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Old 08-05-2011, 09:48 AM
caspar86
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Default HTPC/media server build - i3 or E-350?

I'm looking to build a HTPC that I can leave on most of the time, or wake up over the LAN if I need it, so it needs to be quiet and have low power consumption. I've been thinking about two possible builds, which I will post below. They have to tick the following boxes:

- Play HD video and music straight from the HDD and stream it over the network
- Stream HD video directly from the likes of Revision3, iPlayer, YouTube, and so on...
- Always on server so I can store files I want to access when I'm not at home or stream video/music
- Rip DVD/Bluray (willing to forfeit this)


The two builds I have been considering (minus the PSU and optical drive) are as follows:

1) E-350 BUILD - Approx. 325

ZOTAC FUSION350-A-E OR Asus E35M1-I DELUXE AMD
(2x2GB) PC3-8500 DDR3-1066MHz
2TB Western Digital WD20EARX 3.5"
Lian Li PC-Q11B


2) i3 BUILD - Approx. 365

Asus P8H67-I
Intel Core i3 2100 3.1GHz
8GB (2x4GB) Corsair DDR3 XMS3, PC3-10600 (1333)
2TB Western Digital WD20EARX 3.5"
Lian Li PC-Q11B


Would there be any advantage going for the E-350 build over the i3? There doesn't seem to be much of a price difference between the two and the i3 obviously kicks out better benchmarks, so I am almost certain I am going to go for that. Is there any way I could squeeze a little bit more out the system in the same sort of price range? Cheers in advance for any advice
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Old 08-08-2011, 09:44 PM
sirfisher
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Default Good so far

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16819115090
Go with that newer graphics. Intel wins hands down on this. It can game just drop in a pci-express graphics card and you are good. Quick Synic is owning the market at trans-coding video. What PSU are u adding to it?
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Old 08-09-2011, 06:36 PM
caspar86
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Ended up with a few changes.

For the case I've decided I'm probably going to go for the Lian Li PC-QO8B. Want something with at least 4 3.5" HDD bays and that seems to be hard to find. This was the best I could see. The 2 3.5" and 2 2.5" seems a little too few with the PC-Q11B. 2.5" drives seem a bit on the pricey side anyway and don't offer a lot of storage. Any other suggestions on a case? I'd love to find a decent case with 4 bays.

Narrowed the motherboard down to 3 options - most likely going for the Asus or the Zotac. The Asus if I can find a case with 4 3.5" HDD bays and the Zotac if I can't. May as well have the option of using all 6 bays on the Q08B.

Gigabyte GA-H67N-USB3-B3 - No WLAN? Don't want to take up the PCI slot with a WLAN card and only 4 SATA points.

Asus P8H67-I Deluxe - SO-DIMM memory and only 4 SATA points. Any disadvantage to using SO-DIMM?

Zotac H67ITX-C-E - 6 SATA points, but have read it can be a bit power hungry and little fan control?

All seem to offer the same Wake On LAN support.


Going to stick on an AMD 6670 or 6750 for gaming and I've also heard that the i3 has issues with 24p video. Also means I'm not interested in the Z68 chipset as I'm not going to use the hybrid graphics or likely to use the SSD cache. For the CPU I'm almost certainly going for the i3 2100 3.1GHz since I'm putting the GPU on there and there doesn't seem to be any difference between that and the 2105.
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Old 08-09-2011, 08:28 PM
sirfisher
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I read that wi-fi is bad on the Zotac.
SO-DIMM memory is not future proof. I would like to take something from the build to newer one.


Go with igabyte GA-H67N-USB3-B3, and add a usb wlan on to it. I would go with wire over wi-fi any day, even at 100Mbps. I have max out a wi-fi card to 100Mbps. It reach 98.3Mbps with the rest for the header. It was a N wi-fi cable of 150Mbps but the AP had only 100Mbps line to it, with about 25-35 other connections to it. The cat5e ran straight to the main switch with fiber feeding to it. the max i every get of the fiber is 10Gbps. The AP was cisco AP router in mesh network. So if you are going to stream video to over ip go with wire. If you are not go with wi-fi cat6 or 5e is easy to hide. I would go with cat6 sheilded because of the wi-fi. If you can get a channel on the 5ghz that is not over lapping another AP go wi-fi, but 5ghz signal can not go as far as 2.4ghz singal. Dont go 2.4ghz for the reason that every things is in it, and getting a clear signal is hard. Also with wire no over head for encryption for the connection. You have a e-sata connection so you have 5 connections as long as the one them are not pair to it.

IF you tv has display port go with that for the reason is higher bandwith. You can run the audio with a optical cable.

Why not a NAS with the network store all you media on that, and just stream it to your HTPC? I just like my storage and HTPC seperate for the reasion if it goes down i still have my media, and i can connect a laptop to the tv until I fix it. I'm not sure why a single person would want a HTPC when i can just hdmi to the tv. I guess a HTPC is to keep the famiy away or gf busy when you are working on the project.

HDMI, DVI, Display port cheaper the cable better it is digital so a 1 is a 1, unless you are going far distant with the cable.

What PSU are you picking for the system?
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  #5  
Old 08-09-2011, 08:43 PM
sirfisher
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IF yo ever looking for hdd space Fractal Design Define XL is a good case. Next to that i would got with something Lian Li.

Fractal Design Array R2 Mini-ITX great case, but tight fit for for a Intel build.
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Old 08-09-2011, 09:01 PM
caspar86
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still unsure on the psu. want the rest of the parts figured out before hand. reckon i could get away with 250W? or is that pushing it a bit?

i'd prefer to have the wireless N on the MB as a backup. going to run the thing through the ethernet cable in this house, but i'm moving in a year and don't know if I will be able to do that in future. so i'm thinking of the zotac as the choice still.

i quite like the look of that fractal case.

Last edited by caspar86 : 08-09-2011 at 09:03 PM.
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  #7  
Old 08-09-2011, 09:16 PM
caspar86
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Zotac H67ITX-C-E
Intel i3 2100 3.1GHz
4GB 1333MHz DDR3
2TB Western Digital WD20EARX
AMD 6670
Lian Li PC-Q08B
PSU?

That's how its looking at the moment. approx 450 now w/o psu

Last edited by caspar86 : 08-09-2011 at 09:16 PM.
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  #8  
Old 08-09-2011, 09:22 PM
caspar86
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Asus E35M1-I DELUXE E-350
4 GB DDR3
Lian Li PC-Q08B
2TB Western Digital WD20EARX

is coming in at approx. 320 without PSU

can I really justify the price of the i3 build for what I want to do (bearing in mind it may eventually have 5 HDD on there and be function as a server and HTPC at the same time)?
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