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My First HTPC Build - will these parts work OK?


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Hi Everyone,

I am not a terrific poster, so I apologize for not being a better participant. But if you feel like it, I could sure use some advice here. I am, however, an AVID listener to all the Podcasts, eagerly awaiting every one. With a lot of help from you guys here and on some other forums, I was able to build a very reliable SuperMicro based V1 WHS a while back, with 15TB of storage.

 

I want to build my first HTPC, but I just do not have the money right now to buy a lot of new parts. I have some not-so-old parts lying around that I have accumulated, and due to some recent gifts, I was thinking this combination of parts might just work, at least for a while until my finances are better. I was wondering if you guys could take a look at what I was planning on assembling, and tell me if it would make at least a mediocre HTPC that would do the job. Here’s the parts and some links so you can actually SEE what I have:

 

MOBO: Intel D946GZIS mATX, Intel 946GZ Express Chipset, 4xSATA2, 8xUSB 2.0, 1xPCIE-16, 1xPCIE-1, 2xPCI

http://ark.intel.com...icationssummary

 

http://www.pcdirects...tem.cfm?ID=2040 (has picture)

 

CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo E6400 Conroe, Dual Core 65nm, 2.13GHz, 65W, 1066MHz FSB, 2MB L2 Shared

http://www.newegg.co...N82E16819115004

 

Graphics Card: Sapphire ATI HD4650, 512MB DDR3, HDMI out

http://www.newegg.co...N82E16814102838

I am worried this card might make too much noise for HTPC.

 

This machine will be running Windows 7. I have a HTPC case I bought a few years ago that will accept these parts and I will be using a 7200 RPM spinning HDD. I am wondering if there is enough power here to do on-the-fly encoding (not critical), and enough Graphics power to handle 1920x1080 without studdering etc (very critical). I just want to be sure I am not wasting my time here, and putting something together that will not even come close to fulfilling the basic requirements of a HTPC.

 

Thanks everyone, I do appreciate your time here.

-Gary

Edited by GDog
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If that HD4650 makes as much noise as the Asus HD4670 my son passed on to me, I would say it would be too noisy. You might be able to tolerate it for a while, but I would think you would want to replace it sooner than later. From a quick search I found that it just isn't worth upgrading the cooler on it. I found an entier HD5450 card being cleared out at $18. A cooler would cost at least that... if you could find one.

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I agree it might be a bit loud but if you own the card then try it. If you do not, there are several passively coolded cards that would nicely with this system. Having a current card with hardware acceleration is more important than gaming power so you do not need a bunch of graphics power to playback 1080P BD. Sapphire has a 6450, passively cooled for $49.

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Thanks Guys,

Been away from my PC all day.

 

The Video card WAS my main concern as you obviously figured out. I think since I already own it I will take pcdoc's advice and just go ahead and try it out. Maybe I can slow down the fan somewhat and get rid of a few db without overheating it too much. What do you think of that?

 

Also, you didn't comment on the MOBO & CPU so I am assuming those *will* do the job, eh?

 

Thanks again.

 

PS: HSS Elite: Do you have a link for that "entier HD5450 card" at $18? I have never heard of that brand and couldn't find anything on a Google search.

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Maybe I can slow down the fan somewhat and get rid of a few db without overheating it too much. What do you think of that?

You can try slowing down the fan, but my experience with OEM GPU fans is that they barely do an adequate job when running at full speed. Just don't want you to get your hopes up and be disappointed.

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Thanks Guys,

Been away from my PC all day.

 

The Video card WAS my main concern as you obviously figured out. I think since I already own it I will take pcdoc's advice and just go ahead and try it out. Maybe I can slow down the fan somewhat and get rid of a few db without overheating it too much. What do you think of that?

 

Also, you didn't comment on the MOBO & CPU so I am assuming those *will* do the job, eh?

 

Thanks again.

 

PS: HSS Elite: Do you have a link for that "entier HD5450 card" at $18? I have never heard of that brand and couldn't find anything on a Google search.

 

 

I would not try and slow the fan. These are usually temp controlled and maybe a problem. If you already own the card and want to keep it, consider an after market heatsink.

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Thanks again guys! Like you said earlier, a new heat sink would likely cost more than that $18 card you were referring to. Problem is, I cannot find that "entier HD5450 card" anywhere. I have never heard of that brand and couldn't find anything on a Google search. Could you maybe get me a link for that thing?

Thanks so much,

GDog

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Thanks again guys! Like you said earlier, a new heat sink would likely cost more than that $18 card you were referring to. Problem is, I cannot find that "entier HD5450 card" anywhere. I have never heard of that brand and couldn't find anything on a Google search. Could you maybe get me a link for that thing?

Thanks so much,

GDog

LMAO. Sorry, that was supposed to be entire, meaning the whole card. Here's a link, but it's from a Canadian company: http://canadacompute...&page=1&sort=3a.

There's a couple of cheap HD5450's listed there. I'm sure you could find some in the states too.

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Thanks icon. Now it makes perfect sense. Funds are super tight right now, so I think I will just go ahead with what I have for now. I can always swap out the GPU later if it turns out to be unbearable. No one has commented on the MOBO/CPU, so I will assume there are no huge problems there either.

 

BTW: Do you or anyone else happen to know of a good place to get information about setting up your first HTPC so that it interfaces well with my WHS v1?

 

Thanks everyone,

GDog

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Your motherboard and CPU will handle the job until you get the funds for a more power efficient setup. For now it should be fine. As for streaming, in its simplest form, just create you movies share on your WHS along with a user name and password for that system. Go to your HTPC under media library, and point to the movies share folder. That is the basics which wlll get you running for now than you can look at customizing options.

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