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HTPC budget Build

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December 7, 2009 6:11:41 PM

Hey all: This is my first time building an HTPC, and as such I want to make sure nothing goes wrong if I invest in the parts. My main question right now is if the PSU I chose will be able to handle the load for all the other components:

Antec Black M FusionRemote 350 Micro ATX Media Center / HTPC Case
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
this comes with a built in psu rated at 350W 80+ and I need to know if it wont die on me

Intel Core i5-750 Lynnfield 2.66GHz 8MB L3 Cache LGA 1156 95W Quad-Core Processor
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

ASRock P55M Pro LGA 1156 Intel P55 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

GIGABYTE GV-R435OC-512I Radeon HD 4350 512MB 64-bit GDDR2 PCI Express 2.0
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Western Digital Caviar Green WD10EADS 1TB 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5"
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

LITE-ON Black 18X DVD-ROM 48X CD-ROM SATA DVD-ROM Drive
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

For RAM, I narrowed it down to 2 choices (don't know any differences except voltage):

CORSAIR XMS3 DHX 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
This lists 1.8V; is cheaper with my current vid card choice in a combo deal

CORSAIR XMS3 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
This lists 1.65V; no combo deals, less power usage, any other benefits?



More about : htpc budget build

December 7, 2009 6:21:12 PM

Couple of notes before the advice...Check out the "How to ask for new build advice" sticky. It gives us a lot of really useful info.

What are you using as a monitor?

Do you not need to burn DVDs?

What's your budget?

PSU: I personally don't trust PSUs that come with cases. In addition, 350W is pretty low powered, especially if you need a good GPU.

GPU: Graphics are what drives the video, which is important for an HTPC. Check out the new Best GPUs by budget article. You're not going to get HD video out of that card. You'll need to spend a lot more to get a good GPU. I recommend at least the HD 5750. I'm using it now, and having no problem with full HD video.

HDD: Ditch the WD. Pick up a Samsung Spinpoint F3 1 TB for $85 (availability is a little spotty). It's a lot faster.

RAM: Pick up these G.Skill Ripjaws instead. They'll be faster.
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December 7, 2009 7:24:59 PM

I got a i5 from a friend for $100 (brand new), so everything else I'm looking to spend around 400, preferably no more than 450.

I plan on using a 32" HDTV that I currently own as the monitor. As for graphics, I plan on using this mainly for watching movies (no blu-ray) and casual older games (nothing new age and graphic intensive). My brother has an onboard vid card in his amd and that was worked out fine for him. His onboard is an AMD HD 4200 series.

As for the PSU, it is made by Antec which I believe is a very reputable brand right behind Corsair.

And I do not plan on burning DVD's, so I am content with a normal DVD rom.
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December 7, 2009 7:30:42 PM

I'm not sure where MadAdmiral is getting his information from. There is absolutely no need to get anything even close to a 5750 for a HTPC. The 4350 will work just fine for HD content/HTPC use.

The whole build is massive overkill for a HTPC, but I guess you're kind of stuck since you already bought the CPU.

You do not want to get RAM rated to run at 1.8v for an i5/i7 system. The absolute maximum RAM voltage for those systems is 1.65v. I agree with the RAM suggestion made above.
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December 7, 2009 7:36:13 PM

Ah. I found the 1.8v ones only due to the combo deals. Is G.Skill a good reputable brand? I have only had experience with Kingston and Corsair.
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December 7, 2009 7:37:53 PM

G.Skill makes excellent RAM. I've used them in many builds and have never had a problem with them.
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December 7, 2009 7:46:01 PM

As for power supply and case, my budget for both is around 100. I would prefer a htpc case or any normal ones that are horizontal in nature. No preferences on psu as long as it is a reputable brand with enough watts to power my build.
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December 7, 2009 7:59:55 PM


FYI with that Antec Case...

I remember reading somewhere (newegg reviews?) that the PSU is a special fit, so you might not be able to use any ol' PSU... might be stuck with the stock one from antec (who do make very nice PSU's...). Can anyone else verify?

Also, I love WD Green / Black HDDs. I usually get the 500gig ones which are plenty fast and affordable for someone looking at a budget builds.
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December 7, 2009 8:10:06 PM

@shortstuff: I'm looking at the new GPU's by budget on the front page. Yes, other cards will provide 1080p resolution, but I'm going with something that is current. If I were watching HD on a computer, I would want a GPU that provides good performance above the resolution of the monitor. My suggest is a little high, but I'm also suggesting it for future proofing.
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December 7, 2009 8:11:44 PM

Your original case/PSU will work just fine for your intended use. The 350W Antec 80+ certified PSU will power the system just fine. That being said, the NSK2480 is worth the extra $10 IMO. It uses 120mm fans instead of 80mm and uses an EarthWatts PSU.
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