Help with Building a HTPC

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Help with Building a HTPC

Postposted on Sun Jun 01, 2003 12:22 pm

Hey everyone,
I'm thinking of building a Home Theater PC, and I was wondering if anyone had any suggestions toward the motherboard. I'm going with a XP 2000+ cpu, nForce2 mb (SFF).
I don't think I'll use the onboard sound, so that won't be a factor. I've read the M-Audio 7.1 soundcard is pretty good for this application. I will also be using a 8x video card, but have not made the choice yet.
Any suggestions toward the MB or other equipment would really help. Especially from someone who has built one.
Thanks,
Tim
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Postposted on Sun Jun 01, 2003 12:32 pm

It seems like I remeber seeing an article on [H]ardocp about Chaintech having a decent SFF nForce2 board. As far as everything else goes, I haven't done one of these yet so I'm afraid I won't be much help to you.
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Postposted on Sun Jun 01, 2003 1:23 pm

Why not the SN41 Shuttle box? I'm sure the sound on that is quite adequate for your purposes and you get the dual-channel goodness.
Of course if it's a HTPC you need to get a 9700 AIW board and I'm not sure if the PSU on the shuttle can quite handle it...
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Building HTPC

Postposted on Sun Jun 01, 2003 1:50 pm

Maedhros,
I could not find that article at (H)ardocp, but I found a good one at ExtremeTech.
I'm not really planning to overclock it or anything, in fact, my understanding is that even a XP 2000+ is overkill.
I've been looking at the chaintech board they have on Newegg, and it looks interesting.
Thanks for the help.
Tim
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Building HTPC

Postposted on Sun Jun 01, 2003 1:55 pm

HowardDrake,
I've been looking at the Shuttle box, but what I think I would really like is something that will fit into my stereo cabinet. So I'm looking at the desktop cases. Most of those have the same issue with power supplies also.
Not only do I need a decent Power supply, it has to be quiet, along with all fans, especially the HSF for the CPU.
Thanks for the help
Tim
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Postposted on Sun Jun 01, 2003 6:27 pm

I got a Cooler Master ATC-600-GX1 case (the black one) for my HTPC. They're a little pricey but you can use any ATX power supply you want in it. It will only take a MicroATX (or smaller) motherboard, so that will limit your choices as to what board you can use.

They look cool though :). Most people who see it don't realize it's a computer ("What is that thing?" ;))
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Building HTPC

Postposted on Sun Jun 01, 2003 9:00 pm

Steel,
I've been looking at that case. It looks cool, of course in black also.
Which motherboard did you end up using?
Tim
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Postposted on Sun Jun 01, 2003 9:10 pm

HowardDrake wrote:Of course if it's a HTPC you need to get a 9700 AIW board and I'm not sure if the PSU on the shuttle can quite handle it...


A HTPC has no need for a 9700 AIW. Get a 7500 AIW or a 9000 AIW, both have the same functionality.


Here is a good front end for it.

http://www.myhtpc.net/
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Postposted on Sun Jun 01, 2003 9:13 pm

I got an Intel D845EPT2 and a P4 1.6GHz for it. Figured it would be fast enough for anything I'd want to do with it and I wouldn't have to worry too much about heat or noise.

The rest of the specs:
512MB PC2100
ATi AIW 7500
Seagate Barracuda IV 80GB
Lite-ON 16X DVD-ROM (Biege but conveniently hidden behind the flip down panel :))
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Postposted on Tue Jun 03, 2003 11:55 am

Steel, where did you order that case from? I would like to pick one up and get rid of one of my junk cases.
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Postposted on Tue Jun 03, 2003 12:51 pm

DiMaestro,
Thanks for the tip on the software, the best part is, it is free.
Right now I am hunting around for a decent price on a case and motherboard, and Video Card.
Tim
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Postposted on Tue Jun 03, 2003 1:23 pm

Starfalcon wrote:Steel, where did you order that case from? I would like to pick one up and get rid of one of my junk cases.

Can't remember off the top of my head. Newegg has the newer model for less than what I paid for the ATC-600:
http://www.newegg.com/app/viewproduct.a ... D610%2DGX1
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Postposted on Tue Jun 03, 2003 3:53 pm

Thanks steel, looks like I will be using one of these for my living room setup.
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Postposted on Thu Jun 05, 2003 11:43 am

Hey Everyone,
I ended up buying this case at http://www.directron.com ($90): Cooler Master ATC-620C-BX1 MicroATX case.
For a motherboard and cpu I went to Newegg and I am looking at this: Shuttle Motherboard for AMD processors Micro ATX, Model MN31N. I'll add a AMD 2000+ XP CPU, and find a quiet heat sink + fan. It appears all the micro ATX motherboards for AMD have built in graphics. (At least at Newegg). I like the nForce2 chipsets, so I am sticking with that.
I plan to add a ATI AIW 8500 video card.
Anyway, that is what I have so far, I'd appreciate any suggestions on the M/B. I have the case coming.
TIA,
Tim
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Postposted on Sun Jun 08, 2003 12:17 am

I'm planning on building one of these too using the same case and the m-audio board.

I know you want to use a Athlon chip, but I think I'm going with the Asus P4P800-VM board. http://www.directron.com/p4p800vm.html Because Intel chips seem to be more temperature tolerant. A 1.8 P4 with a copper cpu cooler and a quiet fan.

For video, since I'm going to need analog video for output to a TV, I'm thinking about the Matrox Parhelia.

No one has mentioned PVR, but I imagine that is one of the goals for everyone. What card are you using for time shifting, the ATI TV Wonder? http://mirror.ati.com/products/pc/tvwon ... index.html

I might even get a Sony’s DVD±RW Drive DRU510A because even those new 160GB SATA drives are going to fill up if MPEG-2 is using 4GB/Hour.
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Building HTPC

Postposted on Tue Jun 10, 2003 8:04 pm

Pod13,
Sorry it took a while for me to get back to you, but I sunburned the hell out of myself this weekend at Santa Cruz. I should know better than to buy the cheap sunblock on sale at Walgreens.
You might want to go look at the article at http://www.extremetech.com that was posted today on building a htpc. They are building an ultimate htpc, way beyond what I want to pay.
I know that going with a pentium might help with the heat problem, but all my other computers (2) are AMD, so I'm thinking of buying a 2600+ XP cpu to replace a 2000+ XP I already have. Plus the AMD motherboards tend to be a bit cheaper. I'm not planning any overclocking, so there should be no heat problem.
The M-Audio card is an excellent choice. I'm thinking of going with the onboard sound of the nForce2 until I get a few more bucks for the M-Audio.
I'm planning to use the ATI AIW 9000 Pro, acording to what I have read, it does everything I need. including time shifting. I need to look into this a bit more.
So far, I have just ordered the case from Directron. I'll probably get the rest of the stuff from Newegg.
I already have the shuttle MN31N mobo in my cart, and a xp 2600+. I'm agonizing over which hard drive to go with, either Maxtor or WD. I don't think I need a SATA hard drive for this type of application, but I could be wrong there. I have a WD 80gb drive now , and it is very quiet, but I have heard the Maxtors are also very quiet. I've been looking at the Maxtor 120 GB hard drives. The price jump from 120 to 160 gb is still quite a bit.
I am also going to add the same Sony DVD recorder. I think it will almost be a requirement, especially after I just read an article on how to copy DVD's.
I'm still working on this thing, and gradually deciding on the parts as I go, as you can tell.
Tim
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