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Oh no! My old HTPC died today, need to build a new one ASAP! ~$500-550

Last response: in Systems
January 17, 2012 6:42:54 AM

Approximate Purchase Date: 2-3 days from now

Budget Range: Around 500 but could go more.

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Steaming 1080p/720p HD x264 movies from NAS/Netflix, Light gaming and some console emulation (n64, ps, ect) nothing to powerful, Internet.

Parts Not Required: keyboard, mouse, monitor (using tv), speakers, OS

Preferred Website(s) for Parts:, MicroCenter (there is one less than half-mile from me)

Country: USA-Ohio

Parts Preferences: Intel. Also, I would like a sleek case as this will be sitting in or near the TV center - I suppose it could be a tower though.

Overclocking: Maybe (any benifiets here?)

SLI or Crossfire: No

Monitor Resolution: Hooking up to 32" LCD TV via HDMI

Additional Comments: I have been using a 3 year old laptop for a HTPC, so I am sort of a newbie to building one. I just want this to play the HD movies clearly without any stuttering and to not be super loud.

Thank you so much!
January 17, 2012 6:48:52 AM

how did you old htpc die? maybe we can salvage parts.
January 17, 2012 7:02:14 AM

I know you said that you have a preference for Intel but I just built my mom a PC using an Athlon II X2 260 and it runs super cool and quiet and will stream HD no problem.

I was actually able to build her system for about $325 and it would have zero issue doubling as a HTPC.

Here's what I used:

1 x BIOSTAR A880G+ AM3 AMD 880G HDMI Micro ATX AMD Motherboard
1 x COOLER MASTER Elite 460 RS-460-PSAR-J3 460W ATX12V V2.31 Power Supply
1 x AMD Gift - Software Download Coupon
1 x AMD Athlon II X2 260 Regor 3.2GHz Socket AM3 65W Dual-Core Desktop Processor ADX260OCGMBOX
1 x Western Digital Caviar Blue WD1600AAJS 160GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
1 x MSI 24X DVD Burner Black SATA Model DH-24AS
1 x G.SKILL NS 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Desktop Memory Model F3-10666CL9D-4GBNS
1 x SAPPHIRE 100323L Radeon HD 6570 1GB DDR3 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready Video Card
1 x COOLER MASTER Elite 360 ATX Mini Tower Computer Case
Related resources
January 17, 2012 7:08:30 AM

It was a 3 year old $500 gateway laptop. The display died on it I think, was planning to fix it and give it to the wife to use. I doubt there was much that could be used from that.

Also I should add, I really don't need this system to have much HD space at all, just enough for OS and other apps. 160g?
January 17, 2012 7:26:51 AM

You need a llano then. there are nice bundles on newegg.
also see if you can find those nice akasa htpc cases that come with a psu on them.
4gb of 1600 mhz memory and a nice little hdd of about 500gb and you are good to go.
If you can wait for another few hours i will make you a template if somebody else hasn't... when i go home...
January 17, 2012 7:44:06 AM

That is great thank you so much
January 17, 2012 8:33:29 AM

Case - hec Black - 45$

Mobo - ASRock A75M-HVS FM1 AMD A75 - 70$

CPU - AMD A6-3650 Llano 2.6GHz - 120$


CPU - AMD A6-3500 Llano 2.1GHz - 90$

RAM - Crucial Ballistix sport 4GB (2 x 2GB) - 20$

DVD - SAMSUNG 8X Slim Internal DVD Burner - 21$
(Unless you want a blu ray)

HDD - Seagate Barracuda ST500DM002 500GB 7200 RPM - 85$
(If you got a sata drive, even the one from your old laptop, better keep that for now)

Also i couldn't find any bundles. Check if there is one and i missed it.

January 17, 2012 8:54:42 AM

Awesome! Thank you for your time. So that case comes with the PSU already yes?
January 17, 2012 9:11:35 AM

yeah it has it's own psu to accomodate the needs of space. if you would try to put a different kind of psu it wouldn't fit in there. as for quality, hec is known for sturdy makes.
I also like
They have a little more powerful psu but they are a little bigger. Choose the one you like the most, though careful about the fact that the two later ones don't have slim 5.25" bay so you would need a normal dvd drive. The foxcon will probably make some noise, in time, with the two small fans.
January 17, 2012 9:18:12 AM

Thank you for the advice.
September 23, 2012 10:22:36 PM

Related question:

Currently compiling components for an HTPC build and unsure if I need a video card.

My optical is a Blu-Ray, and I want to connect the PC to my TV via HDMI. If my motherboard has an HDMI ouput, and I get a video card that does not have an HDMI output, can I just connect the HDMI through the motherboard?

Or, if I do NOT get a video card and my motherboard has an HDMI port, must the CPU I purchase have some sort of special HD capability?
March 19, 2013 11:47:22 PM

Cjcates said:
That is great thank you so much

i personally suggest u stick with intel. my a8 apu recently died on me after just 5 months.
maybe u can get pentium g860 (don't be fooled by its name, its a sandy bridge @ 3gigs) and amd 7750 should be really well for u. toms has one on their website too.
even if u buy apu buy a fm2, fm1 is eol