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My First HTPC, spec me plz

Discussion in 'General Hardware' started by Xionic, 4 Aug 2006.

  1. Xionic

    Hitman

    Joined: 1 Feb 2006

    Posts: 631

    Location: Rotherhan, UK

    ok im not sure if this is in the right section, was gunna place it in SFF but thought it was better suited here, im after building my first HTPC i dont really have a budget as i dont know what a decent one costs, so without going OTT (as i am only working class lol) could someone plz spec me an HTPC built around this case 'OrigenAE H7 HTPC Black Aluminium Case' (minus the monitor), nothing fancy but something that will do the job well.

    Xionic, apologies if posted in wrong section
     
    Last edited: 4 Aug 2006
  2. nikebee

    Capodecina

    Joined: 9 Nov 2004

    Posts: 14,003

    Location: Pembrokeshire

    as far as HTPC's go, you still really need an idea of what your going to be using it for.

    if its just basically going to be used as a DVD player, PVR, music/jukebox etc... then you wont need anything too beefy... a decent TV card (possibly with dual tuners? depends on whether you want to watch one channel and record another... pause live tv yadda yadda).
    in most cases, you will always need a BIG hard drive... say 250GB as a minimum.

    this part isn't needed, but personally i think its just silly not to:
    you also best off getting a passively cooled graphics card... perhaps a 6600GT if your not going to be gaming that much.
    use a mobo that has a passively cooled northbridge, and just generally make the entire machine as quiet as possible
     
  3. Xionic

    Hitman

    Joined: 1 Feb 2006

    Posts: 631

    Location: Rotherhan, UK

    yea will be DVD player, PVR, music/jukebox and with some small time gaming on CSS if poss.
     
  4. squiffy

    Banned

    Joined: 17 Mar 2006

    Posts: 9,155

    Generally look for a 2ghz machine if playing back DVD, AVI and HD files (CPU power required for scaling) Other than that look for passive motherboard, graphics, quite PSU, slow/quiet case fans, slow CPU fan, quite/low number of hard drives etc.

    I have a 3700 SC, 1GB, Asus CSM, Seasonic S12 430W,250GB WD 7200RPM. Then add MS IR remote/receiver bundle. XP Home/Pro with a front end (Meedio, Media Portal etc) or MS Media Centre. You don't need to got OTT for a totally silent HTPC-a few silent fans is fine, as your sound system will easily drown it out. Just don't go fitting Delta Crossflows. :p

    Getting hardware side of things is easy...just buy quality, quiet components, software will require more hours setting it up right. Looking into FFDSHOW as this is generally the only bit of additional software you'll need (most important after OS) Checkout Theatretek, as this will allow you to use FFDSHOW scaling for DVD's as well. Check the motherboard IGP/GFX card has required video outputs. You'll want to scale videos/dvd's to the native rez of your panel.
     
  5. Xionic

    Hitman

    Joined: 1 Feb 2006

    Posts: 631

    Location: Rotherhan, UK

    thanks for all the advise, could someone maybe throw the above into a decent spec for me and give me a rough price, thanks again
     
  6. squiffy

    Banned

    Joined: 17 Mar 2006

    Posts: 9,155

    Something like this will suffice, or you could replace the CPU with single core, however I have read that HD 264 will require dual core CPU. I use a 3700+ AMD single core and can playback 1080P fine though, and can scale AVI's and DVD's to HD rez (1680x1050) and it's not overloading the CPU.


    AMD Athlon 64 X2 Dual Core 3800+ 2.00GHz (Socket AM2) - Retail (CP-166-AM)

    MB-145-AS Asus M2NPV-VM Micro ATX (Socket AM2) PCI-Express DDR2 Motherboard (MB-145-AS)

    MY-066-CS Corsair 1GB DDR2 Value Select PC4200 Dual Channel Kit (2x512MB) (VS1GBKIT533D2) (MY-066-CS)

    HD-070-WD Western Digital Caviar SE16 320GB 3200KS SATA-II 16MB Cache - OEM (HD-070-WD)

    CD-045-LG LG GSA-H10NBAL 16x16 DVD±RW Dual Layer ReWriter (Black) - OEM (CD-043-LG)

    CA-053-AN Antec NSK2400 Desktop Case - 380W SmartPower PSU (CA-053-AN)

    SW-009-MS Microsoft Windows XP Media Centre 2005 Remote Controller (SW-009-MS)
    Subtotal £350.20
    VAT £61.29
    Total £411.49
     
  7. Goatboy

    Man of Honour

    Joined: 22 Oct 2003

    Posts: 4,023

    Location: a crappy part of London

    ^That's the sort of spec I'm looking to build soon, the 6150 graphics will do for now and leaves you the option to upgrade later when the whole HDCP/Vista/VC-1/HD264/Blu-Ray/HD-DVD situation is clearer.