Anyone have a HTPC guide? (Hmm... proximon???)


Feb 7, 2009
Anyone link me a guide to a good HTPC components guide, like proximon's sticky at the top?

I just recently built a gaming comp a few months ago and am looking to build a HTPC. From what I've read in the forums, (and please correct me if im wrong) HTPC is basically opposite of a gaming PC...
-Low power/heat consumption
-More CPU intensive than GPU, meaning I dont care about GPU performance that much except for the connections (DVI, HDMI)
-AMD>Intel processors are generally better for HTPC
-Size, not performance matters for HDD (something like WD Green?)
-No overclocking (more heat)

here's what im hoping to do on my HTPC:
-watch .mkv files that i ripped/downloaded
-lightly browse the web
-Tivo and DVR stuff not important at all (i rarely record stuff)
-Watch DVDs for now, upgrade to blu-ray drive eventually.
-Connect it to my 1080p 46" samsung lcd tv.

-How to choose AMD processor/Mobo for HTPC
-How much power PSU needs
-I see that everyone has a TV Tuner. If i dont want/need DVR and own a comcast cable box, do I still need one? If so, how to choose?
-Does the DTV transition affect anything?

Thanks to everyone on TH forums!


Feb 7, 2009
proximon!! thanks for your help.

i have compiled my components so far:

AMD Athlon X2 4850e 2.5GHz 2 x 512KB L2 Cache Socket AM2 45W Dual-Core Processor

ASUS M3A78-EM AM2+/AM2 AMD 780G HDMI Micro ATX AMD Motherboard

Western Digital Caviar Green WD10EADS 1TB 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive

Antec earthwatts EA380 380W Continuous Power ATX12V v2.0 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Power Supply

SAPPHIRE 100252HDMI Radeon HD 4550 512MB 64-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Low Profile Ready Video Card

-why the 5050e over the 4850e?
-if i choose either the gigabyte mobo you linked me or the asus mobo, do i even need the 4550 GPU? is integrated good enough for 1080p blu ray watching? (also, which is better)
-im planning on using W7 but can't decide whether to get 2GB of ram+32bit W7 or 4GB+64bit W7
-is there anything worth waiting for between now and the end of the year? im not in that big of a hurry.

thank you proximon! you helped me on my last gaming build and i appreciate your time.
The integrated GPU on the 780G board will play Blu-Ray just fine. There's no need for the 4550. You'll only NEED 2GB of RAM, but with the current price of RAM I'd get 4GB. I'd also get a 64-bit OS. Pretty much all the previous cons to a 64-bit OS have been resolved. I see no reason to buy a 32-bit OS for any new build.


Feb 7, 2009
hey shortstuff, thanks for your input about the 4550. I guess I can save that 40 bucks.

but what about playing .mkv files in windows 7? Ive read that there are some problems bc theres no haali media splitter for 64 bit.

Also, what real benefit will i get from the 2 extra gigs of ram. As a HTPC, I wont really be multitasking, just watching a single video or light browsing.


Apr 16, 2009
If you have 2GB you probably don't need the 64-bit OS. You won't see much difference, my HTPC rig has 1GB DDR ram its plays VC-1/ Bluray fine. Browsing is quick and applications are fast anyways.