Looking for HTPC recommendations

Approximate Purchase Date: e.g.: Within the next two months

Budget Range: $400, $450 would really be pushing it

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Streaming media, internet usage, Windows 7 DVR functionality, maybe some light gaming but that's not really that big of a deal

Are you buying a monitor: No - using 55" Mitsubishi HDTV running at 1900 x 1200

Parts to Upgrade: Case, motherboard, CPU, RAM, OS, SSD possibly

Parts not required: RAM (possibly - have some 4GB G.Skill 1333MHz I can use but it's 1.35V), hard drive (Seagate Barracuda 320GB), BD-R Burner (Pioneer BD-R 203), GPU (reusing GTX 550TI), PSU (Corsair CX430)

Do you need to buy OS: Yes

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: I mainly use Newegg and occasionally Tiger Direct

Location: City, State/Region, Country - Los Angeles, CA - I do have easy access to Microcenter

Parts Preferences: by brand or type: No real preference, I'm leaning toward new AMD A8 APUs, I might go the Intel route and use the Pentium G680 but if anyone advises against it I'm open to suggestion - games will not really be played on this machine, it will be used for streaming media content with low power consumption.hh

Overclocking: No

SLI or Crossfire: No

Your Monitor Resolution: 1900 x 1200

Additional Comments: This is the case I'm thinking of using, I ran into issues on my last attempted build - as the case was way too big for the shelf it was sitting on and the cabinet door didn't close properly. It is currently being used as a floater computer.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811163158

If anyone has any case recommendations I'm definitely open to it, but at the same time I also need one that fits in an HTPC form factor but also accommodates for a full size ATX PSU so I can reuse that Corsair CX430 without having to purchase a new one. I'd kind of like to make it look like a home theater component if possible as it will be sitting in my parents' home theater cabinet. Heat generation will definitely be a factor but I will be using the Tom's guide as a template on how to setup my air flow in this case properly.
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More about looking htpc recommendations
  1. Didn't you have a 1045T? What happened to that?

    Otherwise, well, if you're planning on using the 550 TI, not much point in the new Trinity. May as well go with a cheap Athlon II or Pentium. But I'd blow the dust off that Thuban if you still have it, shut down a core or two or downclock it if you're really worried about power consumption, but honestly running it 24/7 for a year is probably not going to translate to more than $20 on your electric bill. Can't run 1.35V RAM on an Intel CPU you know?
  2. nekulturny said:
    Didn't you have a 1045T? What happened to that?

    Otherwise, well, if you're planning on using the 550 TI, not much point in the new Trinity. May as well go with a cheap Athlon II or Pentium. But I'd blow the dust off that Thuban if you still have it, shut down a core or two or downclock it if you're really worried about power consumption, but honestly running it 24/7 for a year is probably not going to translate to more than $20 on your electric bill. Can't run 1.35V RAM on an Intel CPU you know?


    I had the 1055T and the system it's being used in now is a floater system - which is basically a Frankenstein system that I put together using all parts from old builds that I didn't have any use for. It was intended to be the HTPC but the case I got for it was way too big and I'm having a hard time finding a case that supports full ATX PSU but in an mATX form factor. I also didn't want the Gigabyte motherboard it was being used in going to waste either. :lol:
  3. you could use a fractal design core 1000.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wfwrubJC3II
  4. or the define mini if you need silence. it will be bigger than the core 1000

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YAvZoez-Iak
  5. TheBigTroll said:
    you could use a fractal design core 1000.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wfwrubJC3II


    That's not going to fit the dimensions - when I say limited shelf space, I mean limited shelf space. :lol:
  6. do you need it to like fit in a large shoe box? the cases is pretty small already
  7. TheBigTroll said:
    do you need it to like fit in a large shoe box? the cases is pretty small already


    It's going to be on a component shelf so even a small tower is out of the question. The Core 3000 is a great case, it just won't work for what I need it to do. The Silverstone one I linked to in the OP is more along the lines of what I want.
  8. then the silverstone might be the case. i dont know many htpc cases ....
  9. You will need a mini-ITX case to do what you want it to do, because mATX has almost all towers and no box-type computer.
  10. azeem40 said:
    Would this be good for your needs g-unit?
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811112279


    this case is about the size of a violin or slightly shorter than a standard keyboard (length)
  11. This? Which? The one in OP or the one I linked?
  12. the one you linked
  13. azeem40 said:
    Would this be good for your needs g-unit?
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811112279


    That might work but I also need it to accommodate a full ATX PSU and a 5.25" drive bay, I'm now wondering if such a case would be like finding a needle in a haystack. :lol:
  14. g-unit1111 said:
    That might work but I also need it to accommodate a full ATX PSU and a 5.25" drive bay, I'm now wondering if such a case would be like finding a needle in a haystack. :lol:

    External 5.25" Drive Bays
    2

    "Stylish and compact, the cube styled LIAN LI PC-V352 stands out from the crowd with its clean lines, quality craftsmanship and classic color tones. Inside the tiny chassis, you'll get ample space for your Micro ATX / Mini ITX motherboard, standard ATX P/S2 power supply, and a wealth of features such as USB 3.0 ports and a eSATA port, slide out motherboard tray and excellent thermal performance."
  15. azeem40 said:
    External 5.25" Drive Bays
    2

    "Stylish and compact, the cube styled LIAN LI PC-V352 stands out from the crowd with its clean lines, quality craftsmanship and classic color tones. Inside the tiny chassis, you'll get ample space for your Micro ATX / Mini ITX motherboard, standard ATX P/S2 power supply, and a wealth of features such as USB 3.0 ports and a eSATA port, slide out motherboard tray and excellent thermal performance."


    That might work then. How does the case generate heat? That's kind of an important factor.
  16. What do you mean by how does it generate heat? Do you mean dissipate? You have a specs page presented. :P
  17. azeem40 said:
    What do you mean by how does it generate heat? Do you mean dissipate? You have a specs page presented. :P


    It says it accommodates a few fans - I guess that's enough for what I need.

    I'm thinking something like this:

    PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

    CPU: Intel Pentium G840 2.8GHz Dual-Core Processor ($87.98 @ Outlet PC)
    Motherboard: ASRock H77M Micro ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($69.99 @ Newegg)
    Memory: G.Skill Ares Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($43.99 @ Newegg)
    Case: Lian-Li PC-V353A HTPC Case ($149.99 @ Newegg)
    Total: $351.95
    (Prices include shipping and discounts when available.)
    (Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-08-13 02:16 EDT-0400)

    And then I'm reusing the power supply, GPU, and BD-R drive. Adding a Windows 7 Home Premium license as well.
  18. Looks good to me. Most would use an Antec EA380D, but yours works too, though not as quiet. :P
  19. azeem40 said:
    Looks good to me. Most would use an Antec EA380D, but yours works too, though not as quiet. :P


    I had a CX430 and it shorted on me, and I sent it back to Corsair and they sent me a brand new one in box for free. :bounce:

    Add to the fact that I've got a few extra parts lying around (RAM, HD, GPU, etc) and I've been wondering what to do with them so I'm thinking I might attempt the HTPC again.
  20. So now I'm thinking of upgrading the CPU in my work PC to the i5-3450 (upgraded the BIOS on the motherboard today to version F7) and that will give me the i3-2120 to use in the HTPC. So that will give it a bit more horsepower.
  21. you probably dont need that much horsepower for watching movies
  22. TheBigTroll said:
    you probably dont need that much horsepower for watching movies


    Yeah that's why I was thinking of using the Pentium G680 but if I go that upgrade route I get the i3-2120 to reuse.
  23. if you are reusing the i3 2120 for this system, it would be better than buying another chip
  24. TheBigTroll said:
    if you are reusing the i3 2120 for this system, it would be better than buying another chip


    I'm still buying a CPU but I'm looking at upgrading to a quad core for my work PC and then that's where the 2120 comes in because that's the CPU being used now.
  25. ahh ok. wasnt reading carefully :/
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