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Turn an HP SFF Computer Into a Great HTPC

Face it, most of us like the idea of having an HTPC (Home Theater PC) hooked up to our TV. The flexibility we get with an HTPC over just a DVD player or a gaming console is enough alone to justify the cost. I have built a bunch of these for people and until recently, I have never used pre-built systems. There are many advantages to building a custom machine for your theater, but the biggest disadvantage is the cost. Lately, I have been using Small Form Factor (SFF) HP’s and believe it or not… they make great HTPC’s.

If you shop around enough, you can find some good deals on refurbished or off lease computers. I found some HP DC7800’s on eBay for under two hundred dollars sporting Core 2 Duo’s, 4GB of RAM, and the OS already installed. Some of the nice features of systems like this are that they use little electricity compared to custom builds and they are small in size, measuring only 13.3 inches wide x 14.9 inches deep, and 3.95 inches tall. If you want to compare this to something you may recognize quickly, lets use an Xbox 360 @ 12.15 inches wide, 10.15 inches deep, and 3.27 inches tall. That means that these don’t take up a lot of space. They even have an additional 3.5 inch bay for another internal hard drive.

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