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Cheap HTPC/Media Server

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August 18, 2012 7:42:25 AM

Hey guys, so I'm trying to build a HTPC/Media Server as cheap as possible without cutting too many corners.
Obviously the AMD route would be cheapest, but would Intel be better? Anyway, I'm not too concerned about
speeds, as long as it can stream 1080p.

With that in mind

AMD Athlon II x2 260 3.2GHz $65
ASRock 880GM-LE FX $65
G.Skill Ripjaws F3-10666CL8D-4GB $29
Gigabyte GeForce 210 Silent 1GB $35
CM Elite 120 Advanced Mini ITX $59
Antec Neo Eco 450W $59

Total $312 without HDD (probably 2x 2TB greens at $109 each)

Thoughts?
August 18, 2012 8:28:33 AM

So you're saying discrete graphics would be better?

In that case would the A8-3870k with an ASRock A55M-HVS be more suitable? I only say the 3870k because I'm from Aus and literally cannot find a 3850 that's cheaper than the 3870k.
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August 18, 2012 4:26:11 PM

In most cases, a discrete (add-in) graphics card would be better, but since the introduction of the 780G chipset (HD3200 graphics), the integrated chipset has been sufficient for HTPCs.

Today, you really need to take into consideration all that you intend to do with your system. For purely media playback, you really don't need anything more than a dual-core system. Note my HTPC specs in my signature. It does all I want it to do. As I already had an HD4650 from a previous build, I decided to go ahead with a lesser motherboard (760G chipset) and dual-core AMD processor. If I were building an HTPC today, I'd definitely go with an AMD APU.

Looking at your build, I'll note a couple of things.
1) You have a MicroATX motherboard and a MiniITX case. The two are not compatible as the motherboard will not fit in the case.
2) The motherboard you selected does not have any type of native digital audio out. I'm guessing you were planning to use the HDMI output from the Geforce 610.

So I see a couple of options.
1) Change the case for one that accepts a MicroATX motherboard and you're pretty much good to go with the rest of your build.
2) Change the motherboard to a MiniITX board and start some more comparison shopping. If changing out the motherboard, I'd recommend looking at the AMD APUs and socket FM1, MiniITX motherboard with the A75 chipset (over the A55 chipset) for USB3.0 support.

-Wolf sends
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August 18, 2012 8:43:40 PM

a8-3870k is just 10$ cheaper than a8-3850
a8-3870k come with 6550D GPU which it is the fastest integrated GPU in the world and have the performance of 5570 DDR3 which its much faster than gt210 and its quad core is much faster for Multithreaded programs and multitasking than athlon II x2
and i think you can find better case for 59$
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