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Quiet, Power efficient $700-1000 HTPC

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August 28, 2011 8:53:30 AM

Approximate Purchase Date: within next two weeks (max. one month)

Budget Range: $700-1000 After Rebates

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Online streaming videos (Netflix, hulu), surfing the internet/email, Android programming

Parts Not Required: keyboard, mouse, monitor (already have these); will buy speakers at later time (surround sound)

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: amazon, newegg

Country of Origin: USA (CA)

Parts Preferences: none

Overclocking: No

SLI or Crossfire: No

Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080

Additional Comments: First-timer, building computer for my living room. I just want to replace my old college laptop with something better (just finished college and started earning cash...). I don't need to carry it around with me anymore, so I wanted to buy something I can play/learn with and reuse parts in the future.

Priorities for the system:
1) Quality/Stable, needs to last me at least 4 years
2) Power efficient
3) Silent

Parts that I already have:
2x SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 1TB
Corsiar Vengeance 2x4GB DDR3 1600

Plan:

Processor: i5-2500K
>>Definitely want an i5... chose the K version because it has Intel HD Graphics 3000 as opposed to 2000... is this a good choice, or am I overreaching?

Chipset: H67
>>Chose H67 because I don't need overclocking, and do plan on using integrated graphics (less power consumption, less heat?)

Motherboard: ASUS P8H67-M EVO
or Intel DH67GD
>>leaning towards Intel board because I saw that it's more efficient (article, see the last plot), but I've read that Intel mobos are not as well-built as the Asus mobos. Also, the Asus mobo looks nicer :) 

SSD: ?
>>I plan on using this as a boot drive. Also, what are your opinions on Ubuntu vs Mac OS X Lion?

Wireless NIC: ?
>>Need wifi because of where computer will be located, prefer 802.11n. My router is a Linksys E2000-RM[\i]

Power Supply: ?
>>I'm ok with spending some cash here if it gets me something of high quality (safety for the other components) and is efficient

Case: Fractal Design Define R3, Black Pearl
>>open for suggestions, but this case seems to get good reviews and looks sleek

Extras:

CPU Cooler: ?
>>Do I need one besides the stock cooler? maybe a quieter one?

Case Fans: ?
>>I was thinking of maybe getting a 140mm to place at the top of the case...


Thank you all for your input.
August 28, 2011 11:01:25 AM

Do you want to have USB 3 ports at the front of your case? If yes, you have a problem with the current MB and case selections, as none of them have provisions for that.

Just something I thought you'd like to be aware of.
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August 28, 2011 11:46:16 AM

you do know Lion will be a pain to install, because its made to install only on macs, never-the-less if you buy that processor with an ATI/AMD graphics card it should make the job MUCH easier.
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August 28, 2011 6:33:12 PM

Quote:
Do you want to have USB 3 ports at the front of your case? If yes, you have a problem with the current MB and case selections, as none of them have provisions for that.


That isn't a deal breaker for me, but it would be nice to have...
Fractal Design will be coming out with an upgrade kit, and new cases will have USB 3.0, although I didn't want to wait until end of September... reference

Any suggestions on alternate MBs?

Quote:
you do know Lion will be a pain to install, because its made to install only on macs, never-the-less if you buy that processor with an ATI/AMD graphics card it should make the job MUCH easier.


That makes choosing my OS easier, Ubuntu it is...

Thanks for the info.
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August 28, 2011 10:47:32 PM

ps3hacker12, that mobo doesn't seems to have USB 3.0...?

i had a look around, and there doesn't seem to have almost any mobos with USB 3.0 for front-panel...
anyways, like I said before, that isn't a big deal for me... I can always run a cable through to the back somehow...
so I think I'll stick with one of the two above, unless anyone has other suggestions...

I did want to get people's opinions on the two mobos above, do you all think Intel one won't be as reliable as the Asus?
i.e. won't last as long?

thanks
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August 29, 2011 12:50:49 AM

The biggest difference between HD2000 and HD3000 is 3D performance so unless u have a 3D monitor/TV I would stay with HD2000 - i5-2400 will be ur best bet.
How about this mobo
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
for a case go with either
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
or
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
SSD get either crucial m4 or intel 320
wireless this guy http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

no need for CPU cooler

and for PSU I'll go with this one http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

so total comes to .. I have no idea .. add it up and see how it fit ur budget
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Best solution

August 29, 2011 11:32:54 AM

sorry i expected all gigabyte Z68 boards to have USB 3.0 as standard but i geuss not :/  just looking at the number of boards that will allow for FRONT USB 3.0 panels, there arent that many but here are two that i found in the lower price bracket:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

i couldn't really find that many (at a reasonable price) that had front USB 3.0 panel ports.
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September 4, 2011 2:44:03 AM

Best answer selected by lucaraki.
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