I've put together a spec for a HTPC and was hoping from some advice from some experts!
My general requirements are:
1. Storing all my music/video on HDD and playing through amp/tv
2. I don't have a HD TV right now so I'm not looking for Blu-Ray
3. I want something that's a solid build at not too much cost, so I can upgrade in the future
4. No gaming requirement
Here's my current plan:
Case: Antec NSK1280 OR Antec NSK2280 OR Antec Minuet 350 (really not sure on this one as all are similarly priced)
Mobo: Intel DG45ID
CPU: Intel E6300, 2.8GHz 65W
RAM: KINGSTON 4GB 800MHz DDR2 KHX6400S2LLK2/4G
HD: WD 3.5 CAVIAR GREEN, 1TB
DVD/R: ASUS DRW-22B2S
Remote: Logitech Harmony One
Future plan would involve buying a HD TV, BluRay drive and a dedicated graphics card such as a SAPPHIRE Radeon HD 4670.
Does this look ok? Does anyone have any experience with Atec cases and could recommend one of the ones I mentioned?
The AMD 240 or 245 is a good choice and will work fine. Motherboard and cpu's for AMD are going AM3 and ddr3. If you have an AM2+ motherboard you will still be left behind eventually as the backwards compatibility will not be supported in future AMD cpu's.
So with that said, unless you go with an AM3 board you can go either Intel or AMD. Tbh, and current Core 2 duo/Quad will run an HTPC smooth as butter.
If you go AMD and you can afford to go AM3 all the way to take advantage of future upgrades then do so. If you are budget limited then AM2 (cheaper ddr2 ram) or Intel Core 2 Duo/Quad will work great.
If I were you I would go with the Seagate 1.5T hd's due to specials that are frequently ran for only 119.99 and its 50% more space and if you are going with imaging your DVD's you will definitely need the space. I have 4 of these now and you will find yourself wanting more internal SATA ports and larger hard drives.
Keep in mind this is a full ATX motherboard and some HTPC cases support that. This motherboard has a ton of features:
8 SATA ports
9300 onboard graphics (with HDMI/DVI out, ok to start with until you get more dough for a good video card)
DDR2 (lower cost)
2 PCI-e 1x slots (above video card for tv tuner/sound card add on)
7.1 onboard audio
I am recommending this board/brand because EVGA has support like no other brand. I have their number in my cell phone and can call them anytime, any day and get someone withing 2-15 minutes and get an answer to my issue immediately.
I love Gigabyte boards but recently had an issue that forced me to get this board. The only support you get from Gigabyte is an online request form that took 3 days to get a reply to tell me to do what I already did and request an RMA which is fine. It will take up to 3 weeks for me to get that board back and my system has already been down for about 1 week waiting for support and my testing. As long as you have no issues Gigabyte is hard to beat.
There are a lot of things to consider when building an HTPC. How much space you have for the case is a biggie. If your area is tight then you will need to go with a micro atx board and case.
Read a lot of reviews to find what best suits your needs and pay attention to issues they point out and see if its important to you or not.
You will learn as you go but you will likely make mistakes about things you didn't think about. Some of what I pointed out was issues that effected me so you may have different issues.
A E6300 is a great HTPC chip, I think it should do fine. Antec cases are very good quality so that should be good. Have you picked out a PSU? A Corsair 400CX can easily power that system. Or opt for the 450w if you plan to upgrade to performance GPU.