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Advice needed for Hi-End HTPC, how is i7 930?

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June 2, 2010 5:57:56 AM

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Two months.

BUDGET RANGE: $ 1200-1500

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Movies, Music, Gaming, Surfing, Encoding

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: NewEgg.com, MicroCenter.com

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: Chicago, USA

PARTS PREFERENCES: Intel i7 930, ASUS P6X58D Premium LGA 1366 Intel X58 Mother Board, Gigabyte, Corsar Dominator, ATX

OVERCLOCKING: Yes / No / Maybe SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Maybe

MONITOR RESOLUTION: Its a 55 inch LCD.

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: I am want to build a multi-functional PC.. that is a HTPC, PC, Gaming rig (rarely i play, but still i
need a fast pc), This PC will be up and running 24/7 mostly, cos i download a lot.

Additional Notes. Please guide me if Intel i7 930 is a good Processor for this hi end HTPC along with ASUS P6X58D Premium LGA 1366 Intel X58 Mother Board??

Also i plan to use Discreet Graphic card like the ATI Radeon HD 5670
June 2, 2010 6:28:25 AM

What games will you be playing specifically? The term High End HTPC is kind of an oxymoron. HTPC's are inherently simple systems. I would say an i7-930 is complete overkill and wasteful. Obviously if you do intend to do high end gaming, then the processor will matter a bit more.
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June 2, 2010 6:31:16 AM

^+1
For a HTPC, i7 930?? IMO not a good idea...

If you want a very powerful HTPC PC, then I would suggest the i5 750 at the max...
It is powerful than the fastest AMD Phenom II X4 and is IMO better suited...
And I doubt you would need SLI/ Crossfire too as a single powerful card would easily fill your needs, if you want to game...
Here is the config -
i5 750
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

GIGABYTE GA-P55A-UD3
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Corsair 4GB DDR3
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

A Good solid PSU -
Seasonic 520W
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Or CM Silent PRO 600
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

HDD - Samsung F3 500GB/ 1TB
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June 2, 2010 6:34:49 AM

Or depending on need, get an i3 and use it for video. The nice thing about HTPCs is they are really inexpensive for what you need. I just got done building one and it cost me around 600 bucks out of pocket, including Win7
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June 2, 2010 6:49:22 AM

Basically I wanted to get rid of my P4 Computer, and get a new computer.
Hence i will be using this computer for multi-functional purposes. Its just that i want a fast computer (like the rest of us), HTPC is one of them. And i do a lot on the computer.. very rarely gaming. Most of my non-working time is spent on the PC.
I dont play games a lot. Very very rarely (which is next to nil).

Now that i plan to build a computer.. i was thinking why not get what i can use for another 4-5 years, hence i7.

Basically i5 and i7 930 are the same price.
Micro Center is selling i7 930 for 199 $
http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml...

Hence i thought of going for this config. Its just that i want a fast Personal computer.
Please advice.
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June 2, 2010 6:57:58 AM

^ The i5 750 is still a very fast CPU...In gaming, you wont notice any difference between the i5 and the i7...And also for general usage, the i5 will last very long...

Overall platform cost is what matters here...The i5 platform will cost about $100-$150 less...
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June 2, 2010 7:06:35 AM

As far as an HTPC is concerned, if you are going to be using it as a "catch-all" computer, then simply adding a tv tuner card and a sizeable Media Drive will pretty much cover your HTPC needs.

So I'd say this is less of an HTPC, and more of a gaming PC with HTPC characteristics, does that make sense?
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June 2, 2010 7:18:45 AM

@ gkay09 thanks for the reply. But dont you think so 100-150 $ is a give away for a state of the art configuration??

@ cmcghee358.. I wont be playing games on this PC. Basically I am an IT professional, and i do install lots of applications.. i.e. VMWare, Linux, Couple of databases i.e. Oracle for testing etc... install them then remove them. Mostly the PC is clean minus these apps.

I just keep doing stuff/reading stuff on the internet... and then testing them on the system.
Sometimes do encoding.
Sometimes design using Photoshop or Flash etc.

As i said.. just stuff.

Everyday new softwares and applications are taking up lot more memory, and are demanding more firepower to function. Keeping this in mind.. i was thinking of planning for the future and get something faster that can take care of futuristic application based needs. Also HTPC is a new trend.. and i have a huge HT setup Def Tech Mythos ST series Speaker line up, SVS x 2 SUbs.. etc.

I am getting the idea of what you guys are saying, hence asking more questions.
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June 2, 2010 8:24:00 AM

^ Well for that $100-$150, you can get a SSD as your boot drive...So IMO a i5 750 + SSD would be a better day-to-day PC than the i7 + Normal HDD...

And while deciding to build a PC, go by your requirements and not by the best in the industry...
If more memory is what you require, then get a 2x 4GB kit for now as that opens up the option of adding 8GB more if needed...
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June 2, 2010 8:33:16 AM

Actually from what it sounds like, with photoshop and stuff, an i7-930 might not be a bad idea especially if it can be worked into the budget
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June 2, 2010 8:50:09 AM

^ Only if it will be PRO stuffs, it would be worth it...Else the i5 750 still has enough HP for Photoshop...
Well he can get an i7 930 easily within his budget - actually even lower...But like I said it is not necessary to spend additional money when it is not required...
But if he really wants it, then its his call...Also he has 2 months time to decide...
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June 2, 2010 9:17:15 AM

i personally like gkay's idea on i5 and a nice size SSD that would fit his programs to run on, which will make noticable difference.
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June 2, 2010 9:24:13 AM

Is microcenter still doing the 930s for 200 bucks?
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June 2, 2010 4:38:25 PM

cmcghee358 said:
Is microcenter still doing the 930s for 200 bucks?


Yes Microcenter is still selling i7 930 for 199 dollars. I checked with them this morning for a compatible motherboard. As per the rep.. he suggested the cost between i5 and i7 930 is almost the same.. except that i7 930 gives me more options to choose in terms on which kind of RAM modules, MotherBoard Technology.. and other hardware components on the higher side. i7 930 could be build on almost the same cost of i5, and on premium cost by choosing higher end memory modules like Corsair dominator 2000 + Premium Asus MB + Higher end PSU etc.

He mentioned good things about i5 processor, although he also mentioned that i5 does not support Hyper Threading.. which has its flip side when it comes to multi-tasking. He mentioned that these days the i7 930 is the hottest selling processor at the store.. cos it gives much more options for the same cost.
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June 2, 2010 4:47:08 PM

The hyperthreading isnt going to pay off in multi-tasking perse, but for your photoshop use it definately will scream performance.

In your case, I would probably go with an i7-930 just because microcenter is selling them so cheap.

As far as getting a build together for you, I could but being an AMD guy, I would trust an experienced Intel user on these forums to build you one. I'm sure I could, but I couldn't speak from my own experience on the config, I would base it off the Intel builds I see around here being posted.

It's probably not too hard:
i7-930
X58 motherboard
6 GB of good triple channel memory
The rest the same between AMD/Intel
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