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Dark-Colonel June 28, 2011 01:18 PM

Budget HTPC Build
 
I'm building an HTPC for my parents to use because we recently purchased a new TV, and got a whole lot of other stuff with it too such as a Samsung C6500T BR player, and Onkyo HTS3400 HTIB.

I need to build something that's easy to use because I don't live with my parents as I study out of town the majority of the year, and can't ever seem to find jobs close to home (maybe I don't want to :haha:)

My parents are really pleased with the whole new set up except for not being able to browse the internet and watch their foreign stuff from a browser on our TV. They can do Netflix and Picasa from our BR player but need an actual browser to do some other stuff. Recently my dad found out about the Boxee Box and wants it, or something very similar to it.

That's what brought me here and I want to get your opinions if this is good enough to basically do everything like streaming videos from websites that use WM player, downloading clips, streaming HD content from YouTube/Netflix, except for gaming and watching BR movies:

Case:

Apex MI-100BK - $44

http://img.directcanada.com/images/A...K/MI-100BK.jpg

or

Lan Li PC-Q07B - $54

http://img.ncix.com/images/41116_1.jpg

Motherboard/CPU:
Sapphire Pure White Fusion Mini - $110

It Comes with a E350 APU & Radeon 6310.

RAM:
Kingston Value Ram 1GB DDR3- 1066 - $12

I have a spare drive to use for an OS installation, and I also have a spare 500GB Barracuda drive that I would use. I will probably have to get a PCI-E wireless-N adapter if we can't conveniently run a cable. I would be hooking this set up into our Onkyo receiver so it shouldn't have issues (I hope).

The only issue I'm having is with finding a keyboard/mouse that's easy to use, something the Boxee Box conveniently has. The closest thing I could find was the CandyBoard but that's really about it. I don't think my parents would want to haul a full sized keyboard and mouse around in the living room.

If this isn't that good, I will go with the Boxee Box instead, or something else based on what you guys will tell me. I don't want it to go above $200 at which point the Boxee box would be more suitable.

Arinoth June 28, 2011 01:24 PM

If you are throwing Windows 7 on there you should just bump it up to 2 GB of RAM seeing as your onboard Graphics will be stealing some of your RAM.

Also note I don't think that board guarantees 1080p HD playback as typically boards that guarantee/support it have an HDMI output whereas this one does not.

Dark-Colonel June 28, 2011 01:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Arinoth (Post 528534)
If you are throwing Windows 7 on there you should just bump it up to 2 GB of RAM seeing as your onboard Graphics will be stealing some of your RAM.

Also note I don't think that board guarantees 1080p HD playback as typically boards that guarantee/support it have an HDMI output whereas this one does not.

Ok will do, but this board does have HDMI output though, does that mean 1080p playback is possible?

Quote:

Specifications:
CPU
AMD Dual-Core Processor E350 with AMD Radeon™ HD 6310 Graphics
Chipset
AMD™ Hudson-M1 (A50M)
BIOS
AMI BIOS, 16Mb Flash ROM
Memory
8 GB Max.
2 Slots 240-pin DDR3 800/1066 Single channel, non-ECC ,un-buffered memory
Graphics
AMD Radeon™ HD 6310 Graphics
Expansion Slots
1 x PCI Express x16 slots
Storage
4 x Serial ATA III 6Gb/s connectors
Audio
Realtek ALC892 HD Audio CODEC with 8-Channel
Ethernet LAN
Marvell 88E8059 PCI-Express Gigabit LAN
Rear Panel I / O
4 x USB 2.0 port
1 x VGA(D-Sub) port
1 x HDMI port
1 x Audio I / O ports
1 x Single Link DVI
Internal I / O
4 x USB 2.0 headers
CPU 4 pin PWM Fan connectors
24-pin ATX Power connector
Control (Front) panel headers
Clear CMOS jumpers
4-pin ATX 12V Power connector
Form Factor
Mini-iTX, Size 6.8" x 6.8"
OS support
Windows Vista (32/64) bit
Windows 7 (32/64) bit


MARSTG June 29, 2011 05:07 AM

1080p playing capability has nothing to do with the presence of the HDMI port it simply has to do with the CPU's power, or the GPU being able to do that itself. The Fusion platform should be fine, but I don't know how will it cope with .mkv format at 1080p format, is very cpu demanding.

Dark-Colonel June 29, 2011 07:50 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MARSTG (Post 528680)
1080p playing capability has nothing to do with the presence of the HDMI port it simply has to do with the CPU's power, or the GPU being able to do that itself. The Fusion platform should be fine, but I don't know how will it cope with .mkv format at 1080p format, is very cpu demanding.

Ok thanks for verifying :) I doubt I'll ever run across a 1080p .mkv on the HTPC, and if I do I'm sure a GPU upgrade would suffice (considering that VLC player does have hardware accelerated playback).

My primary concern was just 1080p streams online via Netflix for example which I assumed wouldn't be an issue.

Any tips on a keyboard or mouse?


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