I was bored this morning and decided to design a totally new PC. i probably wont need to do this for a while since i just built my Gaming system and i am very happy with it. The main purpose of this PC is to be in the living room because there is an 32-inch Polaroid HDTV there, but no cable box hooked up to it. The only use that HDTV gets is from my mom watching her Netflix DVD's so i feel bad because it's not even playing HD content. I think the only HD content it's ever played its me playing CoD4 or Bioshock it 720p. So i though this would be a good idea to give that HDTV some life.
Since there isn't going to be any serious gaming done on this PC and no overcloking whatsoever, i picked a pretty standard Motherboard. I choose the GIGABYTE G31M-SL2 first and foremost because it is very nicely priced at $60. and i just think its unbelievable for all it has. I originally picked an MSI ATX board but had to switch it up because of the case but ill get to that later. Yes this is a Micro ATX board, but its a micro ATX that packs a punch. It has a 1333Mhz FSB, PCIe x16, supports everything up to a Core 2 Quad (in the LGA 775 family that is), 6 channel audio and gigabit LAN. So I think it's going to be more than worth it.
My first pick for a case was that Thermatake HTPC case that had a built-in touchscreen and i thought the concept would be awesome but then again i gave it more though and realized that this PC was going to be made for you to sit back in a couch, not be right up to it messing with the 7-inch touchscreen, plus the monster was like $500. So i knew i had to cut it down. The i ran across the Antec Fusion. Saw some of the specs and noticed it had a pretty nice finish to plus it was closer to home on the wallet front so i decided to swap it up. I also like it because it came with an included 430W Power Supply so it'll save me more money.
Since im going to use this PC on an HDTV (primarily for my mom to watch her movies) I wanted more HD content to go through it that just my COD4. So i put in a Blu-ray drive on this system. If anyone told you a PS3 was the cheapest blu-ray player in the market they have lied to you. An OEM PC Blu-ray reader drive is the cheapest blu-ray option out there starting at $130. Yes that is a little step for a disc drive but i think its worth it. The Lucky Video Card that's going to be out-putting this glorious content was going to be an 8800GT because i though you needed a good card to play HD content but with a talk with one of my LAN Party friends, He saved me some cash by telling me i didn't need such a card. So i toned it down to an XFX 8600GT for $60.
Im definitely going to be clogging up the PCI slots in that MIcro-ATX board. I've already got an 8600 GT in there so i was thinking and i was like "ok, i've got HD content coming out of this thing." and then it just hit me that we didn't even have a cable box hocked up to the HDTV, so I put in there an HDTV Tuner, PCI interface. So not only can my mom watch her Blu-ray movies but also HDTV content and she can also record content straight to the Excelsior 160GB 7200 rpm Hard drive Im also putting in there. Some of you have never heard of Excelsior Hard Drives but i bought an 80GB hard drive from them and they are extremely affordable.
This HTPC (as it's name speaks) is going to be in the living room where the HDTV is. So it's going to be no where near a switch or a router. Well luckily for me i have a wireless G Netgear router. So instead of having to run a 40-foot ethernet cable from my game-room to the living room, i put in there a PCI interface, Wireless Draft N, network card. With 3 antennas coming out of it and 300Mbps WAN, and for $30, it was un-resistible.
Other internals components in the HTPC are pretty low grade i mean there wont be any overclocking done here so there's no need for for a third-party Heatsink like my ZALMAN CNPS9700. The Processor I choose was the Intel Core 2 Duo E4600. It's clocked pretty good and its Core 2 Duo. I pretty much looked for the cheapest Core 2 Duo out there. As far as RAM goes i did the same thing, choose the cheapest but the most efficient. Put in there the Corsair 2GB (2x1GB) since its about all that's going to fit on the Motherboard since it only has 2 DDR2 slots, plus its Corsair so i know its going to be good.
That was the sotry behind the components, now here's more of a list view of it all:
- Motherboard: GIGABYTE G31M-S2L
- Graphics: XFX Geforce 8600 GT
- Hard Drive: 160GB Excelsior 7200prm
- RAM: Corsair 2GB (2x1GB) TWINX
- Case: Antec Fusion Black
- CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo E4600 @ 2.4Ghz
- TV Tuner (Haven't chosen one)
- Disc Drive: Lite-on 2x Blu-ray reader
- Wireless Card: Trendnet TWE-623 PCI interface Draft-N card
All of these components are going to be running on Windows Vista Home Premium 32-bit
So far the cost for all its at $901. Hopefully it'll drop by the time i actually get to build it. My expected date is next summer.