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Spec for Cheap HTPC

Discussion in 'Desktop & Laptop Computers Forum' started by BGoff, Jun 29, 2005.

  1. BGoff

    BGoff
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    im about to build an htpc on as tight a budget as possible, any help on possible spec would be greatly appreciated.

    List of requirements:

    The case needs to fit in with the rest of the equipment on my rack.
    Dvi output of 1280x720
    fully remote opperated, will probably use showshifter
    dvd writer

    the limited budget is pointing me towards the slim mini-atx media case

    http://www.mini-itx.com/store/?c=3#p1146

    The problem with this is that a slimline dvd writer appears to be £100ish so the saving on the case is lost.
    The accent ht-400 is the dream caes but that would only leave £300ish for everythhing to go inside.

    An AMD 64 3000+ 939 is the processor im considering and minimum of 512mg ram. is this enough power for an htpc.

    if i dont go with a mini-itx case i will have more choices with motherboard, what are the best options for a full size atx board?

    What graphics cards and freeview tuners should i be looking at, £75 for each is prob the tops i can afford.

    Thanks for the help in advance
     
  2. DaveP

    DaveP
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    Different people will no doubt give different advice but here's my two pence worth:

    I'd recommend a micro ATX case. this will give you a decent amout of expansion with 3 PCI slots in addition to the graphics card slot. I think this is a pretty nice case for little money: eBuyer

    It allows the use of full size optical drives and you could use the 3.5" slot for a card reader. It does say low profile slots though so you may wish to consider a case that takes full height cards such as this one but you may have an issue with the colour! If you have the space you can go full ATX for very little money!

    I'm sure someone will be along to suggest a shuttle but with only one expansion slot you will be limited to 1 PCI card.

    Dave
     
  3. lisag

    lisag
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    I was just gonna do that :smashin:

    On a quick search this is pretty budget, most things are onboard, and you can add usb powered hub(s) for external expansion. Plus it will take a normal size DVD drive and two normal HDD's.

    lisa
     
  4. Maff et1

    Maff et1
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    As Dave mentions micro ATX is going to be the best value. Anything smaller (like mini-itx) limits your choice of components and therefore makes them more expensive.

    Mini-ITX also won't give you DVI and will limit the expansion slots (mini-itx boards have 1 slot but some cases will let you use a riser card to get 2 slots. If you really want mini ITX then there are cube style cases that will take standard desktop drives.

    To keep costs down go for micro atx with a case that takes full height (not low profile) cards. This lets you use standard desktop components, which are cheaper.

    Another option would be a mac mini - dvi built in, very small and quiet. You'd need to use external USB tuners in that case.
     
  5. BGoff

    BGoff
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    thanks for the help guys, i hadn't even thought about a mini mac, that could be a good option. The micro atx case recomended is also quite nice for the price (wonder if its lcd display could be replaced with a better vfd in the future, hehe)
     
  6. sainthalo

    sainthalo
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    I built a very quiet (near silent) Media Center XP HTPC for my Z3 1280x720 projector as follows:

    Aopen XC-CUBE EY65
    P4 2.4 GHz (overclocks to over 3GHz! I do not OC)
    Sapphire ATI Radeon 9600 (fanless)
    512MB Samsung RAM
    250GB Hitachi Deskstar HD
    Pioneer DVR-109
    Floppy disk + 8in1 card reader unit

    Total cost without software approx £450.
     
  7. David PluggedIn

    David PluggedIn
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    To keep your software costs down have a look at MediaPortal - http://mediaportal.sourceforge.net/

    It works with all the leading digital TV cards including SweetSpot MCE, and is being developed/enhanced at an astonishing rate.
     

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