HTPC (AMD) <$600 - first time builder - Advice / Suggestions

HTPC (AMD) <$600 - first time builder - Advice / Suggestions

I'm planning to build a new HTPC ( in next 2 weeks), but have never built a system and this would be a good way to learn at the same time. I've got a 47" LCD (1080p) and Onkyo 507 receiver.

Purpose : To watch movies / DVD / bluray and wath internet TV. No Gaming or word processing. Not planning to have TV tuner at this time, I rarely watch broadcast / cable TV.

I'd like to stay around the $500 range if possible, here's what I've got so far. Being my first attempt at a built, let me know if there are compatibility issues or any suggestion on improving build.

Regarding operating system, pls let me know your thoughts on Window 7 Vs Linux (never build / used at home)

Case

nMEDIAPC Black Aluminum / Acrylic / Steel HTPC 5000B Micro ATX Media Center / HTPC Case Item #: N82E16811204035 $54.99

Mobo

GIGABYTE GA-MA785GM-US2H AM3/AM2+/AM2 AMD 785G HDMI Micro ATX AMD Motherboard Item #: N82E16813128394 $58.99


PSU

Rosewill Stallion Series RD400-2-SB 400W ATX V2.2 Power Supply Item #: N82E16817182074 $34.99


CPU
AMD Athlon II X2 245 Regor 2.9GHz Socket AM3 65W Dual-Core Desktop Processor ADX245OCGQBOX Item #: N82E16819103687 $57.99


Memory
AllComponents 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model AC2/800X64/4096-KIT Item #: N82E16820159021 $59.99

Optical drive / BD

LG Black 10X Blu-ray Burner - Bulk SATA WH10LS30 LightScribe Support - OEM
Item #: N82E16827136181 $79.99

HD

SAMSUNG Spinpoint F4 HD204UI 2TB 5400 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive Item #: N82E16822152245 $79.99

Keyboard / Mouse

Lenovo Multimedia Remote with Keyboard $44.99


Operating System
Windows 7 Home Premium 64 Bit System Builder 1pk Amazon $52.98

Regarding operating system, pls let me know your thoughts on Window 7 Vs Linux (never build / used at home)

Remote
Logitech 650 $ 49 with cheap RF from WMC remote ($ 7 from Amazon)

Total: $580

I really appreciate anyone taking the time to review this. I'm hoping to learn a lot from this, so thanks a lot in advance. If you see any areas that are overkill, I’m open to saving money too.

Also:

1) Pls provide tips for building / assembling / Installing a PC (This is my first one, no prior experience)
2) How I can use this on multiple TV’s across rooms.
7 answers Last reply
More about htpc time builder advice suggestions
  1. a few changes:

    DDR2 is passe now, DDR3 is cheaper. Get an AS Rock 880g motherboard and 4 GB of Mushkin DDR3-1333 RAM ($49.99 w/ $10 MIR), or G.Skill DDR3 for $48.99

    don't trust rosewill PSUs. Seasonic has a 350W PSU for $49.99 that fits in a HTPC case. Seasonic is the most reliable brand out there and has 80+ Bronze on this PSU
  2. The Windows 7 that you listed for $53 seems off... double check what you are looking at, it sounds like the "Anytime Upgrade" price, which isn't what you need. OEM Win7 is about $100 legit.

    Your Onkyo 507 receiver can handle HD audio, and with the AMD setup you won't be able to enjoy the HD audio on blu-rays without adding a discreet card. That being the case, have you considered an Intel build? Intel chips can bitstream the HD audio... the only downside is that right now is a bad time to build an Intel machine because of the new chips coming in January.
  3. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16856173004

    Just needs memory, HDD, and OS. The IONs are great at what you want. Not to mention the Atom is dual core with Hyper Threading, and uses fairly any power. It also has on board wifi and an HDMI port. Anyhow, look around at the Atom330 with first gen ION and The Atom D525 with 2nd Gen ION.
  4. atom + Ion will do 720p, but not 1080p
  5. "a few changes:

    DDR2 is passe now, DDR3 is cheaper. Get an AS Rock 880g motherboard and 4 GB of Mushkin DDR3-1333 RAM ($49.99 w/ $10 MIR), or G.Skill DDR3 for $48.99

    don't trust rosewill PSUs. Seasonic has a 350W PSU for $49.99 that fits in a HTPC case. Seasonic is the most reliable brand out there and has 80+ Bronze on this PSU "

    I will update my list, have been seeing the DDR3 prices over the BF weekend too. Thanks
  6. Windows 7 - It was a BF deal on Amazon, I went and bought one. the normal price is around $100.

    "Your Onkyo 507 receiver can handle HD audio, and with the AMD setup you won't be able to enjoy the HD audio on blu-rays without adding a discreet card. That being the case, have you considered an Intel build? Intel chips can bitstream the HD audio... the only downside is that right now is a bad time to build an Intel machine because of the new chips coming in January."

    I had not considered an intel setup, Do u have a configuration in mind (around my budget), which can replace the standalone Bluray player. I am still struggling with this, Is the tech / prices are there to build blu ray into HTPC or it may make sense to keep them separate for the time being (work with a standalone bluray player connected to receiver).
  7. you can do either, but Blue ray drives aren't terribly expensive

    Lite on Blue-ray player (4x): $49.99
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827106325

    or if you want to burn stuff, for $99.99:
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827136181
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