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First HTPC Build - Advice Appreciated


blabbate
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Hey everyone! I've decided to take the plunge and build my own HTPC. This is my first time building for HT, and the first time building any sort of machine for at least 5 years. I'm going to use it mostly to play HD/Blu-ray or streaming video and audio. I may do some gaming, but not much, and nothing too heavy. I also plan to record HD television.

 

Right now, I'm looking at this:

 

Mobo: Gigabyte GA-Z68MA-D2H-B3 OR GA-H67MA-USB3-B3

CPU: Intel Core i3 2100 OR 2100T OR G850

GPU: ASUS ENGT440/DI/1GD5 GeForce GT 440 GDDR5 1GB OR Intel HD 2000 (integrated)

RAM: G.Skill Ripjaws X (2 x 2GB) DDR3 1333

HD(OS): WD Caviar Blue 500GB 7200 RPM 6.0 Gb/s OR SSD

HD: WD Caviar Green 2TB SATA 3.0Gb/s 64MB

DVD/BD: SAMSUNG SH-B123L SATA Blu-ray

Case: nMedia HTPC 5000B RT

PSU: Antec EA-430D Green 430W 80 PLUS Bronze

 

I'm most concerned about the MOBO/CPU/GPU choices. I'm probably going to go with the H67, but I'm not sure whether to choose the G850+GT 440 or the i3 2100+HD 2000. Or even the i3 2100 + GT 440, if the 23.976 problem is severe enough.

 

It looks like some folks here are using the HD2000 without complaint. What do you recommend? I'd like to save a few bucks if I can, but I don't want to be underpowered.

 

Thanks!

 

-- Bruce

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Hey everyone! I've decided to take the plunge and build my own HTPC. This is my first time building for HT, and the first time building any sort of machine for at least 5 years. I'm going to use it mostly to play HD/Blu-ray or streaming video and audio. I may do some gaming, but not much, and nothing too heavy. I also plan to record HD television.

 

Right now, I'm looking at this:

 

Mobo: Gigabyte GA-Z68MA-D2H-B3 OR GA-H67MA-USB3-B3

CPU: Intel Core i3 2100 OR 2100T OR G850

GPU: ASUS ENGT440/DI/1GD5 GeForce GT 440 GDDR5 1GB OR Intel HD 2000 (integrated)

RAM: G.Skill Ripjaws X (2 x 2GB) DDR3 1333

HD(OS): WD Caviar Blue 500GB 7200 RPM 6.0 Gb/s OR SSD

HD: WD Caviar Green 2TB SATA 3.0Gb/s 64MB

DVD/BD: SAMSUNG SH-B123L SATA Blu-ray

Case: nMedia HTPC 5000B RT

PSU: Antec EA-430D Green 430W 80 PLUS Bronze

 

I'm most concerned about the MOBO/CPU/GPU choices. I'm probably going to go with the H67, but I'm not sure whether to choose the G850+GT 440 or the i3 2100+HD 2000. Or even the i3 2100 + GT 440, if the 23.976 problem is severe enough.

 

It looks like some folks here are using the HD2000 without complaint. What do you recommend? I'd like to save a few bucks if I can, but I don't want to be underpowered.

 

Thanks!

 

-- Bruce

 

For starters, your MB/CPU are very good and will do what you want with no problem. For an HTPC absolutely do not bother with a discreet video card as it will buy you absolutely nothing. Your best bet on an HTPC is to use the integrated GPU. Use the money you save and go with an SSD on the OS, and the I3-2100 as that will be a far better investment rather than spending on a GPU that on BD will perform equal to or less than the built in GPU. Do not kid yourself, the built in GPU for home theater is one of the best solutions out there and is optimised for HT use. Gaming is a different story, but HTPC it is awesome. For the Z68/H67 boards, I would opt for the Gskill 1600 instead of the 1333 as they are about the same price. The choice between the Z68 and H67 is also not relevant as the will perform the same especially when using an SSD on your OS so go with the best value. THe only benefit is the SSD caching but you will not be using if using an SSD. The rest of the stuff is fine and is more of a personal choice. That is my suggestion. Good luck and let us know what you decide.

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For starters, your MB/CPU are very good and will do what you want with no problem. For an HTPC absolutely do not bother with a discreet video card as it will buy you absolutely nothing. Your best bet on an HTPC is to use the integrated GPU. Use the money you save and go with an SSD on the OS, and the I3-2100 as that will be a far better investment rather than spending on a GPU that on BD will perform equal to or less than the built in GPU. Do not kid yourself, the built in GPU for home theater is one of the best solutions out there and is optimised for HT use. Gaming is a different story, but HTPC it is awesome. For the Z68/H67 boards, I would opt for the Gskill 1600 instead of the 1333 as they are about the same price. The choice between the Z68 and H67 is also not relevant as the will perform the same especially when using an SSD on your OS so go with the best value. THe only benefit is the SSD caching but you will not be using if using an SSD. The rest of the stuff is fine and is more of a personal choice. That is my suggestion. Good luck and let us know what you decide.

 

Thanks! Looks like reasonable advice. That would put me at the following:

 

Mobo: Gigabyte GA-H67MA-USB3-B3

CPU: Intel Core i3 2100/2100T

GPU: Intel HD 2000 (integrated)

RAM: G.Skill Ripjaws X (2 x 2GB) DDR3 1600

HD(OS): 60 GB SSD (OCZ Agility II, maybe)

HD: WD Caviar Green 2TB SATA 3.0Gb/s 64MB

DVD/BD: SAMSUNG SH-B123L SATA Blu-ray

Case: nMedia HTPC 5000B RT

PSU: Antec EA-430D Green 430W 80 PLUS Bronze

 

I expect that should be enough to do what I need. And if I run into problems, I can always slip a discrete GPU in there.

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The only way you should need a discrete GPU is if you want want to have the unit double as a Blu-Ray player. If so, you need to check the specs on the CPU.

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The only way you should need a discrete GPU is if you want want to have the unit double as a Blu-Ray player. If so, you need to check the specs on the CPU.

 

I definitely do. It's not as important as streaming or playing mkvs, but it'll be one of the functions of the machine, sure. Do you think the 2100 might not be sufficient?

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Your specs are here. The 2100T appears to but I will reserve comment for one of the BYOB guys.

 

Yeah, on paper it looks like I won't have any problem, but I know it can be different in practice.

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re: blu-ray. Does this answer your question (I assume 'BD' means Blu-Ray Disc)?

 

rather than spending on a GPU that on BD will perform equal to or less than the built in GPU. Do not kid yourself, the built in GPU for home theater is one of the best solutions out there and is optimised for HT use. Gaming is a different story, but HTPC it is awesome.

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re: blu-ray. Does this answer your question (I assume 'BD' means Blu-Ray Disc)?

 

That's what I was going on originally, and I think what I'm going to try first. If I have problems, it's not like it's tough to add a GPU.

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That's what I was going on originally, and I think what I'm going to try first. If I have problems, it's not like it's tough to add a GPU.

sounds like a plan.

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