HTPC Upgrade Help


Established Member
Hi all,

I’m looking for a bit of advice. I would like to upgrade my HTPC to make it quieter, boot faster and generally run faster to be honest.

The main uses my HTPC has is playing media (majority 1080p MKV and blu ray discs), listening to Spotify (streamed to rest of house) and also the occasional web browsing function.

My current set up is old:

Motherboard - GA-MA78GPM-DS2H
Processor - AMD Athlon 64 X2 Dual Core 5600+ 2.90GHz
RAM - 2GB Arianet Ram (DDR2 800MHZ)
HDD 1TB Hitachi Deskstar HDD and 2TB Samsung HDD
Antec Fusion 430 Case with 430watt PSU

I’m unsure about the fans that are in there currently but they’re not quiet, nor are the hard drives.

My current thinking is to keep the case and upgrade everything!

I’m on a budget of as cheap as possible and would like to go no higher than £200, anything less would be great. This needs to include a SSD for the operating system and XMBC/Spotify installation.

I was looking at this link: How I Built the Media Center of My Dreams for Under £310 | Lifehacker UK and it gives some pretty good advice, listing out recommended products:

CPU – AMD A4-5300 (£28.24 from Scan)

Motherboard – ASRock FM2A88X-ITX+ (Can’t seem to find this anywhere but there seem to be plenty of FM2 options Link) around £40?

RAM – Corsair XMS3 4gb DDR3 (£30.48 from Scan)

HDD – WD Green (3tb £75.96 from Scan)

Total = £174.68

The one thing missing there is a SSD, I really don’t know anything about them at all! Although this may take me well over budget.

Also, not included for fans, these will need to be as quiet as possible!

Any help would be greatly appreciated guys.



Deleted member 39241

You might acheieve what you want just by adding an SSD for the OS and HTPC software and changing the case fans to quieter ones. Maybe adding a cheap graphics card also.


Established Member
That's a good point actually.

Once the computer is booted up it never really has any issues playing media. It would probably benefit massively from a fresh install anyway!

Any recommendations on SSD and case fans?

  1. Edit: this seems great value, it's apparently rated at 6gb/s but my motherboard info states sata connection is only 3gb/s. Does that mean that SSD would be overkill?

The only other noisey components are the PSU and Hard Drives. I think the fans are most noticeable though!


Last edited:


Distinguished Member
SATA 6Gbps is the standard, not the speed. After SATA II they decided SATA 6Gbps sounded better than SATA III (the upcoming version will changed again to SATA Express) It's backwards compatible though.


Established Member
Your current HTPC seems similar to mine when I first built it. I went for the Antec Fusion case, mistakenly thinking the remote would save hassle... and an AMD3 socket motherboard.

In the years since building it I've upgraded the CPU to a low voltage PhenomII x4 (ebay), added a 64GB OCZ SSD, and a 6570 graphics card.

Next on my list? Replace something if it breaks or I get a 4K TV, current spec does all I want of an HTPC.

spyder viewer

Distinguished Member
I have an HTPC of a similar vintage and technology to yours except I went the Intel route with a core2duo.
The best thing I ever did to improve boot speed was the addition of an ssd for the operating system. Anything over 60gB will do. I have a separate graphics card but media doesn't need a very demanding spec so the only reason for your changing would be to either gain a technology improvement or to switch off on-board circuitry in favour of a lower power pci-e solution.

The latest video from AVForums

🎬 Across the Spider-Verse, Fast X, Covenant, Sisu, Changeling 4K, Lighthouse 4K, Quantumania 4K & TV
Subscribe to our YouTube channel
Support AVForums with Patreon

Top Bottom