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HTPC using spare parts - Dan-H - 05-17-2014

I have a couple old systems that have died or are no longer useful and I'm looking to see if I can build a decent HTPC without much cost or effort.

edit: reading more about HTPC I'm really looking for a small PC that will fit in my cabinet vs a true HTPC

Parts:
Intel Core 2 Quad Q8400 Processor 2.66 GHz, 4MB L2 cache, 1333 MHz FSB (MoBo is dead)
4GB PC3-10600 memory 4x 1GB
Win7 64 operating system
Antec earthwatts 340w PSU
OEM Dell 460w PSU

nVidia GT 635 GPU

Intel 320 80G SSD
2x WD Caviar Black 640G 3.5" 7200 rpm hard drive
an older DVDRW (I forget the brand)
an older CDRW, an older DVD reader
a memory card reader
and likely a floppy drive too Smile

I have a wireless keyboard with trackpad and have other keyboard mice lying about.

display is an older, but still vibrant 50" 720p panasonic plasma TV 1366 x 768. If this dies, it will be replaced with a 19x10 1080p flat panel.

Looking for recommendations for a LGA775 mobo, and I'll need a case that can lay flat and fit on a shelf sized for home stereo/video gear. Height can be 8 to 10 inches high, but 6" would fit better.

I'll also need a wifi card or wifi/USB and maybe a sound card?

does this seem worth the effort?

Thanks
Dan

some specific questions.

will the GT 635 work with PCI E 2.x? the older MoBo's list 2.x

is the LGA775 CPU worth keeping vs getting a new cpu and mobo?


RE: HTPC using spare parts - Rapajez - 05-19-2014

Before I ask/answer anything else, what do you intend to use this system for? Dumping your media to a hard drive, recording/viewing live TV? What type of content are you expecting to view on this system?

If you just want NetFlix, Hulu, and Streaming, check out a $35 ChromeCast. Smile If you want more, we'll go from there.


RE: HTPC using spare parts - Dan-H - 05-20-2014

(05-19-2014, 03:39 PM)Rapajez Wrote: Before I ask/answer anything else, what do you intend to use this system for? Dumping your media to a hard drive, recording/viewing live TV? What type of content are you expecting to view on this system?

If you just want NetFlix, Hulu, and Streaming, check out a $35 ChromeCast. Smile If you want more, we'll go from there.

That's a really good question. I haven't really thought about the end use.

I find at times we want to surf, or watch a youtube vid as a family, or view photos' but we end up doing this on a small tablet. We get streaming movies via a blu ray player with wifi and built-in apps, and this does OK, but the interface is clunky. It gets youtube too, but you have to know what you want to watch because the search is miserable.

My initial question was do I bother keeping the intel Q8400 and lock myself into socket 775, or do I buy a newer mobo and CPU.

However, without a clear picture of what i'm doing with this makes it hard to answer.

I guess my real motivation is I have a pile-o-parts looking for a home.


RE: HTPC using spare parts - PwnBroker - 05-21-2014

the q8400 is probably as viable as a HTPC as it was 5 years ago. it doesnt take much for a HTPC setup. ive built a few off of the AMD apu's and the silverstone ml04/ml04.(very tight fit for the components but it works for a neat little budget HTPC/steambox style gamer.)

if you use any case smaller than 5 inches then you will probably need a low profile faceplate for the gt 635, maybe.

this case will work without any mods though:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?gclid=CKn2gJOBvr4CFcHm7AodHWkAug&Item=N82E16811163205&nm_mc=KNC-GoogleAdwords&cm_mmc=KNC-GoogleAdwords-_-pla-_-HTPC+%2f+Media+Center+Cases-_-N82E16811163205&ef_id=U30hGgAABeGlGwlo:20140521215642:s

as for the mother board, do a search on newegg and pick whichever micro atx fits your needs(if you go with a micro atx case.)

good luck


RE: HTPC using spare parts - Rapajez - 05-27-2014

I know it probably isn't as fun as a home theatre PC, but the Chromecast is essentially an extension of your mobile device. It's about the size of a thumbdrive that plugs into an open HDMI port. For Youtube, you select the video's you want on your phone, tablet, laptop, etc, and they play on the TV. Netflix, Hulu, Google Movies work the same. There's a limited Chrome support, that will mirror your browsing session and even a PC desktop.

You can also check out "Plex" media server, which now works with Chromecast, and will allow you to sync photos, stream video and music from just about any 2 devices. It's pretty robust. You can stream from a designated server at home, to a phone when, even when you're away from the house, stream from your phone to your Xbox, auto sync content between devices, etc. Again, might not be what you're looking for, but it's one option. Even without the Chromecast, worth checking out.

As far as a HTPC, if you want to record TV, or use a IR remote, be sure to pick up a tuner card (or a mobo with one built in).


RE: HTPC using spare parts - PwnBroker - 05-31-2014

+1 on the tuner card, and if you have cable you might look into a cable card as well. other than Plex, windows media center (WMC) included in windows 7 also works well in a HTPC.

here is a thread that has some info on the subject:

http://forums.hardware-revolution.com/showthread.php?tid=3899&highlight=HTPC

it turned out really well for filosophy.

good luck