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Building an AMD HTPC - Capable of Blu-ray HD Audio Playback

By: Cameron Wilmot | Guides | Posted: Jan 21, 2009 5:00 am

Total Cost of the AMD HTPC System


Here we will summarize the total cost of the AMD HTPC system which we built and also reveal which AMD processor we decided to go with.


Building an AMD HTPC - Capable of Blu-ray HD Audio Playback


CPU: AMD Athlon X2 Dual-Core 4850E ($53.99 USD at Newegg)


Motherboard: GIGABYTE GA-MA790GP-DS4H ($138.99 USD at Newegg)


Memory: Corsair TWIN2X4096-6400C4DHX (4GB kit) ($74 USD at Newegg)


HDD: Western Digital Caviar Green 1TB SATA-II ($119.99 USD at Newegg)


Optical Drive: LITE-ON SATA 4X Blu-ray Disc Triple Writer ($229.99 USD at Newegg)


Graphics Card: ASUS EN9600GSO MAGIC/HTDP/512M ($86.24 USD at


Case: Thermaltake DH 104 Home Theater Case ($599.99 USD MSRP)


Audio Card: ASUS Xonar HDAV1.3 Deluxe ($239.99 USD at Newegg)


PSU: Thermaltake Toughpower 700-watt Cable Management ($179.99 USD MSRP)


CPU Cooler: Noctua NH-U12P CPU Cooler ($59.99 USD at Newegg)


Keyboard and Mouse: IOGEAR Long Range Media Center Desktop ($69.95 USD MSRP)


TOTAL COST = $1853.11 USD (or about $2860 AUD)


Obviously this is not a super cheap system, as we have gone with some rather fancy parts (case, BD burner and PSU). Keep in mind you're also going to need to invest in the rest of your home theater setup and that means an amplifier capable of HD audio playback, speakers and of course the display, be it LCD, plasma or projector.


You could reduce the price somewhat by going with a smaller WD Green HDD such as the 500GB version, drop the Blu-ray burner for a normal ROM drive, go with a 500-watt power supply and of course, go with a much cheaper HTPC case. We also haven't included the price of Windows Vista, assuming you already have a copy.


Final Thoughts


We hope you enjoyed this look into our guidance in building an AMD based HTPC capable of playing back Blu-ray HD audio.


We had an incredibly large amount of fun researching this article and getting the parts in from all the friendly companies who helped out here. It wasn't much of a decision when it came to deciding which processor to use - of course the X4 9950 offers the best performance, but that is at the expense of much more power usage. We ended up picking the X2 4850E since it is more than powerful for solid and smooth Blu-ray playback, uses the least amount of power out of all parts we tested and is also the cheapest of the bunch. The choice was easy in the end.


Enough writing, now it's time to sit back on the lounge and enjoy the system I have just finished putting together. And I've got to tell you, I am totally impressed with the system and what it is capable of - the picture and audio produced from this setup is amazing and should impress all.


Is it your turn to build a new HTPC or your first HTPC now?


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