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HTPC - Build Help Please

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May 25, 2012 1:50:37 AM

Hey Guys,

I am new to posting on Toms forums, but come to the site weekly. I am looking to build my 1st HTPC and spend no more then $1,000 to $1,500. I would like to stick with an Intel system. Not going to have it placed in a cabinet, so heat inst much of an issue. This will only be used for Streaming Video, Playing DVD's/BlueRay, and browsing the web. I don't plan to put in a tuner card yet but would like the option to install one later. I would like to go SSD for the OS and another HD for storage of large video and music files. I pretty much need every thing from case to keyboard.

If someone would mind to help my design a system that would be killer. Oh, and a case with an LCD on the front would be nice, but not a need.

More about : htpc build

a b B Homebuilt system
May 25, 2012 1:10:51 PM

Please fill out this form so that we can better help you. (copy it, and reply or edit you post here)
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/261222-31-build-advic...

add any additional info that you think we might need, such as:
case- Cube or tower or do you want it to look like a component?
Do you need an OS
are you intending on gaming on it?
front LCD screen... what do you want it to be able to display?
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May 25, 2012 1:33:43 PM

Approximate Purchase Date: Any Time, I am in no rush.

Budget Range:$1,000 to $1,500

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Downingload and Streaming Movies/Music, Browsing the web

Parts Not Required: I need everything from a case to keyboard.

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Any website is fine, as long as they ship to the US.

Country: USA

Parts Preferences: I would like to stick with Intel the rest doesnt matter.

Overclocking: No

SLI or Crossfire: I would be willing to try SLI, but i dont see the need for it as this wont be used as a gaming rig.

Monitor Resolution: As this will be an HTPC it will be hooked up to a 55 inch LED TV

Additional Comments:
I dont plan to put in a TV tuner yet, but want the option to add one in later
I do not need an OS - I plan to run windows 7 64bit
Case - Doesnt matter if its Cube or tower
SSD drive for the OS and HD drive for storage
Front LCD display would be nice but not a MUST. I would like it to display system properties like heat, CPU/ram useage, and maybe whats currently playing.

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Related resources
a b B Homebuilt system
May 25, 2012 1:49:33 PM

Components:

Case: NMediaPC Black 6000B - $70
Power Supply: Corsair Enthusiast Series TX550 Modular - $100
Motherboard/OS SDD Combo: MSI Z77A-G45 LGA 1155 / Crucial M4 2.5" 128GB SATA III - $264
CPU: Intel Core I3-2120 - $125
RAM: G.Skill 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3-1333 - $40
Storage HDD: Seagate Barracuda Green 2TB - $120
BD: Lite-On Black 12x BD-ROM - $60
Graphics Card: Sapphire Radeon HD6670 - $65
OS: Microsoft Windows 7 SP1 64-bit - $100
Keyboard: Logitech K400 RF Keyboard - $40

Extras:

Front LCD: NMediaPC Pro-LCD - $35
TV Tuner Card: InfiniTV4 Cablecard TV Tuner - $199
Remote Control: Windows 7 Media Center Remote Control - $15
or
TV Tuner Card w/Remote: Hauppauge WinTV-HVR-2250 - $110

Cost:
HTPC w/Ceton TV Tuner - $1232.87 + S&H
HTPC w/Hauppauge Tuner - $1128.87 +S&H

The Breakdown:

This is pretty much overkill for just an HTPC, but there is a method to my madness. I went with an HTPC case that can accept a full ATX motherboard because that allows for much more space between components. This allows for better air flow and keeps your system running cooler. Also it has more 3.5 inch drive bays for more hard drive installs. If you really want to go nuts, get four 2TB drives and a RAID 5 Controller for 6TB of storage space. Additionally, the case has a specifically made Programmable Front LCD.

The same goes for the power supply. It's a bit much in the terms of power, but it's modular. You won't have extra cables in the way, blocking air flow.

The reason for the motherboard selection was because of the PCI-Ex1 placements. On most motherboards, the PCI-Ex1 slot is right next to the PCI-Ex16 slot. This usually means the PCI-Ex1 slot is useless if you have a two slot wide graphics card.

For the CPU, I went with something more realistic for an HTPC, but you could, of course, up that. Depending on any expansion ideas, you may want to consider going with a quad-core processor like the Core I5-2300.

I'm sure integrated graphics are more than acceptable these days, but since there was a budget for it, I added a modest graphics card.

The keyboard is wireless and has a multi-touch keypad for mouse control.

Finally, the TV Tuners. Again, we're still under (the $1500) budget so I listed a couple TV Tuner cards. Which one you get is going to depend on what type of television subscription you have.

Free Over-The-Air (OTA) broadcast - Go with the Hauppauge card.
Basic Cable (no set top box required) - Go with the Hauppauge card.
Cable w/set top box - Go with the Ceton card
Satellite - Neither card will work.

The Hauppauge WinTV-HVR-2250 TV Tuner card is probably the best internal TV Tuner card for free OTA and ClearQAM (unencrypted) cable on the market. However, if you subscribe to more than just basic cable, you're going to need something that can decrypt the scrambled signal coming from the cable company. With a cablecard (provided by your cable company) the Ceton InfiniTV4 TV Tuner does that and replaces your set top box.

Hope this helps some. If you have any other questions, feel free to ask.

-Wolf sends

Edit: Posted before knowing an OS wasn't needed. Drop the costs by $100.
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May 25, 2012 2:43:47 PM

Do you have any other recommendations for the case and Front LCD card? Also would it be better to leave the CPU as is and upgrade the GPU? Other wise the build looks great. Going to post and total so I can track parts.

Case: Unsure

Power Supply: Corsair Enthusiast Series TX550 Modular - $100

Motherboard/OS SDD Combo: MSI Z77A-G45 LGA 1155 / Crucial M4 2.5" 128GB SATA III - $264

CPU: Intel Core I3-2120 - $125

RAM: G.Skill 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3-1333 - $40

Storage HDD: Seagate Barracuda Green 2TB - $120

BD: Lite-On Black 12x BD-ROM - $60

Graphics Card: Sapphire Radeon HD6670 - $65

Keyboard: Logitech K400 RF Keyboard - $40

Front LCD: Unsure

TOTAL: $814
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May 25, 2012 3:36:15 PM

BTW i forgot to give you this info, but the case doesnt have to be the HTPC style. I dont have to put this PC inside with all my other TV stuff (dvd player, cable box, ect). The only kicker is I dont want a bunch of lights all over the case like you see in alot of them today.

What about this case?

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

I know it doesnt have the LCD but looks like a nice clean design.
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a b B Homebuilt system
May 25, 2012 4:00:15 PM

Quote:
Do you have any other recommendations for the case and Front LCD card?
.
.
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BTW i forgot to give you this info, but the case doesnt have to be the HTPC style.


Which case you get is entirely up to you. As long as it can hold all your components, keep them cool, and looks pleasing to you, it really doesn't matter. Personally, I'd never spend more than $100 on a case, but if you like the Lian-Li you linked, go for it!

Quote:
Also would it be better to leave the CPU as is and upgrade the GPU?


For this system's purposes, the graphics card I suggested is overkill. No need to get a better one.

Quote:
I dont have to put this PC inside with all my other TV stuff (dvd player, cable box, ect)


Remember that with the components I suggested, you can get rid of all your other TV stuff. The Blu-Ray drive of the HTPC kills the need for a separate dvd player and the Ceton card kills the need for the cable box.

-Wolf sends
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May 25, 2012 4:16:23 PM

Thank you very much for the information, and help with my build!
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a b B Homebuilt system
May 25, 2012 5:40:07 PM

way overkill. I would go with a g8xx CPU and go with H77 or H67 series MB that has raid on it and grab another HDD and put them in Raid1. it would be a shame to fill it up with movies just to have a HD failure. and you only need a 60-64 GB SSD for the OS and whatever apps you d/l and play movies.You only need 4GB of Ram also. for PSU a 350-400 watt Antec, Corsair, seasonic, or silverstone would be fine, better if it is silver or gold certified. The discreet GPU is also probably unecessary, I like having one, but the OP should know that the HD 2000 on the Sandybridges will play HD just fine no need for a secondary GPU.


Just my $0.02.

its your money and electric bill.
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