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Please review selections for new mid-range HTPC build

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October 30, 2011 3:35:53 AM

Approximate Purchase Date: Next 1-3 weeks (definitely before 11-12-2011)

Budget Range: $750-$1050 After Rebates

System Usage from Most to Least Important: streaming HD internet video (Netflix, Hulu, etc.), recording over-the-air TV in HD, playing mp3 files, playing Blu-Ray and DVD disks, viewing and editing digital photos, general web surfing (Facebook, etc). Maybe some light gaming but nothing intense.

Parts Not Required: Monitor/TV (Samsung PN50A550), Stereo receiver/amp (Yamaha RX-V520), Universal remote

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: newegg.com

Country of Origin: USA

Parts Preferences: Horizontal case (not a tower) to fit in my entertainment center. Intel CPU/mobo

Overclocking: No

SLI or Crossfire: No?

Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080 (HDTV)

Additional Comments: Very quiet is important -- HTPC will be in living room and left on most of the time. Want a system that will last 4-6 years and support streaming HD content in various formats as it becomes more prevalent online. Needs to be able to record an over-the-air TV broadcast in HD while simultaneously playing a Blu-Ray movie at full 1080p, with no glitches or lag on either front. Quality is probably a little more important than price, but I don't want to overspend for my needs (which I consider relatively moderate -- this isn't a high-end gaming system).

Experience Level: I've built PCs in the past, but not in the last 5 years.

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Newegg currently has had a combo package that looks pretty decent to me, and I used that as the basis for quite a few of my selections.

Based on advice in other posts in this forum, plus some of my own research, I swapped a few parts, and am open to considering other changes. If any of these components are not compatible, or don't seem appropriate based on my goals above, please advise!


Case: Antec Black Aluminum / Steel Fusion Remote Black Micro ATX Media Center / HTPC Case
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

PS: Seasonic SS-460FL Active PFC F3, 460W Fanless ATX12V Fanless 80Plus Gold Certified, Modular Power Supply SeaSonic S12II 430B 430W ATX12V V2.3/EPS12V 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC Power Supply
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Mobo: ASUS P8H61-M (REV 3.0) LGA 1155 Intel H61 HDMI Micro ATX Intel Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CPU: Intel Core i3-2120T Sandy Bridge 2.6GHz LGA 1155 35W Dual-Core Desktop Processor BX80623I32120T
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

GPU: XFX HD-667X-ZHF3 Radeon HD 6670 1GB 128-bit DDR3 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready Video Card
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

RAM: G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Desktop Memory Model F3-10666CL8D-4GBXM G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Desktop Memory Model F3-10666CL8D-4GBRM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Tuner: AVerMedia AVerTVHD Duet - PCTV Tuner (A188 - White Box) MTVHDDUWB PCI-Express x1 Interface - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

HDD: SAMSUNG EcoGreen F4 HD204UI 2TB SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Optical: SAMSUNG Black Blu-ray Combo SATA Model SH-B123L LightScribe Support - OEM LG Black 12X BD-ROM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-ROM SATA Internal Blu-ray Drive Model UH12LS28 OEM LightScribe Support - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

KB/Mouse: Logitech Wireless Combo MK260 920-002950 Black USB RF Wireless Standard Keyboard and Mouse
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

OS: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64-bit - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

If I left anything out, let me know. I'm looking forward to hearing everyone's comments, thanks!
October 30, 2011 3:47:26 AM

I know you said you want it quiet and I do understand why but the spot where you intend to pit this will be kind of enclosed if I'm right so you do want good ventilation. The power supply should have a fan because there is some heat generated there and the fans are not all that noisy. So for the psu I would go with one that has a fan. The blue Ray I would go with a LG , I have one and it is very good. I do think everything else looks ok.
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October 30, 2011 5:20:52 PM

Thanks for the suggestions.

The shelf where the HTPC will go is open in the front and back, not within a fully enclosed cabinet. Sorry I wasn't clear about that. I think it provides decent ventilation, but it's also why I'm conscious of eliminating fan noise. Here's a photo of where it will be located:
http://www.aalaunfurniture.com/collections/arts-and-cra...

If I did switch to a PSU with a fan, would this be a good choice with the Antec case?
PSU: SeaSonic S12II 430B 430W ATX12V V2.3/EPS12V 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC Power Supply
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

For the LG Blu-ray, is this what you had in mind? I actually like the appearance a little better than the Samsung and it has more cache:
Optical: LG Black 12X BD-ROM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-ROM SATA Internal Blu-ray Drive Model UH12LS28 OEM LightScribe Support - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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October 30, 2011 5:27:38 PM

Yes, Seasonic is an excellent choice for PSU. You also might want to check out the Corsair Builder Series - I just got one for my HTPC setup.

What I did for my HTPC was that I took an old build based off an Intel T6600, Intel motherboard, and 8GB RAM and just bought a new case, PSU, and low profile video card - and that was that.
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October 30, 2011 7:49:20 PM

I would consider the AMD Fusion APU's

Either the a8 3850
But even the
A6 3650 will be more than powerful enough

The graphics are built in to the processor , so you save and they are genuine quad cores . Just select a socket FM1 motherboard with an HDMI connector and you are good to go
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November 2, 2011 5:15:36 AM

Regarding the two suggestions to switch from Intel to AMD:

Compared to my current selections, it looks like the cost would be identical to switch to the A8-3850 APU, or I could save $20 by going with the A6-3650 -- good to know, but pretty minor compared to the overall system cost. So I'm left with these questions:

1) The APUs are each listed at 100W, whereas the Intel Core i3-2120T is only 35W. My thinking was, less watts = less heat to dissipate => quieter operation... true, or not? Is there a real-world benefit to a lower-wattage processor?

2) I see that the AMD options are quad core instead of dual core, but is that really necessary or an important upgrade based on the usage I intend? Should I be concerned that the i3-2120T won't measure up to my expectations?

3) Perhaps Intel and AMD both offer good options, and the best answer here is "just pick one and go with it"... is that a reasonable way to sum it up?

Finally just want to say that I really appreciate the forums here at tomshardware, I've learned a lot from reading hundreds of posts in other threads as well as the responses here! I'm looking forward to putting this build together.
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