[WINDOWS] HTPC build, need your advice?

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aelahi Offline
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Joined: Dec 2010
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Post: #1
Hi gang, I've spent a few days doing a lot of research for a new HTPC build to run XBMC in Windows. So far I've narrowed down my decisions to Intel i3 CPU, Nvidia GT 430 GPU (low profile) and 32gb SSD. All my media will be stored on a separate PC streaming over a wired network to my HTPC.

Where I'm having a hard time is deciding the form factor of my build. I like something small & compact so I'm leaning towards a mini-ITX Mobo and mini-ITX Case, but I need a recommendation for a mini-ITX case that will have ample room to support a GT430 card. Has anyone out there built such a system? If so I would love to know the mobo, case and model of GT 430 card you used.

I've also done some power calculations and it looks like I need a PSU in the 250-300W range to support an Intel i3 CPU, Mobo, one SSD and a GT 430 card. Can anyone recommend a quiet PSU or a quiet case/PSU combo?

If a mini-ITX case is out of the question to support this build then I guess I will have to go with a micro-ATX case. What would you recommend?

As far as a remote control goes I already have a Harmony so I'm leaning towards a MCE IR receiver. I don't mind buying a MCE remote/IR receiver kit but I just won't end-up using the remote. Is it worth while to look for a case which comes with a remote or am I better off buying a separate MCE remote/IR kit?

Thx for your help.
PS. I don't need a DVD/Blu-ray drive for this build.
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eskro Offline
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Post: #2
[Image: KEnOI.png]

As HTPC case, check this one out --> Here
(This post was last modified: 2011-01-01 21:38 by eskro.)
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poofyhairguy Offline
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Post: #3
aelahi Wrote:Has anyone out there built such a system? If so I would love to know the mobo, case and model of GT 430 card you used.

What would matter the most is the case, since the Gigabyte Mini ITX mobo is the best for its class:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.as...-_-Product

The only decent cases that will offer you enough power for a addon GPU are these:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.as...-_-Product

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.as...-_-Product

Pretty much the same thing, get the one you like the looks of best. With that case, any single lane GT430 will work. As an example:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.as...-_-Product

Quote:If a mini-ITX case is out of the question to support this build then I guess I will have to go with a micro-ATX case. What would you recommend?

Only reason to go Micro ATX is if you want it quieter than Mini ITX can provide will all those small fans. In that case I will be glad to help.

Quote:Is it worth while to look for a case which comes with a remote or am I better off buying a separate MCE remote/IR kit?

For a Harmony there is literally ONE IR receiver I trust. I am like MR. Harmony around here, but even I will admit they are VERY picky.

Get on ebay, buy one of these and nothing else:

http://shop.ebay.com/i.html?_nkw=OVU4001...m270.l1313

Mini/Micro ITX Frontend (with SSD) + Mediaserver/NAS + Logitech Harmony + LCD/LED/Plasma TV + Nice AV Receiver + XBMC + USENET + sabnzbd + sickbeard +couchpotato

My Setup--HTPC Building Guide- Start Here--Advice on Hard Drives and SSDs--Mediaserver Guide--Harmony Guide
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aelahi Offline
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Post: #4
Great recommendations Poofy. I think those mini-ITX cases with a 250W PSU will be pretty quiet. Specially considering the only moving parts in that build are the PSU and GPU fans. I'm not sure how much quieter it can get. My home theater furniture has a glass window in the front which will also tune out further noise.

I think I've figured out my build now:
Intel i3-540 CPU
GIGABYTE GA-H55N mini-ITX
PNY GT 430 GPU
Apex MI-100BK mini-ITX case with built-in 250W PSU
2 x 2GB Corsair XMS3 DDR3-1333
40GB SSD Corsair Force Hard Drive
HP MCE IR Receiver
Windows 7 64-bit + XBMC + PowerDVD 10 for 3D Blu-ray ISO's.

All said and done should be between $500-$600 for a 1080p 3D enabled HTPC. Much better than the ASRock Vision 3D if you ask me.
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