Bedroom HTPC build under $300 - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 21 Old 03-02-2012, 08:11 AM - Thread Starter
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Well I posted my main HTPC build and got some good advice on it, so here's my bedroom HTPC build, wondering how this one sounds to y'all. It will just be for streaming recorded TV, DVD/blu ray rips, avi's and mkv's over the network from the main HTPC. It will be wired on our 1000MB network. It comes out to about $250 total, but that doesn't include a HDD, as I've already got one laying around I can use. It also doesn't include a DVD drive because we don't need it in the bedroom. That being said, a HDD and DVD could complete this and still stick around $300 with the right deals. Here's my build, tell me what you think:

IN WIN BP-Series Case w/200W PSU($60)
ASRock H67M-ITX ($94)
Intel Celeron G530 Sandy Bridge ($52)
G.SKILL Ripjaws 4GB ($30)
MCE Remote & IR receiver ($14) (If you know where I can just get the IR receiver part of this for cheaper, I've already got a remote)
160GB SATA HDD (already own)

I'm still waiting for a great deal on a 64GB SSD for my main HTPC build, (I missed that $65 deal on the 64GB Crucial the other day), but if another one like that comes around, I'll probably snag two, and put one in this build as well.

So I guess my main question is will this Celeron sandy bridge handle all this HD streaming ok? Any other tips? I've read that the case fan is a little loud on this guy, so I might snag a silent fan to replace it with.
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post #2 of 21 Old 03-02-2012, 08:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paqmanbiker View Post

Well I posted my main HTPC build and got some good advice on it, so here's my bedroom HTPC build, wondering how this one sounds to y'all. It will just be for streaming recorded TV, DVD/blu ray rips, avi's and mkv's over the network from the main HTPC. It will be wired on our 1000MB network. It comes out to about $250 total, but that doesn't include a HDD, as I've already got one laying around I can use. It also doesn't include a DVD drive because we don't need it in the bedroom. That being said, a HDD and DVD could complete this and still stick around $300 with the right deals. Here's my build, tell me what you think:

IN WIN BP-Series Case w/200W PSU($60)
ASRock H67M-ITX ($94)
Intel Celeron G530 Sandy Bridge ($52)
G.SKILL Ripjaws 4GB ($30)
MCE Remote & IR receiver ($14) (If you know where I can just get the IR receiver part of this for cheaper, I've already got a remote)
160GB SATA HDD (already own)

I'm still waiting for a great deal on a 64GB SSD for my main HTPC build, (I missed that $65 deal on the 64GB Crucial the other day), but if another one like that comes around, I'll probably snag two, and put one in this build as well.

So I guess my main question is will this Celeron sandy bridge handle all this HD streaming ok? Any other tips? I've read that the case fan is a little loud on this guy, so I might snag a silent fan to replace it with.

Personally I would swap the asrock out for an MSI, I might be the only that feels that way though.
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post #3 of 21 Old 03-02-2012, 09:10 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by jeffkro View Post

Personally I would swap the asrock out for an MSI.

Lol that's funny, in my main htpc build, it was suggested I swap out the one I had listed for an ASRock or ASUS. Guess it's all personal preference. But I did search Newegg, they don't carry any MSI's in the mini-itx form factor that support the H67 or z68 chipsets. In fact, they only carry two mini-itx MSI's period, and they're both bundled with AMD E-350's. But thanks for the suggestion.
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post #4 of 21 Old 03-02-2012, 11:13 AM
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Nothing at all wrong with the ASRock. I have three. Fantastic boards.


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post #5 of 21 Old 03-02-2012, 01:50 PM
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I'm looking at a similar build for a bedroom HTPC. Is there any reason why an AMD E-350 or E-450 wouldn't be suitable or have any disadvantages? It's a cheaper solution for me than going the intel route.

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post #6 of 21 Old 03-02-2012, 01:52 PM
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Originally Posted by kesawi View Post

I'm looking at a similar build for a bedroom HTPC. Is there any reason why an AMD E-350 or E-450 wouldn't be suitable or have any disadvantages? It's a cheaper solution for me than going the intel route.

Its only about $30 cheaper if that for a much more anemic system.

I don't even recommend zacate anymore.


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post #7 of 21 Old 03-02-2012, 03:57 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by assassin View Post

Its only about $30 cheaper if that for a much more anemic system.

I don't even recommend zacate anymore.

Yeah I agree, the savings just isn't worth it.
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post #8 of 21 Old 03-30-2012, 05:38 AM - Thread Starter
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Little update, instead of the bedroom htpc, I decided to go with the Xbox 360 route. I got an Xbox at amazon for $200 with a $25 gift card, and for the funky video formats and anything the Xbox can't play, picked up a Western Digital HDTV Live Streaming box from Staples for $99 with a $30 off $75 coupon. So for basically $245, I have full extender capability. I am super happy with it. The Xbox mimics the MC7 interface perfectly, and I can watch all my recorded shows and live TV with no problems. It will even play most of my avi files from my network without issues, once I installed the optional media update from Xbox live. (the free version) I really haven't had to use the Western Digital all that much, but it has been great to have for those few that won't play, plus Netflix, Vudu, HuluPlus, Youtube, all that crap. And the Xbox works flawlessly with an old MCE remote I had sitting around, right out of the box.

I think for the price, this is the perfect extender solution. Yeah I've got three remotes to juggle right now, but another $100 for a Harmony remote would fix all of that. Next time I see a great deal on an Xbox, I'm going to buy this exact same setup for our TV downstairs. For the price, hell, even at a higher price, this is a great extender setup.
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post #9 of 21 Old 03-30-2012, 06:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paqmanbiker View Post

Little update, instead of the bedroom htpc, I decided to go with the Xbox 360 route. I got an Xbox at amazon for $200 with a $25 gift card, and for the funky video formats and anything the Xbox can't play, picked up a Western Digital HDTV Live Streaming box from Staples for $99 with a $30 off $75 coupon. So for basically $245, I have full extender capability. I am super happy with it. The Xbox mimics the MC7 interface perfectly, and I can watch all my recorded shows and live TV with no problems. It will even play most of my avi files from my network without issues, once I installed the optional media update from Xbox live. (the free version) I really haven't had to use the Western Digital all that much, but it has been great to have for those few that won't play, plus Netflix, Vudu, HuluPlus, Youtube, all that crap. And the Xbox works flawlessly with an old MCE remote I had sitting around, right out of the box.

I think for the price, this is the perfect extender solution. Yeah I've got three remotes to juggle right now, but another $100 for a Harmony remote would fix all of that. Next time I see a great deal on an Xbox, I'm going to buy this exact same setup for our TV downstairs. For the price, hell, even at a higher price, this is a great extender setup.

I can totally understand the desire to go that route. I lot of us have our fingers crossed for the Ceton Echo, which should accomplish both tasks when it comes out. We'll see!
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post #10 of 21 Old 03-30-2012, 07:33 AM
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If I didn't already have my HTPC, I would definitely have picked up an Xbox during the Black Friday sales last year. The only thing missing is blu-ray playback.
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post #11 of 21 Old 03-30-2012, 08:55 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by spivonious View Post

If I didn't already have my HTPC, I would definitely have picked up an Xbox during the Black Friday sales last year. The only thing missing is blu-ray playback.

Yeah I can totally understand that, I guess we don't miss it because we don't watch blu rays in our bedroom. Mostly because we mostly just watch TV in there, not movies. And the TV isn't HD anyway, just a CRT. But I can see now that is a drawback to this solution.


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I can totally understand the desire to go that route. I lot of us have our fingers crossed for the Ceton Echo, which should accomplish both tasks when it comes out. We'll see!

I agree, that does look like it could be the one. Here's hoping. Cause while what I've done is a great solution, it is clunky with having to have a remote for the TV, the xbox, and the WD, and two inputs to the TV, needing two network connections, etc.
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post #12 of 21 Old 03-30-2012, 09:17 AM
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Originally Posted by paqmanbiker View Post

I agree, that does look like it could be the one. Here's hoping. Cause while what I've done is a great solution, it is clunky with having to have a remote for the TV, the xbox, and the WD, and two inputs to the TV, needing two network connections, etc.

You can usually find a Logitech 650 for around $50. Here for instance. The only problem is it can only control a maximum of 5 devices. Otherwise it's just about perfect.
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post #13 of 21 Old 03-30-2012, 09:17 AM
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Another option would be an Apple TV 2 with XBMC or Plex besides the Xbox instead of the WD Live, which would go for the same 99$ but with a better interface. Or wait for a jailbreak for the 3rd generation since you would get 1080p output (the ATV2 is limited to 720p, not that it matters for a CRT, just saying)


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post #14 of 21 Old 03-30-2012, 12:19 PM
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Originally Posted by assassin View Post

Nothing at all wrong with the ASRock. I have three. Fantastic boards.

I got an ASRock after getting two bad Intel boards. The ASRock has been great in my main HTPC. I believe they're a spinoff company from Asus, IIRC.
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post #15 of 21 Old 03-30-2012, 12:42 PM
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Originally Posted by captain_video View Post

I got an ASRock after getting two bad Intel boards. The ASRock has been great in my main HTPC. I believe they're a spinoff company from Asus, IIRC.

They have the same parent company basically. There was a very long thread about it on another site.


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post #16 of 21 Old 03-30-2012, 01:19 PM
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Yup, Asus bought AsRock in 2008 to make them their "budget" line of motherboards, if i remember correctly.


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post #17 of 21 Old 03-30-2012, 01:31 PM
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Originally Posted by GreenEyez View Post

Yup, Asus bought AsRock in 2008 to make them their "budget" line of motherboards, if i remember correctly.

Here is the very long (and very annoying) thread.

Basically AsusTek owns Pegatron and Pegatron owns ASrock.

They really get into it. The pull company documents, legal paperwork, etc into the discussion.

Link


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post #18 of 21 Old 03-30-2012, 01:34 PM
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How is the new xbox 360? I've heard the newer versions are a lot quieter. I have an older version and the darn fan in that thing is loud. I guess I can't really complain though as it was free since my friend no longer needed it and upgraded to the newer version.

I'm really tempted to get a newer version just so it can be quieter as there really is no other option for an extender out right now.
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post #19 of 21 Old 03-30-2012, 03:23 PM
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My old one RROD'd so I picked up a slim a few weeks ago. Night and day difference. Thing is almost completely silent. You'll enjoy it.
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post #20 of 21 Old 03-30-2012, 10:32 PM
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My old one RROD'd so I picked up a slim a few weeks ago. Night and day difference. Thing is almost completely silent. You'll enjoy it.

Completely disagree. I have two new Xbox 360 slims. They may be an improvement over the original Xbox 360, but they are far from silent. I'm a bit flabbergasted that after this many years, Microsoft can't put a halfway decent fan in these things. I personally find the noise distracting. My HTPC is far quieter.

Btw, I've also had success with ASrock. The first time I had to call their customer service, I thought I had the wrong phone number because an actual human answered the phone. No robot prompt or anything. Turns out the problem I was having was unrelated to the mobo too. The board has been perfectly fine so far, and it was a great price.
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post #21 of 21 Old 03-31-2012, 03:34 AM
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I have a 4gb xbox slim and I would not call it even close to quiet either. I've also got one of those in-win bp cases (not the exact same one as in the op, but in the same series with the same psu and case fan). It's a bit noisier than the xbox, I'm looking to replace both the fans.
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