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200 posts

Master Geek
+1 received by user: 5

Topic # 50116 23-Nov-2009 07:53
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Ive been looking at getting one of the media players but put off on all the different formats and future compatability.

So im not looking at a HTPC, which I want to do on the cheap.

I would like a HTPC that will plug in to a 50" LCD. I will be getting a amp soon as well, problly a denon 1910?

I have

hard drives, sata 2 , LG bluray drive, ram 1gb

So i need a case, psu, mb, cpu, sound card?

Anything else I should be looking at?

I really just want to be playing 1080p blurays and the odd tv show(lost when it comes back) :)

any suggestions? id probally go amd due to price although im an intel fanboy. I really like everything to run hdmi?

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608 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 31

  Reply # 275368 23-Nov-2009 09:10
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Can't go past a Athlon 64 X2 5050e 2.6 GHz 45w CPU. Or you could wait a little and get a Athon II X4 45w Quad core when they arrive in NZ, but I would expecta price premium for those.

Motherboard, anything AM3 will work. But you will need to check if the RAM you have is compatable. Asus do this awesome board that has it's own remote. Asus M4A785G HTPC/RC Motherboard, Socket AM3. It is getting up there in price though.

Sound will be your biggest issue, AMD (ATI's) new HD5xxx series video cards are suppose to do LPCM bitstreaming audio output, so check your intended AMP can decode signals it is sending. The other option is a Asus Xonar, or Auzen X-Fi HomeTheater HD Sound card both can decode and all sorts but require Arcsoft Total Media Threatre 3, Cyberlink PowerDVD 9. I have used Cyberlink and it integrates very well with Windows 7 Media Center.

Case and PSU is really personal preferance but there are a lot of considerations. Motherboard size, expansion, cooling (energy efficient cpu's and video cards help), Current enternainment unit at home and the equipment currently in it, etc etc. But anyway. I like Silverstone and have used two of their cases over the years I have had a Media Center and can't complain about them at all. I would suggest going to, cases, home threatre, and then turn on gallary view to see the options. searching on the right is a good help as well.

PSU Don't choose the PSU until you know what case you are getting. Some might come with the case. anyway I would recommend a Zalman or Corsair silent units as great. Power wise for Media Center......anything over 350w will do unless you get a huge video card and then anything over 500w might do.


Home Server: Mobo GA-990FXA-UD3, AMD FX-8370, 32GB RAM, 40TB HDD, 2 x HP Smart Array P410, 3 x Norco SS-500, 10GbE, ESXi 6u2, NextPVR, Emby Server, Plex Server, 2 x HDHomerun.
Lounge Media Center: NVIDIA Shield TV 16GB: Kodi17.4/SPMC17a11 with Titan, Emby, NextPVR, 250GB SSD.
Kids Media Center: NVIDIA Shield TV 16GB: Kodi17.4/SPMC16.7 with Titan, Emby, NextPVR, 120GB SSD
Test Center: NVIDIA Shield TV Pro 500GB. Plex Media Server, Kodi17.4/SPMC17a11 with Titan, Emby, HDHomerun.
Main PC: Ryzen 7, 24GB RAM, Nvidia GT730 + RX 470, 512GB ADATA SSD, 3 x 1TB HDD, 2 x 24" Panasonic LCD TV, Blu-ray drive, Windows 10, Kodi17.4, Emby, Titan.

91 posts

Master Geek

  Reply # 275374 23-Nov-2009 09:28
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If you aren't going to be playing games, then one of the integrated graphics chipsets from NVidia or ATI are very good - Nvidia 9300/9400 or AMD 780/785/790 will do the job well. Not sure of your amplifiers specs but 9300/9400/785 will do 7.1 channel sound I believe. All have HDMI for video and audio

If you do plan to run games I'd recommend a discrete card - anything made in the last couple years with hardware H.264 acceleration will do (Nvidia 8 series and up, ATI 3xxx and up).

One of the beter cases around for HTPC at the moment seems to be the Antec NSK2480 which includes an Earthwatts 380 power supply - there is a good review of this on silent pc review and several guys on here have one. Only fits mAtx though.

You don't need a super powerful CPU just for HTPC, AMD and Intel both make good cheap ones that have a low power requirement (= less cooling)

On board sound works fine for most especially if you are running everything through HDMI

THe Hauppage HVR-2200 is a very popular and reliable Freeview HD twin tuner card assuming you have a UHF aerial and are in a freeview HD reception area.

Win 7 is great software for ease of use but Mediaportal and other free options from dev communties have a lot of extra functionality if you have the time to tinker.

Alternatively Dell have released an all in one solution in the states for a very sharp price that can do all the above - try a search on Dell Inspiron Zino HD in case they decide to release here


200 posts

Master Geek
+1 received by user: 5

  Reply # 275378 23-Nov-2009 09:41
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Thanks guys, no games at all for the HTPC, forgot about onboard, probally a cheaper way to go.
Wont be worrying about freeview has I have mysky. Ive got a windows 7 home edition I could put on it. I didnt like mediaportal, found it a pain to use, so slow. Maybe there are new versions?
That dell looks good but probally going to cost a bit much.

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