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Which CPU/MOBO combo for a HTPC?? And keyboard/mouse

Last response: in Systems
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April 14, 2010 7:43:58 PM

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Within the week

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: HTPC

PARTS REQUIRED: CPU & MOBO

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: Newegg, Microcenter, Fry's

PARTS PREFERENCES: N/A

OVERCLOCKING: Maybe

SLI OR CROSSFIRE: No - I will be using onboard GFX

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1920 x 1080 - 42"

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS:

Below are the three options I'm looking at...I'd like opinions on these...or other suggestions...

I only need thoughts on the CPU/MOBO.

MOBO must have HDMI output

I'm looking to build a HTPC for backing up my DVD collection - I need about 3 TB of storage space.

For now I'm going to just use it to play ripped DVD's, no need for Blu-Ray playback (I have a stand alone BD player), but in the future I may throw in a BD-rom drive and move my current BD player to a different TV.




Combo #1:

Intel I3-530 - http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml...
- $99 at local Microcenter

GIGABYTE GA-H55M-S2H LGA 1156 Intel H55 HDMI Micro ATX Intel Motherboard

- $100 w/shipping from Newegg
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...




Combo #2:

MSI 890GXM-G65 AM3 AMD 890GX HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Micro ATX AMD Motherboard - ~$130 Newegg

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

AMD Phenom II X2 555 Black Edition Callisto 3.2GHz 2 x 512KB L2 Cache 6MB L3 Cache Socket AM3 80W Dual-Core Desktop Processor - C3 Revision - $101 Newegg

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




Combo #3

MSI 785GTM-E45 AM3/AM2+/AM2 AMD 785G HDMI Micro ATX AMD Motherboard - ~$75 Newegg

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

AMD Athlon II X3 425 Rana 2.7GHz 3 x 512KB L2 Cache Socket AM3 95W Triple-Core Processor - $70 Newegg

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
April 14, 2010 7:56:05 PM

A quick followup

As you can see by the prices, I'm in the $150 to $250 range for both CPU and MOBO...

I'd like to stay in that range

Lets figure $275 for the absolute top price
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a b à CPUs
April 14, 2010 8:23:35 PM

I would say combo #1 is the best of the three. Whatever you do, don't get combo #3 since it uses DDR2 RAM. Not only does the i3 chip outperform the AMD one, but it also uses considerably less energy. The fact that combo #1 is $30 cheaper is icing on the cake.
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Best solution

a b à CPUs
April 14, 2010 8:24:07 PM

The first one. The i3/H55 has great integrated graphics. It's also very low powered, meaning less heat and thus less noise. Not only that, but the CPU overclocks extremely well, which boosts it's graphics abilities as well as processing.
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April 14, 2010 9:54:52 PM

Thanks for the replies....

Ok, so Combo #1 looks like the winner...
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April 15, 2010 7:41:18 PM

Well, I pulled the trigger today...

Over lunch I stopped by the local Microcenter and picked up the i3-530 - $109 out the door

I changed up the MOBO based on Tom's review of the H55's

The case is nothing spectacular, but this is just going to be sitting out of sight behind a door anyway...I figure I'll throw in another fan in the front of the HDD's to have good airflow.


NEW QUESTION: I haven't bought a mouse/keyboard yet...for now I'll use what I have lying around. I would like to have something wireless, but I've read that most devices have problems over 3-4 feet. I'd like to sit on a couch about 8-10 feet from the position of any wireless/bluetooth receiver.

What I need now are suggestions of a good mouse/keyboard solution...Any Ideas????


The build is below:


1 x ($109) i3-530
http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml...

3 x ($84.99) HD 1T|SEAGATE 7K ST31000528AS OEM - OEM $254.97
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

1 x ($111.99) MEM 2Gx2|CRUC CT2KIT25664BA1339 R - Retail $111.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

1 x ($29.99) CASE ROSEWILL|R102-P-BK RT - Retail $29.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

1 x ($21.99) DVD BURN SONY|AD-7240S-0B % - OEM $21.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

1 x ($49.99) PSU ANTEC|430W EA-430D GREEN RT - Retail $49.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

1 x ($109.99) MB GIGABYTE GA-H55M-USB3 LGA1156 R - Retail $109.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

1 x ($99.99) WIN HOME PREM 7 64-BIT ENG 1PK DSP - OEM $99.99


Total Shipped: $800 (actually, just under, but who cares)
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a b à CPUs
April 15, 2010 8:13:41 PM

I don't know where you've heard the 3-4 feet problem. I've got several wireless mice/keyboards (the kind with a reciever) and they work just fine out to about 20-30 feet. The set I'm currently using is some Microsoft set that I got for like $40...
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April 15, 2010 8:21:27 PM

MadAdmiral said:
I don't know where you've heard the 3-4 feet problem. I've got several wireless mice/keyboards (the kind with a reciever) and they work just fine out to about 20-30 feet. The set I'm currently using is some Microsoft set that I got for like $40...



I've read that a few times at the AVS forums...

Although, it could be user error...we all know that NEVER happens :pt1cable: 

What model are you using and is it bluetooth or plain 'ol wireless??
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a b à CPUs
April 15, 2010 8:26:21 PM

It's wireless. It's just some generic version I got at Best Buy when my old mouse died. The keyboard has media controls if that helps...
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April 15, 2010 8:29:07 PM

Thanks, that's really all the info I needed.

And...(should of thought of this earlier) I'm sitting here at work (shh...don't tell the boss) typing away on my WIRELESS keyboard...

I'm not going into any more detail than that....
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April 15, 2010 8:31:27 PM

Best answer selected by snowgoer1998.
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April 15, 2010 8:31:42 PM

shortstuff_mt said:
I would say combo #1 is the best of the three. Whatever you do, don't get combo #3 since it uses DDR2 RAM. Not only does the i3 chip outperform the AMD one, but it also uses considerably less energy. The fact that combo #1 is $30 cheaper is icing on the cake.



I had a difficult time picking a "Best Answer"

It came down to "Eeenee meenee miny mo..."
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April 21, 2010 2:55:09 PM

BUILD FOLLOW UP:

I've decided to post once more on how this build went...I don't really see many follow ups on the forum and sometimes that is the most important part...

Did all the parts fit together and actually work?!!?

Well, in short, this time they did.

I stated earlier in the thread that I went with the el'cheapo Rosewill case because it wasn't going to be seen anyway. I'm pleased with this case...it's a no frills, get the job done case. I did have to replace the (included) rear fan...it wasn't balanced right and was making too much noise. I just stopped and picked up a 120 mm replacement at Fry's.

Other than that, the comments worth mentioning:
- The case will not fit multiple HDD's with a large video card
- Install the CD/DVD/Blu-Ray drive FIRST...once you put the PSU in, it's going to take some real trickery to get the optical drive in.
- i3-530 is a GREAT processor...it's actually putting my i7-920 to shame while ripping DVD's...it's about 25% faster


I haven't done any overclocking yet...and I don't know if I will...the only purpose for this is to be a media center.


I ended up getting a Logitech MK300 wireless keyboard and mouse...they work great at about 10' away from the receiver.
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a b à CPUs
April 21, 2010 2:59:16 PM

Great! Thanks for the follow-up. It's always nice to hear how the builds worked out. :) 
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