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HTPC for girlfriend


BizaroStormy
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So my GF's birthday is coming up next month so I'm building her a HTPC for her room so she can watch movies and stuff.

Well actually she wants to build it so she can learn how to, but I will be showing her how.

The goal of this build is to be small, play blue-rays, GLOW BLUE (her decision not mine lol), play games, and not kill my bank account.

It also must include everything all peripherals and OS, also I won't be overclocking this build because its not mine and she gets frustrated easily if stuff breaks lol.

 

Here is what I have so far and what I have payed:

BFG 9600gt ~ free (from previous build)

4GB ddr2 1066mhz AMP brand RAM ~ free (bought more than I needed when it was cheep about a year ago)

windows 7 64-bit ~ free (from school, woot college of engineering)

Athlon II x3 425 = $45 (from OCfreak)

500GB WD green HDD = $44 (got on sale at newegg)

generic blue backlit keyboard = $24 (link: http://www.amazon.com/Black-LED-Lighted-Keyboard-W-9868BK/dp/B002VKMO0G/ref=sr_1_13?ie=UTF8&s=electronics&qid=1274505337&sr=8-13)

Logitech V220 blue mouse = $25 (amazon)

Thermaltake Lanbox lite case = $79 (amazon)

Samsung SyncMaster 2494LW 24" = $175 (bought from dell, $65 rebate from slickdeals)

Total so far : $392

I got the things I did from amazon because of the free shipping, saved $20 on the case alone that way.

 

What I still need: MB, PSU, Blueray player, Blueray software, CPU cooler (mabe)

 

Here are the components I have planned so far:

htpcbuild.jpg

 

I like Gigabyte and ASUS motherboards, I picked this one because I know I won't have to upgrade the bios for the cpu I have, there was a cheaper Gigabyte one but there is a chance that its default bios won't support the CPU I have.

I picked that PSU because it is cheep ($35 after MIR) and glows blue and is semi-modular, also got decent reviews on newegg (that at least tells me its not DOA 50% of the time loll).

I picked the blue orb II because its blue and glows blue, and its supposed to be dead silent. A little worried about clearance with the back 20mm wide 60mm fans in the lanbox lite. Supposed to be ok if the MB is a standard microATX board (can anyone confirm that that board has standard CPU position?) or should I not even bother with an aftermarket cooler? how loud is the stock AMD one?

I also heard that noctua thermal compound is supposed to be better than AS5, I have a 4 year old tube of AS5 but heard it goes bad, what do you guys think? Would rather not buy more thermal grease if I don't have to.

Total cost after new components ~ $616 + some shipping.

 

So what do you guys think? any cheeper or better components I should get? Did I get a good deal on what I have already gotten?

Also need help on what software to use for blue-ray playback, I have no knowledge in this area and would really appreciate some help picking one out, or even finding a free one if they are out there.

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I think you'll be perfectly fine with the stock AMD cooler on that. So long as it has the stock heatsink with it, you'll be perfectly fine with that since you are not planning to overclock. You shouldn't need anything more than that imo.

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I think you'll be perfectly fine with the stock AMD cooler on that. So long as it has the stock heatsink with it, you'll be perfectly fine with that since you are not planning to overclock. You shouldn't need anything more than that imo.

 

Ya I think ill just stick a 80mm blue led fan on the stock heatsink so she can get the glow effect she wants.

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Looks good! I have two suggestions however.

 

First, what games does she want to play? If you're talking about Spore and stuff like that, she would do fine on a nice HD4200.

 

Second, you could get away for cheaper with an NVIDIA mobo, but they don't have as many features as the one you chose.

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Looks good! I have two suggestions however.

 

First, what games does she want to play? If you're talking about Spore and stuff like that, she would do fine on a nice HD4200.

 

Second, you could get away for cheaper with an NVIDIA mobo, but they don't have as many features as the one you chose.

 

She plays random games that attract her attention so don't know what she will play exactly, mostly RPGs. The 9600 is just sitting in my closet so I'm just going to give her it.

 

I really hate Nvidia chipsets, my 680i has been a nightmare and wont run any memory over 800mhz and there is no way to update its bios (got a "special edition" that turned out to be an engineering sample :glare: ) so I'm willing to pay an extra $15 for a better chipset.

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She plays random games that attract her attention so don't know what she will play exactly, mostly RPGs. The 9600 is just sitting in my closet so I'm just going to give her it.

 

I really hate Nvidia chipsets, my 680i has been a nightmare and wont run any memory over 800mhz and there is no way to update its bios (got a "special edition" that turned out to be an engineering sample :glare: ) so I'm willing to pay an extra $15 for a better chipset.

Ah, looks like I missed the point that you already have the 9600GT. It's a solid build, then!

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I JUST built a PC with a Gigabte AM3 mATX board and that cooler, and while it fits perfect (doesn't protrude past the top of the board) it does press against my Mushkin RAM in the first slot. It is quiet and cools very well though.

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Most Blu-Ray drives should come with software to play them, and possibly burn them. Of course, a Blu-Ray burner is more expensive (mine was $80 more than the drive that could only read Blu-Rays, would still burn DVD's though).

I have an LG drive and it came with Cyberlink Power DVD (not a full version, just meant to give the drive use). I cannot tell you much about other software suites, but I've heard that Arcsoft Total Media is a decent competitor to Power DVD, so it is generally one of those two that come packaged with drives. Only thing that annoys me about Power DVD is that the mouse cannot control the disc menus (at least for Blu-Rays); you have to use the arrow keys (or a remote, I would assume, but I don't have one for my computer).

I cannot offer much advice about what drive to get, beyond that I am very happy with my LG, and that it has a blue LED for its operating light.

Seriously, she wants it to glow? To each their own. I generally try to block all of the light sources in my room when I watch a movie. If it's what she wants, have fun and I truly hope it comes out well. If you want you can tell her Happy Birthday from some random guy at the OCC forums.

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