HTPC/Server build

Hi all, was looking at buying a computer soon for the living room and need some advice on what to get. I have a laptop which is ok for the moment apart from storage space. So i thought that i'd build a cheap pc to house some harddrives that can be accessed by everyone in the house over the wireless network(although router is next to tv so will plug this htpc straight in). Then i also thought about linking it up to the tv to watch video files (avi.h264) and surf the internet.
I dunno how most of this is possible, have been building gaming computers for a few years now and up to date with the latest tech, but just don't know where to begin with this.
I was looking at spending around £300-400 on the setup(Including one hd to start).
This will be on throughout the day like a nas storage, so will need to be energy effiecient just not sure on which is better.
Can anyone help me with the components and general set up.
Thanks in advance
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More about htpc server build
  1. I'm assuming the TV is an HDTV with an HDMI input, in which case it's really easy to do.

    Check out an i3/H55 build. The onboard graphics for this is really good. Here's a quick example of decent build. I'm in the US, so I have no idea how much this will cost over there.

    CPU: i3-430
    RAM: Cheapest 2x2 GB 1600 mhz (or 1333 mhz) CAS latency 7 sticks
    HDD: Samsung Spinpoint F3 1 TB (or Seagate 7200.12 1 TB)
    PSU: Antec Earthwatts 430W 80+ Bronze
    Case: Any that supports micro ATX boards
    Optical: Cheapest SATA DVD burner

    That runs about $550-600 (without the OS). A straight conversion shows that is about 400 pounds. If it's too expensive, you could easily drop the RAM to a 2x1 GB kit.
  2. Ye thats looks pretty cool, well the tv is old but i checked and you can get hdmi to scart cable and that mobo has a hdmi port (hopefully get a lcd tv when i save up).

    Here is my build using ocuk

    CPU: i3-530 £98
    Mobo: Gigabyte GA-H55M-UD2H £85
    RAM: CCorsair Value Select 2GB £40
    HDD: Samsung Spinpoint F3 1 TB £65
    PSU: Corsair CX 400W £40
    Case: around £40
    Total: £370
    Can anyone point me in the right direction for a case at this price range, that is quiet,coolish and no flashy lights.
    Also I can put windows 7 on this computer, but i still want to be able to access it like a server from my laptops to have all of the files backedup and accesible, how could i go about this, not really very savvy on networking,
    thanks again for the detailed response.
  3. It looks alright. There should be a lot of cases in that range. Check out the Antec 200 or Antec 300.

    I have no idea on the networking. I'm not that knowledgable in that area...
  4. Ye cheers, picked the antec 300 for £40. All ready now apart from this networking problem. Could anyone point me in the right direction, if i connect the computer to my router can i just access it through the router or do i need a seperate connection. All i need is to be able to move files to the pc and to access them from my laptop.
    thanks again
  5. What OS is running on your laptop? If they are both running Windows 7, they can be in the same homegroup. That makes it very easy for the computers to see each other and share.
  6. I have windows 7 on all laptops. thats sound good then, just bin on microsoft and looks easy enough to do. That leads me to another question then, i have a retail version of windows 7 i used to upgrade on of my laptops, can i use this on the new build aswell, or will i have to buy another copy?
    thanks for the good advice here.
  7. If it's the full version and has more than one license on it, you can use it. If it's the upgrade version, you can't. An OEM copy (1 install only) usually runs about $100 (probably 70 pounds).
  8. Ye my version only has 1 install, ah well, guess its gonna cost me an extra 100 pounds with the os and wireless keyboard wo bring the total to just under 500, which guess isn't too bad with the whats in the computer.
    cheers for all the help might order tonight :)
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