$400-$500 HTPC

So I'm looking to build a new HTPC that will be connected to my AVR via HDMI and then from the AVR to a 52" 1080p TV via HDMI. This means I'll need HDMI audio bitstreaming.

Approximate Purchase Date: ASAP

Budget Range: $400-$500

System Usage from Most to Least Important: streaming internet HD movies/TV via netflix, hulu, and fastpasstv; playing blu-ray; streaming music via pandora; video skype; itunesr

Parts Not Required: OS (W7 64); TV tuner (live in Japan); wifi card (will connect via LAN)

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: none

Country of Origin: U.S. or Japan (overseas military w/ Japan and FPO addresses)

Parts Preferences: none

Overclocking: No

SLI or Crossfire: no

Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080

Additional Comments: I would like a quiet PC that looks like it belongs in my entertainment center and a remote control capability (I have a logitech harmony one).
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  1. Well you could do the build in my signature. But since your not gaming just change out the GPU for nothing and change the motherboard for this motherboard.


    And total that should run you.... about 390? Around there. I'm referring to this site.


    EDIT: To explain the mobo, You don't need a dedicated card since your not gaming so onboard video is good enough to just view movies blah blah things that HTPCs doo.
  2. Two things stand out in your proposal: 1) a quad core seems unnecessary for an HTPC build and 2) I'd prefer a case that looks like it belongs in my entertainment center rather than my office.
  3. It is you can just pick up Rana Athlon II X3 445 instead of the Phenom and get this case instead.

  4. Anyone else want to pitch a complete build list?
  5. Something like:
  6. After reading many reviews, I'm thinking seriously about building the machine around an i5 to get the onboard bitstreaming capability w/o a discrete GPU. Has anyone had success with this? If so, any recommended builds in my price range?
  7. an i5 uses built-in GPU on the CPU. Which is pretty much the same concept as having an IGP on the motherboard.

    The new Sandy Bridge i5 has the best graphic performance, which eliminates the need of a discrete graphic card. But the price of the CPU and motherboard alone can cost around $300.

    The best option, price wise, would be a dual core i3 (also has on-die graphic, yet lower performance) with LGA1156 motherboard. The other alternative would be an AMD platform with at least a dual core Athlon II X2 and an 880G (HD4250 IGP) chipset motherboard. You may not need a triple core for HTPC.
  8. Ummm... I just saw the price, make that $400 for the i5 and motherboard :P
  9. Oh I just remembered, you could wait for AMD's E350 and see how pricing goes, thats supposed to be pretty decent in everything. CPU, APU (GPU on the die) etc. etc.
  10. My understanding is that the i3/i5 and HD 5000 series are the only options to get bitstreaming of audio w/o a dedicated, high-end sound card. Is this not true? If it is true, I could maybe add an HD 5450 to build like batuchka recommends.
  11. The latest Nvidia Fermi cards, such as the Geforce 430, can also bitstream HD audio. The integrated HD6310 on the forthcoming AMD fusion boards will too.
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