Budget HTPC advice

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: within the next month

BUDGET RANGE: $500-$600

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: DVR for HD OTA signal, watching Hulu/Netflix, possibly blu-ray in the future

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: monitor (will be using the TV); currently own the TV Tuner card (Hauppauge WinTV-HVR-1600); currently have an audio card or will just use the integrated audio.



PARTS PREFERENCES: no preference




ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: looking for something silent and can handle heat well

Hello everyone! I am looking to build a new HTPC for use in the living room. This will mainly be used for recording and watching OTA TV and watching Hulu/Netflix online. Light, emulation based gaming may also be used but that is not something I'm too worried about. My biggest concerns are noise and heat. What do you think of these parts? Will these be able to handle what I am looking for?

Case: nMediaPC HTPC 1000B Micro ATX Media Center Case $79.99

CPU: AMD Athlon II X2 Regor 3.0GHz 2x1MB L2 Cache Socket AM3 65W Dual-Core $76.00

Mobo: Gigabyte 785G AM3 HDMI Micro ATX AMD Motherboard $79.99

GPU: Integrated ATI Radeon HD 4200 on the mobo. If necessary, I could also take the nVidia 8800GT from my gaming PC.

RAM: OCZ 4GB (2x2GB) DDR2 1066 RAM $51.99

HDDs: 1 for the OS drive WD 80GB 7200rpm 8MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Bare Drive - OEM and 1 for storage (recorded TV, music, photos, etc.) WD Caviar Green 1.5TB 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Bare Drive - OEM $35.99 + $109.99

PSU: PC Power and Cooling Silencer 370W ATX12V 80 PLUS Power Supply $39.99

OS: I will be using Windows 7 Home edition when it comes out on later this month.

Will the stock heatsink/fan that comes with the CPU work well enough?

Are two hard drives necessary or should I just go with the 1.5TB drive by itself?

Will the integrated graphics be enough?

Any ideas on a silent or very quiet DVD drive? I may be getting a PS3 in the future also, so it would handle any blu-ray needs.

Does anyone have any suggestions on a keyboard mouse combo for this? I've looked at something like the diNovo mini but it gets mixed reviews and seems expensive.

2 answers Last reply
More about budget htpc advice
  1. anyone? :ange:
  2. The build you listed will work for the intended use. In fact, you could go with the Athlon II X2 240 to save some money. Don't forget about Newegg combo deals.

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.273663 $119.99 (Athlon II X2 240 + Gigabyte GA-MA785GM-US2H combo)


    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.273664 $133.99 (Athlon II X2 250 + Gigabyte GA-MA785GM-US2H combo)

    The RAM you linked to is out of stock. This is very nice RAM.

    G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 1066 (PC2 8500) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F2-8500CL5D-4GBPK - Retail $79.99

    The stock heat sink will work fine since I doubt you'll be overclocking.

    You really don't need the separate drive for the OS. It can be handy if you have to reinstall the OS, but you can accomplish the same thing by partitioning the big hard drive.

    The integrated graphics on the 785G board works great for a HTPC. It has plenty of horsepower to run 1080p HD content.

    You don't have to wait until Windows 7 is released to purchase it. You can pre-order it for $100 or get it for $30 if you're a student.

    Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 1-Pack for System Builders - OEM $99.99


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