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Help me buy/build the smallest HTPC with a low budget

Last response: in Motherboards
January 20, 2009 2:20:29 PM

OK, I didn't know where to post this, so if you find a better category go ahead and tell me.
What I want is this: a very, very small PC for my Home Theater with the lowest budget.
So the only thing it need is to be capable of sending hdcp compliant video and PCM uncompressed audio via hdmi.
I'm only familiar with big performing parts, so I need your help to try and build a very small HTPC. If there's a company that has them already built, go ahead and tell me.
I know of the existence of micro-atx mobos, but when you add a normal psu you usually need a case at leas the size of my receive. Do you have a flat suggestion.

So I need to know about these (very small and low priced) components:

-Graphics card (if not inside mobo) which should be an HD 40xx since those are the only ones I know support PCM over HDMI.

I'll worry about blu ray unit, memory and stuff.

Thanks in Advance.
a b V Motherboard
January 20, 2009 6:08:07 PM

The only chipsets that pass linear PCM over HDMI are the 8200 for AMD and the 9300/9400 for Intel if I've read correctly. The 780G boards definitely do not pass LPCM. That said, you can either go for a slim case for micro-ATX or go all the way tiny with ITX. Unfortunately, the smaller you get the more expensive the parts will get (generally). A slim case with a micro-ATX board is probably what you're looking for.

Do you need firewire, S/PDIF, built in WiFi, PCI slots, do you plan to add a tuner, does AMD or Intel matter?

Maybe take a look at the Zotac 8200-ITX or Zotac 9300-ITX for ITX and any Asus or Gigabyte 8200 or 9300/9400 for micro-ATX.

For a small HTPC case, I'll suggest this one. At $210 it's not cheap though:
SILVERSTONE Black LC19B-R Micro ATX Media Center / HTPC Case

January 21, 2009 1:54:42 AM

Thanks rwpritchett, that case loks beautiful, but more expensive than what I have in mind. I believe I'll settle for a micro atx slim case. I'm also considering amd Athlon X2 BE-4350 and a ATI HD 4350 that fits in that case. I seem I can buy the hole computer for arround 200$ (I already have the blu ray ROM and Hard Drive).
What do you think?