Need suggestions on repurposing old pc or building new HTPC from scratch

SweetGerald

Junior Member
Oct 12, 2011
11
0
0
#1
I currently have:
CPU - Intel core2duo E8400
RAM - 8gb Corsair XMS DDR2
PSU - Corsair HX520W
Video Card - MSI 8800GT

I want to build an HTPC capable of playing 1080p mkvs mainly (maybe ROMs also). Would i be better served to just build a new HTPC from scratch, or buy a cheap LGA 775 motherboard and repurpose these old parts?
 

stevech

Senior member
Jul 18, 2010
203
0
0
#2
Old PC usually too noisy/big.

I'm happy with mini-ITX chassis + Gigabyte E350 motherboard.
Does HD1080 well with integral graphics.
 

Dirigible

Diamond Member
Apr 26, 2006
5,946
0
81
#3
It's just parts and not a whole pic right? So you'll need a case and motherboard no matter which way you go.

Your parts will work fine. Compare finding a suitable 775 motherboard with getting new mb, ram, CPU with integrated graphics. New htpc-suitable parts can be pretty cheap and I've no idea what a 775 MB would cost.

If I were you, I'd probably replace the 8800gt with something like a fanless hd 6450 if I ended up using the older parts.
 

olds

Elite Member
Mar 3, 2000
49,239
67
106
#4
I am going through the same thing with almost the exact same parts. But not a true HTPC. For my wants, upgrading wasn't future proof enough as this is my only pc. Sounds like it will work in your case.

My pc is hooked to my tv and I use it as my main pc. Normal pc stuff, gaming plus Netflix. Upgrading wouldn't give me the gaming pc I want so looked at pre-built rigs like the Dell 8500 and Alienware X51. Too expensive or not upgradable enough. So I am building a new rig. Some overkill but I keep my pc for 5 years at a time.
I am reusing my HX520 psu, my blu ray drive and my hard drives.
i7 3770 / GTX 660Ti / 16 GB PC1600 / Silverstone Lascala htpc case / MB with USB 3.0
 

tracerbullet

Golden Member
Feb 22, 2001
1,625
0
81
#5

SweetGerald

Junior Member
Oct 12, 2011
11
0
0
#6
Thanks for the replies. I think i've decided on building a new one. Can someone recommend some parts? I do plan on reusing that PSU, and i'll scout deals on RAM and a SSD. Need recommendations for motherboard and CPU as i really don't know what i need in terms of power.
 

Dirigible

Diamond Member
Apr 26, 2006
5,946
0
81
#7
Thorough guide, stickied at the top of this forum:
http://assassinhtpcblog.com/?page_id=160

It'll give you lots of hardware options and price points. Choose depending on your needs.

If you're just playing mkvs, don't bother with windows unless you already have it or can get it free. Just download the xbmc ubuntu thingy instead.
 

hoorah

Senior member
Dec 8, 2005
747
6
81
#8
I would recommend using those parts with a new motherboard.

Other than that, I would leave everything else and check the power draw from the wall of the setup. If you're pulling around 100W at idle, you might find that the 50W power savings will take a long time to recover the cost of a $150 cpu/mobo upgrade.

For only HTPC uses, an E8400 would be fine.

Edit - sorry, didn't realize you didn't have a motherboard to go with that CPU. In that case, I'd recommend getting a 775 mobo (FSFT or ebay) and either integrated video (if it can do DXVA) or a separate low power GPU.
 
Last edited:

NAC

Golden Member
Dec 30, 2000
1,086
1
81
#9
Looks like the OP already made a decision. But...

When I considered making a HTPC, I instead upgraded my main PC, and used most of leftover parts for the HTPC. I basically only had to spend for a case, power supply and video card for the HTPC, reused a Q8300, mb, memory and HD. The rest of the money invested left me with a more powerful computer. It was less sexy than making a nice looking and quiet HTPC - but I bought a long HDMI cord and the HTPC sits next to my desktop. It does make troubleshooting and configuration easier, since I have a spare keyboard & mouse hooked up and just change the input for one of my monitors.
 

SweetGerald

Junior Member
Oct 12, 2011
11
0
0
#10
I've basically made up my mind on most everything. Only thing i'm torn between is what processor/mb to get exactly. I want to get an i3 ivy bridge, but i'm also trying to save as much money as possible on this thing. Would i be just fine with a cheaper AMD Llano?
 

thestrangebrew1

Platinum Member
Dec 7, 2011
2,611
18
91
#11
I've basically made up my mind on most everything. Only thing i'm torn between is what processor/mb to get exactly. I want to get an i3 ivy bridge, but i'm also trying to save as much money as possible on this thing. Would i be just fine with a cheaper AMD Llano?
I don't know about the Llanos, but if you're trying to save some $, I would look into maybe a Sanybridge Pentium. That'll save you $50ish off the bat depending on what you get. I have a g850 in one htpc and it works flawlessly streaming 1080p content.
 

SweetGerald

Junior Member
Oct 12, 2011
11
0
0
#12
I'm thinking about jumping on a cheap trinity/a55 combo build, but on the assassin's hardware guide it says that's not good if you're running SSD. Is that just because it's SATA 2 instead of SATA 3?
 
Aug 25, 2001
43,564
529
126
#13
I'm thinking about jumping on a cheap trinity/a55 combo build, but on the assassin's hardware guide it says that's not good if you're running SSD. Is that just because it's SATA 2 instead of SATA 3?
Probably. There really isn't any problem running an SSD on a SATA2 port. You loose a little bit of sequential transfer rate, but SSDs are still MUCH faster than HDDs.
 
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