Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

New build help needed- Low-end HTPC

Tags:
  • Build
  • Systems
  • Product
Last response: in Systems
Share
March 29, 2011 2:08:12 PM

This build, for the most part, is to replace my ever-increasing cable subscription. I don't need a lot from it that I'm not getting from cable. After reading the information and build ideas that I ran across here, the following is what I'm looking at for my HTPC build. Any cost savings ideas or concerns and suggestions are greatly appreciated:

Operating System: Windows 7 (64 bit)

USES:
Watch TV shows and movies (DVD, Blu-Ray or internet streaming)
Watch local TV via antenna and TV Tuner
Ability to record and playback shows
Access and surf internet via wireless adapter
Windows Media Center compatible
WILL NOT be used for gaming

BUDGET: Less than $500 (US)


That's all I'm looking for. I'm leaning toward this build instead of buying a Google TV or other set-top box to save on sites like HULU that won't let you download content for free if it recognizes your system as a set-top. What I've got selected at this point for the build are the following items:

Motherboard ($117):
ASRock E350M1 AMD Zacate E350 (1.6GHz, Dual-Core) AMD A50M Hudson M1 Mini ITX Motherboard/CPU Combo

Memory ($20):
Rendition by Crucial 2GB 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10600) Desktop Memory Model RM25664BA1339

Hard Drive ($42):
Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 ST3500418AS 500GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

Optical Drive ($50):
LITE-ON Black 4X BD-ROM 8X DVD-ROM 32X CD-ROM SATA Internal 4X Blu-ray Disc Reader Model iHOS104-08

Wireless Adapter ($15):
ENCORE ENUWI-N4 IEEE 802.11b/g, IEEE 802.11n Draft 2.0 USB 2.0 Wireless Mini Adapter Up to 150Mbps

TV Tuner ($70):
AVerMedia AVerTVHD Duet - PCTV Tuner (A188 - White Box) - OEM

Remote Control ($20):
Windows 7 Vista XP Media Center MCE PC Remote Control and Infrared Receiver

CASE ($55):
Rosewill RC-CIX-01 BK Glossy Black Steel Cube Mini-ITX Computer Case with 150W Power Supply

Operating System ($100):
Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 1-Pack for System Builders - OEM

-------- TOTAL: $489

Thanks for all inputs in advance.

More about : build needed low end htpc

March 29, 2011 3:56:16 PM

A smart build. You may find the following forum thread interesting, since it has several builds using Zacate motherboards and the exact same case you selected:

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?p=2016691...

Now, the only comment I have about your selections above would be that you could get by with a 32-bit version of Win7 since you are only going with 2GB RAM... though 64-bit would leave you open for a memory upgrade. Not a deal breaker by any means. Just be aware that on a 64-bit system, you'll have to deal with both 32 and 64-bit codecs. 32-bit is a little easier since you only have 32-bit codecs to worry about.



m
0
l
March 29, 2011 4:10:23 PM

The only thing I am iffy about, and cant really say if it will work or not, is the TV tuner, that is PCI-express 1x, which all you have on that motherboard is an PCI-X 16x.

Other then that, the system looks pretty good for an HTPC.
m
0
l
Related resources
March 29, 2011 4:13:21 PM

It will work just fine. It's backwards compatible. I'm running a PCIe-1x tuner in the PCIe-16x slot on my own mini-ITX Fusion HTPC.
m
0
l
March 29, 2011 6:55:21 PM

Thanks for taking the time to help me out. I'm not really up on this stuff and all help is appreciated.

I'm stuck on the 32 Vs 64 bit Windows 7, though. I feel like 32 bit is aging quickly. I've tried Googling this issue and come away with a pretty even split on who prefers which in their (less than 4 GB) HTPC. Can anyone help me out more on this? Since both are the same price, I'm leaning toward 64 but not at all sure. Thanks!

Mark
m
0
l
March 29, 2011 6:59:10 PM

If you can squeeze an extra $20, up your RAM to a stick of 4GB and that will make the decision for you... 64-bit.
m
0
l
March 29, 2011 7:05:04 PM

I'm not questioning your post here, lol. I just don't understand why going to 4 GB makes the difference. Like I said, I don't mess with this stuff often enough. I appreciate your info. I have no problem going to 4GB if needed.
m
0
l
March 29, 2011 7:08:11 PM

Considering your onboard video is going to steal up to 512MB RAM, you may want a little more memory.

I was just making a suggestion that would make your OS choice easier since 4GB is the magic barrier for 32-bit.
m
0
l
March 29, 2011 7:22:11 PM

rwpritchett said:
Considering your onboard video is going to steal up to 512MB RAM, you may want a little more memory.

I was just making a suggestion that would make your OS choice easier since 4GB is the magic barrier for 32-bit.


Ok, now I see. There's not a problem using 64 bit with 2 GB of ram. I'll think about the 4 GB upgrade. It's cheap enough. Thanks for the time spent on this. Much appreciated.
m
0
l
March 29, 2011 9:35:46 PM

I would just go ahead and go 64-bit, more and more software is progressing towards 64bit and it would be wise to just go ahead and go 64-bit.

You can run a 64 bit OS on 2GB, but you wont be able to run 4GB on a 32-bit OS. Personally I would just go dual-channel (which is better) and get two 2GB sticks of RAM.
m
0
l
March 29, 2011 10:11:28 PM

^Zacate doesn't support dual channel... single channel only so 1 stick is fine for now and leaves room for an upgrade.
m
0
l
March 30, 2011 1:52:06 PM
March 30, 2011 3:32:01 PM

Good little HTPC build. A bit over budget, but I don't see anywhere you could cut costs and not sacrifice functionality.

Please post back your build experience and maybe even post some pictures. We love to see these things come to fruition. Here is a thread that will give you some good HTPC software tips: What is the best free HTPC software?

m
0
l
March 30, 2011 6:33:27 PM

rwpritchett said:
Good little HTPC build. A bit over budget, but I don't see anywhere you could cut costs and not sacrifice functionality.

Please post back your build experience and maybe even post some pictures. We love to see these things come to fruition. Here is a thread that will give you some good HTPC software tips: What is the best free HTPC software?


I will build soon and report back. Thanks for the link above. That should help out a lot. All of your help was great. Thanks.
m
0
l
!