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QOTW: What are the best components for a £650 HTPC?

by Parm Mann on 6 June 2014, 16:30

Quick Link: HEXUS.net/qacfgf

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It's time to get those thinking caps on, folks. We know there are plenty of enthusiasts and expert system builders in the HEXUS forums, so for the latest instalment of our Question of the Week, we're asking you to pick out what you deem to be the best possible components for a home theatre PC (HTPC).

And we have but one requirement: the total cost of all components must add up to less than £650.

So, working with that amount of cash, what do you go for? We reckon the budget should allow for a build that doubles as a gaming rig, is ultra-quiet, stylish and small enough to fit neatly into an AV rack.

But enough of what we think, how would you approach such a build? Let us know your component choices using this forum thread and remember to budget for everything related to the PC - meaning an operating system will be needed, as will a remote/controller of your choice.



HEXUS Forums :: 20 Comments

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Depends what you want from a media centre, how much storage for example. Do you want a blu-ray drive or not.

How about Intel NUC i5 c £200, Tranquil fanless case £100, 8GB memory £60, MSata 256GB £120, Windows 8.1+Media centre £100, My Movies add on, keyboard mouse combo: £20: total price £600

For the more adventurous:

AMD A10 (£100), Motherboard (£60), memory (£70) get the 1.35v low profile, SSD 128Gb (£60), HD 1TB (£45), Nano PSU (£90) Streamcon silent case (£220) total: £645. And use Linux + XBMC!


Alternatively blow the budget!!

Streamcom FC5 case is a beaut (£220) or HDPLEX H3S (£150) , Blu ray (£120), 256Gb SSD (£125), Memory (£70), Nano PSU (£90) Intel i7-4790T (£250) MiniITX z97 (£110) c£1000 software would be Windows 8.1, My Movies, PowerDVD 14
hi,at the moment you can get a a 4k htpc at 24hz.So i would recommend Z87e-itx + i3 4130T + a slim htpc case with sfx supply (at least 300w) + an Asus BW-16D1HTbd writer (very silent)<>not the best
+ GeminII M4 + 2000mhz cheap ram(transcend in my case) +windows 8.1 + mpc-HC + 64GB msata + NAS (with 4tb WD RED) –nad you have a total of=
Pick up a laptop for £250 with HDMI, Powered USB3 Hub £50 for a good one. Let's see that leaves £300 for Harddrives for storing everything… could get three 3TB USB3 externals at £80 each… leaves £60 for Wireless Remote / Keyboard / Mouse etc.

As it's a laptop and a few externals it'll fit wherever you like, be quiet, and barely sip power. Most laptops are 15-30w, Hard drives will power down to 1-2w idle and no more'n 12w running.
I'm just going to leave this here for now, since the link in the article seems to be broken.

http://pcpartpicker.com/user/letsrace567/saved/D8vqqs

This is pretty close to what I'd build for an HTPC. I like the look of the 250D, although it's admittedly not the smallest mITX case out there. I chose the quad core chip because I had the room in the budget. The SSD was a must, and 128GB of storage is more than enough for an HTPC if the content comes either from the Blu-Ray drive or streamed from the built-in wireless on the MB. Power supply is gold rated and has a little headroom for a mild discrete GPU down the road, and a single stick of 4GB RAM is more than enough for general use. A wireless KB/Mouse are essential for the living room IME - remotes and controllers just don't cut it for me. I've found that W8.1 works well for multimedia, and quick boot times (>10sec) are awesome for a media centre too.

Add a couple quiet fans and a quiet CPU cooler, and that brings the budget to £640.

PS- I live in Canada, so this rig would cost me ~$870.