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Need Advice: $400 Office PC with HTPC Features

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September 1, 2011 6:22:47 AM

Need to build a PC for the office, but has potential for light gaming and HTPC. Time frame for the build is Labor Day Weekend to mid-September (the sooner the better).
Total Budget = $600 which includes getting Win7 Pro-64bit OEM.

Currently owned parts from previous builds/upgrades: (May or may not be used)
Case: Antec Sonata (generation 1)
System RAM: Corsair CMV4GX3M2A1333C9 - 2x2GB DDR3-1333Mhz C9 kit
Graphics: MSI R5450
Graphics: Asus EAH5770 CuCore (working, but defective :fou:  does not perform to full specs and already returned from Asus RMA repair)
Media card reader: Aerocool Infinite media card reader and USB2.0 ports

Requirements:
1) Space for a media card reader (SD and MMC) required
2) Blu-Ray drive preferred, but optional
3) Dual monitor set-up at 1680x1050 each; may output to projector via DVI
4) Low noise preferred

Undecided on processor and motherboard combo :sweat: 

Option 1) AMD Athlon/Phenom II x4 with 880 chipset mATX
1.1) Phenom II x4 955 = $112
1.2) MSI 880GM-43 $70 - $50(bundle) = $20 - $20 mail-in-rebate
*can hybrid-crossfire MSI R5450 for a slight graphics boost
1.3) Found at local store :) 

Option 2) AMD Llano with A75 chipset
2.1) AMD A8-3850 = $140
2.2) FM1 boards w/ A75 chipsets range from $85 to $120 plus shipping on most

Option 3) Intel Sandy Bridge with P67 or H67 chipset
3.1) Intel i3-2100 or i5-2400/2500k
3.2) Any mATX options with P67?

Cases and PSUs:
PSU) Antec EA-380D ($40)
Option 1) Use Antec Sonata
Option 2) Welcome any recommendations for low noice options

Thank you for your help :hello: 
September 1, 2011 6:32:21 AM

Processor : Intel Core i3 2100 - $124.99
MoBo : ASRock H61M-VS MicroATX LGA1155 - $59.99
Graphics Card : XFX HD-685X-ZNBC Radeon HD 6850 Black Edition 1GB 256-bit DDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card - $140
Hard Disk : Seagate Barracuda 1TB 7200rpm - $60
Optical Drive : $20
Power Supply : Corsair CX430 - $39.99
September 1, 2011 7:11:00 AM
Related resources
September 2, 2011 4:50:34 AM

008Rohit said:
Processor : Intel Core i3 2100 - $124.99
MoBo : ASRock H61M-VS MicroATX LGA1155 - $59.99
Graphics Card : XFX HD-685X-ZNBC Radeon HD 6850 Black Edition 1GB 256-bit DDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card - $140
Hard Disk : Seagate Barracuda 1TB 7200rpm - $60
Optical Drive : $20
Power Supply : Corsair CX430 - $39.99

Thank you for the recommendations. It looks great, but I was hoping to use the H67 or P67 chipset. I estimated the total (including Win7 Pro 64 OEM) at $585 + shipping.
Proximon said:
This sets you up with USB 3 and an Intel CPU.

  • SAMSUNG CD/DVD Burner Black SATA Model SH-222AB - OEM
  • Seagate Barracuda ST31000524AS 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
  • HIS H685FN1GD Radeon HD 6850 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card with Eyefinity
  • AMD Gift - Deus Ex game coupon
  • Antec NEO ECO 520C 520W Continuous Power ATX12V v2.3 / EPS12V 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Power Supply
  • ASRock H67M (B3) LGA 1155 Intel H67 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard
  • Intel Core i3-2100 Sandy Bridge 3.1GHz LGA 1155 65W Dual-Core Desktop Processor BX80623I32100
  • Microsoft Windows 7 Professional SP1 64-bit - OEM
    TOTAL: $640.16

    That's a bit over but there is at least one promo code in there and a rebate or two, that brings the price down.

  • Thank you for the recommendations. I will definately need to pricematch somewhere or find more rebates.

    Both builds look great and close to budget. Maybe I will postpone the graphics card until the holidays for better deals.
    September 2, 2011 1:08:06 PM

    Yeah, H67 or P67 offers more features over H61.
    September 7, 2011 3:14:51 PM

    ***Budget and Build Change***
    Unfortunately, my original funding fell through so I need to redo the budget and time frame. Thank you for the advice and recommendations.

    September 7, 2011 3:50:48 PM

    sorry to hear that. Personally I would have reccommened the Llano build
    September 19, 2011 11:05:34 PM

    Final Build as of 09/18/2011 (Pictures to follow)

    CPU/APU: AMD (LLano) A8-3850 = $135
    Cooler: stock = $0
    Motherboard MSI A75MA-G55 (ver.1.0) = $100 - $10 mir
    System RAM Corsair CMV4GX3M2A1333C9 = already owned, was ___ when new

    Case: Antec Sonata (gen.1) = already owned, $0
    PSU: Antec EA-650 = $70 - $10 mir

    Storage: Western Digital WD5000AAKX-001CA = $50
    Optical: Plextor PX-B320SA = already owned, was $90-rebate when new

    Hardware Total (w/o taxes) = $355 - $20 mir + $125 (OS) = $460

    Running Windows 7 Pro, 64-bit
    All parts bought locally and price matched when possible.
    Upgrades planned within the next year include AMD HD6670 and microATX case.
    September 20, 2011 10:27:06 PM

    I think for light gaming, the Llano is going to be the way to go for you. It'll save you that extra graphics card and therefore heat, energy, $$$, etc. You can always add it later if it's not working out for you.

    Best of luck with your build!
    January 5, 2012 9:33:14 PM

    Dougie Fresh said:
    I think for light gaming, the Llano is going to be the way to go for you. It'll save you that extra graphics card and therefore heat, energy, $$$, etc. You can always add it later if it's not working out for you.

    Best of luck with your build!

    Thank you for the reply. I just added the MSI R6670-MD1GD5 which cost me $100 minus a $30 mail-in-rebate.

    Hopefully I can get AMD's dual graphics to run correctly :??:  with the A8-3850 and have an HD6690D2. Now to find a nice mATX case for the whole thing, :whistle:  then maybe a new CPU cooler and SSD boot drive.
    !