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Old 01-14-2010, 03:05 PM   #1
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Default My HTPC Build (LONG) HELP!!!!

Hello....My name is Evan and this is my first post....AND ALSO MY FIRST BUILD


I am not a computer guy at all, and had never considered doing anything other than buying a computer from dell....

I was in need of a new desktop computer so I started doing a little research....Long story short, after about a month of research I want to build my first HTPC....I may or may not actually BUILD it myself, but I do want to buy the parts on my own so I know what I am getting and putting into my setup.....

I have an existing 22" flat panel monitor (my existing PC is using this) and 42" flatpanel TV....

They are roughly 15' apart

I plan to keep my new HTPC under the TV and have the ability to hide a 15' DVI or VGA wire back to my existing monitor....And run an HDMI wire from the PC to my TV

The functions I am looking for this machine to do are:

I am looking to build something strong enough to perform multiple functions at once, such as using the TV and working at the monitor at the same time ect. I also would like enough space to store movies, music and pictures ect.

On the Monitor:
Standard Internet surfing, moderate word processing, light duty photo and video editing, downloading of music/movies ect.... (nothing the average person wouldnt do on a standard PC)

On the TV and surround sound:

Cable TV, DVR, Blue Ray playing/storage, Windows Media Center use, music playing, Xbox360/PS3 gaming ect.


I have already bought

The HTPC case I wanted from New egg....(the only wood HTPC case available)

ATI TV wonder internal tuner for "cableCARD"


I have spec'd out a few possible combinations for hardware but cant really decide on anything for sure.....thats basically what made me come here....

Here is a sample of what I am looking into buying, please critique/modify/give advice where ever you feel I am going wrong

LOOKING TO BUY:

CPU
Intel Core i5-660 Clarkdale 3.33GHz 4MB L3 Cache LGA 1156 73W Dual-Core

Motherboard
Intel BOXDH55HC LGA 1156 Intel H55 HDMI ATX Intel Motherboard

RAM Memory
Patriot G Series 'Sector 5' Edition 8GB (4 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333

HDD
Western Digital Caviar Green WD20EADS 2TB 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive

Blue Ray Drive
LITE-ON Black 8X BD-ROM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-ROM SATA Internal BD-COMBO

Power Supply
Undecided

Operating System
Windows 7

Does it look like I am missing anything? Where am I going wrong? What do you think?

I havent really considered a budget for this project yet, but something in the $800-$1000 range (not including what I have already bought) seems like where I'll end up


If you wouldnt mind taking to time to help out it would be greatly appreciated


Thanks EVAN

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

As I am thinking about it a few questions have come up as well....

I would like to have 2 small speakers back by my desktop monitor...

They would only be used when I am sitting at the monitor...How do I switch between the computer speakers and my home theather speakers?


What would be a better wire to use between the PC and the monitor 15' away? (VGA or DVI)


If I use the ATI Wonder tuner will I only be able to watch/ record one program at a time? I currently use my cable company provided DVR/Cable box and can record/watch up to 2 programs....


These questions are in addition to what I have already posted....
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Old 01-14-2010, 03:15 PM   #2
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Default Re: My HTPC Build (LONG) HELP!!!!

Hi Evan,

The components you've specified there will be MORE than up to the task. In fact you can probably downgrade a fair bit of that without seeing a performance decrease! 8GB of RAM for example is overkill, I'd cut that in half personally. I'd also (as always) question the value of getting a blu ray drive, the software out there on both windows and linux for playing blu ray disks is frankly crap at the moment - unless you've got it for the sole purpose of ripping hi def content it's really not worth having. Opt for a DVD-RW instead and save yourself a few quid!

The choice of drive is good though - you'll want a nice big one for storing lots of video.

One thing to watch out for that I can't find the answer to quickly - does the HDMI port on that board output sound or just video? A lot of the ones I've seen don't do sound as well, so it's worth checking...
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Old 01-14-2010, 03:19 PM   #3
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Default Re: My HTPC Build (LONG) HELP!!!!

Yea, thats what I was wondering too about the sound....Some do, some dont.....

I have read that in basically every post, that these blue-ray readers are no good....I really want blue ray though and now dont know what to do lol....

Does anyone have any insight to any of my other questions?
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Old 01-14-2010, 03:27 PM   #4
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Default Re: My HTPC Build (LONG) HELP!!!!

Quote:
I have read that in basically every post, that these blue-ray readers are no good....I really want blue ray though and now dont know what to do lol....
There's no reason why you can't add it in the future when the software becomes more up to the task - the drives will be cheaper then too. Get it before and it'll just sit idle for a while until that happens, by which time the price will have come down on them anyway! So it's really worth waiting and saving yourself some money.

If you want to sit there and rip through all your blu-ray discs to convert them into mkv files which you can play on the PC then that's fair enough. I still don't think it's a brilliant use of the drive though...

If you really want to watch films on blu-ray at the moment, why not just use the PS3?
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Old 01-14-2010, 03:34 PM   #5
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Default Re: My HTPC Build (LONG) HELP!!!!

I dont have the PS3 yet.....I have an xbox360 for now....


What is really wrong with the blue ray readers right now??

If I do just rip them and convert to mkv, will quality suffer at all?
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Old 01-14-2010, 03:47 PM   #6
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Default Re: My HTPC Build (LONG) HELP!!!!

Quote:
What is really wrong with the blue ray readers right now??

If I do just rip them and convert to mkv, will quality suffer at all?
The readers themselves have nothing wrong with them. The problem is that the software isn't there yet to put the disk in and just press play - at best it's very buggy and at worse you just can't.

The quality won't suffer noticeably no, at least not if you rip them correctly! However, you need to set it up to run properly then give it a few hours before it's done... it's not a couple of minutes then a case of double clicking on a file.
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Old 01-14-2010, 04:42 PM   #7
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Default Re: My HTPC Build (LONG) HELP!!!!

ok cool...

So whether or not I hold off on the BD-Rom aside, how about the rest of my setup? How about the other functions I am looking for this machine to perform?
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Old 01-14-2010, 04:58 PM   #8
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Default Re: My HTPC Build (LONG) HELP!!!!

Quote:
I am looking to build something strong enough to perform multiple functions at once, such as using the TV and working at the monitor at the same time ect. I also would like enough space to store movies, music and pictures ect.
No problem in the slightest with what you've got.

Quote:
What would be a better wire to use between the PC and the monitor 15' away? (VGA or DVI)
Not an issue - either DVI or VGA should be fine. I've run VGA cables for distances much longer than this...

Quote:
If I use the ATI Wonder tuner will I only be able to watch/ record one program at a time? I currently use my cable company provided DVR/Cable box and can record/watch up to 2 programs....
What's the exact model number? The thing to look out for is 2 tuners - if you've got 2 then you can watch / record at the same time, if it's only one then you can't. It doesn't really matter how you add the extra tuners though - whether there's 2 on one card, or you install 2 cards with one tuner each.

Quote:
I would like to have 2 small speakers back by my desktop monitor...

They would only be used when I am sitting at the monitor...How do I switch between the computer speakers and my home theather speakers?
There's a number of ways of doing this - one of the quickest would be to use a headphone splitter of one of the minijack outputs, then take one feed to your computer speakers and the other to your home theatre speakers.
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Old 01-14-2010, 05:05 PM   #9
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Default Re: My HTPC Build (LONG) HELP!!!!

TV TUNER

Here is the link to where I bought it....It should be here Monday LINK

This board moves quick....anyone have any more insight?
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Old 01-16-2010, 09:33 AM   #10
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Default Re: My HTPC Build (LONG) HELP!!!!

This isnt the most active forum huh?
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