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Making a computer (first time) as sorta HTPC

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May 14, 2009 8:26:17 PM

Hi. This is a computer that I will use exclusively as a media pc using xbmc or elisa or boxee running on Ubuntu Linux, with a windows xp partition for Netflix via browser if needed. I watch zero satellite or cable or broadcast TV so no need for a DVR or TV card. Don't need to record. Only for watching media files, Hulu, and Netflix. Files will be on existing external HD.

What do you think of these parts?

Western Digital Caviar SE WD800AAJS 80GB 7200 RPM 8MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive - OEM $33.99

Broadway Com Corp P4-OKIA600-BLACK 600W ATX Power Supply - Retail $34.99

Rosewill R6426-P BK ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail $19.99

AMD Phenom 9600 Agena 2.3GHz 4 x 512KB L2 Cache 2MB L3 Cache Socket AM2+ 95W Quad-Core Processor - Retail $89.99

GIGABYTE GA-MA770-UD3 AM2+/AM2 AMD 770 ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail $59.99

ASUS EN9500GT TOP/DI/512M GeForce 9500 GT 512MB 128-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card - Retail $54.99

SAMSUNG Black 22X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 16X DVD+R DL 22X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 12X DVD-RAM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM 2MB Cache SATA 22X DVD Burner - OEM $24.99

Logitech Cordless Desktop EX 100 Black 102 Normal Keys USB RF Wireless Standard Keyboard and Mouse - Retail $24.99

Kingston HyperX 2GB 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 1066 Desktop Memory Model KHX8500D2/2G - Retail $25.99

Total $350 (all from Newegg)

My email is vivaslb at gmail dot com if you want to reply via email. It is also the same for my MSN chat and Google talk.

May 14, 2009 8:59:54 PM

First, I'd recommend dropping the Phenom 9600 for one of the newer Phenom II's... maybe the 710 or 720 X3. They are superior to the older phenoms in every way, especially the TLB bug Phenoms like the 9600.

Second, drop the graphics card and get a motherboard with either AMD 780G/790GX or Nvidia 8200/8300 onboard video. No need for a discreet card unless you plan to game.

Third, go for a keyboard with a trackball or touchpad. It really sucks having to use a regular mouse and keyboard with an HTPC. I'll suggest the Moncaso MK700 for around $30.

Fourth, don't get that power supply. Get a good quality, quiet PSU. I recommend Seasonics, Corsairs, PC Power & Cooling, and the Antec Earthwatts. You'll only need 300-400W for a HTPC.

That's my 2 cents.
May 14, 2009 9:02:24 PM

+1 to rwpritchett's suggestions.
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May 15, 2009 5:07:43 PM

Thanks guys. Any wisdom on what cables I might need that wouldn't be supplied with the components I'm buying would be handy to know.
May 15, 2009 5:53:57 PM

New configuration - opinions welcome. I scaled back on the CPU, took your integrated video card, and power supply suggestions. Cannot find that keyboard you mentioned. Also need to verify whether it would work with Linux.

COOLER MASTER Centurion 534 RC-534-KKN2-GP Black Aluminum & Mesh bezel / SECC Chassis ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail $44.99

Antec earthwatts EA380 380W Continuous Power ATX12V v2.0 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Power Supply - Retail $44.99

OR

CORSAIR CMPSU-400CX 400W ATX12V V2.2 80 PLUS Certified Compatible with Core i7 Power Supply - Retail $44.99 (after MIR)

Western Digital Caviar SE WD800AAJS 80GB 7200 RPM 8MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive - OEM $33.99

ASUS M3N78-VM AM2+/AM2 NVIDIA GeForce 8200 HDMI Micro ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail $74.99

AMD Athlon 64 X2 7750 Kuma 2.7GHz Socket AM2+ 95W Dual-Core black edition Processor Model AD775ZWCGHBOX - $69

SAMSUNG Black 22X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 16X DVD+R DL 22X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 12X DVD-RAM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM 2MB Cache SATA 22X DVD Burner - OEM $24.99

Logitech Cordless Desktop EX 100 Black 102 Normal Keys USB RF Wireless Standard Keyboard and Mouse - Retail $24.99

Kingston HyperX 2GB 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 1066 Desktop Memory Model KHX8500D2/2G - Retail $25.99

Total ~ $340
May 15, 2009 7:11:07 PM

ignore the CPU above, decided to go with AMD Phenom II X3 710 2.6GHz 3 x 512KB L2 Cache 6MB L3 Cache Socket AM3 95W Triple-Core Processor - Retail $119

Total now $400
May 22, 2009 12:34:54 PM

Since you are running Ubuntu, I'm assuming you are also using Firefox 3.x. I am and I can get Netflix on Firefox so why bother with an XP partition? :bounce:  :bounce: 
May 22, 2009 1:02:36 PM

Hmm scanning cases it surprised me that i didn't have a closer look at this Rosewill: default 120mm rear with option of 120mm in front! Wow hehe My suggested config

Win7 RC 64 bit ftw! Hmm lastly cables wise: perhaps get a HDMI cable if planning to hook up to that LCD TV?
Edit: Hmm i dun see why you can't add in a HD4770 in future for some 1680 x 1050 gaming action (if u choose to :p )
!