Building compact HTPC and need advice

I plan on building a couple of these systems for the following:

- Watch HULU
- Watch DVD and Blu-Rays
- Get a video stream from HAVA video over my home network
- Occasional light browsing
- Occasional ripping

It needs to be QUIET and small form factor. I also want it to boot quickly and make it easy for the family to use. I also don't want it to burn a bunch of power when not in use. It will be connected to a wired 10/100 network in my home. I ultimately will have 2 or 3 of these systems set up and connected to plasma/flat panel tv's.

With all this in mind, I have scoped out the following on

Mobo (new unit, seems to have superior video, has HDMI which I want)
GIGABYTE GA-MA785GMT-UD2H AM3 AMD 785G HDMI Micro ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail
Item #: N82E16813128397

Either of the following CPUs (not sure I need extra speed/cost for what I want to do):
AMD Athlon II X2 250 Regor 3.0GHz Socket AM3 65W Dual-Core Processor Model ADX250OCGQBOX
Item #: N82E16819103681

AMD Phenom II X3 705e Heka 2.5GHz Socket AM3 65W Triple-Core Processor Model HD705EOCGIBOX
Item #: N82E16819103683

Blu ray/dvd player:
LITE-ON Black 4X Blu-ray Reader SATA Model iHOS104-06 - OEM
Item #: N82E16827106325

Hard Drive (I want a fast boot and was thinking about using a solid state drive for the OS, and a second drive for storage; debating if I need second drive at all or just pulling off of network server):
RiDATA NSSD-S25-32-C04MPN 2.5" 32GB SATA II 3.0Gb MLC Internal Solid state disk (SSD) - Retail
Item #: N82E16820183202

Western Digital Caviar Green WD10EADS 1TB SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive - OEM

For the case, one of these 2:
hec Black 0.7mm Thickness SECC Steel 7KJ9 Micro ATX Media Center / HTPC Case w/270W Power Supply
Item #: N82E16811121068

Antec Black M FusionRemote 350 Micro ATX Media Center / HTPC Case - Retail
Item #: N82E16811129046

For memory, I am not at all sure what to get (DDR2, DDR3, speed, etc.)

For the OS, I will ultimately run Windows 7 on this, but vista or xp in the interim

I would appreciate thoughts on the memory, cpu, cases, etc. and whether or not this whole system "hangs together" or not. If I get it to work, I post my learnings here and how happy I am with it. I don't want to spend a ton of money (say, no more than about $600 per system) --

Thanks for the help!
4 answers Last reply
More about building compact htpc advice
  1. Where will you be getting the parts from? Newegg? For a HTPC an SSD eats up a good chunk of the budget and a good fast standard HDD should give you sufficiently quick boot times. Get a 710, instead of a 705e, it will save you a bit and you can always undervolt the 710 if heat is a significant concern. I would also consider switching the 785g out for the 790gx as im not sure if you need that HD4200 IGP, the 3300 should be sufficient for any nongaming purposes.
  2. Yes - I am planning on buying from newegg. I like the idea on the 710 -- if I stick with the ssd, the extra heat won't be an issue. I like the new mobo so want to stick with it. What speed/type of memory would I need with this configuration? Thanks for the advice.
  3. Possible config for consideration perhaps ^^
  4. You might want to consider a 7200rpm 2.5" notebook hard drive if the SSD is out of budget. They are considerably quieter than 3.5" drives. I have one of the WD green 5400 rpm drives and I think it's too noisy for HTPC.

    Also, with S3 sleep you should have your HTPC up and running in about 3-5 seconds after hitting the power button. It's pretty rare that you do a full-on cold boot with an HTPC.
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