2nd htpc build advice reqd


Established Member
Nov 12, 2005
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Hi guys

Been considering building a 2nd htpc for a wee while now. Have been reading through older threads on here until my head hurts and I have chopped and changed my mind numerous time on what hardware to go for.

This 2nd htpc will be used in a bedroom connected via hdmi to a 1080p plasma although I wont be using it with my amp etc I would like it to be capable of outputting hd sound incase I ever switch and put this system in my cinema room.

With my current htpc which i build around 1.5/2 yrs ago, I feel I went way over the top,spending money on components that I personally didnt end up requiring (no ones fault but mine). I intended to try my hand at overclocking (which I never did) I also intended to try pc gaming (which I never did, ive act never played a game on a pc since the days of spectrums lol although games on pc do look fantastic it just isnt for me).

My current system is as follows:

Zalman hd160+
Asus p5e-v motherboard
Q6600 G0 stepping cpu
Mini Ninji cooler
1tb hd
1.5tb x2 hd
2tb hd
Crucial Ballistix ddr2 800 mhz 4gb 4-4-4-12
Corsair hx520w
3 coolink fans bought from quiet pc
HD5450 passive card (only installed last week due to easier than trying to find win 7 drivers for my onboard graphics grrr)

I dont find my current system that quiet at all, although I haven't heard anyone elses htpc to compare it to, so quietness and value for money are foremost in my mind for my second system.

Having looked and read up on 780g 785g 790g 880g motherboards it appears that none of these boards will do hd hdmi audio without the aid of a graphics card, please correct me if im wrong.

I also looked at going for a new i3 build but currently there appears to be issues with ntsc playback, with some opting for a graphics card which in my mind defeats the purpose of this route, again if im wrong please correct me.

So ive semi decided on going for a am3 board, 2gd ddr3, an E rated x2 cpu and a hd5450 board.

Is all the processing done by the hd5450? as in can I just buy the cheapest suitable am3 board and a semi low processor maybe a 240e or lower and be capable of outputting 1080p etc? Im also assuming that the wattage of these processors will make my system quieter?

I realise all my requirements could be done with a 775 board or am2 but with me buying ram anyway and the prices for ddr3 being cheaper than ddr2, id rather future proof to some degree.

Any advice appreciated :)

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