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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello there,

I am about to start building my Pentium 4 based HTPC.

Can anybody create or upgrade an existing list of recommended components for it.

The PC will be used for 95% DVD playback, 5% gaming.

I would also like to use it as a regular computer for Internet browsing thru cable modem.

I need to be able to use it also for Cable and VCR viewing.

Later I plan to add a satellite dish (HDTV viewing).

Money is not an issue.

I guess I should have just bought pre assembled one from digitalconnection.com or cellarcinema.com.

But I really like to assemble it myself - cannot miss this fun :)

My display device is Sony G90.



40 Posts
I'm also making an HTPC. While you are building yours primarily for DVD viewing, I want mine to excel at all kinds of entertainment...especially games.

The components I decided on are listed below. The black case is from Digital connection...it comes with the 350W Enermax supply, and is supposed to be sound insulated. I'm not entirely sure about which DVD drive I'll be going with. I want one that can be made region free. Painting the front bezel black is really easy, so no point paying $100 for a black one from digitalconnection when you can get it for $50 and color it yourself.

Despite what everyone says about VIA chipsets being unstable...I've never had a problem with them, and I've been using them for a while. My current PC is based on a VIA chipset (KT-133) and I have the SBLive value...no problems here, and I am using Windowx XP Pro. I don't use the 4-in-1 drivers either.

I am using an AMD Duron 700 running at 1000 MHz right now, and it's awesome. I paid $60 for it when I got it about a year ago. Great value. I chose the new Athlon XP because it is the best price/performance value...and I'm pretty sure its quicker than intel's current crop of chips.

The hard drive choice was easy...the IBM 60GXP is still the best value for my purposes, and it is SUPER QUIET. I used on in my current PC and I never hear it, even when defragging or doing some other kind of disk-intensive work. On top of that, it is super fast, with sustained transfer rates of 38MB/s...it is one of the few drives that can actually benefit from the UDMA66 and up interfaces.

My first tough choice was selecting a soundcard that would provide excellent audio quality AND game support. Since I'll be using an AV receiver (Kenwood VR-309), it will handle the audio processing while all the card needs to do is pass the signal. Creative soundcards are still the only mainstream cards that excel at midi playback...and that is always a consideration for me. The Audigy Platinum comes with a livedrive and I think it also comes with a remote...for the price, of $170, it turned out to be the best deal.

The video card was the next toughest choice, because I wanted a card that would not only play games well but also put out an excellent video signal. The Gainward GeForce 3 200 Ti was my first choice. After doing a little more research, I decided to go with the new ATI Radeon 8500. Why? It came across as the best combination of gaming ability and video quality. NVIDIA makes outstanding cards and has impeccable support, whereas ATI has been churning out mediocre-performing cards with terrible driver support. Normally, my decision would have been easy -- NVIDIA all the way. In this particular case, the Radeon 8500 should provide ample gaming ability while maintaining higher quaity AV capability. I'm still a little unsure about the Radeon, however...and I may just change my mind again and go with the GeForce 3. If anyone could provide some feedback on this issue, I'd be grateful. :)

And that's pretty much it. The logitech cordless KB and optical mouse look great next to any AV setup. They are black with silver accents.


DC350BXM All-Metal ATX Case

Power Supply:

Enermax Whisper 350W


AMD Athlon XP 1500+ (retail)




Crucial 256MBx2 DDR 2100


IBM Deskstar 60GXP 60GB 7200RPM

Optical Drive:

Hitatchi 16x IDE DVD


Black Teac 1.44MB


Creative Labs Sound Blaster Audigy Platinum


ATI Radeon 8500 64MB DDR


Linksys 10/100TX Ethernet


Logitech Cordless Keyboard and Optical Mouse

Total Cost: $1,300

-= SsZERO =-
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