Overclock.net › Forums › Specialty Builds › HTPC › HTPC parts recommendations?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

HTPC parts recommendations?

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Moving the 52" telly into the living room within the next week... I've convinced the parents it needs an HTPC. Now, I've never done this sort of build before, so I have no idea what I should be looking for in building something this small.

This doesn't need to game, at all.

I think the things it does need to do are as follows:
  • Play 1080p video without exploding or burning a hole in the floor
  • Stream content from other devices on the home network
  • Be as quiet as possible

Since this should be a quiet thing, I'm probably gonna do away with case fans entirely. Too, as it needs to access media on other machines remotely, as it won't necessarily have large amounts of storage. It needs to have a good network connection, but I'm not sure I'm going to be able to get an ethernet cable to it, it should have wireless capability... somehow I don't think the USB antenna I have will be able to handle that much data (please shoot me down if I am wrong). I would prefer for it to have an SSD rather than a mechanical drive, but if that's not feasible with the budget, then I won't lose any sleep over it. If I can get a fanless video card that does the job, that too would be fantastic, but it's not a requirement.

I need all the basic components, a case, and a keyboard and a mouse, preferably wireless. It won't need an OS, speakers (will use 15w spares and an amp), or a screen, obviously.

There's no brand or size preference here. Combo deals are a-okay. That said, I would prefer combos available on Amazon... Free two-day shipping!

I'm hoping this could come in under $300, but if that's too optimistic it can go up to $500.

Any recommendations or extra thoughts or feedback would be absolutely amazing <3
post #2 of 7
FWIW, I've built a couple of HTPCs that rely on passive cooling. I use the Lian Li PC Q27 case (alas, not available through Amazon; Silverstone make some interesting HTPC cases that Amazon do sell), ivy Bridge i3 3225 with HD4000 graphics, Seasonic G360 PSU, Gigabyte H77N WiFi mini-ITX MoBo, 4GB Crucial RAM and a Samsung 840 120GB SSD. It's also hooked up to a Haupage 2650 digital tuner to get FIOS TV channels. MoBo WiFi works fine streaming Netflix and anything else from the Internet that I'm interested in watching. I've not seen any dropouts or slowdowns at all. I don't have an NAS so I cannot give you any information on that. I haven't had any heat issues and run the CPU with the stock Intel cooler.

Parts cost from three months ago when I built the system was just over $500 but I added a Blu-Ray OD as I wanted to get rid of my old unit. You can probably drop down to a lower CPU and substitute a HDD for an SSD to shave some more $$ off the final price. I'm using this with a Sony Bravia 32 inch TV (I'm not into a larger screen because my downstairs room is not conducive to it) and the picture quality is outstanding and better than the FIOS box that it replaced.

Hope this helps.
Photo Editing PC
(11 items)
 
HTPC
(11 items)
 
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel i7-4790k  ASUS Sabertooth Z97 Mark 2 ASUS GTX 960 2GB STRIX 16GB Crucial Ballistix Tactical DDR3 1600 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
256 GB Samsung 850 PRO WD 2TB Caviar Black Noctua NH U12S Win8.1 
MonitorPowerCase
NEC MultiSynch P221W SeaSonic G 650 Fractal Design Define R5 
CPUMotherboardRAMHard Drive
Intel i3-3225 Gigabyte H77N-WiFi 4GB Crucial Ballistix Tactical DDR3 1600 120 GB Samsung EVO 840 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
500GB WD Blue LG Blue Ray DVD Reader Noctua NH-L9i Win7 
KeyboardPowerCase
Logitech K-400 Seasonic G360 Lian Li PC Q-27B 
  hide details  
Reply
Photo Editing PC
(11 items)
 
HTPC
(11 items)
 
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel i7-4790k  ASUS Sabertooth Z97 Mark 2 ASUS GTX 960 2GB STRIX 16GB Crucial Ballistix Tactical DDR3 1600 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
256 GB Samsung 850 PRO WD 2TB Caviar Black Noctua NH U12S Win8.1 
MonitorPowerCase
NEC MultiSynch P221W SeaSonic G 650 Fractal Design Define R5 
CPUMotherboardRAMHard Drive
Intel i3-3225 Gigabyte H77N-WiFi 4GB Crucial Ballistix Tactical DDR3 1600 120 GB Samsung EVO 840 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
500GB WD Blue LG Blue Ray DVD Reader Noctua NH-L9i Win7 
KeyboardPowerCase
Logitech K-400 Seasonic G360 Lian Li PC Q-27B 
  hide details  
Reply
post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 
I'm afraid not much of that was helpful. frown.gif Sorry! I guess I had some specific ideas I didn't quite communicate. I do think this is going to need a dedicated video card. The PC won't need a tuner.

That said, I put together a parts list that totals $340 after taxes. It is as follows:



These are just the things that I'll be buying. I do have working a working PS/2 keyboard, USB mouse, USB wireless adapter (54Mbps), video cable and sound system lying around that I can cobble together with this. I'm also throwing a 2Tb drive from my desktop into this; it doesn't seem like I need it on my machine. It won't need a DVD drive except for the installation of Windows, and in that case I can just nick the one out of my computer for half an hour to get it done.

Does that look alright? Am I missing anything? Are there any conflicts or inconsistencies with this build?
Edited by AblueXKRS - 9/30/13 at 4:53pm
post #4 of 7
You're going overkill on the parts. Check out my HTPC sig rig. Look at an AMD Fusion platform.. The one I bought specifically is a mini-itx board with the processor (APU, that's cpu and video) built-in to the board, with a fanless heatsink. The board I bought also has wifi and bluetooth (with external antennas included) built-in. It plays 1080p bluray rips without any issues, but the CPU is definitely utilized (hovers 70-90% in performance monitor).

You can pick any case you like that supports mini-itx depending on whether you need a media drive (dvd/cd/blu-ray) and depending on how many hard drives you need. I chose a compact Lian-Li offering.

Basically all that's left is the memory (pick something that is compatible on the QVL list of the board! Don't just pick up the cheapest/best G-skill etc) and power supply, for which I recommend the 400watt fanless seasonic. This system with one HDD generates 34 watts at idle, so obviously it's overkill, but getting a quality silent PSU was my focus. You could look at another offering, but I didn't see (at the time of building) any other fanless models that reviewed well. The antec you picked will probably be fine, but assuming this is going to be an always-on system, I really recommend stepping up from the budget box and into the performance/reliability territory.

Good luck!
Gaming PC
(18 items)
 
Media Center PC
(13 items)
 
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i7 3930K @ 4.7ghz Asus Rampage IV Extreme MSI GTX 780 Lightning Corsair DOMINATOR 1866 
Hard DriveHard DriveOptical DriveCooling
Vertex 3 MaxIOPS Western Digital Caviar Black Lite-On DVD/CD R/W Corsair H100 
OSMonitorKeyboardPower
Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit HP ZR24w x3 Filco Majestouch 2 Tenkeyless (MX Red) Corsair AX850 
CaseMouseMouse PadAudio
CoolerMaster HAF-X Steelseries Sensei Razer Destructor Klipsch ProMedia 2.1 
AudioOther
Astro A40 (wired) + Mixamp AP-15 x 6 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
AMD E-350 APU (Fusion) ASUS E35M1-I DELUXE Fusion APU G Skill Ripjaw 2x4gb 1066 c9 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
WDC Black 1TB x 6 Samsung Blu-Ray Combo Drive Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit Samsung 46" HDTV 
PowerCase
Seasonic 400w Fanless LIAN LI PC-Q08B 
  hide details  
Reply
Gaming PC
(18 items)
 
Media Center PC
(13 items)
 
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i7 3930K @ 4.7ghz Asus Rampage IV Extreme MSI GTX 780 Lightning Corsair DOMINATOR 1866 
Hard DriveHard DriveOptical DriveCooling
Vertex 3 MaxIOPS Western Digital Caviar Black Lite-On DVD/CD R/W Corsair H100 
OSMonitorKeyboardPower
Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit HP ZR24w x3 Filco Majestouch 2 Tenkeyless (MX Red) Corsair AX850 
CaseMouseMouse PadAudio
CoolerMaster HAF-X Steelseries Sensei Razer Destructor Klipsch ProMedia 2.1 
AudioOther
Astro A40 (wired) + Mixamp AP-15 x 6 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
AMD E-350 APU (Fusion) ASUS E35M1-I DELUXE Fusion APU G Skill Ripjaw 2x4gb 1066 c9 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
WDC Black 1TB x 6 Samsung Blu-Ray Combo Drive Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit Samsung 46" HDTV 
PowerCase
Seasonic 400w Fanless LIAN LI PC-Q08B 
  hide details  
Reply
post #5 of 7

If you can pick-up a refurbished dual-core/quad-core LGA775 system (around $150 or $200) and just get a HD 6450 it'll be golden. Been using a Lenovo A70 i picked-up from the curb about 2 months ago, added a BR-Drive and a 6450 it can play anything I throw at it.

 

But if you insist on the parts:

 

 

Or as aesthetics1 said grab an FM1/FM2 APU, save cash and don't get a GPU and call it a day with all the other parts.

Intel System 2011
(18 items)
 
AMD System 2009
(14 items)
 
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Athlon II X4 630 Propus @ 3.5Ghz Gigabyte GA-880GM-UD2H Rev.1 ASUS EAH5450 SILENT/DI/512MD2(LP) 4x2GB G.Skill NQ DDR3 PC 1600 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
Seagate Momentus XT LG GSA-H30N Scythe Samurai ZZ Rev.B Win7 x64 Ultimate 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
LG CS 460 - 32" LCD TV Microsoft Reclusa Gaming Keyboard Thermaltake TR2 750w Fractal Design Core 1000 
Mouse
Microsoft Comfort Mouse 6000 
  hide details  
Reply
Intel System 2011
(18 items)
 
AMD System 2009
(14 items)
 
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Athlon II X4 630 Propus @ 3.5Ghz Gigabyte GA-880GM-UD2H Rev.1 ASUS EAH5450 SILENT/DI/512MD2(LP) 4x2GB G.Skill NQ DDR3 PC 1600 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
Seagate Momentus XT LG GSA-H30N Scythe Samurai ZZ Rev.B Win7 x64 Ultimate 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
LG CS 460 - 32" LCD TV Microsoft Reclusa Gaming Keyboard Thermaltake TR2 750w Fractal Design Core 1000 
Mouse
Microsoft Comfort Mouse 6000 
  hide details  
Reply
post #6 of 7
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by aesthetics1 View Post

You're going overkill on the parts. Check out my HTPC sig rig. Look at an AMD Fusion platform.. The one I bought specifically is a mini-itx board with the processor (APU, that's cpu and video) built-in to the board, with a fanless heatsink. The board I bought also has wifi and bluetooth (with external antennas included) built-in. It plays 1080p bluray rips without any issues, but the CPU is definitely utilized (hovers 70-90% in performance monitor).

You can pick any case you like that supports mini-itx depending on whether you need a media drive (dvd/cd/blu-ray) and depending on how many hard drives you need. I chose a compact Lian-Li offering.

Basically all that's left is the memory (pick something that is compatible on the QVL list of the board! Don't just pick up the cheapest/best G-skill etc) and power supply, for which I recommend the 400watt fanless seasonic. This system with one HDD generates 34 watts at idle, so obviously it's overkill, but getting a quality silent PSU was my focus. You could look at another offering, but I didn't see (at the time of building) any other fanless models that reviewed well. The antec you picked will probably be fine, but assuming this is going to be an always-on system, I really recommend stepping up from the budget box and into the performance/reliability territory.

Good luck!

effing chrome nuked a whole response I'd written out... can't be arsed to write it all again, so, briefly:

I don't really see the point of the Embedded Solution idea. It seems like you're paying for the convenience of slapping everything on to a single board more than you are for performance. I haven't found a single such device where such a board can match the performance of a collection of parts without also being more expensive. I haven't even been able to find such a board with a CPU in excess of 1.9Ghz.

As I said, need for an optical drive is pretty much nonexistent. Nobody in this house uses disc media that can't be played on the DVD player that will also be attached to the telly. We don't even have any Blu-ray movies. tongue.gif

While the idea of a fanless PSU is attractive, I don't think the removal of a fan is worth $80. Your Seasonic goes for $120, the Antec I chose for $40. If I find the fan that annoying I can either rip it out or spend less than $80 replacing it with a less noisy one. Though that $80 probably goes into the quality of the unit, really... And no, this won't be an always-on system; dad would crap himself at the idea, even if the thing pulls less power than a single lightbulb. I don't forsee this computer ever having to run more than 3 or 4 hours straight at a time. That's one of the reasons I want an SSD in it. If it were an always-on, I wouldn't mind just sticking to a mech drive.

If I ever get an unexpected windfall, then maybe it'll be an option, but it's not necessary yet.
Quote:
Originally Posted by CramComplex View Post

If you can pick-up a refurbished dual-core/quad-core LGA775 system (around $150 or $200) and just get a HD 6450 it'll be golden. Been using a Lenovo A70 i picked-up from the curb about 2 months ago, added a BR-Drive and a 6450 it can play anything I throw at it.

Interesting idea... where would I look for refurbs? I guess since you're talking refurbs and not used machines, it wouldn't be craigslist...

I have implemented your suggested changes. Thank you for the input smile.gif
post #7 of 7
Hmmm...refurb'd can be had at your local bigbox store or like here in Toronto we've got a lot of used PC stores here.

As for getting an sad for the is it's really up to you, my 7.2k rpm drive loads around 20 to 30 to the desktop on win7 with only mse to load in startup and around 10 to 20 secs for xbmc to load not including library updates
Intel System 2011
(18 items)
 
AMD System 2009
(14 items)
 
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Athlon II X4 630 Propus @ 3.5Ghz Gigabyte GA-880GM-UD2H Rev.1 ASUS EAH5450 SILENT/DI/512MD2(LP) 4x2GB G.Skill NQ DDR3 PC 1600 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
Seagate Momentus XT LG GSA-H30N Scythe Samurai ZZ Rev.B Win7 x64 Ultimate 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
LG CS 460 - 32" LCD TV Microsoft Reclusa Gaming Keyboard Thermaltake TR2 750w Fractal Design Core 1000 
Mouse
Microsoft Comfort Mouse 6000 
  hide details  
Reply
Intel System 2011
(18 items)
 
AMD System 2009
(14 items)
 
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Athlon II X4 630 Propus @ 3.5Ghz Gigabyte GA-880GM-UD2H Rev.1 ASUS EAH5450 SILENT/DI/512MD2(LP) 4x2GB G.Skill NQ DDR3 PC 1600 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
Seagate Momentus XT LG GSA-H30N Scythe Samurai ZZ Rev.B Win7 x64 Ultimate 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
LG CS 460 - 32" LCD TV Microsoft Reclusa Gaming Keyboard Thermaltake TR2 750w Fractal Design Core 1000 
Mouse
Microsoft Comfort Mouse 6000 
  hide details  
Reply
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: HTPC
Overclock.net › Forums › Specialty Builds › HTPC › HTPC parts recommendations?