Itty-bitty HTPC

Building a new system? Need help choosing between parts? Then step in and let our trained gerbils assist you.

Moderator: JustAnEngineer

Itty-bitty HTPC

Postposted on Tue Feb 23, 2010 9:27 pm

What do you think?

$152½ Zotac H55ITX-A-E mini-ITX LGA1156 motherboard with WiFi
$120 Intel Core i3-530 LGA1156 CPU with on-package IGP
$105 2x2 GiB PC3-12800 G.Skill F3-12800CL9D-4GBNQ (DDR3-1600, CAS9)
$220 80 GB 2½" Intel X25-M G2 SSD
$110 1½ TB 3½" Western Digital WD15EARS Caviar Green hard-drive
$220 Sony BD-5730S slim-line Blu-ray burner
$137 -30 MIR Hauppauge WinTV-HVR-2250 Media Center kit PCIe TV tuner card & remote
$110 -15 MIR Silverstone Sugo SG05 mini-ITX case with 300-watt SFX power supply
$140 Microsoft Windows 7 Professional 64-bit OEM
i7-4770K, H70, Gryphon Z87, 16 GiB, R9-290, SSD, 2 HD, Blu-ray, SB ZX, TJ08-E, SS-660XP², 3007WFP+2001FP, RK-9000BR, MX518
JustAnEngineer
Gerbil God
Gold subscriber
 
 
Posts: 15338
Joined: Sat Jan 26, 2002 7:00 pm
Location: The Heart of Dixie

Re: Itty-bitty HTPC

Postposted on Tue Feb 23, 2010 9:38 pm

For some reason I had an inkling that I would see a post like this later on once I saw this earlier: http://techreport.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=34&t=70764

BTW, I think the build looks great. My only question is a SSD really needed? To me its preference though.
To Start Press Any Key'. Where's the ANY key?
If something's hard to do, then it's not worth doing
You know, boys, a nuclear reactor is a lot like a woman. You just have to read the manual and press the right buttons.
mmmmmdonuts21
Gerbil Elite
 
Posts: 590
Joined: Wed Jul 16, 2008 9:09 am

Re: Itty-bitty HTPC

Postposted on Thu Feb 25, 2010 3:19 pm

Are some of the benefits of the SSD lost when you add the 1.5TB HDD? For the price premium of SSDs, I'd be inclined to get a traditional HDD for my system drive.
I see what's going on now! (The case supports 1x3.5" drive and 1x2.5" drive). Looks good. =)

I'd consider buying quiet fans if it's a noisy little guy like I get the feeling it is.
Sometimes the appropriate response to reality is to go insane.
- Philip K. Dick
reynolm
Gerbil First Class
 
Posts: 164
Joined: Thu Sep 06, 2007 6:20 am
Location: Michigan

Re: Itty-bitty HTPC

Postposted on Thu Feb 25, 2010 3:35 pm

This is very similar to a build I put together just last night!

I can't say for the zotac board, but the DFI allows me to do some pretty nifty fan control (thus keeping things very quiet).

One thing I'd recommend adding is a HSF from Dynatron. They have a 92mm one which just perfectly fits into the SG05, and it's extremely quiet (even at max RPMs).
Your ideas intrigue me; I would like to purchase stock in your company.
eitje
Gerbil Elite
Gold subscriber
 
 
Posts: 661
Joined: Fri Mar 07, 2003 11:28 am

Re: Itty-bitty HTPC

Postposted on Sat Feb 27, 2010 1:36 am

eitje wrote:This is very similar to a build I put together just last night!

I can't say for the zotac board, but the DFI allows me to do some pretty nifty fan control (thus keeping things very quiet).

One thing I'd recommend adding is a HSF from Dynatron. They have a 92mm one which just perfectly fits into the SG05, and it's extremely quiet (even at max RPMs).


Link for the fan, if you don't mind. Also, with the DFI board, some people reported issues with USB wifi adapters and Windows 7; they simply couldn't get anything to work. Are you using one, and if so, have you had any issues?

The DFI board definitely allows for more overclocking than the Zotac, but the Zotac is a more complete solution with the built in wifi and all.
Canon 6D||[24-105/4L IS USM|100/2.8L Macro IS USM|70-300/4-5.6 IS USM|40/2.8 STM|50/1.4 USM|85/1.8 USM|Samyang/Bower 14/2.8 Full-Manual Rectilinear Wide-angle|
Canon EOS-M|11-22/4-5.6 IS STM|22/2 STM|EF-M 18-55/3.5-5.6 IS STM|
For sale!|24/2.8 IS USM
|
Airmantharp
Maximum Gerbil
 
Posts: 4968
Joined: Fri Oct 15, 2004 10:41 pm

Re: Itty-bitty HTPC

Postposted on Mon Mar 01, 2010 10:47 pm

I believe this is the fan.

I rely on a pocket AP from dlink for my network connection. newegg doesn't seem to carry it anymore, but this appears to be the exact same product.

I try to never use USB network devices.
Your ideas intrigue me; I would like to purchase stock in your company.
eitje
Gerbil Elite
Gold subscriber
 
 
Posts: 661
Joined: Fri Mar 07, 2003 11:28 am

Re: Itty-bitty HTPC

Postposted on Tue Mar 02, 2010 10:43 am

Looks pretty good to me. Couple of questions.

1) Have you read any reviews on that Zotac board?
2) What are you planning on installing on that SSD? Considering this build will likely be in the living room, and no one wants to wait on a PC while they are having family time, it's probably a good use of an SSD. It's small though. I was surprised how quickly I filled up my 128GB SSD installing games.
Image
If you're not folding with your idle computer time you're not part of the solution.
Gerbil Jedidiah
Grand Gerbil Poohbah
Gold subscriber
 
 
Posts: 3292
Joined: Thu Jul 27, 2006 5:57 pm
Location: The Smoky Back Room

Re: Itty-bitty HTPC

Postposted on Tue Mar 02, 2010 10:55 am

Gerbil Jedidiah wrote:It's small though. I was surprised how quickly I filled up my 128GB SSD installing games.

I am finding that even 256GB isn't a big enough SSD, because my system drive (which only has system stuff on it; my data is elsewhere thanks to the ease of setting default library directories in Win7) is currently using almost 300GB of stuff. Totally tangential, I know.

Personally, I might go with a USB tuner and dedicated graphics. Intel graphics are "good enough" for this use, to be sure, but a quietly-cooled Radeon 5570 is supposably the best HTPC card out there, assuming these fixes made it into 10.2 or make it into 10.3 anyway.
I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do, I do not do. But what I hate, I do.
derFunkenstein
Gerbil God
Gold subscriber
 
 
Posts: 21255
Joined: Fri Feb 21, 2003 9:13 pm
Location: WHAT?

Re: Itty-bitty HTPC

Postposted on Tue Mar 02, 2010 7:00 pm

derFunkenstein wrote: Intel graphics are "good enough" for this use, to be sure, but a quietly-cooled Radeon 5570 is supposably the best HTPC card out there


I think the operative term is "card". For HTPC, Clarksdale's pretty damn good.

In reality, for the $85-90 bucks, a 5570 might give you slightly better deinterlacing, but I believe the i3s still pass Cheese Slices.
If bitstreaming is important, Clarksdale's implementation seems a fair bit more robust than ATI's, which is sort of quirky/tempermental in its present form. Lots of problems in various forums getting it going.
Intel 2500K & Scythe Mugen2 | ASRock H67M-GE | 8GB DDR3 | Boot drive: OCZ Vertex 3
TV tuner: Aver HDDuet | Xonar DG | Fractal Design R4 | Rosewill Capstone 450M
insulin_junkie72
Gerbil XP
 
Posts: 498
Joined: Sun Nov 26, 2006 4:19 pm
Location: WI, USA

Re: Itty-bitty HTPC

Postposted on Tue Mar 02, 2010 9:28 pm

Gerbil Jedidiah wrote:1) Have you read any reviews on that Zotac board?

From Anandtech.

With regard to space- I personally don't see the need to install all games to the SSD. A few, sure, but my Steam folder at 148.6GB eclipses most sub $1000 SSD's outright. The new WD 2TB Greens seem to be plenty fast- not as fast as the old (FALS) Blacks, but still faster than many hard drives out there, and certainly fast enough to launch not oft played games from :).
Canon 6D||[24-105/4L IS USM|100/2.8L Macro IS USM|70-300/4-5.6 IS USM|40/2.8 STM|50/1.4 USM|85/1.8 USM|Samyang/Bower 14/2.8 Full-Manual Rectilinear Wide-angle|
Canon EOS-M|11-22/4-5.6 IS STM|22/2 STM|EF-M 18-55/3.5-5.6 IS STM|
For sale!|24/2.8 IS USM
|
Airmantharp
Maximum Gerbil
 
Posts: 4968
Joined: Fri Oct 15, 2004 10:41 pm

Re: Itty-bitty HTPC

Postposted on Tue Mar 02, 2010 10:40 pm

Airmantharp wrote:A few, sure, but my Steam folder at 148.6GB eclipses most sub $1000 SSD's outright. The new WD 2TB Greens seem to be plenty fast- not as fast as the old (FALS) Blacks, but still faster than many hard drives out there, and certainly fast enough to launch not oft played games from :).

You can copy your heavily-played games onto your SSD and just insert an appropriate symlink, too. That's what I've done. :)
Core i7 920, 3x2GB Corsair DDR3 1600, 80GB X25-M, 1TB WD Caviar Black, MSI X58 Pro-E, Radeon 4890, Cooler Master iGreen 600, Antec P183, opticals
SNM
Emperor Gerbilius I
 
Posts: 6206
Joined: Fri Dec 30, 2005 10:37 am

Re: Itty-bitty HTPC

Postposted on Tue Mar 02, 2010 10:54 pm

Your build is very interesting to me. I download alot of fansubbed anime, and lately I've had the strong urge to be able to watch it on my HDTV rather than my monitor, so I wanted something that would let me stream from my PC to my HDTV over Ethernet (I live in a small apartment so I'd be running a Cat5e cable right from my router to the front-end). Right now, my options seem to be:

Western Digital WD TV Live - $119.99

This is looking really tempting since its cheap, network-ready, and does exactly what I need. It also supports an arseload of file formats:

http://www.wdc.com/en/products/Products.asp?DriveID=735

The ones that stand out for me are MKV (h.264, x.264, AVC, MPEG1/2/4, VC-1), MP3, FLAC, SSA, and ASS since alot of fansub groups use those formats. However, this isn't something I'd able to update if specifications change (unless Western Digital provides regular firmware updates, which I doubt). Like, just recently I had to upgrade to CoreAVC 2.0 since the older version I was using was having problems with adaptive p-frames. I'd be stuck if the unit comes across something it can't handle. So, based on that, my other option is a custom build. Based on your build, I'd probably go with:

Intel DH57JG "Jet Geyser" - $125

Its not out, but according to Anandtech's article it'll cost about $125, so its cheaper than Zotac's board. I wanna to keep the price as low as possible. Of course, the big problem here is that the motherboard alone is already more expensive than the WDTV Live.

Intel Core i3-530 - $124.99 (I'll be using the default cooler that comes with this)
G.Skill 2GB DDR3-1333 - $64.99 (I seriously doubt I'll need alot memory for this)

Antec ISK 310-150 - $99
Antec ISK 300-150 - $99

I think the only difference between these two is the bezel. I'll be using the IGP and I won't be playing games on it so I imagine the 150W PSU will be enough. Plus I can still throw in a low-profile discrete GPU if the IGP ever stops being up to snuff. (right now I'm banking on the Intel IGP's hardware acceleration being even with CUDA-accelerated CoreAVC 2.0)

WD Scorpio Blue 320GB 5400RPM - $59.99

The above case only takes 2.5-inch drives. This has 500+ reviews and 5-stars so I imagine its good. Its either this or the 40GB Intel SSD. I'm sure the SSD has much faster boot up times and I'm still considering it for that reason but for now I'll stick with this.

Microsoft Windows 7 Pro 64-bit - $0 (University is awesome)

As far Blu-ray goes, I'm not worrying about that right now. Most likely I'd get a BD-ROM for my PC, rip ISOs for any Blu-ray discs I get, and stream them to the chosen unit (the WDTV Live supports ISOs and it goes without saying that the custom build will). That's why I'm not including it with this build.

Total: $348.97

So $119.99 for a non-upgradeable/non-updateable unit (again, unless WD provides firmware updates) that does everything I want out of the box vs. $348.97 for an upgradeable/updateable custom system that I can tweak as needed and is likely to last longer. Any thoughts?
Under Construction Forever~~~
Kurotetsu
Gerbil Elite
 
Posts: 525
Joined: Sun Dec 09, 2007 12:13 pm

Re: Itty-bitty HTPC

Postposted on Sun Mar 14, 2010 7:04 am

@Kurotetsu

i watch alot of anime to and i use a Zotac Ion board with 4 gigs of ram and a WD 1TB drive :)

its running xbmc on an ubuntu base and it runs grate :)
Trash_Master
Gerbil
 
Posts: 22
Joined: Thu May 29, 2008 11:37 am

Re: Itty-bitty HTPC

Postposted on Sun Mar 14, 2010 7:12 am

Wow...that's an impressive build for the money...I was looking at Dell Zino HD's for the same price, but this seems like a huge step up in performance for the same price. The cost of the OS is the main sticking point.
Acer AO521, Asus EEE2G, and an e6300 (EP45-DS3L, 4GB Corsair, 320GB 7200.10, EVGA GT250, Corsair VX450W and Samsung 2043BW)
iamajai
Gerbil Team Leader
 
Posts: 231
Joined: Thu Jul 07, 2005 2:02 pm
Location: Vancouver, BC

Re: Itty-bitty HTPC

Postposted on Sun Mar 14, 2010 9:22 am

SNM wrote:
Airmantharp wrote:A few, sure, but my Steam folder at 148.6GB eclipses most sub $1000 SSD's outright. The new WD 2TB Greens seem to be plenty fast- not as fast as the old (FALS) Blacks, but still faster than many hard drives out there, and certainly fast enough to launch not oft played games from :).

You can copy your heavily-played games onto your SSD and just insert an appropriate symlink, too. That's what I've done. :)


Most of my games, and all of my new games, are on Steam. Steam makes moving stuff around so easy it's scary- it reinstalls itself upon being moved. Everything else just runs after it's been moved, I just change the shortcuts in Steam's game launcher.
Canon 6D||[24-105/4L IS USM|100/2.8L Macro IS USM|70-300/4-5.6 IS USM|40/2.8 STM|50/1.4 USM|85/1.8 USM|Samyang/Bower 14/2.8 Full-Manual Rectilinear Wide-angle|
Canon EOS-M|11-22/4-5.6 IS STM|22/2 STM|EF-M 18-55/3.5-5.6 IS STM|
For sale!|24/2.8 IS USM
|
Airmantharp
Maximum Gerbil
 
Posts: 4968
Joined: Fri Oct 15, 2004 10:41 pm


Return to System Builders Anonymous

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot] and 2 guests