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Blue-Ray HTPC FINAL build - recomendations please (sub$500)

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September 2, 2008 6:13:44 PM

I have built every one of my PC's for the past 8 years (usually rebuild every year) so I know plenty about putting the computer together and buying the parts. However, this time I would like to build a media PC to hook up to my entertainment system. The only requierments for the system are that it have:

+wiFi (for online media content)
+Blue Ray capability
+run pretty quite (being that it will be in the room we are watching the movies and such)
+some kind of remote functionality to be used with Windows Media Center so that a non computer user (like a gf) would not have a hard time using it by just pushing the power button and grabbing the remote

It does not need to be a gaming PC because my current system is good enough for that. (e6750, 8800GT, 4GB)

I have been looking at the shuttle setups but I will admit that it has been almost a year since my last build so I have fallen behind as far as reuierments to hand HD playback through a blue ray player or downloaded HD content.

I would like to do this all for under 700$ if possible. If it is not, just tell me and I can wait a few more months.


p.s. another possibility is if there is a way to use my current PC and somehow have the capability for someone on the TV essentialy run Windows Media Center while I can still be using the PC for whatever I am doing. In this case, I would assume all I would have to buy is a remote system, long HDMI cable and a blue ray drive?
September 2, 2008 7:02:40 PM

Here Goes

BR: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$140
Case: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$200 (expensive, but worth it) (Antec 350W PSU)(has a remote too)
MB: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$77 (onboard GFX via HDMI, w/ sound Foxconn 780G)
RAM: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$70 (4GB G.Skill DDR2 800)
CPU: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$59 (AM2 4450e Dual Core)
HDD: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$70 (WD 500GB Variable Speed HDD)
WiFi: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$16 (PCI wireless card with antenna)
OS: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$90 (has a better media player than XP media center)

Total: $722 + S&H (not counting MIR, or special/combo deals)
September 2, 2008 7:55:59 PM

thanks man. that should give me a good base to run off of. I think I will nix the OS and use a 32bit Vista Ult OEM cd I have, which will save me 90$

is that on board video powerful enough to handle blue ray/HD online content playback to full 1080P resolution? (my current tv is 42")?

Also, I like that case but going to keep searching for something all black and maybe a bit cheaper to shed off some more of the final cost

*edit* reading what appears to be a decent review of the 780G chipset now over at anadtech.... so those who were about to flame for me not looking it up myself, too late :) 
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September 2, 2008 9:39:04 PM

Thanks big time for the head start. After looking over the parts and getting an idea of what I am looking at, I would like to now push my price down to 500. I think this is doable by using less ram (shouldn't 2gb be sufficient for a non gaming PC?), getting a cheaper case (I like some of the stand alone remotes better anyway with more functionality to them), smaller HD (only saves 10$, but I don't feel I will need more than 250GB). I have also taken out the wiFI for now because our stupid internet provider here caps us at only 10GB a month, so no HD streaming for me (YES, i said it correctly 10GB a month :(  , damn CMA cable)

So here is what I have come up with so far.


hec Black 0.7mm Thickness SECC Steel 7KJ9 Micro ATX Media Center / HTPC Case - Retail
(N82E16811121068) 49.99

LITE-ON Black 4X Blu-ray DVD ROM SATA Model DH-4O1S-08 - Retail
(N82E16827106225) 139.99

Foxconn A7GM-S AM2+/AM2 AMD 780G HDMI Micro ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail
(N82E16813186141) 76.99

A-DATA 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400)
(N82E16820211066) 37.99

AMD Athlon X2 4450e Brisbane 2.3GHz Socket AM2 45W Dual-Core Processor Model ADH4450DOBOX - Retail
(N82E16819103256) 58.99

Western Digital Caviar SE16 WD2500AAKS 250GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM
(N82E16822136161) 59.99

Total: 423.94

Wishlist link:
http://secure.newegg.com/WishList/PublicWishDetail.aspx?WishListNumber=8326331&WishListTitle=HTPC


Recommendations, changes, additions.... anything is helpful.
September 2, 2008 9:58:51 PM

Because nobody has mentioned it yet, why not pickup a PS3?

I can only assume it would make a 'decent' media box--I currently use my Xbox 360 as a mediabox box and i'm generally pretty happy with it (although you can't browse the web with it).

I've had little issue with playing music (MP3's) or Movies (Xvid, Mkv, DVD, etc). It did take a little setting up with TVeristy to make it stream everything though.


September 2, 2008 10:08:04 PM

I like the freedom of using the windows OS to access all of my music, pictures with a nice graphical interface. I feel I can get more bang for my buck by building an HTPC since I do not, and don't plan to play games on a console system.

using the xbox as a media box would cost me more buying a blue ray ad on (or waiting for them to release one with a blue ray player)
as for the ps3, I like windows as an interface much more
September 2, 2008 10:42:43 PM

"I like the freedom of using the windows OS..."


That is comical.

I understand where your coming from though, PCs are way more versatile than their console breathern.
September 2, 2008 10:55:40 PM

Sounds good. I'm looking to build myself a media center PC as well.

Blueray/HD DVD Combo and DVD burner: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Antec earthwatt 380 PSU

2G A-Data Ram, will upgrade to 8 eventually.

Asus P5q-EM Mobo

Case: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


$514 @ newegg and I am using my own 500G HDD and a e1200 cPU oc to 3.2 until I can buy a q6600.

Darn 10G a month. I would be screwed after 2 hours lol.

You might want to consider a bigger hard drive so you could save some movies on your HDD like this:

September 2, 2008 11:08:32 PM

Shoot, I forgot about all my elmo sing along videos ;) 

haha, na, actually if I find myself running low on space I will swap it with my HD from my PC. I am currently using a 700 GB HD on my pc (split into 2x350) and barely even use 75GB on the OS partition. So, I can just shove my 700 in and use the 250 on my desktop (that other partition is just a 3rd backup source, never can be too safe:)  )

I kinda like the smaller form factor of the case I chose, but need to look up more reviews to make sure it will fit everything (should) and will stay cool enough(figure it should, no heavy gaming on it anyway)
September 2, 2008 11:38:07 PM

You choice of case looks good, but I like to have the option of using a atx power supply so I can upgrade and not worry about power. Plus its nice to be able to use fullsize video cards and big after market CPU heatsinks.

Some people like to build for quiet, but my main concern is raw power. I know the e1200 isn't a great CPU but I got it on hand so its gonna be a place holder til next month when i get a Q6600. All the fans I will be running are quiet, so I dont think noise will be a factor.

Down the road if I want to play a game, I can drop in any PCI e video card that I want.


Your case takes tiny PSU's and low profile weak GPU's. If thats what you need get it. To each his own.
September 2, 2008 11:52:31 PM

yea I really don't need a powerful GPU because I have my desktop for that. My goal for this PC is just to be in my main entertainment room, provide access to all my mp3s, videos, pictures and be easy for my girlfriend or any stranger to operate. Gaming is a whole nother story and that is done on my desktop haha.
September 3, 2008 12:07:04 AM

Wstcoaster07 you should get what IH8U told you to get, you dont need as much as what these guys are saying
September 3, 2008 12:34:37 AM

what about the edits I made to it? I kept most of the stuff he used but took out some of the cost by reducing memory, the case and HD

basically now I am trying to rim the fat and make this thing do its job (essentially just media play back, not gaming), while saving some funds
September 4, 2008 5:06:53 AM

Ok, so I think I have the final build ready to purchase, but just want to clarify some final details.

1) is the stock heatink that comes with the cpu strong enough to keep cool in the small case?
2) is the heatsink small enough to fit in the small case
3)I am also planning to buy the Yamaha YHT-590BL Theater System from Newegg, should it connect fine to the MB or should I take out my Soundblaster X-fi from my desktop PC and put it in this HTPC?

4) are there any changes that should be made before the final purchase? (switch cpu, MB, etc)


I plan to pull the trigger NLT noon tomorrow (04SEP08) so any final advice would be great.

Thanks to everyone who has helped....


wstcoaster07 said:


hec Black 0.7mm Thickness SECC Steel 7KJ9 Micro ATX Media Center / HTPC Case - Retail
(N82E16811121068) 49.99

LITE-ON Black 4X Blu-ray DVD ROM SATA Model DH-4O1S-08 - Retail
(N82E16827106225) 139.99

Foxconn A7GM-S AM2+/AM2 AMD 780G HDMI Micro ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail
(N82E16813186141) 76.99

A-DATA 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400)
(N82E16820211066) 37.99

AMD Athlon X2 4450e Brisbane 2.3GHz Socket AM2 45W Dual-Core Processor Model ADH4450DOBOX - Retail
(N82E16819103256) 58.99

Western Digital Caviar SE16 WD2500AAKS 250GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM
(N82E16822136161) 59.99

Total: 423.94

Wishlist link:
http://secure.newegg.com/WishList/PublicWishDetail.aspx?WishListNumber=8326331&WishListTitle=HTPC
!