I’ve been meaning to rig up an HTPC for a while now. After much procrastinating about it, I’ve decided to really set myself to it. Since it's a HTPC, I guess a quiet
machine is good enough - I do not necessarily need to strive for the highest degree of silence. I just don't want to hear a whine from the fans from 2-3 meters away when there are quiet scenes in a movie.
I have a 50 inch 1080p TV to connect the HTPC to via HDMI for sound and picture - I do not have separate speakers or amplifier yet, and although I wouldn’t rule it out, it is not in my immediate plans.
Now, I have a fairly good idea of what I want the HTPC to be able to do:
- Watch Blu-rays discs and DVDs (I have a fair number of physical disks at home)
- Mount and watch ISOs of Blu-rays and DVDs
- Play some music / radio (MP3s, Youtube, live radio streams, podcasts, etc)
- Netflix / Amazon Prime movies and TV shows
- Possibly serve as a backup storage. I have three 1TB disks, and one 3TB disk, and I haven’t decided yet if I want to put those in a separate NAS server, or in the HTPC. I want to keep my options open, so that means a mATX format (microITX and smaller are out of the way)
- Occasional gaming: I want to be able to occasionally move the HTPC into another room, and be able to play some games (e.g. CounterStrike, Stalker, Civilization 5, Heroes of Might and Magic - nothing besides Stalker perhaps that seems wildly crazy in terms of GPU requirements)
- Occasionally put a memory card from my camera and watch the photos on the TV
- Watch / record live TV. At least I want that door to be open in the future, even if I don’t do it now.
- IR / Bluetooth / RF receiver for a remote. But I’m thinking I’ll use my phone / tablet as the primary way to control the HTPC.
I tend to keep my machines around for a long while, so I don’t mind overpowering it a little bit, so long as I’m not doing something crazy like quadrupling the cost of the machine, or having an uneven build where half the components are way overpowered, and half are way underpowered.
Here’s what I have in mind so far:Case
: Silverstone GD05B USB 3.0 Grandia HTPC Black Micro ATX Case (http://www.scan.co.uk/products/silverst ... ck-w-o-psu
I wanted the microATX form factor. I don’t need the fancy LCD display on the case - actually, that might be a distraction more than anything when watching movies.
Now, I’m a bit concerned that I’m limited to 70mm clearance for the CPU heatsink + fan with the GD05B because of the Blu-ray drive. But the Lian Li is quite a bit more money. Thoughts?PSU
: Seasonic SS-400FL2 400W 80+ (http://www.scan.co.uk/products/400w-sea ... atx-silent
Yes, it’s expensive, but it’s fanless (so quiet), and modular (so I can improve airflow in the case easily). Although I’ve heard some say that fanless was not necessarily best because of the reduced airflow; with the components I chose, is that likely to be a problem for either case?CPU
: Intel i5-4570S (http://www.ebuyer.com/467627-cpu-core-i ... 646i54570s
I know AMD is supposed to have a better GPU in their APUs, but I figure the HD4600 in Haswell should be good enough for many games, and if I have a game that requires more, I might as well get a dedicated graphics card at that point. Plus Intel CPUs are supposed to run quite a bit cooler, which matters to me since I want quiet operation.CPU cooler
: Scythe SCBSK-2100 Big Shuriken 2 Rev.B Low Profile CPU Cooler (http://www.scan.co.uk/products/scythe-b ... lus-am3-am
Given that I want to install a Blu-ray drive in the HTPC, I have a maximum of 70mm clearance for the CPU cooler for Silverstone. That restricts the choice of CPU coolers quite a bit.
With the Lian Li, I might be able to go with something else, such as the Noctua NH-C12P or Noctua NH-L12. Maybe that’d be better?Motherboard
: Asus Z87-K (http://www.scan.co.uk/products/asus-z87 ... ie-30-(x16
: Corsair Memory Vengeance Jet Black Low Profile 8GB DDR3 (http://www.scan.co.uk/products/8gb-(2x4gb
Maybe 4GB would be enough?Storage
: Crucial 256GB M550 SSD (http://www.scan.co.uk/products/256gb-cr ... -90k-80k-i
Alternative choices:Blu-ray drive, hard drive
: I already have.
Thoughts? Comments? Suggestions?