HTPC Upgarde

Discussion in 'OT Technology' started by dissonance, Jul 14, 2008.

  1. dissonance

    dissonance reset OT Supporter

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    So, I should be getting around $5,500 in a subsidized tuition loan that I do not need. I was thinking about selling my current (highly outdated) HTPC and building a new one when the money comes in.

    I can't really reuse any of my current parts other than my PCI Wireless-G card. I also will be moving my RAID drives from my main PC to the HTPC (5 Seagate ES 320GB 16GB Cache SATA-II drives). I plan on getting 5 Seagate 1TB SATA-II drives and keeping my current LSI RAID controller with my main PC and using the second one I have for the HTPC, if I build a RAID. If I can find a setting for the RAID to initialize as the computer boots, not before, I will use the RAID controller... otherwise the RAMDisk is pointless. I am out of space on my main PC's RAID so I will be getting the 1TB drives either way. I may sell a few of the 320's though, haven't decided.

    So, my current list-o-crap to buy:
    - Intel Q6600 > $209.99
    - GigaByte GA-EP45-Extreme > $239.99 **FIXED 7/14 4:41PM CST
    - Corsair XMS2 2x1GB DDR2 6400 > $58.00
    - Corsair 620-HX > $164.99 **CHANGED 7/14 5:23PM CST
    - Asus HD3870 512MB GDDR4 PCI-Ex16 2.0 HDCP > $145.99
    - Some optical drive > ~$30
    - Arctic Cooling MX-2 > $7
    - Haven't decided on the case (not a HTPC case) > ~$100
    - Hauppauge WinTV-PVR-500 MCE > on its way... **ADDED 7/14 4:41PM CST

    This next section will be for my OS. I will run a mobo based RAID-0 to increase the capacity to 8GB... data loss is irrelavent and the logical drive will be imaged for fast/easy reload if necessary.
    - 2x GigaByte RamDisk r1.3 i-RAM > $149.99 ea = $299.98
    - 4x Corsaif XMS 2x1GB DDR 400 for the RamDisk > $94.00 ea = $376.00

    This next section will be my storage. Will be RAID-5 if I do it, otherwise just a few 320s.
    - 5x Seagate ES 320GB 16GB Cache SATA-II drives > already have
    - LSI MegaRAID SAS 8408E PCI-Ex8 > already have

    Then in order to steal my RAID drives from my main PC I need to replace them with:
    - 5x Seagate ES 1TB 32GB Cache SATA-II drives > $239.99 ea > $1,199.95

    TOTAL COST ~ $2,800


    The computer will be required to do video compressing, video playback, and act as a DVR. Fast boot time and cpu power is what I care most about with this one.. well, faster and more powerful than my P4 1.8GHz.

    Thoughts? Opinions? Degree of overkill statements?
     
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2008
  2. Sailor Jerry

    Sailor Jerry OT Supporter

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    Good lord.

    If you're going to go that overkill, at least add a Blu Ray drive.
     
  3. dissonance

    dissonance reset OT Supporter

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    I didn't even think about that. I really can't justify it as much as the other components right now though. Maybe down the line.

    I just realized a problem though. I ran out of PCI slots not thinking about a TV Tuner. So, I suppose I'll have to hard wire the HTPC into the router. Not a big deal, just strait through the wall behind it and there is already a hole in the corner for the cable wire.
     
  4. Doomsday

    Doomsday XXX

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    that gigabyte board is ddr3
     
  5. dissonance

    dissonance reset OT Supporter

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    Well crack-ass... I added the wrong one to my cart. Fixed now....
     
  6. Doomsday

    Doomsday XXX

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    looks like you need a psu with more sata power connectors
    should have bought a tuner with ATSC/QAM
    minus whale get an aftermarket cooler
    don't need a 4850?
     
  7. dissonance

    dissonance reset OT Supporter

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    I figured that it gives out enough juice and I have several Molex to SATA adapters around that it would be fine. Though the 620 version isn't too much more expensive and has plenty. I might upgrade to it. (assuming I have a RAID in this box as well, otherwise I'll probably switch it back down)

    Eh, thought about it but not too big a deal for me. I didn't really plan on doing scheduled recording. I might someday or I might regret it, we'll see.

    Didn't really put much thought into that since I wasn't planning on OCing. But I guess in the scheme of things, they aren't too expensive... What do you recommend?

    Not gaming. I don't need that much GPU. Cyberlink lists the following as recommended (not just minimum) for blu-ray playback: ATI Radeon HD 2400, 2600, 2900 series, ATI Mobility Radeon HD 3400, 3600, 3800 Series ..... I think I'll be fine
     
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2008
  8. Doomsday

    Doomsday XXX

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    molex is only +5v and +12v
    sata power = those two and +3.3v
    even if you use an adapter on the molex, there will still be no +3.3v
    some drives require the +3.3v (e.g. hot plugging)
    if this doesn't apply to yours, using the adapter should be fine

    the wintv-pvr-500 will need a converter box to work after feb 2009

    cooler,.... depends on your case. arctic freezer 7 pro or one of the zalmans if you don't want those large ones. if you will not oc, the stock cooler is fine.

    i'd still get the 4850, but that's me.
     
  9. dissonance

    dissonance reset OT Supporter

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    As for the PSU, I think if I do a RAID I'll get the one thats in the list now with plenty of SATA cables, if not then I'll go back to the other.

    As for the TV tuner, I have cable boxes for both of my TVs and will probably run the cable from the box to the computer.

    As for the coolers, I'll check those out.

    As for the video card. I won't be purchasing this beast for a month or so. I have time to think about it. More so just getting a price estimate right now and thinking about wether I want to spend the money.
     
  10. EkriirkE

    EkriirkE Zika Xenu OT Supporter

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    Get a DVB-C (QAM) w/ NTSC card (maybe with ATSC if you like antennae, otherwise fuck ATSC)
    You never know what your cable box situation may be in the future
     
  11. kronik85

    kronik85 New Member

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    fast boot time and cpu power are what you care about.... wtf? boot time? throw a linux distro on there and never (almost) reboot again. it's an htpc for crying out loud... i think you're on overkill by quite a bit. what video compressing are you going to be doing all the time? especially since you dont even plan on doing scheduled recording??
     
  12. lowfat

    lowfat 24/Mac/SciFi/PC Crew OT Supporter

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    Why do you need to spend $800 on an 8GB iram setup? IMO a complete waste of money for an HTPC.
     
  13. kronik85

    kronik85 New Member

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    also, you're getting a $5.5k loan.... not a grant. why are you blowing loan money on a $3k HTPC when a $1800 would suffice (including those 5Tb harddrives)?
     
  14. dissonance

    dissonance reset OT Supporter

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    I actually turn off my computers when they are not in use. Leaving them on makes no sense to me unless it is a server, its just more electricity used and more wear on the components. As for linux, I thought about that when I first setup the one I have now but decided against it. Reason being that I like Windows and secondly I'm not the only one using it (live with my girlfriend) and I want it to be as user friendly as possible.

    As for video compressing. I told my parents a while ago that I would put their VHS's and home video onto DVD (they have quite a few VHSs and old analog home video... not really compression so much as just encoding but similiar idea). My girlfriend would like me to digitize her movies as well (she has around 300).

    Just a dream. Whether it turns into reality, I haven't decided if it is worth the money to me or not yet. I had downtime at work yesterday and have been thinking about upgrading/building a new HTPC so I speced out my dream HTPC. I'm sure it will change quite a bit before I build it, if I do, and I would like to get an idea of my high end costs.

    I understand this. I have the money now but would wait for the loan money to come in just so I don't have to worry about cash. I work and make more than I spend monthly so I know my savings would be replenished just fine so I can pay the loan back in full when the first payment is due. My current HTPC suffices as well, but I use it more than I thought when I first set it up and have been thinking that it would be worth the money to upgrade it. The computer that is currently acting as my HTPC is just my old desktop. I have put money into re-usable peripherials for it but nothing in the computer itself since it has been replaced as my main computer. It was a retail Sony from 2002 so my options are limited on what I can do with it. I'm fine with the TV right now as I can see someone saying that is where I should spend my money.
     

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