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Advice on HTPC for around $500

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Last response: in Systems
January 25, 2012 10:59:45 PM

I am looking for advice on creating a HTPC for around $500. I have been looking around and have found some information, but most of it is over a year old. With that this is what I am looking for:

Approximate Purchase Date: next couple of months

Budget Range: around 500 After Rebates

System Usage from Most to Least Important: watching movies and TV, some web surfing

Parts Not Required: keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers, OS

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Amazon preferred but is OK

Country: (USA)

Parts Preferences: none

Overclocking: probably not

SLI or Crossfire: Don't think I need it

Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080

Additional Comments: would like a quiet PC, I will be installing Windows7 and if you have thoughts on a tuner card/options, let me know.

More about : advice htpc 500

January 25, 2012 11:03:50 PM

AMD A6 Llano APU
A 75 motherboard with an onboard HDMI port
2 x2 gig of RAM
Silverstone GD 05 case
400 watt modular psu
dvd drive [ or blu ray ]
January 25, 2012 11:18:45 PM

I am looking for something compact, quiet and fast in loading and playing videos. I know this is over $500 so this would be the top of the scale. If I can get similar performance for less, I'm all for that.

Does it look like this will meet my needs or am I missing anything?


This is what I have so far:

4GB G.Skill DDR3 PC3-12800 1600MHz Ripjaw Series (8-8-8-24) Dual Channel kit for Intel P55 $52.99

ASUS USB 3.0 SATA 3Gb/s Intel H61 Mini ITX DDR3 1333 Intel - LGA 1155 Motherboard - P8H61-I <REV 3.0> $84.99

Intel Core I3-2105 Processor $134.99

HDD/SDD (is SSD worth it? Vs going with a 'green' HD)
Crucial 64 GB m4 2.5-Inch Solid State Drive SATA 6Gb/s CT064M4SSD2 $104.99

Samsung Blu-Ray Combo Internal 12XReadable and DVD-Writable Drive with Lightscribe SH-B123L/BSBP $62.99

Case (Know of any good cases which already come with a remote?)
MI-008 Tower Black P4 Chassis with 250W Itx Psu+sata Power Supply $52.60

SiliconDust HDHomeRun Dual High Definition Digital Television HDHR3-US $99.00

Related resources
January 26, 2012 3:49:04 AM

That can work too , except the RAM which should be 1.5 volt [ or less] for sandy bridge processors
I doubt the psu is high quality but it is probably strong enough for a rig like that using the integrated graphics .

The SSD will speed boot times , and loading times . In this budget its a coin toss .

Its a bit messy to have an external tuner when you could just use an internal tuner card
January 26, 2012 9:08:55 PM

Thanks for the response. I will look for RAM at 1.5 or less.

I'm still not sure if I will go with an SSD if there isn't a large improvement other than for bragging rights.

I will look into the options for an internal tuner card, but reading about the SiliconDust tuner, it has the feature that other PC's running tuner software could also us it. My thought was to put it where my server is and my HTPC could access it on the network. Is my understanding of the SiliconDust tuner correct.

Again, thanks for the response.
January 26, 2012 10:01:57 PM

What's your TV source (Cable/Satellite or Over-The-Air)?
If cable, does your subscription require a set top box?
Do you plan on recording any TV?

-Wolf sends
January 27, 2012 8:27:13 PM

We cut the cable cord a few months ago so all our TV is over the air. We do plan on recording TV and want the dual channel feature (record and watch another channel at the same time)
January 27, 2012 10:43:03 PM

Don't know of any OTA, internal tuners that can be shared over a network. I think your best bet would be the SiliconDust HDHomeRun Dual.

-Wolf sends
January 28, 2012 11:02:46 AM

Wolfshadw said:
Don't know of any OTA, internal tuners that can be shared over a network. I think your best bet would be the SiliconDust HDHomeRun Dual.

-Wolf sends

If we did get ClearQAM channels, are there internal tuners which can be shared?