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Help Upgrading my HTPC

Last response: in Systems
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March 24, 2012 4:34:45 PM

Approximate Purchase Date: Within the month

Budget Range: Not too much, but under $500 hopefully.

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Recording TV, bittorrent seeding and dowloading, watching live TV, streaming TV/Movies online

Parts Not Required: case, keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers, OS, hope to reuse my Earthwatts 380W power supply

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: newegg.com

Country: (e.g.: India) USA

Parts Preferences: Not really particular

Overclocking: Maybe

SLI or Crossfire: Should I know what these are?

Monitor Resolution: LG 60-inch 60PV250 1080p Plasma HDTV

Additional Comments: Updating my old HTPC, so any advice would be welcomed.

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The reason for the upgrade:

OCZ Vertex 3 120 GB,Internal,2.5" (VTX325S-AT3120G) (SSD) Solid State Drive

Was looking at future proofing, maybe a good CPU with a motherboard that is compatible for at least 1 higher generation CPU. My old HTPC has:

AMD Athlon 64 X2 6400+ CPU
GIGABYTE|GA-MA785GM-US2H RT
2 GB 6400 RAM
Windows 7
Hauppauge WinTV-HVR-2250 tv tuner

Please give me any advice as I know I will have to upgrade the MB, and with that the CPU as well. Been looking at CPU Benchmarks and noticed the old 64 X2 6400+ is lagging way behind, but for what I need, might be enough. Anything not used will be sold to pay for the new parts.

Thanks for the advice.

More about : upgrading htpc

March 24, 2012 5:08:36 PM


No reason to put a 120GB SSD in an HTPC -- 60GB should be just fine. Buy more storage, or another TV tuner.

No reason to not snag a PhII or AthlonII for your GA-MA785GM-US2H.

Stop doing torrents.



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March 24, 2012 6:19:26 PM

Thanks for the advice. I'll toss the 120GB SD into my laptop instead. I was trying to find the supported processors for the board. 600GB on SATA2 would be ok?
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March 24, 2012 7:36:11 PM


You could capture and record 4 video streams (with a second tuner) while playing Battlefield3 if you wish. A 960T should do quite nicely for a power user. Or, you could simply go low-volt with a AthlonII 240. Here's a 240 at 4x240MHz - 42% CPU, 0.09v, capturing and recording the stream:



Here are the supported processors, Great Google-Repressed Dude. Something like the AMD Phenom II X4 960T Zosma 3.0GHz Socket AM3 95W would use cover anything you want - especially if it unlocked to a hex core. Be sure to update your BIOS before changing your CPU.

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March 27, 2012 8:51:05 AM

he on my site i have a couple of working htpc configurations www.besthtpc.net
its sorted by functionality.
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March 27, 2012 12:51:22 PM

Really no reason to upgrade the CPU/Motherboard. What you currently have is more than enough with the possible exception of the amount of RAM you have. I'd probably upgrade that to at least 4GB.

Next, I'd probably look at installing a discrete graphic card. Any low-end card (like an HD6450) would be sufficient for your needs.

Finally, if you currently have a set top box from a cable company, I'd probably swap that out for a cablecard and a cablecard tuner:

Ceton InfiniTV4 PCI-E - Four Tuners for an internal card that replaces your Hauppauge.
Hauppauge WinTV-DCR-2650 - Two tuners in an external box, giving you a total of four tuners.
SiliconDust HDHomeRun Prime 3CC - Three tuners in an external box, giving you a total of five tuners.
Ceton InfiniTV4 USB - Four tuners in an external box, giving you a total of 6 tuners.
SiliconDust HDHomeRun Prime 6CC - Six tuners in an external box, giving you a total of eight tuners.

Again, these suggestions are for ONLY if you currently have a set top box from a cable company.

-Wolf sends
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March 28, 2012 12:40:09 AM

Thanks for the replies. I think I will upgrade to a Phenom processor, upgrade the ram to 4 or 6 GB and grab graphic card. Thanks for the advice.
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