Llano HTPC build

Hey guys.

We decided to set up a little home theatre in the basement so I'm going to build a HTPC.
As this is my first experience building a HTPC, any advice is appreciated.
I just bought a Denon DHT-1312BA HTIB (Denon AVR-1312 receiver with Boston Acoustics speakers) after getting advice on the home audio section of the forums :)

Approximate Purchase Date: in two weeks

Budget Range: 500$

System Usage from Most to Least Important: 1080p video (I'm thinking of trying XBMC out), file sharing/media streaming over the network, light gaming (probably via XBMC's video game emulation) and surfing the web.

Parts Not Required: mouse, keyboard, monitor, OS: Windows 7 x64, speakers, SSD (I currently have an OCZ Vertex 3 120GB).

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: ncix.ca

Country: Canada

Parts Preferences: Mini-ITX motherboard (with onboard WiFi), AMD Llano processor, Mini-ITX case (preferably with normal sized optical drive), preferably ASUS motherboard but I'm open to suggestions.

Overclocking/underclocking: I will definitely be tinkering. I'm going to take it as far as it will go without it being too loud/hot. If I find it's too loud to start with, I'm going to underclock it.

SLI or Crossfire: N/A

Monitor Resolution: 1920x1200

Additional Comments: I want a quiet, good looking, small build that still packs a punch.

After doing my homework, I've come down to:

AMD Llano (open to all processors from E2 to A8)
OCZ Vertex 3 120GB (I already own this piece)
Seagate or WD storage drive (2.5" or 3.5" depending on the case)
Lite-On IHBS112-04 Blu Ray Drive

I need some input on the case and RAM.

This is what I've come up with for the case. Thoughts/preferences?
Antec ISK300-150 or ISK310-150,
Thermaltake ElementQ VL52021N2U,
Apex MI-008,
Rosewill RC-CIX-01 BK,
CoolerMaster Elite 361 RC-361-KKN1

For the RAM, the motherboard only supports 1866MHz if it's a single stick. While AMD prefers higher frequency memory, I'm not sure if I should go with two 1600MHz sticks (and use the dual channel capabilities) or just stick with a single 1866MHz stick.

Also, thoughts on the AMD branded memory? I was thinking of going with G.Skill RipJaws but I'm slightly worried about the fins obstructing anything in the small build. I might just go with Kingston or Mushkin Enhanced, maybe G.Skill Ares.

AMD doesn't care for 1.65v DDR3, correct?

Thanks a bunch, everyone.
8 answers Last reply
More about llano htpc build
  1. I'm currently looking into doing the same thing
    using same mb too with a A8
    1-Fractal Design Array R2
    as a pure hd (6x 2~3tb drives) driven media center, i got few xhd's worth shows/movies ( possible use a external optical drive)
    or maybe
    2-Lian Li PC-Q11
    3-Silverstone TJ08-E
    with built in blueray drive support
  2. try to get a mobo that can support something like 2133 or something and get a fast ram, those at 2133 or higher that is at least can support your mobo, and a 6670 sapphire and your all set
  3. Coinsider something like the build below. DDR3-1600 is fine for what you are doing, but I would recommend low latency modules. While 1.65v modules are fine, I would still recommend 1.5v. I added two 80mm fans to the build below and called it a day.

    FM1 Mini ITX HTPC
    MB - ASRock A75M-ITX - $90
    CPU - AMD A6-3500 w/ HD 6530D - $80
    GPU - Integrated HD 6530D
    MEM - GSkill 8GB DDR3-1600 CL7 1.5v - $80
    HD - Samsung F3 500GB - $80 + $7 shipping
    OPTICAL - LG 12x BD-RW - $65 after Promo Code EMCNFNE24
    CASE & PSU - Thermaltake Element Q mITX w/ 200w - $65 + $10 shipping
    CARD READER - Rosewill - $15

  4. Alright, so I think the general consensus on the RAM is:

    1.65v doesn't really matter (but less voltage is always ideal)
    dual channel 1600 low RAM latency/timings is preferable than a single 1866 (but 2133MHz would be nice)
    ~no input on AMD branded RAM.

    So I think I'll be going with Mushkin Enhanced, Kingston HyperX or G.Skill. I'm going to do my research soon.

    I've decided to go with the IN WIN BP655 case: lots of good reviews, good looks, acceptable quality (apparently) 200w PSU, space for 3.5" HDD and 2.5" SSD and full-sized optical drive support.

    I'm dead set on that F1A75-I DELUXE. I'm going to be using a bluetooth mouse/keyboard (Logitech MX5500 Revolution) and Wireless N.

    I'm still in a dilemma though.
    Like I said, I was considering E2 to A8, but with 200w in a picoPSU the A8-3870k is pretty tight. Thoughts on the processor?

    Thanks everyone.
  5. Get the best APU if it fits in your budget.
  6. how about an a6? it might fit in on your budget and loosen up a few bucks
  7. With a 200w PSU, stock CPU HSF and low case ventilation/space, should I be considering an A8-3870K or A6-3670K (regardless of the price difference between the two)?

    Thoughts on RAM?

    G.SKILL Ares Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600, model: F3-1600C8D-8GAB

    Mushkin Enhanced Radioactive 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3 1600, model: 997006

    Mushkin Enhanced Redline 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3 1600, model 996999

    I'm leaning more towards the Mushkins...

    Thanks again guys! (haven't been too active this week, I'll be back in two weeks after finals :p :lol:)
  8. Hey everyone, finals are over and the HTPC is built and running like a charm.

    Final specs were:

    AMD Llano A8-3870K ~130$ (with stock HSF & paste)
    ASUS F1A75-I DELUXE ~150$
    G.SKILL Ripjaws X 8GB F3-12800CL8D-8GBXM (2x4GB) 1600MHz 8-8-8-24 @1.5V ~65$
    OCZ Vertex 3 120GB ~120$ (that I already had)
    LG BH12LS38 (BD-RE) optical drive ~90$
    IN WIN BP655 case ~45$ (includes pretty stable 200w picoPSU)
    WD Elements Desktop 2TB external HDD

    It's a nice little miniITX HTPC, and I'm very happy with it.

    A couple little details:

    1. I was worried that there might not be enough headroom for the tall memory. I was right. The G.SKILL Ripjaws X that I bought fits just right (it's touching the bottom of the optical drive, I should have taken a picture :lol:). Any taller memory would be a no-go if there is a full-sized optical drive in the case.

    2. I had read complaints about the included case fan being too loud. I agree, I unplugged it from the motherboard and the computer is still at very respectable temperatures, and I suggest anyone with this case do to the same or to replace it with a better quality one.

    All in all, I'm very pleased. Paired up with a Samsung 59" D550 3D plasma and a Denon DHT-1312BA HTIB, I'm absolutely loving the experience. I'm still trying to wrap my head around all the possibilities with XBMC, but it's fun :)

    Thanks again for the advice, everyone.
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