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Looking to build first HTPC on moderate budget

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April 27, 2011 7:45:04 AM

HI guys im looking to build my 1st HTPC.
I can put together a computer but im having trouble finding a good idea of whats 'good' anymore out there. (many things I read are years old)
I see info but not for my specific situation.

Approximate Purchase Date: (2-3 weeks)

Budget Range: (e.g.: 300-600, but can push if needed. I do want quality)

System Usage from Most to Least Important: (e.g.: hulu/netflicks, surfing internet, youtube, playing music files, DVDs, streaming music. NO gaming needed)

Parts Not Required: (nothing)

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: (e.g.: open to all, cheapest preferred)

Country of Origin: (e.g.: USA)

Parts Preferences: by brand or type) (e.g.: doesnt matter)

Overclocking: probably not

SLI or Crossfire: no idea?

Monitor Resolution: (e.g.: dont know, want to play on my 780 Panasonic Viera 50")

Additional Comments: (e.g.: see below)





Im looking to build or buy a HTPC for my house I will use it for

1) Hulu/netflicks
2) youtube/comdey central.com/ ect
3) browse internet
4) will connect via HDMI
5) I want to do HD but my tv only gets 780
6) no gaming at all (other than maybe online flash games)
7) im going to keep it in a closet so it doesnt have to be small or pretty
8) I dont want to DVR anything on it
9) id like to play my music files off of it and I have a large collection
10) Id like to play DVD's on it
11) I dont think I want a blue ray player (I dont believe they will work well on my tv anyway)
12) I want to connect directly to my cable modem via cat5 (or 6 or whatever is out there)
13) will probably end up using windows 7 or whatever is recommended. Id consider a linux OS but Ive heard that can sometimes be problematic.
14) im thinking of using a HD antenna for local chans and using the inputs on my tv to change b/t this and the computer

Is there anything else I should consider?

Is there a good option to buy out there that would work for me or should I build
if so what parts do you recommend

I really appreciate any help you can give me.

Id like to keep it as inexpensive as possible
April 27, 2011 1:01:21 PM
April 27, 2011 1:11:20 PM

An AMD build would be a good fit for what you are after. Any AM3 motherboard with integrated HD 4200 through HD 4250 will have HDMI output and be able to do audio bitstreaming (audio over HDMI). If you have a Microcenter near you the option below would work well. If not, the keys to stick with are the X4 840 or other Athlon X4 CPU, DDR3-1600 CL9 memory, integrated video as described above, and a good power supply around 350w (Antec is a good option).


MB + CPU - MSI 785GTM-E45 + X4 840 => $100 after rebate
http://www.microcenter.com/specials/promotions/AMDbundl...
MEM - Kingston DDR3-1600 CL9 => $40 after rebate
http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml...
HD - Samsung F3 500GB => $45
http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml...
DVD - Samsung DVD-RW => $20 (any drive here for $20 is fine)
http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml...
Case + PSU - Cooler Master Elite 330 + 350w Power Supply => $60
http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml...
OS - Windows 7 x64 for System Builders - $100
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Roughly $365 will take care of your requirements, but I would opt up for a Blu-Ray reader now instead of later.

Blu-Ray - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Related resources
April 28, 2011 9:41:33 AM

What do you guys think of this system?

"This build is one I will try to update frequently with the build that I think is your absolute "best bang for your buck". Currently this is a build that includes a Sandy Bridge i3 CPU, fully loaded mini-ITX motherboard, ITX case and PSU, 4GB RAM, 2TB Hard Drive all for under $400."

^from the link below, scroll down to "sweet spot build"

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1302559
April 28, 2011 12:53:59 PM

If you're going mini-ITX, then assassin's sweet-spot build is very good. Personally, I think micro-ATX is the sweet spot for price/performance (and I just built a mini-ITX HTPC). Mini-ITX does have a size advantage though.

Case selection is a subjective matter... I like HTPC cases that look like A/V equipment rather than cube cases, but that's me.

First, you should decide on what form factor you think you need.

For wireless keyboards, very few require line of sight. RF or bluetooth keyboards work even if the box is hidden. Again, keyboard selection is a subjective matter. My favorite recommendation is this one: Moneual MK701
April 29, 2011 8:50:32 AM

Can you explain what is the difference b/t mini ITX and micro ATX, please?
April 29, 2011 12:18:26 PM

Size is the difference:

!