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Discussion Starter #1
Wondering if people could help me out here

Im currently saving to build a Shuttle HTPC I plan on creating a shopping list of parts and buying as money comes available and watching for second hand parts.

I may have to post in separate sections as I have a lot of questions ( Sorry !!)

Starting with requirements

I want to be able to connect to my TV by HDMI so im guessing the MOBO should have HDIM onboard but will with handle Blue ray etc and is this the way people go or do you buy a dedicated G card if so could you recommend one?
Im not interested in playing games its purely set up for HTPC so from what I can make out HDMI onboard should handle it?

Audio
I want to connect the system to my onkio amplifier by way of optical wire as I understand it this will provide HD sound and is the easiest way to transfer the sound?

I want to capture TV with a dual tuner I was thinking a nova 500 dual tuner would you agree or can you suggest a cheaper alternative as these look expensive?


Processor and RAM

I want to rip Blue ray so im guessing im going to need a dual core processor to do this and around 2 gig of ram would you suggest going higher on Ram EVEN KNOW ITS HTPC only?

I really fall down in this area so would like some recommendations I have read the atom processors are good as there energy efficient and cool to run

What would processor would you recommend as a HTPC setup?

To do Blue ray im going to need an optical drive are all these roughly the same with reverence to ripping the data to the hard disk?

What tools and format do you use ?
I remember back in the days when I used to do DVD’S I just ripped them as a ISO or Mepeg2! (Plan on using media portal so what’s the best way for playback)

Hard disk

Im reading good things on the western digital 1TB green drives is that what most people are using? Also are you using one drive for OS and data or do you install you operation system on a smaller separate drive to improve read times etc?

WIFI would be good if there is a MOBO with this built in as I would like to take it to my girlfriends at a weekend so it’s one less wire to take lol

To control the system I plan on using Logitech diNovo Mini

Sure I will have many more questions but I will leave it as this for now

Thanks

Ian
 

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Asus Gigabyte for the Mobo.
WD for the Hdd(s).
OCZ-Corsair-G.Skill for RAM.
Do you have a budget in mind?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Hi yes thanks for some info there mate.. budjet i was thinking £300 but as i will be buying over time i might be able to spend more. by looking at what i need from the Mobo i prob will be looking at £150 ? any specific type ?

ian
 

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Since you plan to run audio seperately your are not limited to hdmi port you can go with a dvi port and a dvi - hdmi cable. This will give you the digital video out and leave you with a larger pool of mobos to choose from.
I have no first hand experience with the atom processors but the amd phenom/phenomII are great affordable processors for video ripping/encoding.
2gb of ram is ok if your going to run a 32bit os. If you are going to run a 64bit os you can start at the 2gb for budget reasons but purchase with an eye to upgrade later.(like a 2gb stick if the motherboard you choose only has 2 ram ports.)
The WD green drives are great.I'd recommend partioning it though and have the os on one partition(size specific to os) and the other larger partion for your media files. This is really just a precaution in case the os becomes unbootable/unrepairable You can format and install the os on same partition without wiping out the media.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
good bit of info there prophet and thanks.. i never thought about DVI so there is not diffrence in quality then between HDMI and DVI other than there is no sound transfered?

are you running a HTPC micro ATX board if so which one? there are so many out there its confusing on whats the best option.. ive started to make a table to cross refrence them1 but where to start it a diffrent quetion.

would it not be best to have a smaller drive for the OS and larger for data for speed or is there no diffrence if u partison it ?

ian
 

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I have a pc that i use as an all in one powerhouse. It connects to my tv and surround sound system for ht purposes then has another monitor for computer/gaming needs and no it has an atx board in it.
As far as the hd drive goes you can run a smaller ssd drive for the os and then a bigger hd for your media but that's gonna cost you and it's really the only way you'll get any gain in speed over a partitioned sata drive. Now if your using older ide/pata drives then 2 drives will be marginally faster.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks tyree im looking for a board with optical out on but thanks for the option there
i see what your saying think i will stick a 1.5Tb in as i have seen these for arounf £65. im not to fust about the 64bit as its only a HTPC im not sure how much diffence 2gig to 4gig will make ? but the price of the stuff i may aswell !!

i think i will stick with asus as i have used these befor without a problem.. im hoping i can drop on in a shuttel case i have but not sure how this will work out !!

ian
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
ASUS P7H55-M PRO LGA 1156 Intel H55 HDMI Micro ATX Intel Motherboard

and ASUS P5G43T-M Pro

i like the look of this board laods of exspansion etc and had HDMI DVI and optical out

will look more 2mora my heads pickled lol
 

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i cant sleep lol would somthing like this have the power for what i need

Intel Core 2 Duo E4300 1.8GHz 1.8 GHz SL9TB LGA 775 CPU i think it will fit the board ?

ian
 

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Discussion Starter #13
yes, so do you think it would be powerfull enough to do all the ripping encoding etc?

how much do the core I3 go for is it worth the extra am i going to get a better HD output with it having the intel graphics on

cheers
 

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Either board/cpu is powerful enough for the ripping encoding the i3 would be faster though. Again I'd recommend the amd phenomII series for a htpc build. I have 2 pc's 1 with the core i7 and the other with amd phenomII. The i7 system has a pretty good video card attached and the phenomII is onboard graphics. Both systems handle encoding at about the same speeds and I see no difference in the video output of media files.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
how about this board ECS 785G AMD SOCKET AM3 PHENOM DDR3 HDMI MOTHERBOARD its cheap at £50 and supports the DDR3. from what i have read i think it should be fine with Blu ray not to sure on make tho !! i normally used ASUS
what you think ?
 
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