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My Htpc Project

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#1
Spowis

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So, I've got a bit of a side-project going on where I will be building a HTPC for my family to use in the living room which will be able to play Blu-Rays/DVD's and other content (e.g. Music etc).

I pretty much have a basic layout of the components which I would be interested in buying for this, I didn't see the necessity in choosing components that would never really see their full potential being used.

Here's a list of what I was looking to buy, unfortunately I didn't take down page links but it's all on overclockers.co.uk:

QUOTE
Case -
OcUK Aphrodite Media Case (with ATX-500W PSU) - Black
£38.99 inc VAT
£33.18 ex VAT

CPU -
AMD Athlon II X3 Tri Core 440 3.00GHz (Socket AM3)
£56.39 inc VAT
£47.99 ex VAT

Mobo -
Gigabyte GA-MA74GM-S2H AMD 740G (Socket AM3/AM2+) DDR2 microATX Motherboard
£46.99 inc VAT
£39.99 ex VAT

Ram -
Patriot Signature 2GB DDR2 6400C5
£32.89 inc VAT
£27.99 ex VAT

HDD -
Samsung SpinPoint F3 1TB SATA-II 32MB Cache
£48.49 inc VAT
£41.27 ex VAT

Video -
Asus GeForce 210 512MB DDR2 PCI-Express Graphics Card
£35.99 inc VAT
£30.63 ex VAT

Sound -
Creative Sound Blaster Audigy SE 7.1 Sound Card
£22.99 inc VAT
£19.57 ex VAT

Optical -
Samsung SH-B083L/BSBP 8x BluRay ROM / 16x DVD±RW Drive - Black (OEM)
£49.34 inc VAT
£41.99 ex VAT


Total (after VAT): £343.23

I'm sure that these components could be purchased for even less and I haven't included any peripherals (keyboard, remote etc).

One thing which I was also interested in, and something I have virtually zero experience in, are operating systems which are specificially for HTPCs. Are there any real benefits to using them at all, or should I stick with Win 7/Linux?

There's a couple more considerations on having this hooked up to my home network and sharing files via my PC and what restrictions I can place on it, but I doubt that this would really be an issue regardless of the O/S'. I want this to be simple enough so that someone like my mother with EXTREMELY limited computer knowledge would still be able to operate things fine.

Any feedback/knowledge on this would be appreciated.

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#2
Weiman

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Well I have a HTPC that sees daily use now.

Important things:
Silence, you do not want humming fans in your living room except when it's really hot. I use an Antec P180 mini with only the top and CPU fan. Very quiet.
Size, it's best if you don't even see the HTPC, or at least have it sort of blend in. Special, desktop cases exist for this, but they tend to be hard to work with, and have smaller -> noisier fans.
CPU power, I'd say that AMD might not be powerful enough to decode Blu-Ray, I'm using an E5200 at stock speeds, and once in a while it will struggle on busy 1080p content. Here's a nice test video:
http://forums.plexap...?showtopic=3029
ONboard video vs. Dedicated card: all modern ATI and nVidia GPU's (HD 3000 and up, GF 8000 and up) support GPU video decoding, offloading this task from the CPU. This is not guaranteed, and an unsupported codec will mess this up.

Looking at the aprts, it seems as though you're on a budget, I'd make these modifications:

CPU cooler: http://www.overclock...rodid=HS-027-SY
PSU: http://www.overclock...amp;subcat=1084
Remove the Geforce graphics card.
Wireless keyboard/mouse: http://www.overclock...amp;subcat=1278

I'd simply go for Windows 7. Give your mom a seperate account or something icon_razz.gif




QUOTE (Weiman @ Apr 5 2009, 01:09 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
This is exactly what has been going on through the entire thread, and it's not the first time either.
You come to us for advice..you just spell out what you want to get, and then ask us if it is okay, and we have to explain why it isn't. That's the world upside down.. If you would just say 'hey guys, I have an X amount of money, what should I buy?' Then this would be over in 2-3 posts, not 2-3 pages.
QUOTE (Kazzerax @ May 21 2009, 09:01 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Every time someone goes against Weiman's sig I feel like they should be bludgeoned for a few minutes in the head to feel the headache I feel when I realize someone really IS that dense.

#3
Spowis

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QUOTE (Weiman @ Jul 21 2010, 04:59 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Important things:
Silence, you do not want humming fans in your living room except when it's really hot. I use an Antec P180 mini with only the top and CPU fan. Very quiet.

I'd make these modifications:

CPU cooler: http://www.overclock...rodid=HS-027-SY
PSU: http://www.overclock...amp;subcat=1084
Remove the Geforce graphics card.
Wireless keyboard/mouse: http://www.overclock...amp;subcat=1278

I'd simply go for Windows 7. Give your mom a seperate account or something icon_razz.gif


Yeah, I'm definitely a fan of making a setup as quiet as possible, I've had to turn down the fans in my case whilst watching movies on my PC purely because it is so hard to concentrate with the damn thing blaring. I have no idea why I didn't just think of assigning separate accounts, probably the easiest thing imaginable...thanks! icon_biggrin.gif

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