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Rate my HTPC build....please

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September 23, 2010 8:31:30 PM

Looking to build a new HTPC as I sold my last one to my sister, she needed a new computer as her P4 wasn't cutting it.

My first build
Athlon II x2 250
ECS MB 785GM-AD3
2GB DDR3
NIVIDIA GT 220
ANTEC PSU 380W
APEVIA HTPC CASE
WINDOWS XP 32BIT

I built that system for around 325$

For what I used it for it seemed like over kill so I sold it.

Trying to do a new system for half the price and reuse the apevia HTPC case

Sempron 140
Biostar A880g+ (have not seen any reviews on this board anyone???)
Patriot 2GB 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10600) Desktop Memory Model PSD32G13332
Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 ST3160813AS 160GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
ASUS DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS Black SATA 24X DVD Burner - Bulk - OEM
Windows XP 32bit
Roll the dice on the included 500w apevia PSU (seemed to work just fine for the last build)

Hoping that this board will have success unlocking the Sempron, but if it doesn't will it be sufficient for HTPC??

This rig will be used solely for netflix, hulu, internet radio, music, web surfing. NO GAMING.

Hoping the intgrated 4250 graphics would be enough to power my 50" Hitachi HDTV at 1080p?
(If not I could swap in my 5670 and upgrade my workstation)

Total cost was 162$ including shipping.

More about : rate htpc build

a c 104 B Homebuilt system
September 23, 2010 11:07:51 PM

Should work the sempron should be fine just as long as you are not multitasking.
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September 24, 2010 8:33:51 PM

Thanks for your reply
I decided to go with another Athlon II X2. Combo was only 17$ more than the sempron and that way the system will be a little more versatile. Won't have to worry about the luck of the draw with unlocking.

Athlon II X2 245
Biostar A880G+
2gb Kinston DDR3
Western Digital 160gb HDD
Asus DVD Drive
Recycled apevia HTPC case and PSU

Total after $10 mail in rebate $177.01 w/ shipping

If the onboard graphics can do the trick (HD 4250) It'll be a great deal and serve it's purpose well.
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a b B Homebuilt system
September 24, 2010 8:44:08 PM

Keep us updated on the build. I'd like to know how it turns out. The HD4250 will do just fine for media playback.

Are you going to stick with XP or any plans to move on to Win7? Win7MC is a top notch front-end.
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October 1, 2010 1:59:56 PM

This build went very well. Received the components on Wednesday and finished configuring it on Thursday night. I've got to say I'm very satisfied with this build.

Athlon II X2 545 2.9ghz
Biostar A880g+
2gb kingston DDR3 1333
Asus DVD
Western Digital Caviar HDD 160GB
Apevia Case and power supply

My main concern was that the Integrated Graphics would not be up to the task. I watched a pretty graphics intense movie on my 50" Hitachi 1080p (60hz) and did not see one stutter, gotta say I'm pleasantly surprised and impressed. This MB was the only part of the build I was a little iffy on as I've never used biostar before. Have not had a chance to really check out the bios but since this is just an HTPC rig and will not be gaming with it I doubt I'll really need to think about OC'ing.

Pros: Great processor at a very reasonable price, MB is very small (a good thing) worked great in my HTPC case and has plenty of room for a dedicated graphics card if I wanted to add later, although not needed as the integrated graphics are perfect for my use. Build was very easy, booted up first try

Cons: None really, with the size of the MB I could have gone with a smaller case which would fit in my entertainment center a little better. This case is great for the 50$ I paid for w/ psu my only complaint is that it is very long (deep) and doesn't have much room to "breath" in my specific entertainment center. think I might drill some holes in the metal cover above the CPU to help with ventialtion. It's running at 28 degrees but will probably jump up to 37-40 degrees once I put it in my entertainment cabinet.

I'm running XP right now, but considering an upgrade to WIN 7. I've got Win 7 on my gaming rig (student price 29.99) and @ work and I really like it. I've used the media center a little and it looks to have tons of potential. I dropped cable about a year ago and have been using netflix, hulu etc, the media center does a good job of incorporating these sites. Curious to see how Win 7 MC works with a TV tuner card for local programming.

All total I spent $177 after MIR + $50 for the case I already had. Kinda rolling the dice on the 500w apevia PSU but seems to work just fine.

Happy I decided to get the Athlon combo deal for 18$ more than the sempron combo. A guaranteed dual core.

Only time will tell, but I at this point I would recommend this build to anyone....



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a b B Homebuilt system
October 1, 2010 3:10:51 PM

the 500 Apevia PSU is probly never being strained by your build, actually. Its probly using only about 175W, if that.
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a b B Homebuilt system
October 1, 2010 6:56:55 PM

Pics? :) 

Love to hear a success story, especially on a tight budget. Definitely go for Win7 in the near future. WMC is awesome and has great plugin & codec support.
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