Building a HTPC - help me choose the components (1 Viewer)


New Member
October 17, 2005
Hi folks,

I've finally had it with divx players and dodgy companies trying to sell half-finished products (Pinnacle ShowCenter 200) and I've decided to build my own.

My restrictions are:
It has to fit into the existing cabinet (height up to 11.5cm)
It has to be quiet or silent, definitely cannot be heard in a quiet environment, ie. with the TV volume low.
Money (of course), it has to be as cheap as possible - within reason.

So far, I've brought my choices down to:
CPU: AMD Turion64 Socket754 (25W TDP)
Case: Silverstone Lascala LC11
HDD: Samsung Spinpoint

I was thinking of getting LC11M, but apparently the IR sensor on it isn't compatibile with the Microsoft MCE Remote, and the included remote isn't as good. It's also nearly twice as expensive, and there's very limited use out of the VFD.

I'm having problems selecting a motherboard for it. I definitely don't want to invest in a separate graphics card, and ATI Xpress 200 looks like a very good contender. I just can't find a good S754 Xpress 200 motherboard.

CPU heatsink is another issue. Turion doesn't have the AMD heatspreader, so it's slightly lower, and normal CPU heatsinks won't make good contact with it (DOH!). Otherwise it's supposed to work in any S754 motherboard with an up-to-date BIOS. I've heard Zalman mentioned, that they have a user-adjustable retention mechanism.

I'd like to be able to use this as a SD HTPC, but to have it future-proof when I go HDTV. As far as I could tell, the Xpress 200 GPU is more than capable of the task.



Retired Team Member
  • Premium Supporter
  • February 16, 2005
    At the moment I would lean towards a s939 in the MSI ATi200 motherboard, but I have been reading about nVidia's new 6150 chipset which is especially made for HTPC applications. It has begun shipping now and should be easy to come by in the next couple of months.

    I know that the 939 chip uses more power than the Turion, but thanks to the cool'n'quiet technology it is pretty efficient compared to other offerings around. I would guess that it is also cheaper and has a better upgrade path.

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