Description

I built this dedicated HTPC after using my main desktop as a headless HTPC to test out a WMC setup in the house for a few months. Everything was stable and I've been a couple months without a TWC cable box or DVR.

I decided to go to a dedicated HTPC to connect to a TV so that I could have 1 more WMC setup (vs. buying another extender) and to decouple the HTPC from the desktop. I prefer Intel based builds. Price was a minor goal but certainly not a requirement to build the least expensive system.

The setup includes the HTPC with 2 WMC Extenders (1 xbox360, 1 ceton Echo).

The HTPC build is using a spare 2.5" HDD for the OS drive that I had laying around. I considered an SSD but the performance was OK for not spending any more money. If a deal pops up on an SSD, I'll switch over.

Recordings are stored on the 2 2TB red drives (raid 1 - mirroring). The OS drive image is backed up to storage drive weekly.

OS is windows 7 which I also already had.

The setup is using a HDHomerun Prime as a tuner. Everything is connected with hardwired gigabit Ethernet.

It currently doesn't include an optical drive; I may put a DVD drive in but I already have a standalone unit.

Total price for the build was $490 from eBay (i3), newegg (ASrock, WD HDDs, Silverstone case, PSU), and Amazon (Corsair).

Comments

  • 81 months ago
  • 3 points

great little build and I'm really glad you didn't fry your system by having it on the motherboard anti static bag when you turned it on. The way those bags are designed they have a metalized lining within them and can very easily cause a short and fry components not specifically the best choice. The best alternative is to do that right on the box itself without the bag. (EDIT) I didn't see you also kept it in its foam >_< if / when you power a motherboard on various parts of it can get really hot, not the best thing to have easily melted materials holding or under it.

  • 81 months ago
  • 1 point

Yea, it was on the foam. It wasn't hot at all but good comments. I usually use cardboard but the MB came in such nice foam =)

  • 81 months ago
  • 2 points

Quick Tip for people suggesting AMD cpus. If you are planning on a HTPC for Media and not Gaming, Intel is your best choice since the computer will mostly be always on. Intel draws less energy and heat compared to a A8 or A10. Yes price may be higher.. but energy bill will be lower.

  • 81 months ago
  • 1 point

How's that i3 doing? I'm planning on using it in a build that I'll make for my mom, and she does basic things.

  • 81 months ago
  • 1 point

I got that exact same CPU in a security surveillance system. Its on 24/7 with motion detection. No problems what so ever for it. Its a real small powerhorse.

  • 81 months ago
  • 1 point

Good component choices for a HTPC. Do you have a tuner, or is it strictly streaming/downloaded media? How are the acoustics on the red drives?

  • 81 months ago
  • 1 point

I'm using a HDHomerun Prime. The red drives are quiet. The OS drive can be heard a little if you are up close but not too bad.

  • 81 months ago
  • 1 point

<3 the HDHomerun Prime. You know you can stream direct uPNP on copy freely channels now with the latest firmware. We are finally unshackled from WMC (although I love WMC some of my devices won't pass the DCA test).

  • 81 months ago
  • 1 point

I usually refrain from commenting on these builds since I know very little about them. But I want to say thanks for the good pics of the build in its stages. Great little build.

  • 81 months ago
  • 1 point

...Is it just me, or is he really missing his PSU???

  • 81 months ago
  • 3 points

Not anymore!

  • 81 months ago
  • 1 point

The AMD A10 5800K probably would have been a better choice and faster RAM is very helpful for APU's.

  • 81 months ago
  • 3 points

while i do agree with your comment, there's nothing wrong with using an i3 for a HTPC. at least the OP has the option to expand to an entry-level discrete GPU if need be.

  • 81 months ago
  • 1 point

For this case, yes, an APU would be great, especially if he wanted to play games on it or such. Maybe not quite an A10 (more like an A8), but definitely an APU.

  • 81 months ago
  • 1 point

How does it do temp wise? I am about to purchase a nearly identical build..I wanted to get the GD05B case but can't find locally and I don't feel like buying online...so was going to get the ML03 but it doesn't come with fans so curious how it handles that?

  • 81 months ago
  • 1 point

Temperature isn't bad, it is at 31C while watching 3 streams. It only has the CPU fan running.

I really like the slim profile of the ML03. Getting 3 HDD in was a challenge but not impossible.

  • 81 months ago
  • 1 point

31C while streaming is great!

I ended up ordering the GD05B instead. I don't intend to put hard drives in my system as they are on my main PC and attached wired to my network...but I might reconsider that..hrm.

Off topic but question, do you run XBMC and if so do you know if XBMC stores the library images (like cover art etc) in the same place as XBMC is installed or does it install it where the actual library files are?

  • 80 months ago
  • 1 point

I run W7, WMC.

  • 77 months ago
  • 1 point

I really like the case, it’s compact and doesn’t leave much room to tidy cables but the way you have them stashed will still give you good airflow, which is the main thing.

Voted up!

Btw, how much did you pay for you MOBO? It’s not showing up on your list.

  • 59 months ago
  • 1 point

I'm a little late to the party, but hopefully you can respond to this. I saw you have a Harmony remote, what IR reciever are you using? I'm trying to find a creative way to implement one in my HTPC, and I didn't see anything in your photos. I just have a USB reciever sitting on top of my box... Kinda counter-productive to the "professional" appearance I'm going for with mine

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