New HTPC build log

21 06 2012

I am going to build a new HTPC for my family.

My current setup is this:
Aspire Revo R3600

Aspire Revo R3600
[CPU] Intel Atom 230 (1.6GHz, 1 core, 2 threads, 512KB L2 cache)
[RAM] 2GB DDR2 667MHz
[GPU] integrated 9400M (512MB shared memory)
[HDD1] Hitachi HTS543216L9A (internal 2.5″ – 160GB, 5400rpm)
[HDD2] Western Digital WD20EARS (external – 2TB, 3.5″)

It runs 24/7 with Ubuntu 12.04 (x86) and Gnome 3 (fallback mode).

I use it for web browsing from the couch, XBMC (for thousands of movies and TV shows), eMule, Vuze and it shares its contents with all the other PCs via SMB.

Since it’s been serving the whole family for more than 2 years (bought off eBay, used for 150€), it deserves a peaceful retirement 🙂

The next build will have these goals: smoothness, silence, low power consumption, XBMC and linux compliance.

At the moment I am just waiting for the new pieces to arrive 🙂

[CASE] Silverstone Grandia GD-06 (HTPC case, mATX, 4 x 3.5″ + 2 x 2.5″ HDD slots)
Silverstone GD-06
[PSU] Seasonic X-400 fanless (400W – 80+ Gold certified)
Seasonic X-400
[CPU] Intel Core i5-3570K (3.4-3.8GHz, 4 cores, 4 threads, 6MB cache)
Intel Core i5 3570K
[GPU] Intel HD4000 (integrated)
[M/B] Gigabyte GA-Z77MX-D3H (chipset Z77, mATX, 2 x SATA3, 4 x SATA2)
Gigabyte GA-Z77MX-D3H
[RAM] DDR3 1600hz PC12800 4GB AMD Entertainment Edition Patriot CL9 1.5V
[HDD1] Toshiba MK1637GSX (160GB, 2.5″) <- Old
[HDD2] Western Digital WD20EARS (2TB, 3.5″) <- Old
[HDD3] Western Digital WD30EZRX (3TB, 3.5″)

This is going to be mostly driven by the same SW as before.

Future improvements:

  • swap the 2.5″ drive for an SSD
  • pop in a BD player/writer
  • add a second 3TB drive
  • swap the integrated fans (Noctua?)
  • better CPU cooler (?)

I know this is an overkill config for an HTPC but:

  • I want it to be very efficient: no discrete VGA would be so efficient
  • I want it to be snappy: the old Atom is ok for HD videos, but it is super slow for everything else and playing a Flash video has become a pain in the ass
  • I want it to have a huge storage: 2 years of moderate downloading, mostly SD movies, have filled a 2TB drive…
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