First Time Builder's HTPC

I’m a first-time poster seeking advice on an HTPC build, and this will also be my first time building a computer. I’ve spent a lot of time researching this, and while I’m pretty settled on the general components, I would feel better talking it through with real people. My biggest question at this point is the level of CPU that I should purchase as you’ll see below.

Approximate Purchase Date: Within a month

Budget Range: Initially $500-600; Up to $1000-1100 Total

System Usage from Most to Least Important: HTPC (streaming, DVR, DVD/BD ripping, DVD/BD playback), moderate gaming (emulators)

Are you buying a monitor: No (connecting to 720p Vizio)

Do you need to buy OS: Yes

Preferred Website(s) for Parts:,

Location: Nashville, TN

Parts Preferences: agnostic

Overclocking/Dual GPU: No

Additional Comments: Want to balance cost and performance; Plan to build in two or more stages to spread out cost (see below); Choosing mATX case for expandability & potential reuse in the future; Needs to fit in roughly 13”(w)x13”(h)x15.5” (d) space in our bookshelf/media center; Plan to use both XBMC & WMC; Needs to be quiet; Needs to be simple to use for fiancee; Only wifi in apartment; No NAS but would like one in the future; May renew cable in the future; Already own a Logitech DiNovo Mini

Why Am I Building: Allow us to use our laptops while streaming media; Free up space/sell DVDs

Potential CPU/Mobo Combinations:
Intel Core i3-3225 & ASRock H77 Pro4-M – $145 + $90
Intel Pentium G850 & ASRock H77 Pro4-M – $70 + $90
AMD A6-3500 & ASRock A75M – $75 + $75
AMD Trinity?
Subtotal: $150-235

Initial Components:
Case: Silverstone SG01B-F (w/USB 3.0) – $105
Power Supply: Rosewill Capstone 450W ATX12V (semi-modular) – $70
OS: Windows 7 Pro 64bit – $65 (student price)
SSD for OS: Samsung 830 64GB – $70
RAM: G.Skill 4GB (2x2) DDR3-1600 – $25
Wireless: Rosewill RNX-N180 (USB) – $15
Subtotal: $350

Initial Total: $500-585

Future Components:
Optical: Lite-On ihes112-04 – $55
Optical Software: AnyDVD HD – $65
HDD for Files: WD Caviar Black 2TB – $167
TV Tuner: Ceton InfiniTV 4 – $200
Subtotal: $487

Future Total: $987-1072

Big Question: Excluding cost for now, which of the CPU/Mobo combinations will be the best over time?

Is there anything else that I have not considered?
2 answers Last reply
More about first time builder htpc
  1. Check out my HTPC build - I used the Silverstone GD-05B and it's a very excellent case.

    I'd go for something like this:

    PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

    CPU: Intel Core i3-3220 3.3GHz Dual-Core Processor ($129.99 @ Newegg)
    Motherboard: ASRock H77M Micro ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($69.99 @ Newegg)
    Memory: Mushkin Silverline 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1333 Memory ($37.99 @ Newegg)
    Storage: Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($88.98 @ Newegg)
    Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 7750 1GB Video Card ($111.97 @ Newegg)
    Case: Silverstone SST-GD05B-USB3.0 (Black) HTPC Case ($132.56 @ Newegg)
    Power Supply: Corsair Builder 500W 80 PLUS Certified ATX12V Power Supply ($39.99 @ Newegg)
    Optical Drive: Lite-On ihes112-04 Blu-Ray Reader, DVD/CD Writer ($54.99 @ Newegg)
    Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (64-bit) ($99.99 @ Newegg)
    Total: $766.45
    (Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)

    A bit too powerful for an HTPC but hey if you want to play Borderlands or something like that the option is open. :lol:
  2. This is one I'm seriously considering for an htpc build in the near future. Case, psu and mobo are already pre-assembled... only need to add the cpu, dvd burner, ram and hard drives. I'll be using a Linux operating system (Xubuntu or XBMC media center) which are free, and no blu-ray. Or, maybe an external blu-ray. Probably will use an i5 cpu with integrated HD4000 graphics.
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