Budget HTPC from spare parts
I ended up with a few parts laying around so I decided to put together an HTPC to replace my aging P4 box.
It will be connected to projector via VGA and to 5.1 sound system via S/PDIF.
Parts I have:
- Corsair VX550w PSU
- Lite-On DVD W/R
- 4GB (4x1GB) DDR2 677 generic memory
- spare HDDs
- cpu heatsink
- GeForce 8400GS PCI (for now)
- Xi-Fi Xtreme gamer and Xonar D1 PCI
- Windows 7 RC
Parts I'm looking, used or on sale, need suggestions:
- horizontal case, something like this but cheaper:
NCIX.com - Buy Nmedia HTPC-5000B Desktop Media Centre Case mATX Black 1X5.25 4X3.5INT Card Reader No PS - HTPC-5000B In Canada.
- micro/miniATX motherboard with PCI-E slot and a couple PCIs
- Core2 CPU, something that will handle Blu-Ray rips within budget.
- maybe 30GB SSD for OS
Motherboard, cheapest bet would be a G31-based board. Goes for like $50?
CPU wise, E5200 would be plenty, could probably even go with the Celeron-class E1200 since you have the 8400GS.
Don't forget about AMD either though, they have some very good stuff for tight budgets. And pretty much any board you get would have decent onboard graphics with HDMI output even.
Running SSD kind of blows the whole budget thing away though. I keep my HTPC in S3 standby and it resumes within seconds. Not sure why you really need a SSD.
Yeah, scratch SSD. I went with Intel, so I can upgrade HTPC with my current Q6600 down the road, G31 looks good:
NCIX.com - Buy ASUS P5KPL-CM mATX Intel G31 LGA775 1PCI-16 1PCI-E1 2PCI SATA2 Video Sound GBLAN Motherboard - P5KPL-CM In Canada.
NCIX.com - Buy Gigabyte GA-G31M-ES2L mATX LGA775 G31 DDR2 1PCI-E16 2PCI SATA2 Video Sound GBLAN Motherboard - GA-G31M-ES2L In Canada.
E5200 around $70:
NCIX.com - Buy Intel Pentium Dual Core E5200 Dual Core Processor LGA775 2.5GHZ 800FSB 2MB Retail Box - BX80571E5200 In Canada.
I'm thinking about that whole deal with built-in nVidia and HDMI, it costs more but it would just solve so many problems, space, noise, heat:
NCIX.com - Buy ASUS P5N7A-VM mATX LGA775 nForce 730I/GF9300 DDR2 PCI-E16 PCI-E1 2PCI SATA HDMI DVI VGA Motherboard - P5N7A-VM In Canada.
One tight case:
NCIX.com - Buy AeroCool M-40 Black mATX Cube Case 2X5.25 1X3.5 2X3.5INT No PS LCD Display Front USB & Sound - M40-BK In Canada.
TV Tuner card and maybe remote?
Well, I don't have cable, maybe for over the air channels.
ULT33117 MICROFLY MATX CASE-CLEAR SIDES from Onhop Online Computer Store at Onhop.ca
That MicroFly case is really poorly built IMO. Since it's all aluminum, and thin gauge, it bends out of shape with ease. Also the cooling is a bit lacking.
If I won't find better case, the free option is to reuse my old HP case which is pretty small (16x15x7), it looks like this:
HP Pavilion a6245n PC (GV465AA) specifications - HP Home & Home Office Products
Ok, parts ordered:
Silverstone Sugo SG02B-F Black SFF mATX Case 2X5.25 2X3.5INT No PS
Intel Pentium Dual Core E5200 Dual Core Processor LGA775 2.5GHZ 800FSB 2MB Retail Box
Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 500GB SATA2 3.5IN 8.5MS 7200RPM 16MB Hard Drive OEM *3YR MFR Warranty*
ASUS GeForce 8400GS Silent 567MHZ 512MB 1.6GHZ DDR2 PCI-E VGA DVI HDCP HDTV Out Video Card
ASUS P5KPL-CM mATX Intel G31 LGA775 1PCI-16 1PCI-E1 2PCI SATA2 Video Sound GBLAN Motherboard
May as well of got a 9600GSO for same price after rebate. Also may be able to trick the PM into accepting a price from another site after MIR then it would be $20 after MIR.
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