HTPC starter (noob)


New member
Username: Bigmac_13


Post Number: 1
Registered: Aug-07
I am exploring the idea of putting a home theater into my basement. I called dell and the computer they tried to sell me cost $5000... I guessing I don't need all that to do what I want.

I would like to for a min:
1) Store my large DVD collection on the computer so I don't have to have room for storage of cases, don't have to get up to switch disks ect...

So I am looking at prob 2 x 1TB hard drives with 2G memory. But no clue on what CPU.

2) Play them through this projector:
Panasonic PT-AE1000U Wide-Screen (1920 x 1080) LCD Home Theater Projector, 1100 ANSI Lumens, MFR# PTAE1000U

So what video card would i need to have the best quality picture through that projector and if I hook it up to a regular TV?

Dell recommended: 768MB Nvidia GeForce 8800 GTX card

3) Play them through this stereo:
Onkyo TX-SR875 THX Ultra2 7 x 140W 7.1-Channel Home Theater Receiver - 1080p Upscaling, HQV Reon-VX Chip, AUDYSSEY MultEQ XT, HDMI, Burr-Brown DACs, Dolby TrueHD, DTS-HD, THX, WRAT, XM-HD/Sirius-Ready, Multi-Room, VLSC

Dell recommends: Sound Blaster X-Fi XtremeGamer (D) Sound Card... Is this good enough to give me the audio I want for the stero and speakers I want to use?

So for a start I guess I need to know what CPU to get if I need a fast high end processor or if a basic will do (celeron, amd), and if the cards listed above will work or are they to much or not enough. I don't need any extra software like dell wanted to sell me Office... I figured I would use WINDVD unless there was somthing better for mutliple catalogs.

Also what OS is best? XP, Media Center, Vista???

Any and all help and tips are appreciated!

New member
Username: Bigmac_13


Post Number: 2
Registered: Aug-07
Im going to be leaving for the weekend soon, is there anyone who can get me headed in the right direction?

New member
Username: Bigmac_13


Post Number: 3
Registered: Aug-07
I would really like some help!

New member
Username: Ttsto


Post Number: 9
Registered: Aug-07
Hi Ryan

I built myself the HTPC starting from a Silversone Lascala case. It cames with remote control and software similar with Media Center from Microsoft.
I used a silent source (no fan) from Silverstone and passive cooled video card Geforce 8600GTS (more than enough for HD movies)
I have two Samsung HDD each 500GB attached with special screws to minimize vibration and DVD RW unit
Extra cooling is provided by two virtually silent Nexus fans
CPU is Intel Core 2 Duo E6600, with Zalman 9500 cooler that runs, again virtually silent, 2GB of RAM
Audio card is M Audio Audiophile 9624

Back to your questions:
Look for Intel Core 2 Duo processor, it have low power requirement and is very fast

If the card is just for High def movies than the recommendation is way to high, that card is for extreme gamers. Acording to Nvidia any card above 7600 is more than enough for HD video content. I reccomend also a video card with passive cooling, VGA coolers tend to be noisy

Related to audio card, I think Audiophile 192/24 would be very good, you will have the advantage of high res sound also, because Windvd will let you play DVD-A content (if you care for music also)

My advice: look for a virtually silent HTPC. This is not something like big suppliers like Dell will provide, but you shoud be able to find info if you look for it. Important for HTPC is storage, CPU and RAM, you should look for top products here. Videocard does not need to be the top end, this is for hardcore gaming. Audio card that includes "Extreme gamer" is again something that is not necessary, because you need something more musical or appropriate to movies.

Hope it helps


New member
Username: Ttsto


Post Number: 10
Registered: Aug-07
I forgot to mention, my PC costs me about 2000EUR
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