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New HTPC Build Help

Discussion in 'Microsoft Windows' started by FunkyJMan, Sep 9, 2005.

  1. FunkyJMan

    FunkyJMan
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    Hi all,

    I am completely new to this and don't know anybody I can ask for advice on it so I did a search and found this forum which seems to have loads of information that I need.

    So my question is basically I want to uild my own htpc running Windows Media Center but don't know exactly what I need so would like some advice on the parts, so far I have the following spec...

    Accent HT-400 Silver Case
    Seagate Barracuda 7200rpm 400GB SATA 8MB Cache Hard Drive
    80mm AcoustiFan temperature sensitive
    Beige NEC 2510A- DVD/RW Drive
    Seagate 80GB IDE hard drive
    VFD

    So the things I think I am missing are...

    Power Supply, I want something quiet but with a fan

    Graphics Card that will fit in the case I know it's limited on room with the optical drive so I was looking at the Gigabyte NVIDIA Fanless 6600GT 128MB PCI-E if thats any good?

    Motherboard? I would like a pretty quiet one prefferably running a P4 chip the LGA series if possible. Any suggestions please?

    Capture card that works with media center? I have no idea what I should look for I want to be able to plug in my Sky+ box to it and im going to output it to my panasonic 42" plasma (TH42PV500) from the graphics card using DVI - HDMI if thats possible?

    Lastly I think I just need a Soundcard if someone could suggest one please that would be great unless the motherboard has one built in.

    Budget isn't really an issue with this project I just want something nice that works well in my bedroom.

    Any help at all on this would be very much appreciated as I really don't have much clue on what parts will work with media center so don't want to waste my money.

    Thanks a lot
    Jamie.
     
  2. hutters

    hutters
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    Jamie

    I have that case :) I purchased most of my quiet components from Quiet PC - they have a good guide for the HT-400 on there aswell. I have a Qtechnology power supply that is extremely quiet.

    Check out Microsofts component list for compatible graphics cards, etc.

    My motherboard has SPDiF out that feeds my amp for my sound - not sure what you will be doing, but a 42" plasma in the BEDROOM sounds awesome!

    Sweetspot cards are normally considered highly for capture cards - see here
     
  3. hutters

    hutters
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  4. deksawyer

    deksawyer
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    Having just fitted an Elan Vital 400w Greenerger PSU, I can highly recommend that, as being powerful but silent.

    More info here;

    http://www.tomshardware.com/howto/20050401/power_supplies-04.html

    I bought mine from a supplier in Germany, but www.quietpc.com has them. It's a good site for HTPC stuff as well.

    I also have to say that I was really dissapointed with a 92mm Acoustifan I bought from them as it was noisy as hell - I went back to using the Silverstone one that was fitted originally.

    I personally use an MSI K7N2 Delta2 Platinum, socket A motherboard as it's what I had lying around at the time, and with an Athlon XP2600 and 512mb of ram it does the job nicely.

    Next mod is to fit some 120mm fans in the top &/or bottom for more, silent air throughput.

    D.
     

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  5. FunkyJMan

    FunkyJMan
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    Thanks a lot for the replys I never knew there was a microsoft list for graphics cards that are compatible etc.

    Thanks for the help, now it's time to get buying the bits and building :D

    Jamie
     
  6. FunkyJMan

    FunkyJMan
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    Hi,

    Just one more question, I have my system all spec'd now but was wondering if the sweetspot capture card works with mce as it's not on the microsoft list?

    Thanks
    Jamie.
     
  7. Skunkpipe

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    I can vouch for the Elan Greenager - supurb bit of kit. We got some in this week, and I'm currently putting together a high end HTPC with one of these in an LC16m case. Both are seriously good bits of kit.

    When you used the acousti-fan did you have any controller or did you run it at 12V? - all fans are noisy at 12v and the acousticfans only really cominto their own at 5-7V. Personally I'd recommend Panaflo, we sell acoustifans and Silverstone too, but the panaflo for all it's lack of fancy packaging and comparatively cheap price deliver great airflo with very little noise indeed - certainly way better than the silverstone fans that come with the cases. Gell mounts for the fans also help isolate vibration from the case.
    What case are you using?
     
  8. deksawyer

    deksawyer
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    Hi Skunkpipe

    It's a Silverstone LC-13 case.

    I tried running the Acoustifan with the resistor (7v?) but the airflow was pathetic. I went back to the Silverstone fan at full speed as it was quieter.

    I plan on fitting either 1 or 2 120mm intake fans on the bottom and maybe 1 exhaust on the top - overkill maybe, but I have acoustic padding and it's a killer for raising the temps.

    I removed the whirring fan on the NB and fitted a Zalman ZM-NB47J cooler. I also removed the 2 rear 60mm fans and fitted a 60-80mm adapter with a temp controlled Arctic Cooling fan. That works well even if it is on the outside of the case.

    All my PC's are fairly quiet, but the because the HTPC is in the living room, you can certainly notice the (lack off) noise when you switch it off..

    Who do you work for BTW......??

    cheers

    D.
     
  9. Skunkpipe

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    You're correct in that the inline resistor brings the voltage sown to 7V - if you qant 5V you need somehting like a zalman fanmate.

    Which acoustifan were you using? The std or the 'dustproof'.

    Looking at your picture though there are a few things that could be down to improve air flow and keep the noise down.
    Primarily your Heatsink looks like is blowing warm air into the PSU. I assume you're running the Greenager is SSM mode so the fan is only running when it really needs to (i.e. hardly ever) - this in ruen means that warm air isn't being expelled very well - plus you're heating up the psu possibly needing the fan to turn on more than it should.
     
  10. deksawyer

    deksawyer
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    It was the std clear version.

    You're correct re. the fan pushing air into the PSU - there's no room to fit the fan on the other side. I currently have the PSU with the fan on permanently, with the slowest setting and it's fairly quiet, if not near silent.

    This also aids to exhaust the hot air.

    The problem with the LC-13 is the poor intake, that's why I feel at least 1 120mm fan is needed.

    If you have more advice, I'm more than happy to listen.........

    D.
     
  11. Stellavision

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    The card advertised in the classifieds is a Sweetspot Video Proccessor and will NOT work with MCE. However, Sweetspot also do a Sweetspot MCE card which doesn't have component input but is 100% MCE compatible. Have a look at http://www.pluggedin.tv/item--SweetSpot-MCE--SWEETSPOT-MCE for more info.
     
  12. FunkyJMan

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    Thanks Barrie :)

    Jamie
     
  13. irishkeet

    irishkeet
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    Hi Jamie

    I have just about finished building my HTPC and I got a LOT of help from this site so hopefully I can be of some help to you.

    Accent HT-400 Silver Case
    Seagate Barracuda 7200rpm 400GB SATA 8MB Cache Hard Drive
    80mm AcoustiFan temperature sensitive
    Beige NEC 2510A- DVD/RW Drive
    Seagate 80GB IDE hard drive


    Nice case by the way, I went for the Silverstonetek LC13 as i wanted a case that did not look too busy and its got loads of airflow space.

    OK the kit your going for is good but I would go for the Samsung SpinPoint HD, its quite a bit quieter than the Seagate (which I use in my main PC)
    Fans are fine...

    For a DVDRW I use the NEC3540A which is again very quiet and comes in black, silver & the dreaded beige

    The fanless 6600GT is a great card which Im also using in my HTPC and of course this card will allow you to use the NVIDIA PureVideo Decoder

    I went for a high end power supply, 480w Tagan TG480-U15, its kicks arse and is very quiet and of course you only need to add the cabels youe need which helps the airflow

    Cant help with the TV card as I went for the Nebula DigiTV (will be intergrated fully with MCE very soon), great card by the way

    As for SC what mobo are you using, I got the Asus A8N premier as it has no fan, but I have yet to setup the sound (only plugged the HTPC into the TV for the first time last night!!!), If i was to get a SC I would choose the M-Audio Audiophile 2496

    Saying all that the work really begins after you have built the HTPC (as Im now learning)
    After a good build software is the key to getting the great picture, below are some link I have found on my HTPC travels which should help, any Q's drop me a line as Im sure we can learn from each other :rotfl:

    www.cinemapc.co.uk

    www.htpcnews.com - great site

    http://htpcnews.com/main.php?id=ffdshowdvd_1 - this explains a bit about the key software

    http://htpchelp.co.uk/

    GOOD LUCK
     

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