Jump to content

Welcome to Geeks to Go - Register now for FREE

Geeks To Go is a helpful hub, where thousands of volunteer geeks quickly serve friendly answers and support. Check out the forums and get free advice from the experts. Register now to gain access to all of our features, it's FREE and only takes one minute. Once registered and logged in, you will be able to create topics, post replies to existing threads, give reputation to your fellow members, get your own private messenger, post status updates, manage your profile and so much more.

Create Account How it Works
Photo

Building an HTPC--Suggestions? (Completed Build)


  • Please log in to reply

#1
mclimbin

mclimbin

    Member

  • Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 128 posts

Hello fellow geeks,

I am interested in building a pretty basic HTPC and would like to know if you have any suggestions on parts. I'd like to keep the budget to about $500.

I'd like to use my HDTV as the monitor and use a wireless keyboard with a trackpad to interact with it--unless you have another suggestion?

I am looking for something that I can surf the internet and stream videos through, from websites as well as Amazon or iTunes. I don't need an external dvd or Blue Ray drive, as I have a BR player that works fine.

I have a 1 TB hard drive lying around; I'd like to get a smallish SSD to use as a system disk and use my HDD for data, so the case would need at least one bay for each of those.

I'd like the form factor to be a HTPC shape, similar to a BR player, and I'd like to be able to lay it on its side so I can just set it in my media console.

I would need to connect to the internet via wifi; ideally, I'd like a mb with integrated sound, wifi and video. This is mostly because of simplicity, however. If buying the various cards would be cheaper, I would go for that.

I prefer win7 to win8.

I don't think I need a super powerful computer to do all of this. Is that true in your opinion? I was thinking of a Core i3 or maybe i5 processor.

 

I was actually considering this bare bones system:

http://www.amazon.co...=I13JMFFK4GTFGR

The only problem with that is that there is only space for one drive, so I would either give up the SSD or purchase an external HDD. If I went this route, I'd probably just give up the SSD. Ths would be pretty cheap, as I'd only have to purchase RAM if I bought the gigbyte bare bones system. I like the idea of fast ssd startups though, because this computer won't be running all the time--just when we use it, a few hours a day at the most.

Do you think this barebones system would be powerful enough to play video? That will be the most taxing thing I will be doing with this rig.

 

Thanks for your attention so far!


  • 0

Advertisements


#2
mclimbin

mclimbin

    Member

  • Topic Starter
  • Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 128 posts

 

 

 

    Here is a possible build that I put together on Newegg:            

nMEDIAPC Black Aluminum / Acrylic / Steel HTPC 1080P Micro ATX Media Center / HTPC Case

Model #:HTPC 1080P

   

$49.99

     

ASUS H81M-K LGA 1150 Intel H81 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard

Model #:H81M-K

   

$55.99

     

Intel Core i5-4460 Haswell Quad-Core 3.2GHz LGA 1150 Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 4600 BX80646I54460

Model #:BX80646I54460

   

$189.99

     

CORSAIR Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model CMZ8GX3M2A1600C9R

Model #:CMZ8GX3M2A1600C9R

   

$89.99

     

Diablotek 350 Watt 350W ATX Power Supply 2 x 8CM Fans ATX12V V2.31 SATA 2024 pin

Model #:163

   

$35.07

     

Crucial M500 CT120M500SSD3 120GB Mini-SATA (mSATA) MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)

Model #:CT120M500SSD3

Item #:N82E16820148697

Return Policy:Limited Replacement Only Return Policy

In Stock

 

Total:

   

$74.99

 

 

 

 

 

 

$496


  • 0

#3
iammykyl

iammykyl

    Tech Staff

  • Technician
  • 6,763 posts

Welcome back.

With the Brix you have to provide/use a SSD, SO-DIMM RAM and your OS choice.  

from the reviews I have read, it is prone to overheating when under full load, it is also tiny.   If you are going to place it on your media console, would a mini case be OK?

Review, > https://www.youtube....h?v=wm33hXyzXWk.

Please consider this build, which would also allow a GPU upgrade, a passive cooled card like the GTX 660 ti/750 ti.

http://pcpartpicker.com/p/rs6Gbv

 

Edit.

 

Just seen your build, will get back to you. 


  • 1

#4
mclimbin

mclimbin

    Member

  • Topic Starter
  • Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 128 posts

Hey iammykyl,

Nice to see you again. After all is said and done, I'm going owe you at least a 12 pack!

 

Some differences I noticed between the two builds:

I see the CPU you suggested is much cheaper (which I like) but is the same GHz (3.2); the Core i5 is quad-, while the Pentium is dual core. What is your opinion about the difference in power? Will the Pentium be enough for what I need it to do? If so, I'd be happy to go with your suggestion.

 

What about the cases? The one I picked was ~$30 cheaper. In my newbness, don't really see anything different between the two. If that is the case, cheaper is better.

 

The motherboards seem comparable to me too, except the ASRock has integrated wifi. I actually have a PCIe wifi card lying around, so that might be OK.

 

I might go with 4 gigs of ram to begin with, unless you think I really need the 8 for streaming video and surfing the internet.

 

Thanks again for your help and info.

Michael


  • 0

#5
iammykyl

iammykyl

    Tech Staff

  • Technician
  • 6,763 posts

Gday.   Sorry for the delay, had a few problems with my editor. 

You build will work but does need a better PSU.

 

 

I see the CPU you suggested is much cheaper (which I like) but is the same GHz (3.2); the Core i5 is quad-, while the Pentium is dual core. What is your opinion about the difference in power? Will the Pentium be enough for what I need it to do? If so, I'd be happy to go with your suggestion.

According to this site, > http://www.techarp.c...rtno=88&pgno=23 the i5 4460 and G3258 have  the same Intel HD 4600 graphics @ 1100 MHz, Texture and pixel fill rate appear to be the same, so graphics should be  equal.   For what you want, a quad core would be overkill, so I think the duel core will be strong enough.

 

 

I see the CPU you suggested is much cheaper (which I like) but is the same GHz (3.2); the Core i5 is quad-, while the Pentium is dual core. What is your opinion about the difference in power? Will the Pentium be enough for what I need it to do? If so, I'd be happy to go with your suggestion.

The cheaper case would do.   Yours is larger, will take a Macro MB, a ATX PSU,  does not appear to have a 2.5" drive bay, Looking at the reviews, would not be for me.

Mine is good quality, good airflow, but does require a mini ITX MB and SFX PSU.

 

Your PSU needs to be changed for a better quality one.

RAM, MB only has 2 slots, if you dropped to 4GB and later wanted 8GB, you would need to ditch 2 sticks.

MB, to access the unlocked mulipliers on the G3258, you need a Z97/Z87, even though the Asrock has WiFi, it is the cheapest board while on offer.

 

Your build does not have wireless keyboard/mouse. 


  • 1

#6
iammykyl

iammykyl

    Tech Staff

  • Technician
  • 6,763 posts

This is a test post, if OK, full reply later


  • 1

#7
iammykyl

iammykyl

    Tech Staff

  • Technician
  • 6,763 posts

Gday.

How are you going, did you finalize your chaoses? 


  • 1

#8
mclimbin

mclimbin

    Member

  • Topic Starter
  • Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 128 posts

Gday!

You have convinced me. I will go with most of the major components you suggested. I might buy a couple of them locally, depending on the prices I can get (the Fry's near me sometimes has good prices on SSDs and ram). I will definitely get the case, mobo, power supply, and processor that you suggested. They seem to work well together.

 

I'm saving up some money now to spend on this project. I'll let you know when I build it and how it goes. I'm sure I'll have more questions in the future.

 

Actually, I do have one question now: do you have specific reasons for choosing the keyboard/mouse that you chose? I was thinking about this keyboard, because it has a built in touchpad:

http://www.amazon.co...=k 400 logitech

Here is a review:

http://techreport.co...uchpad-reviewed

What do you think?

Thanks again for your advice.


  • 0

#9
iammykyl

iammykyl

    Tech Staff

  • Technician
  • 6,763 posts

Gday.

quick reply, a the keyboard is for a HTPC setup, sounds like a good idea, gets good reviews, try without buying the mouse, need W8/8.1.

If not too late, $20.00 http://www.bestbuy.c...d=1218431571141


  • 1

#10
mclimbin

mclimbin

    Member

  • Topic Starter
  • Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 128 posts

Hi iammykyl,

I'm sorry I have been out of touch. Had to buy a car a couple of months ago, so as you can imagine, I didn't have much cash for building an HTPC.

 

I was looking at your parts list and everything seems to be still available and around the same price. Thanks again for that.

 

If I wanted to spend another $100 on this system, what would you suggest? A dedicated GPU? A better CPU? Or would that be a waste?

 

I'm still planning to use it for downloading and watching movies and TV shows, as well as streaming from the internet.

 

Cheers!


  • 0

Advertisements


#11
terry1966

terry1966

    Member 1K

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1,013 posts

if your not going to be using it for actual video encoding and just for streaming and watching video content then you really don't need a dedicated graphics card or a quad cpu, unlike games and such, video playback doesn't require much cpu performance or graphics power to just push the video picture/stream to the screen.

 

personally i would add both but that is because my htpc has a quad digital hd tv tuner in it where the extra performance really helps especially for encoding and it is not really a dedicated htpc but is also used for other things.

 

main thing you really want for an htpc is for it to be very quiet, so the more powerful components you put in it then the hotter they usually get requiring more cooling, so it is always a compromise, performance vs noise.

 

if i was to suggest anything to do with the extra money, i'd suggest increasing hard drive storage because it is surprising how quickly you can fill up a hard drive with video content, i started with 1 GB of storage and now have 6GB in my system which still isn't enough really for me to keep all my content and have good backups of it.

 

i'm a linux guy so i use and love mythtv for my htpc.

 

:popcorn:

 

some links that may help you :-

http://www.lifehacke...nter-dreams-500

http://mymediaexperi...irst-htpc-tips/

http://www.digitaltr...heater-pc-htpc/

http://htpcbuild.com...one-htpc-build/


Edited by terry1966, 23 October 2014 - 08:37 PM.

  • 1

#12
iammykyl

iammykyl

    Tech Staff

  • Technician
  • 6,763 posts

Thanks for the input terry1966, more storage is good as there is extra funds. 

******

Delay not a problem, funny how the essentials need replacing, just when the mad money is ready to spend.

 

 

If I wanted to spend another $100 on this system, what would you suggest? A dedicated GPU? A better CPU? Or would that be a waste?

Agree with terry1966, CPU no, GPU, see how it performs first, if you do decide on a GPU, I recommend a GTX 750i.   No PCI-E cable required as it draws power from the GPU slot and the PSU is powerful enough, will play most modern games on medium to high settings.

 

I did forget to include a Optical Drive in the original build, so added one, has to be a slim one, Slot Load, so quite expensive, Discus this.  it's a DVD read/write, if you require BluRay read, it will need upgrading.

Also changed the SSD to a 256GB, different brand but excellent performance. 

Your case manual, > http://silverstonete...VZ01-Manual.pdf

 

Revised build, > http://pcpartpicker.com/p/YJqZqs


  • 1

#13
mclimbin

mclimbin

    Member

  • Topic Starter
  • Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 128 posts

Thanks for the input and links terry1966. They made for some good reading.

Iammykyl, thanks again for your help.

It looks like this project is going to have to wait another month or two. Bummer. :(

I'll let you know when I I'm ready to go back to work on this.

Thanks again!


  • 0

#14
iammykyl

iammykyl

    Tech Staff

  • Technician
  • 6,763 posts

The update is much appreciated. :thumbsup:    I hope you get going before the Christmas Goblin gets your money.

Will keep watching.

Good luck. 


  • 1

#15
mclimbin

mclimbin

    Member

  • Topic Starter
  • Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 128 posts

Hello my old friend iammykyl. I think it is finally time to put together an HTPC. I'll be checking the parts list that you suggested earlier. Do you have any new recommendations?


  • 0






Similar Topics

0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users

As Featured On:

Microsoft Yahoo BBC MSN PC Magazine Washington Post HP