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HTPC build with AM2+ and ATI 4550--Looking for Mobo

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February 25, 2010 1:54:13 PM

Hi all,

I am currently in the process of building a cheap-ish HTPC. I currently have a CPU and a Graphics Card, and was debating on what motherboard and case to get. I have built PC's in the past, but the last time I got my hands dirty, RD RAM was the best around, so it's been a while. I don't really understand the CrossfireX capabilities of the video card, can I use it in conjunction with an on-board Video Card? (Is that something I would want to do?).

Here are the parts I have now:

Video Card

CPU

I don't really understand
I am hoping to spend from 80-120 on a motherboard; but if I can get a combo on a mobo/htpc case, that would be great.

Thanks in advance, I joined this board because I always trusted Tom's Hardware, and this forum seems to be a great place to get good info.
February 25, 2010 2:06:55 PM

Here's a nice 785G board for a low price.

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

Here's a few couple combo deals with that board that might interest you.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite... $125.98 - $10 MIR (Gigabyte GA-MA785GM-US2H + Silverstone SUGO SG02-BF case combo)

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite... $160.98 (Gigabyte GA-MA785GM-US2H + Silverstone Sugo SG01-BF combo)

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite... $119.98 - $15 MIR (Gigabyte GA-MA785GM-US2H + Corsair CMPSU-400CX combo)

You didn't mention the RAM or HD, so I'll also give suggestions on those.

G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F2-6400CL5D-4GBPQ - Retail $84.99

Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 ST31000528AS 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive $94.99
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February 25, 2010 2:13:05 PM

Thanks so much for the quick response.
Between that board you pointed out, and this board that I just saw on sale, do you know if there would be a difference? The thing I'm not sure about is the CrossfireX... is this even worth fretting over?
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

No worries about HD's and RAM, I have spares, and I feel like rarely do you get compatibility issues with them.
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February 25, 2010 2:15:28 PM

Oh, and I forgot to ask, Power supply. I know that my CPU is a bit of a power-hog (125W), but with everything else, and taking noise into consideration, what size CPU do you think would be best? I was originally thinking 400/450W, but now I'm thinking that might be too small.
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February 25, 2010 2:21:28 PM

I wouldn't worry about Crossfire for a HTPC. It doesn't take much graphics power to display HD video. In fact, the onboard GPU on the 785G is plenty for 1080p HD content. I don't suppose you can return your GPU and just use the onboard video? Here's a slightly cheaper motherboard that doesn't have onboard video, but it doesn't have any good combo deals.

GIGABYTE GA-MA770-UD3 AM2+/AM2 AMD 770 ATX AMD Motherboard $74.99

A QUALITY 400W PSU would be plenty for your system. The Corsair 400CX I linked to above would work great.
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