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Advice for my first HTPC build please


Established Member
It's been a couple of years since I have built a pc, just use my laptop for surfing etc. I have decided to replace the pile of players on the stand with a htpc, got the case and having fallen behind on what's hot I am struggling to decide where to spend my money. I have read through the various threads until my eyes hurt but I'm no closer to placing an order.
So to the question that has been asked a million times! What do I buy????
I am not bothered wether it is AMD or Intel, just want something that will play everything I throw at it including Blu & HD DVD. My budget is not unlimited, would like vfm but I will pay out the dough if it is worth it.
Suggestions on a postcard please.

Kind regards



Established Member
As you have the case sorted, its prety easy from there.
id get a mid range Intel processor, compatible motherboard and PSU.
Mid range nvidia GFX, preferrably passively cooled.
Semi-decent soundcard, maybe an Auzentech (or another one with HDMI could simplify things)
2Gb of mid priced RAM.

No need to go overboard on any components, only thing I might spend extra money on is the soundcard so i could get single cable connection for video/sound via HDMI to my amp.


Established Member
As Cafe Racer has said, have a look at a motherboard with decent onboard AMD or Nvidia graphics and team it up with the AMD 4850e (or 4050e or 4450e) and 2gb of RAM. The LG BD/HD-DVD drive is good value, and the Spinpoint 750gb or 1tb drives seem to be the htpc user's hard drive of choice at the mo. Could also get a decent cpu cooler to keep heat and noise down. The keysonic wireless keyboards and the MS remote are both good choices for input devices. What case have you gone for?

Then you can start having fun with the software.
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Established Member
Thanks guys keep the advice coming, btw I have a Thermaltake dh102 case which takes an atx mb and seems to have plenty of room inside (and a nice touchscreen monitor on the front:devil:).
I have read amongst the many threads that a couple of new motherboards are being released in the next couple of weeks with much better nvidia on board graphics, is it worth holding out or should I go for the mb/card route?



Established Member
Ok will spending the extra few quid on Intel be worth the outlay or should I go for AMD. Will not be using this for gaming so a high end card is not really of any benefit but I believe ATI have a new 4*** lower end card out, worth the wait?



Established Member
I have read amongst the many threads that a couple of new motherboards are being released in the next couple of weeks with much better nvidia on board graphics, is it worth holding out or should I go for the mb/card route?

I'm in a similar position to you - trying to put together a shopping list.
I think the new motherboards you are referring to are the NVidia 9300/9400, and there is an interesting discussion (http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1067219) at AVSForum which includes a list (on page 2 iirc) of expected new boards.

All the best,



Prominent Member
Best thing to do is look at the build stickies - Mickwall's, Theydon's etc. http://www.avforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=798205

All in one mobo with onboard graphics and sound, with AMD "e" series Processor is what I'd do.

This is exactly what I built last weekend.
Antec fusion case
Gigabyte GA-MA78GM-S2H
AMD 4850e processor
2 gig ram

Running Xp, media portal. Runs like a dream. Although the LCD display on the Antex isn't compatible with media portal. However media portal is far better than MCE in my opinion.


Established Member
Looks like a lot of features for the money on that board MartinH, thanks for taking the time to reply guys I think that is the motherboard for me. With the small differences in price betwen the 4850 and higher models should I just buy the highest 64x2 before the price starts to jump, or are there power/heat issues I should be aware of?
Will buy a good modular PSU, probably Corsair unless anyone else has a better suggestion.
Slight change of subject, in the past I purchased most of my components from computer fairs, I built quite a number of base units for family/friends and they used to offer good value. Do they still compete with online rices?



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