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Old March 26, 2009, 07:36 PM
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Default Help me build a HTPC before I buy the popcorn hour

Can you guys help me put together an HTPC. I need a nice case to look good near the tv.
Thank you
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Old March 26, 2009, 10:18 PM
HaDeS
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What's your price range for starters.
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Old March 26, 2009, 10:49 PM
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My System Specs

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I selected the parts I wanted in my HTPC today and it came to $320~ before tax (with price matching from other e-tailers)! Here are the parts:

CPU: AMD Athlon 64 X2 4850E Dual Core Processor Socket AM2 2.5GHZ
NCIX.com - Buy AMD Athlon 64 X2 4850E Dual Core Processor Socket AM2 2.5GHZ 2X512KB 65NM 45W Retail Box - ADH4850DOBOX In Canada.

Motherboard: MSI K9N6PGM2-V AM2 GeForce 6100 NFORCE430 mATX
NCIX.com - Buy MSI K9N6PGM2-V AM2 GeForce 6100 NFORCE430 mATX DDR2 PCI-E16 PCI-E1 2XPCI SATA2 LAN Sound Motherboard - K9N6PGM2-V In Canada.

RAM: Crucial Rendition 1GB 1X1GB PC2-6400 DDR2-800
NCIX.com - Buy Crucial Rendition 1GB 1X1GB PC2-6400 DDR2-800 240PIN DIMM Memory - RM12864AA800 In Canada.

HDD: Western Digital Caviar SE16 640GB SATA2 7200RPM
http://www.ncix.com/products/index.php?sku=30004&promoid=1055

GPU: ASUS Radeon HD 3450 PCI-E HDMI DVI-I VGA Low Profile Video Card
NCIX.com - Buy ASUS Radeon HD 3450 256MB DDR2 PCI-E HDMI DVI-I VGA Low Profile Video Card - EAH3450/DI/256M In Canada.

Case: Apex DM-317 mATX HTPC Case Silver Black 275W Low Profile Front
http://www.ncix.com/products/?sku=23679&vpn=DM-317&manufacture=Apex%20Computer%20Technology

If you price match with other e-tailers online (ie. Newegg, BestDirect, DirectCanada) you should be able to get a decent HTPC for under $300 before tax. I know I didn't include a Bluray drive and it is on sale right now at NCIX for $99. But if you do some research you should be able to get a decent HTPC that is a $30-40 more than the Popcorn Hour.
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Old March 27, 2009, 05:15 AM
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I reccommend the Antec Minuet 350 as the case :P

My under-construction HTPC specs are in my sig
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Old March 27, 2009, 08:04 AM
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Case Gives you the option of micro or standard sized mobo Personally i can't stand micro cases... no room for storage.
http://www.memoryexpress.com/Products/PID-MX11885(ME).aspx

Mobo is dealers choice... i'd be starting with 6 sata ports and figuring out the board from there. I'd also be looking a good layout... if you can find one with the power connector above the cpu towards the PSU you'd be happy.. it gets tight in a HTPC case.
Cpu again... this is dealers choice... i wouldn't dip under 2.5ghz. And something that runs on low power... Intel has power savings modes built into the cpu i believe. e8400 would be tastey
http://www.memoryexpress.com/Products/PID-MX20876(ME).aspx

Memory
http://www.memoryexpress.com/Products/PID-MX17256(ME).aspx yeh dont need anything extreme for an HTPC

Power supply
http://www.memoryexpress.com/Products/PID-MX19266(ME).aspx

Vid card
http://www.memoryexpress.com/Products/PID-MX23691(ME).aspx

The end result is you want a quiet case something that isn't power hungry and good airflow... i do like my silverstone case for the versatility but i did have it modded for airflow.
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Old March 27, 2009, 08:16 AM
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Doesn't Popcorn Hour do pretty much everything a HTPC can?
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Old March 27, 2009, 08:22 AM
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I'll put in a plug for the Corsair 400W. I have one in my htpc and it's SILENT! Nice unit.

FWIW, I have a TT DH-101 and can't really recommend it if you were considering it. Not a bad case but not worth the $$$ IMO, typical shoddy TT quality. Having an LCD is nice too, not just for gravy but is helpful in trouble shooting as well. Mine displays the commends that the remote sends (i.e. when I press 'play' on the remote the LCD says 'PLAY' (whoop-de-do) but the other day I had an issue where I was setting up TMT IIRC and it wasn't working right. When I pressed a certain button on the remote the LCD said 'UNDEFINED' that made tracking down the problem nice and quick... just an example.

If you don't mid the size I'd say get a full size case, it doesn't limit you nearly as much in your choice of hardware. I wanted something that was the same size as my receiver so I had no worries.
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Old March 27, 2009, 08:47 AM
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I like the look of this case and I've heard you can cut away the dividing plate and use a full size video card. Anyone using it here?
AeroCool M-40 Black mATX Cube Case 2X5.25 1X3.5 2X3.5INT No PS LCD Display Front USB & Sound - DirectCanada
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Old March 27, 2009, 08:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by biff View Post
<snip>

If you don't mid the size I'd say get a full size case, it doesn't limit you nearly as much in your choice of hardware. I wanted something that was the same size as my receiver so I had no worries.
I might just gut one of the older huge receiver cases to use for my htpc... Have to see what I can pick up at a garage sale LOL.
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Old March 27, 2009, 09:04 AM
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I've had the same thought. I might try to track down the face plate for an H-K reciever and do a little transplanting.
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