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Custom HTPC or Mac Mini?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
I'm currently shopping for a HTPC that will strictly be for watching movies in 720p & 1080p. I sort of prefer for it to be as small as possible just so I could put it away near my living room tv without looking messy. Ive been looking at the Mac Mini as of late just due to the smallness of it but then the price is 600 bucks. Would it be better to go with the mac mini or just building my own HTPC. If I were to build my own then it would cost around 250 bucks but would be really big.

So should I go with a custom HTPC or a mac mini?

This would be my HTPC build
CASE http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811147099

MOBO http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128517

RAM http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231394

GPU/CPU http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103951

I have a a DVD drive and 1tb hard drive spare already if I go this route.
post #2 of 8
Go custom. The custom parts you linked will serve you well. I would look for a case with a bit more airflow though just for my own piece of mind. I like this case for its cooling abilities!

IN WIN BR665 Black SECC steel MicroATX Mini Tower

That way when you get a Tuner for your HTPC you can hide the sensor behind one of the mesh panels.
Red Steel
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Asus G50V
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Blue Butterfly
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
AMD Phenom II X6 1090T @ 3.8Ghz 1.425v Asus CROSSHAIR V FORMULA-Z Sapphire HD7950 Vapor-X GSkill 4x4GB 1600Mhz RIpjaws X 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveHard Drive
ADATA Premier Pro SP900 2.5" 64GB SATA III MLC ... Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 ST3250310AS 250GB 720... SAMSUNG SpinPoint T Series HD320KJ 320GB 7200 R... Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 ST3500630AS 500GB 720... 
Optical DriveCoolingOSMonitor
Lightscribe DVD/RW Cooler Master Hyper 212+ Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit Gateway 22" HD @ 1920x1080 
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Ratpadz XT JVC HA-RX700 200mm Cooler Master Megaflow with Red LED in fr... Lamptron FC6 Fan Controller 
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2x Scythe Slipstream 120MM @ 1000rpm+/- 
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AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition Deneb 3.2GHz ASUS M4A79T Deluxe AM3 Asus ENGTS450 G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DD... 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
>>320GB with a 1TB External<< >>DVD/RW<< Xigmatek Dark Night  >>Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit<< 
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Red Steel
(21 items)
 
Asus G50V
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Blue Butterfly
(14 items)
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
AMD Phenom II X6 1090T @ 3.8Ghz 1.425v Asus CROSSHAIR V FORMULA-Z Sapphire HD7950 Vapor-X GSkill 4x4GB 1600Mhz RIpjaws X 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveHard Drive
ADATA Premier Pro SP900 2.5" 64GB SATA III MLC ... Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 ST3250310AS 250GB 720... SAMSUNG SpinPoint T Series HD320KJ 320GB 7200 R... Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 ST3500630AS 500GB 720... 
Optical DriveCoolingOSMonitor
Lightscribe DVD/RW Cooler Master Hyper 212+ Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit Gateway 22" HD @ 1920x1080 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Ducky DK1008 w/ Cherry MX Bkack Switches Antec High Current Gamer Series HCG-620 620W HAF 922 with Red LED fans Cooler Master Sentinel Advanced 
Mouse PadAudioOtherOther
Ratpadz XT JVC HA-RX700 200mm Cooler Master Megaflow with Red LED in fr... Lamptron FC6 Fan Controller 
Other
2x Scythe Slipstream 120MM @ 1000rpm+/- 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Core 2 Duo P7450 ASUSTek G50VT GEForce9800M GS 2x2GB PC2-6400 800Mhz 
OS
Windows 8.1 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition Deneb 3.2GHz ASUS M4A79T Deluxe AM3 Asus ENGTS450 G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DD... 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
>>320GB with a 1TB External<< >>DVD/RW<< Xigmatek Dark Night  >>Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit<< 
MonitorKeyboardCaseMouse
>>22" Westinghouse WS<< >>Microsoft Wireless<< >>Antec 902 w/ Blue LED Fans<< >>Microsoft Wireless<< 
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post #3 of 8
Have you looked into a mini itx motherboard.
post #4 of 8
I think the HTPC route would be better the rig your looking to build looks better and would save you some money compared to the mac mini.
post #5 of 8
I'd been debating this as well. I prefer to build my own pc's for everything, and I've been wanting to build an even smaller mITX setup than my 2U seedbox, but I have a mac mini already, so i just had to pick up the displayport to hdmi adapter. Still probably going to run XBMC and roll with it that way. Biggest problem is going to be getting my Harmony remote working and programmed correctly...
Loki
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Loki
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Hard DriveHard DriveOSMonitor
Mushkin Atlas 120gb mSATA SSD Samsung 830 256gb SSD Windows 7 Professional SP1 Lenovo Ideapad Y500 15.6" 1920x1080 full HD dis... 
Keyboard
Lenovo red backlit 
CPUCPUMotherboardGraphics
Xeon X5650 Xeon X5650 Supermicro X8DTL-iF-O Galaxy GT210 1gb 
RAMHard DriveHard DriveHard Drive
64gb Kingston Value KVR13R9D4/16 ECC Corsair Force 3 60gb (boot) 3TB Seagate 1TB Hitachi/WD 
CoolingCoolingOSPower
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post #6 of 8
You should build your own with a mini ITX mobo and case.

MOBO: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157273

CASE: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811144255
This case is not as pretty as the mac mini, and has a bit larger footprint, but should work well for a HTPC.

This would be $10 more than the mobo and case you choose (after MIR), but still considerably less than the Mac mini.
 
HTPC
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8gb Samsung 1866 9-9-9-24 1T 1TB Blue WD10EZEX 1TB Blue WD10EZEX 2TB HITACHI 
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120GB Samsung EVO 2TB Seagate Barracuda ASUS Burner NZXT Sentry Mesh Fan Controller 
CoolingOSMonitorPower
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HTPC
(9 items)
 
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsGraphics
3770k Z77 Extreme6 EVGA GTX 660 SC EVGA GTX 660 SC 
RAMHard DriveHard DriveHard Drive
8gb Samsung 1866 9-9-9-24 1T 1TB Blue WD10EZEX 1TB Blue WD10EZEX 2TB HITACHI 
Hard DriveHard DriveOptical DriveCooling
120GB Samsung EVO 2TB Seagate Barracuda ASUS Burner NZXT Sentry Mesh Fan Controller 
CoolingOSMonitorPower
Corsair H100 Windows 8 Pro 64 bit VIZIO E3D320VX Rosewill HIVE-750 
CaseAudioAudio
Corsair 550D Asus Xonar DG Logitech Z-5300 5.1 Speakers 
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post #7 of 8
Or a case like this http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811108196 for $10 more. Bigger, but has better air flow.
 
HTPC
(9 items)
 
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsGraphics
3770k Z77 Extreme6 EVGA GTX 660 SC EVGA GTX 660 SC 
RAMHard DriveHard DriveHard Drive
8gb Samsung 1866 9-9-9-24 1T 1TB Blue WD10EZEX 1TB Blue WD10EZEX 2TB HITACHI 
Hard DriveHard DriveOptical DriveCooling
120GB Samsung EVO 2TB Seagate Barracuda ASUS Burner NZXT Sentry Mesh Fan Controller 
CoolingOSMonitorPower
Corsair H100 Windows 8 Pro 64 bit VIZIO E3D320VX Rosewill HIVE-750 
CaseAudioAudio
Corsair 550D Asus Xonar DG Logitech Z-5300 5.1 Speakers 
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HTPC
(9 items)
 
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsGraphics
3770k Z77 Extreme6 EVGA GTX 660 SC EVGA GTX 660 SC 
RAMHard DriveHard DriveHard Drive
8gb Samsung 1866 9-9-9-24 1T 1TB Blue WD10EZEX 1TB Blue WD10EZEX 2TB HITACHI 
Hard DriveHard DriveOptical DriveCooling
120GB Samsung EVO 2TB Seagate Barracuda ASUS Burner NZXT Sentry Mesh Fan Controller 
CoolingOSMonitorPower
Corsair H100 Windows 8 Pro 64 bit VIZIO E3D320VX Rosewill HIVE-750 
CaseAudioAudio
Corsair 550D Asus Xonar DG Logitech Z-5300 5.1 Speakers 
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post #8 of 8
Mac Mini is great in terms of space and appearance, and it will do the job perfectly well if you just want internet TV and streaming files from a home server. But live TV is not an option unless I am mistaken and there is insufficient storage in the box for films etc. It is not a bad option but it is quite expensive for what it is, for the same money you could build yourself a really nice HTPC. Just don't expect anything you build yourself to look as tidy as a Mac Mini would.
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My system
(12 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Core i7 920 3.8GHz Gigabyte GA-X58-UD5 Gigabyte GTX 670 OC 6GB Corsair XMS3 
Hard DriveOSMonitorKeyboard
Samsung 830 Windows 7 Home Premium x64 Acer X233H 23" Noppoo Choc Pro 
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