Newbie Hardware Selection Help Wanted (1 Viewer)


Portal Member
December 5, 2005

As you can see I am a newbie to this forum and this is my first post so please be gentle with me :)

I have been looking around the forums and think I have decided what hardware to go for, however I would appreciate any help/comments.

My setup needs to be small and stylish (so the G/F won't moan), and extremely quiet (i.e. not noticable from 1 meter and inaudible from 2 meters, again to keep the G/F happy). I appreciate that everyone wants these :)

I have a 42 Plasma with DVI input, and surround sound (BOSE) speakers.

I would like the HTPC to replace:
  • Cable Box
  • DVD Player (OK a no brainer)
  • Digital Amp

I would like the setup to do the the following:
  • Watch TV (NTL Cable)
  • Record TV (NTL Cable)
  • Digitise my CD collection
  • Have an EPG for NTL that downloads through the internet
  • The ability to do everything through the remote without need for mouse or keyboard (after setup)
  • Possibly digitise my DVDs (future)
  • Send audio/video to a receiver (extender), preferably my xbox
  • Must have wireless LAN

For the case, I am looking at the Silverstone LC11M as it is small and stylish and has a built in VFD. My questions on this are:
  1. Is the PSU quiet or would it benefit from a different PSU
  2. Are the case fans silent or can they be made less noisy if not (by adding a resistor, changing to 5v or replacing with silent fans).
  3. Are there any other better/quieter cases on the market
  4. How well does the remote work with Media Portal
  5. Can I use the PCI riser without the AGP part as I will hopefully be using onboard graphics in a board with PCI-e and don't want to buy the PCI-e riser

For the motherboard I am looking at the A8N-VM CSM, my questions on this are:
  1. Is the onboard graphics good enough for watching TV/DVDs
  2. Is the onboard soundcard good enough to power a decent set of 5:1 speakers without the use of an amp, if not is there a soundcard available to do this.
  3. I intend to use a SATA2 drive are the SATA leads that come with the board SATA2 compatible

For the CPU I am looking at waiting for the Sempron to be released, I assume that this it supports 'Cool and Quiet' technology, is this correct

For the DVB card I am looking at the FireDTV Floppy DVB-C as this is the only one that I can find that supports NTL, my questions are:

  1. are there any others?
  2. Can I just get the OEM version of the FireDTV as I will already have a remote with the LC11M or does it need anything in the non-oem version.
  3. Does the remote with the LC11M change the NTL channels on the firedtv
  4. Does the firedtv fit in the internal bay of the LC11M with a card in it
  5. Will 2 Firedtvs fit in the 3 internal bays with a HDD taking up the 3rd slot

For the HDD I am looking at a western digital 250gb SATA2 drive as it is the only one that I have found so far with quiet technology, are there any others?

Can Media Portal 'talk' with XBMC so that I can play film/video across the network.

For the wireless network I already have a Belkin PCI card that I intend to use, (the xbox has a Netgear WGE111 if this is relevant)

Many thanks in advance for any help/comments/suggestions :D

And sorry for the long post!


Portal Pro
May 13, 2005
Rotterdam, The Netherlands
Home Country
Netherlands Netherlands
For the hard drive most drives can be set through support software from the manufacturer in a litle bit slower but quieter mode.
Sata 1 or 2 you wont see much difference only ncc could give you a little performance gain. The increase in bandwith doesn't do anything because the harddrive is simply to slow.

for an expensive but noiseless solution have a look at this post:


Portal Pro
October 14, 2005
For the main hardware...

A64 3000 Venice or Sempron Socket 939
Nforce 4 motherboard
2 x 512mb Corsair Value ram
Samsung SATA2 250gb HDD - fast and quiet (quietest out)
nVidia 6200 PCI-E graphics
HDA X-Mystique soundcard
400w+ Quality PSU
Quality Case :) or a cheap and nasty one if u dont care :)

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