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HTPC build - New guy here

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December 16, 2009 8:02:31 PM

Hello everyone,

Awesome site. I've been reading around here for a while and am considering building an HTPC but, I have no idea where to start when it comes to the parts needed for my specific needs (or more like wants). I'd use it to rip and watch DVDs and Blueray discs. I'd like to feed my pioneer receiver with HD video and HD audio from this HTPC. No gaming.

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: As soon as I get smart on this.

BUDGET RANGE: 300-400

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Ripping/watching DVD/BD. HD video and HD audio out a MUST!

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: monitor, speakers. I'll be using a 46" LCD TV (1080P) and Pioneer Home Theater system (HDMI in).

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: newegg.com

PARTS PREFERENCES: inexpensive but reliable.

OVERCLOCKING: Don't know enough about this. Don't want to screw things up.

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1920x1080

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: Is it possible to build something like this for 300-400? I have an old Asus 7nx8 Mobo with an AMD 3000+. Is this good for anything?

Thanks a bunch!
-Rick

More about : htpc build guy

December 16, 2009 8:41:12 PM

You may need to reconsider your budget, or scale back your expectations for the following reasons:

#1 If you truly want HD audio (DTS-MA or Dolby True-HD) you will need to either purchase an expensive sound card (Asus Xonar $130) or get a HD5xxx series Radeon video card (at least $140). That will eat up almost half of your budget.

#2 Ripping blu-rays means you will need massive storage. 1.5TB drives are at the current sweet spot, and will eat up $110 of your budget.

#3 You didn't say anything about an OS, that'll be another $100 of the budget if you need Windows 7 Home Premium.

I would save up $700-1000 to build the HTPC the way you want it. Also, the cheaper low-end HD5xxx cards will be coming out in 1Q 2010 and that will reduce the cost of getting HD audio, you can get by with standard DD/DTS until then.

There are cheaper alternatives like the Western Digital HD Media player or one of the Popcorn Hour setups. They will not be as customizable as an HTPC though.
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February 7, 2010 7:19:21 PM

So I increased my budget a bit. Looking at getting the following:


LITE-ON CD/DVD Burner - Bulk Black SATA Model iHAS124-04 $26.99

HIS Radeon HD 5670 (Redwood) IceQ H567Q512 Video Card $104.99

nMEDIAPC Black HTPC 5000B Micro ATX Media Cente HTPC Case $59.99
Logitech Black Cordless Keyboard $29.99

2 SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 1TB 3.5" SATA 3.0Gb/s Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive $179.98

G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory $104.99

CORSAIR CMPSU-450VX 450W Compatible with Core i7 Power Supply $69.99

GIGABYTE GA-MA785GMT-UD2H Micro ATX AMD Motherboard
AMD Athlon II X4 630 2.8GHz Socket AM3 95W Quad-Core Processor
Combo $176.98

Grand Total: $753.90

Before I pull the trigger on this Today, any issues? Suggestions?

Thanks!
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February 7, 2010 10:08:28 PM

Since you started this thread, Intel's Clarkdale processors have come out with built in graphics that can handle blu-ray and butstream HD audio. Have you looked into these new options?
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February 7, 2010 10:10:43 PM

Wow. Not at all...
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February 7, 2010 11:12:45 PM

Interesting. I think I'll stick with AMD though. Looks like with AMD I can get a more powerful system for about the same amount of $$ (maybe a little more) - Quad core and Discrete GPU specifically.
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