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PC & HTPC Combo less than $500

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December 28, 2011 9:31:49 AM

My usage more on downloading movies (torrent) and basic internet & MS Office.

Would request if you could suggest the parts for good movie viewing experience & fast internet access and download.

No knowledge of PCs at all, so please bear with me.

Want all parts and OS & monitor.

Thanks in advance.

More about : htpc combo 500

December 28, 2011 5:16:30 PM

$500 including a monitor and OS is pretty tight but the machine below is pretty good:

1) CPU - I'm picking an AMD Llano processor because they have a really good onboard graphics processor which means we won't have to buy a graphics card. Now in my opinion there are two choices depending on what else you're going to do with the computer. If you want to do some light gaming (I stress *light*) then you want higher clock speeds but if you're a big multi-tasker (if you want to do large data transfers and watch video and surf the web all at the same time) then clock speeds aren't as important as multiple cores.
*($70) AMD A4-3400 Llano 2.7GHz Socket FM1 65W Dual-Core: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
*($90) AMD A6-3500 Llano 2.1GHz Socket FM1 65W Triple-Core: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

(2) Motherboard - I went with a budget socket FM1 micro ATX motherboard. Low price tag, small form factor, and no special features.
*($65) GIGABYTE GA-A55M-S2V FM1: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

(3) RAM - 2x4GB, 1600mhz, CL9, 1.5V.
*($29) CORSAIR Vengeance 4GB (2 x 2GB): http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

(4) Hard Drive - If you need a hard drive large enough to save a whole lot of media then you're going to bust your budget. I recommend getting whatever 7200RPM drive you can find around 500GB from Western Digital, Seagate, Samsung, or Hitachi.
*($80) Hitachi 7200RPM 500GB: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

(5) Optical - It might be tempting to splurge on a Blu Ray drive for an HTPC but Blu Ray playback is pretty infuriating at this point. Go with whatever $20 DVD burner makes you happy.
*($20) ASUS 24x DVD Burner: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

(6) Case - There are a lot of cases in the world and it's all about personal preference in a build like this. If you tell us what you want from your case then we can help you pick one. You shouldn't have to spend over $50 on one.

(7) OS
*($100) Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit OEM: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Assuming you get a $50 case and the $70 processor then so far it comes to $414 before rebates and shipping (and I didn't shop around for the lowest prices). That should leave you room to add a budget monitor around 18"-20".

Here are some add-ons that are nice in an htpc:
(8) Video Card - You don't need a video card with the Llano processor but it would give you slightly better playback at higher qualities.
*($65) EVGA GeForce GT 430: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

(9) Wireless Adapter - You should really use a wired connection, but if that's not an option you'll need a wireless card.
*($20) Rosewill Wireless N Adapter 802.11b/g/n: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

(10) TV Card - If you use cable (not satellite) without a set-top box then a $60 tv tuner can turn your media center into a DVR. This works great with Windows Media Center.
*($60) Hauppauge WinTV HVR-1250: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
December 29, 2011 3:05:21 AM

Thanks Dan...
I am looking at installing an XP as of now. Hope my PC will work faster on dat. I can save some on dat.
I will not have the optical and wait for some time to get a Blu Ray.
I have a LAN connection at home, so would go with the wired.
IS there a Quad Core processor available in the same range.
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December 29, 2011 12:04:26 PM

akhileshgrover said:
I am looking at installing an XP as of now. Hope my PC will work faster on dat. I can save some on dat.


Do you already have a copy of XP that you're going to use or are you going to buy a copy of XP? Because if you're buying one then you should definitely buy Windows 7. It will run plenty fast. A three year old budget laptop with a 1.6ghz dual core in it might run faster with XP but on a machine like this you should get Windows 7 if you're going to be buying an operating system.

If you already have a copy of XP then you should go ahead and use XP and put that $100 somewhere else.

akhileshgrover said:
I will not have the optical and wait for some time to get a Blu Ray.


I agree that you should wait a while to get Blu Ray but you're going to need some kind of optical drive to install Windows (and whatever else). If you have an old drive or if you have an external drive then you can skip it but you'll probably want some kind of DVD drive.

akhileshgrover said:
I have a LAN connection at home, so would go with the wired.


Good choice. You mentioned that you want a fast connection but that's more dependent on your ISP than your hardware.

akhileshgrover said:
IS there a Quad Core processor available in the same range.


Basically, no. There is a quad core Llano processor for $85 but it does not have onboard graphics which means you'd have to spend around $60 on a graphics card.
($85) AMD Athlon II X4 631 Llano 2.6GHz Socket FM1 100W Quad-Core: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
There is a quad-core version of the processors that I recommended before but it's $140.
($140) AMD A8-3850 Llano 2.9GHz Socket FM1 100W Quad-Core: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

If you need to include a monitor and an operating system in a $500 budget then you're not going to be able to swing a quad-core. However, you don't need one. If this computer is going to be for web browsing, watching movies, word processing, and file-sharing then you won't need four cores for anything.
December 29, 2011 2:29:51 PM

Here's a build based on your needs (includes monitor & excludes OS) under $500. Giving you room to buy a Keyboard , Mouse & Speaker in-case you need one:

Case: $30- Apex (OR any other case based on looks)

HDD: $80- Hitachi (Cheapest one having 500GB capacity)

Monitor: $100- Acer Black 20"

Power Supply: $40- Cooler Master GX450 (Good one)

CPU: $80- AMD Athlon X3 455 (Slightly old but gets the job done)

Optical Drive: $58- Asus BluRay Reader

Motherboard & RAM: $82- Biostar 880G+ & Patriot 8GB (2X 4GB)

Total (Excluding Rebates) : 471 USD

Rebates: 25 USD

This build does not include a GPU. The IGP should be fine for your movie watching needs. If you need a GPU consider this one (a little bit of stretching will be required)
$75- Sapphire Radeon 5670

You can also go the LLano way:
$90- A6 3500
$25- Wintec RAM
$60 -Asrock A55
December 29, 2011 10:24:52 PM

The Athlon x3 has more processing power but the A6 3500 has better graphics. It's up to you.

z_4 did not include an operating system in his budget.

For the record my OS-free build under $500 would look like the following:
*CPU: ($140) AMD A8-3850 Llano 2.9GHz Socket FM1 100W Quad-Core
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

*Motherboard: ($65) GIGABYTE GA-A55M-S2V FM1
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

*RAM: ($40) Mushkin Enhanced Silverline 8GB (2 x 4GB)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

*HDD: ($80) Hitachi 7200RPM 500GB
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

*Optical: ($20) Sony Optiarc 24X CD/DVD Burner
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

*Case: ($30) Linkworld Micro ATX Media Center / HTPC Case
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

*Monitor: ($100) There are several good choices. The Acer that z_4 recommended is a good deal.

Total of $475 before shipping. The case I showed is just a different style than the standard tower. Get whatever you like, though.
December 31, 2011 7:31:41 AM

thanks guys, tremendous support from you guys...I will let u know the rig i make asap..
January 4, 2012 4:03:00 AM

On your advice I'm planning to go with the below mentioned CPU & Parts.

AMD A6-3500 APU with AMD Radeon 6530 HD Graphics 2.1/2.4GHz Socket FM1 65W Triple-Core Processor - Retail AD3500OJGXBOX - $88.24

ASRock A75M-HVS FM1 AMD A75 (Hudson D3) HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Micro ATX AMD Motherboard with UEFI BIOS - $70

HDD :
HITACHI Deskstar 7K1000.D HDS721010DLE630 (0F13180) 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive Cache: 32MB - $120

OR
Seagate Barracuda ST31000524AS 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive Cache: 32MB - $125

OR
Western Digital Caviar Green WD10EARX 1TB IntelliPower SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive Cache: 64MB - $130

Memory :
Corsair Memory 4 GB Memory for Intel and AMD 4 Single (Not a kit) 1600MHz (PC3 12800) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM CMX4GX3M1A1600C9 - $20.30

PSU :
CORSAIR Builder Series CX430 V2 (CMPSU-430CXV2) 430W ATX12V v2.3 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Power Supply - $45

NZXT M59 - 001BK Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - $50

OR

Rosewill DESTROYER Black Gaming ATX Mid Tower Computer Case, comes with Three Fans-1x Front Blue LED 120mm Fan, 1x Top 120mm Fan, 1x Rear 120mm Fan, option Fans-2x Side 120mm Fan, 1x Top 120mm Fan, 1x Bottom Fan - $50

OR

PSU (With Power Supply)
Rosewill R103A Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case with 350W 20+4 pin connector Power Supply - $40

OR

LOGISYS Computer CS305BK Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Enhanced SOHO Computer Case 480W Power Supply - $30

OR

APEVIA X-Dreamer ATXB3KL-BK/420 Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case 420W Power Supply - $35

Total comes around $350 without the Monitor/Keyboard/Mouse/OS.
Your Valuable opinion on this.

January 4, 2012 4:08:19 AM

Looks solid, defiantly a good build. Though I didn't recommend the 4GB single kit, I think Amazon is messing around with the products I actually recommend, I'd suggest this kit.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
I'd go with 8GB Mainly because it's so cheap now and It'll "future-proof" for awhile, and DDR3 1600 because the AMD APU's tend to perform better with faster ram.

The rest looks good, any of the cases you chose are fine, I'd go with the M59, Destroyer or the NZXT 210 Source.

NZXT 210 Source:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
January 4, 2012 1:05:54 PM

Any of those motherboards would be fine. The first difference is brand. I generally prefer ASRock over Gigabyte by a hair but they're both good brands. The second difference is the A55 and A75 chipsets. The difference in the chipsets is that A75 supports has USB 3.0 ports and SATA 6 Gb/s ports as opposed to the A55 which only has USB 2.0 and SATA 3 Gb/s ports (the only other difference is that A75 has FIS switching, but don't worry about that). The last difference between the motherboards is the number and type of expansion slots - it looks like one extra expansion slot (four instead of three) is going to cost you $5.

So anyway, with all that in mind you can decide what's important to you and what's not. If you don't care about expansion slots, USB 3.0, or SATA 6 Gb/s then feel free to get the cheapest one - you won't really be sacrificing quality or performance over the others.
January 4, 2012 7:39:53 PM

I'd go with the Asrock A75 HVS just so you'll have USB 3.0 and SATA 3
!