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Help with HTPC build <A$800

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September 7, 2012 10:42:03 AM

Approximate Purchase Date: As soon as i3-3225 is released, or this week if different CPU
Budget Range: <A$800
System Usage from Most to Least Important: HTPC, listening to music, watching DVD, record and playback TV, surf web, Skype - no gaming, already have an i5 with GTX670 for games!
Are you buying a monitor: No - Will be connected to HD TV
Parts to Upgrade: all new
Do you need to buy OS: No, already have Win7 and will be using Media Centre
Preferred Website(s) for Parts: www.pccasegear.com
Location: Australia
Parts Preferences: Have used Intel, ASUS, Corsair in the past and been happy, but could branch out!
Overclocking: No - I don't think this CPU/MB supports OC
SLI or Crossfire: No - integrated graphics
Your Monitor Resolution: Full HD 1920 x 1080
Additional Comments: Quiet would be good, but doesn't have to be silent. Set up will be HTPC -> AMP -> TV all via HDMI cable.
Most data will be stored on NAS and streamed, only concern I have is when recording TV is it OK to go directly across the network, or better to record to a local HDD first, then copy files across later? (have included HDD ...)
And Most Importantly, Why Are You Upgrading: This is a new machine to complement new TV (just upgrade from old CRT!)


Parts

CPU = i3-3225 - has HD4000 graphics $150??
Motherboard = ASUS P8B75-M $75 or other??? Really not sure on which chip set I should be going for...
RAM = Corsair CMV4GX3M2A1333C9 4GB (2x2GB) DDR3 $27 or Corsair XMS3 CMX8GX3M2A1600C9 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3 $49
SSD = SanDisk Extreme 120GB $99
HDD = Seagate Barracuda 2TB $105
Optical = LG CH12LS28 12X BD-R Blu-ray DVD Combo Drive $55
Case = Silverstone GD05 Black HTPC Case with USB 3.0 $109 or Silverstone Grandia GD04 USB 3.0 HTPC Case Black $125 or other ???
PSU = Corsair CX-430 V2 Power Supply $59
Tuner Card = Hauppauge HVR-2210 Media Centre Kit $165

Total = Between $735 and $773

Any input would be greatly appreciated,
Thanks, Ox

More about : htpc build 800

September 7, 2012 11:10:11 AM

Hi,

I'd recommend getting a WD green drive as storage drive. It's slower than the one in your list but it's only used as storage, so speed doesn't matter. The power usage should be lower on the WD green drive as well, which in my opinion is something to keep in mind when building an HTPC.

(http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_i...)

September 7, 2012 2:49:36 PM

I suggest the Phenom II X4 or X6 for these kinds of builds. :)  Quad core for less than $120, its what you want instead of the i3. For the motherboard, any AM3+ socket one will do good enough, depending on what you can afford.

Will a 6850 GPU do it for you? You really dont need much graphics power, so check it out. :) 

Id get a 500W PSU to be on the safe side, but thats just me.

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September 9, 2012 8:27:51 AM

Nw333 said:
I suggest the Phenom II X4 or X6 for these kinds of builds. :)  Quad core for less than $120, its what you want instead of the i3. For the motherboard, any AM3+ socket one will do good enough, depending on what you can afford.

Will a 6850 GPU do it for you? You really dont need much graphics power, so check it out. :) 

Id get a 500W PSU to be on the safe side, but thats just me.


Really want integrated graphics and not a discrete card, so I am after the best CPU with integrated graphics. I thought the HD4000 on the Ivy Bridges would be good, but happy to look at AMD if it is better?
Would quad core assist if say playing music while recording TV? Or would the dual core be sufficient. I really don't think I will be doing much mulit-tasking, and certainly no graphic editing or anything else that normally benefits from more cores... except maybe ripping CD's/ DVD's
September 9, 2012 11:51:30 AM

You want an APU in this case. An APU is both a CPU and GPU in one. The AMD Llano A8 3870K has by far, the best integrated graphics. (HD6550D) It should cost around $100-$120.

There is nothing wrong with case you mentioned, but you want a different mobo. Check out the Asrock A55 HVS or the Asrock A75M ITX, whichever you prefer. (This is if your going the APU route.)
September 9, 2012 2:21:37 PM

You don't need a lot of CPU power for an HTPC. If my AMD Athlon II X2-240 (see specs in my sig below) could handle recording three programs while I simultaneously watched a fourth, then pretty much any currently available APU would be more than sufficient.

One thing about the case you linked. It only accepts slim optical drives. You'd need to use something like this Sony Internal Slim SATA Blu-Ray Reader Combo

-Wolf sends
September 10, 2012 10:12:29 AM

After a bit more reading, think I will drop the m-ITX idea and stick to m-ATX board. Works out about $50 more expensive with the case, MB and optical drive (thanks Wolf for pointing that out).
Only issue now is i3 3225 vs A6 3500. Opinions here seem to favor AMD for this kind of build. Also trying to narrow down which of these HTPC cases would be good:
http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=index&cPa...

Thanks for the replies so far.

Best solution

September 10, 2012 12:34:50 PM
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I think both processors are going to do everything you need them to do. I think the A6-3500 gives you a little more head room should you ever decide to expand on the capabilities of your HTPC (Multi-tuner card with a tuner dedicated to another system/room).

As far as HTPC cases go, I think I'm in favor of the GD05 HTPC case. Looks plenty roomy. Has good cooling and design. One problem with many HTPC cases is that they place the optical drive bay directly opposite of the power supply. This often causes some spacing issues. The GD05 doesn't fall into this category with the PSU and ODD bay on opposite ends of the case.

-Wolf sends
September 10, 2012 1:06:49 PM

idroid said:
for watching movies and stuff like that you don't need any kind of power... get this:

CPU: Intel Pentium G850 2.9GHz Dual-Core Processor ($77.00 @ PCCaseGear)
Motherboard: ASRock B75M Micro ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($65.00 @ Mwave Australia)
Memory: G.Skill 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR3-1333 Memory
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($79.00 @ Mwave Australia)
Video Card: MSI Radeon HD 7750 1GB Video Card ($109.00 @ PCCaseGear)
Case: Cooler Master Elite 430 ATX Mid Tower Case ($49.00 @ PCCaseGear)
Power Supply: Corsair 430W 80 PLUS Certified ATX12V Power Supply ($59.00 @ PCCaseGear)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer
Total: $438.00


OP said he wanted integrated graphics real bad, but great suggestion anyways. :) 
September 10, 2012 1:07:27 PM

for watching movies and stuff like that you don't need any kind of power... get this:

CPU: Intel Pentium G850 2.9GHz Dual-Core Processor ($77.00 @ PCCaseGear)
Motherboard: ASRock B75M Micro ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($65.00 @ Mwave Australia)
Memory: G.Skill 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR3-1333 Memory
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($79.00 @ Mwave Australia)
Video Card: MSI Radeon HD 7750 1GB Video Card ($109.00 @ PCCaseGear)
Case: Cooler Master Elite 430 ATX Mid Tower Case ($49.00 @ PCCaseGear)
Power Supply: Corsair 430W 80 PLUS Certified ATX12V Power Supply ($59.00 @ PCCaseGear)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer
Total: $438.00
September 10, 2012 1:10:24 PM

This one will also be good:

CPU: AMD A4-3400 2.7GHz Dual-Core Processor ($62.00 @ Scorptec)
Motherboard: ASRock A55M-HVS Micro ATX FM1 Motherboard ($61.00 @ Mwave Australia)
Memory: Corsair 4GB (1 x 4GB) DDR3-1333 Memory ($22.00 @ Foxcomp)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 500GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($65.00 @ PCCaseGear)
Case: Cooler Master Elite 335 Upgraded ATX Mid Tower Case ($39.95 @ Mwave Australia)
Power Supply: Antec 350W ATX12V Power Supply ($40.00 @ Foxcomp)
Optical Drive: LG GH24NS90 DVD/CD Writer ($22.00 @ PCCaseGear)
Total: $311.95
September 10, 2012 1:11:15 PM

Nw333 said:
OP said he wanted integrated graphics real bad, but great suggestion anyways. :) 


Well! the G850 has enough GPU power for all his needs!
September 10, 2012 1:17:58 PM

idroid said:
Well! the G850 has enough GPU power for all his needs!


With an HTPC, all you need is enough power to watch stuff at 1080p lol. It will of course have enough for his needs :)  (I actually have a laptop that has integrated graphics, Intel HD4000 or something and it plays HoN on almost high at 30FPS xD)
September 10, 2012 3:17:47 PM

i vote for the apu as it is some what nicer as an HTPC build.and based on what droid posted, it's a great deal for 300bucks
September 10, 2012 9:23:39 PM

Wolfshadw said:
I think both processors are going to do everything you need them to do. I think the A6-3500 gives you a little more head room should you ever decide to expand on the capabilities of your HTPC (Multi-tuner card with a tuner dedicated to another system/room).

As far as HTPC cases go, I think I'm in favor of the GD05 HTPC case. Looks plenty roomy. Has good cooling and design. One problem with many HTPC cases is that they place the optical drive bay directly opposite of the power supply. This often causes some spacing issues. The GD05 doesn't fall into this category with the PSU and ODD bay on opposite ends of the case.

-Wolf sends


Thanks Wolf, very good points you have brought up, will certainly look into both these items.
September 10, 2012 10:20:57 PM

idroid said:
for watching movies and stuff like that you don't need any kind of power... get this:

CPU: Intel Pentium G850 2.9GHz Dual-Core Processor ($77.00 @ PCCaseGear)
Motherboard: ASRock B75M Micro ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($65.00 @ Mwave Australia)
Memory: G.Skill 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR3-1333 Memory
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($79.00 @ Mwave Australia)
Video Card: MSI Radeon HD 7750 1GB Video Card ($109.00 @ PCCaseGear)
Case: Cooler Master Elite 430 ATX Mid Tower Case ($49.00 @ PCCaseGear)
Power Supply: Corsair 430W 80 PLUS Certified ATX12V Power Supply ($59.00 @ PCCaseGear)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer
Total: $438.00


Thanks for the build suggestion, I like some of the ideas like MB, RAM, PSU. Need a blue-ray Optical drive and I need a case in a horizontal format to fit my cabinet, not a mid-tower. Given the other suggestions in this thread I am going to look at the AMD A6 CPU and see how that fits.
While I understand I don't need heaps of grunt in this machine, I want some headroom to ensure it lasts a few years. Nothing worse than a slow PC in 18months time.
October 4, 2012 8:39:27 AM

OK, got a bit side tracked from this HTPC project, now to finalise the build. Decided on the APU option now that Trinity is available, just have to wait for some motherboard options to come to Oz...

CPU = A6 5400K or A8 5600K
MB = FM2 socket ASUS or ASROCK??? (only gigabyte available at the moment)
RAM = Corsair Vengeance CML8GX3M2A1600C9 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3
SSD = Sandisk 120gb already own it
HDD = Seagate Barracuda 2TB ST2000DM001
ODD = LG 12X BD-R Blu-ray DVD Combo Drive
Case = Silverstone GD05 Black HTPC Case with USB 3.0
PSU = Corsair CX-430 V2 Power Supply
TV tuner = Hauppauge HVR2200 MCE PCIe Dual Hybrid
Remote = Logitech Harmony 700 Universal Remote Control

any comments? Thanks
November 20, 2012 6:09:18 AM

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