Building a New HTPC - Parts List (Suggestions/Improvements?)


I'm looking to build a HTPC in the near future and have picked out some parts, but I wanted to check to see what others thought before I place the order.

Here's the list:

Western Digital Caviar Black WD1001FALS 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive ($99.99)

OCZ StealthXStream OCZ700SXS 700W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready Active PFC Power Supply ($79.99)

G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model ($106.99)

LG Black Blu-ray Disc Combo SATA Model UH10LS20 LightScribe ($104.99)

LIAN LI Black Aluminum PC-C32B ATX Media Center / HTPC Case

Intel Core i5-661 Clarkdale 3.33GHz LGA 1156 87W Dual-Core Desktop Processor

MSI H55M-E33 LGA 1156 Intel H55 HDMI Micro ATX Intel Motherboard

MoBo and Processor Combo for ($284.98)

All of the parts are from NewEgg as of today, and the total cost is around $880 with shipping. I am somewhat flexible with the budget, but this appears to be everything I'm looking for, I just wanted to make sure

I'm planning to use the onboard video with the HDMI, but wanted to make sure that the picture quality would be very good for Blu-Ray.

Also, I have a standalone server that will be on the same LAN as this HTPC, so I don't need much HDD space I would assume? Is this correct? I only really want this HTPC for playback of movies that are stored on the server.

Thank you in advance for any responses/suggestions,

Robert Clark
3 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about building htpc parts list suggestions improvements
  1. the onboard is probably fine, though have you considered AMD quad with the onboard HD4290

    AMD Athlon II x4 635 + GIGABYTE GA-890GPA-UD3H - $245

    everything else would be the same, the cpu would be as powerful and the onboard would be a bit better
  2. Best answer
    If you've a server, you shouldn't be looking at an HDD larger than 500GB. I recommend the Samsung Spinpoint F3. If it is out of stock at the time of your purchase, a Seagate 7200.12 would perform similarly. Both are better than any 500GB WD offerings atm.
    The PSU is overkill. (Don't count on the MIR btw.) Unless for some reason you plan on adding some power-hungry graphics card(s) in the future, you really don't need anything above 400-500W. Take your pick.
    As far as RAM goes, consider a lower voltage set. I recommend the G Skill ECO series. If I were you, I'd have my HTPC running 24/7, and lower voltage RAM would be a worthwhile investment, if you can even call it that.
    A less expensive case alternative. Lacks the second external bay and full-aluminum chassis, but it has better cooling and isn't as tall (I would think that height isn't something you would want in an HTPC). And, you know, it's $80 less.
    Core i5 Clarkdales are all overpriced, so go with the i3-530. Here's a combo for you. You most likely will not be able to tell the difference between the 530 and the 661, TBH. If you do, you can always OC. The 661's Turbo Boost + 400MHz bump shouldn't cost $80.
    These changes should save you ~$200 at no cost performance-wise. But keep an eye out for other combos.
    Oh, like this one.

    You might also want to consider an SSD instead of a HDD, since speed will probably be more of a priority than storage space in your case. Intel has a relatively inexpensive "Value" SSD you might want to consider.
  3. Best answer selected by r0b3rt03.
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