Quiet HTPC build

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Looking into building a HTPC, only use is playing original DVD-Videos, Mpeg-IV, MP3 & OGG music. DVI out to a LCD or Plasma TV. Audio out to AV Pre-amp (Dolby Digital & DTS) Possibly scaling to hi-definition. Not being used for gaming at all. Do I need a decent card for hi-definition or will the one below be suitable? Will this machine player hi-definition material without stuttering?

Can I buy the Microsoft IR receiver only? I already have access to the remote. I won't get the Zalman but only added that as a rough estimation of total cost. Which quiet cooler will fit into this case? Is the motherboard stable (bad experience with VIA motherboards) Is it cool running? or should I get another?

Antec Aria Micro ATX Cube Case - 300W PSU
Asus A8V-MX VIA K8M800 Micro ATX (Socket 939) Motherboard
AMD Athlon 64 3000+ Venice 90nm (Socket 939) OEM
MY-061-CS Corsair 1GB DDR Value Select PC3200 CAS3.0 Kit (2x512MB)
Samsung SH-D162 DVD-ROM (Black) - OEM
Zalman CNPS7700-CU Ultra-Quiet CPU Cooler - Retail
HIS Excalibur ATI Radeon 9250SE 128MB DDR TV-Out/DVI (PCI)
Samsung SpinPoint P HD080HJ 80GB SATA-II 8MB Cache - OEM
SW-009-MS Microsoft Windows XP Media Centre 2005 Remote Controller

About £380 so far. Not much data will be stored on the HD, mostly play off a burnt disc.
 
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Switch the motherboard for the MSI k8NGM2-FID if you can - then you won't need a seperate GFX card. The on board nvidia 6150gfx are good enough for everything you specified including HD and have both DVI and VGA ports.

If you can't get your hands on the MSI the Asus A8N-VM CSM is the alternative.

I'm not sure if the 7700 zalman will fit - it will be tight and depend on the mobo, but the smaller 92mm fanned version (7000 or 7500 can't remember) will cool a 3000+ venice at its slowest speed no problem.

Marc
 
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Cheers but I would rather have a ATI, the majority of HTPC'ers use ATI due to their supposed picture quality for video playback. So a motherboard without video is preferred. The Nforce runs pretty hot so that means more cooling. oh I could get OEM, use the heatpipe from my 4400 and at 1800rpm it's silent (geting Ninja soon)
 
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I just upgraded from a system with a radeon 9550 to the MSI and nvidia 6150gfx for the sole purpose of building a HTPC that is quiet.

I can't see any real picture quality difference between the 6150 and the 9550. Ati are acknolwedged to have the edge in image quality in 3D apps, but thats using the latest avivo cards - ie X1xxx upwards. In the htpc world more people seem to swear by the nvidia 6xxx and 7xxx cards, but I suspect this is more down to nvidia marketing purevideo well than any real advantage. Yes - the purevideo mpeg2 decoder is supposed to be the best (assuming you can get it to work properly) but it works just as well on Ati cards anyway. From my experience there isn't anything to choose between the two. I'd suggest an ati motherboard with integrated x300 gfx but they don't have DVI. I really don't hink a 9250 will give you any advantage over the on board 6150.

The nforce chipset with the integrated gfx is based on the 90nm process rather than the 110nm and therefore runs a LOT cooler than your usual NF4 board. All of the 6100 / 6150 chipset boards run passive with a small heatsink.

My MSI K8NGM2 + venice 3000+ and scythe ninja system runs with just a single 500rpm Nexus 120mm fan in PSU. Thats the only fan in the system! You really don't get any quieter than that!

Sounds like you're after similar things from your PC as I am - ie decent quality picture, low power and quiet. After a lot of reading and experimentation with different hardware (including ati cards) this is what i have ended up with.

Marc
 
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