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HTPC build hardware help!

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June 14, 2013 9:30:43 PM

I really need help, I'm feeling more and more frustrated with this project.
What I'm attempting to do is ditch my TWC dvr with all of its fees and replace it with a HTPC-dvr and cable card that's able to stream movies/tv/music from my NAS. Preferably to any tv in the house, but specifically to the smart tv in the living room.
I would also like to do it as cheap as possible, spending really only what I need to to get a build to do what I want, and focus on power efficiency and low noise instead of high end components.
Problem is, I'm running into a lot of difficulty picking hardware. It's a bit overwhelming trying to figure out what will work best for what I want to do. Hell I can't even decide on a case.
I've been advised the HDHomeRun Prime is my best option for the cable card, and a AMD APU is better than an Intel choice, but the motherboard options are not so clear.
In fact very little has been clear about this whole thing.
So, can anyone help with some perspective? Or hell just tell me what to buy and why? The wife is getting tired of me changing my mind on things and just wants this done.

More about : htpc build hardware

June 14, 2013 11:33:34 PM

The parts really are determined by your wants and expectaions of the htpc. Do you want small and sleek or a powerfull future-proof htpc? Based on what you want your machine to do, your budget, and usually the biggest influence is what your wife wants (normally visually apsects). What software are you planning on using?

Here is what I put in mine and why.

Mobo- ASROCK FM2A75 Pro4. Has everything you could possibly need for an awesome HTPC, comes in mini,micro,and atx.
(I picked the full atx)

CPU- If your wannting 3D or really want to future proof the system go with the A-8 or the A-10. The new richland series just came out but they don't seem to out do the trinity series by that much so save a few bucks and go trinity. I went with the A-6 sense I dont plan on adding 3-d or updating my tv any time soon.

Case- nMEDIAPC Black Aluminum / Acrylic / Steel HTPC 6000B ATX Media Center
It being a full ATX case allows you to have the room to do which ever board size, looks great, and has enough internal room to allow the heat to disapate without to many fans, and its only $80!

You really only need 2-4 GB of ram but I went ahead with the over kill an did 8GB.
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June 15, 2013 7:33:21 AM

yakub268 said:
The parts really are determined by your wants and expectaions of the htpc. Do you want small and sleek or a powerfull future-proof htpc? Based on what you want your machine to do, your budget, and usually the biggest influence is what your wife wants (normally visually apsects). What software are you planning on using?

Here is what I put in mine and why.

Mobo- ASROCK FM2A75 Pro4. Has everything you could possibly need for an awesome HTPC, comes in mini,micro,and atx.
(I picked the full atx)

CPU- If your wannting 3D or really want to future proof the system go with the A-8 or the A-10. The new richland series just came out but they don't seem to out do the trinity series by that much so save a few bucks and go trinity. I went with the A-6 sense I dont plan on adding 3-d or updating my tv any time soon.

Case- nMEDIAPC Black Aluminum / Acrylic / Steel HTPC 6000B ATX Media Center
It being a full ATX case allows you to have the room to do which ever board size, looks great, and has enough internal room to allow the heat to disapate without to many fans, and its only $80!

You really only need 2-4 GB of ram but I went ahead with the over kill an did 8GB.


I outlined pretty well what I wanted in the op. Software will be Win7.
I don't care about 3D. 3D television is dead and 3D movies suck, I wear glasses anyway and trying to watch anything in 3d is annoying and gives me a headache.
I want small, energy efficient, and quiet.
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June 16, 2013 1:03:13 AM

I like AMD APU's for HTPC's due to the fact that they eliminate the need for a graphics card, and compaired to intells i3-i5 the graphics are much better. Also the Richland APU's are brand new and are more expensive then the Trinity series but they run slightly cooler and have a few newinstructions I think are pretty cool for a HTPC.

Heres your power house ultra quite HTPC:
PCPartPicker part list: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/16W1v
Benchmarks: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/16W1v/benchmarks/

CPU: AMD A8-6500 3.5GHz Quad-Core Processor

Motherboard: ASRock FM2A75M-ITX Mini ITX

Memory: A-Data Gaming Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR3-1600 Memory

Storage: Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive

Case: Silverstone SST-SG06B-USB3.0 (Black) Mini ITX Desktop Case w/300W Power Supply

These Optional add ons will result in a much quiter and speedier system:

Case Fan: Cougar Vortex PWM 70.5 CFM 120mm Fan

Storage: Samsung 840 Pro Series 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk

CPU Cooler: Cooler Master GeminII S524 77.7 CFM ($32.92 @ Amazon)

If this is a bit high for a HTPC you could downgrade to less expensive parts (one model older) and cut the price in half probably more.
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June 16, 2013 1:16:05 AM

O crap just saw that you wanted it as cheap as posible.... how much is cheap?
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June 16, 2013 4:59:53 AM

yakub268 said:
O crap just saw that you wanted it as cheap as posible.... how much is cheap?


As possible :D 
I don't really want to spend $130 on a Silverstone case when a $40 one from someone else will do for instance.
I think the A6-6400K will do just as well as the chip you picked for less money.
The mobo isn't bad, I wish it was a little cheaper though.
$40 RAM isn't terrible
I'm not putting a huge HDD in this, because most of what we watch will come of my NAS and we don't let recordings build up so lots of storage isn't really needed.
I don't see how adding a case fan will make it quieter
I will probably put a 32gb SSD in it for the OS

A good parts list, it certainly gives me some excellent jumping off points.
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June 16, 2013 5:41:49 AM

I know of alot of micro boards and parts that are alot cheaper then the mini itx. would you be willing to sacrifice a lil on size?

The A-8 just has some added features that the A-6 doesn't, but if you not interested in the added cores plus AMD "elite feature"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N4-7bBywUSk&feature=yout...
To save more money switch to the lower A-6 5400k. Will stream hd and still be a great htpc.

ASRock FM2A75 Pro4-M FM2 AMD A75 (Hudson D3) HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Micro ATX AMD Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

IN WIN BL672.300TB3LF Black Steel / Plastic MicroATX Slim Case Computer Case
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

IN WIN BL631.300TBL Black Steel MicroATX Slim Case Computer Case 300W Power Supply
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

G.SKILL 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10600) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F3-10600CL8D-2GBHK
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


SanDisk ReadyCache SDSSDRC-032G-G26 2.5" 32GB SATA III
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

If you plan on putting windows 7 or 8 I would recommend going up to a 64gb.

The fans that normally come with cases and cpus are pretty loud and inefficient. That fan is the one of the highest rated and is quieter then anything ive seen. and the same goes with the cpu cooler. though I am unsure if it will fit in this new case (still waiting for my mine:) )

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