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HTPC - extra power needed?

Last response: in Systems
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September 25, 2011 6:23:53 PM

I am looking at making my first build in a LONG time. Looking to build a HTPC, and don't have a PC anymore as I have two laptops. In typical fashion, there are tons of options out there for this build, and I would like to start at least around the $500 or less range, but this is negotiable based on needs. I don't want to overbuild as I have no needs for it or overclocking for that matter (at least I don't think I need this).

Need:
Case
CPU
RAM
HD
BD (can wait)
PSU
MOBO

I want to be able to obviously watch movies/stream, play music, play emulators, and use this for ripping/downloading media. Will an i3 sb be adequate for processing? I know I'm leaving stuff out, but please help me anyway. It's good karma!
September 25, 2011 6:58:04 PM

an i3 is more then powerful enough. i would team it up with a cheap dedicated graphics card though, something like the ATI 4350 with HDMI out.

you don't need much power so getting a low priced but reliable PSU would make sense. some good units are the corsair 430w v2, antec neo eco 400w (comes with no power cord) antec earthwatt 380w (also no cord), antec HCG 400w.
September 25, 2011 7:56:40 PM

Part of my reasoning for i3 was specifically to avoid needing a graphics card as I read it has integrated HD. Will it not be as good as even a cheap graphics card? Should I get a sound card as well?
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September 25, 2011 8:40:52 PM

not against AMD, I've just seen builds with the i3 that I could replicate/modify. I assume the AMD is enough processor for the needs listed above? I don't care about much except speed. I HATE slow computers and will likely find it a date with the sidewalk if it pisses me off with slowness.
September 25, 2011 8:46:08 PM

the AMD CPU is fast enough for most modern day programs, it also offers much better integrated graphics then any intel CPU. it can handle all the needs you stated above.
September 25, 2011 9:05:09 PM

Im still reading conflicting opinions on video. Is the general consensus that a video card is overkill or a nice addition to HTPC? The one thing I want aside from speed is video quality. If the extra $100 +/- will provide superior quality and backbone for potential/limited gaming I would go that route..... ACK! So confused...
September 25, 2011 10:43:43 PM

the ATI 4350 is $30, you don't need to spend $100 or more on a card unless you are a gamer. I prefer using video cards in HTPC since you get a better chip dedicated to video processing then the on board offering.
September 28, 2011 6:29:36 PM


very affordable because of the processor. The processor contains the graphics processor

A very complete HTPC configuration for years of entertainment. Only 323,00 $ (excl DVD player)

CPU/GPU -AMD A4-3400- $69.99

Great Dual Core 2.7 ghz CPU with integrated AMD HD6410 graphics processor. No need for extra VGA card or a motherboard with onboard VGA this cpu has it all.
Socket FM1



CPU Cooler Enermax ETS-T40 T.B.SILENCE CPU Cooler(Side Flow) 39,00$

you need a silent cooler. the Stock cooler will not do, too Much rpm and rpm means noise. You can adjust this one from 800 rpm to 1800 rpm.

Motherboard – ASRock A75M-HVS FM1 AMD A75 – $69.99
Complete motherboard. With Optical audio out and HDMI out. Connect it to your 5.1 system and HD TV with ease. Supports DDR 3 upto 2400+. 6 sata ports for your HD`s. with 1GB lan you can use this system also as a media stream server.

RAM – 2x2GB DDR3-1333 – $25

No nonsense RAM

HDD – Seagate Barracuda 1TB – $54
A little green Speedy Harddisk


PSU – Antec Earthwatts 380 – $40
A very green powersupply 80% efficiency + 80mm lownoise fan creates a airflow in the case.

DVD – LG DVD burner – $20
No comment Only if you need it. I dont believe in this type of storage anymore. I copied all mine DVDs to the Harddisks. No more waste of physical space and scratches.
Case – Any Micro ATX case $25
APEX TX-381-C Black Steel Micro ATX Tower Computer Case
Ugly but cheap. Do not connect the fan either.
!