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3 posts

Wannabe Geek


Topic # 87002 17-Jul-2011 17:55
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Hi All

I'm going to build  HTPC for a friend of mine. He's looking to spend around $1000, but I may be able to squeeze another 100-200 bucks out of him if need be. He won't really want to use it for gaming as such. More for watching movie rips in HD, and streaming music/browsing the net. Onboard sound (5.1) and video will be ok if the budget dictates it.

With so many configurations and being out of the game, it's hard to know the final important details.

I have looked at pricespy, and some of the components I'm pretty sure of, but need some help with the mobo/cpu/graphics situation.  Here's a list of what I've priced so far and would love some advice on where to go from here. So far it's costing $600 and would appreciate any thoughts/comments on what I've chosen and what I should get to complete it.

Case

Silverstone GD01B-R                                                                                                      $214

HDD

2 x Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 7200RPM 32MB SATA3                                            $162

Memory

KINGSTON HyperX 4GB Kit 1600MHz CL9 Kit (2x2GB) DDR3 NonECC DIMM XMP Blue     $63.98

Keyboard

Logitech K340 Wireless Keyboard                                                                                    $67.79

Mouse
                                                                                                                     
Logitech Wireless Mouse M505 Black                                                                               $57.50

DVD

Lite-On IHAS324 ALLWRITE 24x SATA DVDRW                                                                 $33.94

MOBO

?

CPU

?

PSU

?

Sound
 
?

Wireless network card


Any thoughts are appreciated 

Paul 

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460 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 83


  Reply # 494342 17-Jul-2011 18:15
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based on that id get a mobo with wifi and good onboard sound. get one like this Asus P8H67-I Deluxe B3 http://www.computerlounge.co.nz/components/componentview.asp?partid=14628&ref=pricespy

and a cpu that does not need to be the most powerful do do the job so an i3 will be fine
http://www.computerlounge.co.nz/components/componentview.asp?partid=14243

spend the rest on a power supply 400w will be more than enough. $100
If you plan on getting a graphics card then get a 500w to be safe. $130



3 posts

Wannabe Geek


  Reply # 494346 17-Jul-2011 18:30
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Cheers for that Shrub.

Sounds like a good way to go. I don't think he needs anything too powerful and I did say I could build one for a grand. Am doing my best to stick to that figure.

Have read a few good reviews on that board too.

Thanks 

 
 
 
 


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460 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 83


  Reply # 494355 17-Jul-2011 19:24
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just be aware it it mITX and check if the case supports it first

722 posts

Ultimate Geek


  Reply # 494385 17-Jul-2011 20:39
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What OS? If W7, will he use the default WMC available in certain versions? Or third party, like Mediaportal? I prefer Intel+Nvidia, myself, as I've been burned with AMD issues a couple of times.

How about a remote, as they are far better for navigating once inside the media frontend.

Also, does he intend to watch Blu-ray on it? If so, does his audio componentry allow for HD audio? This could dictate the graphics card make.

The time to do the thinking is right now. Get the components that allow minimal upgrading in the intermediate term, but they don't need to be much above average as, unless the user will be transcoding, they don't utilise a lot of CPU grunt. One caveat: if you want to upscale SD media content, you need a reasonable setup for fDDShow.




Silverstone LC14 HTPC Case/Intel E4600 CPU/GA-EP35-DS3 MOBO/Asus EN9500GT graphics/2GB RAM/total 2TB HDD space/HVR-2200 & 2X 150MCE tuner cards/LG GGC-H20L BD Drive/MCE2005/Mediaportal/TVServer 1.1.0Final/LG 55"3D LED-TV/Denon AVR-1803 receiver/X1 projector



3 posts

Wannabe Geek


  Reply # 494446 18-Jul-2011 07:15
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Cheers for the response guys.

It looks like that case is atx/mini atx, so that mobo is going to do the job. Any alternatives would be appreciated.

He's going to be running Win 7, but not too sure about software. He'll probably just use media center, or vlc. Doubt he'll go for for the full media experience.Maybe thats just me, I built quite a nice htpc a while back and still haven't set it up properly.

I don't think he'll bother with a remote'to be honest. he doesn't have an iphone or ipad. Are there any decent remotes for cheaper? Am guessing he'll just use the mouse. 

Any thought on another mobo/cpu combo?

Cheers 

148 posts

Master Geek


  Reply # 494455 18-Jul-2011 08:08
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Just a couple of things to keep in mind with pricespy. I know when I'm building my own stuff, I'll find the cheapest place for each component. I've then gone around all those places collecting the components. The risk is that if anything fails, then it has to be returned to that place and can take weeks to get it replaced.

I can handle that for me, but your friend may not, and you may be better going with one retail shop, like computer lounge or pbtech for the key components.

Also, are you going to put a couple of tuner cards in? Just check that if you go matx for the mobo that you will have the room after the graphics card.

My case and mobo are full atx with 3 tuner cards in and a gts450. Not something that can be done with the Silverstone

722 posts

Ultimate Geek


  Reply # 494909 18-Jul-2011 18:10
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sav1973: Cheers for the response guys.

It looks like that case is atx/mini atx, so that mobo is going to do the job. Any alternatives would be appreciated.

He's going to be running Win 7, but not too sure about software. He'll probably just use media center, or vlc. Doubt he'll go for for the full media experience.Maybe thats just me, I built quite a nice htpc a while back and still haven't set it up properly.

I don't think he'll bother with a remote'to be honest. he doesn't have an iphone or ipad. Are there any decent remotes for cheaper? Am guessing he'll just use the mouse. 

Any thought on another mobo/cpu combo?

Cheers 
Here's one example that could be used at a decent price. Seems a better bet than the now-obselete Micreosoft one. See here. Not sure if using a mouse constantly on your knee, or even the coffee table will be a compatible long term solution, especially if he has an other half.

from what I here, W7 media centre is pretty good out of the box, just not as configurable as third party frontends, like Mediaportal. Which can be good for people wanting something that just works, & aren't particular about the best looks.




Silverstone LC14 HTPC Case/Intel E4600 CPU/GA-EP35-DS3 MOBO/Asus EN9500GT graphics/2GB RAM/total 2TB HDD space/HVR-2200 & 2X 150MCE tuner cards/LG GGC-H20L BD Drive/MCE2005/Mediaportal/TVServer 1.1.0Final/LG 55"3D LED-TV/Denon AVR-1803 receiver/X1 projector

2441 posts

Uber Geek
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  Reply # 494938 18-Jul-2011 18:53
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Other than browsing the net (and does he really want to do that on his telly?) it just seems to be a spec that has the ability to play back HD media & stream music, with good audio and an onboard hard-drive. There doesn't seem to be any recording capability at all - with no terrestrial or satellite tuners listed at all. While you can do that with an HTPC, it seems kind of an expensive overkill for just those functions, and I do start to question the point of the build.

Couple of suggestions, I would either:

1. Spend a couple of hundred more to trick it out as a proper HTPC, with TV tuners and, if the budget will run to it, a blu ray drive. This will be much, much, more useful than a tunerless build. OR

2. Save a lot of money and go with something that does pretty much everything specified except web browsing for much less money. A WD TV Live HUB will set you back about $350 and will get you 1TB onboard plus 2xUSB to add more, networkable with gigabit ethernet, capable of playing HD video and streaming music, good audio and a remote control. A cheaper option (with an ugly menu, crappier remote and need to add a disk via USB) but otherwise identical option is the WDTV Live at around $170. [Prices from a quick skim of the Noel Leeming website]. If you can live with limited HD capability (720p only), a more locked down feature set and no ability to add storage directly, an AppleTV would be even cheaper at around $170.

Disclaimer: I have both a Live and a Live Hub, and I love em. Haven't tried an Apple TV.

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