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I want to build you a computer

prophetik music

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I want to upgrade my fans. Even tho my computer is 7-8 years old, is works great. My main priority is noise right now, and I know silent fans exist but don't know what to buy.

My PC is basically a 6000+ AMD in an Asus M2N-E (with the pipe), 8Gb HyperX (800 MHz lol) and 9800GT (512Mb).

This seems like a good deal ($2/fan!): http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835103052

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  • 1 month later...

First of all, I don't want to hijack this thread, so feel free to ignore my question if it doesn't fit here...

I'm trying to build myself an HTPC. Since I live in Germany, ordering from you is sadly out of question. So I'm 'just' looking for advice...

Here's what I want to be able to do with this HTPC:

* watch videos from my NAS (which I have already)

* listen to music from my NAS

* watch DVDs and BluRays (D'oh!)

* watch and record live TV via satellite (more on this later)

* play emulated games (let's see up to which generation)

* play some modern PC games (mostly multiplayer)

Here's the part list which I'm looking to buy: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/FkFRzy

The HTPC will run Win7, XMBC and Steam, I already own a Logitech K400r and several XBox360 game pads for input.

Can anyone here tell me his experience with these parts? I'm especially interested in the TV card! I live in Germany and have a satellite receiver with a HD+ card (needed for receiving the HD channels) which I want to replace with this HTPC. Will the selected TV card do? Do I need anything else? Do the same restrictions as 'normal' HDTV apply, e. g. not being able to fast forward etc.?

Feel free to answer here or in the Reddit post I made here:


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i had a setup like this for a while. keeping up on bluray program updates was astonishingly annoying. since you already have a NAS - is it a NAStybox where it's just a PC in a corner, or is it a real NAS? - i'd suggest using a combination of Plex, chromecast, a real blu-ray player, and a normal gaming PC hooked to your system.

my media server at home is a POS computer crammed into a case behind a chair in my office. i run Plex on it - a low-overhead media converter - and use my smartphone to cast media to my TV. if i don't have my phone, my sony blu-ray player can do it as well via the interface (it sees it as a media server). chromecast is 35$, the bluray player was 100$ on amazon, and my server is junk i had sitting around. in your instance, you could run plex on the computer you plan on using for gaming, and just point it at your NAS for the content. you'd have to have the gaming pc on for media, but it's not a big tradeoff.

nice thing about plex is that it'll nab media from most major websites via plugins. not sure about german stuff specifically.

regarding the PC, you're dishing out for a great case and CPU but majorly skimping on the motherboard, you have no graphics card, and that PSU is not the greatest. go corsair for the PSU (their 550w and 650w model is in that range), get a mini-itx tower like the bitfenix prodigy instead so you can fit a real graphics card in there, go with a smaller CPU since most games aren't CPU limited unless you're doing MMOs (the 4150 looks good for the price), and get a real graphics card. the prodigy can fit decent-sized cards so the 560/660 range of nvidia cards looks nice there, and it'll fit a seasonic or corsair lower-power PSU just fine. use the psucalculator to determine the size (add 20% to whatever it spits out).

it'd look something like:


4-8gb ram

gigabyte GA-H97M-D3H mobo

prodigy case

750Ti/r7 265/660 gfx card

550w PSU, ideally bronze or better for heat

samsung 250gb 840 evo (7TE250BW is my fav currently)

tuner card

it'd be less cash as a whole but a more functional system for what you're doing. if you really want to rev it up go with a bigger CPU, but that one's small enough you can go with stock cooling easy or get a low-overhead noctua or xigmatek aftermarket if you want.

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Thank you very much for your thoughts!

After some hours of research I'm not so sure anymore if I really want to build an HTPC. As I understand it now, there's no legal way to receive HDTV (using HD+) with this (as the system seems to be closed). So my ultimate goal of replacing most devices cannot be reached, sadly. The HTPC would be another box in my shelf...

I do already have a BluRay player (combined with an A/V-receiver), a Raspberry Pi (2nd gen, running RaspXBMC) and a ChromeCast. I'm just not really satisfied with these things... The NAS is a real one by Synology, a DS212+ (great thing, best decision to get that thing).

Well, if I change my mind, I will consider your input and build some cheaper HTPC! Again, thanks for your input!

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from my experience, there's no clean way to replace all your boxes with one supersystem and not have to deal with updates all the time. you can, however, move stuff around and put it elsewhere (like having a media server via Plex that handles your electronic media). i will note that i used xbmc for a long time, and while the interface for xbmc is better the compatibility with everything for Plex (and the ability to send to your smartphone easily) and chromecast made Plex a clear winner in my mind.

let me know if you change your mind and i'll help you out =)

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anyone looking to purchase a new (large) power supply in the coming months:


the HX and AX series of power supplies by corsair are easily the best computer components i've ever purchased, in terms of quality, longevity compared to others in that class of component, and price. 170$ for a 750w, 92%+ efficiency power supply is a steal when you consider that they offer a seven-year warranty in a world of 2- and 3-years. a comparison: the seasonic 460w in my music PC is also a highly-decorated and reviewed PSU, but it's only lasted 3 years (twice now, i've had two die on me within warranty). this is for a system that might see 25 hours a month in usage, compared to me having my main system running probably 50-60hrs a week minimum for five years straight.

i've had my AX850 for almost five years now, and it still puts out close to 85% of its rated power (most PSUs degrade at a rate of 5-10% per year depending on usage) at roughly 88-90% efficiency across the board. stunning performance. that's considering it spent two years hooked up to a power inverter because the house we lived in had poorly-grounded outlets, too. no other component has outperformed its specs for so long. it still can do bursts over 900w, as well (the peak i measured it outputting when i bought it was almost 1k for a few seconds during system startup).

i rarely plug components but this is one i'm anxiously looking at. i'm sure my AX will die at some point (either because of so many years of usage or from kids), and i'll be eyeing the HXi series when it does.

Edited by prophetik music
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  • 3 months later...

a few notes:

yes, i'm still doing this. also, i'm looking to move some spare parts along the pipeline, so let me know if you're interested in buying a computer. of note is the graphics card i got about a year ago (HD 7870, 2gb VRAM, GHz edition, by powercolor). i also have an HTPC case available that i'd be willing to sell to whomever is interested, along with a 150w picoPSU (about the size of your thumb, basically as small as it gets, 98% efficiency, external transformer about the size of an xbox power brick) to use with it.

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For the moment I'm still sitting on my current computer, but I may be looking to upgrade in the somewhat near future.

In the meantime, though, I need to expand my disk space, so I was wondering if you had any suggestions. I'm currently looking at buying a pair of 4TB WD Green or Red drives, especially since they seem to have gone on sale the past few days. I wanted to jump for the 6TB, but that's still too expensive. I'd be getting two of the drives because I want to have backups of all my data drives' contents. I already have a 1TB and a 3TB drive paired with a backup of the same size, but they're all in the same desktop, which isn't ideal for keeping secure backups.

So what I'm thinking is this: get an external enclosure 4 bays and put all the backup drives in that, while keeping the original drives in the PC. Then it'd just be daily replications of the drives from the PC to the backups. I'd prefer a NAS I think, but a 4-bay NAS is god damn expensive! Like, holy crap. I guess it's justified because they're basically specialized computers, but still, out of my current budget.

Anyway, I'm just asking for any thoughts on drives and enclosures. Right now I'm looking at either the Green or the Red WD drives, and this enclosure.

EDIT: Actually, now that I think about it, I have a spare desktop that I could put the drives in. I wonder how feasible it would be to convert it to a NAS...

Edited by HalcyonSpirit
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i use an old media pc as a media server now. if you're using cobian or other free alternatives, any pc will work as a 'server' or NAStybox. it sits behind a chair in my room. i've got it set up that i can remote into it via a link on my desktop (using RDP) so i never hook it to a monitor or anything.

i'd recommend the red versions of WD drives. my 3tb is fantastic. greens are...not as good of quality in my opinion.

let me know when it's time to upgrade. you were doing meteorology stuff, right? i bet some of the new processors and their theoretical processing limits have you salivating =)

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  • 4 months later...

All right, it's time again. I'm going to be buying myself a new computer. 5 years ago I bought a Gateway NV59 (320GB HD, 4GB RAM, i5 processor, 15.6" screen) for $600. I'm using it right now, but I'm going to give it away and I need a little advice for the next one. I remember back when I got this, someone here said that it would break the first time I dropped it, but it still works with no problems at all.

I was just at best buy, and I can't believe that laptops are still just as expensive as they were back then. I also found out that you can't get one with windows 7 off the shelf and you need to get it ordered from their website and shipped to their store.

I'm not looking for a gaming pc. Out of the 5 years that I have had this game, I have only ever put Fable 1 and Starcraft 1 on it. What can I say? I'm a console gamer. What I am looking for is a good priced one that I can use for work, that will also last me a long time. What brands should I avoid? How much is ripping me off? And why haven't the price gone down after these several years? Thanks.

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is there a real and specific need to game on the go on that laptop? if so, you're going to need to shell out a bit of cash, and make some sacrifices. a discrete graphics card, which you need for even some more basic games, uses a lot more power and definitely costs more bank than an integrated solution.

it sounds like you have a laptop now that works pretty well for what you're doing. so why replace that? use it as a mobile machine, and get a desktop. you can get twice the PC for the same price. or, if you're set on giving it away, distill what you use it for (probably browsing and stuff) and replace it with something that does that, like a tablet or cheap chromebook, and use the money you've not spent on a new laptop on that desktop.

if you're set on a laptop, you've gotta think about what you'll want a few years from now. things like hard drive space are easily expandable, so don't pay up-front for tons of spare space. along those lines, RAM is usually pretty cheap to buy aftermarket and install yourself, so don't pay a ton for whatever markup they put on it. focus on a big CPU, and if you plan on gaming, a decent graphics card. most games aren't multithreaded right now, let alone use a quad core to capacity, so focus more on getting a modern CPU with a high base clockrate (not turbo clockrate) rather than more cores. even a few years from now, i'd be surprised if fully multi-threaded games came out that used a slower quad better than a fast dual-core. additionally, dual-cores are much more power efficient and last longer on battery. also, in general, i prefer intel's CPUs but that's more personal lately than anything. in the past, they were just about always better than AMD, but AMD's mobile CPUs are making a comeback, so don't totally discount them.

regarding GPUs, i still use this as a good comparison. there's so many mobile versions now that it's difficult to keep track.

note that if you're not planning on gaming, a discrete GPU isn't really needed.

regarding brands, i prefer lenovo. beyond that...there's really a lot less difference between the major manufacturers than there used to be. in terms of build quality, you want an outer shell of either strong, solid plastic or metal, that features a solid hinge that hinges on the outside edges of the case (rather than a central hinge which is more stressful on the material) and doesn't flex much when you twist on the bias. you want a solidly-grounded power input with a large plug where it enters the computer, a keyboard that isn't dead-center on the laptop top (where it'll put your hand over a hot HDD or CPU), and a cooling system that uses both a sizable air intake on the bottom and a good-sized blower on the side. you'll also want a chill pad of some sort to set it on when you're not using it but it's on - anything that reduces the heat stress of the internal components is a good thing to have.

you'll likely end up with something like this in the long run. there are few options out there that pair a good CPU and a decent GPU (the 840M is surprisingly powerful for the size!) without having to also pay for things like a big HDD and a bunch of extra RAM. if you can find one with a smaller HDD and just replace it with a 120gb SSD, you're set for a long time.

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I'm giving my computer to someone who needs it, not just upgrading for the fun of it like people do with cell phones every time there is a new model. You just demonstrated why I'm a console gamer. No offence to those who like to customize, and get every upgrade they could ever want, but it's just easier to buy a PS4 and plug it in. Really, I'm not interested in playing any modern games on it but thank you for putting all that down for me.

Like I mentioned, I'm looking to see which brands to avoid and how much to spend for a computer that will last me several years. Not any specs in particular. I'm probably going to avoid HP because both my brothers had bad experiences with it. I would lean gateway, but the selection for them is really narrow. I'm honestly surprised that Acer is so popular and has such good reviews. (This list is all windows 7 operated and organized by reviews)


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I actually can't say I'm surprised Acers are rated so highly. For a run-of-the-mill laptop, my Acer Aspire 5250 has done really well. I've enjoyed using it, haven't had any OEM-based problems, software or otherwise *cough HP cough*. The one I'm using now is about three or four years old this past Christmas, and could probably go on for several more as my main PC. However, it's not the most music-friendly computing solution so I may end up buying a dedicated music computer in the near future, and if I end up getting a desktop I will definitely keep my Acer around. 9/10 Would buy again (not 10/10 because shit happens).

TC, I think prophetik misread your post and thought that you were looking for a gaming laptop, as opposed to the inverse. :-P

Edited by Anorax
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i did think he wanted a gaming laptop. along those lines, anorax, i just so happen to be selling my music pc, so ping me if you're interested. it'd be going for a very heavy discount...like, 8 cores and 12gb for less than half what i paid for it.

if you need to pick a brand, and only one brand, lenovo still makes the toughest general-use laptops out there. you pay for it, though. acers are also pretty solid in-general.

i'll also point to chromebooks if you think your use can make that work - they're like 150-200$, so even if it's garbage, you throw it out three years in a row and buy a new one, and it's still cheaper than most general laptops for the same period of time. and it's a freaking new computer each year.

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  • 2 weeks later...

looks like a decent deal. it's not a seven-year laptop but it'll do pretty good. the slow HDD is the biggest issue - spend 75$ for a 128gb SSD at some point and you'll be really surprised at the performance difference.

aspire's kinda the standard acer line - they're not show-stoppers in build quality but they're also not hp/walmart specials.

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Found a good one I think. Anyone want to weigh in on this? Acer Aspire. The larger screen is a bonus.


Looks good should be able to run most new games at low / medium settings, and on high with severe frame rate drop, but you're probably not getting it for gaming.

Price is fair I guess, I got a 2.5ghz on eBay a while back for $415 but it was used. I'm still using it and it's great. Not sure if it's the same model but it has the same specs.

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Looks good should be able to run most new games at low / medium settings, and on high with severe frame rate drop, but you're probably not getting it for gaming.

Price is fair I guess, I got a 2.5ghz on eBay a while back for $415 but it was used. I'm still using it and it's great. Not sure if it's the same model but it has the same specs.

on laptops, it's especially true that ghz don't matter. i've seen 1.8ghz low-power CPUs well out-perform systems with a 2.5ghz CPU. it's about cooling - and, by extension, the generation of chip you're using, which in turns controls the performance of said chips.

topher, define breaking the bank. it's a common misconception that SFF PCs are cheaper than PCs because they're smaller. in truth, just like with laptops, miniaturization means you step back on performance or quality for the same price. if you want a bigbox machine, cyberpower's vapor pc is a nice system that you can really scale down - i was able to get a decent 'budget' system for 775, and that included a ton of stuff i wouldn't normally get like peripherals. you can easily build a mini-ITX system with an SSD for a pretty good price, too, and the nicest thing about that is that most of the low-power CPUs work for lower-end steam games as well. this in turn means that you might be able to get away with an external power supply, like a picoPSU.

if you want, i can price out a basic system. heck, i've got a spare case and PSU sitting around that might fit what you're looking for.

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