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[First time build] ~$500 HTPC/mild-gaming build

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April 25, 2012 6:00:15 AM

Pardon any cluelessness, but I'm attempting my first build and was hoping to get some feedback on the parts that I have picked out. I've done what seems like days of reading about all the different components, but I still feel like I need a bit of help before I take the plunge and buy all of these. A few of the components I'm looking at have coupons/rebates expiring on 4/26, so prompt help would be really appreciated!


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Approximate Purchase Date: This week sometime

Budget Range: ~$500 after rebates

System Usage from Most to Least Important: HTPC (streaming, blu ray, web browsing) connected 40" Samsung LED TV, moderate gaming (Fallout NV, Civ 5, etc.) (doesn't need to be super awesome settings), maybe light office work if I like the setup better than my laptop

Parts Not Required: keyboard, mouse, OS (plan on using Ubuntu and Win 7, already have); plan on using an existing WD external HDD for media storage

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Newegg and Amazon. Also near a Microcenter

Country: USA

Parts Preferences: by brand or type: Leaning towards Intel cpu and AMD graphics

Overclocking: Maybe

SLI or Crossfire: No

Monitor Resolution: whatever my TV can handle?

Additional Comments: I'd like the setup to be quiet when performing basic HTPC duties, but if the fans run while gaming, that's fine. I mostly just want to make sure I'm not missing anything major or making any big mistakes

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Proposed parts list:
Prices shown after rebate, including shipping

Case: Silverstone GD05B $88.00 http://www.amazon.com/o/ASIN/B0036WTDGQ?tag=adapas02-20

CPU: Intel Pentium G630 $74.78 http://www.amazon.com/G630-Cpu-2-70-Ghz-Cache/dp/B005LL...
Will this be sufficient? I could also do the i3-2100 for $110 http://www.amazon.com/Intel-i3-2100-Processor-3-1GHz-LG...]

GPU: ASUS EAH6670/DIS/1GD5 $65.00 http://www.amazon.com/o/ASIN/B004X8EODY?tag=adapas02-20
Seems to be pretty good bang for the buck on this one. I'm a little worried that this card might be overkill, but $65 isn't too bad...

Blu-ray: Samsung SH-B123L $54.99 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=27-151-...

Motherboard: ASRock H61M/U3S3 $64.99 http://www.amazon.com/ASRock-H61M-U3S3-Intel-Motherboar...
Not sure about this one, but it's a pretty good price and it has good all-around reviews on Newegg. I think it'll do what I need, but I'm open to suggestions here.

PSU: FSP Group FSP400-60GHS(85)-R $55.98 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
This seems like it might be an overkill... The eXtreme calculator says my recommended PSU wattage is 226W. Can I get away with a 300W PSU?
There's also the Coolmax 300W: http://www.amazon.com/o/ASIN/B000C1DXR4?tag=adapas02-20 but that seems like it's too cheap. What do you guys think?

SSD: OCZ Agility 3 AGT3-35SAT3-60G $60.00 http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml...
Likely plan on partitioning and dual-booting W7 and Ubuntu

RAM: Kingston KVR1333D3N9K2/4G $28.99 http://www.amazon.com/o/ASIN/B0019MEIOM?tag=adapas02-20
I think 4GB should be enough for this build, right?

Cooler: Not sure if I'll need any additional fans or aftermarket coolers. I could use some advice!

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Thanks a lot for all of your help!

- Josh
April 25, 2012 6:20:20 AM

Too bad that PSU is crap quality. Most mATX PSUs on newegg have low quality parts.
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April 25, 2012 6:21:45 AM

Is there one that you would recommend instead that would fit in the Silverstone case?
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April 25, 2012 6:23:43 AM

I have searched and searched and could not find a good quality PSU that would fit an mATX case.

EDIT: Try http://www.amazon.com/gp/search/ref=sr_in_-2_p_4_9?rh=n...!493964%2Cn%3A541966%2Cn%3A193870011%2Cn%3A1161760%2Cp_4%3ACorsair&bbn=1161760&keywords=micro+atx+power+supply&ie=UTF8&qid=1335335083&rnid=15784691
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April 25, 2012 6:32:22 AM

It looks like the GD05B takes standard ATX sized PSUs, my mistake.

Regardless, that Corsair will fit and can be had for $35 after rebate on newegg (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...).

Is this a good brand/sufficient PSU such that it won't kill all my shiny new parts?
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April 25, 2012 6:35:20 AM

Also, any comments about the CPU/Motherboard/cooling situation? That was the other part of the build that I wasn't too sure about.

It seems like the GD05B case has enough fans for now to stay pretty cool, and I suppose I can always add some cooling after I build it and test it if needed, right?
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April 25, 2012 6:43:06 AM

1x LOGISYS Computer CS301BK Black solid 6.0mm SECC metal ATX Mid Tower Computer Case 480W Power Supply (Model:CS301BK)

$39.99
1x GIGABYTE GA-78LMT-S2P AM3+ AMD 760G Micro ATX AMD Motherboard (Model:GA-78LMT-S2P)

$59.99
1x AMD FX-4100 Zambezi 3.6GHz (3.8GHz Turbo) Socket AM3+ 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor FD4100WMGUSBX (Model:FD4100WMGUSBX)

$109.99
1x G.SKILL Value Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10600) Desktop Memory Model F3-10600CL9D-8GBNT
37.99

1x Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 1TB SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

$89.99
1x Sony Optiarc 24X DVD Burner, Bulk Package Black SATA Model AD-7280S-0B (Model:AD-7280S-0B)
$18.9

I recently made a gaming PC for a neighbor.. the total parts for this hits around $357, giving you room for $143 for a video card. If you can make it to $200, the Geforce 560 Ti is pretty solid for games.

I recommend ordering it on Amazon, and opting for the trial Amazon Prime period for free shipping :wahoo: 
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April 25, 2012 6:44:04 AM

Now that I know it takes ATX PSUs, I can suggest a better PSU. That CX430 is good, but still sub-par quality.
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April 25, 2012 6:47:00 AM

If you can find one.
M4A88T-I for under $130, last place that had them sold out - yesterday.

AMD 620e 2.6x4 45W (keep the power low)
$89 +$2
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...

Pick some case + PSU : say $50 tops (cut down on this)

AMD 7750 $110ish multiple sources. 50W GPU.

I might have some things to say about the ssd, but shrug. I do not know much about that model.

Keep Blue Ray

You need laptop ram. Can handle 8GB in the form of 2x4GB 204 pin sticks.
$35 after rebate
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

You might have a stock cooler that will work, it is a 45W cpu so there is almost no TDP pressure for the heatsink. An 8 year old heatsink worked on mine for about 2 weeks until I upgrade to Scythe Kozuti.
So maybe $30 over but you would thank yourself. It will be a true gaming machine and it will cost you little more then a light bulb to have on.
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April 25, 2012 6:48:10 AM

Thanks for that spot, that's an easy upgrade. Is there any difference between the G630 and G850 other than the speed?
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April 25, 2012 6:49:04 AM

justindadswell said:
If you can find one.
M4A88T-I for under $130, last place that had them sold out.

AMD 620e 2.6x4 45W (keep the power low)
$89 +$2
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...

Pick some case + PSU : say $50 tops (cut down on this)

AMD 7750 $110ish multiple sources.

I might have some things to say about the ssd, but shrug. I do not know much about that model.

Keep Blue Ray

Keey ram (you could find cheaper I would think, if you can wait)

You might have a stock cooler that will work, it is a 45W cpu so there is almost no TDP pressure for the heatsink.
So maybe $30 over but you would thank yourself. It will be a true gaming machine and it will cost you little more then a light bulb to have on.

The GX630 beats a lot of the AMD CPUs to the ground. Take a look at this. That CPU wasn't even worthy of appearing on the benchmark.
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April 25, 2012 6:56:10 AM

jat255 said:
Thanks for that spot, that's an easy upgrade. Is there any difference between the G630 and G850 other than the speed?



according to the specs on intels page, no. (well they do mention about ram frequencies, but i question it because its more dependant on the motherboard and not the cpu)
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April 25, 2012 6:56:19 AM

Quote:
You can fit any PSU under 180mm into that case, this one would do at 140mm long
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I would however go for a regular case with superior cooling and quieter running for a HTPC, like this one:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Unless you need to mount it in a rack with a home audio setup...

You will never be able to really overclock without a K series CPU and a better motherboard; also consider after market cooler. But overclocking for the most part wont be critical for your needs.

Seems ok other than that ^_^ Best of luck



Thanks for the suggestions. I'm trying to keep it a horizontal setup to fit in with my entertainment cabinet, so I think I'll stick with the case that I have. Now if only IKEA had those picture directions for building your own computer...
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April 25, 2012 6:57:59 AM

Thats true, but it is 20W higher. Though I will admit there is much better selection in MB for the Intels, much much better and it would have been the way I went if I could not get a M4A88T-I. Just at this point as a htpc/gaming machine he would never notice a 620e or an Intel equiv, so figured save 20W.
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April 25, 2012 6:59:18 AM

saitoh24 said:
1x LOGISYS Computer CS301BK Black solid 6.0mm SECC metal ATX Mid Tower Computer Case 480W Power Supply (Model:CS301BK)

$39.99
1x GIGABYTE GA-78LMT-S2P AM3+ AMD 760G Micro ATX AMD Motherboard (Model:GA-78LMT-S2P)

$59.99
1x AMD FX-4100 Zambezi 3.6GHz (3.8GHz Turbo) Socket AM3+ 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor FD4100WMGUSBX (Model:FD4100WMGUSBX)

$109.99
1x G.SKILL Value Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10600) Desktop Memory Model F3-10600CL9D-8GBNT
37.99

1x Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 1TB SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

$89.99
1x Sony Optiarc 24X DVD Burner, Bulk Package Black SATA Model AD-7280S-0B (Model:AD-7280S-0B)
$18.9

I recently made a gaming PC for a neighbor.. the total parts for this hits around $357, giving you room for $143 for a video card. If you can make it to $200, the Geforce 560 Ti is pretty solid for games.

I recommend ordering it on Amazon, and opting for the trial Amazon Prime period for free shipping :wahoo: 



Thanks for the suggestions, but these parts aren't really what I'm trying to do. I'm looking for horizontal form factor to fit in with my current setup. I'm also partial to the Intel cpus. They've got great reviews on this site, and I love the core i5 in my ThinkPad. As for the RAM, I'd rather less, higher-quality RAM than more RAM that might burn up. And I need to keep the blu-ray.
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Best solution

April 25, 2012 7:00:37 AM

Your original build is great. Just add the PSU I recommend and you're good to go.
Share
April 25, 2012 7:06:29 AM

Ohh no, go 7750. Same cpu if fine, but 7750 costs about $30 more but has about 4x the performance fps wise + lower Watts. It would pay itself back in a year or two from saved power.
Unless you are doing one that is not full factor, the one you linked is full factor though.
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April 25, 2012 7:09:51 AM

I agree it has better performance, but where did you get 4x more from?
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April 25, 2012 7:20:23 AM

4x is ridiculously overexagerating it. Its a card that is low power, and because its newer age wise, it is more effective, but its the bottom of the 7xxx chain. (and the fact that it doesnt need a 6 pin*, but the difference isnt even 2x, it should be slightly better at the most)
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April 25, 2012 7:27:42 AM

He is right, though, in that it performs better than the 6670.
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April 25, 2012 2:15:13 PM

azeem40 said:
He is right, though, in that it performs better than the 6670.


Is it really that much better? The cheapest I can find the 7750 is $110, compared to the $65 for the 6670. It's almost twice the cost...
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April 25, 2012 2:32:10 PM

azeem40 said:
Your original build is great. Just add the PSU I recommend and you're good to go.


You mentioned that you could find something better than the CX430 since the case takes PS2(ATX) (150mm (W) x 86mm (H) x 140mm (D)). Do you have any ideas? I'd like to stay around that $35 price range if possible, and the CX430 seems like a good deal based on that price.
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April 25, 2012 4:24:12 PM

Anyone else have any further suggestions before I pull the trigger and purchase the components today?
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April 25, 2012 8:57:32 PM

Best answer selected by jat255.
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