HTPC configuration for Under 500 Pound

Discussion in 'Home Entertainment Computers' started by jahonas, Sep 20, 2007.

  1. jahonas

    jahonas
    Standard Member

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2007
    Messages:
    69
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    6
    Ratings:
    +0
    Hi All

    Im looking to build a HTPC shortly on budget of 500 Pound.

    I have a 40" Sony Bravia HDTV which i wish to connect my new HTPC too.

    What i want from my Media PC is the following

    >Case which supports minimum of 2 x Internal SATA Hdd ( I quite like silverstone cases i have looked at)
    >Graphics Card with HDTV support to connect to TV
    >Suitable Intel Socket 775 Mainboard & quad core CPU (if this is best option within price bracket for overall performance
    >2GB Memory
    >minimum 1 x 500GB SATA, 2 if possible
    >Very Quiet Case
    >Audio, Suitable Audio Soundcard which will be suitable to use with the Cambridge Audio 640R Amp & Mordaunt Short Genie 5.1 surround im looking to buy also)

    ** Will be running Vista as o/s**

    Im not planning to record live TV using a TV card, but may get a USB Freeview Tuner for recording TV in that way, I mainly plan to use the Media PC to play back HDTV content either from downloaded content or via connecting my Xbox 360 HD Drive to it via USB & also to view pics & use as music hub

    I will not be playing games of any sort on this system.

    I hope you can give me a steer at what is best option within price budget
     
  2. Zarch

    Zarch
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2003
    Messages:
    3,577
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    136
    Location:
    Sheffield
    Ratings:
    +833
    If you are looking to keep the costs down then a quad core processor is a massive overkill if this is going to be solely a HTPC.

    My build has only a E4400 core 2 duo and a ATI/ASUS 2600 Pro in it and no HD content i've come across takes either the CPU or GPU over 50%. (and i've downloaded alsorts of 720p, 1080i and 1080p stuff, hd-dvd & blueray rips)

    I'd only suggest getting a much better processor if you intend playing games.... other than that, less is more!! :)

    2GB of RAM is recommended though, especially for Vista.

    I can't recommend the Antec Fusion case highly enough, its quiet and it holds 2 HDD easily (with sound dampening gromits etc). Although make sure you measure where you intend putting the case, the fusion is a little large!! :)

    Check out my HTPC build thread for full details of my spec and build process. (see sig)
     
  3. jahonas

    jahonas
    Standard Member

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2007
    Messages:
    69
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    6
    Ratings:
    +0
    many thanks for your comments, your thread is great with all things running through it, very thorough & interesting.

    Couple of questions:

    >as CPU is 64 BIt ready, is it advisable to run 64 bit Vista Ultimate or will i run into al-sorts of compatibility problems
    >To clarify, does the motherboard have an optical audio output which i would plug into my AMP which drives the 5.1 im buying? ( a single lead) & this should then give me 5.1 ?
    >A guy at work has mentioned that its better to get a graphics card with a bit of Power in it so that the graphics processing is managed by the G-Card instead of offloading to the CPU so it does not run hotter & inturn make more noise with the CPU Fan going overboard ? advise appreciated

    Cheers
    Andrew
     
  4. Zarch

    Zarch
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2003
    Messages:
    3,577
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    136
    Location:
    Sheffield
    Ratings:
    +833
    I'm not sure what benefits you'll get from running 64 bit OS. I've had my system running happily on MCE and Vista (both 32 bit) with no probs.

    Yes, the foxconn has a rear SPDIF connector which you can connect to your amp with a TOSLINK cable. 5.1 sound will then goto your amp! :smashin:

    You will need a seperate graphics card with the Foxconn motherboard as the onboard one is not upto much (just disable it).

    http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/ProductInfo.asp?WebProductID=632513

    I went for the 2600 as the 2400s can require some registry hacks and MAY struggle with certain HD clips. I've had no such problems with the 2600 Pro.
     
  5. tinners

    tinners
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    May 22, 2006
    Messages:
    3,288
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    106
    Location:
    Bucks
    Ratings:
    +242
    Ive got a 2400xt and no probs with bluray, hdmov or wmvhd 720 - 1080p
     
  6. Zarch

    Zarch
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2003
    Messages:
    3,577
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    136
    Location:
    Sheffield
    Ratings:
    +833
    Apologies, must have been the 2400Pro's i read about on avsforum.
     

Share This Page

Loading...