Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question
Solved

HTPC: Request for comments, advice, recommendations, etc.

Last response: in Systems
Share
July 28, 2011 8:07:55 AM

Hey yall,

I read about 20 entries on HTPCs on here before posting. I've been sitting in front of newegg, blogs, wiki, etc. for two days, and I feel it's time to post!

Goals: Play 1080p, no 3D from built computer to TV via HDMI cable.

Here's my shopping list:
Case: No idea - weird it's so hard to understand what to buy for a mini itx case. I want the cheapest possible with a built in power supply (no idea about fan needs - hopefully not).

Motherboard: SAPPHIRE Pure White Fusion E350 AMD E-350 APU (1.6GHz, Dual-Core) AMD Hudson M1 Mini ITX Motherboard/CPU Combo

I've read good things about it, it seems to draw very little power, and has the strength to handle 1080p. No wireless however, so I'd drill a hole or something and put in this:

Rosewill RNX-N150PC PCI 2.2 Wireless Adapter

I hope it's compatible - no idea.

Some el-cheepo RAM (2 of these)
Kingston 1GB 204-Pin DDR3 SO-DIMM DDR3 1066 (PC3 8500) Laptop Memory Model KVR1066D3S7/1G

I hope they are compatible too...

SSD for ubuntu and boxee or xbmc (total space necessary for these is low, like 8gb...but this SSD was cheap, but can I go smaller/cheaper? Should I find SATA III?)

OCZ Vertex Series OCZSSD2-1VTX30GXXX 2.5" 30GB SATA II MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)

I'm going to hook up via USB a 3TB HD - whatever cheap one I can get, it's not really important at this point I don't think.

So, I ask, what the heck case should I get? Cases are funny. They are rectangular...and that's about all they have in common! Is it really just a metal box that this stuff is going in? Does it protect it in any way? Are cases pretty much pointless? Why are they so expensive! They should be very cheap but they aren't. Sigh. I found this for 55 bucks, but 300W seems overkill:

hec Black 0.7mm Thickness SECC Steel 7K09BBA30FNRX Micro ATX Media Center 300W Power Supply / HTPC Case

So far my total is $245. I know I can't get cheaper memory, it's 10 bucks each. I'm hoping you can give me pointers on if I can go cheaper on the SSD, a cheaper case, and if this motherboard is the best option (it costs 89.99 for the motherboard with a CPU/GMU combo)

Thanks!
a b B Homebuilt system
July 28, 2011 2:36:15 PM

That case will only accept a MicroATX motherboard. You have a MiniITX board listed. Essentially, you'll want to look for a case that has only one expansion slot. Something like this Apevia case would work. Also, that Rosewill Wireless Adapter card is PCI; not PCI-E. You cannot install it on that motherboard. Finally, you want to check to make sure that you can use that PCI-Ex16 slot on the motherboard for a PCI-Ex1 wireless adapter card.

-Wolf sends

Edit: Also, The memory you've selected (SO-DIMM - Laptop) is not compatible. You need standard desktop DDR3 memory.
m
0
l
July 28, 2011 2:55:55 PM

i would go with a llano, but its just me
m
0
l
Related resources
July 28, 2011 6:06:57 PM

Wolfshadw said:
That case will only accept a MicroATX motherboard. You have a MiniITX board listed. Essentially, you'll want to look for a case that has only one expansion slot. Something like this Apevia case would work. Also, that Rosewill Wireless Adapter card is PCI; not PCI-E. You cannot install it on that motherboard. Finally, you want to check to make sure that you can use that PCI-Ex16 slot on the motherboard for a PCI-Ex1 wireless adapter card.

-Wolf sends

Edit: Also, The memory you've selected (SO-DIMM - Laptop) is not compatible. You need standard desktop DDR3 memory.


Thanks Wolf,

So case choice is just dependent on matching the size of the motherboard, and nothing else (other than personal taste)? Great - thank you - I felt very lost picking it.

Wifi: instead of putting a card in, can I just use a USB dongle like this?:

Rosewill RNX-EasyN1 Wireless-N 4.0 Dongle (1T1R) IEEE 802.11b/g/n USB 2.0 Up to 150Mbps Data Rates WPA/WPA2 (AES, 64,128-WEP with shared-key authentication) WPS PIN, PBC (Hardware WPS Button) QoS-WMM

Are you sure about the memory? I read in a review that the motherboard only takes so-dimm? Please let me know if I'm wrong and I'll get different RAM.

http://pcwizkidstechtalk.com/index.php/sapphire-e350.ht...

m
0
l
July 28, 2011 6:07:32 PM

manu 11 said:
i would go with a llano, but its just me


They are dreamy, but more expensive. I'm looking for as economical as I can for my needs. Thanks though!
m
0
l

Best solution

a b B Homebuilt system
July 28, 2011 6:30:43 PM

TerpU82 said:
Thanks Wolf,

So case choice is just dependent on matching the size of the motherboard, and nothing else (other than personal taste)? Great - thank you - I felt very lost picking it.

Wifi: instead of putting a card in, can I just use a USB dongle like this?:

Rosewill RNX-EasyN1 Wireless-N 4.0 Dongle (1T1R) IEEE 802.11b/g/n USB 2.0 Up to 150Mbps Data Rates WPA/WPA2 (AES, 64,128-WEP with shared-key authentication) WPS PIN, PBC (Hardware WPS Button) QoS-WMM

Are you sure about the memory? I read in a review that the motherboard only takes so-dimm? Please let me know if I'm wrong and I'll get different RAM.

http://pcwizkidstechtalk.com/index.php/sapphire-e350.ht...



Case Selection:
There's more to choosing a case than aesthetics and motherboard compatibility. Does it have enough internal/external drive bays? Does it require a lot of internal USB connections on the motherboard? How well is the cooling solution? Can you add fans (with or without modding)? Will it physically fit within the space I have planned for it? Motherboard compatibility, cooling, and drive bays are (to me) the three most important aspects of selecting a computer case. As you're intending for this system to be small and low powered, drive bays and cooling issues are still important, but less so.

Wifi:
As long as you already have a wireless network set up in your home, then that dongle should work just fine. I'm not too keen on USB attached devices as they've tended to fail on me, but that was awhile back. Reliability may have improved since then.

Memory:
When in doubt, always go to the manufacturer's web site: http://www.sapphiretech.com/presentation/product/produc...

Quote:
Memory
8 GB Max.
2 Slots 240-pin DDR3 800/1066 Single channel, non-ECC ,un-buffered memory


-Wolf sends
Share
a b B Homebuilt system
July 28, 2011 6:52:11 PM

Sapphire makes two Zacate boards. See pics below, one uses SO-DIMMs and the other uses regular desktop DIMMs. The board you linked on newegg uses the larger desktop sized memory.

Case selection is a subjective matter. Since you are going low power and want something inexpensive, I suggest you look at the Antec ISK ITX cases. Another good one to consider is the Gigabyte GZ-SPIM51-P0B (if you don't use the VESA mount, it looks just like a DVD player.. and it comes with a picoPSU). All of the above are around $70.

PURE Fusion Mini E350


Pure White Fusion E350


For a WiFi adapter, I've personally used the Edimax Nano. It is super tiny, inexpensive, and I was surprised how well it picks up wireless g. I didn't try it with n though. Since it's so small you don't run the risk of bumping it against stuff.

BTW, ITX boards can be used in micro-ATX and ATX cases. Though if you are getting a micro-ATX case, a micro-ATX board would be a better idea.
m
0
l
July 28, 2011 7:47:47 PM

rwpritchett said:
Sapphire makes two Zacate boards. See pics below, one uses SO-DIMMs and the other uses regular desktop DIMMs. The board you linked on newegg uses the larger desktop sized memory.

Case selection is a subjective matter. Since you are going low power and want something inexpensive, I suggest you look at the Antec ISK ITX cases. Another good one to consider is the Gigabyte GZ-SPIM51-P0B (if you don't use the VESA mount, it looks just like a DVD player.. and it comes with a picoPSU). All of the above are around $70.

PURE Fusion Mini E350
http://media.sapphiretech.com//images/prods/1034/52036-00_PURE_FUSION_MINI_E350_C01_634413119643194127_600_600.jpg

Pure White Fusion E350
http://media.sapphiretech.com//images/prods/1143/52036-01_PURE_White_FUSION_MINI_E350_C01_634413139131569943_600_600.JPG

For a WiFi adapter, I've personally used the Edimax Nano. It is super tiny, inexpensive, and I was surprised how well it picks up wireless g. I didn't try it with n though. Since it's so small you don't run the risk of bumping it against stuff.

BTW, ITX boards can be used in micro-ATX and ATX cases. Though if you are getting a micro-ATX case, a micro-ATX board would be a better idea.


I've been tricked! Wow - thank you for seeing the difference in my board. Luckily they are both the same size physically. Going with the one that is on sale (the white fusion) I just lose a few ports that I wouldn't use anyway, though I'm sad to lose a USB 3.0, but I'm not sure what I would have used it for anyway.

As far as your case suggestion - it's very pretty, but expensive.

Well, thanks yall - it looks like there is no way to get this cheaper!
m
0
l
July 28, 2011 7:49:35 PM

Wolfshadw said:
Case Selection:
There's more to choosing a case than aesthetics and motherboard compatibility. Does it have enough internal/external drive bays? Does it require a lot of internal USB connections on the motherboard? How well is the cooling solution? Can you add fans (with or without modding)? Will it physically fit within the space I have planned for it? Motherboard compatibility, cooling, and drive bays are (to me) the three most important aspects of selecting a computer case. As you're intending for this system to be small and low powered, drive bays and cooling issues are still important, but less so.

Wifi:
As long as you already have a wireless network set up in your home, then that dongle should work just fine. I'm not too keen on USB attached devices as they've tended to fail on me, but that was awhile back. Reliability may have improved since then.

Memory:
When in doubt, always go to the manufacturer's web site: http://www.sapphiretech.com/presentation/product/produc...

Quote:
Memory
8 GB Max.
2 Slots 240-pin DDR3 800/1066 Single channel, non-ECC ,un-buffered memory


-Wolf sends


Good info - thanks!
m
0
l
July 28, 2011 8:03:40 PM

Best answer selected by TerpU82.
m
0
l
!