HTPC GuideZertz , technodanvan , tacohunter52 - March 15, 2009
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Hopefully by now you have a good idea of what kind of components you'll need for your HTPC. Of course most of you should already know the basics, such as processor, motherboard, RAM, PSU, video card, and optical drives. So what exactly should a finished HTPC look like? Here is a picture of both ccokeman's and Verran's setups. As you can see, they have all the basic parts, the wires are neatly tucked out of the way, and neither went overboard with multiple GPU's. To someone used to a gaming computer it may not look like much, but it does what it is supposed to do perfectly. What I'm getting at is that anyone can build an HTPC. It may not be something you want to spend $500 on right away, but if you're buying a new HDTV, it might be nice to pair it up with a slim, sexy, HTPC.
Now that you have a basic idea of what your components should look like, what does a completed HTPC setup look like? Verran just happens to have two great setups. His first setup is what most people should expect an HTPC to be. As you can see the computer is neatly tucked in with the rest of his equipment. Of course you do not have to mimick his setup. You could put the computer standing like a tower near the T.V., you could put it on the T.V., or you could just throw it up in the air and leave it wherever it lands. Just make sure wherever you set up, it looks the way you want it to look. Take your time and don't rush through things. If you want to be extremely extravagant why not do what Verran did in his bedroom. I have no idea how he managed to mount his monitor like that, but who cares - that is just plain awesome.
In truth, any computer can be used as an HTPC, if all you want an HTPC to do is record TV. Just go grab a TV tuner and install it in your gaming rig. I'm sure many of you have already done this. If you happen to have an old PC lying around and would like to use it as something other then a door stop, have a go at it! You can easily turn it into a cheap HTPC. For those of you that want a brand new top of the line multi-media center, well I hope my guide has helped you decide on some parts. If there's anything you're unsure about, feel free to ask around in the forums. The crazies that troll around there are full of information. I'm sure they'd be glad to help you with any problems you might encounter during your HTPC building process. They can also help you with suggestions with your quest in building a HTPC that is right for you.