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Budget Nettop HTPC Configuration

Last Update: October 2011

After our first budget HTPC setup yesterday, we offer our suggestions for the nettop kind, a mini PC dedicated to home theater use.

The nice prices for Sandy Bridge platform components prompted us to propose a Gigabyte Mini-ITX motherboard with an Intel H67 and a low power Pentium G620T.

Remember that the Pentium G620T, in addition to consuming only 35W at full load, fully supports the most demanding HD video streams decoding and HD audio bitstream. However, compared to Core i3, i5 and i7, you lose the Intel QSV transcoding video function. A small evil for a complete mini PC that costs around $450.

Last, important for the purists, it may be necessary to use a trick on the platform to read a completely fluid video in 23,976 frames/sec. We remember that the 24p compatible processors Sandy Bridge are not perfect, which is characterized by stops and starts every 40 seconds or so, unless you install the correct drivers for the Intel chipset and you disable the UAC.

Budget Nettop HTPC Recommended Components

Case Antec Mini ITX Case ISK300-65 $70
Motherboard Gigabyte GA-H67N-USB3-B3 $107
CPU Intel Pentium G620T $82
Memory Corsair TWIN3X2048-1333C9 $38
Hard Drive WD Scorpio Blue 500GB 5400 rpm $70
Optical Drive Samsung SN-S083F (DVD Slim writer) $28
Keyboard Perixx Periboard-716 Wireless Ergonomic Multi Touchpad Keyboard $35
Remote Control Rosewill Windows 7 Certified Media Center $25
TOTAL $455

Optional Components

Tunner Card AVerMedia AVerTVHD Duet PCTV tuner $70


This configuration is only a guide. We invite you to check that these components meet your expectations.

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