I'm looking for something to compliment my regular build - not replace it - and use it primarily for DVR and music player (iTunes) functions and to watch internet videos, that kind of stuff on a big screen. No games will be played on it, and I've been looking for something that is low profile, low power and more importantly inexpensive. I'll also be looking to hook up a 2 - 3 TB hard drive for the DVR functionality in the near future. I'm kind of iffy on Micro Center but this PC looks like it'd be a good alternative to some of the more expensive ones I've been looking at like the AsRock bare-bones one. I'm also open to suggestions if you guys have one.
I've been looking at doing a cheap build based on the Llano, I think that would do the trick. I've been looking at that second option a lot - it has everything I want but it's way out of my budget. Plus I'd also have to get another Windows license for it.
I was going to try to keep my total budget under $500. This PC isn't going to be used for any games - it's mainly going to be used for watching internet video, playing iTunes media, and act as a music server (the sound system is connected to outdoor speaker equipment). I've also thought about using a low-budget SB chip like the G620 - would that be a good option?
I'm not sure if the PSU would fit in the case or not for one thing, but as far as storage goes I only plan to run a 500GB initially and then add a networked 2 or 3TB external hard drive for the DVR purposes. The idea is to share this computer on my network (3 laptops, 2 desktops, and the HTPC) and use the HTPC as a centralized DVR server that any of the computers on my network can access - with the BD-R burner acting as a backup / play back device.
Actually now I found a better solution - I have some old hardware (Core 2 Duo, Intel motherboard, 8GB RAM 800MHz) that works just fine and I'm gonna use that in a new HTPC build - all I have to buy is the case and PSU for the time being, I will add a keyboard, mouse, etc later on. Since I wont be playing games on it, it'll handle just about anything I can throw at it just fine.
the core 2duo will handle it, but you might want to pick up a cheap video card, as intel 945 graphics won't do 1080p, and might struggle at 720p
I have a Radeon 4670 but it doesn't have a native built-in HDMI output, and that might present a conflict when trying to watch BD movies. I have a GTX 470 that I could try to use but it hasn't been the most reliable card I've ever owned, I might wind up getting a cheapo EVGA card like the Geforce 520 so I get native HDMI output.
Awesome, I think I'm gonna order the stuff this weekend and get the whole thing setup next week. I'll post a thread or two about how it goes.
So these are the specs already on the PC:
- Intel Core 2 Duo T6600
- Intel D975XBX2 Motherboard
- 8GB G.Skill PC 800MHz RAM
- 500 GB Western Digital Caviar Black Hard Drive (will be adding internal Samsung 2TB hard drive later on once I get system up and running, also planning to add networked 3TB external for DVR functionality)
- Pioneer BD-R 203 Blu-Ray Burner
- OS: Windows Vista 64-bit with upgrade to Windows 7 Professional
- Rosewill Flash Card Reader
This is what's on my shopping list:
- Sapphire Radeon HD 5450 - $35.99
- Corsair Builder Series CX430 - $43.99
- HEC 7106BB Case - $39.99
- Logitech MK260 - $28.99
- USB Network Adapter - $11.99
The idea behind using the 3TB external is that I have a Dish Network DVR that is capable of being hooked up to an external hard drive for backup purposes and additional storage. Then I will route the DVR through a USB cable to the hard drive, buy an eSATA PCI adapter for the motherboard, and using the eSATA hard drive I will route that to the HTPC, I think that's doable, right? Do I need to add a TV tuner later on when I switch providers to DirecTV or is that not necessary?