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HTPC Build - Trying to drive down cost!

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
As title says, I'm trying to see if there are alternatives that could help me shave some of the cost down. System will always be run at stock speeds, no overclocking will be done.

Purpose - Blu-ray playback, general office work, no gaming
Requirements - Need 1TB of space (at least), Blu-ray reader and dvd-burner a huge plus, quietness would be awesome
Budget - Trying to stay around 500, lower is of course better

Here is the parts list I have come up with thus far:

As title says, I'm trying to see if there are alternatives that could help me shave some of the cost down. System will always be run at stock speeds, no overclocking will be done.

Purpose - Blu-ray playback, general office work, no gaming
Requirements - Need 1TB of space (at least), Blu-ray reader and dvd-burner a huge plus, quietness would be awesome
Budget - Trying to stay around 600, lower is of course better

Here is the parts list I have come up with thus far:

CPU - Athlon II x4 640 $98
Motherboard - Asus M4A87TD USB3 $100
Ram - A-DATA 2gb x 2 DDR31600 $45
GPU - Asus 5450 $48
HDD - WD Caviar Black Sata 3 1TB $80
PSU - Antec EarthWatts Green 500W $70
Optical - LG Blu-ray Disc Combo UH10LS20 - $70
Case - El Cheapo $30
OS - Win 7 HP 64bit $99
Cooler - Hyper 212+ $27

Old Total - $464
New Total - $620

Thanks as always!
Edited by Velathawen - 2/11/11 at 4:54am
post #2 of 22
Anything above 740G would be great, and Downgrading to a 785G motherboard won't save you much.
post #3 of 22
Thread Starter 
Hrm... I guess this means I would have to chip back a little bit on everything for it to amount to anything significant.
post #4 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Velathawen View Post
As title says, I'm trying to see if there are alternatives that could help me shave some of the cost down. System will always be run at stock speeds, no overclocking will be done.

Purpose - Blu-ray playback, general office work, no gaming
Requirements - Need 1TB of space (at least), Blu-ray reader and dvd-burner a huge plus, quietness would be awesome
Budget - Trying to stay around 500, lower is of course better

Here is the parts list I have come up with thus far:

CPU - Athlon II X3 435 $71
Motherboard - AsRock 880G Extreme3 $109, would a 785G be more cost effective here?
Ram - A-DATA 2gb x 2 DDR31600 $45
HDD - WD Caviar Green 1.5TB $80
PSU - Antec EarthWatts Green EA-430D $45
Optical - LG Blu-ray Disc Combo UH10LS20 - $70
Case - Going to see what cheap cases there are locally and post this back later.
OS - Win 7 HP 64bit $99

Thanks as always!
I just recently built my HTPC and while I wasn't trying for the lowest cost, I think I made a good balance of good parts and good prices.

I used the Athlon 2 X2 250 ($58 Microcenter) as my research indicated that a dual core is plenty of grunt for a HTPC

I also opted for the Asus M4A88TD-M USB3 for a mobo ($105 Newegg). Great motherboard and features. Everything that I needed, HDMI, USB3.0, Micro ATX form factor, plenty of SATA ports + SATA 6Gb/s connectivity, the list goes on

The ram, hdd and optical drive sound good, also, the psu sounds like a good choice. I chose the Seasonic X series, specifically the SS-400FL fanless, 80+ Gold psu. While it was very expensive for a 400w psu ($112 Microcenter on sale), it's dead silent with NO fan, gold-rated efficiency, completely modular for small form-factor cases and a 5yr warranty. I thought it was money well spent. On top of that, it is incredibly efficient. I have a LCD panel on the front of my APC UPS that indicates the wattage of the devices connected and, honest to GOD, it is showing 25w when my HTPC is idling...... incredible

Good Luck on your build. If you aren't sure about cases, I used the Thermaltake LanBoy Lite ($99 Amazon). A beautiful case that's completely modular. You can remove the mobo tray, the psu, the hdd bay AND the optical bay from the case for easy assembly plus the front panel is nicely done with hidden optical port doors. Money well spent.

edit:
You might want to consider 4gb of memory. It's dirt-cheap right now and 2gb might not do it if you want to use the home theatre function while surfing or computing. I just bumped mine from 4gb to 8gb. Overkill for sure but as cheap as memory is it was worth the extra $40-$50
Edited by hollywood406 - 2/9/11 at 5:37am
post #5 of 22
You could swap out the tri core for a dual as you wont need it ,a dual core will handle what you want to do easily.
Maybe a a performance drive like the Samsung F3 1t.in place of the WD green ?
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SoulStorm Brew
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post #6 of 22
Thread Starter 
First of all, thanks for the replies!

Quote:
I used the Athlon 2 X2 250 ($58 Microcenter) as my research indicated that a dual core is plenty of grunt for a HTPC
Quote:
You could swap out the tri core for a dual as you wont need it ,a dual core will handle what you want to do easily.
I guess this is an easy way to shave $20, definitely something to consider, I thought the extra core might help ease things along a little.

Quote:
I also opted for the Asus M4A88TD-M USB3 for a mobo ($105 Newegg). Great motherboard and features. Everything that I needed, HDMI, USB3.0, Micro ATX form factor, plenty of SATA ports + SATA 6Gb/s connectivity, the list goes on
I think that aside from the mATX form factor, the 880G from Asus is the same as the AsRock that I've picked out. I wouldn't even be surprised if yours is just an mATX equivalent.

Quote:
I chose the Seasonic X series, specifically the SS-400FL fanless, 80+ Gold psu. While it was very expensive for a 400w psu ($112 Microcenter on sale), it's dead silent with NO fan, gold-rated efficiency, completely modular for small form-factor cases and a 5yr warranty. I thought it was money well spent. On top of that, it is incredibly efficient. I have a LCD panel on the front of my APC UPS that indicates the wattage of the devices connected and, honest to GOD, it is showing 25w when my HTPC is idling...... incredible
This build is a budget HTPC build, and unfortunately dumping a top quality PSU into it isn't going to help lower my costs any

Quote:
Good Luck on your build. If you aren't sure about cases, I used the Thermaltake LanBoy Lite ($99 Amazon). A beautiful case that's completely modular. You can remove the mobo tray, the psu, the hdd bay AND the optical bay from the case for easy assembly plus the front panel is nicely done with hidden optical port doors. Money well spent.
I actually used to use this case with my old core 2 build, it is great if you are restricted to mATX form factor, but since I am not, I would like to avoid it.

Quote:
edit:
You might want to consider 4gb of memory. It's dirt-cheap right now and 2gb might not do it if you want to use the home theatre function while surfing or computing. I just bumped mine from 4gb to 8gb. Overkill for sure but as cheap as memory is it was worth the extra $40-$50
I am already using 2x2GB as stated in the OP, thanks.

Quote:
Maybe a a performance drive like the Samsung F3 1t.in place of the WD green ?
I was actually kinda torn about this. If I swap in an F3, I could save $15 or so I think.
post #7 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Velathawen View Post


I am already using 2x2GB as stated in the OP, thanks.


OOppss I didn't see that. Are you under your $500 budget? What case were you thinking?
post #8 of 22
Thread Starter 
Since this is a fairly low power/budget build, I was just thinking of picking up some $10 case locally. I don't think this build should need more than a simple intake/exhaust type of set up right?
post #9 of 22
You can easily get an am3 mobo for like 75. No need to spend that much for this build.

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post #10 of 22
if you wanna drive the cost buy used cpu, ram and maybe a few other parts that still have warranty
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