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New HTPC Build ~300 bucks

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October 4, 2012 12:41:40 AM

Approximate Purchase Date: No hurry, if need to wait for some black Friday deals no problem

Budget Range: $300

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Playback of 1080p content to hdtv, media storage

Are you buying a monitor: No

Parts to Upgrade: All

Do you need to buy OS: Have Windows, may go Linux anyhow XBMC or something

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: newegg.com amazon.com microcenter or fry's

Location: Downers Grove, IL have fry's and microcenter

Parts Preferences: Intel preferred

Overclocking: No

SLI or Crossfire: No

Your Monitor Resolution: 1080p

Additional Comments: Small form factor in the case would be great, also quiet and no crazy blinking lights and the like. Space for 2 hard drives and maybe an ssd

And Most Importantly, Why Are You Upgrading: Need something to view content on my tv so I dont have to keep plugging in my laptop.

I already have mouse and keyboard for build.

Thinking probably just a cheap SSD to start for the OS and such, eventually add in multiple TB drives, but not necessary now. Will just stream media from my other devices.

More about : htpc build 300 bucks

October 4, 2012 1:06:57 AM

CPU intel i7 3930k
Mobo gigabyte g1. Sniper 3 m
Ram corsair vengence 128gb (64x2)
Power supply cooler master youneedpower psu 150 watts
Case cooler master hafx

This build is 387$ you should buy it now on newegg everything is on sale so it would be 127$ have fun buying this and building it

A cool think about intel CPUs is you have to put a lot of pressure on them when you put it in.
October 4, 2012 1:18:26 AM

Unlike the jackhole response you got, you need to at least help out in your own build. Have you looked for any parts on your own and confused about what goes with what? Maybe some links to parts you were considering?

I'd be more than happy to help, but at least give a starting place and do some of the leg work; maybe find a case that fits where it will go, see if $300 is realistic after looking up some of the parts (as I'm guessing no, since most good HTPC form cases and mini-itx mobos will set you back a good chunk of change in your budget).
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October 4, 2012 1:44:00 AM

scottiemedic said:
Unlike the jackhole response you got, you need to at least help out in your own build. Have you looked for any parts on your own and confused about what goes with what? Maybe some links to parts you were considering?

I'd be more than happy to help, but at least give a starting place and do some of the leg work; maybe find a case that fits where it will go, see if $300 is realistic after looking up some of the parts (as I'm guessing no, since most good HTPC form cases and mini-itx mobos will set you back a good chunk of change in your budget).



Case: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $65

Mobo: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $67

Processor: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $144

RAM: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $30

SSD: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $30

That takes me just a little over. Also, I'm not even sure that all that would be compatible together. And I've seen a lot of people using much less for processors, am I overdoing it? I'm sure I'm missing some things as well, but I hope that by kind of buying the pieces when I can get a good deal I would be able to save somewhat.

So what do you think?
October 4, 2012 2:00:14 AM

Only concern I have is the 60GB SSD for an HTPC build. That thing will fill up in no time. I'd consider a mechanical HDD initially, then when money allows you can move your OS to an SSD with the mechanical as a data drive.

You can definitely get a 'lower' CPU to save money; my HTPC runs on an old Athlon X2 4850e at 1080p and I've never had a problem or glitch in the playback.

Another thing to consider is a video capture card. Are you going to do video in from a satellite or cable box?

All your parts are compatible, make sure to get some case fans to keep air moving in a little case like that. It will heat up quickly.
October 4, 2012 2:03:02 AM

To be perfectly honest, I don't see any reason not to go with any of the Pentium G Sandy Bridge processors for strictly media duties.

The rest of your system is compatible (Newegg only lists 1066 and 1333 RAM as standards, but ASRock's site also lists 1600), but you're missing a power supply and a DVD Rom Drive.
I'd probably look at this Antec EarthWatts 380 and pretty much any sub $20 DVD burner from Newegg.

-Wolf sends
October 4, 2012 2:17:39 AM

Ok so I could swap one of those processors and it would make up the cost difference of adding the power supply I forgot. Oh and I don't plan to install an optical drive, all my media will come over the network and will install OS off flash drive. For that matter I might have one laying in a closet that I could use.

Do you think one of those processors would be plenty capable of streaming 1080p content?
October 4, 2012 2:23:20 AM

Yes, I think any of those processors would be plenty capable of streaming 1080p content.

-Wolf sends
October 4, 2012 2:37:30 AM



Some comments/small changes:

Case: I have the nMediaPC 1000b which is great. 5000b should be a good choice.

Mobo: If you do go with the i3-3225, consider this H77 motherboard for a few dollars more: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

PSU: SeaSonic SS-300ES Bronze 300W ATX12V V2.3 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC Power Supply - OEM $40

CPU: Intel Pentium G860 Sandy Bridge 3.0 GHz LGA1155 Dual-Core 32nm Processor $69.99 @ Directron.com (these guys are great I buy here all the time) if you don't splurge for the i3-3225.

RAM: Kingston Value 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1066 Desktop Memory Model KVR1066D3S8N7K2/4G $21.49 (note: Celeron/Pentium CPU max at DDR3-1066)

I am not a huge fan of that SSD, it's to hit-or-miss but if you're willing to deal with that possibility then I think it's a good deal. Definitely use it for your OS drive and then get some green 5400RPM drives for storage as you can afford them.
October 4, 2012 2:40:15 AM

And do you think it would support a tv tuner that I would like to add in the future?

Would the setup support putting in a few 2 TB hard drives in the future?

Do you think the setup would be relatively quiet? And would it remain cool? As I plan to have it in a entertainment cabinet.
October 4, 2012 2:43:23 AM

wjbunton said:
And do you think it would support a tv tuner that I would like to add in the future?

Would the setup support putting in a few 2 TB hard drives in the future?

Do you think the setup would be relatively quiet? And would it remain cool? As I plan to have it in a entertainment cabinet.


Yes, yes and yes. Definitely.

There's room for at least 3 HDDs and a SSD in the 5000b.

The stock Intel cooler runs pretty quiet unless you get the occasional bad one and if you do it's not expensive to find a new one that's quiet.

The 5000b has a 92mm on the side and 2 x 60mm fan in the back like my 1000b. I certainly cannot hear it from 10' away. Just be sure to open it up and blow out the dust every once in a while.
October 4, 2012 2:49:14 AM

^----- 100% agree with Dougie.

FYI, I'm running an NMediaPC 200BA case for my HTPC and cannot hear it from 10' away (unless I neglect it for more than six months).

-Wolf sends
October 4, 2012 3:35:23 AM

Awesome, I think this is what I'm gonna go with. Probably just gonna slowly pick up parts when I can get them on sale, hopefully with a completed eta of before December.
October 4, 2012 4:33:10 AM

Another quick question, I know you guys gave me a few power supplies to use, but can you help me with how to choose one that would work with my setup?
October 4, 2012 7:09:27 AM

For the CPU, I'd consider getting the Ivybridge if you want to use the IGP for 1080p playback. I was using my i3-2120 for HD playback but got the occasional (every 10s or so) artifact, hence went back to my dedicated GPU. Ivybridge IGPs are more powerful and should eliminate the issue. The other option is to go for a Sandybridge Pentium and then get a dedicated GPU.
October 5, 2012 2:18:22 PM

I hope this works:

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Pentium G550 2.6GHz Dual-Core Processor ($34.99 @ Microcenter)
Motherboard: ASRock H61M-DGS Micro ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($44.99 @ Amazon)
Memory: Patriot Gamer 2 Series 8GB (1 x 8GB) DDR3-1333 Memory ($29.99 @ NCIX US)
Storage: Plextor M5S Series 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($89.99 @ Amazon)
Video Card: MSI GeForce GT 610 2GB Video Card ($42.98 @ Newegg)
Case: Apex DM-387 HTPC Case w/275W Power Supply ($40.00 @ Amazon)
Optical Drive: Asus BW-12B1ST/BLK/G/AS Blu-Ray/DVD/CD Writer ($59.98 @ NCIX US)
Total: $342.92
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
October 5, 2012 2:29:00 PM

Well I'm pretty set on the i3, so let's assume im gonna get that.

First I need to choose which i3 the 3220 ($100) or 3225($130), hd 2500 vs hd 4000, is there a drastic difference between the two?

Next I need the mobo, between Z77 ($45)http://www.microcenter.com/product/387627/Z77_Pro3_1155... or GA-b75m($20)? Any appreciable difference between them?

Case I am set on with the nmediapc 5000b

RAM will get whats a good deal, no problem there

Same with SSD

And don't need optical drive

So help me pick between the processors and mobo
October 9, 2012 3:27:39 AM

If you get the i3-3225 from MicroCenter, to get the $50 discount you need to buy a Z77 motherboard. You also need a microATX board for the nMediaPC 5000b. Of the ones available at MC, I'd get the ASRock Z77 Pro4-M since it has the CIR header which you can get a kit for from Inteset.

http://www.microcenter.com/product/387629/Z77_Pro4-M_11...

The combo ends up being $189.98 + tax. Compare that to the i3-3220 plus the B75 microATX motherboard at $169.98. IMHO, the i3-3225 + Z77 is worth the extra $20.



October 10, 2012 6:45:41 PM

Ok so assuming that is what I do, how do I decide which power supply to get?
November 6, 2012 2:16:01 PM

Here is what I went with, got a few more questions now.

Case: nMEDIAPC Black Aluminum / Acrylic / Steel HTPC 5000B Micro ATX Media Center http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Mother Board: ASRock Z77 Pro4-M LGA 1155 Intel Z77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Processor: Intel Core i3-3225 Ivy Bridge 3.3GHz LGA 1155 55W Dual-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 4000 BX80637I33225 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

RAM: G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-8GBXL http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

PSU: Antec EarthWatts Green EA-380D Green 380W Continuous power ATX12V v2.3 / EPS12V 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC Power Supply http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

What do you think about this computers ability to play games on it? I would like to play some of the newer games, like Assassins Creed 3, would it do it, or would I need a dedicated graphics card? Anything else that I would need to be able to play the games?
November 6, 2012 9:25:14 PM

Integrated graphics were never intended to provide a great gaming experience. If you really want to game, then you are going to need a discrete graphics card and, depending on how high end you want to go, probably a better power supply.

"Gaming" on this system was never mentioned before now, hence the recommendation for a lower powered and quieter power supply. Please provide a budget and HDTV/Monitor resolution for upgrade advice.

-Wolf sends
!