Building vs. Buying HTPC!? Help! - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 4 Old 08-30-2013, 05:51 PM - Thread Starter
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My brothers are trying to get me into the new Final Fantasy XIV online game but my current desktop was originally purchased strictly for school/work and is in no way intended for graphic intensive games and since it's an all in one computer, I don't think there's anyway I can upgrade the video card or processor.

I figure if I'm going to spend money buying a new PC I may as well invest in an HTPC setup that I can use in my living room for gaming/movies and leave my work computer in my office.

Here's my problem - I don't know where to begin with purchasing an HTPC. I will just list my main questions in a numbered format and maybe you guys can help point me in the right direction.

1. Should I look for an "HTPC" or just buy a normal desktop tower that I just setup next to my TV stand?

2. Are there pre-built models that I can purchase for <$700 that will be able to do everything I want right out of the box?

3. How much would I save if I built one myself?


I found this, but it seems like a lot of money considering the internals that it's equipped with. Are there better deals out there or should I probably just look at building one from scratch?
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Core-i3-Windows-7-Media-Center-Home-Cinema-Blu-Ray-TV-Tuner-Remote-HTPC-Computer-/290444705240?_trksid=p3284.m263&_trkparms=algo%3DSIC%26its%3DI%26itu%3DUCI%252BIA%252BUA%252BFICS%252BUFI%26otn%3D21%26pmod%3D290444703826%26ps%3D54
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post #2 of 4 Old 08-30-2013, 09:15 PM
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That one on Ebay isn't bad as a dedicated "media" pc for an HTPC, but the internals are pretty terrible for gaming. You'll almost always save money building from scratch, even with a small budget of $700. You could build something equivalent to my comp with that budget, minus maybe an SSD. The main questions are, do you need a keyboard/mouse, and do you also need to buy a new copy of windows? The OS alone will eat about $100 of your budget. You'll also save some cash by NOT using a specially made HTPC case, you can get quite small towers these days really.

OK, just made a quick list, comes in pretty much on budget (not sure where you are so I can't figure out shipping, but you can yourself. Even managed to get an HTPC form factor case and a 2gb video card in budget range.


Case - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811163174
Power Supply - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817153172
Motherboard - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813130722
CPU - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819113286
GPU - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814161406
RAM - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231311
Hard Drive - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822149397
Optical Drive - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827135305
OS - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16832116986

Before shipping it's $739.91

Of course if you don't need a new copy of Windows, you can drop $100 off that price.
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post #3 of 4 Old 08-31-2013, 10:05 AM - Thread Starter
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Wow. Thank you so much for the post! Do you think I could fit everything in that case? My brothers will be the ones building it and they keep telling me I can't build a gaming PC from those smaller cases : /

You seem like you know what you're doing though.

Thanks again! I was not expecting someone to compile such a comprehensive list for me. I very much appreciate it!
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post #4 of 4 Old 08-31-2013, 11:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Riceater View Post

Wow. Thank you so much for the post! Do you think I could fit everything in that case? My brothers will be the ones building it and they keep telling me I can't build a gaming PC from those smaller cases : /

You seem like you know what you're doing though.

Thanks again! I was not expecting someone to compile such a comprehensive list for me. I very much appreciate it!

It should all fit, though it may be a little tight in some areas. The trade off in building in an HTPC case is the heat. There's not a lot of room for good cooling. If this is a worry for you, or your brothers building it, you can swap out that case for a small tower for easily around that same price.

Something like this from Fractal Designs. Nice and smooth, not gaudy or anything. On sale too

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811352032

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