AVR-1906 (connected to a 5.1 Kef speaker system) - I thought i connected the amp to the HTPC with the 'Optical Out' and Voila - instant surround-sound. Is this not the case?

And lastly - if i'm going to be playing AVI video files that look excellent quality on a 24" LCD monitor, will they look excellent on a 42" Panasonic TH-42PV500B?
 

Stephen Neal

Distinguished Member
So if i just use the fans the case comes with, will i still need a Heat Sink (Scythe Mini-Ninja) or is this needed regardless of fans
You will need a CPU heat-sink as well - the case fans pass air through the case. The CPU heat-sink (often with an on-board fan) cools the CPU specifically. There are passive heat-sink only CPU cooling solutions - as well as quiet heat-sink and fan solutions.

I bought my CPU in retail packaging so it came with fan and heatsink which is what I'm using at the moment.

lol now you have lost me completely with this :) I want to connect my HTPC to my Denon amp AVR-1906 (connected to a 5.1 Kef speaker system) - I thought i connected the amp to the HTPC with the 'Optical Out' and Voila - instant surround-sound. Is this not the case?
Yep - if you have an amp with just Toslink optical and/or SPDIF coax you'll be limited to DVD-quality Dolby Digital 5.1 and DTS 5.1 audio (which for many is fine!) using the optical output from the motherboard.

Some Blu-ray and HD-DVDs (in fact most) have better quality audio tracks than can be delivered via this route (PCM5.1, Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby True HD, DTS HR or DTS MA) - but this audio can only be output via analogue or HDMI (and not the integrated HDMI on the Gigabyte motherboard - which is PCM2.0, Dolby Digital and DTS only) Don't worry though - all discs will play with sound still!

And lastly - if i'm going to be playing AVI video files that look excellent quality on a 24" LCD monitor, will they look excellent on a 42" Panasonic TH-42PV500B?
Only if they are excellent to begin with. Files that look great on a 24" display may not look good when displayed on a much larger screen. However the native resolution of the plasma may be lower than your LCD - so it could make everything look worse... (Depends on the relative viewing distances)

I find watching stuff on a big TV much more satisfying even if the actual quality is not as good as a smaller screen closer to.
 

Mosschops

Active Member
Yep - if you have an amp with just Toslink optical and/or SPDIF coax you'll be limited to DVD-quality Dolby Digital 5.1 and DTS 5.1 audio (which for many is fine!) using the optical output from the motherboard.

Some Blu-ray and HD-DVDs (in fact most) have better quality audio tracks than can be delivered via this route (PCM5.1, Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby True HD, DTS HR or DTS MA) - but this audio can only be output via analogue or HDMI (and not the integrated HDMI on the Gigabyte motherboard - which is PCM2.0, Dolby Digital and DTS only) Don't worry though - all discs will play with sound still!
:thumbsup:
So if i want PCM5.1, Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby True HD, DTS HR or DTS MA, do i need to get a specific type of motherboard or soundcard to have the applicable connections?
 

Stephen Neal

Distinguished Member
:thumbsup:
So if i want PCM5.1, Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby True HD, DTS HR or DTS MA, do i need to get a specific type of motherboard or soundcard to have the applicable connections?
You can get multi-channel PCM (and the advanced codecs decoded to this format) using the right kind of VIDEO card (which now often have integrated audio handling), or you can use a sound card with HDMI loop through. The audio can only be carried via HDMI or analogue.

I decided not to bother for the time being - as it seemed to much like hard work - though the Radeon 4xxx series cards may now be a bit easier to do it with.

The Xonar HDAV 1.3 Asus sound card (which takes HDMI video in, adds new audio and then loops out again) was also a possibility - but seems a bit buggy, and won't currently support 24p video looped through... (It's also around £170 - which is a bit steep for a sound card for me...)
 

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