What Makes a HTPC?

  • Published on Nov 5, 2014
  • What Makes a HTPC? (Part 2)
    Paul's Home Theater PC Build
    WD Red 4TB HDDs: amzn.to/1tS34jA
    Fractal Node 804: amzn.to/1xNYBLU
    Ceton InfiniTV 4: amzn.to/1xNYMaf
    EVGA GTX 970 SC: amzn.to/1EaSdm2
    Plextor 256GB mSATA: amzn.to/1vC8vy0
    ASUS Maximus V Gene: amzn.to/1DNnWrt
    Corsair 2x4GB DDR3: amzn.to/1t4dbe9
    Intel Core i5 3570K: amzn.to/1tx7Elq
    Twitter: @paulhardware

    Audio file(s) provided by AudioMicro
  • Science & TechnologyScience & Technology

Comments • 480

  • Dr. Bhaskar Maitra
    Dr. Bhaskar Maitra 6 days ago

    Stopped this video the moment I saw the components. He isn't building a HTPC, he is just showing off some sponsored products who have paid him to talk nonsense.

  • Billy William
    Billy William 11 days ago

    Paul's Hardware
    What would you say makes HTPC, NAS, set-top (Roku, Firestick, etc.), and a media server different?

  • dmitc01
    dmitc01 2 months ago

    Been using a Dell inspiron 13z as an htpc for a number of years now (since we ditched cable). Added some RAM replace the HDD with an SSD and changed the cooling fan this year and it still gets the job done. Don't play games on it though because that's what the console is for.

  • Anthony Ashdown
    Anthony Ashdown 8 months ago

    Am I the only person who thinks that quality sound hardware is necessary? 5.1? 7.1? Dolby, THX and DTS support? No? I've been scouring the internet for advice on the right sound card / DAC and I've come up empty handed. I'm starting to think I'm going overboard.
    I had a great Home theatre amp and speaker set, but I'm having issues with the PC taking full advantage of the amp's capabilities

  • cutie.808
    cutie.808 11 months ago

    It’s a HTPC because H isn’t a vowel

    SPTLGHT Year ago

    Im using an Core2Duo e7500 with 2GB DDR3 and 250GB Hard Drive as an HTPC and don't even need a GPU (steam home streaming) and i mostly use it for youtube and netflix but GTX970 and CPU Better than my main one? Damn you are going hard for HTPC

  • Marc-André B
    Marc-André B Year ago

    Always fun randomly stumbling upon a four year old Paul's Hardware video.

  • Lodmot
    Lodmot Year ago

    Should put "(Part 2)" in the title so I can find Part 1 more quickly, lol

  • Mr Peco
    Mr Peco Year ago

    you use 'an' when the next word begins with a vowel.
    so if the next word's first-letter is either a,e,i,o, or u,
    then you use, an
    instead of a.

  • Jim Chong
    Jim Chong Year ago

    Have you overlook the sound card?

  • KeweKrypto 12
    KeweKrypto 12 Year ago

    I like it, there's no reason for an HTPC to be weak and cheap.
    Here's mine

  • Mario Iovine
    Mario Iovine Year ago

    how did you mount the DVD on the front panel of the node c 804? Which model? have you any problems with ejection?

  • Johannes Hoffmann

    I want a small PC

  • Prism Glider
    Prism Glider Year ago

    If you’re pronouncing it the way you are, it’s an htpc. The H is pronounced with an a sound at the beginning so it would be an.

  • a .
    a . 2 years ago

    It's an - H is pronounced with an A in the beginning, and vowels always go with an instead of a

  • Stephen Rothwell
    Stephen Rothwell 2 years ago

    Paul I know this is an older video but did you have any trouble with the optical drive installation? I haven't been able to find any videos of a successful odd installation besides this video. Also, does the case cover the eject button?

    • Stephen Rothwell
      Stephen Rothwell 2 years ago

      Btw your videos rock keep up the good work. Shout out to BitWit Kyle too

  • steve randall
    steve randall 2 years ago

    Absolutely excellent summary. Very much appreciated.

  • deavan noah
    deavan noah 2 years ago

    It looks great. I'm going to use an HTPC case for my build,since it's going to be a rather small form factor.

  • FlowUrbanFlow
    FlowUrbanFlow 2 years ago

    It's "an HTPC" because H has a vowel beginning sound when pronounced. The useless shit you learn.

  • TechMechanic
    TechMechanic 2 years ago

    I think is an htpc or a home theater pc

  • J. M. R. T.
    J. M. R. T. 2 years ago

    Is a Core 2 Duo with a 9500GTS enough for an HTPC? I just Want to Stream 1080p Videos and also Stream steam Games from my Gaming pc.

  • Arthur Watts
    Arthur Watts 2 years ago

    Completely agree that this is overkill for a HTPC. I have no issue with the addition of a dedicated graphics card but you don't need to go overboard - if anything, the bulk of the money needs to go toward a NAS and sound hardware. Somewhere in the last 10 years, many gamers seem to have decided that onboard sound - and a pair of speakers from someone like Edifier or Logitech - was all they needed : that isn't the case from most HTPC fans. I'm not talking 30K floorstanders - Andrew Jones has been building great speakers for ELAC at real world prices - or 5K AV receivers, but if the aim is to get the best possible sound from the source to your ears, very few mainstream computer manufacturers are spending money on that over their graphics capabilities.

  • W. Smith
    W. Smith 2 years ago

    What would be the pros and cons about using Windows 10 Storage vs RAID5?

  • A Kam
    A Kam 2 years ago

    it is a htpc according to formal english. an is only used in the event the noun that follows begins with a vowel.
    yes I am aware I am not typing this properly.

  • A Kam
    A Kam 2 years ago

    it is a htpc according to formal english. an is only used in the event the noun that follows begins with a vowel.
    yes I am aware I am not typing this properly.

  • Mikey Larsen
    Mikey Larsen 2 years ago

    just made one out of old small pc of my dads

  • enticed2zeitgeist
    enticed2zeitgeist 2 years ago

    750w psu on HTPC lol.

  • KeweKrypto 12
    KeweKrypto 12 2 years ago

    I just put a 7700k and a 1080ti in a silverstone Grandia GD09B. thats an HTPC/gaming on my 65" TV

  • homer23422000
    homer23422000 2 years ago

    How much longer does an older video card allow a HTPC to effortlessly play 1080p shows on netflix, hulu, and youtube? I may end up building one for my parents, and I'm personally thinking a video card would work in 2 or 3 years when the cpu isn't all that fast by itself.
    I'm thinking of suggesting a 4 core AMD processor for budget performance, either a
    AMD A8-7600 3.1GHz or
    AMD FX-4300 3.8GHz
    The motherboard will be a Micro ATX, nothing special, I'll just ensure it has USB 3.0, using their tiny computer case and power supply if it will be compatible with the motherboard.
    Or I might suggest a 430W quality brand power supply.
    I will use the hard drive in their old computer, I don't remember what the capacity is, but I just know it's small, around 250-500GB.
    Don't suggest a dual core cpu, my parents' 3 or 4 year old cpu was a slower dual core for basic computing (or a HTPC), and it's already "trash". I want to avoid some of the cpu skimping since its not that expensive to get fast cpu for HTPC use.

    • homer23422000
      homer23422000 2 years ago

      I actually didn't really realize/remember that the Core i3 and the fast dual-core Pentium processors, the G4400 I believe, are actually fast enough to not be slow in 3 or 4 years, perfect for their build, thanks. I was thinking of the budget dual cores that box stores sell, which have extremely slow clock speeds, and aren't worth buying when you have quite some computer hardware knowledge.

    • AtomicAJ74
      AtomicAJ74 2 years ago

      For Netflix, Hulu, and RUclip, a dual-core CPU should be fine. The integrated graphics on my Core i3 2120T are sufficient for these purposes, even though I currently have a GT 730. The key is to get a CPU that will handle the workload while drawing minimum power; the CPUs you listed are overkill unless you intend to use the HTPC for gaming.
      I would suggest any CPU (Sandy Bridge or later) with 35-watt TDP and either using integrated graphics (which should be fine) or a fanless, low TDP graphics card. I also recommend using an SSD as the boot/program drive and a mechanical hard drive for storage, even if you have to use an external hard drive. My 2120T always seemed sluggish on startup until I replaced the primary boot drive with an SSD. You'd never know I have a four-year-old budget CPU in that system.

  • Josh
    Josh 2 years ago


  • Don Bolton
    Don Bolton 2 years ago

    a htpc because you only use use "an" when the next work begins with a vowel.

    • AtomicAJ74
      AtomicAJ74 2 years ago

      Actually, you use "an" when the next syllable starts with a "vowel sound," not a vowel. So if you're saying "H-T-P-C" you'll say "an HTPC," but if you're going to sound out each word, then you would say "a home theater PC."

  • Thomas Riddell
    Thomas Riddell 2 years ago

    I wanted something small I Brought a Zotac z-box bi323 plus It came 30 gigabyte HD and 2 GB Ram Laptop DDR 3 I then added a 60 GB Laptop Drive from a dead PSIII
    2 more GB of Ram + External 4 TB Hard Disk for Recordings + hauppauge wintv-hvr-850 for OTA and then Windows 10 and Kodi 17 to Run it all
    It Quiet and runs great Record 1080P with no Problems

  • Max Odarchuk
    Max Odarchuk 2 years ago

    I have a fx3800 qaudro as a gpu for my htpc

  • PirateKing1256
    PirateKing1256 2 years ago

    this htpc is so large.

  • MarshallC3media
    MarshallC3media 3 years ago

    This is a long shot, hoping I can get a response. I'm building my dad an HTPC for Christmas and I haven't convinced them to cancel their cable service. I'm wondering what I should get. The infiniTV 6 is a bit too pricey, I've considered HD homerun. Also they have a 4K TV I'm not certain that 4K over 30hrz will bother my mom and dad BUT I might need a solution for that issue too.

  • joshua shelby
    joshua shelby 3 years ago

    i am pretty much doing the same thing i have a ex gaming rig with 4tb of storage i5 and a 9604gb card it runs my plex server

  • AtomicAJ74
    AtomicAJ74 3 years ago +29

    Paul, I like you, but I disagree with you HUGELY on this video. Yours is not an HTPC - it is a gaming PC you are using as an HTPC. An HTPC is simply a PC supporting video and audio playback and sometimes video recording capability. It may or may not involve software used for TV reception/recording/playback purposes. It is intended to be always on, unobtrusive, and quiet.
    What makes an HTPC?
    1) Size/style blending with existing entertainment center setup (location is irrelevant)
    2) Minimal power draw while supporting all the demands of the HTPC's intended use
    3) Bare minimum of noise (including visual noise or bling)
    4) Minimum cleaning needs/difficulty
    The idea of using a Core i5 3570K and a RAID 5 array for an HTPC is nuts. An HTPC should have at most 2 hard drives (and only one if it has an SSD for booting).
    Here is my idea of a good HTPC (I say my idea, because it's my current HTPC):
    1) Motherboard - Asus P8H67-M PRO/CSM (micro-ATX)
    2) CPU - Intel Core i3 2120T (35 watts max TDP) using stock heat sink and fan
    3) RAM - 4 x Corsair XMS3 2 GB DDR3 1333
    4) Graphics - Zotac GT 730 w/ 4 GB 64-bit DDR3 (recent upgrade, could use integrated graphics)
    5) Storage:
    a) 1 Mushkin 512 GB SATA III SSD (recent upgrade)
    b) 1 Western Digital 2 TB 7200 RPM HDD
    6) Optical - LG 12X Blu-Ray 3D Playback w/ M-DISC
    7) Case - Silverstone Brandia Series SST-GD05B-USB3.0 Micro ATX
    8) Tuner - HDHomeRun Prime 3 Tuner CableCARD
    9) Remote - Adesso ARC-1100 MCE Infrared Remote Control
    I put magnetic dust filters on my intake fans to keep the case relatively dust-free.
    I keep thinking about upgrading the CPU, but there is no reason to because the Core i3 2120T works perfectly, pulls little power, and meets all my needs. I was originally using a GT 430 from Asus when I built this back in 2012, but upgraded when I ordered the GT 730 for another box that had an incompatible motherboard. The integrated graphics (HD 2000) needed for HDTV purposes, but I like having a dedicated graphics card.
    My HTPC pulls less power than a standard cable box. My HTPC pulls about 26 watts during use versus the 33 watts for the cable box. The cable box sees almost no power reduction from in-use to standby, whereas when my HTPC is off it pulls less than 1 watt.

    • chaslinux
      chaslinux 2 years ago +1

      I tend to agree with Atomic, though I suppose it depends on what you expect from your HTPC. Like Atomic, the fewer the fans and the lower the total power consumption the better. I'd only differ from Atomic's build by adding a second drive for mirroring. Yes, it raises the total power consumption, but I store a lot of media on my drive (8TB) and re-ripping it would be a pain. Yes, Paul, most people are doing away with cable TV providers, but for those of us lucky enough to get good reception an antenna lets us watch local stations. Although we don't use the KODI/Steam integration I can see lots of people wanting to play some Steam games via a HTPC. Do you buy a dedicated console or do it all through Steam?

    • Cuzeg Spiked
      Cuzeg Spiked 2 years ago

      JUST DO IT awesome

    • JUST DO IT
      JUST DO IT 2 years ago

      James Emsley popcorn time m8 its better than netflix and free but for real i find them much better than fucking netflix

    • ItzEmS
      ItzEmS 2 years ago

      AtomicAJ74 d

    • ItzEmS
      ItzEmS 2 years ago

      AtomicAJ74 if I build a htpc how do I go about getting free movies

  • Cool Moo5e
    Cool Moo5e 3 years ago

    what does the red stand for in wd, I know blue is low quality green is 10tb+ and black means somethimg, and I will be using my gaming pc as a htpc as well

  • TECH Camelia
    TECH Camelia 3 years ago +4


  • L X
    L X 3 years ago

    part 3?

  • Thomas Richmond
    Thomas Richmond 3 years ago +11

    You don't need a graphics card for a htpc

    • 88oscuro
      88oscuro Year ago

      Thinking on a Intel nuc hades canyon, could be pretty cool. Only thing is that it lacks a blu-ray player.

    • Oliver Cairn
      Oliver Cairn Year ago

      its if you want to turn your htpc into a game console as well

    • AtomicAJ74
      AtomicAJ74 2 years ago

      I disagree. The Intel HD Graphics 2000 are adequate for all HTPC needs, assuming your using a 1080 monitor (most are). The M91p has a DisplayPort output, which will work fine for HTPC purposes.

    • Skyfire
      Skyfire 2 years ago +3

      If your using an older computer with i5 2400 Lenovo ThinkCentre M91p you need a graphics card for the HDMI port such as a Radeon 6450

    • AtomicAJ74
      AtomicAJ74 3 years ago +10

      No, you don't. The integrated graphics in either AMD or Intel chips is more than adequate for HTPC needs. If your PC needs a graphics card, you're moving out of HTPC-space.

  • pivorsc
    pivorsc 3 years ago +1

    That feeling when someone "repurposes" Asus Maximus and GTX 970 for HTPC and you are stuck with shitty AMD motherboard.

  • Scream_N_Digital
    Scream_N_Digital 3 years ago

    I love my HTPC. I built it about a year and a half ago. Much like yours, I went overkill as well. I wanted something that would last quite a while without having to upgrade or replace parts. I went with the Silverstone Grandia Series GD08, 5th Gen Intel I7, 32GB DDR4 RAM, a 500GB SSD, with a 4TB WD Red for storage. I then promptly ripped all of my DVD's and Blu-Rays into XMBC. I think my favorite thing is using the Logitech Harmony 650 remote with the FLIRC USB programmable receiver. It really was a fun PC to build and just a great system to use. The case is really what sets the whole thing off, as it looks like a High End Audio receiver.

  • Shyam Krishnan
    Shyam Krishnan 3 years ago

    Isn't an used when the SOUND of a vowel is present? Like 'an hour' where 'hour' starts with the sound of 'o' as in 'our'. So it should be 'an HTPC'.

  • Mark Anthony Regala
    Mark Anthony Regala 3 years ago

    My opinion on this build its not HTPC still bulky to keep in let say about size or just a little bit large on XBOX or PS4

  • sonic link
    sonic link 3 years ago +2

    it's a htpc because H is a consonant.

    • PhantomWizzrobe
      PhantomWizzrobe 3 years ago

      @***** Thank you that what I was saying

    • tarfeef _
      tarfeef _ 3 years ago +1

      +PhantomWizzrobe Rekt so hard (he said with improper grammar)

    • PhantomWizzrobe
      PhantomWizzrobe 3 years ago +4

      @sonic link Well unfortunately that's improper grammar

    • sonic link
      sonic link 3 years ago

      i would say a honor

    • Dr. BoJangles
      Dr. BoJangles 3 years ago

      It's "an" in American English; the rule applies to the pronunciation of the word over the spelling. As Djordje Petrovic noted, this is similar to how American English would say "an honor"

  • time4tradin
    time4tradin 3 years ago +1

    Your HTPC has the same gpu as my desktop :(

  • Tom Brown
    Tom Brown 3 years ago

    Very good points all of them! However I have one more point to add in my humble opinion: Size and portability. I think the case you picked would be a little too huge as it is more akin to a desktop gaming PC in terms of size. Although it still counts as a "small form factor" case I would rather go Mini-ITX for an HTPC build and use lower end parts such as a GTX 950 perhaps or even a GTX 750Ti and a non "K" i5. I might also use 16gb of ram instead of 8 because you need an HTPC to be extra speedy since it will use a lot of ram memory when streaming etc. Otherwise that was a very good video and gives you a lot of info and insight into what makes a true HTPC.

    DBEPIC 3 years ago +1

    "It should be stealthy like a dead cat."....... what the fuck.

  • OfficerBob
    OfficerBob 3 years ago

    What's the idea of HTPC, if you have a smart tv/console?

    • Der Hof 2007
      Der Hof 2007 3 years ago

      Well, honestly this is the best video to showcase how awesome a well setup HTPC can be... Do some searches for XBMC... then again, maybe its just not for you.

    • OfficerBob
      OfficerBob 3 years ago

      +blah blah That's why I clicked this video in the first place.

    • Der Hof 2007
      Der Hof 2007 3 years ago

      Not even close Bro.... you really should look into it more.

    • OfficerBob
      OfficerBob 3 years ago

      +blah blah Basically it could be easily replaced by window's home group via network. Thanks for your insights 😄

    • Der Hof 2007
      Der Hof 2007 3 years ago

      Not even the same sport dude... that's like asking what's the difference between a pair of shoes and a car. HTPC has all your media stored locally... imagine Netflix on mega steroids. Much nicer interface (I use Kodi)... access to all my movies, tv series, music, pictures, music videos, home movies etc. I rip my own CD's, movies and everything else.... Top quality and never any buffering. Internet down? I still have all my media... constantly adding more... I could go on forever here but you obviously have internet access... do some research... starting with this video.

  • Adam D
    Adam D 3 years ago

    Do a review of using it. I wanna see how the 4 tuner works and stuff.

  • LukeyPook
    LukeyPook 3 years ago +9

    I love how he's watching the wan show while building it...

  • A. Zakieddine K
    A. Zakieddine K 3 years ago +10

    video was uploaded in 2014, the guy had an Asus maximus v gene, an i5 processor and 8 gb ram ARE PARTS FROM A SYSTEM THAT HE WASNT USING ANYMORE
    Dude we are in 2016 im still using a core2duo :'(

    • Old Hag Lugia
      Old Hag Lugia 18 days ago

      Don't worry. It's 2019 and I'm using a Phenom II and a hybrid ATSC/NTSC tuner for my HTPC.

    • A. Zakieddine K
      A. Zakieddine K 3 years ago

      @***** good luck, i'd like to see that happen i might use your first produced one

    • A. Zakieddine K
      A. Zakieddine K 3 years ago

      +Automaton Nº0013 yes i'm going with an LGA1051 Skylake build i think,
      have to decide which motherboard to buy between the ASUS H110M-A the Asrock H110M-HDS and Gigabyte GA-H110M-S2H they all support DDR4 and are CHEAP, but i'm fixed on the processor for the moment it will be an G4400 until i have a little bit of money to get an i7

  • MustangsbyMatt
    MustangsbyMatt 3 years ago +4

    Did the Part 3 ever come to fruition?

  • Factual Flo
    Factual Flo 3 years ago +5

    what's the brand for your optical drive in this build?

  • bruce lowe
    bruce lowe 3 years ago

    can a blu ray player be added?

  • rayden54
    rayden54 3 years ago

    My DirecTV DVR used a WD Green Drive.

  • katumping5150
    katumping5150 3 years ago +1

    hi paul, Any suggest to make a PC not vacum a dust?

    • Miguel Ortiz
      Miguel Ortiz 3 years ago

      +katumping5150 Have positive case air pressure. Less dust will be sucked in through non filtered holes.

  • A Jettison hem Tit
    A Jettison hem Tit 3 years ago

    y u make htpc OP?

  • jedidethfreak
    jedidethfreak 3 years ago +3

    My gaming rig would be an HTPC then. I exclusively PC game on my TV via my home stereo, and have for years. The vast majority of PC gamers game at 1080p, so I don't feel like I'm missing anything playing at that resolution, and playing on a 55-inch TV with true 7.1 surround sound (featuring four 16-inch woofers) is a much more enjoyable experience for me than playing on a 22-inch monitor with headphones or a 2.1 PC speaker system.
    No, my wireless keyboard and mouse may not be the greatest for gaming, but I enjoy it - I run a Logitech Wireless K360/M325 combo, and enjoy using them when I'm not using my Xbox 360 controllers. I also stream and play music, tv, and movies with it.