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Spankin' new 1st time HTPC build: is it good, and what can I add?

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August 1, 2012 8:37:45 PM

just built me a shiny new HTPC, and i got the fever to add some bells & whistles.

so first, did i do good? second, what kind of additional features or upgrades can I add? (not looking for internal lights or wifi adapter)



AMD A8-3850 Llano 2.9GHz Quad-Core w/ DirectX 11 Graphic AMD Radeon HD 6550D onboard - $110

Gigabyte GA-A75M-D2H SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 HDMI Micro ATX Mobo - $80

Crucial m4 128GB SSD (w/3.5” adapter bracket) <--primary boot drive - $125

Seagate Barracuda 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 6Gb/s HDD <-- secondary storage drive - $90

Crucial Ballistix sport *GB (2x4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 1333 - $42

LG 24x DVD burner - $17

Rosewill black mid-tower case w/ 400W ATX 2.2 12V PSU - $60


Total $524 ($570 with tax)
a b B Homebuilt system
August 1, 2012 8:51:50 PM

I would look for a better deal on the ssd; some 128 gb are going for $80 after rebate. I use the ocz agility 3. Everything else looks fine.
August 1, 2012 8:54:58 PM

o1die said:
I would look for a better deal on the ssd; some 128 gb are going for $80 after rebate. I use the ocz agility 3. Everything else looks fine.


word. well, i already bought it and put the thing together... basically looking to improve/accessorize.

as far as the type of SSD, literally the day after i bought it, newegg dropped the price for this model, and then started blowing out SSDs like they were going out of style. oh well.

i chose the Crucial over the OCZ because it got substantially better reviews and fewer fail complaints.
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August 1, 2012 8:55:54 PM

perfect build. maybe a blu ray player, and add a wireless keyboard and mouse for convenience.
August 1, 2012 9:28:04 PM

Personally, its very good but could have been better. I'd have gotten a 3870K, which can be overclocked if you want more speed, a Seasonic X-460 for the PSU so there is no noise, and a better case, either a Haf 912 "Advanced" model or something from Bitfenix. Your case and PSU are rather crap and they are the most important parts of any system. Still good choices more or less.
August 1, 2012 9:58:41 PM

Smeg45 said:
Personally, its very good but could have been better. I'd have gotten a 3870K, which can be overclocked if you want more speed, a Seasonic X-460 for the PSU so there is no noise, and a better case, either a Haf 912 "Advanced" model or something from Bitfenix. Your case and PSU are rather crap and they are the most important parts of any system. Still good choices more or less.



thanks for the input, Smeg. 'preciate you taking your time. thing is, this is not a gaming PC. It's a set-it-and-forget-it HTPC. I feel like a case like the Haf 912 (with so many openings for fans & such): a) is overkill; and b)would allow too much dust collection inside the machine.

anything specific wrong with the PSU? i thought that 400W would be plenty to power a 95W CPU, as well as a couple storage drives, couple of of fans and the RAM...
August 1, 2012 10:29:43 PM

400w is indeed enough, its the quality that I don't like. The Seasonic is built to last and PSU's that come with cases are simply not very reliable. For the case, I have my work system in a HAF 912 (needed the front USB 3 especially) and I'm certain it will last for at least 5yrs, its not overkill but more of an investment. Its also dead easy to work in. A case is a constant and a good once will last and last and last.

Overall though, a very good HTPC.
August 1, 2012 10:36:59 PM

cool. is there anything i can add to make it really bitchin'? some kind of under-the-radar pci accessory or other bell/whistle that would make it special?
August 1, 2012 10:42:13 PM

do you have a TV card in there?
August 1, 2012 10:46:30 PM

Assuming you're going to be hooking up the HTPC to a HDTV, if the TV doesn't have the frame interpolation feature itself, you may wish to check out Smooth Video Project.

Once I heard of SVP and started using it, I just can't watch 24fps videos anymore.
a b B Homebuilt system
August 1, 2012 10:55:27 PM

nogudnik said:
cool. is there anything i can add to make it really bitchin'? some kind of under-the-radar pci accessory or other bell/whistle that would make it special?
How about a USB IR receiver and a Harmony remote? TV tuner card with FM antenna?

On the more extreme side, how about a Kinect so you can control Media center with voice commands and your body.

On the silly side of things... a USB rocket launcher to shoot at the viewers?
August 1, 2012 11:00:10 PM

rwpritchett said:
How about a USB IR receiver and a Harmony remote? TV tuner card with FM antenna?

On the more extreme side, how about a Kinect so you can control Media center with voice commands and your body.

On the silly side of things... a USB rocket launcher to shoot at the viewers?



that's the kind of out-of-the-box thinking i am talking about!

as far as the TV card, i have digital cable, so i was thinking of just getting the Silicondust HDHomerun Prime. Thoughts?
August 1, 2012 11:21:48 PM

rwpritchett said:


On the silly side of things... a USB rocket launcher to shoot at the viewers?



Buy a few USB hubs, and get a few dozen of these for the love of god, you simply must.
August 2, 2012 12:03:27 AM

azathoth said:
Assuming you're going to be hooking up the HTPC to a HDTV, if the TV doesn't have the frame interpolation feature itself, you may wish to check out Smooth Video Project.

Once I heard of SVP and started using it, I just can't watch 24fps videos anymore.


Don't all TVs have frame interpolation? And don't most have native support for 24p?
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