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Building a Low Cost HTPC for my Bedroom

Discussion in 'System Builder's Advice' started by TSX420J, Oct 23, 2010.

  1. TSX420J

    TSX420J

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    So as the title says, I am trying to build a low cost HTPC for my bedroom.
    I just want a small PC that can playback bluray without any lag @ 1080p.

    I have a laptop with a 1.8 C2D, a 8600m and a bluray drive that can handle that task
    with no problems, but,, it is broken. I am looking at building something slightly more powerful than the laptop because I am looking at staying under about 450 dollars with shipping included. I already have the memory listed.

    How does this look?


    HEC 6K28BB8F Black 0.8mm SECC Steel MicroATX Mini ...

    COOLMAX CX-550B 550W ATX12V Power Supply

    MSI G31TM-P21 LGA 775 Intel G31 Micro ATX Intel Mo...

    Intel Core2 Duo E7500 Wolfdale 2.93GHz 3MB L2 Cach...

    OCZ Platinum Revision 2 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2...

    XFX PVT98GYAF3 GeForce 9800 GT 512MB 256-bit DDR3 ...

    Western Digital Caviar Blue WD2500AAJS 250GB 7200 ...

    LITE-ON Black 4X BD-ROM 8X DVD-ROM 32X CD-ROM SATA...


    Let me know if it is too much for what I want. Any more savings can
    help a lot. Everything minus the ram that I already have comes out
    to 470 with shipping included.
  2. [Ion]

    [Ion] WCG Team Assistant

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    First of all, Coolmax is miserable. Get a Corsair or an Antec. The Earthwatts EA-380D would be a good choice

    I'd also suggest staying away from the dyeing LGA775 platform. A BIOSTAR 785G and AMD Athlon II X2 250 would be cheaper, faster, and have the option of upgrading to a hex-core (or any other AM2+/AM3 CPU) later on :rockout:
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  3. TSX420J

    TSX420J

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    Thanks Ion, I will look into that.
  4. genta3d New Member

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  5. aCid888*

    aCid888* New Member

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    Pretty much right it does appear.



    Aside from that, Ion has it covered. Not much else I'd change aside from the HDD as an HTPC would be much better with a 1TB drive. :toast:




    Edit:

    Could you salvage the BR drive from your laptop and maybe mod it to fit the case you chose?

    Also, what about the HDD?? If you dont need too much speed your laptop 2.5" drive would be pretty nice. :)
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  6. TSX420J

    TSX420J

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    Yeah heard about that a while back when fermi came out but didnt think it was that bad.
    I'll have steer clear then, sounds like drama.
  7. [Ion]

    [Ion] WCG Team Assistant

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    Something like an EVGA, MSI or Asus GT240, GT430, or 9800GT would make a good choice for a GPU :rockout:
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  8. theonedub

    theonedub habe fidem

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    GPU wise you can get away with something super low power (and cheap) by going with an AMD 5450 or 4550, HTPCs is what they were made for.

    On the other hand, our fav Senior Mod, eRocker, has a nice GT240 for $60 FS in the BST.
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  9. TSX420J

    TSX420J

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    LOL, true, I could reuse that 500gb 2.5 I have. The BD drive manufacture isn't supporting
    their drive with any new FW updates so I can't see any of the new BD's (sucks).

    Good idea on using the 2.5 drive I have. I also had thought of getting a 1tb drive but I am
    waiting for the technology to improve a bit.
  10. TSX420J

    TSX420J

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    Great tip. Going to look for the thread. :toast:
  11. TSX420J

    TSX420J

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    Going to be looking into those you have suggested. Thanks!
  12. theonedub

    theonedub habe fidem

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    TSX420J says thanks.
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  13. TSX420J

    TSX420J

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  14. boogah New Member

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    Bluray playability doesn't lie in the firmware it's the software like powerdvd and windvd and such that allows you to play newer protected titles.
  15. boogah New Member

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    get one of these bundle instead.

    http://www.microcenter.com/specials/promotions/1005_AMDbundlePROMO.html

    100 bucks for both a Phenom II X2 650 black edition and the MSI mother board that supports the core unlocking. The onboad graphics (HD 4200) will take care of BD or anything high definition contents without any problems. If you want to game and such you can always pickup a separate GPU.

    Also why get old used GTS 250 when you can get GTS 450 new for around $100 bucks?
    Galaxy GTS450 1GB Super OC $89.99AR
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2010
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  16. rickss69

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  17. TSX420J

    TSX420J

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    oh, well cyberlink lied then. They told me that I needed a firmware update to view newer
    BD's because avatar wouldnt play and tropic thunder would. I hate that BD's have
    all that security crap, that makes it worse for the consumer at times.
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2010
  18. TSX420J

    TSX420J

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    Nice Deal!! Thanks!
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2010
  19. TSX420J

    TSX420J

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    HEC 6K28BB8F Black 0.8mm SECC Steel MicroATX Mini ...

    Rosewill Green Series RG530-S12 530W Continuous @4...

    Foxconn A74ML-K AM3/AM2+/AM2 AMD 740G Micro ATX AM... <--- Different Mobo DDR 2 so I can reuse my old ram

    AMD Phenom II X2 545 Callisto 3.0GHz 2 x 512KB L2 ...

    G.SKILL NS 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1...

    LITE-ON Black 4X BD-ROM 8X DVD-ROM 32X CD-ROM SATA...

    COOLER MASTER DK9-7E52A-0L-GP CPU Cooler


    Price Now 292 Shipping included

    Now Debating on buying a GTX 470 for my Desktop and putting my GTX 260 in the HTPC,

    Or, going the cheaper route and buying one of these or go even cheaper and get one of these . I am thinking if I will be gaming on this thing or not.

    Also does anyone know of a good low cost PCI HD TV Tuner? Thanks you people ROCK!!!!!


    Edit-----------------------------------------------------------------

    On second thought I think I will be staying with the ddr3 Mobo and ram because eventually I would need
    to upgrade to 4gb. I will just spend the extra money now and stop being
    so cheap.
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2010
  20. TSX420J

    TSX420J

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    Interesting, I3 has on-chip graphics powerful enough for 1080p? Also how would that run a
    n64 emulator or something like mk3 on mame. Sorry, just that I am planning on using this
    machine for emulation too, forgot to mention that in the OP. Thanks :)

    Edit ----------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Just priced the I3 nice but too expensive, 421 shipping included, cheaper than my original
    selection but the amd setup seems to the most cost effective at the moment.
    Never thought I'd be buying AMD, but there is a first time for everything.
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2010
  21. TSX420J

    TSX420J

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    So I've decided to get the cheapest video card that can playback 1080p
    and when kepler comes out I will upgrade my desktop and throw the
    the gtx 260 in the htpc. How does the final build look? Thanks for the help
    so far, you people rock!! I am saving 100 dollars already.

    387.00 shipped

    HEC 6K28BB8F Black 0.8mm SECC Steel MicroATX Mini ...

    Rosewill Green Series RG530-S12 530W Continuous @4...

    ASUS M4N68T-M AM3 NVIDIA Geforce 7025/nForce 630a ...

    AMD Phenom II X2 545 Callisto 3.0GHz 2 x 512KB L2 ...

    GIGABYTE GV-N84STC-512I GeForce 8400 GS Supporting...

    G.SKILL NS 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1...

    LITE-ON Black 4X BD-ROM 8X DVD-ROM 32X CD-ROM SATA...

    COOLER MASTER DK9-7E52A-0L-GP CPU Cooler
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2010
  22. [Ion]

    [Ion] WCG Team Assistant

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    Mostly good. That motherboard really isn't so swell, I'd see if you can find a 760G. It's a far nicer chipset and IIRC supports core unlocking ;)
    Crunching for Team TPU
  23. Kenshai

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    I would swap motherboard + cpu + cooler for this combo. Better motherboard and processor when saving $25. Little higher power draw but nothing significant. Granted it doesn't have a good selection for audio out.

    Same price but better options for audio out on this mother board.
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2010
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  24. TSX420J

    TSX420J

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    Is open box a bad idea?

    Open Box: ASUS M4A78LT-M LE AM3 AMD 780L Micro ATX...

    Open Box: MSI 760GM-E51 AM3 AMD 760G HDMI Micro AT...

    If I go with the MSI one I probably don't need a video card.

    Update------------------------------------------------------------

    Ok just read neweggs policy on open box items and I am going to pass..

    Will be getting this one instead.

    MSI 760GM-E51 AM3 AMD 760G HDMI Micro ATX AMD Moth...
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2010
  25. TSX420J

    TSX420J

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    Nice deal!

    Update-------------

    Just gave me an idea to just buy the Phenom ii x2 BE because it brings the fan.
    Saves me money and with the other mobo I was looking at it saved me 20 more
    dollars.
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2010

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