The Gaming HTPC Thread (Part 2 with updated info)

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TimOo94

Active Member
I don't know what wireless card is the best, but I am certain it would be way better than a USB dongle. I have a USB dongle on one computer and it's terribly slow. Our laptops are reasonable, but still slow.

I have 2 routers, a high power buffalo router and an asus router. Both routers have Tomato firmware and aftermarket antennas. I use the buffalo router as my main WAP and the asus is setup as an ethernet bridge next to my TV, so my PS3 and whatever laptop we have hooked up to the TV (soon to be my shiny new HTPC) gets plugged in to it with an ethernet cable. My throughput typically doubles when I go through the asus bridge vs built in laptop wireless.

That might be a little much for just wanting a wireless adapter, but it works great for me.

My routers seem to be quite good, almost everything in my house is wireless (PC, Laptops, PS3, etc) and there seems to be no problem with it at all, however a lot of people seem to say that there is a big difference between wireless and wired internet, but whenever I plug my laptop in via ethernet I notice no difference at all.
 

KingBaka

Active Member
Razor I figured out what the problem was!
It was a USB connection for the secondary screen on the case, for some reason it was slowing down ny games. Luckily I didn't reinstalled windows before finding this out!
 

kav

Distinguished Member
My routers seem to be quite good, almost everything in my house is wireless (PC, Laptops, PS3, etc) and there seems to be no problem with it at all, however a lot of people seem to say that there is a big difference between wireless and wired internet, but whenever I plug my laptop in via ethernet I notice no difference at all.

Wireless is fine for web browsing but if you're gaming you will want a hard-wired connection to minimise latency.
 

TimOo94

Active Member
Wireless is fine for web browsing but if you're gaming you will want a hard-wired connection to minimise latency.

Yeah, I wish it was an option, but unfortunately not. :( Mind you, when I play games I seem to get quite a good latency anyway so does not matter to much. :)

Is there anyone who has a wireless card that they are satisfied with?
 

kav

Distinguished Member
I too look forward to hearing any recommendations, as will need to get one for my old PC that I'll be giving to the kids.
 

balforth

Active Member
I'm completely freaking out...

All my stuff came in and it's been so long since I've built a computer I feel completely overwhelmed. I don't know if I should use the little rubber mounts for the Noctua case fans, I don't know if I need to take out a drive bay to make room for my video card, the Noctua CPU cooler looks like you need an engineering degree to mount it, there's screws and boxes everywhere....

oh my...
 

Sniper Ash6

Distinguished Member
I'm completely freaking out...

All my stuff came in and it's been so long since I've built a computer I feel completely overwhelmed. I don't know if I should use the little rubber mounts for the Noctua case fans, I don't know if I need to take out a drive bay to make room for my video card, the Noctua CPU cooler looks like you need an engineering degree to mount it, there's screws and boxes everywhere....

oh my...
Please hold, Razor will be along shortly :D
 

cabanatuan

Banned
I'm completely freaking out...

All my stuff came in and it's been so long since I've built a computer I feel completely overwhelmed. I don't know if I should use the little rubber mounts for the Noctua case fans, I don't know if I need to take out a drive bay to make room for my video card, the Noctua CPU cooler looks like you need an engineering degree to mount it, there's screws and boxes everywhere....

oh my...
if its anything like my TRUE120 or my mini ninja then yup it is A BITCH to mount. NOT EASY. infact, it took me a FEW HOURS to bloody mount it on my i7:mad:
 

Sniper Ash6

Distinguished Member
if its anything like my TRUE120 or my mini ninja then yup it is A BITCH to mount. NOT EASY. infact, it took me a FEW HOURS to bloody mount it on my i7:mad:
My Ultra 120 wasn't too bad to mount, it's the fan clips I have trouble with.
 

Grangey.

Distinguished Member
I'm completely freaking out...

All my stuff came in and it's been so long since I've built a computer I feel completely overwhelmed. I don't know if I should use the little rubber mounts for the Noctua case fans, I don't know if I need to take out a drive bay to make room for my video card, the Noctua CPU cooler looks like you need an engineering degree to mount it, there's screws and boxes everywhere....

oh my...

mate if i can do it, you certainly can. the cooler looks overwhelming, but take your time with it and read the instructions and it makes perfect sense.

The rubber mounts for the fans are just to assit with having as minimal vibrations as possible. I used them although found the first one fiddly until i realised i could reeeallly streach these bad boys to get them through, you dont HAVE to use them though if you dont want to.

Take your time, read instructions, and all will be fine :)

As for removing hdd enclosures etc it should be pretty obvious from looking at the case and length of your card.:thumbsup:
 

kiraexiled

Standard Member
Hey guys, greetings from Malaysia. Found this neat place while I was doing some research for my HTPC.

Here are the current specifications I have in mind. Do have a look and comment.


Intel Core i5 2500k
2 x 2GB KINGSTON DDR3 PC1333
MSI P67A-GD55
Leadtek GTX570
Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB
Silverstone LC17B
SeaSonic M12-II 620 620W 80Plus Bronze

I plan on going SLI in future when games are more demanding. Would my power supply be sufficient?

Also, we don't have Noctua products here in Malayisa. What other CPU coolers can you guys recommend?

Opinions and advices appreciated :)
 

balforth

Active Member
Hey guys, greetings from Malaysia. Found this neat place while I was doing some research for my HTPC.

Here are the current specifications I have in mind. Do have a look and comment.


Intel Core i5 2500k
2 x 2GB KINGSTON DDR3 PC1333
MSI P67A-GD55
Leadtek GTX570
Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB
Silverstone LC17B
SeaSonic M12-II 620 620W 80Plus Bronze

I plan on going SLI in future when games are more demanding. Would my power supply be sufficient?

Also, we don't have Noctua products here in Malayisa. What other CPU coolers can you guys recommend?

Opinions and advices appreciated :)

Here is an article that states PC1600 RAM is best for Sandy Bridge:

The Best Memory for Sandy Bridge Test Setup | bit-tech.net

I think everybody is going to tell you that especially if you want to go SLI, you should go with a bigger PSU:
Corsair Professional Series HX850W Power supply - 850 Watt#
 

balforth

Active Member
So I was going to start my own fancy "Balforth's i5-2500k Gaming HTPC Thread" thread with all kinds of neat pictures, but I realized that for the most part, I have a similar build to other people, so I wouldn't go through the pain of taking pictures of my boxes and my empty case, etc etc. I thought I would just take a picture of it when it was all done.

The problem is, I'm terribly embarassed of what a disaster it ended up looking like. It's what I like to call "cable mismanagement. I don't see how there's a darned thing I can do about it.

For starters, the 8 pin cpu power socket is on the opposite side of the board, and the power cable barely reaches after going through the obstacle course of my video card, memory, bd player, and cpu cooler. Between my tall ripjaws memory and the BD player, there's about a 1/2 clearance -- barely room for the motherboard power cables. Coming directly out of the back of the PSU, there is almost no room before you hit the back of the hard drive. The two power cables to the video card are really long, so there's a ton of extra cable just tangled up. After I had all the power in, it was nearly impossible to get the SATA cables connected. The the case fans... there's only one case fan power adapter near the rear fans. The other one is on the other side of the motherboard near the PSU. I supposed I should get a Y adapter for these so they can both be plugged into the same port near the fans?


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balforth

Active Member
Anyway, I was googling stuff every step of the way. I found the same problem with the rubber fan mounts -- I thought I was going to break them I was pulling them through so hard. I was surprised how tight of a fit everything was in that case -- I had to take the CD bay out to get the motherboard to fit in.

I was also surprised at the new technique of applying thermal paste -- just using a dot in the center and plopping on the cooler without spreading it. I wasn't entirely sure how to set all the fancy little jumpers like TPU etc, so I left it all at default. On first boot, I got a blank screen. I think the code on the motherboard was A3 or something like that. The book said it meant "drive event" or something else very non descript. I started scrambling and searching the internet. Then I changed HDMI inputs on the TV.... DOH. Everything was fine -- the drive event was that I didn't have any bootable media in the computer.

So I flashed my ASUS p8p67 deluxe bios to 1003, the Crucial c300 SSD was already at rev 0006. I disabled the Marvel controller as I'm only using the Intel. My memory is showing up as 1333 instead of 1600, which I heard was a problem. But all the settings were set to auto... so I'll have to play with that later.

I heard win7 only takes like 10-15 minutes to install on the crucial ssds. I didn't time it, but it sure seemed like it took 20-30 minutes. It was pretty late so I only got to install video, audio, and usb drivers. I also quickly installed firefox, xbmc, real temp, and [email protected] I'm having some video problems -- when it autodetects my resolution as 1900x1080, the picture extends off my screen on all sides, and the picture is not sharp at all -- it looks like I'm NOT at the native resolution. When I resize the boundaries with nVidia's tool so it fits my TV, it sets it to 1842x1026, and still looks crappy -- fonts are jagged and blurry. Not sure what to do about that.

I ran the Windows Experience Index and everything was either 7.8 or 7.9 except for the CPU, which was 7.5. But I'm sure that will change once I overclock.

Coretemps were between 30 and 32 in the BIOS when I first turned it on. I wasn't sure how to stress/load test it, but I started folding and temps rose to 45-48. It was like 01:00 in the morning by this time, so I left it run overnight. This morning, I turned the TV on, moved the mouse, hit keys on the keyboard, and coudn't get the computer to do anything -- no picture. I hit power, hit reset, nothing. So I held power in and it seemed like it turned it off. I waited a few seconds and hit power again to turn it on and it said "Resuming windows" or "Waking up" or whatever it says after it's been put to sleep, so I'm not quite sure what happened there.

One thing that immediately struck me a superbly awesome was audio. I'm used to having a headphone jack -> RCA cable plugged into the laptop with tons of EMI and background noise. Now audio is, well, you get it.

Lots more configuration and playing to begin/continue tonight. Thanks to everybody who helped me put this together, especially Razor!
 

kav

Distinguished Member

I feel your pain mate, I only started mine last night as well. Here's a useful tip: in your haste to put everything together, try to remember that your cooler hasn't yet been delivered so it's pointless screwing your motherboard into place. I was very proud of my progress last night until I realised what a numpty I'd been. :facepalm:

I too am surprised about the positioning of the sockets for the fans - having to stretch all the way across the mobo over a graphics card, sound card etc is annoying. I'm trying to be as tidy as possible with my cabling but it's tougher than I expected. The only way I think you could tidy up slightly is to pass the green 8-pin cable from your PSU underneath the mobo instead of around it - I did this as it gets at least one cable out of the way.

There's no way in hell you could ever fit six 3.5" drives in this case with all the cabling etc (not that I'd want to...my next project will be a NAS :D).

I'm still waiting on my Noctua cooler and my GTX570 getting delivered, so while I could probably attach the stock cooler and boot up without the GPU, I think I will just hold off until all components have arrived and do things right.
 

kav

Distinguished Member
the case fans... there's only one case fan power adapter near the rear fans. The other one is on the other side of the motherboard near the PSU. I supposed I should get a Y adapter for these so they can both be plugged into the same port near the fans?


Is it okay to do this? Would definitely be a tidier solution.

The bit I am struggling with is the hundreds of tiny cables from the power/reset switch and the USB/firewire/audio ports at the front of the machine. I was knackered so wasn't really paying full attention and was going cross-eyed flipping between different manuals trying to find out how I was meant to plug them in, so gave up around 1.30am.
 
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balforth

Active Member
Well, I would think so... My motherboard only has 1 cpu fan power port. The Noctua CPU cooler comes with a splitter and I have both fans hooked up to the single port on the motherobard. They just specify that each fan must have it's on LNA connected.

The ASUS P8P67 Deluxe comes with it's own dual USB 3.0 front ports. I knew I'd never use firewire or audio on the front, so I thought I'd remove that mess and just have USB 3.0 up front. The other thing I didn't realize until after I connected all the power/reset/led leads was that the motherboard also comes with this really nice header that you can plug everything into, then plug the entire header into that bank of pins.
 

kav

Distinguished Member
The other thing I didn't realize until after I connected all the power/reset/led leads was that the motherboard also comes with this really nice header that you can plug everything into, then plug the entire header into that bank of pins.

Nice one balforth, I have the Deluxe too and I didn't notice this. Might just swap out the USB/firewire for the USB 3.0 ports as well. That will just leave the power and reset wires to work out.
 

balforth

Active Member
The only way I think you could tidy up slightly is to pass the green 8-pin cable from your PSU underneath the mobo instead of around it - I did this as it gets at least one cable out of the way.
Wow, didn't realize it would fit... which PSU do you have, because it seems like that lead is pretty fat on my Corsair 850W.

There's no way in hell you could ever fit six 3.5" drives in this case with all the cabling etc (not that I'd want to...my next project will be a NAS :D).
LOL not a chance... I had to completely remove the center bay to fit my GTX 470.

I'm still waiting on my Noctua cooler and my GTX570 getting delivered, so while I could probably attach the stock cooler and boot up without the GPU, I think I will just hold off until all components have arrived and do things right.
It took me almost 2 full weeks to get all my stuff in. I feel your pain :)

Oh ya, btw, I might have mentioned it in my post above, but I had to take out my disc player bay to get the motherboard in with the Noctua cooler installed in the case.
 
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