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Home Theater PC

Your Top Picks: Tom's Hardware Forums' Q4 2013 BestConfigs

Five Tom’s Hardware forum members entered builds in the Home Theater PC BestConfig this quarter.

In the end, A little bit of blu-ray, a little bit of couch gaming stole the show, earning nearly half of the vote.

Congratulations to A little bit of blu-ray, a little bit of couch gaming for suggesting the build picked by Tom's Hardware's community this quarter! 

Unlike the previous HTPC build, which sacrificed computing power for a TV tuner card, this quarter’s winner went back to the basics. The HTPC’s Ivy Bridge-based Core i3-3220 handily beats its predecessor’s Sandy Bridge-based Pentium G860.

A Gigabyte H77M-D3H motherboard keeps thing modern with GbE, USB 3.0 connectivity, SATA 6Gb/s, and a pair of PCIe 3.0 slots. 

A cheap 8 GB set of Wintec DDR3-1600 modules give the HTPC more than enough memory for living room tasks. A 64 GB Adata Premier Pro SP900 SSD serves as the system drive in this machine. Meanwhile, a 2 TB Western Digital Caviar Green provides ample room for movies and music, all while keeping power usage low. 

The updated version of hapkido’s same low-profile Radeon HD 7750 from Sapphire is the center of attention, adding mainstream gaming capabilities, accelerated video decoding, and plenty of display I/O. In another repeat, hapkido’s Blu-ray burner from LG makes an encore appearance this quarter.

The third hardware choice that carries over from the previous configuration is SilverStone’s MILO media center and HTPC case.

Powering it all is a 360 W 80 PLUS Gold-certified power supply from Seasonic, a marked step up from the 300 W 80 PLUS Bronze unit featured in last quarter’s winning HTPC.

A little bit of blu-ray, a little bit of couch gaming's setup was priced at $696.08 when it was originally configured. The current prices can be found in the BestConfigs shopping tables.

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