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Help with 1st HTPC build.


Junior Member
Jan 30, 2013
Decided to cut Cable – need info on HTPC build parts

So, I am making the plunge – ridding ourselves of Dish Network. I have been lurking on many sites reading as much as possible trying to learn basics. I have come up with a parts list that I believe matches all of my wants from the HTPC – but it is too expensive to pull the trigger all at once. I have already purchased an antenna and get great reception of TV channels, so I will not use a cable card from a cable company. I will also be using Windows 7 for now, but would like the ability to explore the possibility of XBMC when I get more comfortable with it. I am looking for help to make sure my parts are compatible and to see if there is anywhere I can save money in this build.

What I would like the HTPC to be able to do:
• I need to be able to record TV shows and watch live TV – possible at the same time. (1080p)
• Have the ability to watch DVD/Blu Ray movies and rip them into storage on a hard drive.
• The system needs to be wireless – no way to run an Ethernet cable to my TV location – not experienced enough to do wall drops.
• Go online to access Netflix, Hulu, …
• At some point in time I would love for my daughter to be able to access what is stored on the hard drive from her room. (this can be a future add-on if possible)
• I will not need the ability to play games.

I think this is it. Am I missing something?

Thanks for your help.

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i3-3225 3.3GHz Dual-Core Processor ($129.99 @ NCIX US)
Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Extreme4 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($119.99 @ Microcenter)
Memory: G.Skill Sniper 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($43.98 @ Outlet PC)
Storage: Crucial M4 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($104.99 @ Amazon)
Storage: Western Digital WD Green 2TB 3.5" 5400RPM Internal Hard Drive ($89.99 @ NCIX US)
Power Supply: Antec Neo Eco 400W 80 PLUS Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($39.98 @ Outlet PC)
Optical Drive: LG WH14NS40 Blu-Ray/DVD/CD Writer ($59.98 @ Outlet PC)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) ($89.98 @ Outlet PC)
Other: Hauppauge 1229 WinTV-HVR-2250 White Box for System Builders Dual Hybrid PCI-E TV Tuner Board ($96.11)
Other: Rosewill Wireless N Dual Band Adapter IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n PCI Express Upto 450Mbps Data (RNWD-N9003PCe)? ($34.73)
Other: Silverstone Tek GD05B-USB3.0 Aluminum/Steel Micro ATX HTPC Computer Case with 2X USB3.0 Front Ports Cases (Black) ($96.00)
Total: $905.72
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-01-30 14:27 EST-0500)
May 27, 2008
An ATX motherboard, will not fit in an GD05B. If you are shopping at Microcenter with an in-store pickup you can get $50 off the motherboard if you also purchase the CPU (i3-3225 or i5-3570k) from them as well. They have two eligible mATX boards to choose from;

Biostar H77MU3
$19.99 after $50 instant rebate, $9.99 after rebate

$4.99 after $50 instant rebate, free after rebate (rebate is for $10, don't know if they will send you the $10 or $4.99)

I'm not a fan of Biostar, but this MB has two PCIEx1 for your tuner & wireless card. In addition it also has two PCIEx16 for future expansion such as a video card should you ever need it.

The MSI board has only one PCEx16 & one PCIEx1 which can be used for your tuner card and wireless card, but would leave you no slots available for expansion (such as a video card). However this board does have a PCI slot so you could change the wireless card to PCI which would help free up the x16 slot.

Edit: Actually they have more boards with $50 instant rebate, they were just listed off to the side of their ad. Here's the other ones I found that are mATX and either B75, H77 or Z77
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Informant X

Senior member
Jan 18, 2000
I've built a few HTPC's for around 300-350ish. Personally I don't know why people spend so much money on HTPC's.

It was based on AMD's chips

AMD A6-3650 Llano 2.6GHz Socket FM1 100W Quad-Core Desktop APU (CPU + GPU)

ASRock A75M-ITX FM1 AMD A75 (Hudson D3) HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Mini ITX

For me if a HTPC is going to be in the entertainment center I want something small. I don't want some huge hulking ATX case sauntering around my TV. This PC does everything you would need flawlessly.


Nov 27, 2001
You need Blu-Ray playback software because it looks like the LG drive that you selected does not include any. Do note that most software included with drives are dumbed down variants that only handle stereo audio instead of being able to bitstream the lossless DTS-HD Master or Dolby TrueHD.


Diamond Member
Dec 7, 2011
If your looking for maximum savings, and this is basically nit-picking, you could prob save $20 just going with 4gb RAM or a cheaper 8gb kit of regular value RAM. You don't need more than 4gb for an htpc (although it doesn't hurt). Like I said though, it's just nit-picking, your parts look good.


Diamond Member
Oct 9, 1999
Definitely look at something like the H77 biostar listed above. You don't need a Z77 in an HTPC box, especially with the i3 cpu. Just make sure it has the right ports and plugs (HDMI, etc).

You will need a remote and/or remote receiver. These are as cheap as $20.

Just an FYI, but OTA broadcasts are max of 720p or 1080i. The TV tuner card can record at the full broadcast resolution, but were still stuck with 720p/1080i.

For blu-ray, the easiest option is a dedicated blu-ray player. The software runs $40-$100 and it can be finicky due to the ridiculous copy protection schemes. I use powerdvd and I don't have a dedicated player. TMT and PowerDVD are the most popular.
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Junior Member
Dec 30, 2009
You can reduce the scope...go for mATX/ITX Mobo and opt for a smaller case like silverstone ML03.