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Newb HTPC build--overkill/missing something?

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August 13, 2011 6:54:05 PM

Approximate Purchase Date: this month

Budget Range: Under 500

System Usage from Most to Least Important: HTPC, want a micro-ATX type case, minor gaming, upgradable

Parts Not Required: keyboard, speakers, monitor, HDD, optical drive

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: newegg.com, amazon, whatever is cheapest

Country of Origin: US

Overclocking: Maybe

SLI or Crossfire: Maybe

Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080

Additional Comments: Looking for HTPC including 1080p streaming that is somewhat upgradable and that can handle minor gaming like Civ. 5, and is upgradable, which is why I like the AMD A8 series.

Here's what I've come up with...Any comments would be helpful. I am a total newb at building a PC. So, I am particularly worried, 1. about the quality of the parts--I'm going off of what I read here and in the comments on newegg. 2. the cooling in a little case like the one I've selected, and 3. whether I'm in overkill mode for my needs. Now, just from reading around it seems I could do what I want with a dual core of various sorts, but I also want this to be somewhat future proof. and 4. whether I'm missing something crucial.

AMD A8-3850 Llano 2.9GHz 4MB L2 Cache Socket FM1 100W Quad-Core Desktop APU AD3850WNGXBOX (139.99)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103942

GIGABYTE GA-A75M-UD2H FM1 AMD A75 (Hudson D3) HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Micro ATX AMD Motherboard (97.24)
http://www.amazon.com/Gigabyte-A75M-UD2H-Socket-Graphic-Motherboard/dp/B0057TG6AW/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1313260698&sr=8-1

G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-8GBXL (59.99)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231428

Silverstone GD05B (89.99)
http://www.amazon.com/SilverStone-Aluminum-Steel-Computer-GD05B/dp/B0036WTDGQ/ref=pd_luc_sbs_01_01_t_lh

Antec Earthwatts 380W (40.99)
http://www.amazon.com/Antec-EA-380D-Power-Supply/dp/B002UOR17Y/ref=lh_ni_t

Total:428.11

Now, this build is more expensive than some of the combo deals out there, for example, http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=808302&Sku=B69-0393 369.99 (and it comes with a new HDD and DVDRW), but I think my build has better components (since that MSI board seems to have issues (at least for some folks).

Any comments welcome.

More about : newb htpc build overkill missing

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August 13, 2011 7:16:12 PM

Nice! One comment - I have built with that case. The CD/DVD positioning means a lot of CPU coolers wont fit. You may need a low profile cooler. Running the fans off the PSU was a little loud, but modded down to 7V (hack the power cable to run the fans off the 5v -12v rail instead of the 0v-12v) it was near silent and very cool with an i5. Of course the i5 needed discreet graphics - you don't... those Lano's look perfect for HTPC's
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August 13, 2011 7:20:13 PM

stuart72 said:
Nice! One comment - I have built with that case. The CD/DVD positioning means a lot of CPU coolers wont fit. You may need a low profile cooler. Running the fans off the PSU was a little loud, but modded down to 7V (hack the power cable to run the fans off the 5v -12v rail instead of the 0v-12v) it was near silent and very cool with an i5. Of course the i5 needed discreet graphics - you don't... those Lano's look perfect for HTPC's


Thanks for the quick reply. That case looks nice, but now you've got me worried. You might have no way of knowing this, but do think the stock cooling on the llano might not fit? Do you think the stock fan is insufficient to cool with this tight space?
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August 21, 2011 2:32:02 AM

Best answer selected by ivanillich.
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August 24, 2011 9:45:53 PM

ivanillich said:
Thanks for the quick reply. That case looks nice, but now you've got me worried. You might have no way of knowing this, but do think the stock cooling on the llano might not fit? Do you think the stock fan is insufficient to cool with this tight space?


Can't say, from memory there was around 70-75mm of clearance under the DVD drive. A scythe shuriken fitted in there OK (it seemed the popular choice from google), there wasn't a lot of space between the drive and the top of the cooler fan but it didn't seem to affect the temps - the case fans do a very good job at creating airflow.
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August 24, 2011 9:53:02 PM

stuart72 said:
Can't say, from memory there was around 70-75mm of clearance under the DVD drive. A scythe shuriken fitted in there OK (it seemed the popular choice from google), there wasn't a lot of space between the drive and the top of the cooler fan but it didn't seem to affect the temps - the case fans do a very good job at creating airflow.


Thanks stuart72. I've got it built and running. I'm just using the full size optical drive from my old rig and it does overhang the cooling fan on the processor, but there is still clearance enough to keep the processor cool with just the stock fan/heatsink. It's never gotten above 57 under pretty heavy load (the TJmax is listed as 70) so, so far so good.
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