Building an HTPC, need help with cpu/MB choice

Discussion in 'The HTPC, HDTV & Ultra High Definition section' started by 0blivious, Dec 4, 2012.

  1. 0blivious

    0blivious Ancient Guru

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    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. :)
     
  2. Mangix

    Mangix Active Member

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    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/Produ...Processors - Desktops&Order=PRICE&Pagesize=20

    With madVR(high end video renderer)'s recent support of native DXVA2 video acceleration, everything should be smooth.
     
  3. ROBSCIX

    ROBSCIX Ancient Guru

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    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.
     
  4. sykozis

    sykozis Ancient Guru

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

  5. 0blivious

    0blivious Ancient Guru

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    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
     
  6. pegasus1

    pegasus1 Master Guru

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    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.
     
  7. sykozis

    sykozis Ancient Guru

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    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
     
  8. pegasus1

    pegasus1 Master Guru

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    A CPU, MOBO and 4GB or RAM for the price of the cheapest i3.
     
  9. Bogard

    Bogard Active Member

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  10. pegasus1

    pegasus1 Master Guru

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    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.
     

  11. ROBSCIX

    ROBSCIX Ancient Guru

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

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