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Thinking about buying this tonight (office build for parents)

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November 1, 2010 8:13:02 PM

The Budget is $650 ish.

Purchase date: Tonight or black friday/cyber monday

Uses: Microsoft Office, email, netflix, youtube, skype. No gaming

Parts Preferences: I think AMD is appropriate.

Parts not required: Mouse, keyboard, monitor. Will be using their hdtv.


This is what I've got so far:

CPU: AMD Phenom II X4 - $140 at microcenter
MOBO+GPU+PSU: ASUS M4A88TD-M/USB3 AM3 AMD 880G +Corsair 650TX ($155 after rebate)
RAM: G.SKILL Ripjaws (ECOs were out of stock) ($90)
HDD: Samsung Spinpoint F3 1 TB ($55 with promo)
CASE+OS: Lian Li v351b + Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit ($200)
DVD drive: $20

TOTAL: $640

OTHER THOUGHTS: My major hang-up is the case. I really like the v351b, but it's so expensive. I'm looking through pages of micro atx cases and i don't see one that I like as much. Am I missing one? I don't like the Antec 300, it looks too generic. If you have an mATX cases that you know and like, feel free to recommend.

I'm looking for this build to drive HD television shows (once the tv tuner is added later), netflix streaming, and basic office and email on a 4:3 Samsung 32" 1080i CRT monitor. Will I have any issues with this screen?

Just wanted to run this by you guys before i purchased. I can never bring myself to spend this kind of money without seeking cousel.



November 2, 2010 1:03:10 AM

Hmmm, no input? I'm looking up benchmarks to compare the HD 4200 to the intel i3 and i5 h55 boards.
November 2, 2010 1:19:35 AM

Hey -- I think you have some misplaced priorities here.

The PSU is way overpowered. A 650TX could power three average graphic cards--and you are using it on a build with none. Get a good 380w-450w PSU instead--you should be able to get one for like $30-40. Dont let newegg's combo deals lure you into buying stuff there is no need for.

Even if it wont be gaming--a GPU would be helpful just to render HD video more smoothly, and provide additional HDMI ports, etc. You could get a cheap one like a 5570 for this build instead of spending so much on the PSU or CPU (btw what model Phenom II X4 is it?--there is a wide range here)

What about a decent HTPC case with a full ATX supply like this one?
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
(but make sure you measure that everything fits)
Related resources
November 2, 2010 2:04:32 AM

Thanks for the advice. Yeah, I wasn't sure how the HD 4200 would do. What is your opinion of an intel build like this:

i5 650 + GIGABYTE GA-H55M-UD2H ($250)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

gts 450 ($95)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Is that overkill for blu-ray and hd video?

HDD: Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB ($55)

PSU: OCZ ModXStream Pro OCZ500MXSP ($40 after rebate)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

RAM: G.SKILL, 1333, CAS 9, 1.5 V ($65)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

This comes to $505. Then I add the DVD drive and case and OS.

So, this build includes a discrete 450 (which is just a bit less powerful than a 5770?) for better video streaming and playback of blu-rays. Also, i just got a few extra bucks for this from my sister. So I'm thinking about adding an $80 blu-ray drive.

Still not sure about case. I still kinda like the Lian Li cube one.

Thanks for steering me right on PSU and GPU.
November 2, 2010 2:15:43 AM

I would drop the discrete graphics card and go with the integrated graphics. The IGP in the Clarkdale (i5/H55) is intended for what you describe. It will handle HD video/blu-ray without a hitch. Even the HD4200 graphics would be fine. You could easily go down to a Core i3-530 and still not a hitch.

Reviews: http://www.anandtech.com/show/2901/3
November 2, 2010 2:18:04 AM

*disclaimer -- i am no expert on mobo's. You shouldn't need one thats crossfire capable though.

This all depends on how much you want to spend. This is massive overkill, but decent choices. Blue-ray seems like a good idea for a home-theater PC.

The HD4200 would have been able to handle HD video--I was just encouraging you to bump up to any discrete card. The 450 is good for gaming at decent resolutions--hence much more than needed.

PSU is a much better deal.

Best solution

November 2, 2010 2:23:31 AM
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Intel Core i3-540 Clarkdale 3.06GHz LGA 1156 73W Dual-Core Desktop Processor BX80616I3540
GIGABYTE GA-H55M-UD2H LGA 1156 Intel H55 HDMI Micro ATX Intel Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
-$20.00 Instant
-$14.99 Combo
$194.99 before $10.00 Mail-in Rebate Card

I have this case and like it quite a bit. It looks a lot like the Onkyo receiver sitting next to it. A tower case is going to look out of place hooked up to a TV.

nMEDIAPC Black Aluminum panel & Steel HTPC 1000B Micro ATX Media Center / HTPC Case
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I've also built an HTPC using this case if you like Lian-Li:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Another Lian-Li, same thing different face:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

i used this PSU for the HTPC build with the Core i3/H55/Lian Li PC-37B

Antec NEO ECO 400C 400W Continuous Power ATX12V 2.3 / EPS12V 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Power Supply
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$49.99 - $11 off w/ promo code EMCZYNT64, ends 11/1 = $38.99 - $10MIR = $28.99

RAM:
G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10600) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F3-10600CL8D-4GBHK
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$69.99 (wow prices are dropping!)

HDD:
SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
$69.99 - $15 off w/ promo code EMCZYNW52 = $54.99

Blu-ray:
LITE-ON Black 4X Blu-ray Disc Reader SATA Model iHOS104-08
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$64.99 (1 yr warranty vs. 30 day for the -06 model)

With nMediaPC 1000b case, the subtotal = ~$593 before rebates
November 2, 2010 2:25:40 AM

I'd get an Athlon IIx3 @ about 2.8 GHz
An 880G motherboard
4 GB of RAM
a 500 GB HDD
an OCZ ModXstream 500W PSU
An Antec 300 case
November 2, 2010 2:55:20 AM

Dougie Fresh said:
Intel Core i3-540 Clarkdale 3.06GHz LGA 1156 73W Dual-Core Desktop Processor BX80616I3540
GIGABYTE GA-H55M-UD2H LGA 1156 Intel H55 HDMI Micro ATX Intel Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
-$20.00 Instant
-$14.99 Combo
$194.99 before $10.00 Mail-in Rebate Card

I have this case and like it quite a bit. It looks a lot like the Onkyo receiver sitting next to it. A tower case is going to look out of place hooked up to a TV.

nMEDIAPC Black Aluminum panel & Steel HTPC 1000B Micro ATX Media Center / HTPC Case
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I've also built an HTPC using this case if you like Lian-Li:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Another Lian-Li, same thing different face:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

i used this PSU for the HTPC build with the Core i3/H55/Lian Li PC-37B

Antec NEO ECO 400C 400W Continuous Power ATX12V 2.3 / EPS12V 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Power Supply
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$49.99 - $11 off w/ promo code EMCZYNT64, ends 11/1 = $38.99 - $10MIR = $28.99

RAM:
G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10600) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F3-10600CL8D-4GBHK
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$69.99 (wow prices are dropping!)

HDD:
SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
$69.99 - $15 off w/ promo code EMCZYNW52 = $54.99

Blu-ray:
LITE-ON Black 4X Blu-ray Disc Reader SATA Model iHOS104-08
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$64.99 (1 yr warranty vs. 30 day for the -06 model)

With nMediaPC 1000b case, the subtotal = ~$593 before rebates


I like this a lot. I guess the Lian Li cube isn't ideal for this. These don't look too tall, but checking out the dimensions it seems it'll be fine for fitting a tv tuner in.

Does anyone think I'll have any problem outputting to a CRT? No unforseen resolution troubles? It's a 1080i samsung CRT with 4:3 ratio.

Also, dropping the discrete then? the new clarkdale IGP should be fine?? If I decide to later, these smaller cases will have enough room for a 450 or 5570?
November 2, 2010 6:39:16 PM

What kind of inputs does the CRT have? You might need a VGA-to-composite/s-video converter if it doesn't have HDMI or VGA inputs.
November 2, 2010 9:15:20 PM

I think a VGA jack on a CRT has been standard for decades. Unless he's referring to a CRT Television, which I think he probably would've specified.
January 26, 2011 2:37:43 AM

Best answer selected by mortonww.
n
nThat was pretty close to what I ended up building. My sister gave me $100, so I ended up putting $750 for everything after rebates. I got the Lian Li cube case, the i5 650, OCZ Modxstream 500 W, 1 TB F3, A samsung blu-ray drive, and a gigabyte mATX motherboard (ud2h).
January 27, 2011 12:30:07 PM

Congrats. Have you built it yet? Any pix you care to share?

I always forget to take pix of my builds.
!