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Super Budget Build!

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June 15, 2008 7:00:22 PM

This is the budget build I have put together, let me know if you guys have a better idea. It's a basic HTPC/linux box. Will get a video card upgrade in a few months if I need one.
Budget $300

Case/psu:
Linkworld 431-06 C.2828 Silver SECC/SGCC rustproof and galvanized steel available ATX Mid Tower Computer Case 500W Power Supply - Retail $32.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I liked the look, very mac pro-ish will fit in well with the room it's going in.

CPU:AMD Athlon 64 X2 4600+ Windsor 2.4GHz 2 x 512KB L2 Cache Socket AM2 65W Dual-Core Processor - Retail $55.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Mobo:GIGABYTE GA-MA74GM-S2H AM2+/AM2 AMD 740G HDMI Micro ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail $66.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

ODD: LG 20X DVD Burner Black SATA Model GH20NS10 - OEM $23.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

RAM:SUPER TALENT 2GB 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Desktop Memory Model T800UB2GV - Retail $34.99 - used super talent on many budget builds, very good deal.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

HDD: EXCELSTOR Jupiter Series ESJ8080S 80GB 7200 RPM 8MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM - $34.99 (media will be stored on NAS so I needed the smallest drive I can find)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Any suggestions or recommendations? How do you guys feel about the mobo I got. I had a $300 budget and this system came up to 303 total including shipping.
NY residents now have to pay sales tax on every item shipped into the state, so I had to go cheapo on the ram and HDD. Thank You New York for screwing me over.

More about : super budget build

June 15, 2008 7:07:41 PM

this is an HTPC, I will not be overclocking.
June 15, 2008 7:25:41 PM

Quote:
Get an Intel e2180 cpu and oc it a little bit and it will smoke the athlon. And get an Intel p31 motherboard, which is also cheap. Or a cheapest p35 you can find.
Other is good.
4600+ vs 2180 comparison only for you

4+6+0+0+ +++ boost vs 2+1+8+"e" - gaming boost

10 vs 11 and that 11 over clocks well. So go for intel.!! 11



Wow this guy is crazy.

To the OP: why the need for 2GB ram? I know it's cheap, but I can't see how 2GB is any better than 1GB for this HTPC. Also, the 740G might not be a good linux board, as the IGP may not have Linux drivers, (or at least not GOOD linux drivers which you may need for some of the hardware video decoding you'll likely want to do). You'll have to research this before you buy.
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June 15, 2008 7:53:33 PM

For an HTPC that looks perfect. I tried looking up HD playback for the Radeon 2100 in the past but turned up with nothing so I couldn't tell you how well it'd perform. Though it'd definitely perform better than any of intel's integrated graphics solutions. Tom's got a review of the 780g board that had flawless playback if you (or your customer) can afford the extra $23 on the Gigabyte 780g board I'd recommend it.
June 15, 2008 8:13:16 PM

Quote:
Get an Intel e2180 cpu and oc it a little bit and it will smoke the athlon. And get an Intel p31 motherboard, which is also cheap. Or a cheapest p35 you can find.
Other is good.
4600+ vs 2180 comparison only for you

4+6+0+0+ +++ boost vs 2+1+8+"e" - gaming boost

10 vs 11 and that 11 over clocks well. So go for intel.!! 11



I think this guy just learned how to add. He adds everything lol. What the hell. The model number has no signifigance to actual performance.


Dude model numbers dont add up to be performance. LOL. OMG.
Anonymous
a b à CPUs
June 15, 2008 8:39:20 PM

yes... anyway everyone should just ignore him... hes already had his posts deleted in a couple of threads... and does this same thing in every thread
June 15, 2008 9:05:07 PM

everyone ignore him. hes an idiot.
June 15, 2008 9:41:51 PM

Ryun said:
For an HTPC that looks perfect. I tried looking up HD playback for the Radeon 2100 in the past but turned up with nothing so I couldn't tell you how well it'd perform. Though it'd definitely perform better than any of intel's integrated graphics solutions. Tom's got a review of the 780g board that had flawless playback if you (or your customer) can afford the extra $23 on the Gigabyte 780g board I'd recommend it.


Thanks for the advice. I will be running Fedora, and I've used this board for a consumer once before, ran the fedora 8 live dvd on it and it worked great so I am sure it will work fine.
a b à CPUs
June 15, 2008 9:45:49 PM

For HTPC, you can use a single core processor, chances are you won't be doing too many things at once. And if you do plan on recording tv while watcing DVD, then it isn't a budget HTPC anymore.

Use : http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

It may be slower, but it is cooler, since your HTPC will be on all the time.

Now find yourself a 780G mobo with the money saved.
June 15, 2008 9:47:44 PM

To death with single-core processors. Right now, you'd want a dual core processor at least for multi-tasking/gaming/editing video, etc. I admit I have a single-core pentium M 725 1.6GHz dell inspiron 6000 with xp sp3 that rocks for reading digg.com and tomshardware. that was one hell of a upgrade going from that laptop to my current pc. Intel C2D E4600, GA-P35-DS3L (Rev. 2.0), 2x 1GB Crucial Ballistix DDR2-800, XFX 8800GT 512MB.
June 15, 2008 9:51:27 PM

finally that power post is gone
a c 99 à CPUs
June 16, 2008 4:13:57 AM

uria702 said:
This is the budget build I have put together, let me know if you guys have a better idea. It's a basic HTPC/linux box. Will get a video card upgrade in a few months if I need one.
Budget $300


Ah, a MythTV box I assume...very nice. I have some experience in this area and I'll try to help you out.

Quote:
Case/psu:
Linkworld 431-06 C.2828 Silver SECC/SGCC rustproof and galvanized steel available ATX Mid Tower Computer Case 500W Power Supply - Retail $32.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


The case is fine. I'd not trust the PSU farther than I could throw it though. Get the case, toss the PSU and spend and extra $40 and get a nice 300 watt Seasonic or other HIGH-QUALITY PSU. 300 watts is more than enough for an HTPC plus a good quality PSU is an absolute must, lest it fail and take out the entire system.

Quote:
CPU:AMD Athlon 64 X2 4600+ Windsor 2.4GHz 2 x 512KB L2 Cache Socket AM2 65W Dual-Core Processor - Retail $55.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


That's a nice CPU and very appropriate. You could also go for the slightly more-expensive and even cooler-running Athlon 4450e or 4850e, but the 4600+ already is a very cool-running chip and your case isn't so small that the little bit of added heat over the 4x50es would be noticeable.

Quote:
Mobo:GIGABYTE GA-MA74GM-S2H AM2+/AM2 AMD 740G HDMI Micro ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail $66.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

ODD: LG 20X DVD Burner Black SATA Model GH20NS10 - OEM $23.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


Very appropriate and Linux should play nicely with them.

Quote:
RAM:SUPER TALENT 2GB 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Desktop Memory Model T800UB2GV - Retail $34.99 - used super talent on many budget builds, very good deal.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


I am running MythTV on a Debian Lenny x86 install with a full GNOME desktop with 256 MB RAM and it is just enough RAM, so 2 GB is plenty. You do lose about 30% of your CPU's performance with only one stick of memory versus two, so I'd suggest 2x512 MB or 2x1 GB over a single 2 GB stick.

Quote:
HDD: EXCELSTOR Jupiter Series ESJ8080S 80GB 7200 RPM 8MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM - $34.99 (media will be stored on NAS so I needed the smallest drive I can find)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


Fair enough. You probably need all of 5 GB for the OS + swap (if you care to do suspend-to-disk.)

I do have a few suggestions:

1. You need a way to output video to your TV. The board has an HDMI and a DVI connector, which will work if you have an HDTV. If you have a 15-year-old tube TV like me, you have to have a composite-out (single yellow cable), S-video, or component (3 colored cables) for your TV output. You can get the correct video-out by either getting an RGB-to-whatever-output adapter or getting an inexpensive PCIe video card with the right output.

2. If you have an HDTV and intend to work with HDTV signals, you will need to get a little better CPU to do the processing and increase your budget. My X2 4200+ and a Radeon x1900GT frontend/backend has about 50% CPU utilization for 5.0-6.0 Mbps MPEG-2 720x480 SDTV at high quality and my old 2.2 GHz P4-M and Radeon M9000 frontend has about 90-95% CPU utilization for the same image settings. I'd suggest an X2 5600+ (either 2.9 GHz/2x512 KB cache or 2.8 GHz/2x1 MB cache) as a minimum AND get yourself an NVIDIA 8400GS PCIe card. The NVIDIA cards will do XvMC which lowers CPU utilization when displaying the video while the AMD/ATI cards and IGPs do not. You may also consider going to an Intel platform as an E8500 + G31 board + 8400GS would be probably the most potent HTPC gear out there that won't completely trash your budget or turn your case into a furnace.

About the HDTV playback you noted: Tom's only tests with Windows ( :pfff:  ) and the 780G has HW-accelerated playback a la XvMC on Windows but NOT on Linux. So the playback will require much more CPU under Linux than with Windows on that board, at least until AMD gets XvMC working on Radeon hardware or the community does so from AMD's recently-released GPU HW specs. NVIDIA gear should perform similarly under both OSes.

3. You probably want a remote control- the MS Media Center remotes work pretty well. I have the silver "mceusb2" one and it works nicely with Linux.

4. You also need a tuner card somewhere. If this is a frontend-only box, then you probably know how you are going to connect the box to the backend. 802.11g wireless is only suitable for SDTV or mediocre-quality 720p HDTV as you can really only expect 802.11g to throughput 15 Mbps or so reliably without dropping too many packets. If you are doing high-quality 720p or any 1080, use 802.11n or better yet, 100 Mbps or gigabit Ethernet. It's not *that* hard to run Cat5e cable, assuming you are allowed to make modifications to the walls.

5. Do you have a cable box or satellite receiver? If you do, you may want an IR blaster or a direct RS-232 link to do channel changing. In that case, you will want a serial port on your motherboard and yours does not have one. You can of course add a PCI or PCIe serial port card and it will work, but it's cheaper just to get one on the board in the first place. My board does NOT have a serial port and I'm hoping the second PCIe serial port card I ordered isn't DOA so I can change the channels on my cable box via its RS-232 link. The IR receiver in the Motorola DCT-2244 is absolute garbage but the RS-232 link works flawlessly.
a b à CPUs
June 16, 2008 3:43:43 PM

pcgamer12 said:
To death with single-core processors. Right now, you'd want a dual core processor at least for multi-tasking/gaming/editing video, etc. I admit I have a single-core pentium M 725 1.6GHz dell inspiron 6000 with xp sp3 that rocks for reading digg.com and tomshardware. that was one hell of a upgrade going from that laptop to my current pc. Intel C2D E4600, GA-P35-DS3L (Rev. 2.0), 2x 1GB Crucial Ballistix DDR2-800, XFX 8800GT 512MB.



What part of HTPC did you NOT understand.
a b à CPUs
June 16, 2008 3:50:40 PM

shadowthor said:
+1 for pcgamer12 on that the poster that posts about power index is an idiot :p . Dual core is the way to go.


What part of HTPC did you NOT understand. I will however refrain from calling someone who cannot read and idiot.

June 16, 2008 5:05:51 PM

He was referring to the power index person, not you. For a HTPC, you just need a basic comp, tbh any dell could be a HTPC, I have a crappy dell I got off someone for free, and its attach to my TV, I can surf the net, watch movies, record, etc.
June 16, 2008 5:11:40 PM

flyin15sec said:
What part of HTPC did you NOT understand. I will however refrain from calling someone who cannot read and idiot.


I understood about the HTPC, but I didn't post anything about it until now. Don't act as though you are the op, telling everyone What part of HTPC did you NOT understand.
a b à CPUs
June 16, 2008 6:16:44 PM

shadowthor said:
I understood about the HTPC, but I didn't post anything about it until now. Don't act as though you are the op, telling everyone What part of HTPC did you NOT understand.


I do apologize, I thought you were talking to me about my processor choice.

Where did I act like I was the OP? The OP gave his requirements, a budget HTPC build with $300 dollar limit. The person you agreed with, did not read the first post at all. He ranted on how a dual core is much better than a single core. WE ALL KNOW THIS! But had he read carefully he may have had better input. Sure my single core choice is "different", but how many budget HTPC will be recording TV, watching DVD, and ripping a CD music at the same time?

If the OP had another $25 or so, I'd recommend the AMD dual core 4X50e line instead.
June 16, 2008 7:43:06 PM

MU is right about the PS. The lower-power Earthwatts series from Antec are often on sale/with rebate for about $30, and are 80% efficient to boot.
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