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Help building a home theater PC

#11UberLurkerPosted 11/5/2012 9:47:41 AM
From: CaPwnD | #001
Requirements are that it handles HD video, 7.1 surround (5.1 would be acceptable, this isn't my main rig) and 2 monitors. Does not need to do any gaming at all.


Nowadays most modern video cards have an HDMI out in addition to their DVI outputs, this will satisfy the requirements you listed above very easily. If you're not gaming you won't need much horsepower as HD video is relatively easy on the hardware. I'm not too familiar with ATI offerings but my HTPC gets by with an old Nvidia GT430, only cost ~$50 ~6 months ago, plays 1080p content flawlessly and can run all but the most demanding games fairly well as a bonus.

Regarding the audio, I'll assume you already have an A/V receiver to run your HDMI (or analog/optical, depending on your setup) into, you'll need that if you want easy to implement 5.1/7.1 sound.

The rest of the system is up to you, I see some good suggestions above so you can use those as a framework. I've heard good things about Silverstone PSUs if you're looking for something very quiet yet reliable, I'm going to pick up one for myself one of these days.

From: ZeldaFan737 | #008
Resistance1 posted...
Get a Projector and paint a wall if you can.


This.

A projector is one of the best (if not the best) home-theater investments you can make.


Depends on what TCs ultimate goals are. Projector setups usually require very strict control of light levels (if you want to keep image quality high at least) so if the HTPC is being set up in a room with a lot of windows then a projector probably won't be ideal. Also, you ideally need a lot of wall space to do a projector justice so it's really a very specific solution.
#12CapwnD(Topic Creator)Posted 11/5/2012 10:06:36 AM
I have the AV equipment, and it's more for video than sound, so the toslink optical output is good enough for this setup. My main setup already has my gaming PC hooked up to it.

So It just has to be quiet, and relatively small. Definitely doesn't need to be gaming caliber.

I guess my confusion is where some of these have case fans and others don't seem to have case fans. I know you can get some nice 120mm case fans that are nearly silent, but I'd prefer to have none. Like my Ebox only had a fan on the processor, I think. It's so small and hard to get into that side of it.
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Thrash or be Thrashed
#13YoungAdultLinkPosted 11/5/2012 10:50:41 AM
There was a 7750 that doesn't use a fan, just a really big heatsink. Might want to look into that.
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Once we perfect building Mechs, I expect there to be a factory in Mexico pumping out a brand call Mechsican. I wanna buy me a Mechsican.
#14Cush1978Posted 11/5/2012 10:53:20 AM
I'm not running much HD stuff, but I have an ION PC running XBMC. It's pretty old; it has a Core 2 Duo 1.6GHz processor. The HD stuff I've tried has run fine and the box is quiet. Anyway, just another suggestion to look into; the ION line has been pretty decent.
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Cush - Wii Friend Code: 8824 6045 3862 1803
#15r0ge00Posted 11/5/2012 11:04:09 AM
You can use onboard for just about everything for basic HTPC use. I'd suggest you take the time to read through everything in the link by WerdrAndrew. It has some very good information.
#16CapwnD(Topic Creator)Posted 11/5/2012 11:05:25 AM
From: r0ge00 | #015
You can use onboard for just about everything for basic HTPC use. I'd suggest you take the time to read through everything in the link by WerdrAndrew. It has some very good information.

I did, I just worry about what I pick being too loud.
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Thrash or be Thrashed
#17r0ge00Posted 11/5/2012 11:10:47 AM
CaPwnD posted...
I did, I just worry about what I pick being too loud.


http://www.silentpcreview.com/

You should be fine with just a fan on the CPU. You could also look into fanless PSUs. They're fairly expensive though.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817151097
#18CapwnD(Topic Creator)Posted 11/5/2012 12:31:59 PM
Oh yeah SilentPC... Forgot about that place. I'll use that and some suggestions above to work this out.
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Thrash or be Thrashed
#19CapwnD(Topic Creator)Posted 11/10/2012 3:45:00 PM
Still working on this, don't want this topic to purge yet.
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Thrash Zone
#20me1122Posted 11/10/2012 4:20:18 PM
Amd trinity apu. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819113283

decent fm2 motherboard http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157332

heres a 500GB hdd http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822148855

300W 80+ psu. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817151086


$30 or so case http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811147023

All and all should be under $350.