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Mid level HTPC build - Need help picking out a CPU/Mobo & Case..please

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October 13, 2011 9:07:23 PM

Hi,

I'm getting the component specs in place for a new HTPC build (was thinking about a NAS build but figured out what I really needed was an HTPC to play my ripped movies)! Need help figuring out which way to go - need help picking a CPU/MoBo & Case:

Objective for the new build:

The HTPC build, would be primarily used for watching DVD & Blu-ray ripped movies (ripped to my external HDD - MKV, H.264, MP4, AVI etc) and playing DVD's & Blu-Ray's, and streaming - netflix, hulu, youtube etc. Having said that, I also don't want to build something that would be obsolete or outdated in a year, I would like to future proof it as much as possible.

I have a pretty powerful desktop system (at least I'd like to think so :D ) on the home network that the HTPC would also be hooked up to - specs in my signature - so I'm pretty sure any encoding or CPU intensive applications would be run on that and also gaming would be on that!

I'll list out the parts I already have and plan to use for this build:

1) Samsung 12 X Blu-Ray player & DVD writer

2) I have 16GB (4x4gb) of Corsair Vengance RAM installed on my recently built Gaming system (before anyone says it, I know it is overkill and knew it even while building it - I got it at a great deal for $70 and picked it up and hence used it. However now for the new HTPC build I'm planning to remove 2 sticks out of the slots (2x4GB) and use it for this - anything wrong with doing that, would it affect my already built system, if I remove/reduce the RAM?

3) HDD - 1x 3 TB Hitachi Deskstar

Okay so now to the part that is confusing me the most:

CPU / MoBo - I was sold on this Asus Fusion E-350 mobo & CPU combo till I read about Llaano, now I've been comparing the E-350, Llano & even the Core i3-2105 (HD3000) but cant seem to make up my mind which way to go - especially after reading these articles this article and this one (both of which i found from links on this forum). Can anyone who have had more experience than me on this issue help me pick one out - and share your reasoning behind it please?

Case/PSU - Form factor is the main concern here - I started planning this build with a Mini-ITX MoBo - Zotac but switched to a Micro-ATX because I could not find a lot of good Mini-ITX cases or PSU's. Micro ATX was still small enough and had better options! But I'm still unable to narrow down to a specific case considering this Antec Case - but I'm open to suggestions.

My requirements from the case are:

1) that it be small enough to fit under in my media console, max as big as a PS3 or an Xbox.
2) At least have have one 5.25" external bay for my ODD - not planning to spend on a slim drive for this build! Also 2 internal HDD bays for my SSD and HDD!
3) good airflow and ventilation
4) does not look like a computer but looks more like a media device
5) if it comes with a PSU, it be a good quality PSU (80 plus if possible) - what wattage would be appropriate for my use?
6) would be great if it has a remote control and volume control knobs on it!

The memory sticks I have has heatsinks on top so I am also worried whether the case would have clearance for these - if you know or if you can make an educated guess as to whether these would fir then please let me know, thanks!

I'm planning to include an small capacity SSD as a boot drive, and planning to run Windows 7 (XBMC & Media center mainly) - What size SSD would you recommend as a Win 7 - Home Premium boot drive?

All the above including my OS & SSD purchase - I would like to keep it under $400 - if possible!

Please help in picking out the components - your help and advice is greatly appreciated - Thanks in advance!
a b à CPUs
October 13, 2011 10:24:24 PM

Good plan on the RAM.

As you say, you want something that will last a bit longer than Fusion. I like a strong quad core Llano for the build, but clearly you'll spend more that way. This would be a good way to go there
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

That way you get SATA 6GB/s and USB 3. You get a processor that is going to deal fairly well with updates and virus scans and whatever else, while still playing those Blu-rays.

The Antec case is perfect. The PSU is high quality and the 120mm x 2 fans are as good as you get in that size case.
However, you can get a nicer version with remote and display
http://www.amazon.com/Antec-FUSION-REMOTE-Theater-Enclo...

October 13, 2011 10:36:01 PM

Proximon said:
Good plan on the RAM.

As you say, you want something that will last a bit longer than Fusion. I like a strong quad core Llano for the build, but clearly you'll spend more that way. This would be a good way to go there
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

That way you get SATA 6GB/s and USB 3. You get a processor that is going to deal fairly well with updates and virus scans and whatever else, while still playing those Blu-rays.

The Antec case is perfect. The PSU is high quality and the 120mm x 2 fans are as good as you get in that size case.
However, you can get a nicer version with remote and display
http://www.amazon.com/Antec-FUSION-REMOTE-Theater-Enclo...


Thanks for the links and the quick reply!

Does removing/reducing the RAM affect the already built system in any way?

Also the case you showed look really good - does it come with a PSU built in or is that a separate buy?

I like the combo deal on the CPU & Mobo - do they plan to phase out Llano anytime soon?
Related resources
a b à CPUs
October 13, 2011 10:53:28 PM

You won't see any difference going from 16Gb to 8GB in a gaming/media build.

You would need a PSU with that case, as far as I know.. not very clear. This is a good one:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Llano is very new and should be around for a few years.
October 13, 2011 10:59:09 PM

Proximon said:
You won't see any difference going from 16Gb to 8GB in a gaming/media build.

You would need a PSU with that case, as far as I know.. not very clear. This is a good one:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Llano is very new and should be around for a few years.


Thanks again! That PSU is an ATX form factor, does that fit in a micro ATX case such as the one we were looking at? For PSU's does the form factor make a diff at all?
a b à CPUs
October 13, 2011 11:05:08 PM

It can, but the Antec Fusion cases fit standard PSUs.

I have changed my mind though. The fan on the NEO Eco may be an issue in that case. I chose it because it's 120mm and the PSU is made by Seasonic... but the fan may be choked by the side of the case.

Better get the EA-380D that is the same PSU that came in the other Antec case
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
A bit more efficient, and quiet enough. Made by Delta.
October 13, 2011 11:43:54 PM

Thanks Proximon!

Quote:
Better get the EA-380D that is the same PSU that came in the other Antec case


That is a good one and silent too, the only thing I'm worried about is price, together they put the price of Case/PSU at $200, which only leaves me with another $200 for everything else, including the OS!

So I just searched on Newegg and found this Corsair 430 W PSU - very quiet as per the reviews I read and much better priced after the discount and the $20 rebate - puts the cost at $20 for 430 W! ATX but like you said it would fit in the Antec case right!

What is your view on that PSU - if it is crappy then I don't want it, I know it is not as efficient as a 80 Plus Bronze but at least it is 80 Plus certified right! Please let me know!

Thanks again!
October 14, 2011 1:29:46 AM

After some research I decided to stretch the budget from $400 to $500 and fixing the form factor as Micro ATX, here is what I'm considering now:

This is the build I came up with for now, still open to changes:

CPU : AMD A4-3400 Llano 2.7GHz - $78 - Was looking at the quad core AMD A6-3650 but decided on the dual core because I guess that is all I would need - right?
Motherboard: ASRock A75M FM1 AMD A75 - $75 - Has all that I need, 4 USB 3.0, 5 SATA 3 ports and nothing that I don't need!
Case: Antec Fusion Remote - Black - $141 - Not sold on this yet, but it has all the features that I'm looking for, but very pricey, if anyone has better suggestions I open to considering those - please comment!
PSU: Corsair AX 430W ATX - $21 - After the rebate and the promo code savings! It might be overkill but for the price it is the best I could find!
OS: Win 7 Home Premium - 64 bit - $100
SSD : Haven't decided yet - would like SATA III - if it can fit the budget - How much capacity is the question I'm pondering now!

HDD, ODD & RAM - as detailed in the OP - planning to use what I have!

@ Proximon - I changed the CPU & MoBo you had recommended for cost advantages - do you think the dual core A4 and integrated graphics would do the job? The ASUS MoBo had a lot of features that I did not want - like 4 DIMM slots and few others as well, this one has everything want and is cheaper by around $35 bucks! Please comment!

So, that is it as of now. Please comment on what you think I should keep and what I should change?

What size SSD should I get to use as a boot drive for Win 7 HP - 64 bit??

Thanks in advance for all your replies!
a b à CPUs
October 14, 2011 1:53:50 AM

did you overlook the amd FM1 processors and mother boards ? probably the best you can get right now for your application.
October 14, 2011 2:59:36 AM

swifty_morgan said:
did you overlook the amd FM1 processors and mother boards ? probably the best you can get right now for your application.


I'm lost here - isn't the one I posted above an FM1 processor? Same goes for the MoBo?
a b à CPUs
October 14, 2011 3:09:55 AM

Yea, must have been all the "fog".
October 14, 2011 3:15:26 AM

Proximon said:
You need to fix your links.

I think that's probably a good compromise on the board and CPU.

This would be the best SSD, given the price:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Corsair 40GB
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Intel 320 40GB would be the next option, slower than the Corsair but it is a bit more reliable:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...



Sorry about that - Links fixed now!

I'm leaning towards the first one, that is what I have on my desktop, it is going to push me beyond the $500 by a little though might have to cut somewhere else!

Also someone told me that this Pentium G620 processor is better than any of the Llano's is that so?
October 14, 2011 2:19:46 PM

You are right Proximon - read this while doing some research on whether to switch from AMD to Pentium G620 - not even comparable when it comes to graphics. It uses less juice and hence is better in power consumption, but that does not justify the below par performance.

Decided to go with the AMD Llano A6 - Quad core and the rest of the above setup - $110

SSD: Crucial M4 64 GB SATA III MLC - $85 (on shell shocker today).

With the current set up my budget is $532, I need to shave off at least $32, to be under budget, somewhere and I'm thinking either it has to be the case or the OS (maybe Linux), any suggestions!

October 14, 2011 9:59:11 PM

Okay I did not get my hands on the Crucial 64 GB SSD shell shocker deal, before it got sold out, so I took it as a sign and decided to build without the SSD that is $85 savings, from my budgeted spends.

Plus I'm planning to switch from the Fusion Remote case to a lesser expensive one - the reason why I wanted that case was because of the remote and the volume control know and all the other features provide by the iMon software package and the remote!

THEN IT OCCURED TO ME - I own a Logitech Harmony One remote - which shoudl be able to control my HTPC as well- right? I found this article online which details out how to set up the Harmony One for your HTPC!

So it can control the HTPC, my question however is: does the HTPC have to have something special like a IR receiver to interpret the IR signal passed on by the remote, how does this work? So anyone who knows how this remote can connect to my computer please comment, do I need to get an IR receiver of some sort?

Thanks for all the advice. So everything else is done except for the case - after I find out about the remote I will decide on the case and maybe a better power supply, and then it is time to order parts! :) 
a b à CPUs
October 14, 2011 10:06:49 PM

Sold out just like that :)  Wish I had seen that deal myself. Laptop needs an SSD.

I don't know how viable Linux is for HTPC. I'm sure it's fine for non-Blu-ray stuff.
a b à CPUs
October 14, 2011 10:06:50 PM

Just get a USB IR receiver. You can either purchase an el cheapo ($25) remote just for the receiver, or you can buy just the receiver on eBay for $10-12.


The HP receiver is popular with the HTPC crowd and works great with a Harmony. Here it is on eBay.

Here is a remote/IR receiver combo that works with the harmony: link
a b à CPUs
October 14, 2011 10:14:38 PM

aoommen said:
my question however is: does the HTPC have to have something special like a IR receiver to interpret the IR signal passed on by the remote, how does this work? So anyone who knows how this remote can connect to my computer please comment, do I need to get an IR receiver of some sort?

Thanks for all the advice. So everything else is done except for the case - after I find out about the remote I will decide on the case and maybe a better power supply, and then it is time to order parts! :) 


Yes, you do need an IR reciever. I think this one, read the user reviews
http://www.amazon.com/Dell-RC6-Receiver-Microsoft-recei...
October 15, 2011 12:31:45 AM

Thanks Proximon - went with your suggestion on the IR receiver as the reviews had good things to say about how well it worked with the Harmony One - that is what I want!

Thanks rwpritchett - the Rosewill one had a couple of reviews where it said that it does not work well with the Harmony remote!

So this is the final list of parts - just need a good case to put them in :) 

HDD : 3TB Hitachi Deskstar 7200 RPM SATA III - 3 TB
PSU : Corsair AX 430W ATX
MB : ASRock A75M FM1 AMD A75
APU : AMD A6-3650 Llano 2.6GHz
RAM : Corsair Vengance 8 GB
ODD : Samsung 12X BD ROM & DVD Writer
OS : Windows 7 Home Premium 64 Bit
Keyboard : Logitech Wireless Touch Keyboard K400
IR Reciever : Genuine Dell RC6 IR Receiver
Remote: Logitech Harmony One (already owned - so I am not looking at a fancy case with remote and software)

BUDGET for the CASE : Max $80 (preferably lesser, if $80 then preferably with a PSU)

My requirements from the case are (modified from above based on changes):

1) that it be small enough to fit under in my media console (something like a AV reciever would be fine), Micro ATX MoBo compatible!
2) at least have have one full size 5.25" external bay for my ODD - not planning to spend on a slim drive for this build! 2 would be ideal, especially if there is no front display!
3) at least 2 internal 3.5" HDD bays!
3) good airflow and ventilation
4) does not look like a computer but looks more like a media device (Black please, as everything else is black!
5) this is not a deal breaker - but if it comes with a PSU, it be a good quality PSU (80 Plus Bronze if possible) - what wattage would be appropriate for my use?
6) Front LCD display would be great if it can fit within the budget

Please help suggest a good case for this build - this is my first time building an HTPC - so anyone who has had more experience dealing with such cases and builds please comment on the build as well!

Thanks in advance for all your help!
a b à CPUs
October 15, 2011 12:41:00 AM

You could still drop the PSU and go with the original case/PSU you listed.
October 15, 2011 4:27:33 AM

Proximon said:
You could still drop the PSU and go with the original case/PSU you listed.


I could but the silver front panel would stick out like a sore thumb in my media console, rest everything is black! So I'm not sold on this yet, looking for an all black case, if I can find one!

Looking at a few options - Antec / Silverstone / Thermaltake etc any other suggestions you have?
October 15, 2011 4:51:29 AM

Just wondering, What apps work with a remote on a HTPC build? Also, What would the LCD be hooked up to on the case?

Thanks, Ive been researching HTPC latley to make better use of my 'legal' movie copies and ROMS, but im pretty confused as to how it all works!
a b à CPUs
October 15, 2011 5:28:58 AM

@aliveisalive: It's just another input device, just like a keyboard. Any program that accepts keystrokes as commands could be made to work.
Now start your own thread don't hijack this one ;) 

Aoommen, that's a good deal on the Silverstone case and it would work very well. if anything it has too much cooling ;) 


October 15, 2011 2:51:33 PM

Thank you Proximon!

That Silverstone case looks good - definitely one in my consideration set now!

What do you guys thinks about this one - nMEDIAPC HTPC Case - it is bigger (ATX) & more deeper, it just might fit into my console!

Reason I'm thinking this is:

1) it looks plenty spacious inside, more HDD bays, more room for expansion.
2) can add an LCD console on the front panel - makes it look more like a media device (bling..bling)!
3) good cooling - 2x80mm and 1X120mm fans included!
4) little less expensive and has a card reader already built in and a nice cover for all the inputs on the front!
5)good reviews, even the Silverstone had that - but overall this one seems a little better.

What does anyone here think? Anyone know of any reasons why I should not buy this?

Thanks
October 15, 2011 5:36:55 PM

aoommen said:
Thank you Proximon!

That Silverstone case looks good - definitely one in my consideration set now!

What do you guys thinks about this one - nMEDIAPC HTPC Case - it is bigger (ATX) & more deeper, it just might fit into my console!

Reason I'm thinking this is:

1) it looks plenty spacious inside, more HDD bays, more room for expansion.
2) can add an LCD console on the front panel - makes it look more like a media device (bling..bling)!
3) good cooling - 2x80mm and 1X120mm fans included!
4) little less expensive and has a card reader already built in and a nice cover for all the inputs on the front!
5)good reviews, even the Silverstone had that - but overall this one seems a little better.

What does anyone here think? Anyone know of any reasons why I should not buy this?

Thanks

That nMEDIAPC Case would be the best bet as you have room to expand (delays your eventual expansion via NAS), plus it's cheaper than silverstone. You may want to buy some 3-pin or molex fan resistors for the fans, i'm sure the 80mm fans will bug you.

EDIT: XIGMATEK CSF-CBK33-U01 Mono-Cool Fan Controller $12
October 15, 2011 6:09:10 PM

steelbeast said:
That nMEDIAPC Case would be the best bet as you have room to expand (delays your eventual expansion via NAS), plus it's cheaper than silverstone. You may want to buy some 3-pin or molex fan resistors for the fans, i'm sure the 80mm fans will bug you.

EDIT: XIGMATEK CSF-CBK33-U01 Mono-Cool Fan Controller $12


Could you elaborate on why you think those fans would bug me?

Is it a good cooling solution for that case or should I get a slot case cooler?

How would the fan controller help - reduce noise levels?
October 15, 2011 8:09:40 PM

aoommen said:
Could you elaborate on why you think those fans would bug me?

Is it a good cooling solution for that case or should I get a slot case cooler?

How would the fan controller help - reduce noise levels?

Yes, the fan controller will help reduce noise levels for you. 80mm fans have to spin at a higher RPM to create adequate airflow, resulting in more noise. The Bigger the fan, the lower the RPM it spins at, creating the same amount of airflow, all things being equal.You can always buy it later, after you evaluate the sound coming from your HTPC. You don't need a slot cooler either. That will just create even more noise.
October 16, 2011 1:35:11 AM

Thanks steelbeast!

@ Proximon -
Quote:
You could still drop the PSU and go with the original case/PSU you listed.
- I'm finally thinking that is the way to go after a lot of searching and not finding what I want!

Do you think a quick home paint job can fix the front panel color (paint it black)??

Also I'm thinking of using this Western Digital VelociRaptor as the boot drive - let me know what do you think - is the re-certified a good deal?
a b à CPUs
October 16, 2011 3:01:57 AM

$52 for 74GB of recertified velociraptor does not strike me as a good deal at all. Not with 80GB SSDs at the $100 range. Better to save up for an SSD.
October 16, 2011 3:23:24 AM

Proximon said:
$52 for 74GB of recertified velociraptor does not strike me as a good deal at all. Not with 80GB SSDs at the $100 range. Better to save up for an SSD.

agreed
October 16, 2011 6:20:16 PM

Quote:
$52 for 74GB of recertified velociraptor does not strike me as a good deal at all. Not with 80GB SSDs at the $100 range. Better to save up for an SSD.
- OK, that settles that, I was unsure myself, but since any of the good SSD's (SATA 6Gb/s, NO OCZ or preferably NO Sandforce at all) I could find only $110 and above SSD's of around 60-64 GB capacity.

Are there better deals somewhere that you know of, please let me know! But I'm going to do away with the WD drive after hearing what you guys had to say!

Thanks!
a b à CPUs
October 16, 2011 6:31:56 PM

Black Friday is next month. You'll see good SSD deals then.
October 18, 2011 4:04:02 AM

Has anyone used or have heard about these Motherboards - ECS A75-M2 Socket FM1 A75 mATX AMD Motherboard? It is sold out on Newegg!

It is by far the cheapest I have seen with 6 - SATA III connectors and a USB 3.0 on board header as well as 2 USB 3.0 ports?

Would I regret it if I use this instead of AS Rock board I was planning on - it would save me $22 on the build, hence the question?
October 18, 2011 4:17:15 AM

aoommen said:
Has anyone used or have heard about these Motherboards - ECS A75-M2 Socket FM1 A75 mATX AMD Motherboard? It is sold out on Newegg!

It is by far the cheapest I have seen with 6 - SATA III connectors and a USB 3.0 on board header as well as 2 USB 3.0 ports?

Would I regret it if I use this instead of AS Rock board I was planning on - it would save me $22 on the build, hence the question?

That ECS board looks like the better option for sure, but its marginal. Just make sure you get DDR3 1600 RAM for that AMD APU, any slower and you will have problems.
October 18, 2011 4:24:22 AM

Thanks you! My build specs are listed above in this thread with links to all the parts, please do take a look. I'm using 2 sticks from a 16GB (4 x 4 GB) RAM kit, yes it is DDR3, 1600Mhz, 240 pin, 1.5V !

Have you heard of the ECS brand or worked with their products before?
Quote:
That ECS board looks like the better option for sure
- why do you say that?
Quote:
but its marginal
- please elaborate!

Thanks!
October 18, 2011 4:39:38 AM

aoommen said:
Thanks you! My build specs are listed above in this thread with links to all the parts, please do take a look. I'm using 2 sticks from a 16GB (4 x 4 GB) RAM kit, yes it is DDR3, 1600Mhz, 240 pin, 1.5V !

Have you heard of the ECS brand or worked with their products before?
Quote:
That ECS board looks like the better option for sure
- why do you say that?
Quote:
but its marginal
- please elaborate!

Thanks!

All the pluses that you mentioned, plus the ECS has a 3 year warranty. ECS is your average budget builders board, it's fine.
October 19, 2011 10:24:53 PM

Thanks to all who have helped with this build so far! I'm planning to wrap up and start ordering parts pretty soon!

Okay, I'm planning to go with the ECS A75F-M2 FM1 board - mainly because of the price and also read this article here!

Looks like both the ones I were considering are almost identical except for the price, plus this has a 3 year warranty!

But I read a few reviews on Newegg which stated that the depending on the memory used it might need to be set manually, I'm okay with doing this but has anyone heard about any problems with this board and the Corsair Vengeance memory I'm planning to use?

The documentation says that it supports DDR3 1600MHz, so hopefully it will detect that automatically! Did buy the Corsair PSU - $20 (after rebates) from Newegg as the promo was ending today!

I'm also thinking that I would most probably end up with the the nMediaPC case and planning to buy a nMediaPC LCD display !

Any feedback or comments please?
October 20, 2011 5:46:30 PM

A couple more questions and I'll be done with this build, I promise, thanks for the help so far:

I'm decided on the platform - AMD LLano - but confused about which APU to pick. I stepped down from the Quad Core A6 (100W) to a lower TDP rated one (65W). Now the confusion is between two 65W TDP APU's, especially since the A6 (Triple Core) came on sale on newegg (with a promo code) for $89.99, and the other one I was looking for was the A4 (Dual Core) for $76 @ Microcenter (incl taxes)!

These are my questions:

1) Now I know that both these or even lower ones would work well for my purposes, but which would be the best bang for the buck / value for money proposition? Asking because the A6 is 2.1 GHz and the A4 is 2.7 GHz and $14 cheaper, what kind of performance diff would that make if any? I'm not planning on OC-ing or gaming right now with this build, might turn this into a basic desktop for my son 2-3 years later!

2) Also an SSD related question - I know OCZ and Sandforce based SSD's had a lot of problems with BSOD's and stuff; but I just read this online, has anyone used this firmware update, does it fix the issues that it claims to fix here. If it does then I would love to this OCZ Agility 3 60 GB SSD for $70, is that a good buy? Planning to use this as a boot drive for my Win 7 Home Premium 64 Bit OS install, would 60 GB be a big enough drive as a boot drive!

Thank You!

Best solution

a b à CPUs
October 20, 2011 6:12:55 PM
Share

Cores vs. speed is an interesting discussion but I really don't feel like writing a whole article for you :) 

We often refer to motor vehicles when talking about CPUs. A traditional quad core CPU being more like a truck... it can haul a big load but won't be winning a race onto the freeway.

That's why I use cheap AMD quads in office builds. I know that as the user loads up the system with junk (and they always do) the CPU will continue to carry the load and not bog down.

Intel has changed this a bit though. The newer CPUs ramp up when just one or two cores are needed, making the quad cores behave like the sports car when needed and the truck when needed.

That's not so true with Llano, but at least with the triple core APU you are getting a good compromise.
October 20, 2011 6:44:49 PM

Proximon said:
Cores vs. speed is an interesting discussion but I really don't feel like writing a whole article for you :) 

We often refer to motor vehicles when talking about CPUs. A traditional quad core CPU being more like a truck... it can haul a big load but won't be winning a race onto the freeway.

That's why I use cheap AMD quads in office builds. I know that as the user loads up the system with junk (and they always do) the CPU will continue to carry the load and not bog down.

Intel has changed this a bit though. The newer CPUs ramp up when just one or two cores are needed, making the quad cores behave like the sports car when needed and the truck when needed.

That's not so true with Llano, but at least with the triple core APU you are getting a good compromise.


Thanks Proximon!

That info helped a lot, I've learned a lot from this thread and others here and in other forums even without that article :)  so thank you!

So go for the Triple Core is what I hear you saying, is that right?

How about the SSD and the Boot drive size? - any takes on that!
a b à CPUs
October 20, 2011 6:57:30 PM

Yep triple core, especially as you are thinking about re-purposing it in the future.

40GB would be my minimum for a boot SSD. I suppose if you just have the OS and a few smallish programs on there, like a movie player, then that would be OK. You have to monitor it though, make sure it's not full.

For me, an HTPC would be all about convenience. I don't want to mess with it or think about it, I just want it to work. I don't want to wait for it to boot, either. I want it to sleep and and only reboot as needed for updates.

So an SSD would be a low priority, and I would want enough that I never had to think about it.
October 20, 2011 9:20:06 PM

Proximon said:
Yep triple core, especially as you are thinking about re-purposing it in the future.

40GB would be my minimum for a boot SSD. I suppose if you just have the OS and a few smallish programs on there, like a movie player, then that would be OK. You have to monitor it though, make sure it's not full.

For me, an HTPC would be all about convenience. I don't want to mess with it or think about it, I just want it to work. I don't want to wait for it to boot, either. I want it to sleep and and only reboot as needed for updates.

So an SSD would be a low priority, and I would want enough that I never had to think about it.



That is what I plan to do!

Just wanted to check on this TV tuner card (I'm not adding that now, maybe later) , states in system requirements that the processor should be 2.2 GHz or higher, does that mean the triple core would not be able to support this card??

Not sure whether I'm reading it right sir, hence the question, sorry for the bother!
a b à CPUs
October 20, 2011 9:26:27 PM

No it will be fine. They say things like that because they can't be bothered to list all the CPUs that will work. CPU speed is not everything, and hasn't been a good indicator of actual performance in about 8 years.

For instance, you can still find Pentium D CPUs that run over 3Ghz... they are far slower than a 2.2Ghz Athlon II.
October 20, 2011 9:46:59 PM

Quote:
For me, an HTPC would be all about convenience. I don't want to mess with it or think about it, I just want it to work. I don't want to wait for it to boot, either. I want it to sleep and and only reboot as needed for updates.
- 100% with you on that!

That is what I hope to do, hence all this thought before I actually build it, don't want to build something and then keep upgrading it! Once I test boot it and put the case cover back on; install updates and all the apps I want I don't want to touch that system for another 5 years - that's the plan! Unless my son sticks his food in the Optical drive! :) 

Quote:
So an SSD would be a low priority, and I would want enough that I never had to think about it.


- So, with that said, would 60 GB be enough for me to shut it and forget it and not monitor it every few months, I don't plan to install anything fancy on this except for OS & media related applications (XBMC, all the codec pakcage for WMC to play MKV files, system updates, players (DA, VLC etc)) - how much space would the Windows page file take? Do I even need it with 8GB of RAM ??

Or should I just wait for a 120 GB SSD @ a good price to come by and then go with that!

Thanks so much for all the help and prompt answers - you have helped tremendously!
a b à CPUs
October 20, 2011 10:05:16 PM

That's hard to say. Depends on your usage. Eventually you have to clean up any drive. Just windows updates are going to leave behind files that will build up over time... there's a trick you can do that will redirect your user directory to the HDD. If you do that you will have far less issues I think.

here is one tip that will help you out:
http://www.sevenforums.com/tutorials/124198-user-profil...
October 20, 2011 10:39:41 PM

Best answer selected by aoommen.
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