New PC Build for DVD collection; Need some help

Hi guys,

First of all, then you for taking to time to read this. I’m new to cdfreaks, to this forum and have finally decided to do something about my mid-sized DVD collection (1200-ish).

Having investigated various options in terms of storage and access for my collection, I have plumped for the media-server option, with a bucketload of disk space.

I read an article recently which gave me a spec. for building a new burning, ripping and gaming PC (the latter I’m not so interested in);

GIGABYTE GA-EP35-DS3R LGA 775 Intel P35 ICH9R (8-SATA ports)
Intel Core 2 Duo E7200 Wolfdale (45nm) 2.53GHz 3MB L2 cache
2 GB DDR2-800 DIMM
SeaSonic S12 II SS-330GB ATX12V 330W “80 Plus” Power Supply
COOLER MASTER Stacker 830 Evolution RC-830-KKN3-GP Black
ICY DOCK MB455SPF-B 5 in 3 Multi Bay hot-swap backplane
PALiT NE/960TSX0252 GeForce 9600GT SONIC 512MB
(Quantity 6) Western Digital Caviar GP WD10EACS 1TB
(Quantity 6) LG Black 20X DVD burner (SATA)
Sabrent SBT-SRD4 PCI 4-port SATA I
Hauppauge WinTV-HVR-1250 MC - White Box 1187 PCI-Express

My problem is that even though the article is only 6 months old, it appears much of the technology has moved on - the motherboard appears difficult to get hold of - certainly here in Canada, and having limited PC architectural knowledge - I’m reluctant to start guessing whether I can interchange pieces. (I’m a software guy… don’t shoot me.)…

Ultimately, what I am wanting to achieve is to rip my entire library to disk - probably in ISO or VOB format (rather than compressing to mp4 - again, a personal quirk - and not knowing whether the compression will give me HD quality audio/video…)…

From there I plan on loading up a media center of sorts through my home entertainment system - I believe there are a number of options there - using a PS3 for example, wireless, TVersity etc - I’ll scour the forums for advice on that…

I guess what I need help with is to know what board/cpu/memory combination I should go with and whether all of the other pieces will be compatible…

Again, thanks for reading and my thanks in advance for any suggestions you might have.


Hardware is mostly irrelevant. Any mid-range or higher motherboard will work just fine. In your case, about the only real options that you need to watch for is the number of SATA ports. Only two things catch me eye. First, your power supply is questionable. I’d recommend something larger, more in the 550 range. Check out the Corsair line. You also don’t need 6 DVD drives, especially if you plan on ripping your movies to HDD. One would be sufficient and would free up 5 precious SATA ports. Also, assuming you are referring to standard DVD’s and not HD or Blu-Ray, you could save a lot of space by conversion to divx/xvid and not sacrifice much if any quality. At a minimum, RIP and save a movie only copy without the extras.

Thanks Dogg. Thanks very much for replying.

That sounds great. There appear to be a number of motherboard options beyond that E35 - I guess as long as I ensure I have matching memory/cpu, etc i should be ok. I believe newegg usually match these things up…

As for the power supply, interestingly enough it was a topic of discussion on the original article, the author argued that the actual power required was well under the supply’s limit… but many disagreed with the (complex) math… the unit they recommend is quoted as being in the $70-80 mark… will i be in that ballpark with the 550 supply?

the dvd-drives were included to facilitate quick ripping to the hard drives, doing 6 at a time instead of 1 cuts the big job down considerably - but you did answer another question that i had been pondering - that I can use the SATA ports freed up by the DVD-writers for more TB’s of hard drive - that’s VERY useful.

Thanks again for your help!

I’m also having a problem sourcing the video card - maybe it’s old technology - could anyone suggest a comparable one - within the same price range $150-170?

You could pick up an ATi 4850 series in that price range and get way more card. If you get one with an HDMI output you can drive your big screen directly. Also, you can get a motherboard that will have an optical digital audio output that you could run directly into your sound system.
Examples over in this post.

Thanks Icy. I had actually never considered the Sound aspect.

This is becoming evermore complex - not being overly familiar with architecture, my biggest concerns are that I’m going to spend $$ on components that are incompatible with one another. Those mistakes could prove to be costly when ordering online, and I’m less than keen on going into a big box store and buying an off-the shelf setup - not when there are so many options available.

I guess what I really need is to figure out how I determine what pieces go with what - how clock speeds/chip speeds, etc should match… I really don’t know enough about those things…

Either that, or I find a charitable soul on here who can come up with a configuration as close to the above but with current product…
I think I’m happy with the case/disk/drive bay/stacker/dvd portion of the setup… but I could really do with a pointer on the motherboard/memory/cpu/videocard/soundcard pieces…

please, pretty please…:wink:

OK, here’s an updated config…

I’d appreciate if someone could skim over it and see if there are any obvious compatibility issues… or any recommendations regarding value-for-money options…

Many thanks in advance (again) and your help is very much appreciated.

6 x LG 20X DVD±R DVD Burner w/ SecurDisc Tech Black SATA Model GH20NS15

COOLER MASTER Stacker 830 Evolution RC-830-KKN3-GP Black Aluminum ATX Full Tower Computer Case

6 x Western Digital Caviar Green WD10EADS 1TB SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive

ICY DOCK MB455SPF-B Multi-Bay Backplane Module

Hauppauge WinTV-HVR-1250 MC - White Box 1187 PCI-Express x1 Interface

GIGABYTE GV-N98TOC-512H GeForce 9800 GT 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card

SeaSonic S12 Energy Plus SS-550HT 550W ATX12V V2.3 / EPS12V V2.91 SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Power Supply

G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F2-6400CL5D-4GBPQ

GIGABYTE GA-EP45-UD3R LGA 775 Intel P45 ATX Intel Motherboard

Intel Core 2 Duo E7400 Wolfdale 2.8GHz LGA 775 65W Dual-Core Processor Model BX80571E7400

Koutech IO-PSA420 32-bit PCI SATA II Controller Card

[QUOTE=gajit;2212754]I’m also having a problem sourcing the video card - maybe it’s old technology - could anyone suggest a comparable one - within the same price range $150-170?[/QUOTE]
Just get one of the all-in-one AMD/ATI boards. I have one and it works well. HDMI output with HD audio to boot. Mine only cost $90 at the time. Pop in a $50 X2 and you are ready to go. Runs cool and ultra quiet.

Here’s a newer version.

[QUOTE=MysticEyes;2213475]Just get one of the all-in-one AMD/ATI boards. I have one and it works well. HDMI output with HD audio to boot. Mine only cost $90 at the time. Pop in a $50 X2 and you are ready to go. Runs cool and ultra quiet.

Here’s a newer version.[/QUOTE]

Thanks. So that’s an AMD motherboard… you say X2 … what CPU would you recommend?.. and will that all work with the rest of that config?

Will integrated video do the job as opposed to the video adaptor?

Judging by the images of the E45 board, Digital audio is there…

[QUOTE=gajit;2213492]Thanks. So that’s an AMD motherboard… you say X2 … what CPU would you recommend?.. and will that all work with the rest of that config?

Will integrated video do the job as opposed to the video adaptor?

Judging by the images of the E45 board, Digital audio is there…[/QUOTE]
I meant an AMD X2, the fancy newer ones aren’t needed.

This one is more than enough:

The on-board ATI HD3200 handles all the decoding in hardware. I can play those 1080p.HDDVD.x264 rips floating around without breaking a sweat. The quality is super. You also don’t need a fancy cooler or power supply. I got this one on sale it’s quiet and more than enough.

I can’t stress enough how quiet my rig is.

Thanks to price wars, most cpu/MB combination’s available are plenty fast enough for HD video (be aware, if they are dvd rips, the are SD video, and even if they are output at higher resolution, there is a lot less source information, so they take even less, substantially less power to play). Dual core athlons have become entry level (it wasn’t that long ago they were top of the line). If you think you may ever change your mind about converting to h.264 or anything like that, a more powerful processor might be helpful. As far as video playback, its plenty, and as far as ripping, ripping doesn’t take a lot of cpu power. My htpc is running on a single core athlon 64 and plays dvd rips just fine (SD doesn’t take a lot of power). I would personally get a dual or quad core intel if I was building a new system, but its not necessary if you want to keep cost down. About a MB with onboard video though. The links not working for me, bet I assume its microatx. How many pci slots do you have (enough for a sound card, tuner card, sata controller and anything else you might want to add?

If the onboard video doesn’t prove to be enough, you can always add a video card. Ati seems to be what everyone prefers for htpc’s (including me) so look at 2***/3***/4*** series cards. You don’t have to get a 180$ card either (unless you really want to spend that much). Video playback (even HD) doesn’t require high end video cards like gaming does. A 50$ ati card will do the job quite nicely. The onboard will most likely play most if not all Hd video, and will play all SD video, and you dvd rips ar SD video. The option to upgrade and ad a card still remains.

I would NOT go with that antec power supply though. Antecs are good (I’m running antec power supplies in all my computers because you can get them on sale cheap), but its NOT big enough. I would have though that with all those drives, it wouldn’t have been big enough, but I have an lg gh22ns30 in front of me and crapped my pants when I looked at the power requirements. Most opticals take about 1.5 amps give or take but this one wants 3.6 amps!!! That’s 2 amps on the 12v line, and 1.6 amps on the 5v line. Lets look at your 12v requirements alone (I’m assuming the s15 is similar in power to the s30).

6 lg opticals 12 amps (144 watts)
6 hard drives 6 amps/72 watts (guesstimate, couldn’t find specs on the wd)
65 watt x2 (realize some other processors may take 100 watts or more).
add in video card if you get one (70 watts or less if it uses the pci-e slot only, more than 70 watts if it has an extra power connector). Glancing at pictures on newegg, several 4830’s have an extra power connector (starts at about 90$) while the lower models don’t seem to. Lets figure 70 watts.

That alone is 351 watts and that antec power supply is rated at 360 watts max. Several other parts use 12v power, so its not big enough. Lets add the 1.6 amps each lg takes on the 5 volt and 0.5 amps for the hard drives (63 watts total), and you are now at 414 watts on a 430 watt power supply. We haven’t added power for memory, sound card, controller card, fans, motherboard, usb and fire wire devices and everything else. If you want that many drives, you need to go with a pretty big power supply. Antecs are fine but you need a bigger one (and if you want an antec, watch for sales on newegg, frys and micro center).

There is no reason you couldn’t go with 4 1.5 TB hard drives or 3 2TB hard drives either.

As far as hooking it up to the tv(s) and stereo, you mentioned ps3 etc. Be aware for your main tv, your video card can output straight to it (many cards can adapt to component, composite, s video, hdmi or whatever you want). Your sound card can output direct to your sound system. You can run an htpc front end (software) so that you can see, be able to read, and control media playback, tv viewing and recording and such from across the room on any tv, and you can use a remote control to control it.
As far as other rooms, 10/100 Ethernet does sd fine and 10/100/1000 does HD fine (you might even be able to do some HD on 10/100). Are there computers in other rooms where there are tv’s? All you need to do is make the hard drives viewable to the other computers (share them and or remap them). You can basically just play everything directly from this computer you are looking at building on your main tv.

Drop the G.Skill crap (violates JEDEC), get Corsiar/Crucial/Mushkin instead (1.8V).
You probably want something else than the WD Green HDDs, Hitachi 7K1000.B or WD Blue/Black series.
Get a video card from AverTV instead of Hauppauge, it’s in general well worth it.
The controller card has (apparently) SiL3112a which makes me shiver, don’t go there :wink:

As what’s said earlier, HD will do fine with integrated graphics but keep in mind that far from all HD material will be hardware accelerated so you’ll need a beefy CPU. I wouldn’t go below E8400 in performance if you want to be sure. You’ll fewer SATA ports although when you go for mATX / Integrated / AMD in general.


Thanks ripit for such a lengthy and informative response.

I had upped the specs to include a 550W, although the original article here;

goes into discussion in the subsequent e-mails to justify such a low rated unit. Obviously I’ve upped my spec since then, and plan on adding more drive anyway… so I’ll go with the bigger supply anyway.

The mb spec says, PCI Express 2.0 x16 = 1
PCI Express x1 = 3
PCI Slots = 3

I think that’s sufficient, and I’ll take your advice and go with the onboard video initially and take it from there. I may need that extra slot for a NIC … which I’d completely forgotten about… DOH…

As for the rest

I’m wary of the 2TB drives until I see some positive reviews… but I may go with the WD 1.5Tb…

Thanks again for your feedback…

Diizy, thanks for your help too… I think im fairly settled with the config I have - and only going with the 1 drive for now… so we’ll see how it plays out… but I will ditch the G.SKILL memory… I usually get mine from crucial… newegg just paired it up wth the mb…

Thanks again guys…

Is this the board you decided on?
GIGABYTE GA-EP45-UD3R LGA 775 Intel P45 ATX Intel Motherboard
if so, that is a full size atx motherboard. that is why there is no shortage of expansion slots. It also means no onboard video though (from what I can tell). Its not the end of the world though. You can get a video card for 30-40$ that will beat onboard video (or more if you want to spend it). Most micro atx boards have onboard video, but few expansion slots. Most full size atx do not have onboard video, but have more expansion slots. Its a trade off on a budget system. Personally I would never build an htpc on a micro atx board as you generally need the slots.

One other thing. You mentioned a slot for a nic. I’m not sure if you are going wireless or wired (I would recommend wired if you are streaming video), but the motherboard has built in gigibit lan.


thanks ripit…

here’s the board;

i never bothered looking at the specs for the video… i just saw the image and i saw the component video outputs, etc… and assumed it had video… AARRRGGH… (why does the board have the video outputs if there is no onboard chipset?..)…

ripit, sorry to be a pain… but could you recommend me an INTEL-based mobo and cpu that’ll do the job?.. ful size, with the expansion slots i need… pci and SATA? - and something that doesn’t muss with the rest of the spec…

just when i thought i’d nailed it… arrghh

Unfortunately I’m not much of an expert on motherboard. I’m kind of a cheap bastard and good intel motherboard are quite expensive. If you like that motherboard, I would just stick with it. While there is no rule saying it has to be this way, micro atx boards have always been the budget boards, and are the only ones that normally have onboard video. If you like that board, I would just stick with it, all your higher end and enthusiast boards are atx, and none of them have onboard video. While there is nothing wrong with micro atx boards in general, they are physically smaller and therefor cannot have as many slots. My personal opinion is, with an htpc (Home theater personal computer), you need the extra slots and should stick with a full size atx board (which will not have onboard video). You can get a ati 2000 series video card for under 40$ (I recently got a 2600xt on clearance for 40$, no tax, free shipping from newegg), and it will beat onboard video. I’m not trying to talk you out of a micro atx board that has onboard video as it is the cheapest way to go, but personally I would stick with full atx and a video card for an htpc, even though it is more expensive. you will need the extra slots.

On a side note, be aware that pci-e 1 cards (the little short slot) tend to be a lot more expensive (not always but in many cases). Its actually superior in the way it interfaces, but cards cost more. I have a full size abit atx board on my htpc, and recently had to use a pci-e 1 slot for a controller card. From just looking quick, sound cards and or sata controller cards seem to be the most economical way to use your pci-e 1 slots.

Intel P45 never had and never will have onboard video…
Exactly what’s the issue? The Gigaboard board is very good and has more SATA connections than what a mATX would have.

As a side note, 2600XT is quite old and for below 50$ you can get a 4650 which is way better in all ways… :wink:

Personally I’m waiting for 5TB drives, before I make a movie box. Its going to be a while before they come around (2012?). Hopefully the neo-cons wont start a nuclear war before then :wink:

Your right to say that the 1TB drives are a safer bet, the 1.5TB drives from seagate have some big issues that supposedly a firmware update solves, but I wouldn’t trust them personally. The price of the 2TB drives will come down, depends if you have the money to burn now, or wait a little.

They have MB’s with 10SATA ports they are pretty expensive though.

For this build you don’t need a super cpu, the E5200 Wolfdale 2.5GHz will work fine.

[QUOTE=DiiZzY;2215306]Intel P45 never had and never will have onboard video…
Exactly what’s the issue? The Gigaboard board is very good and has more SATA connections than what a mATX would have.

As a side note, 2600XT is quite old and for below 50$ you can get a 4650 which is way better in all ways… :wink:

Where are you seeing a 4650 for under 50$? The cheapest on newegg is 74$. Of course the cheapest 2600xt right now is 74$, but as newegg is discontinuing some of them, you are more likely to get them on sale cheap with no rebates and free shipping if you catch them at the right time. For the same price though, the 4650 would obviously be the better deal. I guess it just depends on what you find on sale.