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HTPC Build Double Check

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August 11, 2012 3:32:02 AM

Hey guys, I've got an HTPC build I'd like you to double check and let me know what you think, especially if there's any more value I can be getting out of it, or if any of it is overkill (especially the case and PCU).


Approximate Purchase Date: Within the next 30 days

Budget Range: $400-600

System Usage from Most to Least Important: HTPC for movies (HD and standard), audio, etc running XBMC on Windows 7. I'll also use this for moderate gaming.

Preferred Website: Wherever is cheapest. From South Dakota, so no good store-only deals anywhere in the state that I know of.

Build:
AMD A8-3850 APU Quad-Core Processor: $99.99
Gigabyte A75M-UD2H: $103.99
OCZ ModXStream Pro 600w: $49.99
Silverstone GD05B: $99.99
Kingston Technology HyperX 8 GB: $40.99
OCZ Agility 3 AGT3-25Sat3-90G 2.5" 90GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD): $69.99

I plan on adding a second video card to the build in the future if I decide its worth it for gaming. I'm not sure about overclocking yet; I don't know anything about it, but if you guys think it would be worth it I'll definitely look into it.

I plan on running Windows 7, XBMC, and only necessary programs off of the SSD. Is 90GB overkill, or would I be fine with a 60GB SSD? I plan on keeping all my music, videos, and games on an external hard drive, any recommendations on what to use? (Note: I say external hard drive because I plan on downloading and burning media onto my laptop and then transferring it to my HTPC via the external hard drive. I'm going to keep all internet surfing and downloading from the HTPC itself to a minimum to avoid viruses and all that other junk. An external hard drive is the most efficient way I know how to do this, unless there are other suggestions.)

I have a 32" 720p TV right now. I'll be getting a 42" 1080p TV in the near future.

So am I getting good value here? Is there any money I could be saving anywhere? Am I going overboard with anything? This is my first build, so bear with me. Thanks guys!

August 11, 2012 3:45:35 AM

90GB is the smallest that I'd recommend for an SSD if possible, but I'd go with a different drive than an OCZ Agility 3 or Vertex 3 model. They're cheap because they are unreliable. An OCZ Agility 4, Crucial M4, Samsung 830, Intel 330, or a Mushkin SSD (among other possible options, but these are what comes to mind right now) should be better.

The PSU's wattage is overkill, but I'd also go for a different brand. Corsair, Antec, or Seasonic are generally better brands. Something like a 400-450w PSU from one of those three brand would probably be a better buy for this computer. It would leave room for some good graphics upgrades and overclocking and would not be too overkill for you if you don't upgrade and overclock.

On a more personal note, I'd get G.Skill memory over Kingston, but Kingston isn't bad.
EDIT: Corsair and Crucial are also great memory brands that I'd take over Kingston.

I'll look for a few links to examples of each component for you to look at real quick.
August 11, 2012 4:05:35 AM

blazorthon said:
90GB is the smallest that I'd recommend for an SSD if possible, but I'd go with a different drive than an OCZ Agility 3 or Vertex 3 model. They're cheap because they are unreliable. An OCZ Agility 4, Crucial M4, Samsung 830, Intel 330, or a Mushkin SSD (among other possible options, but these are what comes to mind right now) should be better.

The PSU's wattage is overkill, but I'd also go for a different brand. Corsair, Antec, or Seasonic are generally better brands. Something like a 400-450w PSU from one of those three brand would probably be a better buy for this computer. It would leave room for some good graphics upgrades and overclocking and would not be too overkill for you if you don't upgrade and overclock.

On a more personal note, I'd get G.Skill memory over Kingston, but Kingston isn't bad.
EDIT: Corsair and Crucial are also great memory brands that I'd take over Kingston.

I'll look for a few links to examples of each component for you to look at real quick.


+1

Great points made, you pretty much covered everything I wanted to say.

Personally I think a 300-400w PSU should suffice if OP isn't planning to add a second card in the future.
Related resources
August 11, 2012 4:18:12 AM

mocchan said:
+1

Great points made, you pretty much covered everything I wanted to say.

Personally I think a 300-400w PSU should suffice if OP isn't planning to add a second card in the future.


Thanks.

Yes, a 300-400w PSU would be great if OP doesn't upgrade and/or overclock, but OP didn't confirm that he/she won't be doing that. With the PSU that I found already being so cheap with the MIR despite being a high-quality PSU, I don't think that OP should go lower.
August 11, 2012 4:20:48 AM

blazorthon said:
Yes, a 300-400w PSU would be great if OP doesn't upgrade and/or overclock, but OP didn't confirm that he/she won't be doing that and the PSU that I found is already so cheap with the MIR despite being a high-quality PSU that I don't think that OP should go lower.


Oh wow I just checked the price on the CX430v2...$24.99 after MIR? That's a steal...I would definitely agree with you there.
August 11, 2012 4:24:55 AM

Thanks a lot for the help so far guys, and I really appreciate the links!

Just to clarify, I am planning on adding in a second graphics card sometime in the future.

Any suggestions on what brand to go with for an external hard drive as far as speed and reliability?

Thanks again!
August 11, 2012 5:25:29 AM

The Western Dgital VelociRapters are probably the best SATA drives in terms of both speed and reliability, but price might keep such a drive out of reach. A Western Digital Green or Red drive might be your best option for an external drive, just don't forget to get an external enclosure for the drive(s).
!