First HTPC and SFF computer (1 Viewer)

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Winter

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Hi Folks,

I'm going to be building an HTPC in a SFF case as a house warming present for myself (just bought my first house).

Since I just bought the house money is tight and I only have about CND$1000 to spend. I have a Processor and RAM already so I just need the rest of the bits. I looked into building it in an HTPC case but they are either too much money or too small to fit the PVR 500 and the 6200.

Here's what I'm looking at building, I think most of it should be pretty quite, with no fan on the Video card etc.

The Processor is a P4 2.8 HT and the RAM is 512 MB of PC3200
Here's the rest:
ANTEC ARIA mATX
Asus P4P800-VM MATX
Hauppauge PVR 500
PIONEER DVR-109
ASUS N6200 TD 128
Zalman CNPS7000B-ALCU
WD SE 200GB SATA

I've never used a Zalman before, but it's huge and still fits in the case so I figured it's be the best bet.

Any comments on this? I think with that hard drive I should be able to record about 90 hours worth of TV, is that close?

Thanks for you time.
 

fathead

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March 17, 2005
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Two all important points:

1) Heat

2) Noise

The Aria is a very poorly designed case when it comes to airflow, and the case will get very warm very quickly. You have choosen a pentium based system which also won't help in keeping things cool.

To keep the system quiet you'll need to remove the optional PCI blower that cmoes with the case. Also consider a Seagate hard drive over the western digital.

The Zalman is a great choice of cooler, but doesn't it require a slight amount of modding to fit?? (I may be wrong).
 

rtv

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  • April 7, 2005
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    Everything right so far..

    Also if money is a topic consider the power consumption of a P4 system - in your case it might be >200 Watts for the running system.

    to compare:
    My A64 system with onboard graphics consumes ~ 80 Watts. Now it is up to you to calculate the yearly power costs..
     

    rtv

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    I think with that hard drive I should be able to record about 90 hours worth of TV, is that close?
    I don't have an analog card but a dvr-ms stream is a bit more than 2 Gig per hour..
     

    PLeblanc

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    February 10, 2005
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    I'm thinking along the lines of rtv. Why not look into an xpress200 mobo, with onboard video? That plus an athlon64 venice ought to put you into very small power usage, and not cost an arm and a leg. The xpress200 has the onboard equivalent of an x300, so it should have dxva (hardware assist for mpeg2) and allow you to play all but the most recent games. For example, I've seen some reviews talking abour 14fps with Doom3, but over 30fps with Far Cry. Not bad for onboard graphics!

    There are supposed to be xpress 200 boards for intel chips too (I only say this based on stuff I read at anandtech), so you don't have to invest in a new processor. But it saves you the cost of a graphics board, and it saves you the extra 50+ watts of a graphics board, and the noise and heat. Isn't this thing going to live in your living room? If so, noise and heat should be a big concern to you. So maybe the cost of the Athlon64, being more energy efficient then the p4, and hence cooler and quieter, isn't such a bad place to put your money.
     

    fossks

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    May 2, 2005
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    Winter,
    Be careful with the Zalman and believing that it will fit. I personally put an ASRock K7S41GX into my Antec Aria. Due to the position of the CPU socket, the only HSF I could use is the stock one. I know that I could get a lower-profile HSF but this would likely increase the CPU temperatures and they are toasty already. Be sure you Google the combination you want before you buy it to see if someone has or hasn't been successful.

    Kevin
     
    W

    Winter

    Guest
    fossks said:
    Winter,
    Be careful with the Zalman and believing that it will fit. I personally put an ASRock K7S41GX into my Antec Aria. Due to the position of the CPU socket, the only HSF I could use is the stock one. I know that I could get a lower-profile HSF but this would likely increase the CPU temperatures and they are toasty already. Be sure you Google the combination you want before you buy it to see if someone has or hasn't been successful.

    Kevin

    I'm basing that decision on this picture
    rev-antecaria-installedLG.jpg
    It doesn't look like they had to mod the heat sink at all
     

    Lyxalig

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    That looks tight, and warm. I might add: Consider buying a Case that fits with your HIFI-equipment. It looks sleek.
     

    fathead

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    March 17, 2005
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    Why not consider the new ASPIRE X-QPACK.

    # Compact, portable and tasteful design
    # 3 x side see-through windows
    # Front 2 x USB2.0, 2 x Audio, 1 x Firewire
    # 1 x front LCD temperature readout
    # 1 x 120mm blue UV LED fan at rear
    # 5 x drive bays: 2*5.25" + 1*3.5" + 2*3.5"(int)
    # ATX 420W 12V power supply
    # Removable motherboard tray for easy installation
    # Sturdy aluminum contructed for best cooling

    X-QPACK-AL-0_250.jpg


    X-QPACK-AL-3_250.jpg


    X-QPACK-AL-4_250.jpg


    X-QPACK-AL-7_250.jpg


    X-QPACK-AL-8_250.jpg


    http://aspireusa.net/product.php?pid=143


    :D
     

    thinksnow

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    January 29, 2005
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    Winter said:
    I'm basing that decision on this picture
    {snip} It doesn't look like they had to mod the heat sink at all
    I'd put money down that they had to remove the PSU to get that in there. It's a tight fit, not helped at all by the little tray in the front for the media card reader and USB ports.

    It can be done, but again, it's tiiiight in there.
     

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