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Seeking advice on a new-build htpc (1 Viewer)

jlondon75

Grip
Joined
Jan 4, 2012
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21
Real Name
Joshua London
Hey Folks,


It has been a long while since my last foray into building PCs, so I'm simply out of touch with options... I'm now needing to replace an ancient PC (circa 2004 big-box-store; the last time I bought rather than built one) that just died. I was using it simply as a way to access my Plex Server -- and to play streaming content from YoutTube, Netflix, Amazon Prime; and also to play exactly one very low-tech game -- on an old TV (circa 2007). I’ve not had to think about this setup for about 5 years now, so I’m way behind on options. This old PC was really NOTHING MORE THAN an access point to the internet for my otherwise non-smart tv, and to play that one low-tech game.

My tv has the following open inputs available: HDMI, RGB (I was using this with my old PC), “Component”, and AV.

The "minimum requirements for my one low-tech game (a dance/exercise game that my wife loves) are the following:

- Windows XP/Vista/7/8/8.1/10 [I was given to understand that Windows 10 can be loaded onto Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+].
-2 MB RAM (4 GB+ is recommended if you want all background movies to load successfully)
-2 GB free disk space
-1.66 Ghz or above processor
-Video card that supports High Color (16-bit color) and has 64MB video RAM (128 or more is best) and OpenGL or Direct3D drivers
-DirectX 8.0 (or above) compatible sound card with drivers

In terms of a replacement/new build, I am Ideally looking to spend up to about $500 -- but cheaper is DEFINITELY better. So, any thoughts on how best to proceed?

I was kind of leaning towards maybe a “single board computer” route, like a Raspberry Pi, or an ODROID base, or a Tinker Board, but I'm not entirely certain I can easily make those work. I also started looking at the Intel NUC and the like...but I am totally open to ideas and suggestions.

What do folks here think? I'm all ears.
 

Chris Strnad

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Apr 18, 2000
Messages
82
Location
CLE
Real Name
Chris
You can shelve the Pi/10 idea as it isn't what you think.
In general, I'd shy away from Windows on ARM in any form just because it it has such a poor performance track record. This also includes anything that might do x86 emulation (so no linux/android devices.)

A NUC would be a nice choice, but last I looked, they were still a BYO affair (RAM, HD, power cord) so that puts it outside your budget.

If you went with a full DIY pc build, resist the urge to settle for a system that uses an i3 (or lesser) CPU. It will run out of steam quickly even with mundane tasks (buy cheap and replace twice as often, or buy mid-grade and get some longevity.) Anything less than 8gb RAM in Win10 is asking for performance issues, and having the OS on an SSD is almost a requirement. Intel's current-gen on-chip graphics should be more than adequate for 1080p video playback and the game.

Here's a "budget build" I whipped up at Newegg
 

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