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Looking to replace my laptop with a HTPC

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April 20, 2012 4:11:47 PM

Just getting sick of trying to use my underpowered laptop to stream movies on my 32" LCD, I want something that can play movies while letting my play some Skyrim after the wife goes to bed.


Approximate Purchase Date: Next Week or Two

Budget Range: 500-600$

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Moviews, Internet, Games

Parts Not Required: Anything that doesn't go in the case

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: newegg.com

Country: United States

Parts Preferences: I have always been an AMD fanboy but I'm pretty open at this point in my life.

Overclocking: Mild Overclocking

SLI or Crossfire: no

Monitor Resolution: not sure, want to be able to stream in hdmi to my tv though

Additional Comments: Don't like Bling or LED's or Noise


Here is what I am looking at so far.
I always end up skimping on everything but the cpu so help me make sure I'm getting quality components this time.


APEVIA X-QPACK-NW-BK/420 Black Aluminum 1.0 w/ ABS plastic front panel MicroATX Desktop Computer Case 420W Power Supply
http://http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... 79.99$

Should I get a different PSU? I figure that I will never come close to needing 300W but will this thing just die on it's own? Reviews don't seem too bad if the load is kept low, not sure though.



ASRock A75M FM1 AMD A75 (Hudson D3) HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Micro ATX AMD Motherboard with UEFI BIOS
http://http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... 74.99$

I don't want to settle for the A55 because you get no USB 3.0 or SATA 6GB/s... is this just upping my cost for no noticeable effect?


AMD A8-3870K Unlocked Llano 3.0GHz Socket FM1 100W Quad-Core Desktop APU
http://http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... 139.99$



Crucial M4 CT064M4SSD2 2.5" 64GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)
http://http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... 82.99$

Just want this for a boot drive... and to try out SSD because I haven't had one before. Crucial seemed to have the best reviews for reliability if not performance.


G.SKILL Sniper Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 2133 (PC3 17000)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... 69.99$

Need that fast ram for the APU to give me decent graphics right?

Western Digital AV-GP WD5000AUDX 500GB IntelliPower 32MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
http://http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... 89.99$

CHEAP DVD BURNER 20$

Total ~ 560$

More about : replace laptop htpc

April 20, 2012 5:01:33 PM

tpepl626 said:


APEVIA X-QPACK-NW-BK/420 Black Aluminum 1.0 w/ ABS plastic front panel MicroATX Desktop Computer Case 420W Power Supply
http://http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... 79.99$

Should I get a different PSU? I figure that I will never come close to needing 300W but will this thing just die on it's own? Reviews don't seem too bad if the load is kept low, not sure though.


You can use the included power supply, it will not be of the higher quality but it should work (for how long is anyone's guess).

tpepl626 said:


ASRock A75M FM1 AMD A75 (Hudson D3) HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Micro ATX AMD Motherboard with UEFI BIOS
http://http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... 74.99$

I don't want to settle for the A55 because you get no USB 3.0 or SATA 6GB/s... is this just upping my cost for no noticeable effect?


I think there is a noticable effect, especially if using SSD - there might not be though in reality

tpepl626 said:


AMD A8-3870K Unlocked Llano 3.0GHz Socket FM1 100W Quad-Core Desktop APU
http://http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... 139.99$



Crucial M4 CT064M4SSD2 2.5" 64GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)
http://http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... 82.99$

Just want this for a boot drive... and to try out SSD because I haven't had one before. Crucial seemed to have the best reviews for reliability if not performance.


SSD boot drive is my absolute favorite upgrade to computers in 40+ years of computing

tpepl626 said:

G.SKILL Sniper Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 2133 (PC3 17000)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... 69.99$

Need that fast ram for the APU to give me decent graphics right?


No real noticable effect with the faster ram, 1600 or even 1333 should be adequate

tpepl626 said:

Western Digital AV-GP WD5000AUDX 500GB IntelliPower 32MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
http://http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... 89.99$

CHEAP DVD BURNER 20$

Total ~ 560$


I think it looks good overall, don't know about Skyrim play but it'll should perform nicely as an HTPC.
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April 20, 2012 5:44:27 PM

I think I will change the RAM to these following the advice about higher speeds not mattering that much.

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

It has much better timings anyway.

And that blue ray combo drive does look pretty sexy. Never really thought about it before but I might have to slap that in as well.

Thank you for commenting.
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Best solution

April 20, 2012 5:58:02 PM

You did mean this one...?
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
sorry, your link was broke
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April 20, 2012 6:13:07 PM

C12Friedman said:
You did mean this one...?
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
sorry, your link was broke


Yes that is the one thank you.
The Tom's Hardware review of Llano when it came out said 1600 at low latency was the sweet spot for the new amd APU's. I guess I should have read that article before I originally came here. :) 
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April 27, 2012 2:11:38 AM

Best answer selected by tpepl626.
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April 27, 2012 5:36:50 PM

So I ordered it! Should be here today.
If I get it together tonight I'll post about how it all went down.

This is what I ended up ordering.. spent just under 600$ after shipping.
AMD A8-3870K Unlocked Llano 3.0GHz Socket FM1 100W Quad-Core Desktop APU
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

ASUS F1A75-M PRO FM1 AMD A75
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
I'm excited to try the tpu switch


APEVIA X-QPACK2-NW-BK/500
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Crucial M4 CT064M4SSD2 2.5" 64GB SATA III
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Samsung by Seagate Spinpoint F3 500GB SATA II 7200RPM

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

G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1866
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Also got a pci wireless adapter and various cables

Thank you to everyone on this forum. I got a lot of information from reading other peoples questions as well as mine.
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April 28, 2012 4:30:50 PM

Got it all together.
Booted first try.
TPU over clocks to 3.3ghz, ram runs at correct speed and timings.
Plays Skyrim on medium flawlessly.
Installed Win7 from usb, took less than 11 minutes from starting until I was on the internet.
Case is a lot bulkier than I expected, nice though.
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April 28, 2012 5:24:20 PM

Very nice, enjoy.
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