Advice needed on HTPC build

Hello all,

I want to build an HTPC for college. I have compiled components (not purchased yet) that I believe are compatible and would make a decent HTPC. I have never put together a computer before, but I believe I am capable enough (with lots of reading of guides, manuals and some advice) I would like some input on the build I am considering, advice is also very welcomed.


SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: watching and capturing TV, watching/ripping movies, surfing the internet


PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS:, tigerdirect, ebay

PARTS PREFERENCES: AMD CPU, Msi motherboard, G. Skill RAM


MONITOR RESOLUTION: Yet to be determined, will probably be a TV [will that be a problem?]

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: Here are the components i am looking at using:

Case: nMEDIAPC Black Aluminum HTPC 2000B ATX Media Center

CPU: AMD Phenom II X3 710 2.6GHz

Motherboard: MSI 785GT-E63 (Just released today, but should be available soon)

RAM: G.SKILL PI Black 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 900(PC2 7200)

HD: Western Digital Caviar Blue WD5000AAJS 500GB 7200 RPM

Optical drive: LG CH08LS10 BD-ROM Combo Drive

TV tuner: Hauppauge WinTV-HVR-1600 ATSC/ClearQAM/NTSC TV Tuner PCI w/Remote 1178 PCI Interface

Keyboard and Mouse: Black nMEDIAPC HTPCKB

OS: Mythbuntu 64-bit with GNOME destop, will stay with xfce if GNOME is too intensive for HTPC. I don't think i will be though

All of that comes out to around 684 USD.

Thank you in advance for advice.
11 answers Last reply
More about advice needed htpc build
  1. Get this motherboard

    And swap the ram out for this

    Also in the future put something between the ] and [ so that your links work. For a HTPC your monitor resolution doesnt really matter, the HD4200 will be able to handle it fine for movies as long as you arent going to be playing games.
  2. Depending on how big of a TV and assuming 1080P resolution, an integrated card might not be enough. Last year I put together a phenom X3 system that had a GeForce8200 chipset on the board. 4 GB RAM. I tested it out as a HTPC for my Samsung 46" 1080P LCDTV, and it couldn't handle full resolution. It worked at 720p just fine though. After putting in an older ATI GPU I had lying around, it did fine with 1080p also.

    The HD4200 is a newer chipset, and it may work fine for your needs as hunter said. If you do run into issues, the cheapest low profile graphics card you can find will be all that you need.
  3. Also, forgot to mention that going with a Caviar Green isn't a bad idea for a HTPC. They run cooler and make less noise, both good things for a HTPC.
  4. Thank you for your answers. And sorry for the links problem. I don't think ill be using a 46', maybe 30' or a bit bigger.
  5. The AMD onboard graphics are as god as it gets, they are stronger than the 8200 by a good bit and are often used for full 1080p playback by many people for their HTPC.
  6. Will an internal card reader fit into the case or will I need an external one?
  7. No as it only has a single 5.25" external bay. You would either need a case with a 3.5" external bay or an external one.
  8. Just noticed a minor issue, you dont seem to have a PSU listed
    That one is good while being quite inexpensive and is plenty for what you need.
  9. Thank you hunter.

    I'm looking on newegg and there is a cheaper case

    APEVIA Black SECC Steel / Aluminum X-MASTER-BK and it has a psu]

    Will that case work with the components i selected with the mobo and ram as the ones hunter suggested in his 1st response? I also noticed that the case i originally selected has a built in card reader and this one doesn't.
  10. Apevia PSU arent that good, the case you originally selected appears to be able to use a full sized ATX PSU so you can just put the 400CX in there and it will work fine. I would never trust my system to an apevia PSU, if it comes with a cheap case then its a cheap PSUs and cheap PSUs can end up costing you far more than just a PSU replacement.
  11. A suggestion here, with an Antec case instead.

    $100 Antec Minuet350 HTPC case (has a 350W PSU)
    $90 Gigabyte GA-MA785GMT-UD2H (has an optical out for sound)HDMI, VGA, and DVI
    $68 AMD Regzor X2 245
    $75 G.Skill DDR3 1333 2x2GB
    $25 22x DVDR/RW LG
    $120 Seagate 1.5TB SATA
    $106 Happauge WinTV-HVR

    Total no OS: $584

    *EDIT* links fixed
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