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HTPC Suggestions?

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#1 Joe User

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Posted 09 July 2014 - 16:15

After many fine years of service, my old Intel Q6600 based Windows media center PC is falling apart, I'm looking for advice on putting together a new one.

 

Basically, I need something that stays on 24/7 and records up to 5 HD streams from a HD HomeRun Prime and HDHR, so Windows Media Center is a must. I'm more concerned with the most stable and power efficient CPU/VIDEO/MB/Memory combos. Integrated graphics are fine as long as they work via HDMI to a HDTV and can handle Blu-ray/HDTV playback with audio.

 

I already have a blu-ray drive, power supply, and case. Though if anyone knows of a slick desktop style case that takes a ATX PS, and isn't too expensive, I would switch.

 

Thanks!

 




#2 Mindovermaster

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Posted 09 July 2014 - 16:22

What PSU do you have? Also, what case?



#3 OP Joe User

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Posted 09 July 2014 - 17:18

What PSU do you have? Also, what case?

 

It's a Corsair CS450M. The case is a Thermaltake tower, don't remember the model number, standard ATX tower. Unfortunately it doesn't fit on my shelf, which is why I'm open to a nice desktop case.



#4 Dashel

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Posted 09 July 2014 - 17:37

Check out the Corsair Obsidian 250D or the Bitfenix cube.  A new mini mobo and an i5 should do the rest unless you want to add a discrete GPU for gaming.  You'll need Win8 Pro if you want media center addon...



#5 Mindovermaster

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Posted 09 July 2014 - 17:47

He doesn't need an i5. He isn't gaming. He doesn't have to use Windows 8



#6 tmcclelland455

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Posted 09 July 2014 - 17:54

I would say you should get something like a 250D (in the interest of making it smaller), a Pentium or i3, and a decent mini-ITX motherboard from someone like ASUS, MSI, or Gigabyte (my 3 favorite manufacturers). And as I recall, Windows 7 Home Premium has the Windows Media Center program with it.

 

If you don't want a smaller case, then just get a micro-ATX motherboard from one of my 3 preferred manufacturers.



#7 Deihmos

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Posted 09 July 2014 - 17:59

You can get a low powered Pentium system for a low price or an i3 but that is overkill for an HTPC. A Mini ITX is good for the small form factor.

 

The intel nuc also makes a great HTPC. I have one of those in my bedroom and a zotac Celeron in another.



#8 Dashel

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Posted 09 July 2014 - 19:56

He doesn't need an i5. He isn't gaming. He doesn't have to use Windows 8

He didn't mention his budget so that's debatable for the relative price difference, especially if he decides to transcode something.  If you need to save some bucks, sure, go with the i3 or lower if efficiency is king.

 

He doesn't have to use Win8 (I'm not sure his DVR supports it) but if he does, he will need Pro (I've seen many get surprised by that still).



#9 +LogicalApex

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Posted 09 July 2014 - 20:19

I use an Intel NUC to fit this role. Does it perfectly while being low on power, noise, and size.

#10 OP Joe User

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Posted 09 July 2014 - 22:37

I'm not gaming, so no need for a Core I5 unless the price difference isn't too much. I don't transcode much.

 

I will be using Windows 8.1, since the current system is 8.1, I'm just going to move the license from the old machine. The system must run Windows 7 or 8.1 as it's using cable card.

 

I have looked at a NUC, but I have dozens of blu-rays and would like to keep the Blu-Ray drive in the system if possible. Also, with the NUC I'm looking at laptop HDD's, I currently have 3TB, I would like to keep that or expand.



#11 OP Joe User

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Posted 10 July 2014 - 20:09

I've decided I'm going to go with a Core i3-4130T, figure it should give me enough graphics power with the integrated HD 4400 and it only uses 35W.





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