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New HTPC Build Suggestions (1K Budget)

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July 30, 2012 9:02:31 AM

I am building a new HTPC in the next week or so and looking for suggestions on every component of the build.

My budget is around $1,000, though a little more or less isn't a big deal.

The system will be used to streaming internet video/TV, watching HD (using XBMC) and possibly 3D movies and surfing the net and possibly some very light gaming like WoW.

I am really hoping for suggestions on parts that will help the computer be as small and as quiet as possible, this HTPC would be on all the time so I am aiming for the components to be able to handle that.

I will be playing all media over my home network or the internet, so only one boot SSD drive should be necessary. I am open to any suggestions on any part of what the build could be, including accessories like the remote etc.

I appreciate any suggestions you guys have!
July 30, 2012 9:19:42 AM

Well the "PC" side is much easier but for the "HT" side

1. Do u intend to integrate DVR/Tuners with this machine?
2. Audio : external receiver via optical/coax/hdmi?
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July 30, 2012 2:53:19 PM

I would definitely go with an AMD APU. I think it can handle WOW and that way you won't have to buy a discreet gfx card so you could build a very tiny system. I just purchased micro-atx case Silverstone grandia gd04S for my new heavy gaming/HTPC build. I think it all comes to how small a build you want....???
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July 30, 2012 2:57:23 PM

you do know that APUs are pretty weak in pretty much anything other than ok level graphics
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July 30, 2012 3:02:45 PM

did you read that all he's gonna do is media playback??
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July 30, 2012 3:49:34 PM

even if no graphics card, it would be more than enough for media playback
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July 30, 2012 3:49:59 PM

did you not see that i put a passive 7750 in my build?
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July 30, 2012 4:19:57 PM

yes, but not for wow and if the OP was concerned about the size of a build so.... AMD APU. Sry bigtroll but your build isn't optimal for his needs. :( 
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July 30, 2012 5:33:14 PM


You should wait for a Trinity ITX motherboard and/or Nettop barebones ... could be a few months, but it will be well worth the wait.

Otherwise, you came to the right place :D 

The Zotac ZBOX NANO AD10U AMD Hudson M1 is a great XBMC *Nix box with which to play around.

Lookee here --> AMD A8-3870K with ASRock A75M-ITX FM1 A75 (Hudson D3) SATA 6Gb/s: $197

With $125 toward an SSD and 2x4GB of RAMs, you're in for $325 either way with a lot of upside in your budget.

But ... Trinity/FM2 will slobber-knock the Llano. It's the real deal.



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July 30, 2012 5:44:02 PM

+1 wisecracker.

That's just about the same build I was about to recommend. With mini-itx board you'll get it "as small as possible". You can save the rest of the budget for a BIG-ASS TV :D 
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July 30, 2012 5:50:03 PM

I build custom HTPCs into old NES cases justin, cause you can pack a serious punch in the mini ITX form factor, let me know if you are interested.
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July 30, 2012 6:01:25 PM


naama said:
+1 wisecracker.

That's just about the same build I was about to recommend. With mini-itx board you'll get it "as small as possible". You can save the rest of the budget for a BIG-ASS TV :D 


[:lutfij:4] HD projector

The A8-3870K with ASRock A75M-ITX FM1 is a tremendous build -- stick a WiFi USB nub on it and boogie on.

The thing is, though, Trinity/FM2 quite possibly will allow a drop-in upgrade to Kaveri next Summer -- that 32nm 2nd-Gen Piledriver cores with a 28nm GCN GPU.

Or, an on-die HD7750 :o 



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July 30, 2012 6:05:11 PM

vrumor said:
I build custom HTPCs into old NES cases justin, cause you can pack a serious punch in the mini ITX form factor, let me know if you are interested.




cool, man! ;) 
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July 30, 2012 7:09:25 PM


vrumor said:
I build custom HTPCs into old NES cases justin, cause you can pack a serious punch in the mini ITX form factor, let me know if you are interested.


naama said:
cool, man! ;) 


Just about anything a few inches tall and 8- x 8-inches in the clear can be modded for an ITX mobo, and beyond that design standards have united VESA mounting with ITX, meaning that a 200x200 mount (or 8- x 8-inches) exists on the back of every flat screen.

So, potentially, with a Trinity/FM2 ITX mounted on the back of your TV not only might you play media and game, but also push 2 other monitors in Eyefinity with displayport.

And interestingly enough, three HD flat screens in Eyefinity are roughly equivalent to the Academy standard CinemaScope aspect ratio.

Just a brief matter of time before zero-bezel is mainstream and we are jamming on 5000x1080 wide-screen in Eyefinity :D  from a little box on the back of your TV



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August 15, 2012 4:44:40 AM

batuchka said:
Well the "PC" side is much easier but for the "HT" side

1. Do u intend to integrate DVR/Tuners with this machine?
2. Audio : external receiver via optical/coax/hdmi?


Sorry to you and everyone for the late replies here, life got in the way for a couple weeks there.


I will not be using any dvr functionality but I am open to using tuners, I just never have and am not sure how they work. Does a tuner run off ones cable somehow? Because since I built my previous HTPC I have not had cable.
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August 15, 2012 4:48:21 AM

TheBigTroll said:
this should be near silent. the video card is silent

you can use ultra low noise adaptors if you find the cooler too loud

http://pcpartpicker.com/p/dpkD


I really like the build you have there, the idea of a video card without a fan sounds great. The only part I do not like is the case, I was envisioning something that looks more like a dvd player or receiver and less like a computer. Any other cases you can recommend?

Also, will heat ever be an issue here? Even if I were to leave the HTPC running for a couple days at a time?
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August 15, 2012 4:50:00 AM

naama said:
I would definitely go with an AMD APU. I think it can handle WOW and that way you won't have to buy a discreet gfx card so you could build a very tiny system. I just purchased micro-atx case Silverstone grandia gd04S for my new heavy gaming/HTPC build. I think it all comes to how small a build you want....???


I am open to using AMD, though I never have before. I do want as small a build as possible.
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August 15, 2012 5:08:44 AM

naama said:
yes, but not for wow and if the OP was concerned about the size of a build so.... AMD APU. Sry bigtroll but your build isn't optimal for his needs. :( 


Yea, I definitely would like something that can handle WoW, at least when all graphics settings are on minimum. But at the same time if this will dictate that I have a much larger or noisier or hotter build I am willing to forgo this requirement.
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August 15, 2012 5:22:30 AM

Wisecracker said:
You should wait for a Trinity ITX motherboard and/or Nettop barebones ... could be a few months, but it will be well worth the wait.

Otherwise, you came to the right place :D 

The Zotac ZBOX NANO AD10U AMD Hudson M1 is a great XBMC *Nix box with which to play around.

Lookee here --> AMD A8-3870K with ASRock A75M-ITX FM1 A75 (Hudson D3) SATA 6Gb/s: $197

With $125 toward an SSD and 2x4GB of RAMs, you're in for $325 either way with a lot of upside in your budget.

But ... Trinity/FM2 will slobber-knock the Llano. It's the real deal.


Sounds awesome but I definitely cannot wait a few months, my other system is dying on me.
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August 16, 2012 1:14:55 PM


justin544 said:
Sorry to you and everyone for the late replies here, life got in the way for a couple weeks there.


I will not be using any dvr functionality but I am open to using tuners, I just never have and am not sure how they work. Does a tuner run off ones cable somehow? Because since I built my previous HTPC I have not had cable.


Ceton InfiniTV 4 Quad-tuner Card for Watching Digital Cable TV with a cablecard from your local provider.

Otherwise, for 'over-the-air' reception, you simply connect your antenna lead to the rear of the tuner card.



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