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Thread: Spec me a mini htpc build

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    Chillie in here j.o.s.h.1408's Avatar
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    Spec me a mini htpc build

    Hi, can anybody help me spec a cheap intel gaming htpc?

    i already have a old seasonic PSU i will use as well as a case, OS and graphics card. i mainly just need a cpu, mobo and ram to start me off.

    i want it to be fast enough to play and record 720p and 1080p videos without any lag. will a dual core do? i want a mobo where it offers me a bit of an upgrade path to upgrade from a dual to quad core if i need the extra cores later on.

    trying to keep it all under £200 for now. Will my old seasonic PSU which is around 400w work fine on a dual core? it currently poweres my pentium 4 lol.

    if not, might need to toss in a PSU on that £200 budget. The GPU im going to install on it is a 260gtx. ALso will be attaching 3 hdd's as well and around 2-3 case fans if that helps narrow the psu spec down.

    fed up with my pentium 4. struggling to play 720p let alone 1080p. i just need something to get me going. Need it to be a reliable brand so not too cheap stuff.

    cheers again

  2. #2
    Poor graduate. Ulti's Avatar
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    Re: Spec me a mini htpc build

    That's pretty simple really, £200 for CPU, motherboard and RAM is easily doable.

    As RAM is so cheap right now, definitely get 4GB DDR3 ~£39 on Scan's Today Only. Then get an i3 540 for ~£79 (also on Scan's Today Only) and finally you probably want an mATX board right? You can get a miniITX if you've got a small case, if you want miniITX it'll cost a bit more for the GA-H55N-USB3 (~£90) but otherwise get the Asus P7H55-M for ~£62 (also on Scan's Today Only!). This totals £180 and will be enough for what you requested and you can grab an i5 750 or even an i7 870 at a later date!

    EDIT: You could alternatively wait for Sandybridge to see what the performance is like though as it'll have a fresh i3 series and it shouldn't cost much more.

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    Chillie in here j.o.s.h.1408's Avatar
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    Re: Spec me a mini htpc build

    sweet. when does sandy bridge come out? january? i need a full ATX as i need to install my 260gtx, tv card and a sound card which are both PCI slots while the 260gtx is obviously a pci-e

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    Poor graduate. Ulti's Avatar
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    Re: Spec me a mini htpc build

    Quote Originally Posted by j.o.s.h.1408 View Post
    sweet. when does sandy bridge come out? january? i need a full ATX as i need to install my 260gtx, tv card and a sound card which are both PCI slots while the 260gtx is obviously a pci-e
    IIRC the details will be fully released near the end of the first week of Jan, in CES 2011 and then it will begin to hit retailers so I expect it to be mid Jan.

    Odd how you call a build with a full ATX motherboard a "mini HTPC build"

    You can get the Asus P7P55 LX but I can't find any reviews on it though, it is only £72 though and seems to have the features you're looking for and I doubt overclocking an i3 540 (if you were to) would stress that motherboard at all.

    There are then a few more "mid end" choices:
    MSI P55-GD55 ~£86
    Gigabyte GA-P55-USB3 ~£88
    ASUS P7P55D ~£89

    If you can wait, then wait for Sandybridge as the socket 1156 prices might fall. You can also alternatively look at the AMD side as it'll probably be slightly cheaper and would allow for more upgrades (6 core drop ins)

  5. #5
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    Re: Spec me a mini htpc build

    An AMD Athlon II X3 based system would probably be better value for money IMHO.


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    Re: Spec me a mini htpc build

    Confused by this...HTPC gaming pc..but with a full sized ATX board ? Then its not a HTPC ?

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    Re: Spec me a mini htpc build

    it can still be a HTPC... being small isnt what makes a computer a HTPC o_O

    Im with CTF, i would have thought an athlon X3 with a 880G motherboard would be overall better value. I have an X2 with a gigabyte 880G board in my current HTPC. Works like a dream!

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    Re: Spec me a mini htpc build

    I guess plugging it in to a tv makes it a htpc right?
    But what part makes it mini? Lol

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    Chillie in here j.o.s.h.1408's Avatar
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    Re: Spec me a mini htpc build

    Quote Originally Posted by cigbunt View Post
    I guess plugging it in to a tv makes it a htpc right?
    But what part makes it mini? Lol
    mini build is what i mean as all i need is a mobo, ram, pcu and psu. i have a gpu, os, case etc already so its a mini build

    And i need a full atx as my 260gtx is large plus i got a pci soundcard and tv tuner that needs to be installed on it

  10. #10
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    Re: Spec me a mini htpc build

    I would get the following parts:

    AMD Athlon II X3 450 ~ £58

    http://www.ebuyer.com/product/238326

    4GB 1600MHZ DDR3 ~ £38

    http://www.ebuyer.com/product/173122

    Gigabyte GA-MA770T-UD3 ~ £55

    http://www.ebuyer.com/product/196403

    Antec 520W High Current Gamer PSU ~ £56

    http://www.ebuyer.com/product/245671

    The PSU is made by Seasonic.

    The total comes to around £207.


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  12. #11
    Chillie in here j.o.s.h.1408's Avatar
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    Re: Spec me a mini htpc build

    hi guys i decided to go for something like this as i have saved a few pennies recently.



    thoughts?

  13. #12
    Oh Crumbs.... Biscuit's Avatar
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    Re: Spec me a mini htpc build

    seems waaayyyyy overkill to me. Definately dont need 850W PSU. I only have a 750 in my main PC powering a 5870, 4 hard drives, overclocked Q6600 and a couple of PCI cards. That doesnt even really spin up when gaming. Decent 550W would be more than enough.

    Socket 1156 is also Dual channel not tri channel so you want 2 or 4GB RAM not 6

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    Re: Spec me a mini htpc build

    ^ What he said ^

    Save your pennies and get a smaller power supply, unless you are going to upgrade and go SLI or something.

    I've got a 980i a GTX 295, 5 hard drives and a full water cooling kit running off a 750W Be Quiet, and that's still got room in the tank.

    Try running your setup through:

    http://extreme.outervision.com/psucalculatorlite.jsp

    to get an idea what you're actually pulling...
    Join the HEXUS Folding @ home team

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    Chillie in here j.o.s.h.1408's Avatar
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    Re: Spec me a mini htpc build

    i forgot to add but the PSU and ram is going in my main i7 pc whilst the 600w psu seasonic and 2gb ram(got 3gb but dual channel so have to make to di with 2gb) goes in my htpc along with my 260gtx i have lying around

  16. #15
    Oh Crumbs.... Biscuit's Avatar
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    Re: Spec me a mini htpc build

    ah ok, seems pretty good then, personally i would still bank the extra cash and stick with the AM3 based system but nothing wrong with what you seem to have planned

  17. #16
    Chillie in here j.o.s.h.1408's Avatar
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    Re: Spec me a mini htpc build

    some say i should go for a quad if i will game a bit on my htpc? why? is dual dead end for gaming now?

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