HTPC - A very cheap option is it worth it

R3bell

Standard Member
Hey Guys

I have been lurking on this forum a while now. Basically every few months I decide I need to build a HTPC and every single time I get lazy or dont have enough money and never wind up doing it. This time though I think ill spend the holidays setting up one. I was looking online and I found the following specs for a good bargain

PROCESSOR: INTEL CORE 2 DUO - 2.33 GHZ
MOTHERBOARD: INTEL Q35/ICH9D0 EXPRESS CHIPSET
MEMORY: 2GB DDR2
VGA: INTEGRATED INTEL GMA 900 VIDEO CHIPSET
HARD DRIVE: 160GB SATA
OPTICAL DRIVE: DVDRW
NETWORK: ETHERNET LAN SOLUTION 10/100/1000

I realize I might need to upgrade a few specs i.e. add a few hard disks and double the RAM. Apart from that what else do I need to add to this system to make it do the following

1.) Play downloaded Content in HD.
2.) Act as a media server for the whole house.

I basically need this to access streaming content on my TV. What do you guys think? is this a decent option for someone making his first HTPC
 

spyder viewer

Distinguished Member
Welcome to AVForums!
That's a very old chipset you've listed there. It should do what you want but it will need better graphics: the minimum you need is an HD5450 which will also give you hdmi output. 2gb of RAM will be fine for W7HP.

How much is your budget?
 

R3bell

Standard Member
Thanks for the reply

Honestly I don't have a budget in mind. I am getting the above items for a hundred pounds. I already have a couple of additional hard disks ( one 500GB one 250 GB) so if i can get a basic system running for a 160 pounds ( the graphics card you suggested seems to be around 60 pounds) id be extremely happy. After that I can always add a couple of hard disks a sound card ( I plan to use my old iphone as a remote) .
 

KhalJimbo

Distinguished Member
That PC should be fine, you'll want to update your video card though. I'm running a AMD Phenom II 2ghz with 3gb ram and I can play and stream 1080p mkv with no issues at all. You dont even need a very expensive video card either. The card Spyder Viewer recommended will be fine too
 

bryanchicken

Active Member
Thanks for the reply

Honestly I don't have a budget in mind. I am getting the above items for a hundred pounds. I already have a couple of additional hard disks ( one 500GB one 250 GB) so if i can get a basic system running for a 160 pounds ( the graphics card you suggested seems to be around 60 pounds) id be extremely happy. After that I can always add a couple of hard disks a sound card ( I plan to use my old iphone as a remote) .

a 5450 should be £25-30. Thats how much mine cost
 

tony_park

Active Member
One other thought, do you need any tuners? Or are you just looking for playback of dvds etc?

You may want to check what pci/pcie connections the motherboard has - hopefully a couple of pcie that you can use for tuners

Tony
 

simon194

Well-known Member
a 5450 should be £25-30. Thats how much mine cost

Or even a 6450 which is about the same price and support 3D just to future proof a bit.
 

R3bell

Standard Member
thanks for the advice guys

LINDY Chris

I was thinking of running two different wires . One to the TV and one to a sound system. I wonder if this would be possible ?

KiteboardJim & bryanchicken

Thanks for the advice

tony_park

I wouldnt need a Tv tuner so the basic PC should be find.

simon194

Thanks for the advice ill look into that one
 

Member 373730

Active Member
If your going to use an amp then HDMI would pass through and as far as I know it should still go to the TV (I'd check that first before buying an amp ;)
 

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