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Budget HTPC Build - First Build

Last response: in Systems
February 26, 2010 12:56:45 AM

This is the parts list for a budget level HTPC that will do some moonlighting as a video encoder and possibly some print work (photoshop cs3). I'm hoping I won't have a problem running XP but I intend to move on up to Windows 7 in April. I'm also hoping I can fit my 2 old IDE drives in here (I checked the manual and it says it has 1 IDE cable so I'm good)

My current rig had a horrible mobo failure after 6 years and sadly, it happens a couple of months after the birth of my first born son so money is tiiiiiiiiight.


CPU -AMD Athlon II X3 435 Rana 2.9GHz Socket AM3 95W Triple-Core Processor

PSU-OCZ ModXStream Pro OCZ500MXSP 500W ATX12V V2.2 / EPS12V SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Modular Active PFC

Optical Drive-Sony Optiarc 24X DVD/CD Rewritable Drive Black SATA Model AD-7240S-0B - OEM

G.SKILL 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F2-6400CL5D-2GBNQ - Retail

Altogether it's $258.00 including shipping and I intend to breadbox it make sure it's in working order then ordering an HTPC case or one of the nicer Coolermaster Micro ATX cases.

I've never built a completely new rig before but I've Frankenstein'd many old ones so I'm not expecting too much hassle, I'm just concerned about compatibility and whether or not this is a good build for ~$250.

I just wanted to add, that I am not going to buy a video card at this time, and I while I expect to add a nice mid/top tier card later I don't expect to be running dual cards at all.

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February 26, 2010 2:14:32 AM

Looks pretty good, however I'd highly suggest going to 2 or more GB of ram (it is fairly cheap these days). Win7 does not run well at all on 1GB.
February 26, 2010 9:23:51 PM

Hmm if u starting afresh why not go with an AM3/DDR3 build cos the sun is going down on DDR2 platforms and for your uses i'd hit at least 2GB RAM 1st
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February 27, 2010 4:54:16 PM

Thanks for the advice guys and I've gone ahead and added a 2gb dual channel kit to that because it really does seem like the best way to go for now.

The only real excuse I have for starting so far down is budget. All the parts above cost me $258 US including shipping. I couldn't find a better combination of parts for that price.

It will probably go down like this, if I need more power, I can try unlocking that last core which isn't a given, but the board can still support a quad core cpu, so that would probably be the first upgrade, then the mobo and ram I can upgrade for about $150.

But since I won't stabilize financially til after the summer, this is probably as nice as it's gonna get til then. Having a new kid is totally not good for your bank account lol.
February 27, 2010 4:59:17 PM

Yep, I figured you had reasons not to spend a ton. That now looks like a pretty balanced build.
March 11, 2010 6:24:38 PM

Best answer selected by shadowclown.