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Cheapest Build?

post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 
What is the CHEAPEST build I can do? I have NOTHING so far except for the OS. I'm a poor college student and I would like to hook this up to my TV via HDMI since I don't have cable at my new place. I want to be able to watch Netflix/720p flawlessly. A Blu-Ray drive/1080p isn't necessary but would be nice to have.

I have no experience with an HTPC, so I don't know where to start.

EDIT: My budget is around $200. I can probably stretch it to $250, but that would be the MAX after shipping + taxes
Edited by Smallville - 5/15/11 at 4:49pm
post #2 of 29
This mobo is awesome. Its an Atom//ION itx with its own power brick. Just need a cheap case and a huge hdd with some ram

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16813131635
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post #3 of 29
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post #4 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by rui-no-onna View Post
  • Case: Cooler Master Elite 360, $40
  • MB: Biostar A880G+, $55
  • CPU: AMD Athlon II X2 255 3.1 GHz, $63
  • RAM: cheapest 1.5V 4GB DDR3 kit you can find, $40 (it's only like $10 diff going from 2GB to 4GB)
  • Remote: Logitech Harmony 300, $30 + MCE IR receiver, $5~10 (ebay)
  • TOTAL: $233~238
I don't recommend Zacate (E-350). I have one and the CPU is just too slow in cases where GPU hardware acceleration isn't supported. RMVB, in particular, is one of the problem formats. Hmm, is that for like Asian Drama or something? I can tell you from experience that Atom/Zacate + subs + non-DXVA compliant video = frustration.

THen add in around 60 for a good power supply or a small video card to do some hd decoding.

Comes out close to 360-380.

But i would try to get a quad if possible
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post #5 of 29
If I were you I'd go with an ITX board with the AMD E-350. The CPU power is about the same as an Atom. Newegg has some boards as low as $120. I've read some people having trouble with the 350 and HD netflix but I think that maybe a driver issue. However, if you can swing a little more money a sandy bridge ITX would be much more powerful, though also more expensive.
Edited by mdatmo - 5/15/11 at 3:46pm
 
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post #6 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by lilraver018 View Post
But i would try to get a quad if possible
Quad is a waste of heat,money and more money.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Stroker View Post
This mobo is awesome. Its an Atom//ION itx with its own power brick. Just need a cheap case and a huge hdd with some ram
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16813131635
Please don't get an atom. Not sure why atom (over a Zacate) is recommended even, its like comparing a p3 to a athlon II.

Go with the dual core setup recommended above, zacate is great if all your files are encoded properly but fails hard if they are not.
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WD blue 500gb cheap dvd-rw 7 x64 21" LG 
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Athlon II x4 620 ASUS M3A78-EM 5450 G.Skil 2x2gb DDR3 1600 
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Western Digital Blue 500gb none Windows 7 x64 46" lcd 
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post #7 of 29
The cheapest thing to do would be to add a Blu-Ray drive and a larger HDD to your laptop.

Otherwise, as a dedicated HTPC, I would go with a Zacate setup. (mobo+cpu+good gpu for around $120) http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16813157228
1TB Spinpoint F3, cheap 2GB 1333mhz RAM, Rocketfish 500 watt PSU from Amazon for $30, Blu-ray reader, and a cardboard box as a case. ;]
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16811121115

Expect to pay around $300 for everything.
    
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post #8 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by hick View Post
Quad is a waste of heat,money and more money.



Please don't get an atom. Not sure why atom (over a Zacate) is recommended even, its like comparing a p3 to a athlon II.

Go with the dual core setup recommended above, zacate is great if all your files are encoded properly but fails hard if they are not.
I agree with atom being totally underwhelming but that board is nice since is has ion graphics, a powerbrick and wifi built it. Its an easy and quick htpc
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post #9 of 29
I'm not really sure of your budget but consider this build...

I almost did one for myself but I have a terrible habit of overshooting what is actually needed. I didnt include case or keyboard mouse combo because tastes differ greatly
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post #10 of 29
Thread Starter 
Sorry I knew I forgot something. The E350 or Atom 330 build looks pretty good. How does the 330 compare to the E-350? I have an x120e with the E-350 and it plays videos pretty smoothly. Thanks for all the input guys. I'll be repping all of you I really like that HTPC case since it's so slim.
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