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Need a HTPC - All suggestions appreciated!

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Last response: in Systems
July 25, 2012 4:39:51 PM

Hello everyone,
I'm looking to build a HTPC, however, to be plainly honest I don't have a clue where to start when it comes to getting the right stuff for the right price. Any/all help that you could offer me would be very appreciated!

Why Are You Upgrading: Our old family computer is, to say the least, on it's very last leg. We no longer use it like we did many years ago (before we all had laptops - yes it is quite old.) However, I would still like to have a computer for some of the occasional things we do on it (pay bills, light browsing, etc.) Given such a short list of actual usage I thought it would be convenient to build a HTPC and have it hooked up to our TV since we do a lot of streaming through Netflix and Hulu which requires a laptop to be plugged into the TV.

Approximate Purchase Date: By the end of August

Budget Range: $400 - possibly flexible.

System Usage from Most to Least Important: HTPC, other minor tasks

Are you buying a monitor: No (using 46 inch 1080p TV)

Parts to Upgrade: I need everything.

Do you need to buy OS: Yes

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Newegg, Amazon

Location: NE Pennsylvania, USA

Parts Preferences: None

Overclocking: No

SLI or Crossfire: No

Your Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080

Additional Comments: Does not necessarily need to be quiet or compact. Bluray player. I honestly haven't looked into parts for any new computers lately so I was hoping maybe you all would have some suggestions to get me started.

Thanks for your time!

More about : htpc suggestions appreciated

July 25, 2012 5:42:56 PM

Did you consider a MINI PC as a simple HTPC - Barebone's -

For a MINI PC I recommend a barebones and then add stuff (drives, RAM and etc).

If you don't care about size then with no discrete GPU I'd build an AMD APU rig otherwise Intel + discrete. Further, 'good' HTPC cases are more expensive than a comparable PC case.

What does "Budget Range: $400 - possibly flexible." mean!!?? Also, is your price for just the 'box' and no e.g. OS, Keyboard, etc? The OS, KB adds another ~$150.

The reason I say all of this is as I read it you're simply connecting 'any' PC to your TV and calling it an HTPC...
July 25, 2012 5:59:41 PM

It means I'm not hard capped at $400.. if it comes out to $450 to be optimal then I'd do $450.. so roughly $400, give or take.

Maybe HTPC wouldn't necessarily be a 100% accurate term, however, the general gist of what I am looking for is something that I can plug into my TV and use primarily for watching Blurays and streaming from Netflix. Preferably in a cheap manner since it won't be used heavily for gaming or rendering. I'm new to the whole concept so maybe I just don't get it.. but it sounds like what I want - a light use computer combined with a media center.

Sorry for being unclear, and perhaps I still am so keep asking questions if needed, but thanks for the reply!
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July 25, 2012 7:21:29 PM

Here's some choices that I would consider in your price range a 'use.'

My 2 cents, the AMD Llano is a good choice if not getting a discrete GPU, MOBO depends on your TV, RAM IMO 8GB, HDD IMO 1TB, BR IMO a burner, PSU IMO either a Bronze or higher, and the cases are IMO a personal choice.

$69.99 CPU: AMD A6-3500 Llano 2.1GHz/3-cores

Choices MOBO:
$87.55 MOBO: ASUS F1A55-M/CSM
$79.98 MOBO: ASRock A75M

Choices RAM:
$44.99 RAM: G.SKILL Ares 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 CAS 9
$23.99 RAM: G.SKILL NS 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR3 1333 CAS 9

Choices Blu-Ray:
$69.99 BR-Burner: LG Black 14X BD-R 2X BD-RE 16X (WH14NS40) - OEM
$49.99 BR-Reader: LG Black 10X BD-ROM UH12LS29 - OEM

Choices HDD:
$89.99 Samsung Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB (7.2K)
$69.99 Samsung Spinpoint F3 HD502HJ/ST500DM005 500GB (7.2K)

Choices PSU:
$110.49 SeaSonic X series SS-400FL Fanless 80 PLUS GOLD/PFC Power Supply/Modular
$50.99 SeaSonic S12II 430B 430W 80 PLUS BRONZE/PFC
$44.99 Corsair Builder Series CX600 80 PLUS/PFC

$338.93 ; Sub-total Lowest priced items

$473.00 ; Sub-total Highest priced items

Choices Cases:

Q - HTPC style or vanilla PC style??
Pick your own -


Optional OC'ing CPU & HSF if you 'game':
$104.99 CPU: AMD A8-3870K Unlocked Llano 3.0GHz/4-cores
$19.99 HSF: CM Hyper 212 Plus

$64.99 ; Sub-total Above priced items
July 26, 2012 2:47:25 PM

Thanks Jaquith!

That's a nice starting point which is exactly what I was looking for so that I could go out and do some comparisons for performance and price!

Appreciate your time!