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Just out of curiosity, recommend me a HTPC build :)

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
So I would like to expand my "home theatre" system with a HTPC but I don't have any idea what kind of hardware it should have. I'm not building one right now but it would be great to know what kind of budget I should have to get a decent HTPC. Main usage would be music listening and 1080p movie watching smile.gif A remote controller is a must, I don't like the idea of using my home theatre with a keyboard and mouse.

Thanks smile.gif
post #2 of 4
These days you really can't go wrong with one of AMD's APUs. A lot of depends on how much space you want to use up which will determine whether you go mATX, Mini ITX, or ATX and what kind of case. Keep in mind, though, that AMDs new Trinity APUs will be out soon which are going to be a new socket type I believe (FM2?) so it might be worth waiting long enough to get a new chip. I've been thinking about upgrading my HTPC to something like this:

A6-3500 APU $75
ASUS FM1 A75 Motherboard $95
Crucial M4 64GB SSD $90
G.Skill DDR3 1600 8GB $42
Antec 430W Earth Watts PSU $50

Add some hard drives for storage if you want and pick a case that fits in with your home theater. A lot of people really like the nMedia cases for budget systems nMedia 5000b $50

The A6-3500 triple core APU seems like plenty to me for daily HTPC duties, but you can upgrade to an A8 or downgrade to an A4 if you like. If you want to be able to do some gaming on this also then an A8 would be a better choice.

The A75 motherboards are really the way to go as they have all of the features that you want. Also make sure that you get a motherboard that has HDMI out and S/PDIF out (if you need it) since many of them don't for some reason. I put the ASUS board in there just because I like ASUS a lot.

Silence is key for watching movies so a SSD for the OS is a nice thing to have. Also, I've never actually used more than like 2.5 GB of RAM while watching BluRay movies, listening to music, or even ripping movies but it's so cheap these days no reason to not get 8 GB.

The Antec Earth Watts PSUs seem to be really popular for HTPCs also, 430W should be plenty (the 380 would probably be enough too).

That puts you right around $400 plus the cost of any other hard drives you may need. This should be perfect for watching movies and listening to music.

Oh and I've used one of these in the past Rosewill Windows Remote and they work fine but these days I am using a Logitech Harmony remote (I still use the IR receiver from the Rosewill though).

Also check out AVSForums for some really great info on HTPCs:

AVSForum HTPC Guide

Anyways that's my opinion but maybe other people feel differently so hopefully you'll get some other possible builds. Good luck!

Edit: I haven't really looked at Mini ITX builds so hopefully someone else can help you out there if you are looking to go smaller. I believe there are some really nice socket 1155 Mini ITX boards (Z77) that might be worth checking out if you want to run a new Ivy Bridge CPU).
Edited by shelter - 4/29/12 at 11:45am
Gaming 1
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Gaming 2
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel i7-4770k @ 4.6 Asus Maximus Hero VI 2 x Gigabyte R9 290 w/ EK block Crossfire 8 GB Corsair Dominator 1866 
Hard DriveHard DriveCoolingCooling
Samsung 840 Pro 128 GB WD Black 2 TB EK Supremacy EVO XSPC RX360/ AlphaCool XT45 240 
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Swiftech MCP655 ASUS MG278Q Ducky Shine 3 TKL White LED Corsair AX850 
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NZXT Switch 810 Gun Metal 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel i5-3570k @ 4.5 MSI Z77A-G45 SAPPHIRE NITRO Radeon R9 390 G.SKILL Ares 8GB 1600 
Hard DriveHard DriveOSMonitor
Samsung EVO 120GB WD Black 750GB Phanteks PH-TC14PE_BK QNIX 27in IPS @ 96Hz 
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Corsair HX850 Cooler Master ATCS 840 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
AMD Phenom II 965 Asrock 890FX Deluxe4  Powercolor TurboDuo AXR9 280X G.SKILL Ares Series 4GB 
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Gaming 1
(17 items)
 
Gaming 2
(10 items)
 
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel i7-4770k @ 4.6 Asus Maximus Hero VI 2 x Gigabyte R9 290 w/ EK block Crossfire 8 GB Corsair Dominator 1866 
Hard DriveHard DriveCoolingCooling
Samsung 840 Pro 128 GB WD Black 2 TB EK Supremacy EVO XSPC RX360/ AlphaCool XT45 240 
CoolingMonitorKeyboardPower
Swiftech MCP655 ASUS MG278Q Ducky Shine 3 TKL White LED Corsair AX850 
Case
NZXT Switch 810 Gun Metal 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel i5-3570k @ 4.5 MSI Z77A-G45 SAPPHIRE NITRO Radeon R9 390 G.SKILL Ares 8GB 1600 
Hard DriveHard DriveOSMonitor
Samsung EVO 120GB WD Black 750GB Phanteks PH-TC14PE_BK QNIX 27in IPS @ 96Hz 
PowerCase
Corsair HX850 Cooler Master ATCS 840 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
AMD Phenom II 965 Asrock 890FX Deluxe4  Powercolor TurboDuo AXR9 280X G.SKILL Ares Series 4GB 
Hard DriveCoolingOSPower
Samsung 840 EVO 128GB, 4xWD Red 3TB, WD Green 1... Cooler Master Hyper 212+ Ubuntu Cooler Master V1000 
Case
Norco RPC-450B 
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post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 
Thanks a bunch, a really thorough answer smile.gif

The HDMI+S/PDIF was a good point. The setup is the following: LG 42" LED TV, Yamaha RX-V667 AV-receiver and a pair of Genelec 8020Bs (I might add a subwoofer too thumb.gif). A HTPC would really complete the home theatre system. It would be connected to the AV-receiver with a HDMI cable only since HDMI transfers audio just as well as S/PDIF does.

What about the fusion motherboards? They come with an APU, correct? Would they be sufficient to play 1080p rips? With a SSD the OS should be snappy enough.

On the other hand with a SSD I would need a FTP with all my music and movies in it so a 5400RPM HDD + a SSD would make sense. Maybe even a hybrid if they're sold separately (not only to OEM systems) smile.gif
post #4 of 4
If i were in the market for HTPC as of now i would hold out till May 15th or so with the coming of the updated Trinity APUs biggrin.gif Also do you need any PVR functions to record OTA, cable, etc?
El Pinguis Cattus
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Heka 710 @ 3ghz UVOC Biostar A880G+ HD4250 Surroundview with discret... Sapphire HD 4670 HDMI, Videomate Compro X50 (An... 2 X 2 GB KVR 1333 
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WD 640GB, Hauppauge HVR-3000 (Digital FTA + STB) LG DVDRW SATA W7 Ult / Ubuntu 11.04 64 bits Acer X233H + 32" Panny LCD TV 
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iPazzport RF HTPC kb/trackpad combo CM Silent Pro M500 Chenming Clone shoebox Pioneer VSX-416 + Kenwood LSK-727 Floor Standers  
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El Pinguis Cattus
(15 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Heka 710 @ 3ghz UVOC Biostar A880G+ HD4250 Surroundview with discret... Sapphire HD 4670 HDMI, Videomate Compro X50 (An... 2 X 2 GB KVR 1333 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
WD 640GB, Hauppauge HVR-3000 (Digital FTA + STB) LG DVDRW SATA W7 Ult / Ubuntu 11.04 64 bits Acer X233H + 32" Panny LCD TV 
KeyboardPowerCaseAudio
iPazzport RF HTPC kb/trackpad combo CM Silent Pro M500 Chenming Clone shoebox Pioneer VSX-416 + Kenwood LSK-727 Floor Standers  
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