Need advice for new HTPC build please

Approximate Purchase Date: before Christmas
Budget Range: 500-600 After Rebates
System Usage from Most to Least Important: PVR, watching movies, listening to music, no gaming
Parts Not Required: monitor, mouse and keyboard
Preferred Website(s) for Parts:,,
Country of Origin: Canada
Parts Preferences: more used to Intel CPU
Overclocking: No
SLI or Crossfire: No
Additional Comments: needs to be quiet

I currently use my destop to record & watch TV but my motherboard is dying and the nearby couch is going down to the basement,
so I'm thinking of salvaging my computer to build a dedicated HTPC. I also need to upgrade/repair my desktop.

My plan is to use the Core2Duo, RAM an TvTuner to build a HTPC. I would then need a case, mobo, PSU (modular would be best) and a hard drive for the HTPC and a CPU/Mobo/RAM to upgrade my desktop.

So my HTPC build would be
SALVAGED CPU : Core2Duo E6400 (0$)
SALVAGED RAM : 2Go Kingston DDR2 (PC5300) (0$)

Case : As for the case, I was thinking of the Antec Fusion to accomodate the full heigh TV tuner, but it's a pit pricey...
Antec Fusion Black (145$)
OR Silverstone Grandia (120$)
OR nMedia 6000B (80$)

PSU : Seasonic 460W Fanless & Modular (149$)
OR Nexus Value 430W (110$)
OR Antec Earthwatts Green 430W (64$, 49$ after MIR)

MOBO : that's where I need help. I need a mini-ITX mobo with a LGA775 socket, good onboard audio/video, 2 PCI would be nice. No need for wifi.
Since I don't have a HDTV (yet), I'll stick to onboard GPU. I will add a dedicaded card if needed later.
One I've seen recommended is Zotac GF9300-G-E (110$)

HDD: Western Digital Carviar Green 1TB (71$)
Optical Drive: Lite-On BD-ROM (49$)
CPU-Cooler : ???

Thanks for your advices
5 answers Last reply
More about need advice htpc build please
  1. this is the least expensive socket 775 itx motherboard on newegg, $44.99:

    zotac is a decent brand. a Good 9400 GT is another $49.99

    thats $95.99 for a better quality video than is on the 9300. You won't need more for a good HTPC.

    for the HDD, I'd suggest the samsung Spinpoint F3 for $74.99. Its a little more tan the caviar green, but faster i/o, as the green drive is designed to minimize powre usage, causing delays when the drive spins back up. the power savings isn't *that* Significant.

    I'd use the Antec PSU out of the 3 you listed, but you need a case that can take a regular ATX power supply.

    The Coolermaster Elite 360 might work. Its basically a mid-tower turned on its side that keeps the power supply on the front of the unit. Its also only $54.99 canadian
  2. Your tuner is PCI and the 'good' ITX boards only have a single PCI-e slot. So, you either need to get a PCI-e tuner, or bump the motherboard up to micro-ATX to use your HVR-1600.
  3. Here's a s775 board with integrated 9300 video, and 2x PCI slots:

    ASUS P5N7A-VM LGA 775 NVIDIA GeForce 9300/nForce 730i HDMI Micro ATX Intel Motherboard $129 CDN

    Since you are looking at non-ITX cases, there's no need to go ITX on the motherboard.
  4. First, I don't understand the "need" for a mini-ITX board when all the cases you've selected can accomodate a Micro-ATX board.

    Second, your recommended motherboard only has a single PCI-Ex16 expansion slot. There is no way to connect your PCI TV Tuner card.

    Third, while the HD4500 integrated graphics solution I've found on most other ITX motherboards is capable of displaying HD content, I still feel you'd be better off with discrete card with native HDMI output (audio and video) for when you do get your HDTV.

    A micro-ATX motherboard will probably cost you a bit less and give you all the expansion capabilities you'll need in the future.

    Concerning your case selection I'd probably stay away from the NMediaPC case due to it's front drop-down cover being easily broken. I have the NMediaPC 200BA case and though I've been overly careful with it, it did eventually break. If it weren't for that, I'd highly recommend it.

    I'm not familiar with Nexus power supplies, so I'd recommend going with either the Seasonic or Antec (probably Antec).

    I know there is a mad craze about having silent HTPC systems and for the life of me, I cannot figure out what all the fuss is about. My system has an Intel Core2Duo E6600 processor with the stock HSF. The afore mentioned NMediaPC 200BA case with two stock 80mm fans in the back, a Gigabyte HD4670 with stock cooling fan and a non-green Antec 500/550 watt PSU (I think it might be one of their SmartPower series PSU). I swear I cannot hear that system at all when it's idle and certainly not at all when I'm playing a movie!

    -Wolf sends
  5. First and foremost, thanks you all for your comments. As you pointed out, I don't need a mini-ITX board.

    I thing I'll go with a discrete video card. I've found a MSI micro-ATX board and a Radeon 5450 card for 100$.
    MSI G31TM-P35 (49$Can.) : 1 PCI-e x16 + 2 PCI slots
    ASUS EAH5450 SILENT/DI/512MD2(LP) Radeon HD 5450 v(51$Can)

    @ScrewySqrl : the Coolmaster case wouldn't get the Wife approval ;)

Ask a new question

Read More

New Build Systems Product