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Joined: 16 Oct 2011

So, I'm looking to "cut the cord" so to speak to save some money in the long run.  I'm looking to build my first HTPC, but having a background building gaming rigs leaves me a bit deserted here.  I'm used to building with a high budget, but this will not be.  However, I am looking to do something different.  I have an old stereo unit (furniture) which is fairly large.  (I will post a picture as soon as I can for reference)  I would like to gut this and turn it into my HTPC unit.  Does anyone have any suggestions or point me somewhere to find information about doing something like this? 

     Here's what I will be using the HTPC for:  Bluray Disc playback, DVD playback, OTA HD programming, show recording and playback (not worried about commercial skipping software right now).  The rest of my show watching will be done through the internet.  My general philosophy for building has always been, "If you can't afford the best right now, at least get the best motherboard you can afford.  You can always upgrade components later."  I will assume this still applies? 

     I've been surfing the guides for a few days now.  So I know I will have to invest a few bucks to get to where I want to be.  (Luckily my wife is on board as well, though she is a little reluctant about the modification)  Let me know what you guys think and the basics that I will need to get started.  Any help is appreciated.  Thanks ahead of time.


Mike Garcen's picture
Joined: 1 Oct 2006

oh, the quest to re-use an old stereo equipment!! i've wanted to do that probably since the beginning of my HTPC days, but never had the tools/time to do so. but i have of course read a TON of build logs for people that did it. Best trick i've seen people do is re-use the motherboard/backplate tray from a cheap case, which makes mounting your motherboard safer/easier.

as far as recommendations go, there's so many options for you. It's way different than the gaming world when it comes to budgeting. The motherboards aren't NEARLY as expensive as gaming, instead the focus on the motherboard is the graphics capabilities of it.

Any preference on AMD/INTEL? Obviously you'll save a little on AMD, but both have their pros and cons. I HIGHLY recommend reading our recent reviews on both platform motherboards as they'll give you some great details.

Mike Garcen (shadymg) MissingRemote Editor-in-Chief Windows Entertainment and Connected Home MVP (formerly Media Center MVP) Twitter @mikegarcen MissingRemote on Facebook

Aaron Ledger's picture
Joined: 6 Aug 2010

If you ever plan to use your NIC for any type of video applications, Intel mobos are recommended. Unfortunately, most other manufacturers are using Realtek NICs which are often a source of frustration when trying to do things on the network.

Senior Editor | @swoon_

Joined: 4 Apr 2007

Mike Garcen wrote:

Obviously you'll save a little on AMD, but both have their pros and cons.

It isn't obvious anymore.  Intel has been really aggressive w/ SNB pricing. 

Senior Editor | @babgvant

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