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HTPC- Feedback on Build Please

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September 23, 2012 4:15:19 AM

Hi all,

I am just looking for some feedback on this build I put together. The info is below:

Approximate Purchase Date: within the month

Budget Range: <$900 after shipping; ~$500 would be ideal

System Usage from Most to Least Important: HTPC- watching/streaming 1080p movies, blu-ray movies, music, and light gaming

Are you buying a monitor: No (hooking up to TV)

Parts to Upgrade: Buying from scratch. No mouse or keyboard necessary.

Do you need to buy OS: No

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: No preference.

Location: Fort Worth, TX, USA

Parts Preferences: No preference

Overclocking: Maybe

SLI or Crossfire: No

Your Monitor Resolution: TV is 1920 x 1080

Additional Comments: Quiet would be awesome since it is gonna be a HTPC. I want to run XBMC on it with Windows 7.

And Most Importantly, Why Are You Upgrading: Want a PC hooked up to my TV, instead of always having to move my desktop or hook up my laptop to the TV. I also love the customization available to XBMC.

Here is what I have put together (still need to add a Blu-Ray player):

http://pcpartpicker.com/p/ifLA

Please give me any feedback/tweaks you would make to this. It is a little expensive, and I am not sure if the video card is even necessary for what I am wanting to use the PC for. I like the motherboard, though, for the WiFi GO! option. Anyone have any experience with this motherboard?

Thanks in advance! You guys helped out a lot with my last PC and it came out great!

More about : htpc feedback build

September 23, 2012 6:46:06 AM

You're certainly spending a lot more money than you need to.

You're not getting a K processor, so switch to this motherboard: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

You don't need an i5. If you really want one, I'd probably get an Ivy instead of Sandy. You won't be any worse off with an i3 for a bit less money.

That case comes with a 600w power supply, which is WAY more than you need. You could get this instead which will still power a beefy graphics card, if you ever want to add one. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I don't know what kind of gaming you're talking about doing. If it's really light, I'd hold off on the graphics card. You can always add one later if you feel you need it. If you want one, I'd probably spend another $20 for a 7770.
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September 23, 2012 11:58:41 AM

I agree with Dankev in that the parts you've selected are way overkill for your listed system usage. Look at the specifications of my HTPC (in my signature). Mine does everything you want yours to do and more. Look for a dual-core processor and 4GB of RAM. On-board graphics should be enough, but I wouldn't eschew a discrete graphics card.

Lastly, never, ever, EVER! rely on a wireless connection for streaming movies. Figure out a way to get this system hard-wired to the network.

-Wolf sends
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September 23, 2012 12:12:19 PM

I agree with most of the comments above - check out the link to my rigs ( http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/325627-31-current-rig... ) to see my HTPC, built around a Core i3 - it streams 1080p and plays blu-rays like a champ and can game quite well.

One thing I disagree with is the wireless - you definitely can stream over wifi, if you have the right network/adapter. My HTPC uses a dual-band usb adapter and I run streaming from my router over 300mbps 5.0ghz N band and it never falters - even streaming to two PCs at once in the same apartment both on wifi.
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September 23, 2012 1:45:07 PM

i've used amd based for both my htpc's , worked out cheaper on motherboard/cpu and no need for graphic cards
ones in a Silverstone ML03B case while my main one is in a Thermaltake Bach Media Lab
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September 24, 2012 5:48:07 AM

Thank you so much for the help. I knew I was probably spending too much; I tend to get overexcited when building PCs.

I picked and chose from all the feedback you guys gave and below is my tweaked version:

http://pcpartpicker.com/p/innr

I went ahead and got rid of the video card. My only question is will I still be able to stream at 1080p on my big screen without and hiccups? Also, by gaming I am talking more about older games (my SNES backups) and League of Legends. Will they be able to run smoothly?

I am not too worried about streaming being an issue. I believe my internet should be fast enough. I have 100 Mbps down and 5 Mbps up. In the long run, though, I will transfer all my video backups to my 3 TB hard drive.

How does the revised version look?

Thanks again, as always!
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September 24, 2012 1:16:43 PM

looking good

that silverstone case can fit 1x2.5" and 2x3.5" drvies btw but its a bit fussy fitting the 2.5 and the second 3.5 as they sit under the dvd drive bar and as a plus , usb3 on front

one other point is to what cpu cooler use going to use?

i have used an Artic Freezer 11 LP in the past for mates build, inside a very small antec ISK 110 case and it was best cooler i have come across for htpc builds , so damn quite i couldn't hear it running in the case even when i held it up to my ear

also found an old vid from linus techtips about gaming using similar spec onboard graphics http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LxlQLzOCxEc

and i'm sure i saw something also about amds apus giving great playback for blueray
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September 25, 2012 2:58:44 AM

With the i3, you need at least some GPU.
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September 26, 2012 1:38:12 AM

Alright. I am hoping this is the finalized version:

http://pcpartpicker.com/p/iyBX

How does this look? Do I need a dedicated CPU cooler with this build? Also, I've tried to make it a quiet build. Will this be fairly quiet?

Thanks, as always!
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