Convert PC into HTPC - first time HTPC build

Hello all,

I'm fairly new to building PCs, with the current PC being the first. I do want to try my hand in building an HTPC, but I also want to build an new PC as well. My solution: convert my current PC into and HTPC and use the money to build my new rig. Being new to building in general, I wanted feedback regarding the specs of my current PC as an HTPC and what changes, of any, are suggested and/or necessary.

Case: HAF-922
Motherboard: 790XTA-UD4
CPU: AMD Phenom II X4 955 3.20GHz
PSU: Corsair TX650W
GPU: Sapphire Radeon HD 5770
Memory: 4GB (2 x 2GB) Corsair XMS3 240-pin DDR SDRAM 1333
8GB (2 x 4GB) G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 240-pin DDR SDRAM 1333
Hard Drive: Samsung Spinpoint F3 500GB 7200RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s
CPU Fan: Cooler Master V8 120mm Rifle CPU Cooler
Optic Drive: Lite-On Black 12x Blu-Ray burner with Blu Ray 3D feature SATA

I think that is all. Now, would I have to do any modifications? More importantly, wouldn't it be better and almost necessary to switch out the case? Are the parts too much for just an HTPC (i.e. PSU too much, too much RAM, etc.)? Any help is appreciated, and thank you!
3 answers Last reply
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  1. Just some general notes based on keeping your current setup:-

    You don't need to do any modifications, though note......

    -Case size (HAF is fairly big as an HTPC case - not a problem though)

    -noise (are you ok with fan noise at the moment?)

    -power useage (the psu is not a prob - the system will only take from the wall socket what it needs, ideally you should be using a high efficient-class psu (so that little power is wasted))

    -HDD storage capacity (are you going to store alot of films/media? - you'll certainly have alot of HDD bays available if needed)

    -where is the unit likely to be located - living room? / can you find an unobtrusive place to locate it?

    -gfx card - I think it's a good idea to be able to turn your HTPC to many uses - so gaming is covered here, if that's ok with you. I don't know much about card noise or average power draw but we're generally looking for the lowest for this use.

    - memory - is that 8 or 12 GB?......4GB set is good to use for HTPC, use 8GB set in new pc

    - keyboard/controller - most HTPC users opt for wireless or btooth, for obvious reasons, so you might need to look into this.

    Building an HPTC from scratch - most are small form factor, low power use, low noise, low-med gfx card, low power use cpu. However, it really isn't a problem turning your existing pc to this use, as long as you accept some compromises.....HTPC's themeselves are, by default, a compromise anyway - but then again - they can be built for a specific use only. There's lots of very useful HTPC resources on the web for more detailed info than here.

    almost forgot - get xbmc for your media playback
  2. personally I would reuse the 8 GB memory set, PSU and case in your new PC, and get a new case and good 450W PSU for your HTPC. 650W is more than that system needs so if it meets the needs of the new system you can save some money. 4GB is plenty memory for an HTPC and 8GB is the most you need for gaming.
  3. Good advice, unskol, forgot about the 2nd build for a sec (orig post edited).

    With that, how much would you be looking to use components from your current pc in order to save as much money as possible -e.g. are you looking at purchasing a new gfx card (have an impact on re-using current psu or not), etc
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