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Want an HTPC but...

Discussion in 'General Hardware' started by CF93, 14 Jul 2006.

  1. CF93


    Joined: 28 Jan 2005

    Posts: 959

    on a tight budget - what's the cheapest it can be done?

    I've got a spare retail AthlonXP 2600+ cpu lying around - is that likely to be of any use? (not actually sure if it works, but my brothers fiance's brother gave me it when he upgraded and says it's fine, would just need to clean it up a bit.)

    I would need absolutely everything except speakers (and the CPU if that AtlhonXP is of any use,) but it wouldn't need to be capable of handling HDTV - just "normal" Freeview - and don't think I need a dual tuner either.

    What's the best stuff to get?

  2. tim_enchanter

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 9 Nov 2003

    Posts: 1,069

    Location: On the Hill

    Well sorry to start off on a negative but personally I would stay away from using a socket A system for an HTPC. If you are not worried about hearing the fans then you would be ok. My HTPC runs in the bedroom and I need it to be super quiet, this is difficult to do with the CPU you have as it runs so hot, requiring a fair amount of cooling.
    You will need to decide if you are going to use a proper HTPC case and if you will as a result want to build a micro system etc.
    Plenty of storage space, if you are on a tight budget then 1 large disk would have to do. I prefer to put the system on 1 disk and have a second larger disk for the media.
    If it's not being used for gaming then just 512mb of ram would be enough.

    If I was in your situation then I would be tempted to try and sell that cpu and build the cheapest skt 939 system I could just to bring down the temps and noise.
  3. CF93


    Joined: 28 Jan 2005

    Posts: 959

    Thanks. Sorry didn't reply over the weekend, but I've just moved house and not got the pc hooked up yet!

    I've got plently of hard drives in my current rig that have my mp3s and DVDs stored, so I can move one of them to use as the OS drive and buy a larger drive to use for storage, so that's not a problem.

    Yes I would like to use a "proper" HTPC case but they seem extremely expensive - typically £100+ - as I would really need to get what one site calls the "WAF" - "Wife Acceptance Factor"!!

    Not fussed about using the XP2600+ - just thought it might be worth considering as I've had it lying around doing nothing for a while.

    So assuming the system isn't used for games (I've got a separate system for that) what would be the cheapest I could get away with?

    Something like this, or do you reckon I can get cheaper?

    BU-032-OK AMD Athlon 64 3000 Retail / Asus A8N-VM CSM / 1GB Geil PC3200 Value Dual Channel Kit - Bundle (BU-032-OK) 1
    CP-117-AM AMD Athlon 64 3000+ Venice 90nm (Socket 939) - Retail (ADA3000BPBOX) (CP-117-AM) 1
    MB-119-AS Asus A8N-VM CSM Micro ATX (Socket 939) PCI Express Motherboard (MB-119-AS) 1
    MY-005-GL GeIL 1GB (2x512MB) PC3200 Value Dual Channel Kit CAS2.5 (GE1GB3200BHDC) (MY-005-GL) 1
    £159.85 £159.85
    CA-053-AN Antec NSK2400 Desktop Case - 380W SmartPower PSU (CA-053-AN) 1
    £46.95 £46.95
    GX-087-LT Leadtek GeForce 7300 GT 256MB DDR2 TV-Out/DVI (PCI-Express) - Retail (GX-087-LT) 1
    £47.95 £47.95
    GX-074-LT Leadtek Winfast DTV1000-T Digital TV Tuner Card (GX-074-LT) 1
    £29.95 £29.95
    CD-036-NE NEC ND4571 16x16 DVD±RW Dual Layer LabelFlash ReWriter (Beige) - OEM (CD-036-NE) 1
    £23.95 £23.95
    HD-018-SA Samsung SpinPoint P SP2504C 250GB SATA-II 8MB Cache - OEM (HD-018-SA) 1
    £43.50 £43.50
    SC-040-CL Creative Sound Blaster Audigy SE 7.1 Sound Card - OEM (SC-040-CL) 1
    £15.95 £15.95
    SW-008-MS Microsoft Windows XP Media Centre 2005 Edition - OEM - 1Pk (M93-00200) (SW-008-MS) 1
    £64.95 £64.95
    SW-009-MS Microsoft Windows XP Media Centre 2005 Remote Controller (SW-009-MS) 1
    £19.95 £19.95
    Subtotal £453.00
    VAT £79.28
    Total £532.28

    And that doesn't even include a keyboard or IR receiver for the remote, or software other than the OS!
  4. CF93


    Joined: 28 Jan 2005

    Posts: 959

    Oh, just noticed that mobo has integrated graphics and sound so assuming that'll connect to a normal TV ok, so that knocks 63.90 off the price, bringing to 468.38 plus delivery...