Advice for a HTPC Build???

I am looking for some advice on a HTPC build. I'll explain my needs and wants as follows:

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: 1-2 months from today BUDGET RANGE: $1500

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Burn and Watch Blu Ray movies, Record HDTV, Listen to Music and watch Video from Home Theater System

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: screen. I am using my 47in LG LED TV


PARTS PREFERENCES: I am open for all sugggestions. I want to get everything that requires little upgrading.

OVERCLOCKING: if need be SLI OR CROSSFIRE: whatever is better


ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: I would like a quiet PC and be able to produce crisp sound through my martin logan motion 12 speaker system. I also want high resolution video.

Thanks for all the advice and input.
14 answers Last reply Best Answer
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  1. Ok, first off, this is probably a bit over kill and you have to find the TV tuner/capture card as I haven't looked in to them for over a year. You will also have to figure out the case

    AM3 Athlon II X2/X3
    2-4GB DDR3 1600 GSkill or other top brand (Corsair, Patriot,etc)
    2x1TB Samsung F3s or more
    LG BD Burner (this: )
    If you want quiet: Get a Hyper 212+ and replace the fans with some Scythe Gentle Typhoons or Slipstreams or get a quiet Noctua.

    All of the above can be found at Newegg.
  2. This is the case I am looking at buying.

    Thermaltake DH101

    Which power supply would be recommended?

    I would also like to know if i need a video card and a sound card.

    Thanks for all the advice
  3. Hmm actually for audiophiles their biggest investment once the PC in HTPC is settled is the audio set up hehe However if you aren't an audiophile the modern day onboard sound on mobos should suffice
  4. Well...if you want to save some money, try buying an i3. They make excellent HTPC processors with their integrated graphics. The processor is packed with features that make the excellent HTPC processors. Hopefully I helped!
  5. Best answer
    Here's an idea:
    AMD Athlon II X2 250
    CORSAIR 2GB 240-Pin DDR3
    LG Black 10X BD-ROM 16X DVD-ROM SATA Internal Blu-ray Disc Combo
    SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB
    Antec NEO ECO 400C 400W



    Scythe SCSK-1100 100mm Shuriken Rev. B
    Arctic Silver 5 Thermal Compound
    ASUS Xonar DX 7.1 Channels PCI Express x1 Interface Sound Card (great for music)

    Total with the optional stuff $549.92

    + a TV tuner - that depends on how do you get your TV signal (cable, antenna, analog, digital, etc). Also what receiver do you have on those speakers, you may not need that soundcard.
  6. If you're still researching tuner cards, this website is a must read:

    Also, keep in mind that the CableCard tuners are coming real soon. There's the Ceton 4 tuner and the SiliconDust 2 tuner coming out. They are for digital cable.

    In my opinion, the best TV tuner for HTPC is still the HVR-2250 which can grab over the air digital, clear QAM digital cable, and standard analog cable with its dual hybrid tuners.

    Do you have cable, satellite, or just an antenna?
  7. I think I will hold off on the tuner card for now until I do some more research. I have comcast digital cable with a Cisco RNG 150 box. For my receiver its a Marantz SR7002. My main focus is around a clear picture and crisp sound. Occasionally I will do some internet browsing but this is not my main reason for an HTPC. I want a clean inter grade with my home theater. If i go with the core I3, which mobo would i have to use?
  8. Any H55 or H57 chipset motherboard will use the Clarkdale integrated video on the i3. Just pick a reputable brand (Asus or Gigabyte) that has all of the features you want:

    Micro ATX or ATX?
    # PCI slots?
    # PCIe slots?
    # USB ports?
    Optical out/Coaxial out?
    4 RAM slots?
    USB 3.0 if desired?
    # of SATA ports?
    SATA 6.0 if desired?
  9. I'm thinking about this mobo

    The Gigabyte GA-H55-USB3
  10. Imo, going for an i3+ a decent H55 board is pretty expensive. Stick with an AMD for this kind of work. You will probably get better performance overall with a good HTPC card like a 4550,etc over the IGP in Clarkdale. I'm nor saying that Clarkdale is bad, but rather an bit overkill in cost when considering total cost for CPU + board.
  11. Alright, thanks for the advice.
  12. The best mobo onboard video out there are AMD and HD 4290 is the latest. People even game on those so it's no problem to run 1080p movies.

    About the CPU integrated videos I don't know much but maybe it's better to leave the CPU do its business and use the onboard video card like in the AMD solution. Also, as Shadow703793 said, it's overkill. Also the i3 has a TDP of 73W compared to AMD's 45W - that's more heat in your system.

    For digital cable you need a tuner with DVB-C. I have an older Hauppauge myself (HVR-1300) and it's very good only it has only DVB-T (digital signal over antenna), I guess the newer models have DVB-C as well.

    For the sound (Dolby, DTS or whtever you'll be using) ask on the audio forum or on a dedicated forum like this one:
  13. Athlon-II 435 (or 440 if gaming)
  14. Best answer selected by srogers26.
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