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Thread: HTPC with bag of old components

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    HTPC with bag of old components

    Right, so, been wanting a htpc for ages so decided i best get round to doing it. I have a redundant 4 year old dell dimension desktop and so want to reuse what i can.

    I will be getting the Antec Fusion case as it fits nicely next to my amp (I know of the problems with the lcd - im being optimisitc), whereas the dell does not. Basically, what are your opinions on reusing the components;

    Intel Pentium 4 630
    4x 256 ddr2 533
    ati radeon x600
    dell 305 watt psu

    I know I need a motherboard and was thinking onboard with vga, hdmi and spdif. Any good suggestions? I have a tv card in the form of a hauppauge t500, hard disk (small but do for now), and blu ray. Looking to spend around 100 notes, tops 150 excluding the case and windows 7.

    Any good suggestions?

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    DILLIGAF GoNz0's Avatar
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    Re: HTPC with bag of old components

    may as well sell that and put the £30 toward a new build as it wont play HD content unless you want a slideshow.

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    apmallett (11-07-2010)

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    Not a good person scaryjim's Avatar
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    Re: HTPC with bag of old components

    I'd echo that - not worth messing with kit that old for an HTPC. Sell those bits (you might raise yourself £20 - £30 on a good day) and buy something from this thread. You can put together a new mobo, cpu and ram combination for ~ £100 that will work fine as an HTPC using the onboard graphics. Much better bet than trying to get old hardware to do a job it's not up to...

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    Re: HTPC with bag of old components

    If you are abolsutely skint then you could use those components, but you'd have to consider XP Media Centre, Media Portal (in XP) or a Linux based media centre.

    As mentioned above, you'll have no chance with HD content but it'll play other stuff just fine. If you've got some money I'd sell it and start afresh, you dont need to buy new components at all just some cheap second hand dual core stuff...

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    apmallett (11-07-2010)

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    Re: HTPC with bag of old components

    Surely that processor is fine for a HTPC!? Maybe need a bit more ram and obviously a new gfx card. But if you bought a cheap motherboard off ebay say and then bought a HD3650 then wouldn't that be fine for playing HD content and much cheaper than starting from scratch. Also does that psu use a standard pin layout or is it a custom one for dell?

    There are loads of second hand motherboards on ebay that support your processor for example this one.

    Combine that with 2 gigs of ram like this.

    Then a HD3450 like this one.

    Someone else maybe able to suggest a better option for the GFX card or ram, but those components (assuming no delivery cost from scan and crucial plus that you can get a suitable motherboard plus postage for £10), come to about £80.

    Of course in the future if you want a better processor you can swap it out for a C2D or something.

    That must be cheaper than buying a whole new mobo and cpu!?

    What does everyone think?

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    Re: HTPC with bag of old components

    That spec would cope with non-HD content fine, and you might get away with some 720p HD. Have a look into CoreAVC, or maybe a newer graphics card that you can offload the HD processing to. For the record my HTPC is an Athlon64 3200 that runs Windows 7 Media centre all day long without any bother.

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    apmallett (11-07-2010)

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    Re: HTPC with bag of old components

    Thanks everbody. Straight out I didn't even consider that it couldn't play hd content or run windows 7 (which I need for subtitle support.)

    I've decided to add another 100 notes to the budget in order to get the things that I would have used because I only want to build this once, dont want to keep upgrading to much. I will try to see what I can get for the older bits, someone might want spares. I've decided to go down the amd route so will start a new thread with the spec that I have put together.

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