As you may or may not know, computers and electronics are one of my hobbies. I want to start including that here, starting with a project I did a little while back: building a home theater PC (HTPC)! An HTPC is a computer built to take the place of the standard set top box/game console that you would normally put under your TV.
First things first, let’s get the list of parts.
- SilverStone Technology Mini-ITX Small Form Factor Computer Case
- SilverStone Technology 500W SFX-L
- GIGABYTE GA-F2A88XN-WIFI FM2+/FM2 A88X
- AMD A10 7870K 3.9GHz Socket FM2+ 95W
- Arctic Silver 5 High-Density Polysynthetic Silver Thermal Compound
- Kingston HyperX FURY 4GB 1866MHz DDR3 x2
- Silverstone Tek Low-Profile Heatsink CPU Cooler (replaced fan with Noctua A-Series NF-A9x14 92mm)
- Mushkin Enhanced Chronos 2.5″ 120GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive
- XFX Radeon RX 480 (factory overclocked 8gb version)
Now, without further ado!
The Build Process
Now after this I actually rolled with just the integrated graphics on the A10-7870K APU for a little while. They were actually pretty good, being capable of running just about anything well enough to be playable. I mostly used it for Plex at this point in time, with some lighter games. I bidded my time until the release of AMD’s RX 480 graphics card…
With the graphics card installed, I can play just about anything with the highest settings. The sound is fantastic as well. I use Steam Big Picture Mode to control the computer along with an Flirc dongle + Harmony remote. OpenPHT powers Plex on this machine, letting me stream anything. I have a bluetooth keyboard for typing when it’s required, and my old Xbox 360 controllers work thanks to a USB device I found online.
Building an HTPC can be as complicated and expensive as you make it, and I think this machine is a nice middle ground where I have more options for games/media and can get the highest quality possible. Also, since it can decode basically any format unlike the Chromecast or other options, my Plex server doesn’t have to transcode anything when I stream media to it. Overall I’m extremely pleased with how it came out. Thanks for reading!