HTPC for parents

Parents asked me to build a HTPC for their living room (TV/dvr, bluray, Skype, netflix). I'm great at building high end stuff, but they want me to build on a budget... feeling a bit out of my realm. Here's the list I've put together, and would appreciate feedback.

Computer: $805 plus tax

Motherboard - $115.99 - P8H77-M/CSM
video card - $109.99 - Sapphire AMD Radeon HD 7750 (111202-00-20G) (HDMI to 1080p tv)
Video capture - $139.99 - Hauppauge 1414 Colossus (from bell express vu sat receiver)
Memory - $39.00 - Kingston HyperX Blu 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3 1600MHz CL9 DIMMs, w/ XMP (KHX1600C9D3B1K2/8GX)
CPU - $99.99 - Intel Pentium G2120 (I'm still debating on the i5-3470, but trying to cut costs... hoping this isn't a mistake)
Case - $109.99 - SilverStone GRANDIA Series GD04B-USB3.0
Hard drive - $99.99 WD Green (WD20EARX) 2TB SATA3 6Gb/s 64MB (need space for pvr and media... would add a 120 ssd for OS, but again, trying to cut costs)
power supply - $39.99 - Corsair Builder Series CX500 V2 500 Watt 80 PLUS Bronze Certified Power Supply (CMPSU-500CXV2)
Bluray drive - $49.99 - LG CH12LS28 12X Blu-Ray Reader & Lightscribe DVD Writer Combo Drive

Accessories: $125 plus tax

mouse/keyboard - $54.99 - Logitech Wireless Combo MK520 (920-002553)
video camera for skype - $69.99 - Logitech C920

SOFTWARE: $250.00

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium - $99
PowerDVD 12 - $49.95 (if the LG CH12LS28 doesn't come with... which at that price point, I doubt it)
slysoft anydvd HD - $99 (maybe... maybe not... depends on whether bluray works out of the box - my experience has been hit and miss)

your thoughts?
8 answers Last reply
More about htpc parents
  1. You shouldn't even need a discrete GPU for an HTPC. My advice would be to get a Trinity APU and ditch the 7750.
  2. Someone Somewhere said:
    You shouldn't even need a discrete GPU for an HTPC. My advice would be to get a Trinity APU and ditch the 7750.

    +1 on what this guy says you dont need most of what your listing a Trinity APU is designed for what you want.
  3. this is way overkill for a htpc for your parents its more like a htpc/medium gamer system for what you want (if its primary use is htpc, i couldnt imagine my parents doing much more) you can drop the gpu altogether or get the cheapest amd passively cooled gpu you can buy and the cheapest intel cpu u can buy, 4 gig of ram is heaps, and the mobo is way better than you need. all your video and sound will be handled by hdmi, rules out the fancy stuff. my htpc is an old athlon2 255, a cheap asrock mobo, dual hd tv tuner, an amd 6450, 450psu, 2Tb hdd, in a silverstone lc17 case its quiet and plays my bluray 3d movies all while bitstreaming dts-ma and ddhd thru the 6450s hdmi. prob cost half of your but will do everything just as well
  4. Forgot to say that the Kingston RAM runs at 1.65V which is higher than Intel's IMC is designed for. APUs like fast RAM so I would suggest this:

    Your case is a bit on the steep side too.
    eMachines EL1352G-41W (PT.NCG02.002) Desktop PC Athlon II X2 220(2.80GHz) 2GB DDR3 500GB HDD Capacity NVIDIA GeForce 6150 SE Windows 7 Home Premium 64-Bit $239.99

    HIS Silence H657HJ1G Radeon HD 6570 1GB 64-bit DDR3 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready Low Profile Ready Video Card $54.99 $44.99 after $10.00

    (you will need the 400 shaders for open cl to help out the dual core to run 1080p video and flash)

    Add your blue ray drive if you need that, a wireless keyboard and mouse, hdmi cable, and usb extension cable so your key/mouse receiver is closer so it works better from the couch. You will want cheater 1/8" to rca cables if the sound system is older and lacks hdmi sound.

    My 2nd choice...
    ASUS CM1740-US-2AA Desktop PC A6-Series APU A6-3600(2.1GHz) 4GB 1.5TB HDD Capacity AMD Radeon HD 6530D Windows 7 Home Premium $309.99
    FREE 2-Day Shipping (saves $20)..
    hec Black 0.7mm Thickness SECC Steel 7K09BBA30FNRX Micro ATX Media Center 300W Power Supply / HTPC Case $59.99
    (the asus A6 system is in a mid tower micro atx case, since you want a smaller htpc case you will have to do a transplant into a new case)
  6. Epimetheus said:
    PowerDVD 12 - $49.95 (if the LG CH12LS28 doesn't come with... which at that price point, I doubt it)
    Just chiming in about your software choice. The $49.95 version of PowerDVD does not play blu-ray. The pro version ($79.95) plays blu-ray, but doesn't support 7.1 HD audio. You'll need to get the ultimate version ($92.95) to fully play blu-ray movies with HD audio.

    You may want to research retail drives that come with a better version of PowerDVD. There's also TotalMedia Theatre 5, which can fully playback blu-rays. It costs $100, but coupon code ARC404P20 gets you 20% off.
  7. Drop the Intel way of thinking on this one and grab an A-Series APU from AMD. A6 is $80 on Amazon and swap out the mobo for this one: and you are all set. (Well apart from however you want to proceed software and other hardware wise but you get my point)
  8. This is a popular HTPC build at the XBMC forums. It will run all that you've outlined above. This is from (assuming that's where you are since you mention Bellvue)

    Silverstone ML03B + MCE remote combo
    FSP Group FSP300-60GHS-R 300W SFX12V 80 PLUS Certified Power Supply (fits ML03B with included bracket, SFX size removes issue with ODD depth)
    A6-3500 / ASRock A75 micro-ATX motherboard combo
    Crucial M4 64GB SSD (for O/S)

    Your choice of memory, hard drive for media storage, blu-ray, software and other peripherals

    Oh, and be prepared for the tech support involved. I've built HTPCs and PCs for a lot of my family. I get more calls about the HTPC than anything else (how do I do XYZ?)
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