Affordable HTPC design, very affordable.. but may need some help

By Trillionsin
May 4, 2011
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  1. So, we are thinking about ordering 70 of these... and I want to get some opinions if you guys would be so willing to take a few minutes of your time to pick out something you see as poor or incompatible.

    EDIT: This is only referred to as HTPC design because of the case. In no other sense is this meant to be a Home Theater PC.

    Please note, CD drives were left out purposely. Requirements for these systems are:
    Dual core CPU or better
    4GB DDR2 or better
    All crammed into a desktop case (or HTPC) NOT a mini tower.

    So here at the parts listed on tigerdirect/compusa

    CASE: XION XON-810P-Black Micro ATX/ITX Computer Case - Micro ATX, 450W, PSU, USB, 80mm Fan, 5-in-1 Card-reader, Black
    Case can be interchanged with another small form factor case with PSU. or around the same price combination.
    MOTHERBOARD: MSI G41M-P26 Socket 775 G41 Motherboard - Micro ATX, Socket LGA775, Intel G41 Chipset, 1333MHz DDR3, SATA 3.0 Gb/s, Intel GMA X4500, 7.1-CH Audio, Fast Ethernet LAN
    Picked for because one stick of 4GB DDR3 memory is compatible vs. two sticks of 2GB DDR3 - Slightly cheaper
    RAM: Centon R1333SO4096 4GB Memory - SODIMM, DDR3 1333MHz, PC3-10600
    This would be the one stick of 4GB DDR3 memory then...
    CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo E7500 Processor BX80571E7500 - 2.93GHz, 3MB Cache, 1066MHz FSB, Wolfdale-3M, Dual-Core, Retail, Socket 775
    Cheapest Core 2 Duo listed
    HDD: Seagate ST3320418AS Barracuda Hard Drive - 3.5", 7200 RPM, SATA 3G, 320GB, 16MB Cache
    Size doesnt really matter, needs have XP installed. Possibly Win7 or Win8 in the far future. (VLK of XP here at the business)

    PSU: Included with case.

    CDrom: Not required (cloning hdds)
  2. Trillionsin

    Trillionsin TS Evangelist Topic Starter Posts: 1,267   +101

    44 views and no replies.. guess that means it's good and nobody can criticize this PC?
  3. mailpup

    mailpup TS Special Forces Posts: 6,964   +355

    The RAM you chose is incompatible as it is for laptops not desktops.

    I'm always leery of power supplies of which I don't know the specifications. It might be fine for your purposes but at this point it's an unknown as far as I know.

    Keep in mind the reason it is so affordable is because it's a bit obsolete although functional but I'm sure you know that already.
  4. Trillionsin

    Trillionsin TS Evangelist Topic Starter Posts: 1,267   +101

  5. mailpup

    mailpup TS Special Forces Posts: 6,964   +355

    Your new RAM should be fine. I note that its voltage spec, which is 1.5V, matches the motherboard standard of 1.5V. One other thing to mention is that if you are planning to use Windows XP 32 bit, you won't be able to use the full 4GB of RAM, only about 3.25GB or so maximum. It's not a particular problem but just something to be aware of. I've done the same thing without issues.
  6. Trillionsin

    Trillionsin TS Evangelist Topic Starter Posts: 1,267   +101

    Thanks mailpup, I am completely aware of that. HOPEFULLY the company I work for will get with the program soon when we go with our new "core system" and this whole conversion process is over with, they will realize we need to go with a new OS. XP has roughly 1060 days left of support.

    One thing I am concerned with is the heat sink for the CPU, and whether its going to have enough space for decent airflow. We wouldn't want these systems constantly running hot causing capacitors to go bad (guy next to me always makes fun of me for my constant talk about capacitors, aha hah)
    But of course we are going to get one of these for testings before buying mass amounts.
  7. mailpup

    mailpup TS Special Forces Posts: 6,964   +355

    The stock heatsink/fan will probably be alright but since you will be testing it you'll find out for sure. It doesn't seem like the PCs will be stressed very much. If so, the stock HS should be fine. Besides, with that small case your choices of aftermarket cooling will be limited somewhat.

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