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Looking for Advice for My First HTPC Build

eits

Lifer
Jun 4, 2005
25,207
2
81
www.integratedssr.com
I have some spare parts and I was wondering if you guys would be able to help me figure out whether or not I'd need to buy any new parts.

Here's what I have:
- Intel C2D E8400
- 2x2GB DDR2
- eVGA GTX 260
- some 7200 RPM HDDs lying around... some 500GB, some 250GB.

Thanks!

I'm wanting a mini-ITX mobo and case. I might want a SSD.
 
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Charlie98

Diamond Member
Nov 6, 2011
6,209
38
91
That's a socket 775 CPU... I don't know if you are going to have much luck finding an mITX board for that; Newegg has 5 775 boards... they are all mATX. mATX isn't so bad, they make some smallish cases that might work for you. Are you looking for an HTPC case (flat case like a piece of stereo equipment) or a box/tower?

An SSD in a HTPC isn't mandatory... it's nice (I have one in mine...) but an SSD is of much lesser benefit in something like an HTPC.

As far as your HDDs... if you plan on storing any amount of movies and such, 500GB isn't going to cut it.
 
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Binky

Diamond Member
Oct 9, 1999
4,046
4
81
I would not buy a motherboard (and memory?) for an old CPU like that unless I could get something dirt cheap locally. You're better off going for a modern CPU+MB+memory.
 

Charlie98

Diamond Member
Nov 6, 2011
6,209
38
91
I would not buy a motherboard (and memory?) for an old CPU like that unless I could get something dirt cheap locally. You're better off going for a modern CPU+MB+memory.
I thought the same thing... but OP already has memory (2x2GB... plenty for HTPC) and pretty much everything except the mobo, PSU and an OS. It's not a bad CPU... Otherwise he would have to ditch everything (except, maybe, the HDDs) and start from scratch.

OP, what kind of budget do you have?
 

eits

Lifer
Jun 4, 2005
25,207
2
81
www.integratedssr.com
minimal. probably $150-200 for now.

i checked craigslist for some amd a6'es and a8's... no dice. i couldn't even find any i3's. same goes for atfs/t.

what os/front end do you recommend?
 

Charlie98

Diamond Member
Nov 6, 2011
6,209
38
91
minimal. probably $150-200 for now.

i checked craigslist for some amd a6'es and a8's... no dice. i couldn't even find any i3's. same goes for atfs/t.

what os/front end do you recommend?
OK, that probably settles that... and you don't need a lot of power (like an i3.) My HTPC is powered (overpowered! ) with the Pentium G620... it doesn't break a sweat (note that I do not encode on it, I use my i5 PC for that.) You might be able to find a SB or IB Pentium or Celeron/mobo combo in FS/FT if you hold out, but the C2D will work if you don't mind spending money on an obsolete board.

If you are a Windows guy... I like W7 because it comes with Windows Media Center (WMC,) a very capable front end with ease of use. W8~ does not come with WMC.

If you want to try something else, everyone raves about XBMC, and there is a version of Ubuntu that has XBMC built into it (as I understand it.)

What kind of case are you looking for? A traditional HTPC case can get expensive... I mentioned the HDDs... some smaller (less expensive) cases only hold 2 HDDs, so make sure you look at what you need. Although my HTPC's PC case wasn't cheap (it fulfilled a specific size requirement and had sound damping) if it's all the same you can get a very nice PC case typically for less than a traditional HTPC case. Just depends on what you want.
 

Binky

Diamond Member
Oct 9, 1999
4,046
4
81
You can build a very capable XBMC (err, Kodi?) system from a chromebox for well under $200. You should consider that option if it meets your needs.
 

poofyhairguy

Lifer
Nov 20, 2005
14,612
315
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everyone raves about XBMC, and there is a version of Ubuntu that has XBMC built into it (as I understand it.)
That is what I recommend. It runs great on a Chromebox if you just want to put that $150 towards a single fanless box that can play almost any media file. Personally I went and replaced all my 775 tech this year for the power savings.

If you do want to keep that 775 box, it would run XBMC about as good as you can. With a GTX 260 you could run every skin and play emulators up through the PS2.
 

sandy777

Junior Member
Nov 7, 2007
11
0
61
Here's what I have:
- Intel C2D E8400
- 2x2GB DDR2
- eVGA GTX 260
- some 7200 RPM HDDs lying around... some 500GB, some 250GB.

Thanks!

I'm wanting a mini-ITX mobo and case. I might want a SSD.
For what it's worth, I ran an almost identical htpc setup for the last couple of years (E8400 + 4GB RAM + 500GB HD); only difference was that I used a 6450 video card.

I decided to retire it last month and went with a Kabini 5350 setup (cpu + board were around $100) -- much more energy efficient -- the 5350 GPU was okay, but I ended up moving the 6450 card over for better performance.
 

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