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Windows 7 HTPC/Media Server Build

tacky147

Junior Member
Apr 20, 2014
5
0
0
Hey guys! I'm looking at purchasing a PC in the next few days to act as an HTPC and a media/file server serving my locally stored media to other devices around the house. I currently have a 7 year old Fujitsu laptop slaved to this duty, and man is it loud! It struggles with everything I throw at it, so it's time for it to be replaced.

I've put this build together, and before I pull the trigger, I just wanted to get some other people's opinions as to whether I'm: A, overspending or B: going overboard (or otherwise) with the components. I'll be running Windows (I already have a copy), with XBMC and Plex running my media. I'm shooting for a quiet PC that's powerful enough to accomplish my above-stated goals without being too loud (that is a focus point since my current laptop roars like a lion anytime it is on). This is my first build, so absolutely any advice is appreciated! Thanks everybody!

CPU: AMD A6-5400K 3.6GHz Dual-Core Processor ($59.97 @ OutletPC)
Motherboard: ASRock FM2A75M Pro4+ Micro ATX FM2+ Motherboard ($59.99 @ Micro Center)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($45.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Sandisk 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($69.07 @ NCIX US)
Case: Silverstone ML03B HTPC Case ($57.35 @ NCIX US)
Power Supply: Corsair CX 430W 80+ Bronze Certified Semi-Modular ATX Power Supply ($43.98 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer ($19.98 @ OutletPC)
Total: $356.33
 

DesiPower

Lifer
Nov 22, 2008
15,316
711
126
You didn't say what kind of videos you were gonna play, just online videos? or BD rips?

One thing I saw missing was a BD-RW, just a dvd drive on htpc is unheard of these days.
Also for a quiter PC you will need a aftermarket cpu cooler and maybe a under clocked cpu. I know inter has the "T" series, not sure about AMD. Intels are much more expensive than AMD, so if you are budget, I would not advice looking that way
 
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tacky147

Junior Member
Apr 20, 2014
5
0
0
Thanks for the reply! I really appreciate the help.

Sorry man, I forgot to say that I will be primarily watching ripped blu rays (1080p), DVDs, and streamed online video.

As for the Blu Ray drive, I'm just not particularly interested in keeping up with the ever-increasing security protocols placed on optical media. The optical drive in this PC is pretty much just there for the OS install (I could use a flash drive, but I like having the physical option as a backup) and potentially drivers in case I have internet issues initially.

I'll have to look into aftermarket CPU coolers. As this is my first build I wasn't really sure exactly how much room I'd end up with to install an aftermarket cooler. It definitely seems like a good, if not almost essential upgrade.
 

smitbret

Diamond Member
Jul 27, 2006
3,385
21
81
Hey guys! I'm looking at purchasing a PC in the next few days to act as an HTPC and a media/file server serving my locally stored media to other devices around the house. I currently have a 7 year old Fujitsu laptop slaved to this duty, and man is it loud! It struggles with everything I throw at it, so it's time for it to be replaced.

I've put this build together, and before I pull the trigger, I just wanted to get some other people's opinions as to whether I'm: A, overspending or B: going overboard (or otherwise) with the components. I'll be running Windows (I already have a copy), with XBMC and Plex running my media. I'm shooting for a quiet PC that's powerful enough to accomplish my above-stated goals without being too loud (that is a focus point since my current laptop roars like a lion anytime it is on). This is my first build, so absolutely any advice is appreciated! Thanks everybody!

CPU: AMD A6-5400K 3.6GHz Dual-Core Processor ($59.97 @ OutletPC)
Motherboard: ASRock FM2A75M Pro4+ Micro ATX FM2+ Motherboard ($59.99 @ Micro Center)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($45.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Sandisk 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($69.07 @ NCIX US)
Case: Silverstone ML03B HTPC Case ($57.35 @ NCIX US)
Power Supply: Corsair CX 430W 80+ Bronze Certified Semi-Modular ATX Power Supply ($43.98 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer ($19.98 @ OutletPC)
Total: $356.33
Not too bad, but if you are planning on having Plex transcode on the fly, you're probably gonna want a beefier CPU. A dual core i3 or quad core AMD will probably be about the minimum I would recommend.
 

tacky147

Junior Member
Apr 20, 2014
5
0
0
Thanks for the input smitbret. I ended up purchasing the build as posted. I don't really ever have to have Plex encode on the fly, so the upgrade to Intel or a quadcore AMD didn't seem worth the increased cost.

I've read quite a few posts that complain about the noise level of the AMD's stock CPU cooler. Does anyone have any recommendations on aftermarket CPU coolers that are both compatible with my hardware and will fit in the ML03B case? Thanks!
 

smitbret

Diamond Member
Jul 27, 2006
3,385
21
81
Thanks for the input smitbret. I ended up purchasing the build as posted. I don't really ever have to have Plex encode on the fly, so the upgrade to Intel or a quadcore AMD didn't seem worth the increased cost.

I've read quite a few posts that complain about the noise level of the AMD's stock CPU cooler. Does anyone have any recommendations on aftermarket CPU coolers that are both compatible with my hardware and will fit in the ML03B case? Thanks!
Anything with a 120mm or larger fan will be a lot quieter. You'll want to make sure it will:

#1 - Fit in the case
#2 - Not sit too low that it won't clear your RAM

You might as well try the stock cooler, though and if you find it's too loud then swap out at that point. Some people are plenty happy with the stock coolers.
 

tacky147

Junior Member
Apr 20, 2014
5
0
0
Gotcha. I guess I'll wait till I get the system up and running to see if the stock cooler is loud enough to warrant a replacement. Thanks for the heads up! Any personal recommendations for a low profile CPU cooler? I was checking out both the Scythe Shuriken Rev. B and the Cooler Master GeminII M4, and they both seem like they would do the trick (if required).
 

Rio Rebel

Administrator Emeritus<br>Elite Member
Oct 9, 1999
5,195
0
0
You don't have much clearance in that case. I have a similarly slim case and bought this: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002G392ZI (Link isn't taking me directly there - it's the Freezer 11 LP...you have to click on that one.)

Nice cooler and very quiet, very low profile. Not for overclocking, but great for slim case htpc.
 

tacky147

Junior Member
Apr 20, 2014
5
0
0
That's exactly what I was looking for. I know the case I purchased is slim, but due to my lack of experience, I really have no idea exactly how much room I'd have after installing the mobo and cpu for an aftermarket cooler.

Thanks for the advice on the Freezer. Looks like a pretty awesome choice.
 

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