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Old January 17, 2010, 03:33 PM
p3t3rson's Avatar
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Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Uxbridge, ON
Posts: 176

Originally Posted by lowfat View Post
Core i3 530 $130
Gigabyte H55M-S2H $94
2GB Geil DDR3-1333 $65
500GB WD Green - $53
+ any random $25 DVD drive

$10 or so more. However if you want good bluray playback this is the way to go. It is one of the few ways to bitstream audio and it most definitely is the cheapest.
Interesting and good suggestion. I never thought of the i3 route. If you had to replace your HTPC lowfat would you go this way or with something else(not commit to his budget but yours)?
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  #12 (permalink)  
Old January 23, 2010, 10:27 AM
kingnubian's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Montreal
Posts: 320

Very interesting i3 option.

I just built me 4th HTPC.

E5200 CPU
Gigabyte G41M-ES2H Motherboard
Silverstone Grandia GD04B HTPC Case
2gb (1x2GB) Kingston PC2-6400 ValueRam
Corsaiw VX450 Power Supply
Seagate 7200.12 1TB Hard Drive
Video Card T.B.A.

Cost <$450

Modern HTPC's are all about the GPU and it's hardware acceleration support. One of the most popular HTPC platforms these days is the Intel Atom paired with the Nvidia Ion chipset. These "underpowered" motherboards are capable of smooth 1080p playback due to the Ion hardware decoding support for may video formats.

I preferred to go the route of a more powerful cpu, for occasional dvd ripping & converting chores, but still remain within a low budget. Since my build will be a Linux based one an Nvidia GT220 based video card may be added in the near future to take advantage of VDPAU. My cpu/motherboard combo cost $109.

My stance is keep the budget low and the presentation high. An i3 is a very interesting route but less expensive, and from a Linux standpoint better supported, alternatives exist.
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MSI Z97 Gaming 7
16GB G.Skill Ripjaws Z (1866MhZ CAS9)
NZXT Kraken X60 CPU Cooler
Samsung 850 EVO 514GB SSD
Seagate 7200.12 1Tb Hard Drive
Radeon R9 280x's
Liteon DVDR
NZXT Phantom 630 Case
Antec TruPower New 750W Power Supply
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