New all-in-one HTPC build with a few questions

paleh0rse

Weaksauce
Joined
Jan 4, 2006
Messages
64
Proposed build:

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HTPC SYSTEM
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CASE: Antec Veris Fusion V2 Black (w/430w PSU) = $160.99
MOBO: GIGABYTE GA-E7AUM-DS2H LGA 775 NVIDIA GeForce 9400 HDMI Micro ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail = $134.99
CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 3.0GHz Processor = $159.50
MEM: G.SKILL PI Black 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F2-6400CL4D-4GBPI-B - Retail = $59.99
CPU HEATSINK: Scythe SCMNJ-1000 80mm Sleeve "NINJA MINI" CPU Cooler - Retail = 35.99
CHIPSET HEATSINK: Thermalright HR-05 SLI/IFX Chipset Cooler = $26.99
HDD0: (WD 1TB - already owned) = $N/A
HDD1: Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 ST31500341AS 1.5TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive (bare drive) - OEM = $129.99
TUNER(S): Hauppauge WinTV-HVR-1800 HD tuner = $95.00
HD OTA ANTENNA: Philips PHDTV1 Silver Sensor UHF/HDTV Digital Indoor TV Antenna = $24.99
MOUSE/KEYBOARD: LOGITECH diNovo Mini = $125.00
OPTICAL DRIVE: LG Black 6X Blu-ray DVD-ROM 16X DVD-ROM 40X CD-ROM SATA Internal Combo LG Blu-ray/HD DVD-ROM & 16X DVD±R DVD Burner Model GGC-H20LK - OEM = $129.99
REMOTE: Microsoft Remote Control W/RECEIVER = $36.96
MISC: Need MOLEX TO SATA Adapter to add power for third SATA device (http://www.monoprice.com/products/p...10226&cs_id=1022604&p_id=2195&seq=1&format=2)) = $1.27

Planned software (all already owned):
- Vista 64-bit (VMC + MyMovies Plugin)
- Firefox
- Orb (Server)
- Simplify Media (Server)
- iTunes (Server)
- VLC
- PowerDVD and WinDVD
- Slysoft AnyDVD HD
- VideoRedo TVsuite
- DVDshrink
- Daemon Tools Lite
- WinRAR
- PAR Buddy
- Newsleecher
- B*Torrent
- MediaMonkey
- Hamachi
- Handbrake
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ESTIMATED HTPC SUBTOTAL = $1121.65
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AUDIO SYSTEM
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SURROUND SOUND SYSTEM: Onkyo HT-S9100THX 7.1 HTIB = $749.99
SPEAKER WIRE: 14AWG CL2 Rated 2-Conductor Loud SPEAKER Cable - 100ft (For In-Wall Installation) = $22.40
PLUGS: (14 PAIRS) High-Quality Copper Speaker Banana Plugs - Closed Screw Type [JX-74043] = (14x $1.98) = $27.72
SPEAKER STANDS: Onkyo AS240B (Pair) = $99.99
------------------------------------------------------------------
ESTIMATED AUDIO SUBTOTAL = $900.10
------------------------------------------------------------------

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VIDEO SYSTEM
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TELEVISION: Panasonic Viera TH-58PZ850U 58" Plasma TV = $2791.99
TV STAND: Techcraft ABS60 60" A/V Credenza - Antique Black distressed Finish, 23.75"H X 59.75"W X 23.5"D = $267.20
XBOX 360: (Already owned) = $N/A
NINTENDO WII: (Already owned) = $N/A
VERIZON FIOS HD DVR: (Already owned) = $N/A
UNIVERSAL REMOTE: Logitech Harmony One Advanced Universal Remote = $176.92
------------------------------------------------------------------
ESTIMATED VIDEO SUBTOTAL = $3236.11
------------------------------------------------------------------

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ESTIMATED TOTAL = $5257.86
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My goal is a system that will last for more than a couple of years and allow me to play/stream/serve up all media (up to 1080p) -- including externally via iTunes, Simplify Media, and Orb. If my collection ever outgrows the 2.5GB I have there, I will look into adding a NAS of some sort. Until then, I need this HTPC to be the center of just about everything I do with my media.

As you can tell by the software listed, I will also use the box as a portal for downloadable content. As such, it will require some serious CPU power for all audio/video ripping and conversions.

I plan to output all audio/video via HDMI to my Onkyo receiver. I will also be using two xbox 360's as extenders elsewhere in my house.

My concerns:

1) are there any similar style/size cases that allow for more than two 3.5" drives?
2) is there a better in-house antenna for roughly the same price?
3) is there a better tuner that works with Orb?
4) are there any Blu-ray burner deals out there for under $200?
5) is this system complete overkill for a long-lasting HTPC?
6) are there any known conflicts with my chosen equipment?
7) am I missing anything?
8) would I be better off swapping the E8400 dualcore for a Q6600 quadcore? (They're roughly the same price)

Any thoughts or advice would be much appreciated. Thanks ahead of time!

-ph-
 

Adidas4275

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Mar 11, 2006
Messages
5,986
well for your orb question, i would actually look at webguide for VMC, i used orb before and it is much more of a CPU hog than webguide and they fit in the same niche


I have an nmedia HTPC case the 280, discontinued but it hold 3 internal drives..... check out nmedias site

I have not seen a sub $200 blu-ray burner


I think it looks like a good build


i would go with 64bit to use your 4gb of RAM, with 2 extenders streaming HD, ram and disk i/o will be important....
 

Omegas

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Jan 19, 2007
Messages
10,318
maybe a Q6600 instead of the e8400 for ripping/streaming needs?
 

paleh0rse

Weaksauce
Joined
Jan 4, 2006
Messages
64
well for your orb question, i would actually look at webguide for VMC, i used orb before and it is much more of a CPU hog than webguide and they fit in the same niche
I mainly use Orb for serving media to my iPhone over 3G and WIFI, including live TV. :)

I have an nmedia HTPC case the 280, discontinued but it hold 3 internal drives..... check out nmedias site
Thanks for the tip! Do you have any complaints about the nMediaPC case? I've looked at the HTPC 1000B model -- it has four internal 3.5" bays! -- but I kept reading about problems with airflow and other construction issues with the case.

Have you experienced any of that with your 280?

I have not seen a sub $200 blu-ray burner
Ya, I figured that was a pipedream... I'll probably stick with the regular player listed.

I think it looks like a good build. i would go with 64bit to use your 4gb of RAM, with 2 extenders streaming HD, ram and disk i/o will be important....
I was thinking about that too after I started listing the software selection... Given my use of Orb, itunes, Simplify, and VMC, will 4GB on 64bit be enough? I might need to go even higher with all those server apps running... hmmm...

thanks again for the tips!
 

paleh0rse

Weaksauce
Joined
Jan 4, 2006
Messages
64
maybe a Q6600 instead of the e8400 for ripping/streaming needs?
I know this has probably been debated to death around here, but is the trade off in clock speed really worth the extra cores for ripping/streaming? With the improved 9400 graphics, won't most of the encoding/decoding be done by the tuner and IGP, rather than the CPU?

Perhaps you're right... hmmm...
 

paleh0rse

Weaksauce
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Jan 4, 2006
Messages
64
Edited the first post with the entire system specced out, in case anyone ever cares to duplicate...
 

Adidas4275

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Mar 11, 2006
Messages
5,986
looks good, i am jellious

i cn say that i really like the nmedia case.... it has good air flow on mine. and the case construction is good, not great but good. no rubber grommets on the hdd mounts like antec, i own an antec mini p190 and the build is better than the nmedia but not overwhelmingly better.

i like the case a lot.
 

Logan321

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Oct 9, 2003
Messages
1,900
Modding is your friend... My Antec NSK-2400 only had 2 - 3.5" drive bays when I bought it, so I modded in a hotswap bay for a server case.



Ack, I just noticed how much that pc needs a cleaning. Yikes.
 

paleh0rse

Weaksauce
Joined
Jan 4, 2006
Messages
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Great mod! I'll have to check out the Fusion case when it arrives to see if I can do the same!

Do you always keep it topless like that in your cabinet!? that's some serious dust man! It's time for the dustbuster and some good cleaning... and then find the lid before your system eats itself!

What did you take that specific 4-HDD hotswap unit from?
 

Logan321

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Messages
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It's lidless because I wanted to show the placement of the hotswap bay... it usually runs with the lid on. The bay I used is the sata backplane for a [FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Enlight SR-506 server case, I got it sight unseen from NCIX thinking it would fit in a 3x 5 1/4" but it's a custom size... just the right size for the nsk-2400/2480 or Fusion. [/FONT]
 

paleh0rse

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Messages
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It's lidless because I wanted to show the placement of the hotswap bay... it usually runs with the lid on. The bay I used is the sata backplane for a [FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Enlight SR-506 server case, I got it sight unseen from NCIX thinking it would fit in a 3x 5 1/4" but it's a custom size... just the right size for the nsk-2400/2480 or Fusion. [/FONT]
ouch, that's an expensive server case! :( The 4 HDD hotswap module is supposedly sold separately... I'll have to dig for one. Did you get the whole case, or just the module?
 

Logan321

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You'll have to drill or punch out the whole HD cage from the fusion case to get it to fit, and it just leaves enough room for the hotswap bays between the front of the case and the motherboard... it's almost like it was designed to fit there.

And no, I didn't buy that case... I just got the hotswap module for it.
 

paleh0rse

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Jan 4, 2006
Messages
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You'll have to drill or punch out the whole HD cage from the fusion case to get it to fit, and it just leaves enough room for the hotswap bays between the front of the case and the motherboard... it's almost like it was designed to fit there.

And no, I didn't buy that case... I just got the hotswap module for it.

Where did you buy the module?
 

paleh0rse

Weaksauce
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Jan 4, 2006
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There are a ton of 4-HDD SATA modules out there, but they don't seem to come in a standard size. Some are measured in "bays," but the Enlight model Logan used doesnt say how many "bays" it uses -- at least I can't find where it says so.

I'd really like to use one that I know fits just right, but I may end up having to test a few, so thanks for the link!
 

CrimandEvil

Dick with a heart of gold
Joined
Oct 22, 2003
Messages
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Three 5.25 bays is the size of a 120mm fan; Logan's seems to be a proprietary/custom model.
 

Logan321

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yes, it's a proprietary one. Doesn't fit a standard size, which is good, because a 3x 5.25" bay module would be too wide or too tall, depending on which way you tried to install it.

There's about 1/2" clearance between the top of the case and the module, and another 1/2" clearance between it and the motherboard. the module itself is basically square from the front, not rectangular.

I bought the module from NCIX.
 

paleh0rse

Weaksauce
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Jan 4, 2006
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yes, it's a proprietary one. Doesn't fit a standard size, which is good, because a 3x 5.25" bay module would be too wide or too tall, depending on which way you tried to install it.

There's about 1/2" clearance between the top of the case and the module, and another 1/2" clearance between it and the motherboard. the module itself is basically square from the front, not rectangular.

I bought the module from NCIX.
Damnnn, NCIX wants $116 US just for the module... ouch.

oh well...
 
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