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Building a HTPC on the cheap.

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Ello, Decided a week or so ago to build a media PC / HTPC. I was looking at media streamers, but for the same price as my favoured streamer unit, I decided I could just about build a full PC, which… Read More
g8ina Avatar
1d, 2m agoPosted 1 decade, 2 months ago
Ello,

Decided a week or so ago to build a media PC / HTPC. I was looking at media streamers, but for the same price as my favoured streamer unit, I decided I could just about build a full PC, which could do so much more. I really wanted something similar in spec to my existing PC, which I know can play even H264 HD movies - and they are the trickiest I'm led to believe. An AMD 3200+ 64 cpu was already destined to be the prime mover, and the rest was built around that. I already have a HDD, DVD drive, XP Home and a 32" LCD TV. I finally got all the bits I needed for £240 odd.

With a few false starts, due to me ordering the wrong motherboard, then the next one I ordered not being in stock, I finally got all my parts on order, mostly from scan.co.uk who offer free postage if you are a member of Hexus.

Main List :

Asus A8V-VM-SE VIA K8M890, S939, PCI-E (x16), DDR 333/400, SATA II, SATA RAID, uATX, On Board VGA Scan code LN15017 £31.36
http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/ProductInfo.asp?WebProductID=434319

AMD Athlon 64 3200+, Socket 939, VeniceCore, 2.0GHz, 512KB Cache, OEM
Scan code LN9376 £38.76
http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/ProductInfo.asp?WebProductID=164955

Arctic Cooling Freezer 64 Pro - (Socket 754, 939, AM2) + ALL AMD Opteron
Scan code LN13081 £14.68
http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/ProductInfo.asp?WebProductID=340993

1Gb (2X512Mb) Corsair Value Select DDR PC3200 (400), 184 Pins, Non-ECC Unbuffered, CAS 2.5 Scan code LN11240 £50.90 (was £45 when I ordered it)
http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/ProductInfo.asp?WebProductID=237278

256/512MB XFX 7100GS TurboCache Mem Clock 533MHz, GPU 350MHz, 4Pipes, D-Sub/DVI/S-Video Scan code LN16626 £37.04
http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/ProductInfo.asp?WebProductID=498826

AKASA Zen case - Black Silent Cool Midi-ATX Computing case w/2 silent 12cm fans w/o PSU Scan code LN15198 £28.19
http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/ProductInfo.asp?WebProductID=446040

Mouse & kbd £8 from almost anywhere.

Tagan TG480-U01 - 480W almost silent PSU, bought privately 2nd hand for £30 inc post :)http://www.hexus.net/content/item.php?item=694 Usually aBut £57 new.

So, a slow start due to my own and others incompetence :oops: but with some items here, and the rest of the kit due here by Wed 7th March, I will update as I go (if you like ?). I'm hoping that this might be useful to others who need to build on a shoestring.
g8ina Avatar
1d, 2m agoPosted 1 decade, 2 months ago
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Comments/page:
#1
Take a look at Elonex Artisan barebone from eBuyer. Looks great, cheap and you can put Pentium 4 Prescott into it (sorry no Core 2).
#2
Right, yesterday was a very busy day - the last bits arrived (for now) and I was able to finish my media PC.

Pros : VERY cheap, HDTV compatible, cool - cpu 40C max, gpu 57C max, looks good.

Cons : limited to 1080i, noisy case fans, mobo missing digital sound output.

OK a few bits to catch up on - I need some PS2 cable extenders so I can use it from my armchair, a fan controller to reduce the cpu and case fans noise, a sound card with optical output. No biggie, cost only £234 to build with some parts in hand, and have to spend another £20 odd to finish off.

Pics & details on my website if anyone's interested :
http://www.g8ina.enta.net/htpc/htpc.htm

(NB - extra security now fitted and big dog installed :) )
#3
Nice machine - just couple of questions:
1. Akasa is advertised as 'Silent' in Scan website. How silent is 'silent'? You said that fans are quite noisy?
2. There are no video input cards (tuners) in your system. How are you getting video into it or is this just for playing back Divx and such?
3. Is there reason (apart from the cost) for you not using RF/IR remote with it?
4. What was the reason of fitting that particular DVD-ROM (beige one)?
1 Like #4
Kommunist
Nice machine - just couple of questions:
1. Akasa is advertised as 'Silent' in Scan website. How silent is 'silent'? You said that fans are quite noisy?
2. There are no video input cards (tuners) in your system. How are you getting video into it or is this just for playing back Divx and such?
3. Is there reason (apart from the cost) for you not using RF/IR remote with it?
4. What was the reason of fitting that particular DVD-ROM (beige one)?


1 - Silent if you don't run the fans ! It really does need to have a controller of some sort. I'm buying the Akasa fan controller off ebay for a tenner.

2 - Yeah, .ts files, .mpg files and DivX files, no tuner yet. Cost constraint. Later.

3 - cost, on the cards for update later. Right now the kbd and mouse are on extender cables so I can drive it from my chair. Not ideal, but cost cost cost :)

4 - The black fronted one I had spare didn't work. Will either try and get a black front and swap it over, or wait to upgrade to a DVDRW later in black.
#5
Thanks!
banned#6
Also, vodafone has payg deal... I found that awesome.. BAD deal... this one
#7
ukdealson
Also, vodafone has payg deal... I found that awesome.. BAD deal... this one

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