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Need help with HTPC build

Last response: in Systems
January 5, 2011 11:09:25 AM

Hey guys, I've been planning a PC upgrade. The main function of this box is going to be multimedia streaming, with occasional encoding and editing. No gaming, really. Here's what I've come up with. I'd like advice on RAM (fast, reliable) and PSU (Modular? Wattage?) specifically, as well as comments/critiques about the build in general. Thanks in advance!!

Approximate Purchase Date: This week.

Budget Range: ~$500-600.

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Streaming online video, watching movies, encoding video, editing audio/video.

Parts Not Required: Mouse, keyboard, speakers, DVD drive, GPU.

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Newegg, but I'll take any deal I can get.

Country of Origin: USA

Parts Preferences: AMD quad core, USB3.0, SATA 6gb/s, ~60gb SSD.

Overclocking: Would like to toy with it lightly

SLI or Crossfire: No

Additional Comments: No Blu-Ray needed, onboard graphics will do for now

Case: Silverstone Grandia GD05b

Motherboard: ASRock 890GM Micro ATX

Video Card: IGP

Power Supply: Antec EarthWatts

CPU: AMD Athlon II X4 640

Cooling: Scythe Big Shuriken SCBSK-1000 120mm CPU

RAM: G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR3 1600

Hard Drive: Crucial 64GB SATA3 SSD

CD/DVD Drive: Existing NEC

More about : htpc build

January 5, 2011 2:17:38 PM

Your build looks solid to me. Everything is good quality and will give very good performance.

Do you have a server or other storage to keep the video files you will be editing/encoding? The 64GB SSD will fill up quick. Also, Crucial just announced today the new C400 SSD (link). You may want to get the newer C400 instead of the C300 if you can wait for e-tailers to stock them.
January 5, 2011 2:36:19 PM

I figured I would get the 64GB SSD for the OS and stuff, and maybe throw in a 1TB SATA3 HDD in there later... Maybe eventually get a USB3 external?

I don't think I can put it off too long, but we'll see. Maybe retailers are going to clear their inventory of the C300s. (Incidentally, it didn't say anything about the read speeds for the lower capacity drives.)

Do you think the PSU is good for a smaller case even though it's not modular? What about the RAM? It's a really good deal, but that makes me skeptical.
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January 5, 2011 2:45:57 PM

Would I be overdoing it with 520W?
January 5, 2011 2:48:02 PM

G.Skill is a good brand for RAM. I've never had a problem with G.Skill... even in Macs which are picky.

It's really hard to find a modular PSU in the 350-450W range from a good maker. A few years back, Enermax made a modular 400W Liberty model that was really good for HTPC (my HTPC uses a 500W modular Enermax Liberty, good PSU, very quiet) but they are hard to find now. Seasonic makes good mid-power modular PSU's, but you'll pay a lot for them.

You could always spend the extra time using cable ties to tidy up the Earthwatts cables.
January 5, 2011 3:07:05 PM

Very true. But just to confirm 380W will suit all of my power needs without a GPU, right?
January 5, 2011 3:27:57 PM

380W is plenty for your build.
January 5, 2011 3:32:12 PM

And for RAM, I've heard that Cas Latency lower than 9 is tricky to get working on AMD boards. Should I stick with DDR3 1600 CL9 or is it really worth it to tweak CL7 it in the BIOS?