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HTPC on the Cheap

Last response: in Systems
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October 20, 2009 7:36:35 PM

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Now
BUDGET RANGE: $200 US

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: DVR/PVR

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: CPU, PSU, HDD, Optical Drive, Monitor (TV)

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: Newegg.com, Zipzoomfly.com, wherever I can get a good price
PARTS PREFERENCES: None

OVERCLOCKING: No
SLI OR CROSSFIRE: No

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 720p TV

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: Just want to be able to record programs and watch them later and/or watch them as broadcast and skip commercials.
- TV signal will be via antenna, as we do not get cable.
- I plan to put a blu-ray player in this when funds become available
- Do I need a separate video card or will this board’s onboard be sufficient?
- I know nothing about Linux or MythTV, but am planning on going that route for OS and DVR software. Is there a TV Tuner card that works well with those? (ie, drivers)


Mother Board
BIOSTAR P4M900M4 478 VIA P4M900 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Case
Rosewill R102-P-BK 120mm Fan MicroATX Mid Tower
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Memory
PNY 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 667 (PC2 5300)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

TV Tuner
Any recommendations for a good, inexpensive card?

Wireless Card
LINKSYS WMP54GS-RM 32-bit PCI Interface Wireless-G Adapter with SpeedBooster
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6833124314

Keyboard/Mouse
Logitech Cordless Desktop Wireless Keyboard and Optical Mouse
http://www.frys.com/product/5082435?site=sr:SEARCH:MAIN...

Parts I already have:

CPU
Intel Pentium 4 541 Prescott 3.2GHz 1MB L2 Cache LGA 478 84W Single-Core Processor

Power Supply
Antec Basiq BP430 430W

HDD
2x 40gb IDE HDD
(It'll have to do until Christmas)

Optical Drive
External DVD reader/burner that I already have

More about : htpc cheap

Best solution

October 20, 2009 7:49:17 PM

This is what TV tuner card I'd suggest since it has dual digital tuners.

AVerMedia AVerTVHD Duet - PCTV Tuner (A188 - White Box) - OEM $59.99

I highly doubt the S3 Chrome9 IGP will handle HD content. You can pick up a cheap 4350 GPU for about $35.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=E...

Of course if you go that route, you could get this CPU + motherboard combo for only slightly more money.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite... $98.99 (AMD Sempron 140 Sargas 2.7GHz + GIGABYTE GA-MA785GM-US2H combo)

The integrated GPU on that board is plenty for HD content and the CPU is considerably stronger than your P4.
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October 21, 2009 12:38:44 AM

I'd probably go with the combo that ssmt has for the cpu mobo, mainly because the IGP is functional and the power draw will be significantly less if you plan to leave it on 24/7.

But if you really want the cheapest working route using the P4, buy both of these from ZZF on the same order for these prices, w/ free shipping:
$44 amir Same mobo http://www.zipzoomfly.com/jsp/ProductDetail.jsp?Product...

$23 amir 4350 http://www.zipzoomfly.com/jsp/ProductDetail.jsp?Product...
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