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Cheapest ever HTPC that's decent. Proud of myself. - Page 27

post #781 of 1016
Just wondering if someone could suggest some current components for a low cost HTPC build. I was about to pull the trigger on an AIOS HD Media Center but I figured I would not be happy in the long run.

My main goals are to play 24/96 FLAC files and .mkv files with DTS-HD. All files will reside on my I-5 desktop I built using Assassins thread a couple years ago. I want to control my music playing with my Android phone. Movies will be with my Harmony 890. HTPC will be connecting via HDMI to my Onkyo receiver.

I currently have a 128GB SSD sitting around collecting dust and and an extra licence of Win 7 so I don't need those.

Could someone recommend a case, mobo, cpu, and RAM. Would prefer Intel. No restrictions on case size since my stuff is located in another room.

Would like to spend closer to $200 but up to $300. Would prefer to get everything from newegg. I just don't have the time to research the most cost effective components that will do the job. Thanks!
post #782 of 1016
Thread Starter 
G1620 Ivy Bridge CPU $49
http://www.superbiiz.com/detail.php?name=G2020

Use code SBZSHAKE for $7 off.

Probably the best choice in CPU. You can save $10 on the lower Celeron models but I don't think it's worth it.


Throw that sucker into an Asrock Motherboard for $69 (you can change out from ATX to Matx depending on your case)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157329

Now your at $70+50=$120. You need RAM. $35

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231427

120+35= $155. Your basics are done.


Now you need a case/PSU and a drive.

Lots of choices on case. How cheap do you want to be ? You can go used on ebay or an all in one PSU+CASE for $19. Or you can get really nice stuff you'll like for a long time.
This case is only $20 with a 350watt PSU:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811117042





Personally I like this: $59 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811163174


You'll need a cheap PSU for that case. I used a Coolermaster I got for $17


Then a drive. You want local storage? Or just SSD? If you want local storage grab an $80 2TB or $110 3TB drive.

NOTE: I basically have one of these right next to me , the parts I used in the begining of this thread. H61 Asrock +G630 CPU + MILO03 case, Coolermaster PSU and a 120GB Vertex3 I paid $59 for.








If you wanted to go another route you could use that CPU or possibly a Sandy Bridge like G630 in this:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16856119079


You need that ($120) which comes with H67 mobo and case and PSU. Add the $35 RAM and $50 CPU and your about $200 before software and drives.

$200 is tough with new and modern good parts. But $300 is certainly possible easily.
post #783 of 1016
Awesome, thanks for the reply! That's exactly what I was looking for. I am going to take a closer look at everything you recommended and hopefully order some components this weekend.
post #784 of 1016
Thread Starter 
Good luck. Post your build list for review if you want.
post #785 of 1016
Probably going to do something similar to your first suggestion. Didn't order anything yet. Got sidetracked this morning swapping the 64GB SSD in my desktop for the 128GB SSD I had sitting around. Also I started reading about Rasberry Pi and XBMC. Obviously not comparable to a HTPC but it was something I had never heard of and I like the concept. Might try to put one together to stream music to the stereo in the garage.

Rosewill R379-M Black/ Silver 0.8mm SGCC Steel Slim MicroATX Computer Case with ATX12V Flex 300W Power Supply $64.99 -$15.00 Instant $49.99

ASRock B75 PRO3-M LGA 1155 Intel B75 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard $79.99 -$10.00 Instant $69.99

Intel Pentium G2020 Ivy Bridge 2.9GHz LGA 1155 55W Dual-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics BX80637G2020 $64.99 $64.99

G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-4GBXL $34.99 $34.99

CORSAIR Flash Voyager 16GB USB 2.0 Flash Drive Model CMFUSB2.0-16GB $14.99 $14.99 (Need for Win 7 install)

Subtotal: $234.95 + SSD and Win 7 which I have which
post #786 of 1016
I know that I am going to seem odd (dumb) asking this question but, what are you using this system for? I see the usability of this very limited. I would love to have the same functionality as you get from a subscription to Direct TV with their DVR and that is the way I found this thread. I currently have comcast and my girlfriend has Direct TV. But in order to upgrade my Comcast to have the same functionality that her Direct TV it would cost me about $120 per month for just the TV aspect. That drives me crazy to have to spend that much money. I love the ability to look at the guide and decide what to record then watch it later. OR be able to rip my DVDs / blu-rays and watch them from any TV in the house but I am honestly confused what people are able to do with their home theater computer that would make spending $3 - 500 worth it.

Thank you for allowing me to ask a dumb question.
Edited by oldschool1 - 4/7/13 at 6:44pm
post #787 of 1016
I use my HTPC as an OTA DVR and think it's one on the best investments I have. Where else could I get a 4 tuner HD DVR for $400-$500? And I can watch Hulu, etc. It supplements my satellite DVR & I no longer have to worry about running out of tuners because programs sometime overlap.
post #788 of 1016
I've done a few with these cases, $39 with the power supply.
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00286SIFS/ref=oh_details_o01_s01_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Building one now with a 1620 I got for $39, and this MB I paid $49 for.
http://microcenter.com/product/404867/H61M-E33-W8_LGA_1155_H61_mATX_Intel_Motherboard

Using the $99 3TB drive torn out of an external drive from Staples.
post #789 of 1016
Quote:
Originally Posted by TornadoTJ View Post

I've done a few with these cases, $39 with the power supply.
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00286SIFS/ref=oh_details_o01_s01_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Building one now with a 1620 I got for $39, and this MB I paid $49 for.
http://microcenter.com/product/404867/H61M-E33-W8_LGA_1155_H61_mATX_Intel_Motherboard

Using the $99 3TB drive torn out of an external drive from Staples.

Nice budget build

I've also used this case http://www.frys.com/product/6535653?site=sr:SEARCH:MAIN_RSLT_PG (Though I paid $40 at the time)

Comes with removable ATX psu (raidmax) 24pin main power 4pin cpu
post #790 of 1016
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike99 View Post

I use my HTPC as an OTA DVR and think it's one on the best investments I have. Where else could I get a 4 tuner HD DVR for $400-$500? And I can watch Hulu, etc. It supplements my satellite DVR & I no longer have to worry about running out of tuners because programs sometime overlap.

So you use it only for over the air? Can it be used for something like comcast digital recording? What else can it be used for?

I have a couple of people at work who are running their NAS as a media server but that also seems pretty complicated and a low quality way to go. I love the idea of being able to start a movie on the network and watch it on any/all of the TVs in the house. But for the life of me I can't see how that is doable.

Currently my qnap NAS is just a storage for data files, music and digital pictures but too many of my friends are saying I am wasting potential and talking up how they watch their movies from their NAS. BUT I watched some of their movies and to me they are noticeably lower quality then a DVD.
post #791 of 1016
I use it for only OTA, and Hulu once in a while. My tuners will tune in unencrypted clear QAM cable channels. You can get tuners that accept cablecards which would let you receive the premium cable channels that you subscribe to. However I have a satellite DVR with multiple tuners. I don't worry about storage because I don't save anything. I record, watch & delete, just like you would with a Comcast DVR. I do sometimes use it to look at photos stored on my other PC because both are connected to a router. I only watch TV on one HDTV so my viewing requirements are simple.
post #792 of 1016
Any thoughts on this kit? I'm not a fan of ATI's cards personally. I always have issues.

http://reviews.cnet.com/marketplace/2740-3118_7-128709.html

Sent from my Nexus 7
post #793 of 1016
How are you guys getting away with using only a 64GB SSD? I'm using a 128GB, and I have my documents, pics and video files on a separate drive. And I am still using 29GB just for Windows 7, and 47GB for my account, Program Files, Program Files 86, and Program Data. That's 76GB!
post #794 of 1016
Sounds like you have a full backup stored in C:\

Shrink your recycle bin and page file and move the backup elsewhere. You can also make a good backup of your "leaner" installation and limit system restore

I have a 60GB SSD in my OpenELEC machine, and I feel like it's wasting away. Started with just a 8GB flash drive, but there were on/off problems with that. I'll be moving it soon to a more useful spot

An htpc-only installation shouldn't have so much miscellaneous junk. A htpc that does many other duties needs the space. While the openelec box could run on a flash drive, the other htpc is also a server, hosts a couple vms, and will soon be gaming again so it has a 256GB SSD (my first and only one to ever own)
post #795 of 1016
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dark_Slayer View Post

Sounds like you have a full backup stored in C:\

Are yu talking about system restore? Mine is a Win 7 machine.
Quote:
An htpc-only installation shouldn't have so much miscellaneous junk. A htpc that does many other duties needs the space. While the openelec box could run on a flash drive, the other htpc is also a server, hosts a couple vms, and will soon be gaming again so it has a 256GB SSD (my first and only one to ever own)

Thats my answer! I'm using mine as a general use pc, including video editing, and a WMC machine. People using it only for WMC much be using it as a dedicated machine. Maybe I'll keep my eyes open for a 256GB SSD.

Thanks!

Sent from my Nexus 7
post #796 of 1016
If that comment is directed toward me, I don't have any backups on the SSD.

Sent from my Nexus 7
post #797 of 1016
What do you guys think about this Newegg combo? I'm just looking to build a general duty Win7-64 pc with some occasional light HTPC type use (youtube, music, mkv playback). It won't have a tuner but I might run Plex on it for streaming to a Roku in a different room.
post #798 of 1016
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post



Not worth it. You can get a Celeron LGA 1155 CPU for $35.

Start new. There's just too many advantages to list in doing so.

Well, your words come back to haunt me. Two months after posting my dilemma with my sis' HTPC, we're still having the occasional issue, even after swapping the CPU for a Pentium D. Once again, here are the important specs:

The specs:

•Socket (SKT) 775 with a Pentium D 3Ghz.
•Motherboard: ECS RC410-M
•Memory - 2 Slots DDR2 Dimms , 400/533mhz , 2gigs
60 Gig system drive, 160 Gig record drive.

So while it seems to work fine 85% of the time, it occasionally slows down to the point you have to go do something else while you wait for it to respond. During this time, the HDD is working furiously. It's an old drive, but I'm assuming the issue may be the measly 2 Ggs of DDR2. Otherwise, she has been recording and playing back HD, streaming Netflix, etc.

Does that seem likely? And if so, any suggestions for CHEAP replacements for the MB, CPU and Ram? Or should I be on the lookout for a bare bones system? I'd like to put as little into it as possible.

Thanks!

Sent from my Nexus 7
post #799 of 1016
You should be able to get a motherboard for about 50 bucks, and an ivy bridge celeron for <45. Memory just pick up whatever is on sale.
post #800 of 1016
Thread Starter 
Modern hardware is always better. It's cheap enough too. I hate the issues and instability that occurs with old hardware.
post #801 of 1016
+1 that.

Thanks guys. I take it even a Celeron is better than an old Pentium D dual core?

Sent from my Nexus 7
post #802 of 1016
Quote:
Originally Posted by leebo View Post

I take it even a Celeron is better than an old Pentium D dual core

A Sandy/Ivy Bridge Celeron will run circles around the old Pentium Ds
post #803 of 1016
Quote:
Originally Posted by leebo View Post

I take it even a Celeron is better than an old Pentium D dual core?

PassMark CPU Benchmarks

- Celeron G1610 (Ivy Bridge): 2,595 ($42)
- Core 2 Duo E8400 (Wolfdale): 2,165 ($183)
post #804 of 1016
Wow.

Sent from my Nexus 7
post #805 of 1016
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by renethx View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by leebo View Post

I take it even a Celeron is better than an old Pentium D dual core?

PassMark CPU Benchmarks

- Celeron G1610 (Ivy Bridge): 2,595 ($42)
- Core 2 Duo E8400 (Wolfdale): 2,165 ($183)

I have E8500 3.16ghz that my Asus mobo just died.

I'm considering if its even worth getting a mobo to use it.
post #806 of 1016
Quote:
Originally Posted by renethx View Post

PassMark CPU Benchmarks

- Celeron G1610 (Ivy Bridge): 2,595 ($42)
- Core 2 Duo E8400 (Wolfdale): 2,165 ($183)

Well, no problem finding a G1610 on the Egg. But after searching for a while, it looks like I might be out of luck finding a compatible MB with IDE support.
I'm currently using two IDE drives in this system, and I probably have a dozen in a box, waiting to be used. I guess I could get a cheap SATA, but when I started out I had no intention of buying any new parts. Now I'm looking at a new CPU, MB RAM and drive.
post #807 of 1016
Thread Starter 
Is This Even Fair? Budget Ivy Bridge Takes On Core 2 Duo And Quad

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/ivy-bridge-wolfdale-yorkfield-comparison,3487.html

There is a good article comparing high end yesterday to entry level today.
post #808 of 1016
Interesting. If I'm understanding, the Celeron seems to have similar horsepower to the current Pentium D chip currently in my sisters machine, but uses a significantly less amount of watts.
So my main motivation of switching would be for the extra RAM capacity of a newer MB.

I haven't received any input about any motherboards with IDE compatibility, so I'm taking that as a no. Any suggestions as to what I might do with all the IDE drives I have lying around (other than using them as paper weights)?
post #809 of 1016
Quote:
Originally Posted by leebo View Post

Any suggestions as to what I might do with all the IDE drives I have lying around (other than using them as paper weights)?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oNcaIQMjbM8
post #810 of 1016
Quote:
Originally Posted by leebo View Post

I haven't received any input about any motherboards with IDE compatibility, so I'm taking that as a no. Any suggestions as to what I might do with all the IDE drives I have lying around (other than using them as paper weights)?

For switching away from the Pentium D, you get better power efficiency (same tasks for less power) and better memory capacity. You also get a much broader memory pipeline on the intel 6/7 series motherboards, so the extra memory capacity can actually be utilized (big problem on old architectures, memory expansion would often go unused as a result). The final point you get from all of it is flexibility. If you aren't happy with the ($35 from microcenter) G1610 then you can upgrade it to an i3 right around the time haswell ships. If it follows Sandy price drops then you would probably be able to pick up a 3225 for $80 at that time.

As for the IDE drives, how much capacity do you have in all those? Also, no you're not likely to find anything that will easily support them at low cost even in server situations. High end motherboards still included a port for them up until a couple years back. Either follow Ken's advice above or something like this http://www.thenewsisbroken.com/blog/post/index/109/Latest-Project
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