New HTPC build - advice on parts needed!

guv69

Active Member
Ive thought about building a new HTPC machine for quite some time - but now have renewed interest and now about to take the plunge. I've been looking at various case options and configurations - taking into account price - and now think I'm ready. But before I do - I have several questions which I'm hoping to get help with!

Components:

Case: Antec Fusion HTPC Case - 430HE Watt PSU
Motherboard: Abit Fatal1ty F-I90HD ATI Micro ATX (Socket 775) PCI-Express(Socket 775)
CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo E6600 "LGA775 Conroe" 2.40GHz
RAM: GeIL 2GB (2x1GB) PC5300 667MHz Value DDR2 Dual Channel
Hard drives: 2x Samsung SpinPoint T HD501LJ 500GB SATA-II

I will also add a DVB-T and DVDR - but less important for the purpose on this post.

Firstly, I will be using the machine primarily for DVD and HD (downloads) on my Panasonic TH42PX60B - a little bit of gaming - but nothing too taxing and general light multi-tasking PC work.

Note this motherboard has a decent onboard graphics chipset (and I havent added a PCI-E card) with HDMI - and from what I have read, it will be capable of decoding H.264 from HD broadcast - and the HDCP is also covered for BR and HD-DVD. Hopefully the CPU is man enough to decode! One thing I dont like about this board is the fact it only has 1 PCI slot. I was toying with DVB-T and DVB-S2 tuners!

Anyone have any knowledge of this Motherboard and confirm what it really is capable of?

I'm not 100% sure if the ram is correct for this MB or if there are better (but not too expensive) alternatives? Is PC5300 correct or PC5400? I cant work out what the difference is!

I've gone for Samsung spinpoint - purely because of what I have read about noise figures. A wise choice?

Lastly, the Case and PSU. Ive read some very encouraging reports on it. I was looking at alternatives - but the PSU supplied always seemed too low. At least being Antec, it should be quite! Good choice? Would I need extra cooling for the CPU or what the intel supplied one be sufficient? Is that quite? If not - can someone recommend a not too expensive cooler for the E6600?

I'm now in my final couple of days before I part with my cash - and Im hoping the research Ive done is fruitfull in giving me good components capable of what I wish to use it for. So hopefully someone can stop me in my tracks if the above is not good enough - or better options available?

Many thanks
 

Bretto

Active Member
Think we'll be contacting one and other quite a bit in the near future dude!!!
**(edit: and if you're a teacher too I'll be *&6%^$!!!!!!!)**

Look on ebay for media centre pcs.
There are a couple of companies that you can look at their configurations and see what they are doing.
One of them have had an Nvidea 8800 in the Antec case, so I reckon if the power is big enough for one of those beasties it should be good enough for a standard HTPC!! :D

I'm doing most of my purchasing from ebuyer, and they don't have 5300 memory, only 5400.
 

Bretto

Active Member
For the motherboard:

http://www2.abit.com.tw/page/en/mot...hp?pMODEL_NAME=Fatal1ty+F-I90HD&fMTYPE=LGA775

Says: 4 X 240-pin DIMM sockets support max. memory capacity 16GB
Supports Dual channel DDR2 800/667/533 Un-buffered Non-ECC memory

DDR2 800 = pc6400
DDr2 667 = pc5400

Think I'll be getting 2gigs of 5400.

Just seen you're going for 2x500gigs...that's a hell of a lot of storage.
I think I'll stay with 2x250, and then look into NAS drives so I can network the data all around the house (in the future).
 

guv69

Active Member
Think we'll be contacting one and other quite a bit in the near future dude!!!
**(edit: and if you're a teacher too I'll be *&6%^$!!!!!!!)**

Hopefully we wont need to and both have dream machines to play with soon! BTW - I'm not a teacher. The sig is just the site I run for my kids school!

Look on ebay for media centre pcs.
There are a couple of companies that you can look at their configurations and see what they are doing.
One of them have had an Nvidea 8800 in the Antec case, so I reckon if the power is big enough for one of those beasties it should be good enough for a standard HTPC!! :D

Dunno where you are looking? I could only see one Antec Fusion HTPC!

I'm doing most of my purchasing from ebuyer, and they don't have 5300 memory, only 5400.

They dont have the Antec Fusion either! I was going to buy from them also - but elsewhere seems cheaper anyway! (Look at their CPU prices - the E6600 is so over the top there compared to pretty much everywhere.

On the topic of RAM - I still cant see the difference between the 5300 and 5400! Also - the review I posted - shows it running with 1gb Mushkin HP2 6400 (ie 800MHz - not 667 that both the 5300 and 5400 are!)

It really is a minefield!
 

Bretto

Active Member
Our ICT technician has an account with them...should be able to get a good discount.....:smashin:

Can't remember where im sourcing the fusion case, will get back to you later on.
 

guv69

Active Member
For the motherboard:

http://www2.abit.com.tw/page/en/mot...hp?pMODEL_NAME=Fatal1ty+F-I90HD&fMTYPE=LGA775

Says: 4 X 240-pin DIMM sockets support max. memory capacity 16GB
Supports Dual channel DDR2 800/667/533 Un-buffered Non-ECC memory

DDR2 800 = pc6400
DDr2 667 = pc5400

Think I'll be getting 2gigs of 5400.

DDR2 667 is also PC5300. I notice that overclockers dont sell 5400 - only 5300! I need to check which RAM is best suited for the CPU I'm going for - which as a 1066FSB

Just seen you're going for 2x500gigs...that's a hell of a lot of storage.

You can never have enough! I will probably partition the OS drive giving Windoz 200GB. Yes its a lot - but then swap files and installs etc....I'll make sure it has all the expansion it needs! Still not sure what OS to run with. XP and third party Media, MCE or Vista.

I think I'll stay with 2x250, and then look into NAS drives so I can network the data all around the house (in the future).

Got that already ;-) In the PCs around the house, Ive probably got about 5TB of storage! (Inc the NAS - which only has a measly 2x320GB)


Our ICT technician has an account with them...should be able to get a good discount.....:smashin:

Can't remember where im sourcing the fusion case, will get back to you later on.


Oooh! You might become my new best friend! ;)
 

Bretto

Active Member
Interesting reading from the XBox 360 HD-DVD player forum:

neilios' specs -

3800 dual core overclocked to 2.2 ghz
1 meg of ram
xfi elite pro to a denon thru analogue
Asus 7800 gt at stock
Nvidia 93.81

and they seem to be good.

others have even lower specs. heheheeh, i'm such a tight arse I REALLY only want a 6300. Of course after another 15 weeks of reading ( ;) ) I may decide the 6600 is the way to go
Oh and Guv, great site by the way!!
 

guv69

Active Member
Interesting reading from the XBox 360 HD-DVD player forum:

neilios' specs -

3800 dual core overclocked to 2.2 ghz
1 meg of ram
xfi elite pro to a denon thru analogue
Asus 7800 gt at stock
Nvidia 93.81

and they seem to be good.

others have even lower specs. heheheeh, i'm such a tight arse I REALLY only want a 6300. Of course after another 15 weeks of reading ( ;) ) I may decide the 6600 is the way to go
Oh and Guv, great site by the way!!

Hmmm! Ive had a look at that thread - and its such a mixed bag! The top item in this page seems to sum up everything Ive seen to date online. Also in the same forum - seems Dixons are selling the drive for £99 (with usual online discounts available Im sure!) I'll pass for the moment though. My 1.4Mb download speeds are a much cheaper option for now! :smashin: I've been playing with Power DVD Ultra V7.2 on an Athlon 2.8 and that copes pretty well. (The Celery 2.4 cant cut it though - but very much expected!)

Cheers for the comment on website - I can tell it takes up far too much time! Hopefully through a cunning plan it will earn the school a few bob and make it worth the effort!
 

guv69

Active Member

Well I've gone and done it!

Order placed as above - but with 2GB Corsair DDR2 PC6400 L4 Ram instead. I also added a Nova500 Dual DVB-T tuner.

Annoyingly, I hadn't noticed the Nova card was out of stock - so its delayed shipment until the 1 May.:eek: All bought from Komplett. Even got a price match to reduce the price of the case down from £127 to £110 - which is the cheapest Ive now seen. I did ask Overclockers about some of their high prices, but they weren't interested. Their loss!
 

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