Can anyone recommend specs for HTPC build - budget around £400

Hi all,

I really I'm asking alot here but having spent the last few hours bouncing around the internet I'm none the wiser on recommendations for cases/specs for HTPC's.

I want to get one built mainly for HD content, movies, tv and Anime but don't need anything like Blu Ray playback as I have the PS3 for that. I'm kind of stuck on cases for now and I'm assuming 2GB of Ram and a decent Quad-Core CPU would do. I've read about a few different Antecs, the opera case and a few other budget cases but really can't settle on one.

I obviously want it to be quiet so fans become an issue...... it's just ridiculous the amount of contradicting info I keep finding. One site says onboard video is fine for HD 1080p but then another says you NEED a dedicated card.

I have no trouble building PCs and have done many in the past. Just don't want to stumble my way through picking parts and end up getting something I could probably pick up from ebay at the same price.

Would appreciate any help that can be provided :)

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  1. Sorry; my bad.

    Here's the info as it should have been posted:

    APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: ASAP i.e. As soon as I know what I want

    SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Internet, Videos/TV, Music, basic word processing.

    PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Blu Ray Drive, not sure of anything else I definately don't need.

    PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: No preference as long as delivered to the UK mainland.

    PARTS PREFERENCES: Again, no preference. My current computer at home uses AMD but I use Intel at work and never found either to be better or worse.


    MONITOR RESOLUTION: Currently 32" LCD TV with 1080i only. Want to future proof to give 1080p as a backup.

    ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: I want a quiet pc so that it doesn't interfere with whatever it may be I'm watching. I don't intend to do gaming though may end up on flash games or old style (less intensive games) like Max Payne :). No preference with size, small or large I'll find the room for it. The biggest factor is being able to play HD content and having decent storage (around 1TB).

    Hope someone can help.
  2. ^ Here is a config -

    CPU - Athlon II X3

    Mobo - ASUS 785G with onboard 128MB vRAM - Would suffice for HD playback and also can play old games pretty well...

    RAM - 2GB would suffice...

    CASE + PSU

    HDD - Samsung F3 1TB

    Total - ~£310
  3. gkay; sounds good.

    I should of mentioned that my tower preference is a 'flatbed' style as opposed to a 'tower' style. Will edit my previous post now.

    Looking at the cases the Antec Minuet seems the best one there. How does it work with the fans and whatnot, am I right in assuming they come with the case?
  4. I just built my own HTPC with basically the same requirements you have. My cost was 370 USD.

    ICute Case "flatbed style", E3200 CPU, 4 gigs of Kingston DDR2 800 vallue ram, Asus H4350 Video Card with all the connections, MSI P43 board and WD 1TB Green drive. I even overclocked it to 3 gigahertz. Can't even hear it running. I have it connected to my 37" 1080p HDTV. Does it all.
  5. Can't edit my post.... won't let me! lol

    flabbergasted; sounds like you got your parts pretty cheap to get all that for 370 USD or maybe components are just generally cheaper over in the states.

    I just need to decide whether or not to get a Tuner card or not now and what software to use (currently heading for XBMC). Any advice?

    Also, does anyone else have any thoughts on build wise? How does gkay's build sound?
  6. Check this case + PSU - Would be spacious...And as for that case, you can use it either way - Like a tower or Flat-bed style...The CoolerMaster logo's orientation can be changed...
  7. Looking at those they seem to be around the same price as buying the Minuet.... maybe a little cheaper to go with the CoolerMaster. Not fussed about the difference though so looks like I'd rather go with the Minuet.

    Just need to figure out what other specs to go with. You reckon the spec you specified would be 'more' than adequate or just adequate. Am thinking whether it would be worth spending the extra money now to make it adequate still in a few years.
  8. ^ It would be more than adequate...
    And if you would want to make it even more adequate for few years, just add a graphics card...The CPU is a Tri-Core and is an overkill for just a 1080p it should last you long...And the onbard video with 128MB dedicated vRAM can easily handle 1080p without any issues...
  9. Excellent. Looks like I have my set up then :)

    One final question though; is it worth shopping around for prices with these or do ebuyer tend to be quite competitive on prices? Also, any suggestions on software? I know that's technically two questions..... lol
  10. ^ Well it is always good to shop around for better deals if any...but just make sure that the site from where you plan to purchase is a good one...
    And as for software, Cyberlink can check out this one too...
    And this article would help...
  11. Just placed my order and now been notified there is no stock left on the RAM. Going to look for a replacement type; any suggestions? I'm just looking for similiar RAM for now but there's an abundance out there I never know which one to get.
  12. Never mind, did a bit more searching and found the items are still available they just don't seem to be sold as a pack anymore;

    Replaced it with 2 of these, a few quid more expensive but nothing to bad.

    Just waiting to get the confirmation that they do actually have them in stock now.......
  13. Ok, I did a recalculation of my costs for my HTPC. The prices are from Newegg.
    E3200 cpu: $52
    ICute "flatbed style case": $40
    2 x 2gigs of Kingston Value Ram DDR2 800: $100
    WD 1TB Green Hdd: $95
    Asus HD4350 Video card: $35
    350 watt power supply: $30
    Total Cost: $352.00

    This system is more than adequate for an HTPC.
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