Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

$450 Hardware Budget HTPC Build Advice (First time builder)

Tags:
  • New Build
  • Systems
  • Product
Last response: in Systems
Share
August 18, 2012 4:58:33 AM

Approximate Purchase Date: ASAP, hopefully placing an order Monday or Tuesday

Budget Range: ~ $450 not including the cost for the ceton card and Windows 7

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Recording and Watching Cable TV, burning DVD's of television shows recorded, editing commercials out of TV shows, surfing the web. No gaming.

Parts Not Required: Bluray Player

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Newegg

Country: USA

Parts Preferences:by brand or type : AMD processor due to cost difference between AMD and Intel

Overclocking: NO

SLI or Crossfire: NO

Monitor Resolution: Will be later purchasing a TV for HDMI output, in the meantime will be using an old flatpanel monitor while setting things up.

Additional Comments: So I am a first time builder. I'm wanting to build a HTPC box to house a Ceton Infinitv 4 PCI card. I'm replacing an old Panasonic stand alone recorder that broke so I'm unfortunatly in a budget crunch. I wanted to see if the parts I have chosen are compatible with one another and also if I can do something similar with a less expensive setup; I'm wanting a good machine, but since it isn't going to be for gaming and much other than an HTPC, wasn't sure if I could get away with less expensive components while maintaining my needs. While the ceton card has 4 tuners, I don't really see using it for much more than recording using 1-2 at once with perhaps occasionally a third one for live watching. So this machine will be used as a capbox to record and playback recorded programs. Also, I'll have some software on it to edit videos to basically remove commercials and then burn to DVD. I'm not too interested in this point with this machine with bluray.


Case: Rosewill CHALLENGER Black Gaming ATX Mid Tower Computer Case, comes with Three Fans-1x Front Blue LED 120mm Fan, 1x Top 140mm Fan, 1x Rear 120mm Fan, option Fans-2x Side 120mm Fan
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811147153

It isn't too important to me to have an HTPC case since this is my first build, I wanted to have plenty of room inside to assemble things. I also wanted to have fans built in since I hear the ceton card can run warm. This will be in my bedroom most likely and be running most of the time so I could do without the blue LED light on the fan so if there is a similarly priced component with that that is equal or better please let me know.


CPU: AMD A6-3650 Llano 2.6GHz Socket FM1 100W Quad-Core Desktop APU (CPU + GPU) with DirectX 11 Graphic AMD Radeon HD 6530D AD3650WNGXBOX
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103943

I went with AMD since I was on a budget and figured Intel would end up costing more for the same kind of specs. I was going for a CPU with good reviews that would be able to process and seems this one has some reviews being in use for HTPC's.


Motherboard: ASRock A55 PRO3 FM1 AMD A55 (Hudson D2) HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157278

Again, picked this one because of relatively good reviews and with my budget in mind. I'm concerned here with being able to have an optical drive, 2 hard drives (1 to start, but I may add another one later on) and be able to add in the ceton card. I am thinking about adding a wireless network card as well since I won't have it located near the router in my house. The head on the machine will end up being a TV connected via HDMI. I see in the specs there is an HDMI port, so that means I shouldn't need a separate video card correct? I am not planning on using this as a gaming machine so while I may decide to add a video card later, it isn't necessary at this point right?


Memory: G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-8GBRL
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231314

I was planning on just getting 2 x 2GB sticks, but figured I would go ahead for 8GB since RAM is fairly cheap and am trying to avoid having to upgrade that for quite a while. Is that item good and compatible with the rest of the setup?


Hard Drive: Western Digital Caviar Green WDBAAY0020HNC-NRSN 2TB 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136772

I was going to go for a 1TB drive originally, but decided to go ahead with the 2TB one since this is an HTPC and would tend to fill up quickly with HD programming and such. I thought about getting an SSD drive for installing OS, but I don't think that's critical for me at this point and am planning on just having the one hard drive at this point, but I may add another later on so I want to make sure this setup will allow for a secondary drive down the road.


Optical Drive: Newegg.com - ASUS DVD Burner 24X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 12X DVD+R DL 24X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 24X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM Black SATA Model DRW-24B3ST/BLK/G/AS
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827135240

I just need something so I can stick blank DVD's in to burn recorded programs as well as playback DVD's. I might upgrade to a bluray drive later, but for now, I'm just looking for DVD functionality.

Power Supply: COOLER MASTER eXtreme Power Plus RS500-PCARD3-US 500W ATX12V v2.3 Power Supply
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817171031


Is this sufficient, insufficient, overkill, etc. for the setup here? I am just wanting something that will power the machine keeping in mind it will be powered up a great deal of the time. I'm wanting something that should be energy efficient as well and will be able to power the fans in the case.



Also, I'll be running Windows 7 64 bit and the Ceton pci card (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...). My budget for the machine is about $725 or so keeping in mind the ceton card is ~ $189 and ~ $99 for OEM Windows 7 so that leaves about $450 for everything else. Is there anything that isn't compatible and needs to be switched or can I do better for similar price or similar for a lower price with other components? Are there any other components or cables that I'm missing? I tried to get retail items so hopefully they will come with accessories. I'm a total noob so please offer any advice you can. Thanks!

More about : 450 hardware budget htpc build advice time builder

August 18, 2012 5:03:21 AM

here you go:

CPU: Intel Core i3-2120 3.3GHz Dual-Core Processor ($114.98 @ NCIX US)
Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Pro4 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($117.86 @ Newegg)
Memory: G.Skill Ares Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($43.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 2TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($99.99 @ Microcenter)
Video Card: XFX Radeon HD 7770 1GB Video Card ($119.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Cooler Master HAF 912 ATX Mid Tower Case ($49.49 @ SuperBiiz)
Power Supply: OCZ 600W ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($44.99 @ Microcenter)
Total: $591.29
m
0
l
Related resources
August 18, 2012 5:13:46 AM

Llano build is the way to go IMO

You certainly dont need the $600 gaming build suggested by the other poster .

I think you will be disappointed by the rosewill challenger and instead Id choose a case designed for low noise .

The coolermaster psu is not good quality .A 400 watt silverstone strider , or similar wattage seasonic would be my choice for lower noise .
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
But definitely get an 80+ bronze or better rated unit

You can also use a micro- ATX motherboard and save cost and power .
That could let you use a m_ATX case too if you did want to save space , but it would also fit in the larger ATX case
m
0
l
August 18, 2012 5:32:25 AM

Outlander_04 said:
Llano build is the way to go IMO

You certainly dont need the $600 gaming build suggested by the other poster .


In what world is a i3-2120/7770 build considered a "Gaming" PC?
m
0
l
August 18, 2012 5:35:03 AM

It can run moderate games at good settings.
m
0
l
August 18, 2012 5:43:51 AM

aqualipt said:
In what world is a i3-2120/7770 build considered a "Gaming" PC?



the gaming graphics card is a bit of a give away
It would game better than any console .
m
0
l
August 18, 2012 5:51:12 AM

Dw, he thinks only high-end gaming is real gaming. :p 
m
0
l
August 18, 2012 5:14:14 PM

azeem40 said:
Dw, he thinks only high-end gaming is real gaming. :p 


Nop but come on... at least a 6850 :??: 
m
0
l
August 18, 2012 6:01:45 PM

@Aqualipt - Why does the OP need a discrete graphics card at all, when the Llano GPU is more than sufficient for his needs (no gaming).

@pmorgan987 - Your build looks fine with the exception of the memory. You'll want to drop down to DDR3-1333 RAM (1600 is only supported via overclock).

-Wolf sends

P.S. My Ceton card is working just fine in my HTPC build (specs below).
m
0
l
August 19, 2012 3:24:57 AM

Thanks everyone for the great feedback. I have made some adjustments in my component choices. I would rather spend a few more bucks now for something that will last in the long run rather than skimp on cost now and have to replace components 6 months from now.

@Outlander_04, I agree, I would rather have something rated well in terms of energy usage as well as a good quality power supply since the machine will be running most all of the time. I put the components into newegg's wattage calculator and it came up at about 243W and I understand the ceton card only uses around 15W or so. I replaced the PSU I had with the one you recommended as it looks like that will give me about 125W or so to grow if needed or if I upgrade componets.

I also swapped out the case I chose as I am not too crazy about the LED fan light on the front since this will be in my bedroom I'd rather not having something shining light in my face all night. I switched it with the case @aqualipt recommended in their build, but that seems to be more of a gaming rig...would this still be a good fit for my purposes? I am mostly concerned at this point about having space to move around in the case while I get in there and learn about cable management and such. Perhaps later on, I would swap out the case for something else smaller.

@Wolfshadw, I swapped out the memory with the DDR3-1333 as you recommended. Do you find the 4GB in your setup to be more than enough for capping and doing some editing and burning to DVD? I'm on the fence on whether to get 4GB or 8GB as the price difference isn't really big enough that I would feel like I could save significantly. Would it be a waste to go with 8GB vs. 4GB? I have heard that the general idea is to get as much memory as your board will take and you can afford, but wasn't sure if it would be overkill here.


All of my current components are the same as above with the exception of PSU, case, and memory. Here are the new choices I put in:

COOLER MASTER HAF 912 RC-912-KKN1 Black SECC/ ABS Plastic ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811119233

SeaSonic S12II 430B 430W ATX12V V2.3/EPS12V 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC Power Supply
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817151074

G.SKILL Value Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Desktop Memory Model F3-10666CL9D-8GBNT
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231424
m
0
l
August 19, 2012 4:40:50 AM

Wolfshadw said:
@Aqualipt - Why does the OP need a discrete graphics card at all, when the Llano GPU is more than sufficient for his needs (no gaming).

@pmorgan987 - Your build looks fine with the exception of the memory. You'll want to drop down to DDR3-1333 RAM (1600 is only supported via overclock).

-Wolf sends

P.S. My Ceton card is working just fine in my HTPC build (specs below).



Llano is rated for 1866 MHZ memory
and because the system memory is also the vRAM the graphics section of the chip uses memory bandwidth is critical to good performance . Perhaps the build will be fine with 1333 MHz RAM since the graphics demands are no not that high , but it will perform much better with 1600 MHz memory and better still with 1866 Mhz
m
0
l
August 19, 2012 3:13:01 PM

Outlander_04 said:
Llano is rated for 1866 MHZ memory
and because the system memory is also the vRAM the graphics section of the chip uses memory bandwidth is critical to good performance . Perhaps the build will be fine with 1333 MHz RAM since the graphics demands are no not that high , but it will perform much better with 1600 MHz memory and better still with 1866 Mhz


@Outlander - If that's the case (and I'm not doubting you), then it doesn't make sense to me that a motherboard manufacturer would design a Llano motherboard that doesn't natively support DDR3-1866 RAM... Maybe I'm just not understanding something when a motherboard specification states 1866(OC)/1600(OC)/1333/1066. Can you clarify

@pmorgan987 - While case selection is up to you, I agree with not wanting something blue glaring at you all night long and I like your power supply choice. As far as memory goes, yes, you should probably go with at least 8GB and to be honest, if you're going to be encoding any HD content, you should probably consider going with 16GB.

While my HTPC only has 4GB, it only has to do the recording. Any video encoding I do is done on my all-purpose system which has 8GB of RAM (and a much better processor). The problem I'm running into is that a two hour HD show is generally around 12GB in size. Yes, re-encoding a show of that size tends to eat up all of my memory. Might be a good idea to wait for Outlander's reply as for what speed memory to get.

-Wolf sends
m
0
l
August 20, 2012 2:49:16 AM

Thanks wolf, I think I will just go with the 8GB for now because I don't plan on encoding much HD content; most of that will be for just viewing and then deleting. The motherboard has 4 slots so I can get some more sticks to plug in later because I may at some point integrate a bluray burner and burn HD content that way.
m
0
l
!