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Hardware Home Theatre PC Buyer's Guide - Q1 2009

Discussion in 'Article Discussion' started by Tim S, 4 Feb 2009.

  1. Nexxo

    Nexxo * Prefab Sprout – The King of Rock 'n' Roll

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    Don't agree with some of the choices. The Western Digital GreenPower WD10EACS 1Tb drive runs cooler than the Samsung SpinPoint 1Tb drive, and costs a comparable ammount.

    And an nVidia G280 or Ati 4850 for an HTPC?!? Talk about overkill...
     
  2. Guest-16

    Guest-16 Guest

    Atom's 945G chipset has MPEG2 decoding (only) so will accelerate playback of DVB-T and DVDs. It's easily enough for SD-only.

    If you read our high end - we're talking an all-in-one gaming/uber entertainment centre. 1920x1080 = GF 260 territory. 4850 = UVD2 / and comfortable 720p.

    I completely forgot about the WD GreenPower - that's something I would have put in but it simply slipped my mind :(
     
  3. Nexxo

    Nexxo * Prefab Sprout – The King of Rock 'n' Roll

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    THe WD GreenPower is quieter too. I have one in my HTPC (700 hours of recording space. W00t!).
     
  4. Jipa

    Jipa Avoiding the "I guess.." since 2004

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    Wouldn't Scythe Ninja Mini be the way to go with Fusion? That's what I'd slap in there, anyway...
     
  5. Turbotab

    Turbotab I don't touch type, I tard type

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    You didn't include a Blu Ray drive, as you said it was too expensive at £150, yet in the Hardware round-up guide yesterday, you included a LG Blu Ray at £66? Plus no TV tuner, or even a basic graphics card, such as a 3450 to ease HD playback. Not up to the usual Bit Tech standards, I'm afraid.
     
  6. frontline

    frontline Punish Your Machine

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    Or go for a mini gaming machine, DFI JR 790GX-M2RS micro ATX board, Phenom II 940 and 2 x 4870's in crossfire. Well, that's what i've just built anyway! :)

    Great article though.
     
  7. Sir Digby

    Sir Digby The Supprising Adventures

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    I assume that only laptop drives were being looked at in that group laptop blu-ray drives - to keep in line with the selection of compact components in that grouping...
     
    Last edited: 4 Feb 2009
  8. Guest-16

    Guest-16 Guest

    1) A slimline drive is needed for both mini-ITX builds - Specifically a slot loading one in the alternative case.

    2) No TV tuner cards because not everyone wants to record TV (Internet streaming via boxee for example), there are vast differences in worldwide standards - not to mention HD/SD/DVB-S/T/cable/sat/etcetc. Plus, we don't give advise on what we don't know - we never review TV cards so it would not be wise to recommend them without prior knowledge.

    3) No graphics cards are needed - the 780G has the Radeon HD 3200 (790GX has 3300) which has the same UVD as the 3450. The latest G45 chipset also accelerates HD using Intel ClearVideo (the HQV/HD HQV quality is actually better) or even if we suggested the Nvidia Geforce 8200 - that also has a comparable PureVideo HD too.

    There's space for a graphics upgrade in the affordable build if need be - the HD 4000 series has UVD2 which has some additional features for HD 7.1 channel audio, but that's about it.
     
  9. Tulatin

    Tulatin The Froggy Poster

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    The Tyr seems like a disaster of a choice in these listings. I mean, $731. For a case. High end be damned, that extra cost could bring it from a Gaming PC in fancy pants to a real HTPC.

    You could have gone to an i7 build, along with a much stronger videocard, and a few tb of storage...
     
  10. mrb_no1

    mrb_no1 Pie Eater

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    and i7 build for a htpc, you dont gain anything from having an i7 build for a gaming rig, let alone a htpc! and if you want tb's of storage, plug some more hdd in.

    i do agree on the price of that lian li case, its outrageous, but if i was loaded i'd have it as i think it looks great!

    great guide rich, some nice work there and i didnt know about nvidia having that feature for slowing the fan speed even more when it detects blu ray playback, that is really very nice of them to include that!

    peace

    fatman
     
  11. ch424

    ch424 Design Warrior

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    Good guide, thank you! :)

    You could save £100+ on the "Affordable MicroATX" system by replacing the case and PSU with one of these. Yes it's ugly, but it's low profile, and the one I bought has a pretty much silent PSU. You would have to use a low-profile CPU cooler instead of that Zalman one though. I don't see how you can call £110 for a computer case "reasonably cheap".
     
    Last edited: 4 Feb 2009
  12. 1ad7

    1ad7 What's a Dremel?

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    Please continue these types of guides they absolutely rock. However we dont want good old bit tech turning into tom's hardware and releasing guides yet changing nothing. So in my opinion keep the monthly cycle for gaming machines no matter what but for things like HTPC or mini gaming pc's etc... only do as much as necessary. You guys are perfect now just wanted to at least point out the importance could become diminished if over used. : D
     
  13. Guest-16

    Guest-16 Guest

    Yes the Lian IS completely outrageous in the States. For once, from a Brit - LOL!! See how you like it! :p

    What absolutely pimp alternatives do you suggest? Im open to suggestions

    HOWEVER, compared to what some people spend on A/V kit - it's a drop in the ocean.

    1ad7 - It's every quarter for the HTPC one, perhaps every 6 months. We'll see ;)

    It's gotta be in your living room, on show - of anything in the build, the case is the absolute most important part. £110 is pretty cheap if it's an investment, when a lot of HTPC cases are 2-300 upwards
     
  14. Baz

    Baz I work for Corsair

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    This sort of guide will be quarterly, while our monthly updated buyers guide will continue as it is.
     
  15. aron311

    aron311 What's a Dremel?

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    Does the J&W Minix 780G do DVI-D or just DVI-I??

    Then could you use a splitter and get two DVI-I outputs? Up to 1920x1200 each right?

    I cant find any info on this anywhere!

    The problem is you can use either DVI or HDMI but not at the same time. The VGA works simultaneously but there's no way I can really use this the pic would be crap at that res using it all day.
     
  16. StooJ

    StooJ What's a Dremel?

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    Brilliant article. I hope you guys keep going with these (quarterly is fine) so that I can use them when I scrape the cash together to afford some more hardware.

    Next request for a guide: A quiet, efficient storage beast to use as a dedicated server for those linux servers we're all using since Guilder's early linux guides.
     
  17. Tulatin

    Tulatin The Froggy Poster

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    Honestly? Either a nice silverstone case, or an old beater, with her cables run back through the wall. A custom E-SATA enclosure could help out here. Still, it's a damn pricy case.
     
  18. ZERO <ibis>

    ZERO <ibis> Minimodder

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    I do not really see the point in the GIGABYTE GA-EG45M-DS2H they said that there was no "alternative Asus product" with HDMI...

    On newegg.com, the
    GA-EG45M-DS2H = 126.99
    P5N7A-VM =119.99

    Oh the P5N7A-VM is Asus WITH HDMI and even 16x Pci Express in fact the P5N7A-VM appears to eat the Gigabyte board for lunch and even costs less money. I do not understand why you would not use this ASUS board.

    Specs side by side:
    GIGABYTE| ASUS
    FSB: 1600 (O.C)/1333MHz | 1333/1066MHz
    N/B: Intel G45 | NVIDIA GeForce 9300/nForce 730i
    RAM: DDR2 1066 (O.C)/800 | DDR2 800
    PCI Express 16x: NONE | 1x
    PCI Express 4x: 1x | NONE
    PCI Express 1x: 1x | 1x

    The other specs are the same except that the ASUS board has 3 more Onboard USB headers.
     
  19. Predalien

    Predalien What's a Dremel?

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    I can't seem to understand something. Would the cheapest of these builds be able to run 1080p content? I'm talking, in the worst case, about mkv files with high bitrate and maybe not encoded in a way to take advantage os the GPU HD content hardware acceleration. There seems to be diferent opinions about this.

    If that build is not able to run high bitrate HD content without the need of the GPU, which AMD would be the first (and the cheapest) to be up to the task?
     
  20. Ghast

    Ghast uh...

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    The Antec Fusion already comes with a 430W PSU, why would you need to buy the one that was listed?
     
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