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General/HTPC build advice

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September 21, 2013 7:06:09 AM

basically planning a build for around £500 mark but may give or take if a particular part is worth it. first problem is which cpu? i started as an fx 6300 but the more i researched i got sidetracked toward the A10 6700 or the A10 6800k. now the build will be for general tasks/accountancy tasks and for blu ray player,netflix itunes etc. not very taxing tasks but it must be capable of 1080p and must be relativly quick to use, file transfer etc. as i said a simple enough build but where is the sweetspot for the cpu in terms of price, longevity(want to last a long time) and more so overkill for this build. are the two mentioned already a bit much? how do the i3 chips compare for a build like this? am i correct in thinking an APU with onboard graphics is a better choice than the fx series with a GPU? there will be no gaming at all on this machine. any advice welcome on the build:) 

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a b à CPUs
September 21, 2013 7:12:58 AM

For a HTPC build for only light apps, I'd go with Intel i3 (much lower power consumption & higher performance per watt) to run it at the absolute lowest possible fan rpm levels (silence). Virtually every CPU made since 2010 can do hardware Blu-Ray playback 1080p at barely 10-15% CPU load on a single core. Intel vs AMD onboard GFX difference is zero for just media playback - you don't need to buy a GFX card if you're not gaming. Even a Pentium G2120 / G3220 will do all you want at a lower cost.

The key to HTPC's is very low noise levels, which is a lot easier when one CPU is chucking out 65w less heat than another:-
http://www.anandtech.com/show/6396/the-vishera-review-a...

For a "snappy" system, I'd recommend a small 64-128GB SSD (for the OS + applications) + a large HDD (for a ton of recorded video assuming that's what you're using it for). SSD's make much more of a "snappiness" difference than CPU's.
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September 21, 2013 9:56:33 AM

Thamks for the reply! So a relativly good futureproof system would be:

Intel Core i3 3220 Dual Core CPU £88
Gigabyte SKT-1155 B75M-D3H Motherboard £54.22
Corsair Builder Series CX 430 Watt ATX/EPS 80 PLUS Bronze Power £35.18
Kingston HyperX DDR3 1600MHz CL9 8GB DIMM Memory Module £57.25
Samsung 840 Series 120GB 2.5 inch SATA Solid State Drive £74.99
Western Digital Black - 3.5 inch 1TB £67.31

Going for good quailty aswell so anything you would change here? win 7 or 8 64 bit aswell.
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a b à CPUs
September 21, 2013 10:06:52 AM

With 8GB RAM, you'll need a 64-bit OS. Windows 7 would be better than Windows 8 since Microsoft removed Windows Media Centre from it! There are other alternative programs but even so, "out of the box" Windows 8 isn't an 'upgrade' at all for HTPC's.

As for hardware, that looks pretty good. If you wanted to save more, you could still drop to a Pentium just for a basic work box / playing back video. Just install the OS + all your programs on the Samsung SSD, then use the HDD as a data / video drive, and it will be very snappy overall. When it's up & running, you could also go into the BIOS and lower some of the fan settings to get it running as quietly as possible. i3's put out hardly any heat all so you should get it very quiet depending on what case / other fans you've got.
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September 21, 2013 1:53:53 PM

Perfect, thanks for the help! :) 
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