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post #1 of 13 Old 07-25-2012, 11:43 PM - Thread Starter
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Been reading this forum for awhile. First post.

I'm preparing to build a front end client for my SageTV server (headless, Q8400, 2GB RAM). I'm currently using SageTV-branded extenders (and love them) but as most of you know, SageTV is now a part of Google and is no longer selling its software or extenders. Love SageTV but at some point, may have to consider MythTV or Ubuntu TV (or XBMC if the TV functionality catches up)

I've built 6 intel-based desktop PCs in the past. I have nothing against AMD – just each time I went to build, Fry's Electronics had intel CPU/MB combos that were better values.

For this SageTV client, I was initially leaning towards the Llano platform w/ a small SSD, and in a SFF case but I read that the AMD APUs use more power and thus get hotter than SB i3's. Because of power, heat, and noise, I definitely want IGP and not discrete graphics. This front end client will be connected to my wired network via cat5. I have an unused (and legal) copy of Win7 64 Home Premium laying around here.

I watch HD TV via HDHR and analog TV with Hauppauge tuners. With the help of Handbrake, I watch ripped DVD's from an atom-based Ubuntu NAS box. I don't yet own or watch any BD's but want to in the future. I know very little about video codecs needed or HD audio bitstreaming but will figure it out as I go.

Questions:
  1. So if I stick w/ the SB i3's, is the cheapest entry level sufficient (i3-2100?) It has HD2000 graphics but no idea how that IGP compares w/ the HD3000 graphics on the i3-2105.
  2. Or wait until until the Ivy Bridge i3's come out w/ HD4000? They look to be considerably more pricey, >$200.
  3. I see that some of the intel i3's have a "T" in the model number. I believe that is an indicator that they consume less power and can thus be used w/ a smaller fan? Am I correct? And I assume an i3 with this "T" designation is desirable in a SFF front end build, correct? Or is a smaller fan a louder fan because its spinning at a higher rpm?
  4. And what's with a SB Pentium? Is that the same Northwood Pentium I used to build my first PC back in 2002? biggrin.gif Seriously, how does the IGP on the G620 compare to HD2000 or HD3000? (That Northwood Pentium is still chugging along very nicely in my Untangle Router)
  5. 4GB RAM sufficient?

Lastly, I like the idea of a little more horsepower in the CPU in the event that I decide later to repurpose the computer for other tasks (i.e. i3 CPU > Llano CPU).

I saw Assassin's guide on this forum and it is a treasure trove of recommendations. Still not sure yet which case is the best blend of small but with good ventilation (assume ATX PSU is louder than pico?)

Thanks in advance (and apologies for the long post)
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post #2 of 13 Old 07-27-2012, 05:17 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jammor View Post

Questions:
  1. So if I stick w/ the SB i3's, is the cheapest entry level sufficient (to play back all HD content streamed from a server) (i3-2100?) It has HD2000 graphics but no idea how that IGP compares w/ the HD3000 graphics on the i3-2105.
  2. Or (should I) wait until until the Ivy Bridge i3's come out w/ HD4000? They look to be considerably more pricey, >$200.
  3. I see that some of the intel i3's have a "T" in the model number. I believe that is an indicator that they consume less power and can thus be used w/ a smaller fan? Am I correct? And I assume an i3 with this "T" designation is desirable in a SFF front end build, correct? Or is a smaller fan a louder fan because its spinning at a higher rpm?
  4. How does the IGP on the G620 compare to HD2000 or HD3000?
  5. 4GB RAM sufficient?


Bump

Thoughts?
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post #3 of 13 Old 07-27-2012, 05:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jammor View Post

Bump
Thoughts?

#1 Get the 2105 . It will do just about anything you need to do other than heavy gaming .

# 2 No you should not wait . Get an Intel based board that will support the new ivy with a bios update (z68 and up) . Personally , I like to stay one model back on cpu . Upgrade to Ivy when Haswell comes out . That's when ivy will be affordable .

# 3 Yes the "T" consumes less power and comes with a lower profile fan that as far as I know is not appreciably louder

# 4 I don't know but getting ready to find out as I am moving to a G620 htpc very shortly. I doubt the difference ( except for 3d support ... lack there of) will be very much as the G620 is a VERY capable cpu . Again , no heavy gaming . After all , it is a htpc , right ?

# 5 Yes , 4 gig ramm is plenty but 8 giggs is really just pennies more and gives a great amount of head room . Personally , with ramm prices the way they are now I would not consider buying less tan 8 giggs . Now if ramm prices start climbing then I would change my mind .

A really great read to help you make some choices and answer some of your questions . If your serious then I highly recommend getting the paid version . I personally have a subscription to the htpc and server guides and if you think the free stuff is good .... WOW , wait till you see the paid stuff . Best $ 25 I ever spent and not just for htpc but for PC (s) in general . A lot of these recommendations of parts and such would make nice desk top units as well cool.gif

http://assassinhtpcblog.com/
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post #4 of 13 Old 08-27-2012, 03:09 PM - Thread Starter
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still thinking about this...

I really like the value / performance of the g620. Trying to decide to pair it with an Nvidia 430 or AMD 6570. Would love to go fanless GPU if possible. Good main board for g620?

Thoughts?
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post #5 of 13 Old 08-27-2012, 03:10 PM - Thread Starter
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Also, I read where the memory speed for the g620 is limited to 1066. For a dedicated htpc, should I care?
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post #6 of 13 Old 08-28-2012, 11:13 AM
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The G620/G620t/G630/G630t are more than sufficient for a HTPC. No discrete video card necessary.
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post #7 of 13 Old 08-28-2012, 04:24 PM
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Originally Posted by cdru View Post

The G620/G620t/G630/G630t are more than sufficient for a HTPC. No discrete video card necessary.

Yep , 100 % true

Running a G620 in my htpc and works great .
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post #8 of 13 Old 08-28-2012, 04:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jammor View Post

still thinking about this...
I really like the value / performance of the g620. Trying to decide to pair it with an Nvidia 430 or AMD 6570. Would love to go fanless GPU if possible. Good main board for g620?
Thoughts?

If your getting serious , which I know u are then it would be about time to post a budget . Set it as high as you can . Doesen't mean you have to spend it all but you need to plan for the unexpected part or piece you did not plan on . Trust me, it will happen . We can help reduce that by running through your build with a fine tooth comb but even so , something will pop up that you need.
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post #9 of 13 Old 08-28-2012, 04:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jammor View Post

Also, I read where the memory speed for the g620 is limited to 1066. For a dedicated htpc, should I care?

No , you should not care .

Again , your not supporting NASA with this computer . What it takes to run a nice htpc reliably barring heavy gaming and photo editing blagh , blagh , is surprisingly low

BTW .... apologies to the forum . I could have ( should have ) multi quoted .redface.gif
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post #10 of 13 Old 08-28-2012, 05:42 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by flocko View Post

If your getting serious , which I know u are then it would be about time to post a budget . Set it as high as you can . Doesen't mean you have to spend it all but you need to plan for the unexpected part or piece you did not plan on . Trust me, it will happen . We can help reduce that by running through your build with a fine tooth comb but even so , something will pop up that you need.

Thank you for your time.

Here's what I bought this weekend at the local Fry's electronics:
  • case - CM elite 361 - $50
  • psu - antec 430W - $45 (didn't like the trash psu that comes in the case)
  • ssd - 60gb MSI reflex - $60
  • cpu - a6-3500 - $70
  • mb - asus F1A75M - $95
  • mem - crucial ballistix 2x4gb - $37
  • asus oem dvd burner - $25

For a total of ~$382 before taxes. I have an unused Win7 64 license sitting here.

As I mentioned earlier in this thread, my current watching needs are pretty basic: live and recorded TV from a headless server and ripped DVDs. I don't yet own or watch any BDs but would like to at some point.

I'd like to stay in the $350-$400 and what I've bought so far does this. However, the more I read the more I'm convinced the g620 is the better value compared to anything Llano. And if my needs change and me or the family wants to start watching BDs, I can add discrete video card later pretty cheaply.

I plan to return the cpu, mb, and memory this week and go to newegg to get the g620 and 8gb of memory but I have no idea what 1155 mb to be considering as there are a bunch. The local Fry's electronics doesn't carry the g620 but does carry a pentium g8xx and a celeron 5xx (don't remember the model #s or prices).

Thoughts on this planned intel build?
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post #11 of 13 Old 08-28-2012, 07:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jammor View Post

Thank you for your time.
Here's what I bought this weekend at the local Fry's electronics:
  • case - CM elite 361 - $50
  • psu - antec 430W - $45 (didn't like the trash psu that comes in the case)
  • ssd - 60gb MSI reflex - $60
  • cpu - a6-3500 - $70
  • mb - asus F1A75M - $95
  • mem - crucial ballistix 2x4gb - $37
  • asus oem dvd burner - $25
For a total of ~$382 before taxes. I have an unused Win7 64 license sitting here.
As I mentioned earlier in this thread, my current watching needs are pretty basic: live and recorded TV from a headless server and ripped DVDs. I don't yet own or watch any BDs but would like to at some point.
I'd like to stay in the $350-$400 and what I've bought so far does this. However, the more I read the more I'm convinced the g620 is the better value compared to anything Llano. And if my needs change and me or the family wants to start watching BDs, I can add discrete video card later pretty cheaply.
I plan to return the cpu, mb, and memory this week and go to newegg to get the g620 and 8gb of memory but I have no idea what 1155 mb to be considering as there are a bunch. The local Fry's electronics doesn't carry the g620 but does carry a pentium g8xx and a celeron 5xx (don't remember the model #s or prices).
Thoughts on this planned intel build?


Honestly , I don't know why you want to return those parts. Not a big fan of amd but a ton of folks use them and have great success with them . Not a fan of that case either . It screams teenage mu tin turtles if you know what i mean .

How about a firm decision on AMD or Intel first ? You've bounced around a few times .

First ,
The psu , ramm, ssd and dvd are fine . Again the case is up to you but one with out a window would be a bit more sedate and htpc friendly. If you like it though , hey ... keep it .

Are you stuck on a micro atx board ? Let's settle on a form factor . Then we can get a list of basically a cpu ( G620) and a mother board . I really have come to like asus . I hear that ASrock has some good boards that are reasonably priced and I have had some great personal luck with gigabyte as well , the UD3 for example . You will pay a tad more for an Intel board . If you can give a few answers to these questions we can move on pretty quick .



http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131831

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128554

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157325

Just something for u to look at and think about .
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post #12 of 13 Old 08-29-2012, 05:51 PM - Thread Starter
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Honestly , I don't know why you want to return those parts. Not a big fan of amd but a ton of folks use them and have great success with them . Not a fan of that case either . It screams teenage mu tin turtles if you know what i mean .

Frankly, I'm not a fan of the case either but when I was planning to get all the components from Fry's it made sense and they don't have a big selection of HTPC cases. I'm looking at them on newegg now. Suggestions?

Quote:
Originally Posted by flocko View Post

How about a firm decision on AMD or Intel first ? You've bounced around a few times .

Intel G620.

Quote:
Originally Posted by flocko View Post

Are you stuck on a micro atx board ? Let's settle on a form factor . Then we can get a list of basically a cpu ( G620) and a mother board . I really have come to like asus . I hear that ASrock has some good boards that are reasonably priced and I have had some great personal luck with gigabyte as well , the UD3 for example . You will pay a tad more for an Intel board . If you can give a few answers to these questions we can move on pretty quick .
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131831
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128554
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157325
Just something for u to look at and think about .

Yes, I prefer the micro ATX for size and cost benefits. Don't need a full size ATX with the extra expansion slots and such. I'll take a closer look at these boards. The ASRock looks interesting and <$100 is good too. I've built with Gigabyte, Asus, Intel, and MSI boards with good results.

follow up questions:

  1. In the event I decide to play BDs with more advanced audio / surround, does the main board need to have any special built in audio decoders and/or audio outputs? Or does this all flow through HDMI? I noticed the audio outputs are different on the boards. I've spent very little time on hardware audio.
  2. Should I just buy the cheapest 1066 2x4gb RAM?


Thanks.
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post #13 of 13 Old 08-31-2012, 01:51 PM - Thread Starter
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updated list:


I already have a 60GB SSD and Win7 64 license. The most difficult decision is the case so would appreciate feedback from anyone here who has built with one. Especially concerning psu, optical drive, and cpu cooler fit in the case.

Thoughts?
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