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Discussion Starter #1
Hey, I am looking to build a HTPC to hook upto my HDTV for around $500. I would prefer something in a smaller format to a full size case but i dont know what so I shall leave that up to you Pros!

thanks in advance,
 

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It's hard to give advice without more info.

What specifically are you looking for it to do? DVD playback? Games? Surfing?

How do you want to control it? Remote or keyboard?

Also, what kind of TV do you have and what inputs are available?

It's possible to build something for that price but it may not meet your expectations.
 

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To get that price I think you would have to buy used parts off craigslist, ebay etc unless you have some parts to use. as stated above what are your intentions of use.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I have an LCD HD with various inputs and outputs

Am looking to have it play back movies, mp3s and surf. I will prefer to control it by a keyboard. I don't mind paying a bit more if someone can outline for me with the info provided so far a list and prices
 

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Do I Win?

Nmedia HTPC-100BA Desktop Media Centre Case mATX Black 1X5.25 2X3.5INT LCD Card Reader 300W - $100.22
ASUS M2A-VM mATX AM2 AMD 690G DDR2 PCI-E16 PCI-E1 2PCI Video VGA DVI Sound Motherboard - $89.64
AMD Athlon 64 X2 3600+ Dual Core Processor Socket AM2 Brisbane 1.9GHZ 2X512KB 65NM 65W Retail Box - $83.20
Western Digital Caviar SE 160GB SATA2 7200RPM 8MB 8.9MS Hard Drive 3 Year MFR Warranty - $68.75
LG GSA-H54N DVD+RW 18X8X16 DVD-RW 18X6X16 DL 10X DVD Writer IDE 2MB Black OEM W/ SW - $36.50
Crucial Rendition 1GB PC2-5300 DDR2-667 240PIN Dimm Memory - $43.99
Logitech Cordless Desktop Ex 110 Wireless RF Keyboard & Optical Mouse USB/PS2 - $37.41
Linux - Free
Total - $470.71 at DirectCanada.com

Optional - WINTV-PVR 250 PCI REMOTE MPG2 HARDWARE DECODER ENG VERSION - $152.85
Recommended Upgrade - Western Digital SE16 500GB SATA2 7200RPM 16MB Cache 8.9MS NCQ Hard Drive OEM 3YR MFR Warranty - $138.99 (from 160 GB - $68.75)

Windows MCE Version add...
Microsoft Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005 with SP2 OEM English - $134.63
Optional - Microsoft Remote Control W/ USB Receiver OEM for Windows XP Media Center Edition (with System Only) - $29.15
 

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Discussion Starter #10
What do you guys think of this, what would you change or add to it for my build? I already have vista ultimate, so we can take that out of the equation

a. ASUS M2A-VM HDMI motherboard (AMD 690G chipset)
b. AMD AM2 4800+ cpu
c. 2 GB Crucial DDR2 ram
d. 250GB samsumg spinpoint HDD (for OS and software)
e. 500GB segate 7200.10 HDD x 2 (for storage)
f. Zalman HD 135 Case with Seasonic S12 430w PSW



 

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You might want to read this review of the Zalman HD135 case, especially the cooling mod. I also have to question why you put an mATX mobo in a full ATX case. I would either get an mATX case or a full size mobo. I considered the ASUS M2A-VM mobo for my HTPC but would have put it in a low profile mATX case. I decided to go with a full size motherboard and a Silverstone LC20 case. I also went with one of the low power AMD EE CPUs to cut down on heat.

I went with an nVidia 7600GT for video. One of the new 8600 cards should also work well. In that case, eliminate the mobo video and look for extra motherboard features like extra USB ports and firewire.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I want my hdtv.....that isn't mine, It belongs to an aquaintance of mine, and I was just asking what you think of it.

From the advise you've given so far, I have narrowed my build down to, is there anything am missing or should add to the list below?

1. Asus m2a-vm hdmi socket am2 amd 690g chipset

2. nmedia htpc-100ba desktop media centre case matx silver 1x5.25 lcd card reader 300w

3. crucial rendition 2gb pc2-5300 ddr2-667 240 pin dimm memory

4. LG gsa-h54n dvd+rw 18x8x16 dvd-rw 18x616 dl 10x writer ide 2mb

5. western digital se16 500gb sata 2 7200 rpm 16mb cache 8.9 ncq hard drive oem

6. amd athlon 64x2 3600+ dual core processor socket am2 brisbanw 65w

7. Microsoft Remote Control W/ USB Receiver OEM for Windows XP Media Center Edition (with System Only) - $29.15

8. nvidia geforce 8600GT 256mb gddr3 pci-e dual dvi-i hdtv out video card

9. HD-dvd rom xbox 360

10. vista ultimate, power dvd, anydvd-hd
 

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I'm pretty sure that you're over $500 with that configuration. I haven't seen pricing onthe 8600s yet, but given that they are brand new you aren't likely to see them for under $200.
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
I'm pretty sure that you're over $500 with that configuration. I haven't seen pricing onthe 8600s yet, but given that they are brand new you aren't likely to see them for under $200.
I already have everything in #10 on the list, so I just have to deal with 1-9. Am willing to extend the budget a bit. Now what will be the best cable/s to hook this up to my LCD HDTV? I only have 1 hdmi port and it's used up by the dvd right now.




The mobo recommended to me doesn't get good reviews for HTPC

http://www.theinquirer.net/default.aspx?article=37929

which one would you recommend in it's place that has the following;HDMI, FireWire, 5.1 or 7.1 surround audio, and will fit into the nmedia htpc case?
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Actually scrap #1 and #2......tomshardware wasn't keen on the nmedia htpc-100ba desktop media centre case matx silver 1x5.25 lcd card reader 300w, it was too tight inside to work with and it was noisy.

Am now going to go with the silverstone LC20M htpc case ( although it doesn't come with a fan ). I just a decent ATX mobo with with hdmi, firewire and 5.1 audio to go with that now

Any suggestions ?
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I want my hdtv.....so which full ATX board do you have in your case of choice then, and does it include all the features you mentioned earlier like firewire, usb, dvi and all that?
 

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I used a ASUS M2N-E because it has 6 SATA ports and I wanted to do RAID5. Unfortunately, the mobo RAID turned out to be next to useless due to speed. (Do not install the nVidia SATA disk driver.) Another option is the ASUS M2N-E SLI. There are trade offs with each board. If you want firewire, and 2 IDE connectors the SLI version is better. The non-SLI version has 10 USB ports and 6 SATA connectors. There may be better mobo's available but probably not at the same price.

The Silverstone LC20 case requires 5 USB ports and 1 firewire port to be fully connected on the front panel. (There are 4 USB ports out front & 1 is required for the display.) The LC20 can also hold up to 6 disk drives (a max of 4 or 5 is more realistic due to space conflicts.) I also installed five 80 mm fans (3 exhaust in the back and 2 intake in front, silent type and slowed down with Asus Qfan.) At least 2 in back are required. 2 more are recommended in the front if more than 2 disk drives are installed.

I used an AMD Athlon 64 X2 3600+ EE processor but would probably go with a 4200+ or 4600+ with the recent price drops. Make sure you get the EE/65w versions since they consume less power.

I also used a Silverstone Element ST50EF-PLUS 500W ATX12V 20/24PIN Power Supply. Quite happy with that.

BTW, my system cost close to $1000. The case and P/S were the major expense, costing over $300. The LC20 is an awesome case though, the best I could find for the price.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Think I have decided on the LC20M since it comes with the remote and IRD, and my power supply will be the silverstone strider st 60f psu 600w atx. I'll have to look into a more suitable and up to date mobo that is not an matx ( i heard matx boards are causing problems in this case in terms of screwing it down)
 

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Discussion Starter #20 (Edited)
The intestines of an HTPC




How would one go about solving the problem at the back of the LC20M case where the cable comes thru that hole, which can allow dust to get into the system?



 
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