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New HTPC Build

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May 13, 2010 1:16:31 PM

My roommate wants an HTPC that he can also use as a normal computer, just want to see what everyone here thinks.

Everything is off of newegg

LIAN LI PC-A05NB Black Aluminum ATX Mini Tower Computer Case

GIGABYTE GA-MA785GM-US2H AM3/AM2+/AM2 AMD 785G HDMI Micro ATX AMD Motherboard

Hauppauge WinTV HVR-1250 Hybrid TV Tuner /Video Recorder 1196 PCI-Express x1 Interface

AMD Athlon II X2 240 Regor 2.8GHz Socket AM3 65W Dual-Core Processor Model ADX240OCGQBOX

PNY Optima 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 667 (PC2 5300) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model MD4096KD2-667

Western Digital Caviar Green WD20EADS 2TB SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

LG 22X DVD Burner - Bulk Black SATA Model GH22LS50 LightScribe Support - OEM

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May 13, 2010 1:47:07 PM

What do you mean by "regular" computer? What other tasks do you need it to do?

It would be helpful to have a budget.

Frankly, I can't get behind many of the parts there. You're building on a lot of older tech (AM2+, DDR2) and are using a very weak CPU.

Something else to point out, but if you're planning on trying to record premium channels (i.e. anything off cable or satellite), that TV tuner isn't going to do the trick.
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May 13, 2010 3:47:56 PM

+1 to the admiral.

Change your motherboard to GA-785GMT-USB3 or similar.

Change the RAM to G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 or similar.

For TV tuners, try not to get a hybrid tuner. A hybrid tuner can switch between QAM/ATSC and NTSC, but not tune into them at the same time. NTSC is pretty much dead with the digital transition, though it can pick up basic cable in some areas. Instead, look for dual tuners which can record two digital QAM or ATSC broadcasts at the same time because there are two physical tuners on the card. The HVR-2250 is an excellent choice for a dual tuner.

Recording premium cable or satellite... well that's a lot more involved and would probably require a whole new thread.

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May 13, 2010 6:31:31 PM

Great thanks. By regular use, I mean maybe he will play the old starcraft but nothing like heavy gaming. He wants to have it double as a tv. His Price range is right around $500 and this is what that setup comes out to. I will definitely switch to the GA-785GMT-USB3 motherboard.

The processor does not seem that old and it is AM3. It seems to get solid reviews on newegg, should I get something faster?

I'll switch out that tuner as well.
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May 13, 2010 7:55:23 PM

The CPU isn't that old, but it is slow. The X3 425 would be a lot faster and not much faster.

You'll also need some DDR3 RAM. rwpritchett linked to some very good sticks.
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