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Openelec Build Specs - vinyl conflict - 2012-06-27 10:54

Hello all,

First HTPC build and looking to get some advice on hardware - think I have read enough to get an idea of what I want and would like some advice on my proposed hardware choice, maybe there are alternatives I have not thought about.

Intend to build a machine with Openelec as my software choice as I want to get as close to an appliance feel as possible, this will be a family machine in the living room. We currently use a PS3 to play our media files and media management is becoming a bit of a pain. If there are advantages to XBMCUbuntu or similar then will consider but it definatly wont be a windows OS.

All of my media seems to be DVD rips and Bluray rips mostly in H.264 MP4 with multi channel sound and so need a machine that will happily play those upto 1080p. I dont tend to play large blurayrips or high bit rate MKVs. 3D is not really important, at most may want to play 3d side by side files in the future.

The spec I have come up with is below - would this be suitable or is there something I have missed?

CPU £35 = Intel Celeron Dual-Core G530 2.4 GHz - Link
MOBO £68.73 = ASRock B75M-ITX Motherboard - Link
GPU £24.55 = Zotac GT 210 1GB DDR3 - Link
CASE = Still undecided

Particularly like the fact that with this motherboard I can get the CIR usb header that can wake from S5 state.
Have chosen Nvidea graphics based on linux support and would like as much compatability with openelec as possible. is this correct?

Unsure if the above kit it good value for money and will fit my needs or are there alternatives that i should consider or if I should still with an all in one mother board such as the Asus AT5IONT-I Atom D525? Link

Any thoughts and comments really welcome.


RE: Openelec Build Specs - Scotty - 2012-06-27 13:24

I have a very similar requirement set and build thought, so will be watching this intently! My biggest problem was finding a case I could live with. There's very little choice of small cases that have quiet power supplies (noting switching to DC-DC is an option) but aren't too big. The Antec ISK300 looks a good bet (and popular here), but I'd dearly love an itx case that takes a low-profile GPU but *doesn't* include space for an ODD or flex PSU (i.e. needs pico or similar). Something like the ISK110 but a little more room over the socket, perhaps, as it would then not only fit the GPU but also provide more options for the cooler. Sigh, I can dream.


RE: Openelec Build Specs - vinesh - 2012-06-27 13:32

Similar spec to mine.

I have a Asus GT430 GPU instead.

I use the following case -

http://linitx.com/product/12630

Note - Stock PSU is noisy.
I have ordered a Pico.


RE: Openelec Build Specs - vinyl conflict - 2012-06-27 14:59

(2012-06-27 13:24)Scotty Wrote:  I have a very similar requirement set and build thought, so will be watching this intently! My biggest problem was finding a case I could live with. There's very little choice of small cases that have quiet power supplies (noting switching to DC-DC is an option) but aren't too big. The Antec ISK300 looks a good bet (and popular here), but I'd dearly love an itx case that takes a low-profile GPU but *doesn't* include space for an ODD or flex PSU (i.e. needs pico or similar). Something like the ISK110 but a little more room over the socket, perhaps, as it would then not only fit the GPU but also provide more options for the cooler. Sigh, I can dream.

I feel what you are saying, the choice is massive. To be honest I dont require an ultra small unit - would rather have a larger case and more room for HDD's so the half size GPU doesnt really matter to me, I intend to store my media localy in the HTPC. Im looking more to the HTPC cases that look similar to AV recievers - that way it will fit in with the rest of my home audio kit.

Examples:
Silverstone Milo ML03 - Link
Silverstone GD06 HTPC Case (I really like this one but expensive and no PSU) - Link
Thermaltake Element Q (Similar to the ones you mentioned and quite small) - Link

you may want to check out mini-itx.com as they seem to have a fair few cases with external pico style supplies that may suit you? (Link)

(2012-06-27 13:32)vinesh Wrote:  Similar spec to mine.

I have a Asus GT430 GPU instead.

I use the following case -

http://linitx.com/product/12630

Note - Stock PSU is noisy.
I have ordered a Pico.

Would I notice a difference if I only intend to use openelec? will the gt210 suit? its half the price and fanless.

Still undecided wether having seperate GPU/Processor is the best idea or to go with an Atom525 with ION motherboard?


RE: Openelec Build Specs - krasv - 2012-06-27 15:52

I currently have two systems running openelec

#1: Acer Revo r3700 (Atom D525 + Ion2) - only modded with a 16gb kingston ssd
#2: mATX htpc build with an Intel g540 and a passive Sparkle GT430 gpu, TV Tuner and BluRay rom

I really enjoy both systems. and do not notice the performance differences during normal usage (in my case playback of 720p and 1080p mkvs from an unraid server)
The D525 will handle the use cases you mentioned above without much of a problem.

That being said, an atom d525/ion2 platform is more than 2 years old.. you never know what your requirements will look like in a year or two
Do you want to use heavy skins (hello aeon) or playback Hi10P videos?


RE: Openelec Build Specs - vinyl conflict - 2012-06-27 16:45

(2012-06-27 15:52)krasv Wrote:  I currently have two systems running openelec

#1: Acer Revo r3700 (Atom D525 + Ion2) - only modded with a 16gb kingston ssd
#2: mATX htpc build with an Intel g540 and a passive Sparkle GT430 gpu, TV Tuner and BluRay rom

I really enjoy both systems. and do not notice the performance differences during normal usage (in my case playback of 720p and 1080p mkvs from an unraid server)
The D525 will handle the use cases you mentioned above without much of a problem.

That being said, an atom d525/ion2 platform is more than 2 years old.. you never know what your requirements will look like in a year or two
Do you want to use heavy skins (hello aeon) or playback Hi10P videos?

I can clearly see the benefits of not going with an atom build, namely the ability to upgrade. With the motherboard above I could bump the processor upto i7 ivy bridge and change gpu if required.

Currently been playing around with xbmc using confluence skin- happy with it but may change in future. What are Hi10p videos? Do you mean high bitrate 1080p videos? If so not really.


RE: Openelec Build Specs - Dougie Fresh - 2012-06-27 17:11

If you're looking for a good priced large HTPC case, check out the NMediaPC line of cases. I have the 1000b and it's a perfect match to my Onkyo receiver in shape, size and color. Both the micro-ATX and ATX versions can hold a good number of hard drives. They're well built and under $100.

BTW, I don't think the GT210 buys you anything over the integrated HD1000 GPU in the G530 unless it's specific to OpenELEC. The GT430 would be a much better choice. There are low-profile passive GT430s.

As for the ION, you'll pay more for that over a G530 + GT430 and the latter is so much better all around.


RE: Openelec Build Specs - vinyl conflict - 2012-06-27 17:14

(2012-06-27 17:11)Dougie Fresh Wrote:  If you're looking for a good priced large HTPC case, check out the NMediaPC line of cases. I have the 1000b and it's a perfect match to my Onkyo receiver in shape, size and color. The ATX versions can hold a good number of hard drives. They're well built and under $100.

BTW, I don't think the GT210 buys you anything over the integrated HD1000 GPU in the G530 unless it's specific to OpenELEC. The GT430 would be a much better choice.

As for the ION, you'll pay more for that over a G530 + GT430 and the latter is so much better all around.

Thanks for the heads up, will check them out. I'm based in the uk though so hopefully not a USA only thing?

The reason for the seperate gpu is I'm under the impression nvidea support in Linux is far superior.
I may even go for a lower spec celeron to save money. Performance wise I'm sure they're better than the atom d525's Confused


RE: Openelec Build Specs - Dougie Fresh - 2012-06-27 17:19

Yeah, might be hard to source an nMediaPC case in the UK. The Silverstone cases are a good alernative. If you can afford/find Lian-Li those are my favorite like the PC-C50 or C60.


RE: Openelec Build Specs - charlie0440 - 2012-06-27 18:03

I agree with Dougie, why not try the intergrated GPU first and see how it performs. If that is not good enough for you, I can vouch the gt430 is awesome.

If you don't want to pay that much the gt520 is also great. People on here have said it does not perform well with deinterlaced video. While I don't own this car (I have the gt430) I can quote freakshiat talking about the GT520 from the OpenElec forums (hope he doesn't mind) :

Quote:Running ericab's generic build with 295.59 drivers, it works FLAWLESSLY with 3D, HD Audio bitstreaming and 23.976 fps. It has half the cores (48) of the GT 430 (96) and runs at 29W TDP vs 50W for the GT430. To compare, the ION2 has 16 cores. It fits beautifully in my Origen M10 case. Menu navigation with AEON MQ3 is fast, and feels just as smooth as my GT430.

This specific card is now my new HTPC favorite. My evga GT430 used to 'hover' around 23.9x-24.xx, this one stays put at 23.98. Not to mention its quiet. I will continue to use this card until nvidia releases a Kepler counterpart (20/25W TDP, half height).

You can get that card from play.com for £36.49 delivered


RE: Openelec Build Specs - vinyl conflict - 2012-06-27 18:48

I'm not against using the integrated graphics at all. In fact if it works in openelec with no problem then great, I just understood nvidea to be more compatible.

If anyone can vouch rhat the hd1000/2000 works well from experience and would cater for my needs I'm sold. Would even upgrade the CPU to get a better integrated GPU.

The less configuration within openelec the better.

I thought I was decided on my build, not too sure now.

If I have to stick with nvidea then will check out the better GPU's so thanks for the play.com link


RE: Openelec Build Specs - Dougie Fresh - 2012-06-27 19:17

There are Intel builds of OE. You can always try it and if it doesn't work, then grab the GT530/430/whatever and go that direction.

Third section here:
http://openelec.tv/get-openelec


RE: Openelec Build Specs - krasv - 2012-06-27 19:30

afaik there are problems with the oe2.0 beta4 intel build.. you might wanna try the oe2.0 beta4 generic build for sandy bridge graphics or an older beta version of the intel builds


RE: Openelec Build Specs - vinyl conflict - 2012-06-27 23:05

(2012-06-27 19:17)Dougie Fresh Wrote:  There are Intel builds of OE. You can always try it and if it doesn't work, then grab the GT530/430/whatever and go that direction.

Third section here:
http://openelec.tv/get-openelec

Amazing, thank you - have had a bit of a read up since this afternoon and it looks like i should be fine with the intel graphics, plenty of others are.

(2012-06-27 19:30)krasv Wrote:  afaik there are problems with the oe2.0 beta4 intel build.. you might wanna try the oe2.0 beta4 generic build for sandy bridge graphics or an older beta version of the intel builds

Thank you, haven't built this yet but will look into the builds available

I just need to narrow down motherboard choice down between these 2 now. Theres isnt much in it, effectively the same board but with different chipsets. one has wifi which i don't need but there does seem to be some differences in the video/audio chipset area and I can't really decide whats best.

The h67 says 3d compatible but the z68 is also hdmi 1.4a. The h67 also has a footnote to say "Due to chipset limitation, the Blu-ray playback of Intel® HD Graphics is only supported under Windows® Vista™ and Windows® 7."

Im swaying towards the z68 but thruth behold that isn't really an informed decision - help please :-)

both boards come with the CIR header and mce remote and both are newer than the board in my original post.

H67M-ITX/HT or Z68M-ITX/HT


RE: Openelec Build Specs - vinyl conflict - 2012-06-28 21:39

anyone offer any advice regarding the 2 motherboards listed in my last post?

H67M-ITX/HT or Z68M-ITX/HT