Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

Cheap, cheap, cheap media center PC help!

Last response: in Systems
Share
November 12, 2012 6:43:05 AM

Approximate Purchase Date: Immediately (Thu, Nov. 15)

Budget Range: $400ish, but hopefully lower than that. If "much lower" is a possibility, that'd be great.

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Plugging in an external hard drive and connecting to my TV via HDMI to stream video, some of it HD 1080P. Alternatively, I will also use it at my desk while working (I am a sports writer, and the most intensive thing I do is have 30+ tabs open).

Parts: Don't need monitor, keyboards, speakers, OS

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Amazon Prime stuff always preferred, Newegg second.

Location: Dayton, OH, US


Additional Comments: Must have USB 3.0, 1080p, needs to be sufficiently cool. If there's some neat smaller cases or even devices that are built just for this (and still allow me to use them for normal computer things like internet browsing). Being able to run Windows 7 and not be forced to use Linux or something would be great. I have 8 GB of Corsair RAM (two 4 GB sticks) that I bought for a future gaming build but they aren't being used. Probably overkill, I guess.

I don't know the first thing about HD and decoding and what not, but I have a lot of HD files (about 3 TB of video) and they stream from my current (Expensive) laptop just swimmingly through media center/VLC. Problem is my current laptop is overheating and I've decided I want something stationary for this.
November 12, 2012 7:05:00 AM

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: AMD A4-3400 2.7GHz Dual-Core Processor ($48.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: ASRock A75M-HVS Micro ATX FM1 Motherboard ($61.98 @ Newegg)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 2TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($109.99 @ Newegg)
Case: NZXT Source 210 Elite (White) ATX Mid Tower Case ($39.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Corsair Builder 430W 80 PLUS Certified ATX12V Power Supply ($24.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer ($16.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $302.93
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-11-12 04:06 EST-0500)

Got a 2tb hard drive that jacked up the price. This build will have no problems with what you need. all gotten through newegg because Amazon lacks most of the parts. Btw, just use one 4gb stick of ram in here. It's a waste to use more.
m
0
l
November 12, 2012 7:11:05 AM

cutebeans said:
PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: AMD A4-3400 2.7GHz Dual-Core Processor ($48.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: ASRock A75M-HVS Micro ATX FM1 Motherboard ($61.98 @ Newegg)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 2TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($109.99 @ Newegg)
Case: NZXT Source 210 Elite (White) ATX Mid Tower Case ($39.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Corsair Builder 430W 80 PLUS Certified ATX12V Power Supply ($24.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer ($16.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $302.93
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-11-12 04:06 EST-0500)

Got a 2tb hard drive that jacked up the price. This build will have no problems with what you need. all gotten through newegg because Amazon lacks most of the parts. Btw, just use one 4gb stick of ram in here. It's a waste to use more.


That motherboard has a HDMI port, yes? Don't need a video card or anything like that to make sure it runs 1080p and all that?

For the record, this is my laptop: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... ... will that desktop build actually run about as smooth/smoother just doing everyday browsing, video, music, etc?
m
0
l
Related resources
November 12, 2012 7:46:05 AM

ninjames said:
That motherboard has a HDMI port, yes? Don't need a video card or anything like that to make sure it runs 1080p and all that?

For the record, this is my laptop: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... ... will that desktop build actually run about as smooth/smoother just doing everyday browsing, video, music, etc?


http://www.asrock.com/mb/overview.asp?model=a75m-hvs

Yes dude! The APUs of AMD are really good and were made for HTPC and 1080p viewing. Yeah, it should run smooth. I've seen videos and reviews and they are generally good with everyday tasks. If you want it to be very very fast then you might want to bump it up to an A6-3650 which is a quad core but costs twice as much as the A4.

The built in GPU in the Apus are really good which can even play light games.

Looking at your laptop, the build I suggested would be on a whole new level.
m
0
l
Anonymous
November 12, 2012 7:58:08 AM

ninjames said:
That motherboard has a HDMI port, yes? Don't need a video card or anything like that to make sure it runs 1080p and all that?

For the record, this is my laptop: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... ... will that desktop build actually run about as smooth/smoother just doing everyday browsing, video, music, etc?

with cpus i listed everything will be substantially faster/smoother than your laptop while still budget friendly. i would get the a8, its quad core. high speed ram substantially effects graphics performance and the ram i listed will accommodate this
m
0
l
November 12, 2012 8:04:34 AM

This would be the most you need. It would be faster than the first build and you only add about $40 and I can confidently say that you won't feel any lag here.

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: AMD A6-3670K 2.7GHz Quad-Core Processor ($89.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: ASRock A75M-HVS Micro ATX FM1 Motherboard ($61.98 @ Newegg)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 2TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($109.99 @ Newegg)
Case: NZXT Source 210 Elite (White) ATX Mid Tower Case ($39.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Corsair Builder 430W 80 PLUS Certified ATX12V Power Supply ($24.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer ($16.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $343.93
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-11-12 05:03 EST-0500)
m
0
l
Anonymous
November 12, 2012 8:24:44 AM

cutebeans said:
This would be the most you need. It would be faster than the first build and you only add about $40 and I can confidently say that you won't feel any lag here.

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: AMD A6-3670K 2.7GHz Quad-Core Processor ($89.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: ASRock A75M-HVS Micro ATX FM1 Motherboard ($61.98 @ Newegg)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 2TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($109.99 @ Newegg)
Case: NZXT Source 210 Elite (White) ATX Mid Tower Case ($39.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Corsair Builder 430W 80 PLUS Certified ATX12V Power Supply ($24.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer ($16.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $343.93
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-11-12 05:03 EST-0500)

looks good though i would spend a bit more on the psu and this doesnt include ram. id go ahead and jump to an a8 as its a quad core and the a6 isnt
m
0
l
November 12, 2012 8:33:35 AM

Hi van! He already has ram and the a6 is a quadcore.
m
0
l
November 12, 2012 8:53:54 AM

If you want to go that way, the December Australian Personal Computer magazine has several articles on using the mini-pc android devices which only cost about $40
At that price, it may be worth just trying one, I'm thinking of doing it.
JB
m
0
l
Anonymous
November 12, 2012 9:18:23 AM

cutebeans said:
Hi van! He already has ram and the a6 is a quadcore.

its a bit confusing, the llano a6 is quad core and the trinity a6 is dual core. i recommend getting trinity a8 because the lack of the quad core for a6. i typically dont recommend llano because its a dead platform
m
0
l
Anonymous
November 12, 2012 9:21:28 AM

pastit said:
If you want to go that way, the December Australian Personal Computer magazine has several articles on using the mini-pc android devices which only cost about $40
At that price, it may be worth just trying one, I'm thinking of doing it.
JB

i was thinking about that too, but honestly i just need the multitasking of a pc and not being able to multitask on the fly just erks me the wrong way because i have a good 10 to 20 internet tabs open with music, utorrent and other things, android just cant handle all that without slowing down and switching isnt very productive
m
0
l
November 12, 2012 9:50:25 AM

Anonymous said:
its a bit confusing, the llano a6 is quad core and the trinity a6 is dual core. i recommend getting trinity a8 because the lack of the quad core for a6. i typically dont recommend llano because its a dead platform


I understand but what he needs doesn't need a Trinity setup.
m
0
l
Anonymous
November 12, 2012 10:03:25 AM

trinity really isnt much more and its a better processor for both cpu and gpu performance.
m
0
l
November 12, 2012 10:12:47 AM

His budget is really low and wants it to be low as possible. Getting trinity for just basic work and watching movies would be a waste since Llano can do it great as well. If comparing them both for what the OP wants then he would not notice any difference.
m
0
l
November 18, 2012 10:56:57 PM

Yep, there would be little discernible difference for me, as I plan on getting a separate build for gaming when I have a bit more money, though I wouldn't be adverse to a build that's pretty upgrade-able, though I don't know that this one isn't already.
m
0
l
!