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Building an HTPC - Looking for general advice

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September 5, 2011 5:23:53 PM

I am looking at building an HTPC, maybe in this case:

http://www.antec.com/Believe_it/product.php?id=MjA5MyY2

It will be for exactly what you expect in an HTPC... watching video, streaming, downloading etc. No TV tuner or recording. So my needs are quite modest. The budget is not that much of a concern - what is important is that it is cool and quiet.

With that in mind, should I go with an i3 or a Llano? If Llano, what is the best one for this purpose?

I am hoping to use ubuntu so that I don't need to pay for Windows. Will AMD be a problem for that?

Also, that case comes with two variants - one with a 65W adapter outside the enclosure, and one with a 150W power supply inside. Would the 65W one be enough for my needs?

Thanks in advance for your help.
September 8, 2011 10:10:53 PM

So I have done more reading and research, and have decided to go with the i3. So far I intend to get:

Case: Antec ISK 300-65

Processor: i3 2100T

SSD: OCZ Agility 3 60 GB

HDD: Samsung Spinpoint M8 1TB

Slim optical drive.

Any suggestions as to the most appropriate motherboard? My needs are small... HDMI out and wifi onboard.

Edit: This board (Zotac H67ITX) seems to meet my needs. Any reason all of this wouldn't work together?
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September 8, 2011 11:24:36 PM

Looks good to me. You should be alright with the 65W adapter with what you've listed. Most i3-2100T builds I've read about get up to the 40-45W range when put to load.

BTW, check out my ISK build in my sig for details on what to expect in your build.



Edit: if you can, try to get the Asus P8H67-I DELUXE board. ITX + WiFi and better quality than Zotac. Uses laptop RAM though.
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September 8, 2011 11:38:01 PM

Looks like my sig was missing... here ya go.
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September 9, 2011 12:20:22 AM

I had spotted your build while doing my research. Looks great!

That motherboard looks fine... don't know much about laptop memory, though - what do you recommend? With the other board I would have been looking at something like this:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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September 9, 2011 2:48:51 AM

Well, I've never used Zotac... just read reviews. You can give them a chance I guess. Laptop and desktop memory are about equal in price now, so not much different than that. You can check the motherboard maker's QVL for recommended memory or take a chance on a kit that is not on the QVL. At the moment, I'm fond of G.Skill's selection of memory. They have always worked for me and seem to always have the best performance/price ratio.
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September 11, 2011 3:08:14 AM

I think I will use the ASUS H61 motherboard and a USB wifi dongle. That will be cheaper than the Zotac, and I assume better quality.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I could also save $60 by getting the G620T. I'm not that concerned about budget, but if I'm not going to see any noticeable improvement for my purposes, should I downgrade?
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September 11, 2011 3:35:11 PM

I believe the only thing you lose with the G620T is Quick Sync. For media playback it will work just fine.
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October 26, 2011 3:59:39 PM

I had to put my plans on hold, so I just got it up and running this week. I did get the 2100T. Everything is snappy, and with the SSD it boots in seconds and is virtually silent - certainly nothing you could hear from more than about a foot away. Thanks for the help!
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October 26, 2011 5:12:07 PM

I had to put my plans on hold, so I just got it up and running this week. I did get the 2100T. Everything is snappy, and with the SSD it boots in seconds and is virtually silent - certainly nothing you could hear from more than about a foot away. Thanks for the help!
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October 28, 2011 3:35:05 PM

Post pics if you can. Also, get your hands on a kill-a-watt meter and post your idle and load watts.
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June 26, 2013 6:00:50 PM

I have quite positive experinece with AMD Fusion APUs and I have built two or three HTPCs on it's base using the following components:

MB:
- Asus AT3IONT-I
- MSI MS-7698

HDD:
- WD20EURS
- WD10TPVT

Enclosure:
- Class-E 211 mini-ITX case with 65W PSU

DC/DC PSU:
- PicoPSU-120

The HTPC is quiet, looks awesome and performs nicely. Keep in mind thought, that AMD APUs only perform well when using hardware acceleration for Video and 3D graphics. They do not have enough power to decode video in CPU alone. You will need to make sure your HTPC software can effectively use the acceleration. Windows should work well out of the box but you may need to fiddle a bit if using Linux.
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!