Posted on December 3, 2012 by Jingles | No Comments
Every part so far Pt I, Pt II, Pt III, Pt IV, Pt V, Pt VI, Pt VII, has covered all the kit that you need to build a sweet super quiet and silent HTPC. By now you should be able to choose the right parts to build your super quiet HTPC. In this last part, Pt VIII I’m going to dispense some bonus tips, references, and resources.
Choose the case first Choosing the case will make it a lot easier to choose the rest of your parts. The case will define what parts you need, i.e. if you choose a mITX case then you know that you will have to choose a mITX motherboard, that you can only use one expansion card and whether you can use a full height expansion card or not, depending on the case it will also dictate whether you can use a 5.25″ ODD or whether you need to use a slim ODD or a slim slot loading ODD, the case will also determine what type of PSU you can use.
If you choose your case last and you have chosen an ATX motherboard and then choose a mATX case you will have to go back and choose another motherboard, in the worst case scenario you may have to reconsider more or all of the parts you have chosen.
After choosing the case, decide which OS or media centre software you want to run. If you are going to go with Windows and WMC then you shouldn’t have any problems choosing hardware. However if you want to go with Linux then you will need to make sure the hardware that you chose is compatible with Linux, i.e. that Linux drivers are available.
The next parts you should choose are the CPU and motherboard as they will be the most important parts that will make or break a good HTPC. If you choose the case first it will make it easier to choose the motherboard because you know what size motherboard(s) you will be able to use.
Remember there is no rush to build your HTPC, take the time to carefully research parts to make sure that they are all compatible, it will make the build a lot easier when it comes to putting the parts together. It will also save you money because you won’t have to replace incompatible parts.
Review web sites like The Tech Report, PC Perspective, and others are a great place for getting the best independent information on the latest tech. Forums are also a great place to find information and ask questions. Many good forums have a section where you can ask for advice on a build, ask about particular hardware, and get general advice.
Lots of good PC hardware forums and home theatre forums have a section for HTPCs, like Home Theatre Forums ‘Computers and HTPC’ section, or there are HTPC specific forums like Australian Media Center Community. Or just ask your favourite search engine about HTPCs and HTPC forums. Some Tech and PC hardware web sites like Engadget and AnandTech have HTPC sections which provide a good source of information, another good source of HTPC specific information is Missing Remote.
I hope that you are inspired to go and build yourself a great HTPC and have heaps of fun in the process, I know I love building HTPCs.
Have you built a HTPC? What do you think about HTPCs? I’d love to hear your thoughts, leave a comment below.
Looking for more? Then check out my Ultimate HTPC builders guide project on Kickstarter. I promise you it really it is the best HTPC builders guide ever written. It’s a 45+ pages PDF e-book that contains all of the information in this blog post and more including exclusive information not available anywhere else. If you pledge your support you can get the guide for as little as $15, after the Kickstarter project has finished I’ll be selling the guide for $25 so get it while it’s cheap!