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HTPC - Do I need a graphics card?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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December 21, 2012 3:45:27 PM

Hello,

I am building my own HTPC for the first time. The components I have picked out are listed below:

PCPartPicker part list: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/rW9X
Price breakdown by merchant: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/rW9X/by_merchant/
Benchmarks: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/rW9X/benchmarks/

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($189.99 @ Microcenter)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master GeminII S524 77.7 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($32.92 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: MSI Z77MA-G45 Micro ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($89.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: Patriot Intel Extreme Master, Limited Ed 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($31.99 @ Amazon)
Storage: Crucial M4 64GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($69.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Case: Silverstone SST-LC10B-E-USB3.0 (Black) HTPC Case ($106.99 @ Amazon)
Power Supply: Raidmax 530W ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($38.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Optical Drive: Asus BC-12B1ST/BLK/B/AS Blu-Ray Reader, DVD/CD Writer ($56.23 @ Amazon)
Total: $617.09
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-12-21 12:39 EST-0500)


My house has wired Cat5e ethernet to every room, fed from a gigabit switch attached to my router and NAS. My NAS is going to be the main storage of media. Some media is 1080p lossless, and can be up to 30GB is file size. I haven't had problems playing media from my NAS to my Logitech Revue or WDTV Live Hub before. So, the network is no concern.

For my HTPC, I just don't know if a graphics card is necessary. The motherboard has an HDMI port on it, and I'm wondering if the components list above will be able to play the files fine without stuttering, etc. It's important to me to preserve the lossless quality for playback.

Also, I would ideally like to run HDMI to my Denon 2112CI receiver for both the audio and video signal. I also plan to run xbmc on my HTPC.

As for gaming or other uses of the HTPC... I plan to use it for some web browsing, YouTube, Spotify, and probably some light gaming (nes emulators).

Is a graphics card necessary? If so, any suggestions?

Thanks!!!



More about : htpc graphics card

a b U Graphics card
December 21, 2012 3:55:21 PM

If you will not be doing any gaming on the HTPC then, no, you don't need a graphics card. The Intel integrated graphics should be just fine.

I'm not an HTPC expert and it's your money, but I think the i5-3570k is overkill for an HTPC. Also, you have to get a different psu. I have used Raidmax psus before and they are crap. get a good quality Antec, Corsair, or Seasonic instead. The psu is an extremely important component that you do not want to skimp on.
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a c 79 U Graphics card
December 21, 2012 4:20:11 PM

the one troll suggested is better, less power consumption runs cooler, and no need for a dedicated card if ur not gaming often, the onboard videocard that the a8 has is quite fine for light gaming.

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December 21, 2012 5:14:19 PM

Thanks everyone for the quick responses! Unfortunately, I already purchased the i5. I don't mind that it's overkill and I got a good deal - so I really don't want to have to return it :ouch: 

If you think I will still be "OK" with the i5, are there any other suggestions you have to ensure I get a good quality playback of my larger media files on my NAS? Does any part of the HTPC other than the CPU contribute to dropped frames, stuttering, or just poor quality in video playback?

Also, for the power supply. I purchased that too. It sounds like this is something I should really consider returning. Should I find a new one on PC Part Picker, from Antec, Corsair, or Seasonic? Any one recommended in particular?

Thanks!!!
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a c 259 U Graphics card
December 21, 2012 5:27:24 PM

The HD4000 graphics is fine for HD movies and other desktop apps.
No discrete graphics card is needed.

Yes, the 3570K is waay overkill.


Raidmax has a poor reputation for quality. It is a tier 5 unit(not recommended, replace asap) unit on this list:
http://www.eggxpert.com/forums/thread/323050.aspx
If you can, return it for a tier 1 or 2 unit.

Otherwise, looks good.
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a c 259 U Graphics card
December 21, 2012 5:37:54 PM

iceclock said:
id recommand this as a powersupply instead:

http://us.ncix.com/products/?sku=59909&vpn=CMPSU-700G&m...

gs 700watts 59$ instead of 109 regularly very good :) 

and yes id return that as soon as possible.


Without a discrete graphics card, a 200w psu is sufficient.
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a c 191 U Graphics card
December 21, 2012 5:50:00 PM

I can't see what size PSU that HTPC case accepts. If it is standard ATX, get a Seasonic G-360. It is quiet, efficient, and can handle a modest graphics card (e.g. HD7770) if you want it for games later.
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a c 79 U Graphics card
December 21, 2012 5:52:27 PM

yes well for the price 60$ for a 700watt corsair decent ps is great, whynot get more bang for his bucks.
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a c 79 U Graphics card
December 21, 2012 5:53:29 PM

considering his case supports standard atx powersupplies

and for 60$ is a steal and can support stronger components down the line :) 

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a b U Graphics card
December 21, 2012 11:28:11 PM

the i5 is waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay overkill. you should build a beast gaming rig based on that and get something cheaper like those APUs for a HTPC
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December 21, 2012 11:57:58 PM

It may turn into a beast gaming rig in the future! ;) 
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a c 79 U Graphics card
December 22, 2012 2:50:39 AM

well if thats the case that gs700 is a killer deal bro get it while its fresh :) 

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December 22, 2012 6:55:18 PM

Already ordered! Thanks for the support!
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December 22, 2012 6:55:33 PM

Best answer selected by Lespaul00.
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