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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am looking to get some suggestions for a very budget HTPC I am putting in my living room. I have used the following specs to run Hulu and Netflix decently on a 42†at 1280x720. Netflix works just fine but Hulu not so much.

Pentium 4 2.4GHz Northwood
2 GB DDR 400 Ram
Nvidia FX 5200 256MB

Do you suppose Hulu’s lagging has more to do with my hardware or with Hulu’s servers? I’d like to scrap these parts and build new with an HDMI out but I’m trying to keep it cheap so please don’t suggest a new build unless absolutely necessary. If there is one part that I could upgrade that would help which part would it be?

On a side note I don’t play any high def content through the box or even DVDs, I just stream from the net.
 

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You could save a little money by doing some research on AMD's chips that are in my opinion very budget friendly. This is one I built for my brother just two days ago.
CPU: Athlon X2 7750 Black Edition AD775ZWCGHBOX 2.7GHz AM2+, $79.
CPU Cooler: Stock cooler, $0.
Motherboard: MSI K9N2GM-FIH AM2+ GeForce 8200 mGPU microATX, $75.
Memory: A-DATA ADQVE1A16K DDR2-800 2 x 1GB Kit, $27.
Graphics Card: GeForce 8200 (integrated in the chipset), $0.
HDD: Western Digital WD6400AAKS 640GB SATA 3.0Gbps, $70.
PSU: 80 PLUS 350W ATX PSU (included in the case), $0
Case: Antec NSK1480 microATX, $94.
Total Cost: $345

Another version I did also was the following
CPU: Athlon X2 5050e ADH5050DOBOX 2.6GHz AM2, $60.
CPU Cooler: Stock cooler, $0.
Motherboard: GIGABYTE GA-MA78GM-S2HP AM2+ AMD 780G chipset microATX, $80. An alternative is GIGABYTE GA-MA78GM-US2H AM2+ AMD 780G chipset microATX, $70.
Memory: A-DATA ADQVE1A16K DDR2-800 2 x 1GB Kit, $27.
Graphics Card: SAPPHIRE Radeon HD 4550 DDR3 512MB, $60. An alternative is SAPPHIRE Radeon HD 4550 DDR3 512MB Fanless, $50.
HDD: Western Digital WD6400AAKS 640GB SATA 3.0Gbps, $70.
PSU: 80 PLUS 350W ATX PSU (included in the case), $0
Case: Antec NSK1480 microATX, $94.
Total Cost: $391

You can use your own case to save a few bucks. works well for us. yu vcan even use a different cpu sau the energy efficient 4850e or the 5050e.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the reply Soul. I know that builds can be REALLY cheap now and it would be for me seeing as I already have the case, PSU, Hard drive and optical drive but like I said in the first post I'm not looking to build if I don't have to. I mean I already have a full PC that works, I'm just wondering if the speed of the PC is actually affecting the performance of the streaming content.
 

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In some instances. I noticed when I was using a pen. D my computer couldnt keep up with the streams so I switched out my Mobo and processor and saw a big difference. no lag times etc. you could just swith those out and save whch is what I am doing for a friend right now. I have read though that some times bandwith can be the cause for some lag times and over crowded servers. I ve found that the more processing sped I have available the better the performance as my daughter streams all day everyday from both Hulu and Netflix.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks Soul. I'll more seriously consider an upgrade after hearing that.
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Still curious to hear about anyone elses experience too.
 

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Jules Im having problems also with an older amd 2600 with 1gb of ram and that is why I posted my thread just below but my sig rig runs hulu great... So ya I would just do a simple upgrade. For me that is just a mobo.. and the reall question now is which one..
 
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Alright well it sounds like an upgrade really is the solution. Thankfully parts are pretty cheap now so it's just a matter of convincing my wife that we need to upgrade
Thanks toast.
 
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