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HTPC Cheap HTPC build help

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by xxpokerxx, 16 Aug 2011.

  1. xxpokerxx

    xxpokerxx New Member

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    Hi,

    So here's the deal I was asked by a family member if i could possibly build them an HTPC capable of playing HD video, most likely not full 1080p mkv video, but HD youtube and some 720p tv show rips.

    The problem is that they only have about $200 to spare at the moment. So I am coming to you guys, as you know best, to see if its possible (i think it should be, maybe not pretty but functional) and if it is, what hardware I should look into picking up.

    I can salvage pretty much only a DVD drive, and i do not need any peripherals as they already have all that.

    I'm in Canada, I have used Newegg and they seem pretty good, bu tif you guys know anywhere better for Canadian customers, please let me know.

    Thanks for the help.
     
  2. jdcrispe95

    jdcrispe95 Windows XP ♥

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  3. OCJunkie

    OCJunkie OC your Dremel too

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    For Canadian retailers, Best Direct and Direct Canada generally have much better prices than Newegg, PLUS free shipping on most orders on top of it which is fantastic... I personally highly dislike Newegg and their crew of overzealous techno-illiterate reviewers. Generally though it's best to always pricematch the parts before you buy by searching on pricebat.ca.

    $200 though is a very tiny budget even for a cheap HTPC build, especially if you need a case too... You're probably looking at an old AM2 bundle here, or something like an Atom mITX maybe.
     
  4. xxpokerxx

    xxpokerxx New Member

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    Thanks for the info guys, I'll see about getting some extra cash out of them.

    I recently got an HTPC for myself (paid $200), I got :

    Case : Antec New Solution NSK2480
    RAM : 2GB DDR2 1066
    MB : MSI 785gtm e45
    CPU : AMD Athlon X2 5000+ Dual Core 2.2GHz (core unlocked to Phenom FX-5000 Quad Core and overclocked to 3.0 GHz)
    GPU : ATI Radeon HD 5750 1GB
    HDD : 500GB dont remember what
    PSU : dont remember

    Seems like I got a great deal, to me. just the case and GPU alone are over $200. From the sounds of it, i got pretty lucky with mine.
     
  5. OCJunkie

    OCJunkie OC your Dremel too

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    Yeah that's pretty decent for $200, you wouldn't even be able to part that box out right now new for that much. If they can pony up say $300 you're in much better territory. Have you thought of maybe looking for 2nd hand? If it's just for an HTPC they don't need anything new or with horsepower to spare...
     
  6. xxpokerxx

    xxpokerxx New Member

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    Ya I have been looking on places like kijij and Craig's list. So far I've only found crap. I was curious if it was possible to build new though. I'll talk to them this weekend about getting more cash.
     
  7. xxpokerxx

    xxpokerxx New Member

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    Hey, I found these on sale, i could proabably get the prices lower but i just wanna know if this would be good enough for my purposes and also what you think the max i should pay is. thanks.

    Listed for $250
    Board: Asus M4A78LT-M
    CPU: AM3 AMD Athlon II X2 250 @ 3.0Ghz
    RAM: 2x2GB DDR3 (2 slots filled, 2 slots free)
    HD: 200GB SATA II (blank but ready for OS), 500GB SATA (blank, but ready to store your recorded TV!)
    GPU: Integrated AMD Radeon 3000
    ODD: LG DVD-RW
    Belkin b/g wireless
    Hauppauge 1250 TV Tuner Card + remote
    Multi-card reader/USB.
    1000 WATT power supply (can handle a lot of hard drives!)

    Listed for $215
    Processor: Intel Atom D510 (1.66GHz, dual-core)
    Motherboard: BGA559 Intel NM10 Mini ITX
    Hard Drive: Seagate 750MB, 7200 rpm
    RAM: 2GB OCZ Gold (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel
    Case: mini-ITX In-Win Case BP655.200BL Mini Tower BK 200W 1/0/(2) Bay USB HD Audio
    Optical drive: LG 22x DVDRW
    On-board video chipset: Intel GMA 3150
    Wireless: WiFi IEEE 80211 b/g/n
    Audio out: 1 x Optical, 1 x Coaxial (6 audio channels)
    Other connectors: LAN, HDMI out, USB x 6, VGA, DVI
    Windows XP installed
    Included: wireless keyboard + mouse
     
  8. OCJunkie

    OCJunkie OC your Dremel too

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    Well despite the Atom being more of a "real" HTPC and closer to their price range the AMD system is definitely alot more horsepower, and even for just an HTPC it's still nice to have. Though no OS... See if you can get it for a tiny bit cheaper but for the price difference I'd say it's still worth it.
     
  9. jrs77

    jrs77 Well-Known Member

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    The NM10+GMA3150 won't do any good for HD-playback. It simply is lacking power and starts stuttering.

    intel Atom paired with nVidia ION-graphics or AMD E350 are the weay to go for a HTPC.

    $200 limit is very low, especially if you think about needing a case etc. So my best offer would be this...

    Mainboard: http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813186212
    Case: http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811121115
    RAM: http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820134788
    HDD: http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136197
    DVD: http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827151242

    All together for $242.95 but there's no OS integrated. Ubuntu + XBMC would be the way to go for a HTPC anyways.

    The reason why I would go down that route is, that if the PC is a designated HTPC. then you want it to be as small and silent as possible with a HTPC-targeted OS/interface. Also this small thingy only draws some 50W from the plug under load.
    Buying a full ATX-sized box only makes sense, if this HTPC is also ment to be used as an office-PC where you do some work with.

    Another thing I recognized there in your AMD-setup is the TV-tuner-card. Is this an requirement? If so, then basically all miniITX-motherboards will fail as they don't have the PCIe slots for it.
     
  10. deadsea

    deadsea New Member

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    Openelec might be a better fit actually. Smoking fast with a tiny footprint. Unless poker goes with the Amd E350. That's still a bit wonky.

    And since there's no actual desktop on it, it's that much more family proof. :lol:
     
  11. xxpokerxx

    xxpokerxx New Member

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    hey guys and thanks for all the help and advice. I ended up getting this one :

    Listed for $250
    Board: Asus M4A78LT-M
    CPU: AM3 AMD Athlon II X2 250 @ 3.0Ghz
    RAM: 2x2GB DDR3 (2 slots filled, 2 slots free)
    HD: 200GB SATA II (blank but ready for OS), 500GB SATA (blank, but ready to store your recorded TV!)
    GPU: Integrated AMD Radeon 3000
    ODD: LG DVD-RW
    Belkin b/g wireless
    Hauppauge 1250 TV Tuner Card + remote
    Multi-card reader/USB.
    1000 WATT power supply (can handle a lot of hard drives!)

    (one of the ones i listed above)

    I got the guy down to $200, so it worked out good. The PC is going to be on office PC as well as their HTPC so size was no issue, it will just be on the floor somewhere.

    I'll definatley be coming back here for adive on my PC build, when i get around to it, damn school/work. Budget will be good, so there will be no scrimping, this time.

    Thanks again.
     
  12. GuilleAcoustic

    GuilleAcoustic Ook ? Ook !

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    1000W for a HTPC ? Drives aren't power hungry you know, only a few watts. It will cost you both arms in power bill to run it everyday. 90W is more than enough for a HTPC
     
  13. xxpokerxx

    xxpokerxx New Member

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    I know, however it came with it and the price was right. i am going to switch it out with my "normal" power supply (dont remember how many W), i have a few available at home. and i'll keep the 1000W for my rig, as it will need a good PSU (still probably not 1000W, but closeer anyway).

    PS: I didnt write the description, i pulled it straight from CraigsList, and people have to make it seem better than it is to sell, so i see why he wrote that (only I know enough to know it is massive overkill).
     
  14. GuilleAcoustic

    GuilleAcoustic Ook ? Ook !

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    :D
     
  15. OCJunkie

    OCJunkie OC your Dremel too

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    That's what I figured would happen so it's not like the machine absolutely needed to be 3 inches square and use 5W. What he got is decent for the price and will serve both purposes fine. Overall it's still not a huge power draw machine either, the kilowatt PSU is kinda funny but hey, you take what you can get right?
     
  16. GuilleAcoustic

    GuilleAcoustic Ook ? Ook !

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    Agree .... and the 1K watt by itself is worth it considering the price :D
     
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