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CablDeViL
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Well I finally have the OK from my wife to build a W7 HTPC since she approved the "test" build. Here are my requirements.

 

 

I would like to keep the price low I just need it to play media and record and send to the server.

 

Nice low case to fit in with my other components (black)

 

I have the silicon dust so I dont need a tuner card.

 

Must have HDMI and DTS/Dolby 5.1 pass though

 

Just enough power to do its chores.

 

many of the HTPC posts I reviewed are dated and I like to hit the Black November deals

 

Any suggestions or links back to these forums that I missed would be helpful.

 

 

Thank You as Always

 

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Well I finally have the OK from my wife to build a W7 HTPC since she approved the "test" build. Here are my requirements.

 

 

I would like to keep the price low I just need it to play media and record and send to the server.

 

Nice low case to fit in with my other components (black)

 

I have the silicon dust so I dont need a tuner card.

 

Must have HDMI and DTS/Dolby 5.1 pass though

 

Just enough power to do its chores.

 

many of the HTPC posts I reviewed are dated and I like to hit the Black November deals

 

Any suggestions or links back to these forums that I missed would be helpful.

 

 

Thank You as Always

 

 

For low power, low cost, and pass through, you only have one real choice and that is the core I3-530. Add the PC-39 from Lian-Li and the $69 cooler master PS and you are good to go. Here are the link of what I would recommend but obviously things like cases are subjective so you should look around.

 

 

PS: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817171036

CPU: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115221&cm_re=core_i3-_-19-115-221-_-Product (only $3 more than the 530

Motherboard: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128429

Case: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811112230&Tpk=lian%20li%20case

Memory: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231277

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For low power, low cost, and pass through, you only have one real choice and that is the core I3-530. Add the PC-39 from Lian-Li and the $69 cooler master PS and you are good to go. Here are the link of what I would recommend but obviously things like cases are subjective so you should look around.

 

PS: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817171036

 

An i3 system using integrated graphics, and three hard drives is going to use around 50 - 60 watts at idle and no more than 150 at full load. That power supply is really overkill for this. Thus with a 650 watt drive you're only using 10% of it's output most of the time.

 

I can recommend the Antec 380watt Earthworks PSU. I picked up a couple of them when they were on sale and I think it saves me a few of watts and was only $40.

 

Anandtech recently did a review on it and they were impressed: http://www.anandtech.com/show/3902/antec-earthwatts-ea-380d-green-380w

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An i3 system using integrated graphics, and three hard drives is going to use around 50 - 60 watts at idle and no more than 150 at full load. That power supply is really overkill for this. Thus with a 650 watt drive you're only using 10% of it's output most of the time.

 

I can recommend the Antec 380watt Earthworks PSU. I picked up a couple of them when they were on sale and I think it saves me a few of watts and was only $40.

 

Anandtech recently did a review on it and they were impressed: http://www.anandtech.com/show/3902/antec-earthwatts-ea-380d-green-380w

 

 

You are correct with your statement of overkill but there are a couple of reasons why I use and recommend them. For starters, they are very efficient so the extra unused power is not a real issue (slight loss but tough to measure). They are super quiet, and the have the best cabling I have ever used. Add all of that together with a $69 price for a modular supply and it works for me any day. Nothing wrong with other supplies and the one you selected looks good but the fact that it has a 80mm and is non modular would keep me away. I want at least a 120mm fan for any supply I buy so I do not have to worry about noise under any load or environmental conditions. Just my two cents. In the end, you have to get what you are comfortable with. I presently have 6 systems running these including my 12 drive server and I have been very impressed.

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Thank you all for your input! As far as the power goes I am not the type of person who keeps an eye on the power meter. I have a large carbon footprint!

 

After work I will review all the input and post back any questions I have. The case will need to be approved by the wife anyway =)

 

Thanks

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Thanks again all.

 

PC Doc: I did order all the parts you prescribed today! 160 off so the bill with tax and shipping was $596. On thing I forgot to order was a Blue Ray Player. I am sure the I3 has enough umph to play it but I am worried about the on board video?

 

Also does WMC play the BR natively or (as I suspect) I need to install 3rd party player? Sorry I forgot to test this with test box.

 

TY

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I am looking at new egg now for BR drive - anyone have any reviews on their experiences, I am partial to Plextor but if I dont have to pay that higher price just for playback I wont.

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I am looking at new egg now for BR drive - anyone have any reviews on their experiences, I am partial to Plextor but if I dont have to pay that higher price just for playback I wont.

 

I have a few ASUS BRs and they seem good for the price. If you do not need the BR player software you can even go with the Newegg OEM units that are under $50. I always get a $20 DVD burner and a $50 BR with each system I build. Your case only has one bay so if you need DVD burning then a more expensive BR/DVD combo unit is in your future.

 

Be sure to post the build in its natural habitat.

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I have a few ASUS BRs and they seem good for the price. If you do not need the BR player software you can even go with the Newegg OEM units that are under $50. I always get a $20 DVD burner and a $50 BR with each system I build. Your case only has one bay so if you need DVD burning then a more expensive BR/DVD combo unit is in your future.

 

Be sure to post the build in its natural habitat.

 

 

Thanks TD,

 

I have the good Pioneer BR burner in the my i7 system so I am looking at these crappy LG and HP's , I always trust ASUS (though im not sure anymore) I think I will order one up today also.

 

 

Yea I will type something up with Wordpad and even toss in a few B/W Polaroids =)

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