Apologies for posting something there are already a billion posts on already but I'm not just idly chucking this out there, I have done my research. While there are many other HTPC threads (believe me I've spent the last week reading them), most people seem to want to game on their HTPC's, making the system widely over the top for what I want.
All I want is:
1) a media centre to stream from things like SkyPlayer and BBC iPlayer, as well as play DVD's (possibly blu-ray if I can stretch my budget that far) and any downloaded TV/movies.
2) a place file server I can put all my stuff (photos/music etc.) and have them available on both mine and my girlfriend's computers over the network.
Another problem I've found with other guides/threads is that they are American, obviously I don't have access to those websites, instead I'm stuck with the following retailers:
1) A motherboard - this seems to be big choice for HTPC systems, if I can I want one with HDMI output and decent audio so I don't have to get a proper graphics card. I WILL NOT be playing games on it, just watching and streaming media so I'm hoping that will be fine.
2) a processor - the i3 or athlon II x4 maybe? I just want it quiet, low voltage and good enough to do the job.
3) ram - I have no idea on this front, I'm guessing 2GB is going to be enough, this really depends on the motherboard.
4) hard drives - for network storage as well I was thinking dual 1TB drives in a RAID config. Maybe a pair of Caviar Green's as I hear they are pretty economical, though a lot of people say good things about the Samsung SpinPoint's.
5) the case/power supply - this is the big one. While I have bought other components before now to build gaming/work pc's, I have never bought an HTPC case and I've really no idea what I'll need it to do.
The most up to date thread I found recommended the following:
For something like this, it's small and nondescript. In this case I would highly recommend a modular power supply as space will be limited.
When I know your budget I can put together a simple build for you to begin with. I will be referencing newegg.com just to give advice on what to get. As far as researching and finding it? Well that's half the fun of the build!
I'd add in this question. Is your network storage going to be separate from your HTPC system? If not, then you'll need an HTPC case that can accept more than one or two hard drives. Keep this in mind when looking for HTPC cases.
Well like I said if you cab convince me it's worth it I'm willing to spend more. Thing is, what you've put together for me up there looms fine and that's only around £300. It's HDMI, surely fast enough to play and stream HD content and with those drives it's got a decent amount of network storage.
Of you're saying I need more power behind it I'm happy to slap an i3 in it or something, if now what you've put up yet seems pretty good.