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Low budget HTPC help

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
So I just got a killer deal on a Panasonic 37" 1080p TV for my bedroom (already have a Toshiba 42" in the living room with my sig rig) My dilemma is I have 3x P4 machines laying around and was wondering if it would be worth it to use them for streaming HD video from the main HTPC. I'm not new to computers, but am inexperienced configuring and building new systems. I'm curious what my best options are: using (and modifying) one of the 3 P4 machines I have sitting here, or is there a good MB/CPU combo on the cheap that would work well?

What I have
2x Dell machines:
Optiplex GX280 - P4 2.8GHZ
Precision 370 - P4 2.8GHZ

1x Gateway machine:
Not sure on system number (it's now in a Coolermaster Centurion 5) but it has:
P4 3.0GHZ
Asus P4SD-LA (crappy gateway version)
AGP VIDEO!!! ARG!!! (I have a Radeon HD 2400 Pro for it)

I have all the hard drives I need and an extra 550W PSU. Video card I may cannibalize from my sig rig if I end up using one of the Dell's, and get something better for the main HTPC

What do you think?
My System
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i5-760 Asus P7P55D-E Pro BFG GeForce 9800 GTX+ OC CORSAIR XMS3 4 x 2GB DDR3 1600 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
2x C300 64GB RAID 0, 4x Samsung F3 1TB RAID 10 ASUS Blu-ray Drive BR-04B2T Windows 7 Ultimate x64 42" Toshiba Regza 1080p 
PowerCase
Antec EarthWatts EA650 650W Cooler Master Elite 335 
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My System
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i5-760 Asus P7P55D-E Pro BFG GeForce 9800 GTX+ OC CORSAIR XMS3 4 x 2GB DDR3 1600 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
2x C300 64GB RAID 0, 4x Samsung F3 1TB RAID 10 ASUS Blu-ray Drive BR-04B2T Windows 7 Ultimate x64 42" Toshiba Regza 1080p 
PowerCase
Antec EarthWatts EA650 650W Cooler Master Elite 335 
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post #2 of 10
I'm fairly certain that P4's will still lag under HD content unless you can find an AGP card with HD graphics acceleration.
Paradise
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Phenom II X6 1055T @ 3.7ghz Gigabyte GA-890GPA-UD3H XFX 5770 Crossfire 4x2GB G.Skill Ripjaws DDR3 1600 
Hard DriveOSMonitorKeyboard
64GB MC SSD, 2x320 7200.10, 2x2TB Green Caviar Windows 7 Ultimate Samsung 205BW & 32" Panasonic LCD G15 
PowerCaseMouse
Corsair HX620 (FTW) CoolerMaster HAF 932 MX518 
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Paradise
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Phenom II X6 1055T @ 3.7ghz Gigabyte GA-890GPA-UD3H XFX 5770 Crossfire 4x2GB G.Skill Ripjaws DDR3 1600 
Hard DriveOSMonitorKeyboard
64GB MC SSD, 2x320 7200.10, 2x2TB Green Caviar Windows 7 Ultimate Samsung 205BW & 32" Panasonic LCD G15 
PowerCaseMouse
Corsair HX620 (FTW) CoolerMaster HAF 932 MX518 
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post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 
that's what I was worried about. Guess I'll search the HTPC section for a decent, inexpensive build.

Any specific recommendations for MB/CPU/RAM for <$200?
My System
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i5-760 Asus P7P55D-E Pro BFG GeForce 9800 GTX+ OC CORSAIR XMS3 4 x 2GB DDR3 1600 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
2x C300 64GB RAID 0, 4x Samsung F3 1TB RAID 10 ASUS Blu-ray Drive BR-04B2T Windows 7 Ultimate x64 42" Toshiba Regza 1080p 
PowerCase
Antec EarthWatts EA650 650W Cooler Master Elite 335 
  hide details  
Reply
My System
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i5-760 Asus P7P55D-E Pro BFG GeForce 9800 GTX+ OC CORSAIR XMS3 4 x 2GB DDR3 1600 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
2x C300 64GB RAID 0, 4x Samsung F3 1TB RAID 10 ASUS Blu-ray Drive BR-04B2T Windows 7 Ultimate x64 42" Toshiba Regza 1080p 
PowerCase
Antec EarthWatts EA650 650W Cooler Master Elite 335 
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Reply
post #4 of 10
Yes,
http://www.microcenter.com/specials/...ndlePROMO.html
buy a combo from there
and then ram from here:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...-274-_-Product

Under $200 and a good system
Paradise
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Phenom II X6 1055T @ 3.7ghz Gigabyte GA-890GPA-UD3H XFX 5770 Crossfire 4x2GB G.Skill Ripjaws DDR3 1600 
Hard DriveOSMonitorKeyboard
64GB MC SSD, 2x320 7200.10, 2x2TB Green Caviar Windows 7 Ultimate Samsung 205BW & 32" Panasonic LCD G15 
PowerCaseMouse
Corsair HX620 (FTW) CoolerMaster HAF 932 MX518 
  hide details  
Reply
Paradise
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Phenom II X6 1055T @ 3.7ghz Gigabyte GA-890GPA-UD3H XFX 5770 Crossfire 4x2GB G.Skill Ripjaws DDR3 1600 
Hard DriveOSMonitorKeyboard
64GB MC SSD, 2x320 7200.10, 2x2TB Green Caviar Windows 7 Ultimate Samsung 205BW & 32" Panasonic LCD G15 
PowerCaseMouse
Corsair HX620 (FTW) CoolerMaster HAF 932 MX518 
  hide details  
Reply
post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 
perfect. thanks!
My System
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i5-760 Asus P7P55D-E Pro BFG GeForce 9800 GTX+ OC CORSAIR XMS3 4 x 2GB DDR3 1600 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
2x C300 64GB RAID 0, 4x Samsung F3 1TB RAID 10 ASUS Blu-ray Drive BR-04B2T Windows 7 Ultimate x64 42" Toshiba Regza 1080p 
PowerCase
Antec EarthWatts EA650 650W Cooler Master Elite 335 
  hide details  
Reply
My System
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i5-760 Asus P7P55D-E Pro BFG GeForce 9800 GTX+ OC CORSAIR XMS3 4 x 2GB DDR3 1600 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
2x C300 64GB RAID 0, 4x Samsung F3 1TB RAID 10 ASUS Blu-ray Drive BR-04B2T Windows 7 Ultimate x64 42" Toshiba Regza 1080p 
PowerCase
Antec EarthWatts EA650 650W Cooler Master Elite 335 
  hide details  
Reply
post #6 of 10
yep, np!
Paradise
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Phenom II X6 1055T @ 3.7ghz Gigabyte GA-890GPA-UD3H XFX 5770 Crossfire 4x2GB G.Skill Ripjaws DDR3 1600 
Hard DriveOSMonitorKeyboard
64GB MC SSD, 2x320 7200.10, 2x2TB Green Caviar Windows 7 Ultimate Samsung 205BW & 32" Panasonic LCD G15 
PowerCaseMouse
Corsair HX620 (FTW) CoolerMaster HAF 932 MX518 
  hide details  
Reply
Paradise
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Phenom II X6 1055T @ 3.7ghz Gigabyte GA-890GPA-UD3H XFX 5770 Crossfire 4x2GB G.Skill Ripjaws DDR3 1600 
Hard DriveOSMonitorKeyboard
64GB MC SSD, 2x320 7200.10, 2x2TB Green Caviar Windows 7 Ultimate Samsung 205BW & 32" Panasonic LCD G15 
PowerCaseMouse
Corsair HX620 (FTW) CoolerMaster HAF 932 MX518 
  hide details  
Reply
post #7 of 10
Thread Starter 
damn! I was going to do the Phenom™ II X2 560 Black Edition w/ Asus M4A78LT-M LE Socket AM3 AMD 780L mATX for $110.... But the CPU is only available for in store pickup... I live nowhere near a Microcenter store
My System
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i5-760 Asus P7P55D-E Pro BFG GeForce 9800 GTX+ OC CORSAIR XMS3 4 x 2GB DDR3 1600 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
2x C300 64GB RAID 0, 4x Samsung F3 1TB RAID 10 ASUS Blu-ray Drive BR-04B2T Windows 7 Ultimate x64 42" Toshiba Regza 1080p 
PowerCase
Antec EarthWatts EA650 650W Cooler Master Elite 335 
  hide details  
Reply
My System
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i5-760 Asus P7P55D-E Pro BFG GeForce 9800 GTX+ OC CORSAIR XMS3 4 x 2GB DDR3 1600 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
2x C300 64GB RAID 0, 4x Samsung F3 1TB RAID 10 ASUS Blu-ray Drive BR-04B2T Windows 7 Ultimate x64 42" Toshiba Regza 1080p 
PowerCase
Antec EarthWatts EA650 650W Cooler Master Elite 335 
  hide details  
Reply
post #8 of 10
Ah sorry. That's rough. I'm sure the regular newegg price isn't far off?
Paradise
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Phenom II X6 1055T @ 3.7ghz Gigabyte GA-890GPA-UD3H XFX 5770 Crossfire 4x2GB G.Skill Ripjaws DDR3 1600 
Hard DriveOSMonitorKeyboard
64GB MC SSD, 2x320 7200.10, 2x2TB Green Caviar Windows 7 Ultimate Samsung 205BW & 32" Panasonic LCD G15 
PowerCaseMouse
Corsair HX620 (FTW) CoolerMaster HAF 932 MX518 
  hide details  
Reply
Paradise
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Phenom II X6 1055T @ 3.7ghz Gigabyte GA-890GPA-UD3H XFX 5770 Crossfire 4x2GB G.Skill Ripjaws DDR3 1600 
Hard DriveOSMonitorKeyboard
64GB MC SSD, 2x320 7200.10, 2x2TB Green Caviar Windows 7 Ultimate Samsung 205BW & 32" Panasonic LCD G15 
PowerCaseMouse
Corsair HX620 (FTW) CoolerMaster HAF 932 MX518 
  hide details  
Reply
post #9 of 10
Thread Starter 
that's what i'm going to check out when i get back from lunch
My System
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i5-760 Asus P7P55D-E Pro BFG GeForce 9800 GTX+ OC CORSAIR XMS3 4 x 2GB DDR3 1600 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
2x C300 64GB RAID 0, 4x Samsung F3 1TB RAID 10 ASUS Blu-ray Drive BR-04B2T Windows 7 Ultimate x64 42" Toshiba Regza 1080p 
PowerCase
Antec EarthWatts EA650 650W Cooler Master Elite 335 
  hide details  
Reply
My System
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i5-760 Asus P7P55D-E Pro BFG GeForce 9800 GTX+ OC CORSAIR XMS3 4 x 2GB DDR3 1600 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
2x C300 64GB RAID 0, 4x Samsung F3 1TB RAID 10 ASUS Blu-ray Drive BR-04B2T Windows 7 Ultimate x64 42" Toshiba Regza 1080p 
PowerCase
Antec EarthWatts EA650 650W Cooler Master Elite 335 
  hide details  
Reply
post #10 of 10
Newegg combo deals. All you need is 780G/785G/880G + Athlon II X2 which you can probably get for around $100.

Here's one for $105:
Biostar A880G+ & AMD Athlon II X2 245
Edited by rui-no-onna - 1/5/11 at 12:32pm
Garnet
(11 items)
 
Lucifiel
(13 items)
 
Metatron
(13 items)
 
CPUMotherboardRAMHard Drive
Intel Core i5-3450S Intel DQ77KB Corsair 16GB DDR3 1600 SO-DIMM Samsung 830 256GB 
Hard DriveHard DriveCoolingOS
Crucial m4 256 mSATA Samsung 840 500GB Intel BXHTS1155LP Windows 7 Ultimate x64 
KeyboardCaseMouse
Logitech K800 Lian Li PC-Q05B Logitech M570 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Core i7-860 Gigabyte GA-H55N-USB3 EVGA GTX 460 1GB GDDR5 Kingston 2x4GB DDR3 1333 
Hard DriveOSPowerCase
G.SKILL Phoenix Pro 120GB Windows 7 Ultimate x64 Silverstone ST45SF 450W Silverstone Sugo SG05B 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Core i7-860 Biostar TH55B HD MSI GT 240 1GB GDDR5 Kingston 2x2GB DDR3 1333 
Hard DriveOSMonitorPower
Intel X25-M 120GB Windows 7 Ultimate x86 Samsung 22" Antec EA-380D 
Case
Rosewill R101-P-BK 
  hide details  
Reply
Garnet
(11 items)
 
Lucifiel
(13 items)
 
Metatron
(13 items)
 
CPUMotherboardRAMHard Drive
Intel Core i5-3450S Intel DQ77KB Corsair 16GB DDR3 1600 SO-DIMM Samsung 830 256GB 
Hard DriveHard DriveCoolingOS
Crucial m4 256 mSATA Samsung 840 500GB Intel BXHTS1155LP Windows 7 Ultimate x64 
KeyboardCaseMouse
Logitech K800 Lian Li PC-Q05B Logitech M570 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Core i7-860 Gigabyte GA-H55N-USB3 EVGA GTX 460 1GB GDDR5 Kingston 2x4GB DDR3 1333 
Hard DriveOSPowerCase
G.SKILL Phoenix Pro 120GB Windows 7 Ultimate x64 Silverstone ST45SF 450W Silverstone Sugo SG05B 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Core i7-860 Biostar TH55B HD MSI GT 240 1GB GDDR5 Kingston 2x2GB DDR3 1333 
Hard DriveOSMonitorPower
Intel X25-M 120GB Windows 7 Ultimate x86 Samsung 22" Antec EA-380D 
Case
Rosewill R101-P-BK 
  hide details  
Reply
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