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Sourcing HTPC/Media Server Parts

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May 16, 2014 12:09:36 PM

Hello all,

I am going to build a HTPC/DVR centered around Windows Media Center in Windows 7. The reason for WMC as both the front end and DVR is because I want to use my Xbox 360 as a media center extender in another room to access my recordings.

What I am looking for is a small size with a low power draw that I can leave on all the time. I chose a Celeron processor o hopefully handle the dvr functions and streaming/light transcoding. Here's my part list -

PCPartPicker part list: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/3L5B3
Price breakdown by merchant: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/3L5B3/by_merchant/
Benchmarks: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/3L5B3/benchmarks/

CPU: Intel Pentium G3220 3.0GHz Dual-Core Processor ($56.99 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: Asus H81I-PLUS Mini ITX LGA1150 Motherboard ($75.79 @ Newegg)
Memory: Crucial Ballistix Sport 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($42.99 @ Micro Center)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($59.24 @ Amazon)
Case: Cooler Master Elite 130 Mini ITX Tower Case ($34.99 @ Micro Center)
Power Supply: Corsair Builder 430W 80+ Bronze Certified ATX Power Supply ($34.99 @ Micro Center)
Optical Drive: Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer ($19.98 @ OutletPC)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) ($89.98 @ OutletPC)
Other: Hauppauge 1196 WinTV-HVR-1250 PCI-E x1 TV Tuner 1196 ($59.99)
Total: $474.94
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2014-05-16 15:09 EDT-0400)

Any suggestions on how to improve or make cheaper?
May 16, 2014 12:23:12 PM

The build looks good. You might want to look for a dual-tuner TV tuner if you can find one. I have two HVR-2250 dual-tuners in my HTPC so I can record up to four things at the same time. You may have a hard time finding one in stock, though. They seem to be sold out at quite a few retailers. The only place I can see where you may be able so save a bit of money is on the motherboard. The ASRock H81M-ITX is $59.99 at Newegg, but I'm not sure what features you're looking for in your motherboard.
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May 16, 2014 12:46:20 PM

Looks like a good build, I've recently built a machine in a CM 120 Elite which is a very similar case. I would suggest changing the power supply to the CX430m because there is not a lot of room for cabling in that bad boy!
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May 16, 2014 12:56:12 PM

shortstuff_mt said:
The build looks good. You might want to look for a dual-tuner TV tuner if you can find one. I have two HVR-2250 dual-tuners in my HTPC so I can record up to four things at the same time. You may have a hard time finding one in stock, though. They seem to be sold out at quite a few retailers. The only place I can see where you may be able so save a bit of money is on the motherboard. The ASRock H81M-ITX is $59.99 at Newegg, but I'm not sure what features you're looking for in your motherboard.


The reason I struck the ASRock off the list (if this is the same board) was the lack of USB 3.0 headers on the Mobo that the ASUS does have. The Elite 130 has USB 3.0 slots on the front of the case and I wanted to be able to wire it up.

I agree with the 2 tuner but like you said it's been tough to find in stock. I missed saying that we'll be recording OTA broadcasts with an antenna, not cable so being able to get 2 primetime shows at the same time would be preferable.
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May 16, 2014 12:57:40 PM

Poprin said:
Looks like a good build, I've recently built a machine in a CM 120 Elite which is a very similar case. I would suggest changing the power supply to the CX430m because there is not a lot of room for cabling in that bad boy!


Good point. I have the 600m in my current HTPC/Steam machine and like it. I am still worried about power consumption for an always on computer with that processor.
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Best solution

May 16, 2014 1:07:00 PM

OcelotRex said:
shortstuff_mt said:
The build looks good. You might want to look for a dual-tuner TV tuner if you can find one. I have two HVR-2250 dual-tuners in my HTPC so I can record up to four things at the same time. You may have a hard time finding one in stock, though. They seem to be sold out at quite a few retailers. The only place I can see where you may be able so save a bit of money is on the motherboard. The ASRock H81M-ITX is $59.99 at Newegg, but I'm not sure what features you're looking for in your motherboard.


The reason I struck the ASRock off the list (if this is the same board) was the lack of USB 3.0 headers on the Mobo that the ASUS does have. The Elite 130 has USB 3.0 slots on the front of the case and I wanted to be able to wire it up.

I agree with the 2 tuner but like you said it's been tough to find in stock. I missed saying that we'll be recording OTA broadcasts with an antenna, not cable so being able to get 2 primetime shows at the same time would be preferable.


I understand your reasoning on the motherboard. I think you're right, the ASRock doesn't have a USB 3.0 header.

It sounds like our usage is very similar. I also get all my programming OTA with an antenna and stream to my TV by using an XBox 360 as a media center extender.
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