What do you guys think of this htpc build from lifehacker? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 8 Old 09-05-2012, 06:41 PM - Thread Starter
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http://lifehacker.com/5936546/how-i-built-the-media-center-of-my-dreams-for-under-500

I'm looking into building an htpc that can also act as a torrent box and home server, and this seems like it could be good. As somebody who has not built a computer in over a decade, however, I am completely lost when it comes to all of the parts that are out there and the type of performance people get these days.
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post #2 of 8 Old 09-05-2012, 07:38 PM
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I suppose you are posting here because you want to do some light gaming on it? If so then you should at least go with the more expensive A8-3850, but I wouldn't expect much out of it as far as heavy-duty graphic games go. You should be able to play Diablo 3 and other such games with low-medium graphic settings. Other than that, it looks decent enough.

As far as building a cheap HTPC goes you should check out the HTPC forum. There's a loooooong thread on it.

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post #3 of 8 Old 09-06-2012, 09:54 AM - Thread Starter
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Yeah, I'm not a serious gamer, but there are some games I would casually play that my 2007 macbook can't really handle. Frankly, low settings on diablo probably look better than what my machine can do.

I have read a few other threads, but it is pretty difficult to digest threads that are 500 pages long where the first post's most recent update was to discuss systems that were suggested at this same time last year. I'll keep digging around to get an idea, though.

Thanks.
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post #4 of 8 Old 09-06-2012, 11:54 AM
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That little case they use will be limited by a single hard drive. You need to determine how much space you need and decide will that be enough for you. I think 3TB is the max you can get now in a single drive. But, you could always have an external HD or NAS or raid box.


What I would suggest you do is read reviews from newegg or amazon. Take the parts they use and compare brands. Lot's of reviewers like to list their hardware setup on newegg, and describe how they use the gear. I'm guessing there will be a lot of server/HTPC makers for this type of hardware.

I have personal favorite brands I use when I shop for hardware. I would look at the hardware they've used, if you want to stick to their price limit. Newegg sometimes has barebones systems or motherboard/cpu bundles you can check out. Combo deals too, buy one piece of hardware and get a discount with another piece of hardware.

A75m looks like the MB chipset (I'm not familiar with AMD stuff right now)
A8-3400 is the cpu
They have a mini ITX case. I have my own personal preferences when it comes to cases, and I won't buy the cheap ones anymore, and I only use aluminum cases. Also if you choose mini-itx case, you need a mini-itx format MB. Also some mini cases can only handle 2.5" HD
RAM will be dependent on the MB you choose.

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post #5 of 8 Old 09-07-2012, 11:26 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yrd View Post

That little case they use will be limited by a single hard drive. You need to determine how much space you need and decide will that be enough for you. I think 3TB is the max you can get now in a single drive. But, you could always have an external HD or NAS or raid box.
What I would suggest you do is read reviews from newegg or amazon. Take the parts they use and compare brands. Lot's of reviewers like to list their hardware setup on newegg, and describe how they use the gear. I'm guessing there will be a lot of server/HTPC makers for this type of hardware.
I have personal favorite brands I use when I shop for hardware. I would look at the hardware they've used, if you want to stick to their price limit. Newegg sometimes has barebones systems or motherboard/cpu bundles you can check out. Combo deals too, buy one piece of hardware and get a discount with another piece of hardware.
A75m looks like the MB chipset (I'm not familiar with AMD stuff right now)
A8-3400 is the cpu
They have a mini ITX case. I have my own personal preferences when it comes to cases, and I won't buy the cheap ones anymore, and I only use aluminum cases. Also if you choose mini-itx case, you need a mini-itx format MB. Also some mini cases can only handle 2.5" HD
RAM will be dependent on the MB you choose.

Thanks for the advice. I am completely fine with the 2TB drive that is listed in the life hacker build. I currently operate with much less than that, but I also don't go for the highest quality video files and have deleted downloads in the past that I knew I could redownload.

The price limit is not a budget issue, but more of a matter of what is reasonable. I just don't think its necessary to get carried away building a supercomputer that will only be hooked up to my tv.

Thanks for the advice. I'll check out these items on newegg to see what people are saying.
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post #6 of 8 Old 09-07-2012, 03:52 PM
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Should note that those "Green" hard drives are, imo, a bit of a marketing gimmick. It has a lower power consumption and lower cost because it's a low rpm drive. But rather then calling it a 5400rpm drive and turning off customers they call it "Green" and people don't mind as much. The "Black" drives are the regular 7200rpm drives. (Should note that the green drive is actually a bit faster then a 5400 rpm, but the basic premise remains)

Not that an HTPC really *needs* a 7200rpm drive but your most likely going to be working with large files and it definitely helps to have the faster drive.

Also you might find yourself a bit disspointed if you try to game on an A4. It's barely going to scratch the surface. An A8 would be much better, or even hold off for a while until the Trinity chipset gets a foot hold as it's even more designed towards gaming performance.

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post #7 of 8 Old 09-07-2012, 05:39 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by krimson View Post

Should note that those "Green" hard drives are, imo, a bit of a marketing gimmick. It has a lower power consumption and lower cost because it's a low rpm drive. But rather then calling it a 5400rpm drive and turning off customers they call it "Green" and people don't mind as much. The "Black" drives are the regular 7200rpm drives. (Should note that the green drive is actually a bit faster then a 5400 rpm, but the basic premise remains)
Not that an HTPC really *needs* a 7200rpm drive but your most likely going to be working with large files and it definitely helps to have the faster drive.
Also you might find yourself a bit disspointed if you try to game on an A4. It's barely going to scratch the surface. An A8 would be much better, or even hold off for a while until the Trinity chipset gets a foot hold as it's even more designed towards gaming performance.

Yeah. I was going to shoot for the a8, but after reading reviews from other websites, I heard about the new line coming out. I can definitely wait a few months. I'm sure there will be some good guides to building htpcs once the new chips are out. Thanks!
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post #8 of 8 Old 09-16-2012, 09:04 PM
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Lack of an SSD would be a fail for me.
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