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Budget HTPC ($300-400)

Last response: in Systems
September 17, 2012 6:36:41 PM

Approximate Purchase Date: e.g.: this week or next

Budget Range: $300-400, including tax and shipping and after rebates

System Usage from Most to Least Important: DVR (MythTv or similar), Netflix Streaming, ripping, storing and viewing DVDs and/or pictures, storing Wii games. Possibly also watchESPN app (ESPN3) if I can ever figure out a way to get it through Time Warner, or maybe even playing arcade games (MAME)

Monitor: 36" HDTV

Cable / Satellite: I have just over the air tv. No

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: wherever is fine

Location: Cincinnati, OH, USA

Parts Preferences: no strong preference

Miscellaneous: I have no parts other than the TV though I could probably scrounge a mouse / keyboard

I'm trying to build a fairly low budget HTPC. As you can see, we don't have a super high end TV, nor do we watch a ton of TV. Mostly looking to be able to DVR, as well as store and play some of our media.

Any advice appreciated.

More about : budget htpc 300 400

September 18, 2012 4:20:16 PM

Okay after a bit more research, here is a first draft for comments - list also available at

CPU: Intel Celeron G530 2.4GHz Dual-Core Processor
$43.99 @ Amazon -

Motherboard: ASRock H77M Micro ATX LGA1155 Motherboard
$69.99 @ Newegg -

RAM: Kingston Valueram DDR3 1333 4 GB SDRAM Memory Module 4 (2-2GB)
$21.74 @ Amazon -

SSD: Crucial 64GB m4 SSD 2.5" Solid State Internal Drive
$68.95 @ B&H -
(I also see it for $68.99 @ Amazon where I'd probably buy it)

Storage: Western Digital 2 TB WD Green SATA III Intellipower 64 MB Cache Bulk/OEM Desktop Hard Drive
$99.98 @ Amazon -

Case: Black Micro ATX12V Desktp 220W with DVD Rom Fdd Hidden Bay Covers
$38.99 @ Amazon -

DVD Drive: LG DVD Burner 24X
$16.99 @ Newegg -

Tuner card: Hauppauge 1229 WinTV-HVR-2250
$95 including tax @ Walmart (!) -

Total is $455.63 though this does not include any OS (talking with a buddy that works for Microsoft to see if he has any deals on Windows) nor any keyboard / mouse / remote (are there ports to temporarily use a regular USB keyboard / mouse?) as well as any cables (or do those usually come with the parts?)

Any suggestions on how to drop the price any? I know I could skimp a bit on the storage (especially if I choose not to get a SSD) but I'm not sure if that's worth it. Seems silly to pay $59 for a 500GB or $79 for a 1TB when you can buy a 2TB drive for $99....