Build me a HTPC

bentleg

Novice Member
Hi all
I’m looking in to building my first HTPC and I can’t make up my mind on what components to buy or what’s compatible.
So what I’m hoping for is that one of your guys will recommend a capable (BUT) inexpensive set up for me.
Ideally I’d like the case to have a VFD and be living room friendly. Was looking at the Silverstone range but if it keeps price down ill just have to have a IR receiver.


Cheers guys
 
O

OneEleven

Guest
Which case in the Silverstone range were you looking at? (Determines motherboard type)
How will you be connecting to your display (s-video/component/VGA/DVI/etc.)?

Budget?
 
S

Skunkpipe

Guest
Do you have any space restrictions that would dictate the size of the case?
 

bentleg

Novice Member
I was looking at the Silverstone SST-LC10M as this comes with VFD and remote and is a good case for future upgrade potential, connection to my panny PW6 would be through VGA.
And my budget is tight on this one, as this will only be used strictly as a media centre so I don’t need it to be over the top.

Cheers
 
J

JayList

Guest
Here's what I built , my criteria was speed,silence, upgrade potential and value for money. No VFD cause that would have added to my budget. I like the black box. The finish is very good and there's a nice blue light that flashes for the hdd. A large case though cause space wasn't a premium and I wanted the airflow without too much noise.

Thought Micro ATX was too restrictive. I use this for games so you could downsize the card and processor. The hard drive is excellant VFM, speedy and quiet.

#OS
MS MediaCentre MEC 2005 OEM

#graphics
HIS X800 IceQ II Turbo - graphics adapter - RADEON X800 - 256 MB

#soundcard –
HDA Digital X-Mystique 7.1 Gold PCI Dolby Soundcard (SC-000-HT)

#case
Silverstone LC14

#fan
Zalman CNPS7000B-CU Super Flower Cooler AMD

#processor
AMD A64 3500 VENICE S939 OEM

#motherboard
ASUS A8N -SLI PREMIUM

#DVD Writer
Tosh SDR5372VBB BLACK X16 DVDR

#memory
1 Corsair Tx PRO 1024mb 3200 C2

#fan
1 460W Akasa UQuiet PSU Blk/Fan

#hard driver
1 200Gb Seagate SATA HDD 7200/8m
 
I have just built one this week.

A Coolmaster case - all black with covered flip down front and just two blue leds - Very discrete and looks like any other piece of a/v equipment.

A logitech wireless mouse that also acts as a remote - play pause etc

300 gb internal h/d to store dvds etc

a caddy slot to carry files from main pc to htpc

2nd hand mother board and processor - think its 2.4

half a gig of ram

I use it to play dvds / divx through my plasma connected via dvi

Soundcard is direct ac3 output via optical to my receiver for decoding duties.

Cost me in total around 350 all in. Well pleased with it. You dont need to spend a wedge if all you want it for is storing and playing of films.

The only problem I had with it (still have) is that all htpc software is an arse to set up and none of them (so far) have enabled me to select theatertek dvd player as the default player which is the only one that I can congifure to play in 5.1
 
S

Skunkpipe

Guest
bentleg said:
I was looking at the Silverstone SST-LC10M as this comes with VFD and remote and is a good case for future upgrade potential, connection to my panny PW6 would be through VGA.
And my budget is tight on this one, as this will only be used strictly as a media centre so I don’t need it to be over the top.

Cheers
Given you just need VGA for now then have a look at the EQS A58K9-MLF motherboard - It's a full ATX motherboard with onboard PCI Express Radeon X300 graphics which is MCE approved and more than powerful enough to run a HTPC, so won't need to purchase a graphics card , but the board offers enough expansion for the future in case you ever want to upgrade.
CPU, AMD64 S939 3000 OEM will fit the bill adequalty.
CPU cooler, Zalman CNPS9500 is the best zalman available at the moment and much quieter than the CNPS7000 (which is overrated IMHO), if you want to spnd more then a Thermalright XP120 with a decent quiet fan will also serve you well.
HDD - there really should only be one choice - Samsung Spinpoints; there's not a huge price difference in 200 or 250Gb
PSU hmmm, all my favorites are pretty damn expensive; QTechnology 350W will do nicely as will most things from Tagan, Nexus etc. PSU is really one area you shouldn't scrimp on IMHO.
512Mb/1024Mb of run of the mill memory and a Pioneer 110 or HP640i DVDRW and you're nearly there. £5-600 should do it.

With regards the LC10m; it might be worth looking at the LC16m (or if you can do without the VFD the LC17) as these cases have the latest silverstone chassis and offer better cooling than the LC10m. For instance the LC10m has a 80mm front intake and 2x60mm exhaust fans; the LC16/17/18 has 2x90mm intakes, 2x80mm exhausts, external intake for the PSU and another 90mm intake/exhaust should you need it - and as a bonus the supplied 2 x80mm fans that come with the case are actually pretty damn quiet (comparable to Panaflo IMHO) - unlike those that normally are supplied with cases.)
Saying this the LC10m is still a nicley put-together bit of kit
 
J

JayList

Guest
bentleg said:
thanks for your help but £1000 by my calculations is not inexpensive.
But value for money! :D I use it as a games pc as well , and to get speed and silence costs money.

If you want a pure htpc then get relativley slow components, save on temp and noise. I bet the bottom Athalon Sempron for £40.23 should be enough for your needs.

The hard drive is also worth the cost. Those raptors are PERFECT hdd for htpc.

They are super quick satas with 7200 rpm and very quiet as well.

Passivley cooled mobos and gpus are coming down in price and silent.

I would definatley reccomend the PSU though, it's silent, perfect for htpc.

Depends on how quiet you want it.

You could build one for £500 but a large cost will be a decent case.
 

jont

Well-known Member
Am thinking of selling my HTPC to fund a s/hand Z3 projector ...

Accent 400 case + sound foam, Abit m'board, radeon card, P4 3Mhz, 1Gb RAm, 2 x 160Gb HD, VFD, Audiolg s'card, XP and MCE - looking for around £500 inc shipping

Interested before I stick in classifieds ?

Jon
 

bentleg

Novice Member
Thanks for the offer as much as id like to take this, at the mo things are very tight in that department, so I’ve got to build one bit by bit, rather than buy in one lump.
Cheers
 
O

Oh Contrary!

Guest
Jont - I notice that you selling your PC - what is the radeon card and is the machine quiet?

Prior to going to the trouble of answering that perhaps I should say my budget is £400 max - would that be of interest?

Let me know if it is (hope it was ok to ask!),

Chris.
 

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