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  • Building a HTPC, Any TG HTPC Owners?

    I'm about one or two conversations away from convincing my 50+ year old dad in letting me build him a HTPC so he can hook it up via HDMI to the HDTV in the living room.

    However, I seem to run into a snag... I need help picking out a few components as I've never built a SFF rig before where space is so tight and crucial to airflow.

    Here's the list of parts I've picked out so far:



    I'm trying to keep the cost as low as possible. Eventual plan is to either install XP or Linux onto the machine (probably the latter). Then most likely MythTV or Boxee.

    Doesn't look like any of the new HTPC pre-built machines will work as Dad still wants to be able to play some DVDs (which don't work on any of his settops).

    Noise and cooling is a big factor. Will be going into a homemade wood cabinet and probably sit with a half a dozen other settops. Dad likes to skimp on the AC during the summer months (might change now that he's older).

    Now this is where I'm stuck:

    Remote Control ($25): http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...-191-_-Product

    As with any settop, I think it's become a expectation and would go a long way to making my life easier than him calling me because he can't figure out how to play a movie.

    I'm swamped with so many choices just from NewEgg and picked that one out of the bunch. Are there any better remotes for HTPCs out there? Can anyone link me to one they are using for their HTPC?

    CPU Fan:

    Anyone know the dimensions of the stock AMD heatsink fans? How tall are they? Think it'll fit in the Foxconn case above?

    If not, or you think I could benefit from a aftermarket cooler, which one would you suggest? Links?

    Noise and Cooling

    The Foxconn case has two really small 30mm? fans on the back vent. I'm sure if tied to PVM headers on the mobo, they'd make a racket when spinning at full throttle. Any good cooling suggestions that won't add to the noise of the machine?

    How loud is the stock AMD cooler?
    |TG-18th| Acreo Aeneas
    TG World of Tanks Clan Executive Officer
    Former 9th & 13th

    Pronounciation: Eh-Cree-Oh Ah-Nay-Ess
    Still can't say it? Call me Acorn then. -.-





    SSDs I Own: Kingston HyperX 3K (240 GB), Samsung 840 Pro (256 GB), Samsung 840 EVO (250 GB), Samsung 840 x 2 (120 GB), Plextor M5S (120 GB), OCZ Vertex (30 GB)

    TG Primer and Rules

  • #2
    Re: Building a HTPC, Any TG HTPC Owners?

    Eliminate your headache.

    Get an Acer Revo for $299 and your choice of external optical drive and remote control (just make sure it's a Windows Media Center-compatible remote. It's as close to a standard as there is in the remote control world).

    Install XBMC or Boxee, or both, and you're all set.

    My Revo will play 1280p video without stuttering. I'm not sure a Sempron box would be able to do that...
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    • #3
      Re: Building a HTPC, Any TG HTPC Owners?

      For your Revo suggestion, I want to stay away from it as it brings cost up quite a bit more. I also realized I can get away with a barebones rig since I still have my E8400 and a 1 GB stick of DDR2 from another rig left over. That let's me shave off another $65 or so from the previous build list.

      The Revo's $330 on NewEgg. Add in a external ODD and a remote, and I'm looking at close to $450.
      |TG-18th| Acreo Aeneas
      TG World of Tanks Clan Executive Officer
      Former 9th & 13th

      Pronounciation: Eh-Cree-Oh Ah-Nay-Ess
      Still can't say it? Call me Acorn then. -.-





      SSDs I Own: Kingston HyperX 3K (240 GB), Samsung 840 Pro (256 GB), Samsung 840 EVO (250 GB), Samsung 840 x 2 (120 GB), Plextor M5S (120 GB), OCZ Vertex (30 GB)

      TG Primer and Rules

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      • #4
        Re: Building a HTPC, Any TG HTPC Owners?

        Originally posted by CingularDuality View Post
        My Revo will play 1280p video without stuttering. I'm not sure a Sempron box would be able to do that...
        Well, the Sempron he picked is faster than the Atom 330. I would pick a motherboard with the 780G chipset.

        DB

        «That looks like a really nice house except for that horrible bathroom.» Donrhos

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        • #5
          Re: Building a HTPC, Any TG HTPC Owners?

          Hmm, worked up a new list:

          Foxconn Barebones ($95): http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16856119020
          ($0) C2D E8400 (left over from when I upgraded)
          ($0) 1 GB DDR2 800 (from a older rig)
          ASUS DVD Burner ($24): http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16827135204
          Seagate 500 GB HDD ($55): http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16822148395
          HD4350 ($43): http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16814161282
          AVS MCE Remote ($24): http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16880121003
          Keyboard + Mouse ($12)

          Subtotal: $253
          After S/H: $275

          Think that should work unless you guys see something amiss.

          The Sempron from the first post would handle HD just fine (would even handle gaming). It's a core-disabled Athlon II X2 (Regor core). If I had gone with a good SB chipset, I could even unlock the second core if I wanted to.
          |TG-18th| Acreo Aeneas
          TG World of Tanks Clan Executive Officer
          Former 9th & 13th

          Pronounciation: Eh-Cree-Oh Ah-Nay-Ess
          Still can't say it? Call me Acorn then. -.-





          SSDs I Own: Kingston HyperX 3K (240 GB), Samsung 840 Pro (256 GB), Samsung 840 EVO (250 GB), Samsung 840 x 2 (120 GB), Plextor M5S (120 GB), OCZ Vertex (30 GB)

          TG Primer and Rules

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