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Few parts needed for HTPC build?

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January 12, 2010 4:53:14 AM

hello,
so I just recently bought a samsung plasma (PN50B650)... I have no blu-ray player and if I buy one it will be nothing short of a PS3... However I have some PC parts already from one of my previous computers, so I am hoping I can spend 300 or less and just build a new computer that can at least play, maybe burn Blu-Ray... I have no other purpose for it, but for the same price or less, I'd rather have a functioning computer then a PS3 (not really a big console gamer anymore) assuming that I don't lose video quality by going PC route...


Parts list (Already owned):
ABit IP35E
E2160 processor (with AC7 cooler)
MSI HD3870 (also have an HD4850... but will probably use that for my current desktop I use to game on)
2 Gb RAM (2 x 1Gb XMS2 DDR2 800)

Parts needed:
Case (would like an HTPC case, but I dont mind just buying an all black desktop if I must to keep cost down)
PSU (quiet, of course!)
HDD (not looking for much space, dont plan on doing anything unless I buy a blu-ray burner... 500Gb probly)
Bluray player/Burner? (Dunno if it's worth the cost of buying a burner... I only want it just in case I have DRM
issues, so I can just burn it to HDD and watch it directly)
anything else??

**** I am capable of choosing all my own parts...except case... I can't seem to find any reasonable HTPC case for an ATX board... and there are added features like inputs, lcd displays, remote control built in etc.... is this all really necessary??? I could in theory just build a standard desktop PC, and buy a media center remote correct???? of course I would prefer an HTPC with all the bells and whistles but everything I see is outside my 300 dollar range...

Also, anyone know the best option to connect sound to my yamaha receiver (no HDMI)? I have a 5.1 channel setup, but i dunno if my mobo's onboard sound will be able to make it sound proper.

Last question... if I do this, I am assuming I will still get full 1080P resolution from my HD3870 to my samsung plasma right?? It will be connected either by DVI, or component cables as my video card has no HDMI out... if i lose video quality I am buying a PS3...

thanks!!!!!

More about : parts needed htpc build

January 12, 2010 11:25:32 AM

An HTPC case is not necessary. I have essentially an HTPC right now, and I was in the same position. I would just get a case that fits your tastes (or the home theatre) and isn't too loud.

Motherboard sound isn't too bad any more. I would hook it up, and if it's not good enough, get a sound card.

You really should get a video card with HDMI out. It's worth it.

PSU: Low wattage Corsair. Like a 450W one will be good.

HDD: Samsung Spinpoint F3 500 GB. It's the fastest, quietest, coolest and cheapest out right now.

BluRay: Burner is unnecessary unless you want to burn things to a BR disc. "Burning" to an HDD is ripping, and only requires a read drive. A reader is going to be around $100, a burner is $150. DVD burners are around $30, so if you need to read BR and burn DVDs, get 2 drives for $130. I personally think it's a waste of money...
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January 13, 2010 3:09:03 AM

LOL! MadAdmiral you are brilliant... talk about having a brain fart!! I completely forgot you dont need a "burner" to rip discs to an HDD... hehe

Yea so I'll definitely buy just a reader for my PC, and then buy a burner months/years from now when blank BD disc prices drop to reasonable prices (along with burner prices/speeds)

Thanks for the input on parts, just a couple of quick questions:

HDD: I was looking at the samsung drives as well... Newegg has the F1 terabyte model for like 80 dollars right now...and the EcoGreen 1.5 Terabyte F2 model for 100.00... I'm thinking if I rip Blu Ray I might want that extra space?? Are the F1/F2 models as good as the F3 you recommend?

PSU: Thermaltake TR2 430W gonna cut it, for the HD3870?? If not you think the Thermaltake 500W is PSU is good??? Sorry I know that corsair PSU you recommended is friggin awesome but the more money i save the better!!! (I won't skimp though, if you think the Corsair is WAY better I'll just buy that... better safe then sorry!!) both the thermaltakes are under 30 dollars after rebate


VIDEO CARD: yea I really want to buy a new gpu with an HDMI out... but the whole point of this build is to maximize savings, so I really want to use what I already have, otherwise I'll end up craving yet ANOTHER build with left over parts... haha... anyway, joking aside... I'll probably upgrade in the future, but do you think using a DVI output instead of HDMI will affect video quality??? that's really all i'm worried about... sound I dont care too much about right now, because my receiver is crappy anyway.


Thanks again!!!
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January 13, 2010 5:25:12 AM

cancel the PSU info listed above... instead I think I'm going with Antec Sonata III case/PSU combo... 110.00... seems like a nice case for my living room... and includes a 500W earthwatts PSU which I think should work well enough (just hope its not too loud)
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January 13, 2010 10:31:25 AM

HDD: Only the F3 uses 500 GB platters, which make it faster. A good substitute if it's sold out is the Seagate 7200.12 (same sizes).

GPU: It does affect quality. Whether you'll notice or not depends. I notice a difference, but some of friends don't. Almost every decent card sold right now has an HDMI port, so it's not something you really have to be concerned about, just something to keep in mind.
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January 14, 2010 1:51:22 AM

thanks for the advise and recommendations Mad. i have gone ahead and ordered the parts.. I decided to skimp on the case/psu to save a few bucks, so hopefully the PSU doesn't crap out on me but I guess it's worth the gamble if it works! =)

final parts list:

ABit IP35E
E2160 processor (with AC7 cooler)
MSI HD3870 (accelero fanless cooler)
2 Gb RAM (2 x 1Gb XMS2 DDR2 800)

LITE-ON 4x blu-ray player (OEM)
Rosewill case
Cooler Master 460W PSU
Samsung F3 Terabyte HDD

(Total cost for new parts approximately 250 dollars including tax/shipping)
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