Change from Atx to mAtx for HTPC, Mb and CPU

I am trying to switch from an ATX mb to Micro ATX (smaller, good excuse) to put my pc in a HTPC case. I mainly use this to play Pandora through my receiver and watch movies.
Here is my current hardware:
ASUS M2N32-SLI Deluxe
2 GB Muskin DDR2 800
XFX 7900GT 256MB with a AccelleroS1 cooler connected via DVI - HDMI cable and 6FT Optical Toslink Cable.
Plus an Antec Truepower 550 and 2 hard drives.

I am looking at this Antec case, it has a free slim 4350 GPU with it.

So, I can either:

A) get a new AM2 motherboard that is mATX for ~$50,
or
B) get something like this thread suggests:
Combo
AMD Athlon II X2 250 Regor 3.0GHz
+
GIGABYTE GA-MA785GM-US2H AM3/AM2+/AM2
Combo Price: $133.99

What do you guys think is my best bet?

Any help is greatly appreciated!!
Thanks,
John
19 answers Last reply
More about change matx htpc
  1. You haven't mentioned what CPU you have.
  2. Also, there are a few HTPC cases that are ATX. I got the Cooler Master 360 (something like that) and it looks pretty good. They were on sale at microcenter for awhile.
  3. Proximon said:
    You haven't mentioned what CPU you have.


    Oops, thats kind of important here isn't it? My current CPU is an AMD Athlon 64 X2 4200 89W.
    Thanks!
  4. Seems like you should just grab a new board, if for no other reason because the old board is... old.

    You can always upgrade the CPU another time.

    One like this will support your CPU and pretty much any future CPU at least that is out right now:
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131595
  5. Proximon said:
    Seems like you should just grab a new board, if for no other reason because the old board is... old.

    You can always upgrade the CPU another time.

    One like this will support your CPU and pretty much any future CPU at least that is out right now:
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131595

    Good point about upgrading the cpu later. One thought I had on that is that I planned to attempt to sell the MB, GPU and CPU. Would it be benificial to sell them as a set? Or maybe it doesn't matter since it would lack other components to make a full set. Also, where would be the best place to sell it? Craigslist?

    One other question. As far as audio over hdmi, is it all the same or would the onboard hdmi offer different formats than the discete 4350? My receiver should be able to handle the latest and greatest.
  6. The best place to sell it would be on ebay. You should get the most by selling the MB and CPU together but the GPU separately, with language on both saying you'd combine shipping if someone won both. I've been watching the auctions for mobo with AMD CPU for awhile now, and good boards like that one seem to go pretty high. I'm not sure why though. By that I mean, over 100.

    As far as audio and HDMI, I don't know I just use the VGA plug on my TV.
  7. The integrated HD4200 GPU on the 785G motherboard will offer the same audio over HDMI options as the 4350. I like Proximon's suggested motherboard. Here's another option that's cheaper and has free shipping:

    GIGABYTE GA-MA785GM-US2H AM3/AM2+/AM2 AMD 785G HDMI Micro ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail $79.99

    If you're interested in upgrading your CPU, you might want to consider doing it right now so you can use a combo. Here's a combo deal with the above motherboard and the Athlon II X2 240. Using this combo makes the CPU only $40.

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.273663
  8. shortstuff_mt said:
    The integrated HD4200 GPU on the 785G motherboard will offer the same audio over HDMI options as the 4350. I like Proximon's suggested motherboard. Here's another option that's cheaper and has free shipping:

    GIGABYTE GA-MA785GM-US2H AM3/AM2+/AM2 AMD 785G HDMI Micro ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail $79.99

    If you're interested in upgrading your CPU, you might want to consider doing it right now so you can use a combo. Here's a combo deal with the above motherboard and the Athlon II X2 240. Using this combo makes the CPU only $40.

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.273663


    One thing I tried (unsucessfully) to do is look at benchmarks on my 4200 vs something like the Athlon 240 you suggested. The benchmarks I found are all using different versions of the same test or different tests all together. Is there a way/place to see a comparable benchmark between 2 processors that are from different sockets/timeperiods?
  9. I'll have to dig a little deeper for the exact comparison you're looking for. Here's one that includes the Athlon X2 6400+ (3.2GHz) vs the Athlon II X2 250 (3GHz). You'll notice that the Athlon II X2 beats the 6400+ in every benchmark. That should give you an idea since you're CPU is much slower than the 6400+.

    http://www.anandtech.com/cpuchipsets/showdoc.aspx?i=3572&p=5

    The 4200+ is plenty for a HTPC, though. I'm just saying that the Athlon II X2 240 is a nice upgrade for $40.
  10. shortstuff_mt said:
    I'll have to dig a little deeper for the exact comparison you're looking for. Here's one that includes the Athlon X2 6400+ (3.2GHz) vs the Athlon II X2 250 (3GHz). You'll notice that the Athlon II X2 beats the 6400+ in every benchmark. That should give you an idea since you're CPU is much slower than the 6400+.

    http://www.anandtech.com/cpuchipsets/showdoc.aspx?i=3572&p=5

    The 4200+ is plenty for a HTPC, though. I'm just saying that the Athlon II X2 240 is a nice upgrade for $40.

    I agree. That is really good info. I can't see the combo you linked, but I think newegg has been a little sick lately.
    It sure is nice to be able to make such well informed decisions. I love the Internets! ;)
  11. What do you guys think about this Silverstone case? I like it because it is only 13" deep.

    The deals that were linked earlier have already expired, here is what is on the Newegg Deals page after you click on HTPC cases.

    Jetway 790GX MB with Athlon II 240

    MSI Nivdia 750a with Athlon II 250
    This one is $12 cheaper but I don't think it will do Audio over HDMI.

    What do you guys think of your HTPC cases? Do I need to worry about the size of the case? I think I can fit my existing MB/GPU in the nMediapc 6000 without spending the extra $160.
  12. bueller? ;)
  13. You linked the combo instead of the case. Did you mean the Sugo?

    A big no to Jetway boards and a big no to 750a boards.

    This would be the better combo, although you would have to pay a bit extra for DDR2.... or just reuse your Mushkin.
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.290473
  14. Proximon said:
    You linked the combo instead of the case. Did you mean the Sugo?

    A big no to Jetway boards and a big no to 750a boards.

    This would be the better combo, although you would have to pay a bit extra for DDR2.... or just reuse your Mushkin.
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.290473


    I meant the Silverstone Grandia case What do you think?

    I understand a smaller case is harder to install parts into but how much weight should I give to the size of the case?

    That is a good deal on the combo! How do you find those? I go to newegg, computer hardware, motherboards, "cpu & MB combos", then I get 4 pages of combos. If I go to the "Home > Specials" area my searches never seem to work...
  15. Proximon said:
    You linked the combo instead of the case. Did you mean the Sugo?

    A big no to Jetway boards and a big no to 750a boards.

    This would be the better combo, although you would have to pay a bit extra for DDR2.... or just reuse your Mushkin.
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.290473


    One more thing, the Gigabyte you linked has an 8 pin CPU power connector. I have an Antec Truepower 2.0 550 on my HTPC currently and a Corsair 400CX on my BIOSTAR TA790GX in the office. The Antec has an 8 pin and the Corsair has a pair of 4 pin connectors (not technically an 8 pin). Will either work? I was going to use the Corsair because I assumed it would produce less heat...
  16. berryjr1 said:
    I meant the Silverstone Grandia case What do you think?

    I understand a smaller case is harder to install parts into but how much weight should I give to the size of the case?

    That is a good deal on the combo! How do you find those? I go to newegg, computer hardware, motherboards, "cpu & MB combos", then I get 4 pages of combos. If I go to the "Home > Specials" area my searches never seem to work...


    I think the case is OK. Adequate cooling seems like.

    On the combos, start with a part, like the Regor in that combo. Look below the price and you'll find a link to combos available with just that part. it's under a tab that says "Combo and essentials".

    8-pin sockets are backwards compatible with 4-pin. The 4-pin just fits in there one way, can't be messed up. So either PSU is fine.
  17. Proximon said:
    I think the case is OK. Adequate cooling seems like.

    On the combos, start with a part, like the Regor in that combo. Look below the price and you'll find a link to combos available with just that part. it's under a tab that says "Combo and essentials".

    8-pin sockets are backwards compatible with 4-pin. The 4-pin just fits in there one way, can't be messed up. So either PSU is fine.


    Thanks on the combo suggestion. That seems to work fine.

    I like the size of the case. I think the 3 120mm fans would do fine. The face place could use a little interest though.
  18. There is always a catch.

    The Silverstone Grandia GD04 has a restricted CPU cooler height when an optical drive is installed. See their product page.
    I have tried to google, does anyone know the height of the cooler assembly on the Athlon II 240 etc?
    It says 70mm (2.75") with optical drive and 120mm (4.7") without. Or you can buy their $50 cooler.
  19. How about an external drive? That would free up the space. I think the stock cooler is too tall.
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