Originally Posted by Karl Beem
You have no idea what you're talking about. Tech Report has the EconoBox (which I use for our office machines), the Sweet Spot, Editor's Choice, Double Stuffed Workstation and this time, the Dorm PC . I usually use the Sweet Spot for my machines. My HTPC is usually a 2-3 year old build.
What???? I know exactly what I’m talking about. What we have here in this thread is a new builder looking for advice on building his first HTPC, and you’re telling him to go look at the “model builds” at Maximum PC and Tech Report? Sorry if you don’t like it, but that is just horrible advice, and I used Maximum PC to demonstrate how oversized, overpowered, overheated, overpriced and otherwise wholly inappropriate those builds are for an HTPC. And, as you know, not one thing I said in my reply was inaccurate. So of course you ignore your MaxPC recommendation and my post and say “well what about Tech Report”. Well, other than being cheaper, those are just as bad. Not one uses an appropriate HTPC styled case. All except the econobox have far too much processor. Only the most expensive ones use a solid state drive. None use the integrated graphics processor. Even the econobox has an excessive GPU. And all of them are overpriced. Seriously, do you want to put in your living room or TV room an HTPC that looks like this
or even worse this?
Most people want their HTPC to be small and to look decent along with the rest of their AV equipment. They should be low power, cool running and quiet. They should have graphics appropriate for displaying HD video. They should have necessary storage. And there’s no reason they should cost $1000, much less $3000.
Why would you recommend basing an HTPC build on one of those MaxPC or Tech Report model builds when there are sites like this one giving great advice specifically about building purpose-built HTPCs? Those builds are fine for what they're intended, but none of them are intended to be HTPCs. What you should tell them is go read Assassins guides, or the threads here like “Cheapest ever HTPC that's decent. Proud of myself” or “Official OrigenAE thread” or “DQ77KB Thin Mini-ITX” or “Unofficial mini-ITX case thread” or any of the many many other excellent build threads. Even telling them to go read the XBMC Community Forums “Hardware for XBMC” forum or the new Anandtech HTPC forum, or MyMediaExperience.com would be reasonable (even though I think the advice here on AVS is better). Your chosen Tech Report “Sweet Spot” build uses an i5-2500K, a GTX 560i superclocked, a 520W psu, a 750GB hard disk, no SSD, no blu ray reader, puts it all in a huge NZXT H2 case, and costs nearly $1000. Tell me just one thing that makes that a good recommendation for a first time HTPC. Just one. There isn’t one. The fact you use their "EconoBox" build for your office pcs simply underscores how unsuitable it is for an HTPC. Really, if you’re going to tell people looking to build a first HTPC to go build some general purpose tower computer, you might as well just tell them to go buy a Dell, and I will continue to tell them just how bad a choice that would be.