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Cheap HTPC – Part 1

A few Entertainment 2.0s ago we discussed building your own low cost HTPC. I have always been a big fan of Intel with my Revo HTPC, however for most people the Atom/ION combination is just not powerful enough for them. The Intel i3 is a great HTPC processor paired with Intel HD Graphics, however, this comes at a price. I decided to go where I have never gone before…AMD. AMD processors and Radeon graphics are both powerful and affordable.

So here is my goal:

  • 2 ATSC/QAM tuners
  • Dual Core+ processor
  • 2 GB+ RAM
  • 500GB+ Hard Drive (TV Recording)
  • 1080p/Netflix HD/Hulu/Youtube HD flawless playback
  • $500 price point
  • The first things to do is to pick out the processor and motherboard. I looked around at all of the processors that AMD offers and it was a tough decision with prices of dual and triple cores ranging between $57 and $80. The Athlon II X2 240 (on Amazon) offers a 2.8GHz dual core processor and only pulls in 65W for $58, while the Athlon II X3 450 (on Amazon)is a 3.2GHz triple core processors but pulls in 95W of power. This was an extremely tough decision as I am on a tight budget, but the decision was easy once I found the motherboard, which was to go with the Athlon II X3.

    Read the rest at: thedigitalmediazone.com.

    [Update] You can also check out the Cheap HTPC – Part 2.  

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