HTPC $700-$900

Approximate Purchase Date: Couple of days

Budget Range: $700-$900

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Watch movies, watch OTA TV, browse the web, light gaming

Parts Not Required: Keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Any, newegg would be conveniant though

Country of Origin: USA

Parts Preferences: Micro ATX based

Overclocking: Maybe

SLI or Crossfire: No

Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080 Samsung HDTV

Additional Comments: Wondering if I'm paying too much for what I need it to do. Like to have additional capabilites and features, but would rather not pay a whole lot more for miniscule performance difference. The most glaring example is the SSD. Is it worth it for the speed increase?


Processor: Intel Core i3-2100 Sandy Bridge 3.1GHz 2 x 256KB L2 Cache 3MB L3 Cache LGA 1155 65W Dual-Core Desktop Processor BX80623I32100

Mobo: ASRock H55M/USB3 R2.0 LGA 1156 Intel H55 HDMI USB 3.0 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard

RAM: G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 1066

Optical: SAMSUNG Black 12X BD-ROM 16X DVD-/+R 48X CD-ROM SATA Internal Blu-ray Drive Model SH-B123L/RSBP LightScribe Support (Retail)

HD (OS): Crucial RealSSD C300 CTFDDAC064MAG-1G1 2.5" 64GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)

HD (Storage): Western Digital Caviar Green WD20EARS 2TB 64MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

Case: SILVERSTONE Black Aluminum / 0.8mm SECC Grandia Series GD05B micro-ATX / Mini-DTX / Mini-ITX MB, 1x5.25", 2x3.5"+1x2.5"HDD or 1x3.5"+2x2.5"HDD, 3x120mm golf bladed fan, 11" expansion card capable HTPC Case

PS: Antec EarthWatts Green EA-380D Green 380W Continuous power ATX12V v2.3 / EPS12V 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC Power Supply

Tuner card: Hauppauge WinTV-HVR 1850 (updated version of 1800) MCE Kit 1128 PCI-Express x1 Interface

OS: Win7 Home Premium 64 bit

Current price: ~$925

Thanks in advance for any help.
8 answers Last reply Best Answer
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  1. Best answer
    haha, nice first attempt.

    You did very well picking the CPU, not so good on the motherboard. But that's ok! It's your first time.
    Let's walk through the build.

    CPU: 2100, excellent choice.

    Mobo: The one you selected is not compatible. I recommend this one:

    RAM: Incompatible ram. This stuff is half the price, and it's faster!

    Blu-ray: Good choice.

    OS HD: I would suggest against an SSD, seeing as it's an expensive component that can be added in later if you reallllllyy want it. Besides, SSD's are getting cheaper and faster. IMO, now is NOT the time to buy.

    Storage HDD: Just fine. As I said above, SSD is not really needed. Check out the Spinpoint F3 1TB. A super fast and reliable drive for $60. Bootup times are like ~15 seconds for me.

    Case: That case is pretty expensive. Might wanna check out some other cases.

    PSU: Amazing choice. Don't change it.

    Tuner card: Never dealt with them.

    OS: Make sure it's the OEM version, should be $99.

    And there you have it! Very nice system. The only thing I would add is a 5570 for some gaming. It's a strong little card and does not require a strong PSU.
    If you wanna throw down a bit more cash, grab a GTS 450 or 5770. They are for heavy hitting games (BF3, anyone?) and will let you game high/medium most games for a while.

    That wraps things up!
  2. Ha, thanks for the sanity check on the mobo and RAM. I guess that's what I get for picking and choosing from 3 other builds. I'll change those out.

    Not sure if I'm going to throw a gaming card in there or not. I have a gaming rig I built last year upstairs, the "light gaming" this computer was going to be for was if I just felt like screwing around on some indie games from Steam or something. I'll probably order without one for now and throw it one in later if I want to.

    Thanks for the advice on the SSD as well. Part of me wants to listen to you and part of me is thinking "It's just one month of the cable bill you'll be getting rid of". We'll see which side wins.
  3. yeah that's fine, but if you want to do ANY gaming (read: any) do yourself a favor and grab any sort of graphics card. Doesn't have to be good, just something. And so you know, the 5570 i suggested is about $55 so pretty cheap. It can handle games pretty well, and might help you with running a few GPU intensive tasks.
  4. sync_nine said:

    So unnecessary...
  5. Aceiks said:
    Tuner card: Hauppauge WinTV-HVR 1850 (updated version of 1800) MCE Kit 1128 PCI-Express x1 Interface
    For the tuner, try to stretch a bit and get the HVR-2250. The 2250 is a dual tuner, which means you will be able to watch one channel while recording another (or record two at a time). Also, it will add FM radio to your HTPC. There's nothing wrong with the 1850, but the 2250 might save you from having to purchase another tuner because of the 1850's one channel limitation.
  6. Thanks for the help all. Ended up getting the mobo/RAM striker advised. Kept the SSD and added a 6750. Toned down the case to ~$60 and got a cheaper Hauppauge TV tuner.
  7. Best answer selected by Aceiks.
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