htpc rebuild thoughts
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Thread: htpc rebuild thoughts

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Location
    high wycombe, UK
    Posts
    676

    htpc rebuild thoughts

    hi folks, been a long time since i posted here..

    my hptc is getting pretty long in the tooth, needs a rebuild and could do with some hardware upgrades mainly because the fans are getting old and noisy!

    current specs are

    Asus matx socket am2+ motherboad - not sure of the model
    2gb ddr2 800mhz
    athlon II 250
    Pallit geforce gts 450 1gb ddr3

    it was built to run media centre and play blu rays with occasional gaming - mostly tomb raider

    i'm thinking of upgrading to

    asus a88xm - a
    8gb kingston hyper x 8gb 2400mhx
    a4-6320

    i'm guessing overall it will be about the same spec as existing system whilst i wait for kaveri a8-7600 to become available but with a lot less powerdraw

    would welcome any comments or alternative build suggestions inc intel i3 recommendations - need some help here, my last intel chip was a dx2-50!

    cheers

    wb

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Location
    high wycombe, UK
    Posts
    676
    350+ views and no comments, no wonder this forum is dead!

    well i went ahead and bought as above and happy to report its considerably faster overall as a machine, much more snappy but that could be as much due to the ssd i have running at sata600 rather than previous sata300 and the memory now being ddr3..

    the onboard graphics plays tombraider underworld and blurays perfectly. i haven't tried anything more taxing yet mainly because i don't have anything but will try some new games shortly.

    the main difference is the power consumption and the lack of noise, cpu fan is barely running, chassis fan not needed at all and the power draw of the system overall is often so low that the swithcing power block i have that turns off the hifi amp and tv when the htpc goes to standby often thinks the machine is on standby whilst its running and turns everything off!

    looking forward to the 45w draw of Kaveri when it arrives in stock though I'll probably struggle to justify the upgrade

    cheers

    wb

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 1999
    Location
    New York, NY
    Posts
    5,981
    Those were the googlebots!

    I've never setup a htpc (although I just bought a new laptop; I'm thinking of turning my pos i3 Alienware x51 into one) so I need some tips too. Your specs above far outreach mine!
    Asus P9X79-Deluxe, Intel i7 3930k @ 4.2Ghz, 16gb DDR3-1600 Kingston HyperX Memory, Coolermaster Storm Trooper case, Corsair AX850 psu, Geforce 680 SLI, Corsair Model H100 w/c, Samsung 840 Pro 512gB SSD, Asus Blu-ray Writer 12x, Windows7 Pro x64

    MSI GS Series GS60 Ghost-003 Gaming Notebook 15.6", Intel Core i7-4700HQ 2.40GHz (3.2 GHz), 16GB Memory 1TB HDD 128GB SSD, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 860M 2GB, 4.36 lbs., Windows 8.1 Pro

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Location
    high wycombe, UK
    Posts
    676
    i use our htpc to record and view all tv, play bluray, game occasionally, watch picture slideshows of holiday snaps and host an extensive movie and music collection though latterly we just stream from online provider. silence has always been the key goal, i treat each build the same as a highly overclocked machine with same attention to cooling detail and optimising parts but then running them as lo and slow as possible.. i route all wiring very carefully to maximise air flow, upgrade motherboard heatsinks etc

    specs are now;

    silverstone fanless psu and silverstone sugo case
    asus a88xm-a matx board
    amd a4-6320 with a massive scythe low profile cooler
    kinsgton hyperx ddr3 2400 8gb
    ocz agility 3 64gb ssd
    wd green 1.5tb drive
    hauppage td500 twin tuner card
    asus wifi card
    liteon blu ray drive

    the only thing that makes a noise is the harddrive!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2000
    Posts
    27,267
    Considering the lack of sound dampening,
    Doesn't that Sugo emit plenty of fan noise?

    I just have the secondary system running Windows 7 w/ Media Center connected to the tv and use a MCE remote.
    My tertiary systems usually end up getting "borrowed" permanently by relatives and friends so never a chance to dabble with HTPC.
    And before I even consider a HTPC, I have to figure out/build a decent NAS.
    UnRAID looked promising but due to poor documentation of current hardware and such... considering others.
    "I know nothing."
    Cheers.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Location
    high wycombe, UK
    Posts
    676
    The sugo case would let lots noise out if the fans made any!

    I dabbled with noise insulation years ago but decided that noise insulation = heat insulation and the better solution was avoid heat..

    Hence looking forward to 45watt kaveri

    Ive always used windows media centre with Hauppauge tuner and remote. Works well and the kids love it dispute only being 5yrs old

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2000
    Posts
    27,267
    Noctua fans?
    "I know nothing."
    Cheers.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Location
    high wycombe, UK
    Posts
    676
    Nope just a very low voltage scythe low profile CPU cooler and a focus on low watt components. Every thing else passive.. I used to have Zalman fanfares plugged into everything but gradually removed all fans as components got lower power over years

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2000
    Posts
    27,267
    Scythe are nice. They're not as readily available as they used to be since they removed/changed their North American distributor.
    "I know nothing."
    Cheers.

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