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Thread: Lokking to build a HTPC, suggestions?

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    Lokking to build a HTPC, suggestions?

    Am wanting a pc that I can stick under my tv, and stream music, movies and the like to it, as my xbox isn't in my living room and was hoping to get some suggestions as to what hardware to get, I have sky+ so there isn't any need for a capture card or a massive hdd.
    I was thinking this made a good combo:

    Case: Not wanting to spend much on a case, and saw this colours it one on scan, the styling is unoffensive has a psu and it seems like it would be just what I need:
    http://www.scan.co.uk/products/cit-s...wer-combo-450w

    CPU: I have procrastinated about this, as I was going to get a dual core, but for the couple of extra quid have decided a tri core would be better, so an AMD Athlon 2 445 or 450 (not sure, the couple of quid between them is for 100mhz difference, but it won't be overclocked so could be worth getting the 450)
    http://www.scan.co.uk/products/amd-a...mhz-95w-retail
    http://www.scan.co.uk/products/amd-a...mhz-95w-retail

    Motherboard: Nothing too fancy, and since abit no longer make motherboards I have found gigabyte a reliable substitute:
    http://www.scan.co.uk/products/gigab...raid-micro-atx

    Memory: Corsair, I buy Geil for performance ram, but I maintain that for almost 100% compatibility and inherent reliability Corsair have no equal:
    http://www.scan.co.uk/products/2gb-c...d-cas-9-9-9-24
    http://www.scan.co.uk/products/2gb-(...9-9-24-dhx-15v

    Graphics will be handled by a GeForce GT240 I currently have in this computer as it has HDMI out and the built in graphics don't, will likely be running Vista on it (have a spare license since upgrading, either that or xp home) and I have a multitude of smaller hard drives, and opticals knocking about.

    One thing about the ram, for it's intended usage, I think I can get away with just buying a single 2gb stick, but want to know if that would be a wise decision or if I am underestimating the performance difference between single and dual channel ram either way it is not much more expensive to get the dual channel if that is a bottleneck (plus the xms ones have funky heatspreaders).

    Totaling up the wattage of the various components (CPU 95W, GPU 69W Mobo + everything else perhaps 50W?) I come to about 215W half the 450W of the included psu, so even assuming that the psu is over rated it shouldn't need replacing.

    Total:
    Athlon 445, + 2gb ram: £140.23 (single channel ram)
    Athlon 450 + 2gb ram: £143.22 (single channel)
    Athlon 445 + 2gb ram: £154.50 (dual channel)
    Athlon 450 + 2gb ram: £157.49 (dual channel)

    Edit: Only thing I can find about the case online is this thread from avforums: http://www.avforums.com/forums/home-...tpc-built.html
    Seems like I would have to spend a few pennies less on the memory to get standard XMS3 sticks without those heatspreaders on as the dvd drive seems to sit pretty low, but all else looks good.
    Last edited by Golden Dragoon; 31-12-2010 at 09:57 AM.
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    Re: Lokking to build a HTPC, suggestions?

    If all you will be doing is streaming are you not better off getting something like a Popcorn Hour. It'll play 1080p/Blu-ray without issue either from USB or your network (depending on your network config of course). They're pretty small and obv come with a remote.

    If the ~£150 is the total cost of your build above though, it will be marginally more expensive at approx £180 for an A-200.

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    Re: Lokking to build a HTPC, suggestions?

    Quote Originally Posted by Skinleech View Post
    If the ~£150 is the total cost of your build above though, it will be marginally more expensive at approx £180 for an A-200.
    Note that A200 has just been superceded by the A210 which has a better case (vastly superior cooling) but is otherwise identical. Think it's a little more expensive as the case is aluminium, not plastic like the A200.

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    Re: Lokking to build a HTPC, suggestions?

    Check out these instead: http://www.ebuyer.com/product/225755
    They are reduced as it has been superceeded by the 3700 but it will be fine for all u need to do once you add xbmc

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    Re: Lokking to build a HTPC, suggestions?

    Forgot to mention that there would be web surfing, and light gaming with this machine, hence why I have tried to keep it roughly balanced performance wise, obviously I am not expecting to run crysis on this, but a few other non demanding games for sure (Halo 2 springs to mind)

    Just had another look at the mobo, and it is a 740G not a 760G as I thought, so no PCIE 2.0, should be worth me paying the £2-3 more and getting the asus 760G or possibly paying the extra £20 and getting a gigabye 880GM board: http://www.scan.co.uk/products/gigab...sata-raid-matx

    Edit: and yes the budget is about £150, the closer the better
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    Quote Originally Posted by Winston Churchill
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    Re: Lokking to build a HTPC, suggestions?

    I assume that as no one has come up with any other suggestions that what I picked out is a pretty good solution then?
    *̡͌l̡*̡̡ ̴̡ı̴̴̡ ̡̡͡|̲̲̲͡͡͡ ̲▫̲͡ ̲̲̲͡͡π̲̲͡͡ ̲̲͡▫̲̲͡͡ ̲|̡̡̡ ̡ ̴̡ı̴̡̡ *̡͌l̡*

    Quote Originally Posted by Winston Churchill
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  7. #7
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    Re: Lokking to build a HTPC, suggestions?

    I would probably get a 45W Athlon II X2 240e or 245e:

    http://www.ebuyer.com/product/177049

    http://www.scan.co.uk/products/amd-a...che-45w-retail

    The Gigabyte GA-880GM-UD2H also has the same SB710 southbridge as the 740G and 760G based motherboards.


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    Re: Lokking to build a HTPC, suggestions?

    Another option is to wait for the AMD Zacate based motherboards. The IGP is based on the HD5450 and has UVD3.0 AFAIK. The dual core E350 together with the IGP are supposed to have an 18W TDP.

    Edit!!

    Here is a preview of some of the motherboards:

    http://www.bit-tech.net/hardware/mot...ards-preview/1
    Last edited by CAT-THE-FIFTH; 04-01-2011 at 07:56 PM.


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  9. #9
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    Re: Lokking to build a HTPC, suggestions?

    Don't really need an igp, plus there will undoubtedly be a bit of a price premium when zacate first comes out, so am not sure if it will be worth it, is there any pricing data for them yet?
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    Re: Lokking to build a HTPC, suggestions?

    Bit-tech thinks that the Gigabyte motherboard will be around £100.


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  11. #11
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    Re: Lokking to build a HTPC, suggestions?

    At the current prices the X3 450 + the 740 mb come in at £95, a mini itx case is about the same cost as a microATX, and mem is identical, however most mini itx cases I can find need 2.5" hdd's, which I don't have so the total cost would be higher, for less performance (quite a bit really, bobcat is supposed to have lower performance than K10 at the same clocks, so looses on clock speed and no of cores)

    The only win for the bobcat based system would be power consumption, which for a system that isn't going to be on 24/7 isn't really a problem for me, though I can see how it would be a problem for some.
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  12. #12
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    Re: Lokking to build a HTPC, suggestions?

    Even if you go for an mATX system one of the 45W Athlon II X2 processors would be a better choice as they are easier to cool.


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