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Building an HTPC, need help with cpu/MB choice
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0blivious
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Default Building an HTPC, need help with cpu/MB choice - 12-03-2012, 23:26 | posts: 1,016 | Location: Bremerton, WA USA (GO HAWKS!)

Hey there. My mother wants an HTPC and I intend to build one. I haven't built a machine in ~2 years so I'm a bit out of the loop. I need some suggestions on a cheap cpu. I'd like to keep the entire build in the $300 (or less) range.

This HTPC will be connected to her (newish) Toshiba 46" tv (1920x1080, 120hz). This HTPC will mainly be used for web-surfing and streaming video. Gaming is a low priority but I still intend to build this with a video card. Silent operation is also a very low priority.

Side note - as far as the keyboard/mouse go, I plan to get her a bluetooth set unless wireless has drastically improved the past few years. My experience with using wireless across a room hasn't been very good (eats up battery and performs poorly). On the other hand, my bluetooth (mx 5000) set has worked great across vast distances. The mouse/keyboard are separate from the HTPC budget I intend to adhere to so price isn't a major concern there. Any suggestions on mouse/keyboards from HTPC users would be welcome.

Thanks for any suggestions, it's appreciated.
   
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Mangix
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Default 12-04-2012, 08:07 | posts: 60

No clue but I will say I was able to come up with parts for a somewhat high-end HTPC a while back for ~$400. Here's at least one tip:

If you want to save a bit of money, forget about a discrete GPU. AMD's APU parts have a CPU that's weaker than Intel but the integrated GPU is much much better. Video playback and web browsing along with some basic gaming should not be a problem.

Might as well buy one of these: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...CE&Pagesize=20

With madVR(high end video renderer)'s recent support of native DXVA2 video acceleration, everything should be smooth.
   
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ROBSCIX
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Videocard: 22" LCD on GTX260 C216
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Mainboard: MSI P55 GD80
Memory: G.SKILL DDR3-1600 4X2GB
Soundcard: It Varies...
PSU: Sigma
Default 12-16-2012, 17:21 | posts: 16,174 | Location: Guru3D Audio Lab

I would just buy a all in one, with CPU,audio and GFX all built in.
Check the ASUS lineups, the latest models look pretty sweet for the price.
   
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sykozis
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Default 12-16-2012, 22:02 | posts: 16,495 | Location: US East Coast

If you're looking for motherboard, processor, memory, case, harddrives, optical drive, windows....$300 is a rather tight budget.


   
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0blivious
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PSU: Corsair CX750
Default 12-23-2012, 22:06 | posts: 1,016 | Location: Bremerton, WA USA (GO HAWKS!)

Thanks for the input. I found it difficult to stay near $300,

I ended up getting (from newegg):

AMD X3 450 Triple core ($70)
Asrock 970 extreme3 ($70 - on sale)
Thermaltake 430w PSU ($32 - on sale)
G-Skill 8GB (4gbx2) 1333 ddr3 ($34)
Seagate 1TB 7200rpm ($70 - on sale)
Sapphire 6570 1gb (128-bit) ($50 - on sale)
LG DVD burner ($17)
NZXT Gamma case ($40 - on sale)
Buffalo USB wifi receiver ($20)
Logitech wireless mouse/keyboard ($30)

Altogether it was around $438 (including shipping). I found it difficult to stay near $300 as I didn't like the options in that price range. As it is, I'm still a bit iffy on the PSU, as it's not a brand I'm fond of, but the reviews were very favorable so I went with it. It should only see light loads (with some rare gaming by the grandkids) anyways.

I looked at some of the bundles, but none were so compelling as to pull the trigger on them. The video card was mainly for my kids and not so much for Mom.

I still need to buy another HDMI cord. I forgot about that so I stole the one from her rarely used blu-ray player.

I even considered swapping in my (<---) motherboard/CPU/ram as I'm pretty sure this new triple core setup for Mom is better. Too much hassle... :-P
   
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pegasus1
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Videocard: EVGA 780 GTX
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PSU: Corsair 850
Default 12-26-2012, 23:40 | posts: 323 | Location: Essex

The AMD FM2 (or FM1 for that matter) offer USB3, HDMI and SATA6 as well as great video performance for very little money and no need for a discreet gfx card. I have both FM1 and FM2 systems and they are great for what they do.
   
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sykozis
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Videocard: Radeon R7 240
Processor: AMD Athlon 5350
Mainboard: Asus AM1M-A
Memory: 8gb G.Skill DDR3-1866
Soundcard: Creative SB X-Fi Go!
PSU: Unk 300watt
Default 12-27-2012, 01:39 | posts: 16,495 | Location: US East Coast

You could have gone with an A4-5300 and ASRock FM2A75M-DGS and saved $15-$20 there...and left out the dedicated graphics card for a total savings of $65-70. That would have gotten you at least below $400


   
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pegasus1
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Videocard: EVGA 780 GTX
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Mainboard: MSI Z86A GD80
Memory: 16GB Corsair DDR 1866mhz
Soundcard: OB + Creative 5.1
PSU: Corsair 850
Default 12-27-2012, 09:12 | posts: 323 | Location: Essex

A CPU, MOBO and 4GB or RAM for the price of the cheapest i3.
   
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Bogard
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Default 12-27-2012, 16:45 | posts: 54 | Location: Tulsa, OK

AMD APU seem perfect for home theatre PC. Someone else on forum highly recommend one. They have processor and GPU combine and are affordable! Seem like they would be good pick like this one http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16819113280
   
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pegasus1
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Videocard: EVGA 780 GTX
Processor: i7 SB @4.9ghz
Mainboard: MSI Z86A GD80
Memory: 16GB Corsair DDR 1866mhz
Soundcard: OB + Creative 5.1
PSU: Corsair 850
Default 12-27-2012, 18:41 | posts: 323 | Location: Essex

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bogard View Post
AMD APU seem perfect for home theatre PC. Someone else on forum highly recommend one. They have processor and GPU combine and are affordable! Seem like they would be good pick like this one http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16819113280
For just a HTPC you dont need the top of the range chip, the duel core will do just fine and for half the price.
   
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ROBSCIX
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Videocard: 22" LCD on GTX260 C216
Processor: Intel I7 860
Mainboard: MSI P55 GD80
Memory: G.SKILL DDR3-1600 4X2GB
Soundcard: It Varies...
PSU: Sigma
Default 12-27-2012, 18:47 | posts: 16,174 | Location: Guru3D Audio Lab

No, there is no sense in paying for power that you will never use.
   
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