$500 HTPC

Approximate Purchase Date: within 2 weeks

Budget Range: $500 ~ $550

System Usage from Most to Least Important: 3D/B-Ray/HD/Youtube videos, music, light gaming

Parts Not Required: Monitor ( I plan to connect it to my projector), OS (this budget does not include OS, that i can get anywhere, same price), speakers

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Any (normally i use newegg.ca, ncix.ca, tigerdirect.ca)

Country of Origin: Canada

Parts Preferences: by brand or type: None, best and most reliable

Overclocking: Don't have to

SLI or Crossfire: doesn't have to

Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080

Other parts needed: Wireless keyboard with built in mouse.

Additional Comments: I'm new to HTPC and its abilities, so i apologize in advance for stupid questions. I'm building a little entertainment area in the basement, I'm getting a Sony 5.1 home theater system (HTSS380). I will be using the HTPC to watch blue ray movies, and even 3d movies (is there anything special required for computer to output 3d movies besides a graphics card that supports HDMI 1.4a?), YouTube etc. and light gaming like CoD black ops.
From all the experienced HTPC users out there, if you can recommend somethings and tips on how to get more out of it, or setup, it will be greatly appreciated.

Thank you in advance!
21 answers Last reply
More about htpc
  1. Thank you for reply manmental, projection is about 60"

    Here is the build that i selected, please offer your suggestions,

    CPU: AMD-A8-3850 http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103942 [$139.99]

    Mobo: GIGABYTE GA-880GMA-USB3 AM3+ AMD 880G HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Micro ATX AMD Motherboard
    http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128490 [$104.99]

    Memory: G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Desktop Memory Model F3-10666CL9D-8GBXL http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231426 [$47.99]

    HDD: Seagate Barracuda ST500DM002 500GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
    http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822148767 [$39.99]

    Case: APEX DM-387 Black Steel Micro ATX Media Center / Slim HTPC Computer Case w/ ATX12V Flex 275W Power Supply
    http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811154087 [$45.99]

    keyboard: IOGEAR GKM561R Black 2.4GHz Wireless HTPC Multimedia Keyboard with Laser Trackball and Scroll Wheel
    http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16823176018CVF [$59.99]

    Total $595 delivered.

    Do you guys think that GPU in the A8-3850 will be enough to handle all the video streaming (blue ray/3d) or should i get another graphics card?

    Thank you
  2. Quote:
    that CPU is not compatible with that motherboard it's AM3
    but now it's time to get AM3+ motherboard anyways.

    you selected the a8-3850 CPU (FM1 motherboard) with the 880, 890, 970 and 990 chipsets
    you need the athlon ii x3/4 or phenom ii x3/4 CPU instead.

    here's what we can do:

    you can keep the CPU but get a FM1 motherboard:

    or keep the motherboard (I wouldn't) and get on of these CPU's instead:
    AM3+ motherboard in case you wanna make that move as well, I would..

    I didnt know that i needed FM1 socket, i thought AM3+ would work.
    I've changed the mobo to ASRock A75M FM1 AMD A75 (Hudson D3) HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Micro ATX AMD Motherboard with UEFI BIOS http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157260

    would A8-3850 be able to handle blue ray and 3D in terms of graphics?
  3. Quote:
    yes it would considering your not using a gfx card, your going with the on-board APU set-up..

    Would it be better to add a graphics card on top of this or get another CPU and put in a graphics card?

    If i add another graphics card on top of this, is it possible that onboard APU can work with PCI graphics in cross fire or something?

    Thank you
  4. zer0net said:
    Would it be better to add a graphics card on top of this or get another CPU and put in a graphics card?

    If i add another graphics card on top of this, is it possible that onboard APU can work with PCI graphics in cross fire or something?

    Thank you

    For HTPC llano is perfect, it can even handle some light gaming. No need to drop an additional gpu unless you plan on gaming (in that case llano isn't the best option.)
  5. Nice job with the Llano! I have a $400 Llano build here:
    Yours looks good though. Make sure you're using DDR3 1600. Llano runs faster and better with faster RAM speeds. This is the only time where I'd recommend 1600 instead of 1333.
  6. Thanks man!

    Uhh yeah! I would just recommend DDR3 1600 as I said before. It does actually help with the APU performance and CPU performance but this is specifically for Llano. Llano seems to benefit more from faster speeds than others.
    I actually don't have a Llano build. Haha But ya know.
  7. Haha You felt like I did have one?
    Well I wouldn't get one know, especially with BD coming close and my next upgrade. I already got some Kingston HyperX 8GB DDR3 1600's waiting for me at home when I get back from my trip! $49 from the Egg, really purdy too. Nice and black, limited edition! :D
  8. Well aren't we rich haha. I've got enough saved for the BD quad ($190) I'm saving up for the Asrock Extreme4 970 ATM. It's going to be a solid board I hope. If not, I'm hoping Asrock will release a Asrock Extreme3 Gen3 9xx board. Dude those new GenX boards from Asrock look amazing.
  9. I will change the ram to 1600. Do you see any compatibility issues with the hardware?

    Thank you
  10. @ Mal, uhhh the Gen3 Extreme3 is 8x/8x/4x. And no 16x/4x is just as bad for CF.

    @ zer0net the parts all look good.
  11. I havent built the HTPC yet, because the contractor hasn't finished the basement with the home theater area. Now he should be done soon.
    I've been reading alot of threads about HTPCs, now i'm thinking of adding more graphics power so i could play BF3 and MW3 on a decent settings.
    So I was thinking would A8-3850+HD 6670 1GB(unless you can recommend something better) or i5 2320 + HD 6670 1GB would be better?

    Thank you
  12. The case I had initially selected can not fit the GPU inside because GPU is higher than the case. So i'm leaning towards
  13. I kind of want it to blend in with the stereo system, If it has too many LEDs it will be distracting.
    this was my first choice
  14. I do want to add a gaming card. Something that will be able to run MW3 BF3 in decent playable settings on a 60" projection
  15. Quote:
    how much you got for the card ($).?

    approx $150 +/-
  16. I'm building an intel on newegg, will post shortly
  17. CPU: Intel Core i5-2320 Sandy Bridge 3.0GHz (3.3GHz Turbo Boost) 4 x 256KB L2 Cache 6MB L3 Cache LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor BX80623I52320

    Mobo: GIGABYTE GA-Z68M-D2H LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s Micro ATX Intel Motherboard

    RAM: G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-4GBRL

    Case: LIAN LI PC-V351B Black Aluminum MicroATX Desktop Computer Case

    GPU: EVGA 01G-P3-1556-KR GeForce GTX 550 Ti (Fermi) FPB 1GB 192-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card

    PSU: Antec EarthWatts Green EA-430D Green 430W Continuous power ATX12V v2.3 / EPS 12V 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC Power Supply

    Blue-ray: ASUS Black 12X BD-ROM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-ROM SATA Internal Blu-ray Drive Model BC-12B1ST/BLK/B/AS - OEM

    $778 shipped....
  18. Quote:
    works for me bro.......

    and I bet you didn't know that the motherboard you got is also Ivy compatible..
    so that means you will have a possible upgrade if you wish and transform the unit into a stronger beast that it is now..

    WAIT, that RAM might not be compatible....
    you might want to actually verify that.

    No I did not know it was Ivy compatible, thats good to know.

    How would I check if the RAM is compatible? what makes you think its not?

    Thank you
  19. I'm going with the same one that you have.

  20. Best answer selected by zer0net.
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