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looking for a relatively cheap HTPC build

Last response: in Systems
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October 9, 2008 7:13:09 AM

I'm trying to configure a new HTPC. looking for:
-gaming (not too fancy, not going for nvidia 260s)
-Media playback
-good network integration (i have about 5-6 comps on my home network)
-want blu-ray playback
-TV recording
-output to 1080P HDTV
-output sound to a reciever
-small form factor (pobably mATX)
-need firewire (gonna hook up countless vid cameras)
-easy to put together, i don't want a tough to use case

here's my current idea for a build:

-Thermaltake LANBOX
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

-Sapphire radeon 4670
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

-Seasonic M12II 500 watt modular psu
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

-G. Skill 4gb ddr2 800
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

-intel core 2 quad q6600
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

-gigabyte GA-EG31M-S2 Mobo
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

-Pioneer blu-ray drive
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

-AverMedia AverTV combo
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

-Windows Vista ultimate 64-bit (due to 4gbs RAM)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

-500gb HDD (i've got this one already, is it enough until i get a home server? don't know the brand or model)

-i also have 4gbs of crucial ballistix pc6400, it's in 4 dimms, not 2, but it didn't work on mt asus p5n-e board, so it's just sitting there...is that a board problem, or a memory problem? should i buy new memory? also the gigabyte board only has 2 dimms, so i'd only get 2gbs on that board, hence why i quoted the g.skill sticks

i currently use an 8800gts 320 on my comp, the graphics are ok, not worth the price when i bought it, so i'm looking for something better, and i'm obviously using this at 1920x1080...probably a bit lower for games, but i'd like to be able to goto 1920 at maybe mid-high but not max settings on most games, probably 1680 at max...

is this a good config? i'm looking for as cheap as i can get with good features...

oh, and this adds up to roughly $1000, trying to get it cheaper though. under $1000 would be nice

More about : cheap htpc build

October 9, 2008 9:15:42 AM

I think it's a good build. You should look at some other GPUs though.

This 9600GT is $10.00 less after rebate, and a good deal faster:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

However, for what you want you will need a bit more yet:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
That will be a fairly quiet one, and enough for what you want. I don't think you would be completely happy with the 9600GT at that resolution.

The memory you list is probably the best. The Crucial Ballistix might have issues... hard to say without testing.
October 9, 2008 9:31:09 AM

Great build!

Keep the 4670.
It is about the same speed as a 9600GT, just a little slower, but much better for a HTPC.
It is lower power and has onboard sound that outputs through the HDMI.
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October 9, 2008 4:37:28 PM

The build looks good to me too. The only comment I have is do you really need Vista Ultimate? Vista Premium will get you all the media playing goodies you'll need and will save you some $$$.

I think you should try the Crucial RAM with the new build before buying the G.Skill. 2GB will be OK for a HTPC and that will save you more $$$. First chance you get though, run memtest86 on all 4 sticks of that Crucial RAM to find out if it's good.

Also, don't forget to budget for a wireless keyboard with good range and a VMC compatible remote.
October 10, 2008 12:34:16 AM

thanks for the feedback

i'm still deciding between 3850, 4670, and 9600...looking for something under $100, maybe a tad over.

I'll hold off on the RAM until i test the ballistix RAM, save 100 or so

Vista Ultimate is not necessary, it's just that newegg ain't selling home premium last i checked

i currently have 2 comps that need keyboards

one is an old Dell running XP Pro, it's got a wireless logitech 3200

the other is my custom PC from year before last, i used to use the logitech until i got a microsoft wireless entertainment 7000, though this keyboard is annoying when playing games because some buttons are not disabled in-game and accidentally pressing them can cause another program to launch or the comp to freeze, so i might just use this one on the HTPC and get my old logitech back

are there any suggestions for a wireless keyboard?
i'm also looking for a universal remote to go alongside this setup to control the following:
-mitsubishi 62" HDTV
-Yamaha reciever
- Toshiba and pioneer dvd player
-an old VCR
-my new HTPC
-my xbox 360 (would this even work with an xbox? it's a stretch, not 100% necessary)

once again, thanks for the feedback!
!