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Help needed for first HTPC Build

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November 15, 2011 7:06:13 AM

Approximate Purchase Date: This is mostly an xmas idea because I honestly cant think of anything else at the moment that I would want.
Budget Range: about $500ish

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Stream HD content, Play retro video games (snes, nes,genesis, etc), Watch HD tv

Parts Not Required: Not sure

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: newegg.com, ebay, tigerdirect.com, anywhere really

Country of Origin: USA

Parts Preferences:

Overclocking: no

SLI or Crossfire: no

Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080 (HDTV)

Additional Comments: Basically I just want something that streams HD content from my NAS drive or computer without any hiccups. Would also like to play some retro games on it as well. I currently have a wd live media player and was going to replace it with this htpc build. Im not sure if its going to be better to build a htpc or just buy a media center (boxee box). I also currently have spare parts I thought about using to save some extra cash. I have a 1tb drive, 4gb 1600mhz ram, and a 650psu. Not sure if that helps or not.

Experience Level: I would say decent I just build a computer about 6 months ago.

Theres were some of the things I was looking at.... any input would be greatly appreciated

Case: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
mobo: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
CPU: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

More about : needed htpc build

November 15, 2011 7:25:47 AM

If your HTPC emphasize low noise and temperature,I suggest you the G530 cpu and H61 mainboard.It is Cost-effective.




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November 15, 2011 4:56:14 PM

Im not too worried about noise but I am with the temp. I want something that will last a while but I dont need anything over the top either. What do you suggest for wireless N cards or HD tv turners. I dont have any experience In either of these.
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a b B Homebuilt system
November 15, 2011 6:11:24 PM

As a note, the motherboard you picked was socket AM3, the chip you picked was socket FM1.

To give you an idea of what you need as a minimum requirement for non-3D playback, I built a HTPC with a 2.7GHz (i think) Athlon X2 and integrated HD4200 graphics. Anything more than that will easily play HD video. When I bought mine the HD4200 was the cheapest integrated graphics with all the hardware video decoding support needed to play various video codecs.

The Intel HD graphics have all the hardware accelerated video decoding you need. So the G530 is a good option. If you want to do some light gaming beyond emulating old console games you can step up to an AMD A4-3300 which has much better integrated graphics. The CPU will run you a few dollars more, and I think the motherboards might be a bit more expensive too.

So, two options (all prices from newegg).

AMD - $135
CPU: A4-3300 - $60
Mobo: ASRock A75M-HVS FM1 - $75

Intel - $126
CPU: G530 - $57
Mobo: ASRock H61M/U3S3 LGA 1155 - $69

You can go a tiny bit cheaper, but then you lose Sata III 6G support which I think is beneficial since a SSD is attractive for a HTPC build.

For the rest of the parts I would go...

RAM: 1x4GB of appropriate RAM - $20
PSU: Corsair CX430V2 - $35 after rebate (or the SeaSonic 350W PSU, but it costs a bit more)
DVD/BluRay: whatever you choose - $20-50 (a blu-ray burner will run up to $80)
Case: your pick - $104
SSD: Crucial M4 64GB - $115
OS: Win 7 64-bit Home Premium OEM - $99

Total: $519-558 depending on the configuration. Personally I'd go with the AMD since I do like to use my HTPC for occasional light gaming.
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November 16, 2011 5:24:59 PM

Thanks guys for all your input. Im guessing Im unable to use my old 600 watt psu for this at all? Im just guessing that would be overkill for something like this, but I was just trying to save a few dollars. Does it really matter which OS I use for an htpc?

Ok So lets try this again...

CPU- http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

RAM- corsair 4gb 1600mhz

Case- http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Mobo- http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

PSU- http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

SSD- http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

HDD- 1tb western digital 5400 rpm

Blu Ray drive - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Wireless - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Tv Turner- http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Sorry I had to do this quickly since Im at work. What do you guys think about it? Im not sure if this is too much or not. Please any feedback is welcomed :) 
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a b B Homebuilt system
November 16, 2011 5:55:15 PM

If you want to save a few $, I don't see why you are insisting on a A8 over an A4. The A4 will be more than sufficient for what you said you want to do.

You can use the old 600W PSU, but this thing will probably draw 60W @ idle, and will probably peak out close to 100W. With such low power draw your 600W PSU will be fairly inefficient. If you have no other use for it, then use it, but if you have another potential PC build it will probably be better suited for a more power hungry system.

You can use a non-windows OS as a HTPC, but you won't be able to use Netflix (I'm assuming you aren't building a hackintosh). If you don't care about netflix, then something like XBMC Live might be sufficient. Also, from what I know, if you buy a blu-ray drive, you have to buy blu-ray software for it to play back movies. From what I've gathered, there is still no native support for blu-ray in linux. You can hack it together though. It seems like the best method for linux is to rip the movie on a windows PC and then play the ISO from the linux PC.
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a c 92 B Homebuilt system
November 16, 2011 6:08:47 PM

That is not a bad build at all, the Llano is excellent for HTPCs.

Go with the Corsair Builder Series as your PSU though - I use the CX430 and it's an excellent PSU for the money.

You could also get an inexpensive BD-R burner for an extra $20 - check out LG and Sony in that area.
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