HTPC build

Discussion in 'Benchmarks & Performance' started by indyjones, Sep 30, 2007.

?

Zalman HD160XT in Silver or Black

Poll closed Oct 2, 2007.
  1. Black

    1 vote(s)
    100.0%
  2. Silver

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  1. indyjones

    indyjones OSNN.net Adventurer

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    Hi all
    I am finally getting round to building a full media centre system for my living room :)
    I have spec’ed some of the parts but others I am not sure of... The ones I have though of includes:
    • Zalman HD160XT Case
    • Intel core duo processor
    • Zalman 9500 heatsink
    • Some nice mobo with digital audio connections <- Any suggestions please?
    • A quiet DVD writer for now (until the combo HDDVD/Blueray drop in price)
    • Samsung spinpoint hdd
    • Papst fans (got already very quiet)
    • GFX card not sure on this yet... if the mobo has s-video may leave it till I get my HD LCD (XMAS) then get a card with HDMI
    • Corsair PSU (ment to be very quiet)
    • Black gold dual digital/analogue tv card
    What do people think of the specs?
    Also regarding the Zalman case which colour does people think black or silver? Advice would be good as planning on ordering the case today :) (currently I am thinking the black case.....)
    Cheers
    IJ
     
  2. indyjones

    indyjones OSNN.net Adventurer

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    Re: Media Centre Advice

    Just to make it easier below are the two colour options:

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  3. _kC_

    _kC_ Moderator

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    Re: Media Centre Advice

    lol your gonna get people to pick your colour:dead:

    bit of advice, quite obvious really ... get the colour that matches the rest of your equpment (a/v reciever/tv/stand etc)
     
  4. indyjones

    indyjones OSNN.net Adventurer

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    Re: Media Centre Advice

    Cheers kC pretty much all of my AV equipment will be relplaced only things staying is the nintendo wii, and my creative ddts100 (black with a siver front)
    Most of the new hd-tvs seem to be black now hence why i was thinking of that colour!
     
  5. Sazar

    Sazar F@H - Is it in you? Staff Member Political User Folding Team

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    Re: Media Centre Advice

    For the video card, I would probably consider getting an AMD 2xxx series card (not the 2900) because of the hardware and the really low cpu usage for h.264 decoding. Plus the filtering is superior for cleaning up signal noise.

    TV Tuner, I would suggest a Hauppaugge product and I would certainly recommend Vista as your OS if you are going to be using it as an HTPC :cool: Vista Media Center > everything else.

    -edit- and get black, I think it looks cooler, more understated and won't distract from the rest of the system.
     
  6. sean.ferguson

    sean.ferguson Moderator Folding Team

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    Re: Media Centre Advice

    Personally, I prefer the black unit. Look so much nicer, I always feel that silver looks old fashioned but perhaps that's just me.

    I agree with Sazar regarding hauppauge products, very good quality and will be a good addition to your MC.

    Are you 100% convinced that you want a windows based media center? Might save yourself some money if you look into the Linux based MythTV :)
     
  7. Sazar

    Sazar F@H - Is it in you? Staff Member Political User Folding Team

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    Re: Media Centre Advice

    A vista based media center will give him more options with far less work than is required for a Linux based setup.

    Not saying MythTV is bad, but it does require a heck of a lot more patience.
     
  8. sean.ferguson

    sean.ferguson Moderator Folding Team

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    Re: Media Centre Advice

    I wont disagree with that, there is a fair bit of configuration to do to take advantage of its features. :speechless:
     
  9. indyjones

    indyjones OSNN.net Adventurer

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    Re: Media Centre Advice

    Went with the black case, was my first decision anyway. Plus Quietpc the company I am buying it from (special offer on ;)) had sold out of the silver cases so decision made! If people are interested I will keep this thread updated with the build as it happens

    Thanks for all you help
    IJ
     
  10. indyjones

    indyjones OSNN.net Adventurer

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    Re: Media Centre Advice

    Right think I will go for Vista did not realise only ~£60 which version do you all think 32bit or 64bit. It will be home premium I can’t see any advantage in getting ultimate for the media centre
     
  11. Sazar

    Sazar F@H - Is it in you? Staff Member Political User Folding Team

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    Re: Media Centre Advice

    32-bit == most stable/offers most compatability with software/hardware.

    64 is redundant unless you are using 4gb in your system.
     
  12. indyjones

    indyjones OSNN.net Adventurer

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    Re: Media Centre Advice

    ^ Thank you :)
    I was thinking that the 32bit version maybe simpler as it is more likely I can get it all working with it. Still struggling with what motherboard to go for though......
    As for the GFX card I think your right the AMD/ATI cards do seem to be the best for video currently :)
     
  13. Sazar

    Sazar F@H - Is it in you? Staff Member Political User Folding Team

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    Re: Media Centre Advice

    You don't need an uber fancy board. I am not in the least enamoured by dual-graphics card setups so something with solid features and lots of i/o options as well as a single pci-e slot should be more than adequate.

    For the video card, something like the 2600 series should suffice I think.
     
  14. indyjones

    indyjones OSNN.net Adventurer

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    Re: Media Centre Advice

    Cheers, I agree no point in a dual gfx setup will never be used. Does anybody know anything about the intel Viiv technology is this worth looking for? Intel makes a P35 board with it on but can't find any reviews
     
  15. Sazar

    Sazar F@H - Is it in you? Staff Member Political User Folding Team

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    Re: Media Centre Advice

    Viiv is basically a combination of technology that you kind of had before. It's just a fancy term like "centrino" which doesn't net you any tangible benefits. :)

    But the p35 platform is pretty solid and has excellent stock performance as far as I can see.
     
  16. sean.ferguson

    sean.ferguson Moderator Folding Team

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    Re: Media Centre Advice

    /me runs out to buy an extra 2Gb of RAM.... D'oh :yowch:
     
  17. indyjones

    indyjones OSNN.net Adventurer

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    Re: Media Centre Advice

    Sorry the board I have found is a G33, same as the P35 but with intergrated video.
    http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/ProductInfo.asp?WebProductID=635545
    Its an intel board, but I am not sure on the onboard sound Sigmatel STAC9271D, I know most onboard sound solutions are not fantastic but the asus ones are better still this board is Viiv certified.... Thanks for the info on that Sazar some people still seem to swear by it though :crosseyed:
     
  18. indyjones

    indyjones OSNN.net Adventurer

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    Re: Media Centre Advice

    Quick update the Zalman case came today, but its a revison 2 not a revision 3:mad:

    Will be on the phone tomorrow about it! Now looking on the Zalman site it seems rev 1 to 2 had different screen with rev 2 being vista compatible (and a different manufacturer).
    The serial number is also the same for rev 2 and 3 so I am hoping the only difference is the manual and driver cd with specific vista instructions.........
     
  19. Sazar

    Sazar F@H - Is it in you? Staff Member Political User Folding Team

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    Re: Media Centre Advice

    People with little information will choose to swear by anything someone tells them is good. Recall the legions and legions of "experts" who swore an Intel Celeron was better than an AMD X2 processor, simply because it was an Intel logo.

    :cool:

    Even with the integrated video, I would still recommend one of the newer AMD video cards for the hardware :)

    The 2900 series has software decoder and while it is good, it costs more and consumes a higher cpu percentage.

    Cheers.
     
  20. indyjones

    indyjones OSNN.net Adventurer

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    Re: Media Centre Advice

    Right i think I have finaaly decided on the last two components the motherboard and the GFX card

    For the motherboard I like the look of the GA-G33M-S2H Gigabyte board
    It has all I need good lay-out optical spdif out and HDCP ready for the sound via onboard SPDIF for later connection to HDMI. Also 4 USB2 internal sockets (need 3 for my case).
    The board also has onbard vga with DVI, VGA and HDMI!
    Unfotunatly I need SVHS to start with as I only have an old crt (for now).

    The GFX card I like the look of is again a Gigabyte,
    256MB Gigabyte 8600GT Silent Pipe II (Sorry Sazar)
    I was thinking of an ATI card until recently as they have more hardware acceleration, however this is apparently meaningless with a dual core CPU.
    Also the recent artical on Anandtech basically Purevideo has the advantage by better noise reduction options and that its supported by more players (windvd)

    Your feedback is welcome

    cheers

    IJ