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Building Your Own Home Theater PC: What You Need to Know

Hardware

Motherboard

7011_gigabyte_ga-g41m-es2h_intel_g41_ddr2_micro_atx_intel_hdmi_motherboard_-_socket_lga775_xl

If you’re anything like me you’re not going to like a big PC sitting in the living room next to your nice clean Media setup. So I would suggest you go with something like a Micro ATX motherboard so that you can get a nice clean Mini Case. There is any number of boards out there that you can get for semi cheap price. Asus, Gigabyte, and few other company’s make great boards. You will need to make sure that your box has a PCI Express card slot for your Graphic Card (not completely necessary but suggested) and the ability to have multiple hard drives (most boards do).  I wouldn’t suggest anything to far above 90 dollars for this.

CPU

intel-chip amd-chip

This is going to be dependent on the board you buy. If you buy an AMD supported board you will need a AMD processor and if you buy a Intel supported board you will need an Intel processor.  Now you also need to take into account here what all you plan on doing with this machine. If you actually plan on playing some games you may want to get a faster processor or if it’s just going to be a Media PC you may not need the so called “Top of the Line” and can get buy just as good with a lesser one. The price here is dependent on your board choice and how powerful of processor you want rough guess would be between 100 to 200 Dollars.

Memory

memory

As a standard that I go by the minimum amount I will put in a system is 2 gigabytes. If your board supports DDR2 ram you can get a 4GB bundle for 60 and 100 dollars.

Graphics Card

all-in-wonder-hd

Here is where you’re going to really need to pay attention to what you get. My suggestion is to go with an ALL-IN-WONDER HD card or a card of similar functionality and comparable good history with the Media PC environment as this card has. You can get a nice one for about 100 to 125 dollars. This card will allow you to be able to capture video.  Software is included with the card to be able to do this. If you don’t get the ALL-IN-WONDER you need to look for one that supports1 1080 so that way you get full range of your TV.

Sound Card

home-theater-sound-card

Well why would you have a great media setup and not have a good sound system to annoy your neighbors with. On board sound is okay but not nearly good enough you want something that provides your more functionality and the ability to use more of your surround sound. I would suggest looking at Newegg for a sound card I wouldn’t spend any more than 80 on it there are some pretty good ones for under that from Creative.

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16 Comments... What's your say?

  1. home theathers with 5.1 system sounds really great specially if you add those 12 inch subwoofers `;:

  2. I just finished putting together my first Home Theater PC. I used an MSI Diva Live 5.1 Mobo with the amplifier card with 2GB of DDR2, and a low voltage Athlon X2. Threw in an HD 5570 for encoding purposes using DVDfab and 3TB of storage. It drives my Bose 5.1 bose cubes and bass unit and sounds as good as my old Yamaha.

    • Yes the Bose is one of the better audio setups out there. I have some HTPC setups with just the 3 speaker setup sound better than guys running 5 and 7 speaker kits. It was actually a direction i was looking at going myself and was just talking with a few Techwarelabs writer about it today.

  3. The article provides no useful information, and the grammar is atrocious.
    “Depended” doesn’t work that way.

    • Thank you for the feedback on the spelling mistake, we are not perfect and do make mistakes. As for the guide, as I mentioned above, the guide is intended for a beginner and to demonstrate the through process behind component selection. Perhaps your skill level makes this guide less useful to you but I’m sure it is much more useful to someone who has not built a media center PC/ HTPC before.

    • I really am sorry that you didn’t like or find my article useful. It was purposely written for a user just starting to get into the Home Theater area of PC’s and not for someone that has moderate to above average knowledge. As for the grammar errors well those mistakes are all mine. I should have done a better job at spelling and grammatical checking before submitting the article. I will work on that. Thank you for you replies they do help me out positive or negative.

  4. This is bar none the WORST media pc building guide I have ever read.

    • This is a basic guide and not intended to take you through every step necessary to create a media center PC. Instead the intent is to show you what components are necessary and demonstrate some through process behind the building and selection of components. Stay tuned to us for a thorough guide to this process in the future.

Trackbacks

  1. […] Quote: Today’s growing technology makes it easy for us to build PC to do anything. So why not make one to control your whole media environment. Easily done and can be done for the same price you would have paid for any number of a combination of media equipment. LINK: http://www.techwarelabs.com/building-a-home-theater-pc/ […]

  2. […] Home Theater PC (Media PC) | TechwareLabs […]

  3. […] Quote: Today’s growing technology makes it easy for us to build PC to do anything. So why not make one to control your whole media environment. Easily done and can be done for the same price you would have paid for any number of a combination of media equipment. LINK: http://www.techwarelabs.com/building-a-home-theater-pc/ […]

  4. […] Quote: Today’s growing technology makes it easy for us to build PC to do anything. So why not make one to control your whole media environment. Easily done and can be done for the same price you would have paid for any number of a combination of media equipment. LINK: http://www.techwarelabs.com/building-a-home-theater-pc/ […]

  5. […] Quote: Today’s growing technology makes it easy for us to build PC to do anything. So why not make one to control your whole media environment. Easily done and can be done for the same price you would have paid for any number of a combination of media equipment. LINK: http://www.techwarelabs.com/building-a-home-theater-pc/ […]

  6. […] Quote: Today’s growing technology makes it easy for us to build PC to do anything. So why not make one to control your whole media environment. Easily done and can be done for the same price you would have paid for any number of a combination of media equipment. LINK: http://www.techwarelabs.com/building-a-home-theater-pc/ […]

  7. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by ChrisTWL, Tom Gowing, MikeS_TWL, Dan Shannon, tcpflorida and others. tcpflorida said: Review: Building Your Own Home Theater PC: What You Need to Know – http://www.techwarelabs.com/building-a-home-theater-pc/ […]

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