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want to build an HTPC..where do I begin(or the dummies guide to building an HTPC)?

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want to build an HTPC..where do I begin(or the dummies guide to building an HTPC)?

Old 08-28-06, 04:41 PM
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want to build an HTPC..where do I begin(or the dummies guide to building an HTPC)?

I've been trying to read as much as I can on the subject but there is so much info out there I figured I'd be better off asking for help instead of just jumping in blindly.

I have seen quite a few cases that I like and that would fit in nicely into my system. one is the NMedia HTPC 200:



it would look right at home next to my Toshiba XA1 HD-DVD player. of course I could easily go with any other case if one was better for me.

it seems that many people recommend using ATX boards instead of micro-ATX(the case pictured above is micro-ATX) due to upgrading limitations. since I have no real idea of what needs to be in these boxes yet I'm not sure if I could go with micro-ATX or if I should just go ATX.

now should I skip the micro-ATX with its onboard A/V and go with an ATX board and supply my own A/V cards? another thing is what would be the best type of CPU to get with this type of setup?

one micro-ATX board I was looking at:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16813186086

I have an old Compaq desktop that I just ordered a new dvd recorder for(Samsung SH-S182D) that I could just use in the HTPC box instead.

what I'm looking at right now is building a cheap box now that I could easily upgrade to any extreme at some later date. I would mostly use this as a DVR(dual tuner if possible)/dvd player/recorder with maybe a bit of web browsing thrown in. I don't really need it for any gaming as I have a modded XBox for that stuff as I rarely play pc based games.

there are quite a few other questions that I have but I think the above would help me out greatly. thanks.
Old 08-28-06, 05:38 PM
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The latest (October 2006) issue of Maximum PC (subscribers have it now but it may not yet be on news-stands) has an entire feature on building the ultimate HTPC. Reviews of all components, etc.
Old 08-28-06, 05:54 PM
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I think a modern micro-ATX board is ok. In addition to the video card you get 3 slots.

SD TV Tuner/S-VGA input board, maybe an HD TV tuner, maybe a soundcard if you want more than the onboard digital or you need the slot's bracket for the onboard's connectors. Everything else is built in these days. You can even use USB for the tuner or sound functions if necessary.
Old 08-28-06, 11:29 PM
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thanks for the replies. how does this look so far for a setup:

MSI K8NGM2-FID Socket 939 board(if I can find one) -
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16813130529

AMD Athlon 64 X2 4200+ -
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16819103547

CORSAIR XMS 2GB(2 x 1GB) Unbuffered DDR 400 (PC 3200) Dual Channel Memory -
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16820145486

plus the above mentioned case(HTPC 200) and the above mentioned Samsung drive.

I'm still trying to find the tuners and an HDD.

EDIT: i think I might go with this tuner card(if I can confirm that it fits in the above case):

Hauppauge WinTV-PVR-500MCE -
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16815116632

Last edited by ChrisHicks; 08-28-06 at 11:40 PM.
Old 08-29-06, 09:52 AM
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This forum: http://www.htpcnews.com/forums/index.php is dedicated to htpc. It has lots of info plus an ongoing "help me build" thread if you want more opinions/feedback on your proposed setup. It might also help to see what components are working out well for others. Good luck.

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