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Budget HTPC (and some gaming)

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October 12, 2011 4:23:18 AM

Hey,
I am looking to build a small HTPC on a budget. I want to have a low-cost pc with only XBMC Live loaded so it doesn't have to be much. I've read of people who have done it on ~$200 (Lifehacker's post being one). I want to build it, instead of buying a prebuilt nettop, however.

Purchase Date - Based on whatever feedback I get, I want to be able to order the parts in a week or two.

Budget Range - A budget goal of $200-250 ($300 if absolutely necessary).

System Usage - I will mostly be watching my DVDs on it and playing some pc games. So HD quality with little (preferably no) lagging is necessary.

Parts Not Required - I don't need a keyboard or mouse, neither do I need a monitor or speakers (I am planning to hook the HTPC up to my TV). I'm planning to stream most of this media from a server (soon to come, fingers crossed) and so a hard drive is going to be minimal (80gb or 160gb) and an optical drive is needed either.

Preferred Website - I'm planning to get everything else from Newegg.com or Amazon.com (if cheaper, I doubt it).

Parts Preference - While I prefer Intel, I have decided to go with AMD due to the integrated graphics and low cost. I'm not sure if an external video card is needed, any advice is appreciated. I'm not going to overclock and I'm looking for a quiet HTPC so I can watch in peace.

Overclocking - No (?)

SLI or Crossfire - No (yeah, I don't really know what this is)

Monitor - ~52 inch TV.


PARTS

Motherboard (HDMI is a MUST, can't get enough of it :)  )
Has integrated radeon video chipset which is a bonus. Not sure if this is enough.
BIOSTAR A880G+ AM3 AMD 880G HDMI Micro ATX AMD Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CPU - Might go to dual-core, not sure if necessary.
AMD Sempron 145 Sargas 2.8GHz Socket AM3 45W Single-Core Desktop Processor SDX145HBGMBOX
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Hard Drive
Western Digital Caviar Blue WD1600AAJS 160GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Ram - technically 1 gb is more than enough (apparently) but just for backup. Go with 2x1gb?
Pareema 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10600) Desktop Memory Model MD313C80809L2
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


Case and PSU - can go vertically or horizontally, if this doesn't work, an alternative should be a tower
APEX DM-318 Black Steel Micro ATX Media Center / Slim HTPC Computer Case w/ ATX12V Flex 275W Power Supply
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Thermal Paste - heard this was great beyond belief
Arctic Silver 5 Thermal Compound - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Fan (I'm not sure if I need another fan, so here's a second one if needed)
MASSCOOL FD08025S1M4 80mm Case Fan
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Wireless Adapter - review for wireless adapters are all over the place from bad to good.
I have bad ethernet wiring so I'm forced to go wireless.
Rosewill RNX-N180PCe PCI Express Revision 1.1 Wireless Adapter
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

This is my first build, and so there might (probably will) be something important that I'm missing. Please let me know about anything that doesn't work or parts that I need to get additionally.

Thanks

More about : budget htpc gaming

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October 12, 2011 9:19:11 AM
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Thermal Paste shouldn't be necessary, you'll get some pre-applied on the stock cooler.

Caviar Green might be a better HDD choice for a HTPC, I don't think you really need 7200rpm.

RAM - 2x1GB sticks should again, be plenty for a HTPC.

SLI/Crossfire - Basically this mean's multiple discrete Graphics cards. Something you wont make us of with a HTPC.

Dual-core Processor will help with games, but isn't necessary if your only streaming media.
October 12, 2011 1:36:18 PM

try this:

Apex HTPC case w/ 275W Flex-ATX Power supply: $39.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

AMD A4-3300 2.5 GHz Llano processor: $72.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

team elite 2 GB DDR3-1333 stick: $12.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

AS Rock A55M motherboard: $58.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Seagate Barracuda Green 5900 RPM 1 TB drive: $49.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Samsung 22x DVD burner: $16.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

total: $251.94

Related resources
October 13, 2011 4:05:34 AM

AdrianPerry said:


Caviar Green might be a better HDD choice for a HTPC, I don't think you really need 7200rpm.


What difference does the speed make between the two? I'm not really using the hard drive, so the cheapest one is the way to go for me. I just don't want one that would fail constantly.
October 13, 2011 4:52:39 AM

Seagate Barracuda Green 5900 RPM 1 TB drive might be best. With an HTPC you want the drive to be quiet. This will give you the silence and a little more speed than the 5400.
October 13, 2011 5:53:52 AM

oldschul said:
Seagate Barracuda Green 5900 RPM 1 TB drive might be best. With an HTPC you want the drive to be quiet. This will give you the silence and a little more speed than the 5400.


I don't need that big a hard drive, but for only ten dollars more, its definitely worth it; only ten times as big :) .
October 13, 2011 8:26:41 AM

kclayr said:
I don't need that big a hard drive, but for only ten dollars more, its definitely worth it; only ten times as big :) .


The "Green" drives are generally much more energy efficient and tend to be much quieter too. Good drives for general media storage, especially in a HTPC environment.
October 13, 2011 3:03:59 PM

You can find processor GPU and motherboard combos on Ebay.Used but cheap nonetheless
October 13, 2011 3:38:27 PM

eew. Why buy used when new is similarly priced?
October 14, 2011 10:33:58 AM

Best answer selected by kclayr.
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