Advice on which components for HTPC build around $600

Hello everyone, I have been reading the sugested builds post and was wondering about the HTPC build provided. Can it handle enconding of high definition videos from home video camera sources?
I am looking to build a box without a dvd/bluray drive to handle my internet browsing/HD video playback/DVR/downloads/magic jack. I am planning on purchasing a centon card in the future(maybe 6 months) and I use my ps3 for blurays.

BUDGET RANGE: $600 Before Rebates

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: encoding 1080p videos, DVR, watching movies(DIVX), surfing the internet

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: bluray, tv/cable card tuner card, speakers, monitor(using TV)




ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: a quiet pc that blends in with black home theatre system
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  1. what connections do you need for your home video camera? I'd suggest getting a micro atx card and maybe having a look around at HTPC cases that you can get. there are a few you can get for real cheap, but the main worry would be (that I came across) is graphics cards. If you want something that can handle encoding 1080p quickly, you'll need something decent, which means a large card, which most HTPC cases can't take (for whatever reason). Id recommend the Silverstone SST-LC20B HTPC, but there are plent of cases out there to suit whatever you want. Once you get a decent core 2 duo (or even a core 2 quad if you want to speed up that encoding) you'll be grand, a decent 500gb - 1 TB hard drive or maybe two if you plan on encoding a lot of 1080p stuff (with MKV format you're talking 7gb or more for a 1 and a half hour film at 1080p). And if you want a monitor, there are loads out there anything suiting your budget should be ok, but if you want good viewing quality maybe get something with a 20,000:1 contrast ratio at the minimum. 2-3 gb ram will do ya but again if you want to speed up that encoding go for 4 and get 64 bit vista or win 7. But again if you know roughly what you want and you look around the net for sites that will build it for you, you'll be grand. Or, your best bet, is to go to a local book shop that sells magazines, pick up a copy of any PC mag and look for any decent adds for places that build pcs for you. It's always a good place to start to see what money you're talking for the specs you want.
  2. Best answer
    Here's a configuration to consider:

    Intel Core i3-530 Clarkdale 2.93GHz 4MB L3 Cache LGA 1156 73W Dual-Core Desktop Processor - Retail

    GIGABYTE GA-H55M-UD2H LGA 1156 Intel H55 HDMI Micro ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail $219.98 (CPU + motherboard combo)

    G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10600) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F3-10600CL9D-4GBNT - Retail $94.99

    Western Digital Caviar Green WD10EARS 1TB 5400 RPM 64MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive $79.99

    Antec Black Aluminum / Steel Fusion Remote Black Micro ATX Media Center / HTPC Case - Retail $139.95

    Antec EarthWatts Green EA-380D Green 380W Continuous power ATX12V v2.3 / EPS12V 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC Power Supply $44.99

    Total - $579.90

    You could swap out the CPU and motherboard for these for $30 less if you want/need.

    AMD Athlon II X4 630 Propus 2.8GHz 4 x 512KB L2 Cache Socket AM3 95W Quad-Core Processor - Retail $99.99

    GIGABYTE GA-MA785GMT-UD2H AM3 AMD 785G HDMI Micro ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail $89.99

    I'm not sure if you need an OS. If so, it adds $105 to the build.

    Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 1-Pack for System Builders - OEM $104.99
  3. Best answer selected by gaijinboricua.
  4. Great input everyone, thanks!

    @Collie147 My HD video cam used SD, so it is as easy as adding an internal adaptor or checking if the case has the SD card reader.

    @shortstuff_mt Nice input, I am actually leaning toward the Athon II X4 processor as it cost less. I have copies of windows 7, so I will be cutting that off the price. I will probably put in a 500W antec power supply to ensure everything is well powered.
  5. I actually looked in the Antec website and if I add a ATI HD 5770 and instead of 1 hard drive I use 2 (one OS and programs, another video DVR) the requirements are a minimum of 266W. This includes a future Ceton cable card that I will put in. So lets say I have an efficiency of 80% (lose power due to heat) I should get a minimum of 282.5W. So the 380W is a good pick actually. This gives me some room for an drive in the future if I change my mind.

    System Type: Single Processor
    Motherboard: Regular - Desktop
    CPU: Athlon II X4 630 2800 MHz Propus
    CPU Utilization (TDP): 90% TDP

    RAM: 2 Sticks DDR3 SDRAM
    Video Card: ATI Radeon HD 5770
    Video Type: Single Card

    Regular SATA: 2 HDDs
    PCI-e x1: 1 Card
    Front Bay Card Reader: Yes
    Front Bay LCD Display: Yes

    Regular: 2 Fans 120mm;

    Keyboard and mouse: Yes

    System Load: 90 %

    Recommended Minimum
    PSU Wattage: 226 Watts
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