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**Critique My Quiet Cheap Gaming HTPC Build**

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January 23, 2009 10:07:29 PM

Hey, so this is my first time building an AMD machine and was looking for any input on making it better. I'm trying to make a somewhat cheap and quiet gaming htpc. I want to be able to upgrade later (CPU, another HD 4850 and maybe more memory) so that I will have a solid machine for the next 3-5 years-ish. So please recommend any lower cost alternatives that will fit the bill. Also, any recommendations for a digital HD TV tuner would be great.

**Case**
Antec Three Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811129042
$49.95

**MOBO**
ASUS M3A79-T Deluxe AM2+/AM2 AMD 790FX
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131339
$188.99

**CPU**
AMD Athlon 64 X2 7750 Kuma 2.7GHz Socket AM2+ 95W Dual-Core black edition Processor Model AD775ZWCGHBOX - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103300
$78.00

**Graphics Card**
SAPPHIRE 100245L Radeon HD 4850 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814102770
$144.99

**Wireless**
ENCORE ENLWI-N PCI 2.3 Wireless Adapter - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16833180052
$19.99

**Memory**
OCZ 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 1066 (PC2 8500) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model OCZ2G10664GK - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820227362
$46.99

**PSU**
ENERMAX MODU82+ EMD625AWT 625W ATX12V Ver.2.3
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817194027
$159.99 - $50 MIR = $109.99

**HDD**
SAMSUNG Spinpoint F1 HD103UJ 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822152102
$94.99

**DVD Burner**
Pioneer 20X DVD±R DVD Burner Black SATA Model DVR-216DBK - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827129032
$26.99

**Monitor**
ASUS VH242H Black 23.6" 5ms HDMI Full 1080P Widescreen LCD Monitor
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16824236052
$229.99

**Keyboard**
Logitech 920-000021 Black USB Standard Access Keyboard 600 - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16823126028
$24.99

**Mouse**
RAZER DeathAdder RZ01-00150100-R3M1 Black 5 Buttons 1 x Wheel USB Optical High Precision Gaming Mouse - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16826153007
$49.99

Total: $1,065.89

Thanks guys!

HARO
January 24, 2009 2:08:46 PM

I'm thinking that my choice of processor might be a poor one. I could get a Phenom for not too much more. The only thing is that I've heard they run very hot... Any ideas on the processor?
January 24, 2009 7:05:46 PM

I once built a HTPC. I used a slim case about the size and shape of a fat vcr. It had a spot for one HDD and one external media drive. In other words, there was no room for expansion when I wanted to add more hard drives and turn it into a more general purpose media server. Also, It never was truly quiet and you could hear the whirr of the fan whenever it was on.

In the end I just cut a hole in the wall and ran a long HDMI cable from the television upstairs to the basement downstairs. I also got a usb extension cable so that I could still use the wireless keyboard and mouse upstairs. Now my HTPC, makes *NO* noise when I am watching movies because it is in the basement. In hindsight, I should have done this to begin with, because running the cables was not that difficult and I could have bought a normal desktop computer with much more expansion capability for the same price I paid for the HTPC build.
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January 24, 2009 8:49:15 PM

1. Get a G5! :p 

2. You might be better off building 2 different PCs. 1 for Gaming another for HTPC. You can build a decent HTPC for ~$350-400. Rest for gaming.

3. My recommendation:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Hauppauge WinTV-HVR-1600 $85

4. I'm not sure if putting a 4850 in a HTPC case is a good idea as I can't see the inside of it. (Card length might be a problem)

January 24, 2009 11:03:36 PM

I would say that your GPU is overkill for a HTPC, but if you will be gaming on that 24" monitor, you may need a 4870 (1gb if you can afford it).

Be wary of card length as suggested. I have a friend who is buying another case because his GPU won't fit in his HTPC case.

I think you can a similar quality PSU for even less - PC Power and Cooling or Corsair in the 600w range can be had for less.

I agree about the CPU choice - it may be a little less than you'll want if you'll be gaming on that thing for awhile.
January 24, 2009 11:17:07 PM

I don't see 'quiet' or 'cheap' anywhere in the components you've selected (save for the 82+). I think the idea of having two different machines is a good suggestion.

Edit: a second for the HVR 1600 suggestion (or 1800). I have one of both and i love them. If you're looking to record HD cable and premium stuff you'll need to go with an ATI Digital Cable tuner (~$200/tuner).
January 24, 2009 11:39:16 PM

Yeah, I'm not seeing the cheap or quiet angle here either.
If you are spending that much total you should be getting a much better processor. I'd go for a q6600 at least if my budget was in that range.
January 25, 2009 12:23:27 AM

Hm.. well i made some edits to my build list above. I don't really need the HTPC look and that's really the only reason i wanted that case. I'm thinking the only thing that needs to be upgraded is the CPU now. I think i could OC this one to 3.2 GHz-ish and hold out for a year or so until better Phenom II chips come out.

All the major components (except the vid card) i picked out are from silentpcreview's recommended lists for noise reduction so i'd think it would be pretty quiet.

I upgraded the mobo so that i can OC better, got a cheaper case and saved $50 on the monitor so it reduced the overall price by a lil.

Oh and as far as usage goes, this will be my everyday computer and gaming on the side. Its going in my bedroom on a desk so the HTPC case was just for looks.

Do you really think an HD 4850 will struggle with 1920x1080???

Thanks for the recommendations on the tuners. I think it will mostly be OTA HD.
January 25, 2009 12:34:13 AM

Usually 24" monitors will need a bit more power than a 4850 for settings on high, etc - most would recommend at least the 4870, especially since games continue to get more complex.

January 25, 2009 12:59:02 AM

Cheap and quiet? no. You need to rework the entire thing. One idea would be to go low end intel and oc. $188 amd mobo? why? keep researching methinks.
January 25, 2009 12:59:35 AM

So basically you want a gaming computer with a TV tuner.
January 25, 2009 1:18:01 AM

My logic on the mobo was that it was AM2+, 790fx with a SB750, can do crossfire with 2 x16, good for OCing, and has gotten a lot of praise by enthusiasts... please feel free to give me an alternative that has decent reviews out there.
January 25, 2009 1:59:17 AM

Go with Intel.
For the price of the cpu/mb you picked out you can get a good P45 board and a q6600. Worlds better than what you picked out and overclocks better as well.
January 25, 2009 2:25:23 AM

If I were to go with Intel, I'd be essentially eliminating all chance of upgrading in the future since the sockets wont be compatible.

By going AM2+ with a good mobo, I can use a cheap, good X2 and upgrade later once a better AM3 Phenom II chip comes out.

I'm okay with dropping $200 (CPU and RAM?) in a year or so to make my computer a lot better.

Makes sense right?
January 25, 2009 2:42:21 AM

I'd change your video card to This one:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
It has an 8% slower clock core, has 25% less SPUs, but it's only $99.00 vs. your 149.99. I think this is better from a performance/price ratio because in the next few months, AMD and NVIDIA are going to develop better cards in the 150 dollar range and you'll have spent 50 dollars more for 5 more fps. save ur money and buy more cost efficiently.
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January 25, 2009 2:53:28 AM

shoota said:
Cheap and quiet? no. You need to rework the entire thing. One idea would be to go low end intel and oc. $188 amd mobo? why? keep researching methinks.


I agree. I recommend that you do not go AMD on this one. Performance/Cost for your "cheap" computer is Intel's strong suit as well. You don't need to buy a nehalem or westmere cpu because 1. they're expensive, 2. their price will drop, 3. it won't be cool and quiet. I'd recommend the following:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
It's under $100 dollars, it fits in your "cheap" category (don't expect a huge power cpu when talking cheap). Are you really going to feel the difference between an 800MHz FSB vs 1066MHz when you overclock it?(which i don't recommend, but can do to this cpu if u want max power). Pretty soon, that expensive AMD you might buy is going to be obsolete real fast. Intel, honestly, is the better cpu for you.
January 25, 2009 3:02:11 AM

No, the phenom IIs are the amd equivalent of the core2quads. They are just now finally catching up and actually haven't quite gotten there yet. Perhaps the performance boost from the on-chip ddr3 controller for the am3 chips will make up the difference but you would need a new motherboard to use ddr3 ram in any case.
Basically you are spending too much on weaker processor in (false) hopes of saving money later by spending more upgrading just to match what you could get right now for the money you originally spent... if you can follow that.
The core2 systems have the memory controller on the motherboard and there are some that can use ddr3 so if you are really interested in ddr3 go with intel and you can use it now.
A decent P45 motherboard is about $100 and get a q6600 if you plan to overclock, a q8300 if you don't. They are both $190. That's a bit pricier than the cpu/mb combo you picked out but it's much much better.
If you want to save money get the e5200 like fox suggested. It's a good deal better than the chip you picked out and is a great overclocker. Then you can always upgrade to a quad later. The prices on the core2quads should come down a lot in the next year as more i7s are introduced and intel slashes prices in response to amd finally having competitive chips in the mid-range.
January 25, 2009 3:17:28 AM

jyjjy, unless you need to manipulate some huge files (which i doubt since this computer is basically a budget computer), quad core q6600 is overrated. It's hot, slow, works no better at normal tasks than the e5200, and let's face it, it's too expensive. the difference between an oc'd 5200 and 6600 is in reality, marginal and not worth the $100 difference that could go to a future computer build.

for your memory
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
is a better pick. it's 5 dollars cheaper, and it has a better heatsink than your pick.
January 25, 2009 3:24:58 AM

Huh? that memory is $15 more expensive... worth it? I'll take a few Intel mobo/cpu combos and post another config.
January 25, 2009 3:34:41 AM

Yeah, most applications can't properly utilize 4 cores at the moment. That should change in time but for now an OCed e5200 is a the best price/performance choice by a good amount.
Going for that and saving for an upgrade to an i7 based system would probably be the wisest choice. Or you can just get a quad later after the prices come down and software changes to take better advantage of more cores.
January 25, 2009 5:14:54 AM

harozi2 said:
Huh? that memory is $15 more expensive... worth it? I'll take a few Intel mobo/cpu combos and post another config.


it comes with a $20 rebate so it's $5 cheaper than the one he chose.
January 25, 2009 5:20:33 AM

jyjjy said:
Yeah, most applications can't properly utilize 4 cores at the moment. That should change in time but for now an OCed e5200 is a the best price/performance choice by a good amount.
Going for that and saving for an upgrade to an i7 based system would probably be the wisest choice. Or you can just get a quad later after the prices come down and software changes to take better advantage of more cores.


Don't buy a Nehalem Core i7 CPU. They have a TDP of 120W. They are too hot, too expensive, and Westmere will replace Nehalem this year. Besides, why buy Nehalem when we can just let a cheaper costing computer carry us about 2-3 more years when the graphics chip is integrated with the cpu and latency is super low. Nehalem is just the beginning. It's like the old Prescott. Oh yeah, it had a high clock speed, but it was very unrefined. Wait for better technologies to reduce die size, be more power efficient, and be cheaper as more and smaller cpus fit into bigger wafers that drive costs downwardly.
January 25, 2009 1:27:38 PM

If you go with the E5200, I would say go P45 or P43 (if money is a concern).

The P45 - Asus P5QL Pro - only has 1 x16 slot. You can't do crossfire on that board if that was ever an option for you.

There are some good P45 boards available for just a little bit more with more features.
January 25, 2009 2:07:25 PM

Are you guys kidding me?

A Q6600 would definitely be worth it. Ever hear of DVD burning/writing?
It's hot and slow? I have mine OC'd to 3.0 GHz with an after market heatsink and I am averaging 30C in CoreTemp.

e5200 also has way less CPU cache, even if you disagree about a quad core not being utilized, the difference in CPU cache will definitely be noticed in everyday tasks. Anyways, I highly disagree about the lack of quad core support you guys talk about. Look at Tom's CPU charts. In most of the charts, quad cores come first in the rankings followed by dual cores. The q6600 is so overclockable it will still win in applications where clock speed is all that matters. Just make sure you get a decent heat sink.

http://www.tomshardware.com/charts/desktop-cpu-charts-q...

Go for a lesser video card. HD 4830 is fine.


January 25, 2009 2:20:00 PM

vanguardfox said:
Don't buy a Nehalem Core i7 CPU. They have a TDP of 120W. They are too hot, too expensive, and Westmere will replace Nehalem this year. Besides, why buy Nehalem when we can just let a cheaper costing computer carry us about 2-3 more years when the graphics chip is integrated with the cpu and latency is super low. Nehalem is just the beginning. It's like the old Prescott. Oh yeah, it had a high clock speed, but it was very unrefined. Wait for better technologies to reduce die size, be more power efficient, and be cheaper as more and smaller cpus fit into bigger wafers that drive costs downwardly.


Complete BS. I don't mean to be a prick but you really have no idea what you are talking about. I hate those buzz phrases like "reduce die size that drives cost down" "unrefined technology" that get spread around forums. You speak like you know everything, but I highly doubt you have the "in" on what Intel's plans are.

Anyways, the i7 920 can be had for $295 at newegg. That is not unreasonable at all! You can even get a combo deal with an appropriate motherboard (a good one, the Asus P6T) for $550. You are on your way to building an awesome computer for around $1300. Hardly unreasonable for a computer that will run pretty much anything you throw at it!

January 25, 2009 2:20:34 PM

njalterio said:
Are you guys kidding me?

A Q6600 would definitely be worth it. Ever hear of DVD burning/writing?
It's hot and slow? I have mine OC'd to 3.0 GHz with an after market heatsink and I am averaging 30C in CoreTemp.

e5200 also has way less CPU cache, even if you disagree about a quad core not being utilized, the difference in CPU cache will definitely be noticed in everyday tasks. Anyways, I highly disagree about the lack of quad core support you guys talk about. Look at Tom's CPU charts. In most of the charts, quad cores come first in the rankings followed by dual cores. The q6600 is so overclockable it will still win in applications where clock speed is all that matters. Just make sure you get a decent heat sink.

http://www.tomshardware.com/charts/desktop-cpu-charts-q...

Go for a lesser video card. HD 4830 is fine.


He's going for a "cheap" computer. All of that burning for dvds can be done with a e5200. there's no necessity for quad core as of now besides very few games and hardcore video editing. so what if it has less CPU cache? it's half the price of the Q6600. with the e5200 overclocked, 4 gigs of ddr2 ram, quad core is a technology too soon released. THOSE 1ST PLACE SCORES YOU TALK ABOUT ARE BENCHMARK SCORES THAT TEST THE ABSOLUTE MAX OF THE CPU. THEY DO NOT REALIZED PERFORMANCE/COST RATIOS. the choice is simple. you can either go quad core for twice the price at an albeit 2% speed difference to be noticed, or go $70 on an overclocked if needed to be oc'd e5200. save ur money for a future build. you don't need that extra 5 FPS from a q6600.
January 25, 2009 2:57:13 PM

There's a lot of fud flying around this post. What was true 6 months ago (many programs are not written for 3+ core) is not now. Take GTA IV as an example, it truly needs a quad to get decent FPS, and in the next year it will be even more mandatory.

Intel quads are still faster than AMD quads, so what's the big advantage to going with an AMD system that you can upgrade to Phenom II when Intel still has higher clocked models, and they have a clock-for-clock advantage. I would venture to say that a Q9550 or Q9650 (now only $316) will be plenty of processor for the next 2-3 years in most instances (especially overclocked). Do you really expect AMD to come out with a 3.2Ghz+ Phenom II? (Because that's what it would take to overpower Intel)
January 25, 2009 5:08:27 PM

Hey, so this is my first time building an AMD machine and was looking for any input on making it better. I'm trying to make a somewhat cheap and quiet gaming htpc. I want to be able to upgrade later (CPU, another HD 4850 and maybe more memory) so that I will have a solid machine for the next 3-5 years-ish. So please recommend any lower cost alternatives that will fit the bill. Also, any recommendations for a digital HD TV tuner would be great.

I just poured over the Kuma reviews yestereday. I was looking to see if I could piece together a system for Toms Cheap computer Challenge even though I cant enter it... (My kingdom for a socket P motherboard).

The x2 7750 is not a great gaming CPU choice. Sadly, all the AMD's in this price range run hot and don't overclock well. The Kuma performance is supposed to be about equal to about an E5200 in benchmarks. The E5200 if you can find one Sells for $79.00. It will overclock alot further than the Kuma. . We are more concerned about heat with a HTPC than a regular tower.

One of AMD's big advantages lately is cheap motherboards. The one you picked is too expensive. There's 5 egg boards on New Egg for 80.

What makes an HTPC is usually the Case and optionally a micro ATX mainboard. Your Case is Huge.
This thing should be the size of a VCR so it can fit under your TV.



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

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

Those are HTPC cases.

Antec has a SLI certified earth watts 500W that 80 plus.

I'd buy that and replace the PSU thats in the case. If you really need SLI someday.



HTPC cases usually requires a low profle video card and can be hard to keep cool.

The 9600GT is the fastest half height card you can get. Make sure it has DVI or HDMI outs. A TV is only 1080i so you aren't gunna be running any crazy high resolution.

You could SLI 2 of those if you really needed too.. They use about 95W each max and heat is a concern.

Maybe get laptop HD to save space and and give you better airflow.

Wireless nic is handy to keep cables to a minimum.


Smaller would be better but you might not get enough power plugs.
January 25, 2009 6:01:09 PM

In case you haven't been paying attention, Intel and AMD have stopped plans for making any more QUAD CORES. This is because it is forecasted that it would take 5-10 years to utilize these cores economically and practically. He is looking for a cheap computer, so that Q9650 is going to overprice his computer. You're talking about triple the price of a cpu for about a 20% faster cpu. It's not worth it. You can run GTA IV better if you had a better video card. Cpu doesn't have NEARLY as much effect as a good Video Card. Just imagine spending $1000 on a computer now, and then 1 year from now, the same computer is worth $550. We always want fast performance, but think of buying the cheap products now as the revolutionary products of last year. Remember when you think "wow, i'm glad i waited for the price to go down"? well, i don't think a $50 game justifies 5 more FPS in exchange for $500 more. Just watch.
January 25, 2009 6:05:18 PM

harozi2 said:
I'm thinking that my choice of processor might be a poor one. I could get a Phenom for not too much more. The only thing is that I've heard they run very hot... Any ideas on the processor?


The P2s are no hotter then most current CPUs on the shelf.

Avoid all Asus MBs at all costs. Super chinese production line crap that is not fit to prop up your desk.
January 25, 2009 6:29:48 PM

The Phenom 2 are interesting. I think they cost too much for his build. But more importantly is the Phenoms 125W rating vs an E5200 @ 65W. All that heat has to go somewhere..
January 25, 2009 6:34:18 PM

"Intel and AMD have stopped plans for making any more QUAD CORES"

What are you talking about? All of the i7s are quads and so are the phenom IIs as well as every chip either company is planning to introduce in the future.
January 25, 2009 6:49:40 PM

Intel is planning to stop making quad cores?

Supposedly, future I7's will have six 8 core variants but the quad core will be the base model. Dual core chips are great for low power and heat sensitive builds like HTPCs and notebooks. It turns out that for most games a dual core will get the job done.

I'm thinking about switching out my E6400 with a Q6600 before they quit makeing the 1066 FSB chips.

I only have a 965 chipset so I can't really use the newer ones in this box.
January 25, 2009 6:52:03 PM

harozi2 said:
Hey, so this is my first time building an AMD machine and was looking for any input on making it better. I'm trying to make a somewhat cheap and quiet gaming htpc. I want to be able to upgrade later (CPU, another HD 4850 and maybe more memory) so that I will have a solid machine for the next 3-5 years-ish. So please recommend any lower cost alternatives that will fit the bill. Also, any recommendations for a digital HD TV tuner would be great.

**Case**
Antec Three Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811129042
$49.95

**MOBO**
ASUS M3A79-T Deluxe AM2+/AM2 AMD 790FX
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131339
$188.99

**CPU**
AMD Athlon 64 X2 7750 Kuma 2.7GHz Socket AM2+ 95W Dual-Core black edition Processor Model AD775ZWCGHBOX - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103300
$78.00

**Graphics Card**
SAPPHIRE 100245L Radeon HD 4850 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814102770
$144.99

**Wireless**
ENCORE ENLWI-N PCI 2.3 Wireless Adapter - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16833180052
$19.99

**Memory**
OCZ 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 1066 (PC2 8500) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model OCZ2G10664GK - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820227362
$46.99

**PSU**
ENERMAX MODU82+ EMD625AWT 625W ATX12V Ver.2.3
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817194027
$159.99 - $50 MIR = $109.99

**HDD**
SAMSUNG Spinpoint F1 HD103UJ 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822152102
$94.99

**DVD Burner**
Pioneer 20X DVD±R DVD Burner Black SATA Model DVR-216DBK - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827129032
$26.99

**Monitor**
ASUS VH242H Black 23.6" 5ms HDMI Full 1080P Widescreen LCD Monitor
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16824236052
$229.99

**Keyboard**
Logitech 920-000021 Black USB Standard Access Keyboard 600 - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16823126028
$24.99

**Mouse**
RAZER DeathAdder RZ01-00150100-R3M1 Black 5 Buttons 1 x Wheel USB Optical High Precision Gaming Mouse - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16826153007
$49.99

Total: $1,065.89

Thanks guys!

HARO



Motherboard with AMD 790gx, like the Biostar ta790gx a2 will do great for your need and OC well. This CPU will be sufficient for now, and you'll be able to upgrade to PhenomII later, if you wish. You just savev 80$ that would better be spent on a bluray/dvd writer like this one

Onboard video sufficient for HD playing with even a lesser cpu. And sufficient enough even with a lesser cpu...
January 25, 2009 8:46:50 PM

Wouldn't the 65w intel chip be better than the 95w Kuma for htpc?

Pat -- Thats a great price on a blue ray drive
January 25, 2009 8:58:58 PM

+1 for the 790GX mobo
add a video card when it's time for gaming, keep it out during its time as an HTPC - that'll keep your heat down, quieter.

According to reviews on NewEgg, the X2 7750 runs at roughly 30 degrees C while the e5200 runs around 40 degrees C, all THAT heat has to go somewhere - and according to NewEgg reviews, with the stock cooler, the X2 overclocks to roughly 3.2 and the e5200 gets to around 3.0, so roughly equal clock for clock

I have the Biostar 790GX motherboard and it has some nice overclocking features.

My only idea instead of the Kuma processor, maybe go with the Black Edition Triple Core, that'd only be $40 more or so and kinda be the best of both worlds - overclocked for gaming, stock or underclocked (on the fly in AMD OverDrive) in HTPC mode.
January 25, 2009 9:30:23 PM

"with the stock cooler the X2 overclocks to roughly 3.2 and the e5200 gets to around 3.0, so roughly equal clock for clock"

The e5200 gets to 3.5 easily on stock cooling and is better on clock for clock basis. It's also cheaper and mine stays around 30 C except when gaming.
January 25, 2009 10:29:50 PM

average joe said:
Wouldn't the 65w intel chip be better than the 95w Kuma for htpc?

Pat -- Thats a great price on a blue ray drive

FYI, 65w CPU, DOESN'T CONSUME 65 WATTS.....just saying
Its the worst case scenario power consumption of the CPU. Hell My E7300 consumes 40W on a 3.18Ghz overclock
jerseygamer said:
The P2s are no hotter then most current CPUs on the shelf.

Avoid all Asus MBs at all costs. Super chinese production line crap that is not fit to prop up your desk.

Idiot, don't listen to him. ASUS makes some of the best motherboards on the market right now

KyleSTL said:
There's a lot of fud flying around this post. What was true 6 months ago (many programs are not written for 3+ core) is not now. Take GTA IV as an example, it truly needs a quad to get decent FPS, and in the next year it will be even more mandatory.

Intel quads are still faster than AMD quads, so what's the big advantage to going with an AMD system that you can upgrade to Phenom II when Intel still has higher clocked models, and they have a clock-for-clock advantage. I would venture to say that a Q9550 or Q9650 (now only $316) will be plenty of processor for the next 2-3 years in most instances (especially overclocked). Do you really expect AMD to come out with a 3.2Ghz+ Phenom II? (Because that's what it would take to overpower Intel)

Good advice
njalterio said:
Are you guys kidding me?

A Q6600 would definitely be worth it. Ever hear of DVD burning/writing?
It's hot and slow? I have mine OC'd to 3.0 GHz with an after market heatsink and I am averaging 30C in CoreTemp.

e5200 also has way less CPU cache, even if you disagree about a quad core not being utilized, the difference in CPU cache will definitely be noticed in everyday tasks. Anyways, I highly disagree about the lack of quad core support you guys talk about. Look at Tom's CPU charts. In most of the charts, quad cores come first in the rankings followed by dual cores. The q6600 is so overclockable it will still win in applications where clock speed is all that matters. Just make sure you get a decent heat sink.

http://www.tomshardware.com/charts/desktop-cpu-charts-q...

Go for a lesser video card. HD 4830 is fine.

Another Smart Man


Just saying that you're getting bad advice for people who don't know what there talking about
January 25, 2009 10:57:17 PM

I know that they don't consume 65w.. Thats the maximum out put for the E series and this chip is not close to the top tier E extreme...

65W is the worst case senario...

A q6600 is a better processor than both the e5200 and the AMD X2 7750. We all agree on that... It also costs $188.

We were giving our opinion about which of these two $70 processors would be a better choice for a HTPC.

I thought it would be the one that generally uses less power. Its entirely possible that the AMD uses less power when you factor in the IMC and compare the whole platform between the two. If that's true then I am wrong.

I don't think so though. I think the 7750 uses more power and runs hotter.

The e5200 out performs it in the benchmarks I've read and the e5200 tends to overclock farther.

I do not own either of these chips. This is just an opinion.





A q6600 is a great processor. If he can swing $188 for a CPU buy it.
January 25, 2009 11:20:42 PM

If I were going to build an AMD system I would definatly go Phenom 2 right off the bat.

If it wasn't in my buget at this time I would go with a x2 7750 as a placeholder until I could afford a P2.

I can't really see going Phenom 1 or tricore.

the 7750 outperforms alot of the tricore chips.

The phenom 2 is under 200 dollars. There doesn't seem to be a point to buying anything else right now.





January 25, 2009 11:50:11 PM

average joe said:
Wouldn't the 65w intel chip be better than the 95w Kuma for htpc?

Pat -- Thats a great price on a blue ray drive


I wouldn"t worry much about that, as the memory controller is in the AMD cpu and would cut some power from the chipset.

For HTPC, I always use AMD chipset.. they feel more comfortable with video than Intel. The dual core he choose will be ample sufficient for now.. and later he can get a PhenomII. I recommend the 790 gx chipset. I don't know if you game a lot, but even for an integrated, you can game a little. That would allow you to get a PhenomII now and later, when money will be better, then simply get the fastest video card you can afford. Going crossfire in a HTPC is not what I recommend the most.

I also recommend an external USB tuner. First, the tuner itself generate heat. And there is much more USB port that PCI or PCIe slots... and all you have to unplug in case you want to move the computer is an USB cable...

There is one thing I have to try with the Biostar 790gx board. Using the integrated video to drive a secondary video on the hdmi connector. and using the video card as primary on a computer screen. This way, I can still use the computer for anything, and watchig full screen movie on the secondary display with theater mode.

January 26, 2009 12:12:48 AM

I have also had nothing but trouble with the internal tv tuners.

Random blue screens and freezes which stop after the card is removed.

The USB ones seem to work much better.



January 26, 2009 12:35:08 AM

average joe said:
I have also had nothing but trouble with the internal tv tuners.

Random blue screens and freezes which stop after the card is removed.

The USB ones seem to work much better.


I cannot say that I've had trouble with internal, but the most problematics ones were the one with hardwareve decoder, as they were often incompatible with video editing software. With today's hardware, software decoder are my prefered. I have 2 winTV pvr-150 unused somewhere.
January 26, 2009 12:36:24 AM

I still think $188 is to much for an AMD motherboard.

Even if its a great board.
Socket AM3 will be out sometime this year and most of the new chips will probably benifit from the DDR3 support.

I know they say that they will be drop in upgrades but I don't trust them.

I own 2 socket 939 boards. It sucks to have your socket go obsolete.

They promised us 939 folks we would not be forgotten.

They had a few low end x2's initially but it didn't last long.



January 26, 2009 12:44:52 AM

average joe said:
I still think $188 is to much for an AMD motherboard.

Even if its a great board.
Socket AM3 will be out sometime this year and most of the new chips will probably benifit from the DDR3 support.

I know they say that they will be drop in upgrades but I don't trust them.

I own 2 socket 939 boards. It sucks to have your socket go obsolete.

They promised us 939 folks we would not be forgotten.

They had a few low end x2's initially but it didn't last long.



Thaat' why I recommend the 100$ Biostar. And I'm sure they will be compatible as BIOS supporting the AM3 CPU are already available.

As for socke 939.. well, when all the major OEM decided to swith to ddr2, then AMD did not have any other choice than to follow. It would have been too costly to maitain ddr1 cpu when all motherboard switched to ddr2. They would simply not sell enough of them to make it worth it.

it not AMD or Intel fault.. it is large OEM and consumers that drive the market
January 26, 2009 12:50:36 AM

Has the software for these TV tuners gotten any better?

My last TV Tuner build was a while back and the software that came with it was just terrible.

I was called in to try and fix the situation. We went through several retail cards but ended up going external..

I think it was a socket 478 Pentium 4 with a cheap PSU.

Needless to say it had other heat problems already...
January 26, 2009 1:16:48 AM

I rarely use the software that come with the tune, except with haupauge with hardware decoder. It was not really modern, but was doing the job. But drivers sucks...
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