Sunday, May 16, 2010

Full Spec HTPC

Based on the previous HTPC posts, here is a current fully specced out Windows Media Centre Home Theatre PC. $1099.50

ASUS M4A785TD-M EVO mATX Motherboard

Same motherboard as the sub $500 version.
this one ticks all the boxes.

AMD Phenom II X2 550
I was tempted to use the slower colder X2 235e, there will be some minor advantages to this chip, such as encoding, also there may be some upscaling advantages...

OCZ Vertex 30GB SSD
Ideal for a media centre OS disk. Makes the whole system snappy, runs cold and absolutely silent.

Western Digital Green 2TB WD20EARS
Still from the Greenpower range, run cold and quiet, and only $170
Enough space for 220 DVDs. Enough said.

Seasonic M12 II 520W Power Supply
Legendary Seasonic. Silent, Stable, reliable.
Modular version to keep cables in the case to a minimum, 570 watts is probably twice the required power, especially at this high efficiency rate, but this model has the smallest size.
At $99 its a bargain.

SilverStone GD02 Black
Cases are quite personal, so check out the one you want.. there are reports that this is a bit cramped inside, but remember there is no Graphics card required.
This one is looks nice, and definitely has room for an optical drive and and two 3.5" Hard drives, and I'm hoping enough room to sneak the SSD in there also.
If you want a full size media centre PC in your living room, thats up to you, but I find them a bit imposing... the GD02 is a nice size.

Samsung SH-B083A Blu-ray DVD Combo Drive
This is the model I have, it can read DVD or Bluray.
It is very quiet, and does the job nicely for $120.
It it not a burner, but I cannot imagine any scenario these days which would require me to burn a Bluray (at $10 for the blanks as well)

GeIL GV34GB1600C9DC 4GB (2x2GB) DDR3
I went for the 1600 as there are some (upscaling) advantages that are available at 1600 on some CPUs. I would check around for price on the day, as memory prices change with the weather.

Nexus Real Silent 120mm Case Fan
Maybe it is a bit slack, but I use these as CPU fans.
The AMD fans are completely useless. I simply rip them off and put a large silent fan over the top. It puts about 6 times as much air over the CPU and the RAM, and makes hardly any noise.
Sometimes I get one or two screws in... sometimes I use gaffa tape :)
Truth be told, Arctic Cooling make the best fans, their PWM range are awesome. PWM enables better control of the fan from Software.
If I was getting serious I would look at a Scythe Low profile CPU cooler ($70), but you really should not be stressing the CPU that much.

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