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Cheap and dirty htpc
by scuryvsailor
Permalink:   (16 comments)

Processor: Bought open box from micro center. Pleasantly surprised when it worked without any problems and runs fairly cool to boot.

Mobo: Looked around for a bit for the cheapest mini-itx w/hdmi board I could find.

Memory: Bought the cheapest 4gig stick at the time. I plan on eventually putting in another stick.

HD: it spins

SSD: I realize these are not the highest performing ssds but for 40 bucks I couldn't pass it up. Definitely makes a huge difference in boot time and general os "snappiness"

Case: Also bought this open box from microcenter. One of the side panels was a little dinged up and there is leftover tape goo from being wrapped up in a warehouse that I need to work on to remove, but other than that in good condition and no missing parts or screws. I'm on the fence about my decision to use this case. Fantastic build quality and incredible ease of use. Honestly makes me never want to build in a cheap case again. But on the flip side it is a little large for an htpc and the handles make it even bulkier than it needs to be. tl;dr awesome case not sure I should have used it for an htpc.

Power supply: this is the actual power supply (http://www.microcenter.com/product/399332/600W_Modular_Extreme_Power_Supply_-_Refurbished) that I bought but it was not in pcpartpicker's database so I just put in the other one as a filler. Been awesome so far. Definitely enjoy the modular aspect although it was a but of a squeeze into the prodigy. Obviously major overkill for what it's currently running.

Wireless adapter: works perfectly. Got the cheapest one I could find because I will be getting google fiber in the next couple months so I definitely plan on running some ethernet to it after that.

Keyboard: A great deal for 25 bucks. Does exactly what I needed it to do.

OS: Got a free copy of windows 8.1 as a student.

Software: currently running xbmc with couchpotato, sickrage, and maraschino. XBMC is great because it is completely controllable through an ios app which makes it simple and easy for my wife. Setting up the software side of things was pretty dang frustrating, especially with minimal experience with sickrage/sickbeard which is not at all intuitive. Although now that it is actually running smoothly it is really satisfying.

I've thought about eventually putting an i3/5 in it paired with a 270x/280 to run a little steam bpm. But really I have no need to use it for gaming other than to be able to game from the couch. And as I have not yet built a nas/mediaserver (next project) I currently run this 24/7 so those components would add quite a bit to my tdp and increase the cost of running it.

Part List
Date PublishedJuly 22, 2014
Date BuiltJuly 11, 2014
Intel Celeron G1620 2.7GHz Dual-Core Processor
CPU Clock Rate2.7GHz
CPU Temperature While Idle32.0° C
CPU Temperature Under Load45.0° C
When commenting on a completed build please keep your feedback polite and constructive, particularly if commenting on part choices and possible alternatives.
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Sorted by:
CanadianPenguin [3 Builds] 5 points 6 months ago

Fellow Prodigy brother!

SothothFatalis 3 points 6 months ago

I'd imagine a GTX 750 and that same Celeron G1620 would handle anything well enough from couch range (probably 720p/900p/1080p, 30/40fps, high/ultra settings depending on the game) without bringing the TDP up much. It'd end up being overall a bit stronger than an Xbox One, at least.

scuryvsailor [Submitter] [1 Build] 2 points 6 months ago

Good call, I'll have to keep my out for a sale on one of those. The reason I was initially leaning towards a 270x is because I have seen them on ebay for about 110 which is about the same as the 750 but at the expense of increased power and heat.

coolguy562 [1 Build] 3 points 6 months ago

Does the wireless adapter work well? I'm looking for the cheapest one I can get while still getting good performance. How is the range on it?

scuryvsailor [Submitter] [1 Build] 1 point 6 months ago

It works great so far. I'm using it at a range of about 50 ft through a wall with excellent reception.

coolguy562 [1 Build] 1 point 6 months ago


malcar11 [3 Builds] 2 points 6 months ago

BitFenix fellow! Congrats.


SneakyBastardSword 2 points 6 months ago

good buld +1.

If i ever get a media center PC itl be my raspberry pi lol

scuryvsailor [Submitter] [1 Build] 1 point 6 months ago

I wanted something that was a little more responsive and with the ability to maybe run some games in the future. This build was actually an upgrade from an old jailbroken apple tv 2 which served as my previous media hub.

SneakyBastardSword 2 points 6 months ago

Yeah, I was just saying that I would probably just load my Pi with some linux-based media center-type OS, not that you should have done that too. If you want the ability to run games later, this is just fine.

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Zedzer [1 Build] 2 points 6 months ago

I honestly never knew a processor could cost 12 dollars. XD +1 for a great build over here. Just add in a video card and you are set.

scuryvsailor [Submitter] [1 Build] 1 point 6 months ago

these lower end celerons can be found pretty easily for 20-30 and then buying it open box knocked off another 10 or so

samsoundar16 1 point 6 months ago

Where did you get that G.Skill RAM for $31? I can't find it anywhere for that price.

scuryvsailor [Submitter] [1 Build] 1 point 6 months ago

I bought the ram and wd blue from newegg using the 15 off 50 iphone coupon. So basically saved my 7 bucks on each item. And when i bought the ram it was already on promo for 38 bucks.

xBajamonsteRx [2 Builds] 1 point 6 months ago

+1 Nice!

reoper6 1 point 6 months ago

Thats a nice pc actually gj and the dog dirtied it <.<

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