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Parting out PC to build HTPC, which parts are usable?

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July 25, 2010 12:39:48 PM

Hi all,
I'm wanting to build my 1st HTPC, but with my main PC for work getting on in years I was curious to see if any of its current parts would be usable for the HTPC, then I could upgrade my workhorse machine (and write off the expense!). Below is a list of the main parts that could possibly be used. I appreciate your feedback, if something is not usable, let me know

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: 1 month to research, select & build

BUDGET RANGE: negotiable after determining what existing parts are usable, $500?

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: HTPC: (HDTV, internet video (netflix, hulu, local over-the-air-digital tv, blue-ray dvds, etc)

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: (Possibly)

Motherboard
GIGABYTE GA-965P-DS3 LGA 775 Intel P965 Express ATX Intel Motherboard

CPU
Intel Core 2 Duo E6400 Conroe 2.13GHz LGA 775 65W Dual-Core Processor BX80557E6400
ARCTIC COOLING Freezer 7 Pro Rev.2 92mm Fluid Dynamic CPU Cooler

Video Card
BFG Tech BFGR76256GTOCE GeForce 7600GT 256MB 128-bit GDDR3 PCI Express x16 SLI Support Video Card

RAM
CORSAIR XMS2 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400)
Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model TWIN2X4096-6400C5

TV Tuner Card
Hauppauge WinTV-HVR 1850 (updated version of 1800) MCE Kit 1128 PCI-Express x1 Interface

PSU
PC Power and Cooling S61EPS 610W Continuous @ 40°C EPS12V SLI Certified CrossFire Ready
80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Power Supply compatible with core i7

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: most familiar with newegg, but open to others

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: USA

PARTS PREFERENCES: open to suggestion

OVERCLOCKING: No

SLI OR CROSSFIRE: most likely not

MONITOR RESOLUTION: to be connected to HD LCD TV (yet to be purchased, but of course 1080p, etc)

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: quiet, low energy consumption?
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Obviously I'd need a new case to fit in the entertainment center, I just don't know if any of this would fit inside a HTPC case or be solid enough to process the video/audio? other things like input devices to run the HTPC, just a wireless keyboard/mouse? no remote?

Thanks for helping this newbie out! greatly appreciated.
July 25, 2010 1:18:59 PM

I recommend the following:

Case: Antec Fusion Black 139.99 This comes with an IR remote and it has a great form factor.
PSU: OCZ Modular 500W PSU I recommend this because the case is MicroATX and you'll need the modular cables to keep airflow good. 39.99 after MIR
GPU: Radeon 5450 29.99 after MIR
BluRay: LG BLuRay w/ Software 114.99
Media HDD: Samsung 1.5 TB HDD 89.99

Altogether thats $415.
Keyboard: ADesso 2.4Ghz Media Keyboard w/ trackball 59.99

Total: 475 before shipping.

Everything else you listed I would use for an HTPC. (CPU RAM etc)
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July 25, 2010 1:23:31 PM

Also I recommend getting a 2nd TV Tuner, just because the more you have the less restricted you are with watching something else while recording.

I need to find room in my budget to get a 2nd card myself.
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July 25, 2010 2:21:53 PM


one thing I didn't have listed was a hard drive.... I've seen some of the 'green' HDs recommended in articles for low wattage/heat, what about speed, is it an issue/requirement at all?

thanks for the quick feedback, glad to know I can reuse some of these parts. still open to hear additional suggestions from others, but this is a really great start for researching! much appreciated!
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July 26, 2010 3:22:25 AM

What I use is a Seagate 7200.12 500GB as an OS/program disk, and I use the 1.5TB as just a media/server disk.

The green ones/low RPM ones are fine for mass data storage, but I personally wouldn't use it to operate the OS from.
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August 24, 2010 2:15:22 AM

Thanks Cmcghee358,
Finally getting back to this, had a slight financial diversion, lol... Anyway, couple other question for the group - say I've got 3 separate rooms that I'd like to watch tv on, how do I set them up to do so? do I need separate HTPCs for each TV? can I watch unique shows on each TV?

lastly, What's everybody do for Football season? put up an old Antenna to pull in digital local channels? or is there a computer-gadget version of the old antenna?

Thanks again, I finally want to do this, but do it right so I have what I need to watch the few things I enjoy watching.
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