Help with a HTPC build
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Help with a HTPC build
Posted by jcole4lsu on 1/6 at 2:43 pm
I've had a couple of inquires from customers (really employees of businesses we service) on HTPCs. These folks are relatively tech savvy but are looking to buy not build - so lets not get over zealous. Also keep in mind I'm looking to make a profit, not give a brother in law deal. Not saying I need to make a lot off of these potential builds, just make it worth the time. Note these are pure HTPCs, should be no gaming whatsoever.

Initial build thoughts
Case: Apex MI-008 $40
Mobo: ASRock A75M $90
CPU: A4-3400 $47
Ram: 4GB HyperX $24
OS Drive: Kingston SSD v300 $75

That brings the total to $275. Add an optical drive (DVD or Blu Ray depending on their needs), a storage drive (if needed), tv tuner (if needed) and a good wireless keyboard and the total should come somewhere below $425.
This is a mITX build, I have seen several mATX HTPC cases as well for those who have a bit more space in their entertainment center.

Any upgrades/downgrades/cost saving considerations?



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Posted by vegas-tiger on 1/6 at 5:02 pm to jcole4lsu
This is the single input / dual tuner I have. On sale too

No problems with it at all.

I am no help with the other components.

ETA: I stuck this card in an old arse gateway computer, and stuck it inside a cabinet of the entertainment center.


This post was edited on 1/6 at 5:05 pm

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Posted by bluebarracuda on 1/6 at 5:06 pm to jcole4lsu
From my experience building my itx rig, mATX is usually cheaper (mobo and case wise). At least the z77 mATX mobos are a good bit cheaper than the ITX


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Posted by LSU Coyote on 1/6 at 5:18 pm to jcole4lsu
I built my Grandparents an HTPC to stream NetFlix on with that exact MOBO and the K version of that APU. Great little build. Just don't buy the FM2 socket ASRock iTX mobo, they are catching on fire "literally" left and right.

I would get a mobo with bluetooth for keyboard/mouse. Bluetooth seems to stay connected a lot easier. For WiFi, make sure it comes with an external antenna and not just the on the board crap.

I would do 8GB of RAM though since the APU will be using the system RAM for VRAM. So allocate 4GB for the central processing and then 4GB for the graphics processing. Make sure the RAM you purchase is 1866 since the faster speeds will help graphics performance for APUs.

J check out this little Antec iTX case. Comes with a 200W psu? Something like that. I know it isn't ideal but love it for a media streaming or steam box build. lol

LINK







This post was edited on 1/6 at 5:25 pm

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Posted by LSU Coyote on 1/6 at 5:20 pm to bluebarracuda
quote:

From my experience building my itx rig, mATX is usually cheaper (mobo and case wise). At least the z77 mATX mobos are a good bit cheaper than the ITX

No doubt blue.

This is the realstate to put more capacitors is reduced and highly capacity capacitors are used. Damn decent Z77 iTX boards are more than a whole APU iTX combo.



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Posted by bluebarracuda on 1/6 at 5:37 pm to LSU Coyote
And the cheapest gigabyte board doesnt allow you to change voltages, so its useless for OCing


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Posted by jcole4lsu on 1/6 at 6:50 pm to LSU Coyote
quote:

LSU Coyote

My fingers are entirely too fat to stick anything into that Antec case

Looking at some mATX builds as well, I actually started with the case and went from there on the original build in the OP. Hard to find a decent rated case with PSU for $60




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Posted by LSU Coyote on 1/6 at 8:38 pm to jcole4lsu
If simply a HTPC and looking at mATX form factors you have many cheap options with an APU or even going the CPU route with a FX-4100 or 4300.


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Posted by stout on 1/7 at 11:20 am to LSU Coyote
Any reason why TigerDirect is all of a sudden selling 3 year old cards?

LINK


LINK



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Posted by LSU Coyote on 1/7 at 11:44 am to stout
Off of lease? Maybe from some medical research servers? I know F@H used these in Quad-SLi for a while until the 5XX series.


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Posted by stout on 1/7 at 11:50 am to LSU Coyote
Makes sense

I am still thinking of getting a 3GB 660Ti over a 670. All of the reviews say it is only 5-7 FPS behind the 670. I want 3GB so I can upgrade my monitors later. Also, which ever one I do get I will probably SLI eventually.



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Posted by LSU Coyote on 1/7 at 12:40 pm to stout
They have the same core the key difference is bandwidth from a 256bit to 192bit interface.

That makes the 660Ti clock lower because it doesn't benefit as much from higher core/memory clocks.


This post was edited on 1/7 at 12:47 pm

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Posted by SG_Geaux on 1/7 at 2:00 pm to LSU Coyote
Damn that little Antec case is pretty sweet.


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Posted by LSU Coyote on 1/7 at 2:08 pm to SG_Geaux
quote:

Damn that little Antec case is pretty sweet.

Yeah the PSU in it sort of sucks. Sort of making putting an APU in it not possible.

You need to underclock it if you went with an A8 or A10 drawing 150W+



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Posted by SG_Geaux on 1/7 at 2:25 pm to LSU Coyote
I checked the specs, that Antec is only a 90 watt PSU

This post was edited on 1/7 at 2:25 pm

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Posted by LSU Coyote on 1/7 at 2:40 pm to SG_Geaux
quote:

I checked the specs, that Antec is only a 90 watt PSU

Yes that is why you can really only put an Intel inside. 65W power draw.

People are purchasing better brick PSUs for their builds.


This post was edited on 1/7 at 2:44 pm

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Posted by LA kid but AU fan on 1/7 at 2:44 pm to jcole4lsu
I'm all for building rigs used for editing, encoding, gaming, and even productivity, but for true HTPCs intended to live in the living room hooked up to the TV and used solely for media playing, I think people go way overboard with what they need.

I have a little acer revo which I added some memory to and run XBMC on. It cost me only $200 and it serves all my media needs.


This post was edited on 1/7 at 2:47 pm

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Posted by bluebarracuda on 1/7 at 2:51 pm to stout
But your 7950 would excel at higher resolutions!

Could I use my current build as an htpc also? Or would it be too much at one time on my rig?



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Posted by stout on 1/7 at 2:52 pm to bluebarracuda
quote:

But your 7950 would excel at higher resolutions!




Too bad it won't excel in running certain games as well as nVidia cards.



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Posted by jcole4lsu on 1/7 at 2:59 pm to LA kid but AU fan
quote:

run XBMC on

how do you like that? does it play well with windows 7? im not about to teach any of these people linux.

Ive got a ~$500 ATX build i'm going to post back in the OP once I get a little time. found a couple good solutions, might be able to make $100 on each box or so.




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