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Planning on building a HTPC from used parts

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#1
I have been thinking about putting together a HTPC using some spare parts from previous builds. I have several cpu's from different platforms that I can use, all are older and dead sockets along with other older parts that work 100%.

My question ...is it worth it to try and use this older hardware instead of going with newer and more current parts ? Also all the MB"s listed below are ATX form factor.

I want go with some sort of mini / micro HTPC case, which these MB's would most likely not fit in. But if anyone here would think some, all or any of these parts would work, I would use a bit larger case. If not, maybe try and find a micro aTX board that would be compatible with one of these chips.

All thoughts, suggestions and comments on whether any of this hardware is worth using for this project, or just move on to more current generation hardware, is greatly appreciated.....:)

*+





I have :
AMD Athlon 64 X2 4800+@2.4Ghz (brand new sealed in the box) with an ASUS A8N-SLI Deluxe Socket 939 MB, Corsair XMS Platinum 4GB 4x1GB PC3200 DDR400, 2 Zotac 8800GT's,

Intel C2D E6600@2.4Ghz, CORSAIR XMS2 2GB TWIN2X2048-6400PRO x2, Asus P5W DH Deluxe 775 MotherBoard With WIFI 975X Intel, Foxconn 8800GTX

Intel C2D E8500@3.1Ghz, Gigabyte GA-X48-DS4 LGA 775, ASUS HD 4870 512MB, 8GB GSkill DDR2 1066 PC2-8500

Intel C2Q 9550@2.83Ghz

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#2
If it's only for watching videos and some light gaming, the third setup would work fine. you could also put the Quad in there.

My old HTPC was a PDC E5800 + 2GB DDR400 + HD4670 AGP and I watched videos and even played some games on it (mostly third person view Xbox 360 ports like Devil May Cry, Assasin's Creed, etc.)

For the case, go with an Elite 361 or, if you manage to find it, an Auzen R-3 Corona
 
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#3
TRWOV...thxx for the fast reply.

Yes, I'm mainly looking to watch HD movies, surf the net, maybe do some light gaming.

If those parts would work, one concern would be the motherboard size. I really prefer to use a smaller case like a micro ATX mini tower...something like this... LIAN LI PC-V354A Silver Aluminum MicroATX Mini Tow...
Then I'd have to go with some sort of Micro ATX MB.

I guess I could go with an ATX Mini Tower like this....to fit the MB I have
LIAN LI PC-V650B Black Aluminum ATX Mini Tower Com...
But they are pretty expensive, though the ATX board would fix in it...not really sure if I'd be better off going with a micro ATX MB...either way it looks to cost about the same.

*+
 
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#4
If it's only for watching videos and some light gaming, the third setup would work fine. you could also put the Quad in there.

My old HTPC was a PDC E5800 + 2GB DDR400 + HD4670 AGP and I watched videos and even played some games on it (mostly third person view Xbox 360 ports like Devil May Cry, Assasin's Creed, etc.)

For the case, go with an Elite 361 or, if you manage to find it, an Auzen R-3 Corona
Do you know how makes those cases or where I might find them ?

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#5
Simple answer:

Any of those CPU are fine for a HTPC
If you going to use the ATX board you have to have an ATX case. But you could pick up a used or older micro ATX board
You will want to pair it up with a newer GPU with HDMI. Nvidia 200 ^ AMD 5000 ^
But Idealy Nvidia 520 AMD 6670
But you dont need an expensive card. A Nvidia 210 AMD 5450 woudl do fine for HD 1080p
4 Gb ram is all you need and use W7
then try XBMC....
There is also a live CD Linux version or XBMC

Try to stay away from making it a gaming PC. It will be too loud and hot. And those CPU are not the best for gaming. But you could throw in a 7770 and call it lite gaming

The reason for the recommendation to not use your old GPUs. Tech has changed drastically with graphics. New cheap gpu would use 1/10 the power so you could leave it on longer with less cost. Use a smaller PSU. And get the benefit for smother playback, DX11 and Bitstreaming sound capibilities and HDMI.
 
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#6
Simple answer:

Any of those CPU are fine for a HTPC
If you going to use the ATX board you have to have an ATX case. But you could pick up a used or older micro ATX board
You will want to pair it up with a newer GPU with HDMI. Nvidia 200 ^ AMD 5000 ^
But Ideally Nvidia 520 AMD 6670
But you don't need an expensive card. A Nvidia 210 AMD 5450 would do fine for HD 1080p
4 GB ram is all you need and use W7
then try XBMC....
There is also a live CD Linux version or XBMC

Try to stay away from making it a gaming PC. It will be too loud and hot. And those CPU are not the best for gaming. But you could throw in a 7770 and call it lite gaming

The reason for the recommendation to not use your old GPUs. Tech has changed drastically with graphics. New cheap gpu would use 1/10 the power so you could leave it on longer with less cost. Use a smaller PSU. And get the benefit for smother playback, DX11 and Bitstreaming sound capibilities and HDMI.
Jetster,

I see what your saying with my wanting to try and use the older gpu's I have lying about. I thought since I already had some decent components, that were at one time fairly high-end, I would save myself some cost.

But I understand your point about the lack of energy efficiency the heat, noise and features such as hdmi & DX 11 along with other more current and up todate tech.

I had those things working in the back of my mind, but wanted other opinions on whether these components were worth while in using.

I think the best thing to do might be to just part out all this spare hardware and use whatever I can get for it in making up the cost of getting the correct/best parts for this project.

Which CPU would you suggest be a better fit for this...E8500 or Q9550 ?
Since they are both a LGA 775 socket I'll first try to find a decent micro ATX board if possible.

If I can't, then I guess my other option would be to start from scratch ? If that's the case...any suggestions on specific parts...I'm not to worried about budget, but I usually try to find the best deals on price/performance that I can....

Any suggestion would be helpful.....:toast:

*+
 
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#7
Well if you going to build from scratch look at the AMD A6 3500 fusion with a Pico Psu in a ITX size

The E8500 or the Q9550 are more than enough power. You could underclock them and be fine

Look at this thread
http://forum.xbmc.org/showthread.php?tid=94199
 
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#8
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#9
I did the same as you recently, built my HTPC with old parts, however i bought a new video card. The biggest drawback of the older generation cards is the power consumption.

All of the setups will run a HTPC fine, but you might consider getting a 6xxx or 7xxx series card for power savings if you are going to keep the HTPC on 24/7.

Regarding the motherboard, why not just set it up on your existing boards and assuming you have a case, use that and hide it behind the TV. You can always upgrade to a smaller mobo and case later on.
 
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#10
I did the same as you recently, built my HTPC with old parts, however i bought a new video card. The biggest drawback of the older generation cards is the power consumption.

All of the setups will run a HTPC fine, but you might consider getting a 6xxx or 7xxx series card for power savings if you are going to keep the HTPC on 24/7.

Regarding the motherboard, why not just set it up on your existing boards and assuming you have a case, use that and hide it behind the TV. You can always upgrade to a smaller mobo and case later on.


I was thinking the same about the MB and case. My one drawback with that is I don't have any room behind the wall unit or my TV and I do have several extra cases, though all are fairly large mid-towers. If I get another stand to put the HTPC on then that would work. I'll probably do that anyway, but just trying to take up as little room as I can.

You guys are right about reusing the larger, older gpu's I have. They are too big, noisey and power-hungry, would not be a good choice.



I was looking at other gpu's at the suggestion of Jetster. I usually have a tendency to go a bit overboard at times...Saw this card in CompUSA yesterday and caught my eye.

XFX FX-775A-ZNP4 Radeon HD 7750 Core Edition 1GB 1... ........

Found it about $12 cheaper new on ebay. Not sure if this would be over kill, but it's a single slot that wouldn't take up space if and when I do go to a micro type case, low power and reviews say it's very quite.

Also thought about fanless cards but most I came across took up at least 2 pci slots...:confused:

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#11
Any one of these would do nicely for 1080p playback with HD Audio. The 7750 is a gaming card so if you want some lite gaming capabilities then go for the 7750

SAPPHIRE 100323-2L Radeon HD 6570 1GB 128-bit DDR3...

SAPPHIRE Radeon HD 6450 1GB 64-bit DDR3 PCI Expres...

ZOTAC ZT-50604-10L GeForce GT 520 (Fermi) 1GB 64-b...

The 210 will do DTS and Dolby Digital but not HD Audio

EVGA 01G-P3-1313-KR GeForce 210 1GB 64-bit DDR3 PC...

Also Ive seen some of these on sale for a little as $14 after rebate
 
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#12
Any one of these would do nicely for 1080p playback with HD Audio. The 7750 is a gaming card so if you want some lite gaming capabilities then go for the 7750

SAPPHIRE 100323-2L Radeon HD 6570 1GB 128-bit DDR3...

SAPPHIRE Radeon HD 6450 1GB 64-bit DDR3 PCI Expres...

ZOTAC ZT-50604-10L GeForce GT 520 (Fermi) 1GB 64-b...

The 210 will do DTS and Dolby Digital but not HD Audio

EVGA 01G-P3-1313-KR GeForce 210 1GB 64-bit DDR3 PC...

Also Ive seen some of these on sale for a little as $14 after rebate
The first 3 cards look nice and price wise a good deal. I'm still considering the XFX 7750 (don't mind the price I found of $97 shipped new ), but going to look at a few more in the model ranges you suggested.
I'll post soon and let you know what I come up with...
BTW...nice HTPC set-up you have there....really love the Silverstone case... looks awesome :rockout:




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