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Turn budget pc into htpc?

Last response: in Systems
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September 18, 2012 6:36:38 PM

Here comes the nub question of the week.

Can I take an old budget Hp M1050y and jam it into a slimmer htpc case? I'm thinking about this hec case at newegg; http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

From what I understand I will need a slim graphics card but can other parts be reused? Do I need all new components... Am I naive?

I know the comp is old and underpowered but I'd like to get something up and running and then upgrade later.

Thanks in advance.

More about : turn budget htpc

September 18, 2012 8:42:36 PM

And the motherboard, hd, and dvd drive should all fit?

I guess I'll need low profile ethernet jack as well.
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September 18, 2012 8:46:15 PM

That video card doesn't have the best reviews but for $15, I don't care if it fails in a year.
September 18, 2012 8:47:33 PM

Should be ok. Just make sure the back I/O faceplate is removable from your current system. I suppose it's not *really* necessary, but it does help keep dust and critters out of your system. Additionally, you'll want to take into consideration how the front connectors (Power, Reset, HD Activity) of your current PC connect to the motherboard.

After all that, the graphics card idroid suggests is sufficient for your HTPC needs.

-Wolf sends
September 18, 2012 8:49:38 PM

thinkwired said:
And the motherboard, hd, and dvd drive should all fit?

I guess I'll need low profile ethernet jack as well.


The motherboard, HDD and DVD drive fit in ANY case, don't worry about that. btw... there is no such thing as low profile ethernet jack
September 18, 2012 9:01:21 PM

idroid said:
btw... there is no such thing as low profile ethernet jack


Fair enough. I deserve that for not saying network card.
September 18, 2012 9:04:36 PM

Don't know why you think you need a NIC as your current system already has one onboard.

Either graphics card should work for you.

-Wolf sends

September 18, 2012 9:59:05 PM

Wolfshadw said:
Don't know why you think you need a NIC as your current system already has one onboard.


I noticed that after I made the post (was hoping no one else would). This PC has been sitting in a closet for years, I didn't look at it closely until today when I found out this htpc transformation was possible.

Thanks guys.
September 21, 2012 4:07:13 AM

Just realized this video card requires a 400w power supply but my case came with a 300w supply... Am I screwed? I can't imagine this card reall draws more than 100w so why require 400?

Side note, my motherboard has a digital audio out. Is there anyway to convert that to an optical input? Do they make cables like that? I'm not finding anything online. If not, can I convert digital audio into a 3.55mm jack? 3.55 and optical audio are the only inputs on my tv.

Should I just get a low pro sound card?
September 21, 2012 4:18:01 AM

thinkwired said:
Just realized this video card requires a 400w power supply but my case came with a 300w supply... Am I screwed? I can't imagine this card reall draws more than 100w so why require 400?


Replace it with a Corsair CX430w.

September 21, 2012 5:50:31 AM

The only things in this HTPC are an HDD, DVD drive, and a video card. You really think 300w wont cut it? I'm seeing tech reviews saying this card draws 16 watts.

Another side note... I just pulled out the motherboard and there was a black cover that said "Do not remove" on the I/O covering up onboard audio ports. Why would they do that? There was an audigy sound card in a PCI slot.

Do you think these ports work? Check it out
September 21, 2012 8:56:19 AM

Since the graphics card does not have an external power connector, it can only draw power from the PCI-Ex16 slot, which maxes out at 75 watts. Given that it's such a low end card, I can't see it ever drawing that much power. You should be fine with the *cough* proprietary *cough* 300 watt PSU.

As for the on-board audio ports, they should work just fine. The manufacturer, most likely, just covered up those ports so users would be tempted to use them over the PCI sound card that was installed.

-Wolf sends
September 21, 2012 11:59:26 AM

Sore throat? Need a Ricola?

Why do you think they installed the pci card to begin with?

Btw, I finished moving the old comp to the new htpc case and I haven't been able to get the audio to play through those jacks yet. I'm sure it's some kind of driver issue but I haven't figured it out yet.
September 21, 2012 3:10:53 PM

I was thinking is was some sort of marketing gimmick from back when sound cards were awesome. Check BIOS to see if there is a setting to enable on-board sound. Otherwise find out what chipset is used for audio and find the drivers for that.

-Wolf sends
September 23, 2012 12:50:39 AM

The onboard audio setting in the bios was set to auto. I changed it to enabled but it still doesnt work. Might be a hardware issue but, seems fishy.

The funny thing is, the on board audio supported 7.1 while the audio card only supported 5.1
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