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$600-800 HTPC/School PC

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June 1, 2010 1:52:18 AM

I'm looking to build a PC for my college apartment. It'll be used for the typical Office applications and internet, but I would also like to stream media to my TV. The biggest thing will be ripping my DVD collection, so I don't have to haul them up to school.


APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: I'll probably the order the bulk of it in two or three weeks (want to see what the next paycheck is like), but I'm willing to order some stuff sooner, to take advantage of any deals that might pop up

BUDGET RANGE: $600-800 after rebates. I would prefer it to be a low as possible, but am willing to go to 800 if necessary for performance reasons. It would be nice if I could save on the PC so that the $800 max could also include the monitor

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: streaming media, schoolwork, occasional light gaming (the only PC games I would play are ones like Age of Empires)

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: monitor (but recommendations would be nice), keyboard, mouse, OS

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: newegg. I've never used tigerdirect, but it seems that a lot of people like it, so I'd be willing to use that. I also have a buddy that lives near a Microcenter, and could pick up stuff for me.

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: USA

PARTS PREFERENCES: I don't really know anything about different brands, so I can't say I have a preference. I'm assuming the CPU should be AMD though, to fit the budget.

OVERCLOCKING: Don't think it would be necessary. Don't know how, but not against trying. SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Same as OC'ing

MONITOR RESOLUTION: Not really sure. I'm planning on getting a 20" widescreen monitor, but I don't know what's recommended for that? 1600x900?

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: I'm not worried about having a ton of storage space to start with. I realize that ripping DVDs can fill up even 2Tbs pretty quickly, but 2Tb is the most I want to get for now (maybe not even that much?). I can add more later as necessary.

I would like to have an HDMI output for the TV.

I'm not sure what's necessary for using two monitors, but I would like the computer to have that capability. I'm hoping to have a dual monitor setup in the near future.

Also, I don't want a Blu-ray drive. Just regular DVD



I really do appreciate any help that can be given. Thank you.

More about : 600 800 htpc school

June 1, 2010 2:20:17 AM

*deep breath* These are only my recommendations, these are not concrete "do this instead" I put this together quickly and think it fits your needs perfectly.

DVD Drive: ASUS DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS - 21.99
CASE: Up to you but I love the COOLER MASTER HF 932 - 139.98
HDD: WD CAVIAR BLACK WD1002FAEX 1TB 7200 RPM (2X) - 99.99 each
MOBO: ASUS M4A785TD-V EVO AM3 - 99.99
GPU: Sapphire Radeon HD 5570 - 76.99
PSU: Antec EarthWatts EA650 = 74.99
RAM: GeIL 4GB (2 X 2GB) DDR3 - 95.99
CPU: AMD Athlon II x4 620 Propus 2.6 ghz - 90.99

Total - $800.90

reasons:

24x is worth it for 99 cents over 22x dvd drive speed
case is completely up to you but I've found the hf 932 to be really easy and spacious to work in
I love my wd caviars and they're indestructible no matter how much work you throw at them
I've never used this specific mobo but have heard only fantastic things about it
I have had no interaction with the 5570 buuuuut it seems like a pretty good mid-to-low range gpu to fit your budget
I like my antec psu(s) but have never used that specific one
I love my AMD CPU's, I'm not intimately familiar with the athlon ii x4
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June 2, 2010 1:25:13 AM

ryanhmusic said:
DVD Drive: ASUS DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS - 21.99
CASE: Up to you but I love the COOLER MASTER HF 932 - 139.98
HDD: WD CAVIAR BLACK WD1002FAEX 1TB 7200 RPM (2X) - 99.99 each
MOBO: ASUS M4A785TD-V EVO AM3 - 99.99
GPU: Sapphire Radeon HD 5570 - 76.99
PSU: Antec EarthWatts EA650 = 74.99
RAM: GeIL 4GB (2 X 2GB) DDR3 - 95.99
CPU: AMD Athlon II x4 620 Propus 2.6 ghz - 90.99

Total - $800.90



Thanks for your reply. I feel like the case is a little much. I don't think the case needs to be a full tower.
Also, I had been wondering if the Athlon II series would be ideal, but is four cores necessary?
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June 2, 2010 1:47:38 AM

Quote:
DVD Drive: ASUS DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS - 21.99
CASE: Up to you but I love the COOLER MASTER HF 932 - 139.98
HDD: WD CAVIAR BLACK WD1002FAEX 1TB 7200 RPM (2X) - 99.99 each
MOBO: ASUS M4A785TD-V EVO AM3 - 99.99
GPU: Sapphire Radeon HD 5570 - 76.99
PSU: Antec EarthWatts EA650 = 74.99
RAM: GeIL 4GB (2 X 2GB) DDR3 - 95.99
CPU: AMD Athlon II x4 620 Propus 2.6 ghz - 90.99

+1 for everything except the HDD.

Get a Samsung F3 1TB. You can also drop down to a Antec 300 or HAF 922. Imo, the HAF cases are an overkill for this build. An Antec 300 will do fine.

Quote:
Also, I had been wondering if the Athlon II series would be ideal, but is four cores necessary?

Yes, an X4 would help out quite a bit ASSUMING your software is properly threaded.
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June 2, 2010 1:58:12 AM

Agreeing with shadow (who in turn is agreeing with me) I also agree with the Samsung's as being good (I personally however like my caviars)

Yes, a 4 core is absolutely ideal

Yes, that case is overkill but in my opinion, cases last where other hardware doesn't...a case can survive four to five new builds spaced a few years in between and still look damn good so it's my philosophy to buy a nicer case to keep for longer
just my ideas

Edit: Any other questions? I'm open to answering any questions from basic to complex (if I can) or I'll point you in the right direction. We here on tom's (for the most part) try and be as helpful as possible
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June 2, 2010 2:26:41 AM

Quote:


Yes, that case is overkill but in my opinion, cases last where other hardware doesn't...a case can survive four to five new builds spaced a few years in between and still look damn good so it's my philosophy to buy a nicer case to keep for longer
just my ideas


True that. But the OPs on a budget however. And yes, I got my Antec 900 when it came out and I'm still using it after all those years. That case is holding the 3rd full set up.
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June 2, 2010 3:02:38 AM

Shadow703793 said:

True that. But the OPs on a budget however. And yes, I got my Antec 900 when it came out and I'm still using it after all those years. That case is holding the 3rd full set up.

those Antec 900s are beasts, I've got a 1200 at work and it rocks.

true about the budget, I'm sure he'll figure out which case he likes (I'd spend around 60-90 for this budget to still get some quality) - then I'd either leave as is or upgrade the gpu with the newfound spare cash (i.e. to a 5770) or instead I'd grab a phenom ii x4 945 or 955 instead of the athalon ii x4
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June 2, 2010 3:55:50 AM

$623 AR including ship ^^ That Asrock has got to be the only 870 chipset that is 8x/8x CFable as well ^^
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