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New Budget HTPC

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July 31, 2011 4:55:39 AM

Hey Guys,

I am cutting the cord soon and I'm in the process of building my first HTPC. I haven't built a PC in a long time so I thought I better have some more fresh eyes look at my shopping list. I prefer Amazon and have a strict $500 budget. That budget unfortunately has to include a mini keyboard mouse combo. I would like to use it mainly for storage and video playback, to run XBMC or Boxee Box, and maybe very very light gaming if it will permit. Please feel free to tell me if you think there are better options or configs and if there are any blaring omissions or errors in my list. I'm planning to hit the 'Proceed to Checkout' button tomorrow. Any fellow night people out there that can look at this? Thanks in advance. Here is the list:

CPU: AMD Phenom II X4 840 Edition Deneb 3.2 GHz 4x512 KB L2 Cache Socket AM3 95W Quad-Core Processor - Retail HDX840WFGMBOX (Black) 104.99 http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004LRO9B4/ref=ox_sc_a...
Mainboard: Biostar AMD Motherboard A880G+ $54.99 http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0040JHGD6/ref=ox_sc_a...
RAM: PNY Optima MD4096KD3-1333 4GB Dual Channel Kit DDR3 1333 MHz PC3-10666 Desktop DIMM Memory Kit - PNY $29.99 http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0026ZPTR6/ref=ox_sc_a...
PS: Antec EA-380D $39.99 http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002UOR17Y/ref=ox_sc_a...
HDD: WD 2TB Caviar Green SATA II $72.99 http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002ZCXK0I/ref=ox_sc_a...
Optical Drive: Lite-On 4x Blu-ray Disc SATA $59.99 http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002EE996Q/ref=ox_sc_a...
Tuner: Happauge WinTV HVR-1290 $39.99 http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B005DHFLSQ/ref=ox_sc_a...
Case: Silverstone ML03b $59.99 http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004GGUAUE/ref=ox_sc_a...
Keys: Mini Wireless Bluetooth Keyboard - Features Built-in Touchpad Mouse, Backlit Display and Laser Pointer $39.12 http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0043AYVDA/ref=ox_sc_a...
That is a grand total of: $502.04

I think I am most worried about the mainboard and tuner. What do you guys think?

-Casey

edit:// Oh yeah, this will be connected to a sort of old Samsung 52" LCD via HDMI. Also, anybody know if that CPU comes with a HS and fan?


Edit:// OK so here is the final list so you don't have to read the whole thread if you don't want to. This is the best I can come up with after reading all of the suggestions and spendng my whole weekend using Amazon's horrible search feature. It includes a Llano platform with 8gbs of Ram, and 2 TBs of storage (sata III) and a budget blu-ray drive; all for under $500 if you don't include the mini keyboard/mouse. Here it is:


CPU: AMD A8-3850 APU with AMD Radeon 6550 HD Graphics 2.9GHz Socket FM1 100W Quad-Core Processor - Retail AD3850WNGXBOX - 139.99 http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0055ZCXVE/ref=ox_sc_a...
Mainboard: Gigabyte AMD Socket FM1 for AMD Llano CPU, HDMI, Dual Graphic, Micro ATX Motherboard (GA-A75M-D2H) $94.99 http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0057TG6AC/ref=ox_sc_a...
RAM: Kingston Technology HyperX 8 GB Kit (2x4 GB Modules) 8 Dual Channel Kit 1600 (PC3 12800) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM KHX1600C9D3K2/8GX $54.99 http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0037TO5C0/ref=ox_sc_a...
HDD: Seagate Barracuda Green 2TB SATA 6Gb/s 64MB Cache 3.5-Inch Internal Bare Drive ST2000DL003 $69.99 http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004CCS266/ref=ox_sc_a...
Optical Drive: Lite-On 4x Blu-ray Disc SATA $59.99 http://www.amazon.com/Lite--SATA-Blu-ray-Drive-IHOS104-...
Case: Cooler Master Elite 360 m-ATX ATX Mid/Mini Tower Case with 350-Watt Power Supply RC-360-KKR1 - $43.99 http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001U3YJMQ/ref=ox_sc_a...
Keys: Smart USB mini 2.4GHz Wireless Air Fly Mouse Keyboard Lazy Men Mouse for PC Tablet $49.96 http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004SZU0T4

More about : budget htpc

July 31, 2011 9:55:26 AM

I would look at Llano. It's uses less power and should work with a power supply that comes with a small htpc case. It would be better for light gaming than the 880G+.
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July 31, 2011 9:58:49 AM

That cpu is a missprint, its the slower athlonII propus core that lacks L3 cache and not the deneb core like they are saying.
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Best solution

July 31, 2011 11:31:03 AM

http://www.amazon.com/ASUS-F1A75-V-Pro-Socket-Motherboa...
$129.99 ASUS F1A75-V Pro - F1 Socket - A75 - SATA 6Gbps and USB 3.0 - ATX AMD (Hudson D3) ATX DDR3 1800 AMD - FM1 Motherboard

http://www.amazon.com/AMD-A8-3850-Graphics-Quad-Core-Pr...
$139.99 AMD A8-3850 APU with AMD Radeon 6550 HD Graphics 2.9GHz Socket FM1 100W Quad-Core Processor It comes with the cooler and dirt3 racing game.

http://www.amazon.com/Cooler-Master-350-Watt-Supply-RC-...
$43.12 Cooler Master Elite 360 m-ATX ATX Mid/Mini Tower Case with 350-Watt Power Supply RC-360-KKR1 (the case is a desktop with the cd roms sideways instead)

You will need a pair of 4gb ddr3-1600 memory sticks (8gb total) The Llano uses 2gb for the built in graphics card and needs the faster ddr-1600 memory to work properly, ddr3-1333 wont work as good.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$54.99 Kingston HyperX 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model

Searching on amazon is hard so you can search for the memory and stuff on there.


Most desktop boards don't have bluetooth. Some do have built in bluetooth and wireless lan, but only a select few.

You need a usb wireless keyboard/mouse combo that you use on the coffee table, and a usb extension cable so you can move the receiver closer if the range is poor. Try and pick one that people are saying in the reviews that the range is good, make sure it takes AA batteries for the mouse. You will want a 4 pack of NIMH AA's and a charger for the mouse, or those cheap 48 packs or alkalines.
The mouse likes a surface with woodgrain and wont work on glass or a solid color.


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July 31, 2011 3:24:28 PM

Thanks guys. need4speeds, what about this mobo: Gigabyte AMD Socket FM1 for AMD Llano CPU, HDMI, Dual Graphic, Micro ATX Motherboard (GA-A75M-D2H) http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0057TG6AC/ref=ox_sc_a...

Would it be a decent lower cost replacement for that Asus you listed? I'm trying to get my budget back down to the $500 area. I had actually put together a llano wishlist rig before but i wasn't able to stay in my budget. I'm gonna try again though because I think you are right.

Thanks again,

Casey
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July 31, 2011 4:28:06 PM

Ok, so I dropped the tuner card as I think I want to buy a nicer one at a later date when I actually have my antenna set up. Here's the revised setup and it came in at just slightly over budget:

CPU: AMD A8-3850 APU with AMD Radeon 6550 HD Graphics 2.9GHz Socket FM1 100W Quad-Core Processor - Retail AD3850WNGXBOX - 139.99 http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0055ZCXVE/ref=ox_sc_a...
Mainboard: Gigabyte AMD Socket FM1 for AMD Llano CPU, HDMI, Dual Graphic, Micro ATX Motherboard (GA-A75M-D2H) $94.99 http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0057TG6AC/ref=ox_sc_a...
RAM: Kingston Technology HyperX 8 GB Kit (2x4 GB Modules) 8 Dual Channel Kit 1600 (PC3 12800) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM KHX1600C9D3K2/8GX $54.99 http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0037TO5C0/ref=ox_sc_a...
HDD: Seagate Barracuda Green 2TB SATA 6Gb/s 64MB Cache 3.5-Inch Internal Bare Drive ST2000DL003 $69.99 http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004CCS266/ref=ox_sc_a...
Optical Drive: Lite-On 4x Blu-ray Disc SATA $59.99 http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B [...] PDKIKX0DER
Case: Cooler Master Elite 360 m-ATX ATX Mid/Mini Tower Case with 350-Watt Power Supply RC-360-KKR1 - $43.99 http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001U3YJMQ/ref=ox_sc_a...
Keys: Mini Wireless Bluetooth Keyboard - Features Built-in Touchpad Mouse, Backlit Display and Laser Pointer $39.12 http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B [...] P4X9EWVXLJ

That is a grand total of: $506.05 with everything shipped with free 2-day shipping.

Whattaya think? Will this be a decent setup? I need to measure my TV stand to make sure that coolermaster is going to fit. I hope so because at $45 with a PS it will be hard to beat. Thanks again for all the input.
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July 31, 2011 5:40:14 PM

Ok so this is the final final setup that I am about to purchase from Amazon. It should all be here by Wednesday. I have built about 300 different wishlist configs in the last 24hrs. This is the one that makes the most sense I think. Thanks need4speeds for pointing me back toward the Llano platform.

Cooler Master Elite 360 m-ATX ATX Mid/Mini Tower Case with 350-Watt Power Supply RC-360-KKR1
$56.64 - Quantity: 1 - In Stock
Condition: New
Sold by: Amazon.com LLC
LITE-ON 4x Blu-ray Disc SATA Internal Optical Drive iHOS104
$59.99 - Quantity: 1 - In Stock
Condition: New
Sold by: Amazon.com LLC
Seagate Barracuda Green 2TB SATA 6Gb/s 64MB Cache 3.5-Inch Internal Bare Drive ST2000DL003
$69.99 - Quantity: 1 - In Stock
Condition: New
Sold by: Amazon.com LLC
Kingston Technology HyperX 8 GB Kit (2x4 GB Modules) 8 Dual Channel Kit 1600 (PC3 12800) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM KHX1600C9D3K2/8GX
$54.99 - Quantity: 1 - In Stock
Condition: New
Sold by: Amazon.com LLC
Smart USB mini 2.4GHz Wireless Air Fly Mouse Keyboard Lazy Men Mouse for PC Tablet
$49.96 - Quantity: 1 - In Stock
Condition: New
Sold by: loftek technological co. LLC
AMD A8-3850 APU with AMD Radeon 6550 HD Graphics 2.9GHz Socket FM1 100W Quad-Core Processor - Retail AD3850WNGXBOX
$139.99 - Quantity: 1 - In Stock
Condition: New
Sold by: Amazon.com LLC
Gigabyte AMD Socket FM1 for AMD Llano CPU, HDMI, Dual Graphic, Micro ATX Motherboard (GA-A75M-D2H)
$94.99 - Quantity: 1 - In Stock
Condition: New
Sold by: Amazon.com LLC

Total = $529.55 with free two-day shipping. Thats 2TB hdd space, 8GBs o' RAM and a decent mobo and cpu setup with blu-ray for pretty cheap if you ask me. Hopefully someone will take a quick last look and tell me if I am making any glaring mistakes like that too-big-for-the-case tuner card that mosox pointed out. Thanks again.
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July 31, 2011 7:48:10 PM

Best answer selected by skeptikal.
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August 1, 2011 12:38:36 PM

The drawback with going to a micro-atx board is your cards are crammed closer together that's all. (if you upgrade the power supply and a add a pair of video cards later on)

Mostly i thought it only saved $35 and the asus looked like a better board with a heatpipe cooler for the chipset and voltage regulators.

-Gigabyte usually makes decent boards too, and it has solid caps like the asus board.

- Keep in mind if you plan on adding a hd-6550 card, amd doesn't have the dual graphics software figured out quite yet. It might not give the graphics boost you thought.

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/amd-a8-3850-llano,2...

If you read it, you will see the Llano uses very little power on it's own, and does pretty good by itself. But adding the second card is pretty hit and miss.

It is more suited for a htpc where you don't want alot of heat.
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August 1, 2011 12:51:12 PM

You need a real mouse/ keyboard, i cant see playing games on the laptop style mouse/keyboard.

-The cooler master case takes full height cards, so the other tuner will work now.
(half-height cases are a bit thinner but finding half-height cards is harder)

-The cooler master case is a half-length card case so long cards like a hd-6950 wont fit,(but it would overheat anyway in that small crammed case)
Something like a pair of hd-6770's should work fine with a bigger power supply later on.

-You will need to use tie-wraps and do a neat cabling job since that case is small inside.
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August 1, 2011 3:52:49 PM

Thanks again for all of the input and advice. I am really glad i didn't go with the first config that I posted. I do actually already have a good wireless keyboard and mouse combo that I will use for what little gaming I do. The remote style keyboard is just for couch surfing and to make the transition from UVerse to Hulu and Netflix a little smoother for my wife and 6 yr old. My wife would not be cool with having to use a full size keyboard and mouse to control the TV. :D  I do wish I could have gone with the Asus board too but I was already $29 over a pretty strict budget. I think I will be pretty happy with the Gigabyte board anyway. The most I will be doing is adding a TV Tuner and maybe a graphics card down the line. Most of the order has already shipped from Amazon and it will all be here Wednesday. My UPS guys has been known to show up at 11p though so it might as well get here Thursday. Again, I really appreciate all the input you gave. It steered me back into the Llano platform which I feel pretty good about. The initial Llano build I put together in a wishlist was too expensive but this build minus the goofy remote keyboard was under 5 bills. Amazing really considering it has some pretty high-end budget components with 8gbs of RAM and 2TBs of storage.
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August 2, 2011 3:06:28 AM

I hope it all works out ok for you. well good luck.

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August 13, 2011 10:56:56 PM

skeptikal said:

CPU: AMD A8-3850 APU with AMD Radeon 6550 HD Graphics 2.9GHz Socket FM1 100W Quad-Core Processor - Retail AD3850WNGXBOX - 139.99 http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0055ZCXVE/ref=ox_sc_a...


Hey,
Just wondering if you have gotten your build together and tested it yet? Playing 1080p smoothly? I am considering buying the same cpu, and want to know if it is dxva2 compatible in windows or not, as i am not planning on using a discrete graphics card.

Thanks :) 
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