I have been planning a new build HTPC. But I have been thinking about what I can take from my second desktop that I rarely use, before thinking of buying components.
I am looking for a box that will let me stream HD video to my 42" panasonic plasma first and foremost, with possible options to use it for Netflix streaming (not vital as I have a ps3), and also the possibility of using it as a DVR with a tuner card (hoping to get rid of our dish network, and just stick with what we can bring in with a good old fashioned antenna and possibly hulu etc. It would be nice to do some gaming on it, but this isn't really necessary, I have my main desktop for this - just would be nice for some armchair gaming if this doesn't put the price up significantly. I also am not that bothered with optical drives, but am not set against it. I have the PS3 for my blurays, and most of my dvd collection has already been ripped to harddrive, with the rest planned soon. Though again as bluray drives are falling in price, it would be nice to have it so I can rip my Blurays to harddisk.
I'm not looking to spend more than $300, and would rather come in below that, 200-250 would be nice. I'd really appreciate advice on what I may be able to use from my desktop to keep prices down, while still getting a nice quiet low power htpc build out of her. I'm presuming most of it is too big/power hungry to really work in a htpc build, but anything I can take out and use will help - and any advice on what new stuff I should be buying to replace/complement what I already have.
My current desktop (any parts are free game to use as I hardly use it anyway):
Intel Dual Core E7200 2.53GHz
EVGA GeForce 8800GT Superclocked Edition
4GB Corsair XMS2 800Mhz (4X1gb)
Thermaltake Purepower 500W PSU
250gb Seagate Barracuda 7200 HD (I also have 2 Western Digital 1 TB Caviar Green SATA drives in a DNS-323 NAS box) - This area would need replacing - I'm thinking I need 2TB minimum to finish ripping my stuff etc.
NZXT Alpha CS-NT-ALP-WOW Tower
I think I would like to run XBMC on Win 7 for this setup.
Would this be acceptable in your view, in terms of heat, noise, and also power consumption? My thought was to go smaller as well, although if this way would mean a decent setup, then I could find space for the bigger case somewhere around my tv.
Any recommendations on specific htpc cards for this setup?
OK so i managed to pick up a cheap Visiontek Radeon HD 5670 card - hopefully this will help noise/heat/power. Apart from the fan voltage mod, is there anything else I can do to my setup to further htpc-ify it? I have a big thermaltake i1 heatsink on my processor - can I mod this fan to help things, or should i leave this be?