1st HTPC build. Please look it over and tell me what you think! - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 20 Old 09-21-2012, 11:05 PM - Thread Starter
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I've been wanting to build an HTPC for a while now and I've been scouring the internet looking for tips and ideas. After a few weeks of endless debating, I've settled on this:

Case: IN WIN BP-Series BP671.200BL Black Steel Mini-ITX Tower S.F.F Slim Chassis (Ultra Small Form Factor) 200W Power Supply

Motherboard: ASRock A75M-ITX FM1

CPU: AMD A6-3650 Llano 2.6GHz Socket FM1 100W Quad-Core Desktop APU

RAM: G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3

Am I missing anything? Do you think the power supply that comes with the case will be adequate? Thanks for the help guys!
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post #2 of 20 Old 09-21-2012, 11:09 PM
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I would wait for trinity at this point. As for llano I recommend the a6 3500 65w chip.
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post #3 of 20 Old 09-21-2012, 11:38 PM
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Don't bother with Trinity. My own build I built a few days back:

http://www.avsforum.com/t/1429850/my-dirt-cheap-300-htpc-build-please-rate

For a basic playback only HTPC, it suffices. AMD's APU's are rather crap on the CPU side, their single threaded performance is weak compared to Intel's.
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post #4 of 20 Old 09-22-2012, 01:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tiddles88 View Post

Don't bother with Trinity. My own build I built a few days back:
http://www.avsforum.com/t/1429850/my-dirt-cheap-300-htpc-build-please-rate
For a basic playback only HTPC, it suffices. AMD's APU's are rather crap on the CPU side, their single threaded performance is weak compared to Intel's.

But at least with his Llano build, he could do some light gaming.

In terms of LFE, size does matter!
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post #5 of 20 Old 09-22-2012, 07:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Favelle View Post

But at least with his Llano build, he could do some light gaming.

Did he mention somewhere that he was a gamer? Most people on avs are not gamers.


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post #6 of 20 Old 09-22-2012, 08:36 AM
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You should have used a intel i5 or i7 cpu. also i would go for 650 watt or bigger power supply 200 watts is kind of weak.
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Originally Posted by scolson1 View Post

I've been wanting to build an HTPC for a while now and I've been scouring the internet looking for tips and ideas. After a few weeks of endless debating, I've settled on this:
Case: IN WIN BP-Series BP671.200BL Black Steel Mini-ITX Tower S.F.F Slim Chassis (Ultra Small Form Factor) 200W Power Supply
Motherboard: ASRock A75M-ITX FM1
CPU: AMD A6-3650 Llano 2.6GHz Socket FM1 100W Quad-Core Desktop APU
RAM: G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3
Am I missing anything? Do you think the power supply that comes with the case will be adequate? Thanks for the help guys!
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post #7 of 20 Old 09-22-2012, 10:20 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the help! I chose the llano because I do like to do light gaming every now and then. Mostly emulators. Also, since it has the integrated graphics, it's one less thing to buy. I was concerned about the power supply. That's one area where I can't get a straight answer online. Some people say choose the smallest supply you can get by with. Others say go for the overkill. I really like the case, but I have no problem swapping out the power supply. What I'd really like is a fairly quiet HTPC; it doesn't have to be totally silent, I'm not that anal. Just something that doesn't sound like a jet engine. Any suggestions on that? Also, what kind of SSD should I be looking for? I'd love to use it to enable a faster boot up time. Thanks guys. (and girls??)
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post #8 of 20 Old 09-22-2012, 11:29 AM
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Originally Posted by tootal2 View Post

You should have used a intel i5 or i7 cpu. also i would go for 650 watt or bigger power supply 200 watts is kind of weak.

Terrible advice. This is an HTPC, not a gaming rig. Anything better than i3 would be a waste and would generate extra heat which means extra cooling and more noise. Same is true of a way overpowered 650w power supply.

As for the build, if you are going to be doing emulator gaming, note that the AMD better integrated GPU isn't going to be doing as much work as the processor. You may want to look at doing a G630 or i3 and then adding a small GFX card if you run into framerate issues.

200w PSU may be insufficient if you are going to add a bunch of HDDs and/or expansion cards. In this case you could upgrade to a 380w green drive or something but it sounds like this would be unnecessary. The CPU will rarely (if ever) pull the max rated wattage.

As for the SSD, just make sure you get something at least 120-128GB (the sweet spot for pricing ATM). You should be able to get something good for $80 if you wait for an online deal. For example, I picked up an OCZ Vertex 4 128GB for $80 just a couple weeks ago. There is an article floating around somewhere comparing SSD real world performance (boot time etc) and the result is that they are all way better than an HDD and the performance differences between different brands is fairly minimal. People really like the Samsung 830 series and Crucial M4 but I've had great experiences with OCZ (Agility 3 and Vertex 4) in spite of some of the negative reviews. Just make sure you back up your OS drive and get something with a good warranty.
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post #9 of 20 Old 09-22-2012, 11:58 AM - Thread Starter
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Wow. Thanks! That's a ton of good info. All I'll be adding is one or two SSD drives. No Hdd, and no expansion slots. I have an HD home run I'll be using to stream my tv from.
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post #10 of 20 Old 09-22-2012, 01:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by assassin View Post

Did he mention somewhere that he was a gamer? Most people on avs are not gamers.

Did he mention that he wasn't?

In terms of LFE, size does matter!
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post #11 of 20 Old 09-22-2012, 01:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by assassin View Post

Did he mention somewhere that he was a gamer? Most people on avs are not gamers.
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Thanks for the help! I chose the llano because I do like to do light gaming every now and then.

Boo-ya.

In terms of LFE, size does matter!
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post #12 of 20 Old 09-22-2012, 03:05 PM
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my htpc is my gaming rig:) also if you want to save power use a intel ivy brige chip. there 22 nm
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post #13 of 20 Old 09-22-2012, 03:12 PM - Thread Starter
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I found 2 SSDs I'm thinking about getting. Newegg has an OCZ Agility 3 90 GB SSD for $43 after rebate. I'm going to couple it with an OCZ Agility 4 128 GB which is on sale for $84 after rebate. If I need more space, I can easily use an external one. I've got a few extras around the house. How big of a SSD do you need for Windows 7 to boot off of? I'd like to have all my programs and files boot off the 90 GB and use the 128 for actual storage. Is this doable or am I kidding myself?
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post #14 of 20 Old 09-22-2012, 03:16 PM
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My last OCZ SSD died after 2 days. I'd get Tom's Hardware current recommendation - Samsung 830 either 64GB or 128GB. My 64GB SSD has around 32GB left after a Win 7 install. As long as you have drive bays and power plugs, you can install as many SSD's as you want.
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post #15 of 20 Old 09-22-2012, 05:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scolson1 View Post

I found 2 SSDs I'm thinking about getting. Newegg has an OCZ Agility 3 90 GB SSD for $43 after rebate. I'm going to couple it with an OCZ Agility 4 128 GB which is on sale for $84 after rebate. If I need more space, I can easily use an external one. I've got a few extras around the house. How big of a SSD do you need for Windows 7 to boot off of? I'd like to have all my programs and files boot off the 90 GB and use the 128 for actual storage. Is this doable or am I kidding myself?

Without a massive amount of games and apps and programs, a 64GB is what a lot of used for the past little while (before the huge price drops on 120/128GB drives.

OCZ's are fine, just avoid the Petrol series and make sure your firmware is up to date. Also, they tend to run better on SATA-3, not SATA-2.

In terms of LFE, size does matter!
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post #16 of 20 Old 09-22-2012, 05:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Favelle View Post

Boo-ya.

This is a HTPC specific forum and like I said most people are NOT going to be gaming at all (about 3 out of 4 to be exact): http://www.avsforum.com/t/1394442/avs-htpc-census-2012-q1-results

To make a recommendation then about choosing a platform over the other with gaming in mind just isn't knowing your audience. I always ask as its the exception to the rule that need any sort of gaming at all.

Even still the Llano or other iGPU just doesn't make a good gaming machine for anything other than light gaming. And if you are a serious gamer at all its going to be a letdown when you have to start turning off settings, changing the max resolution, etc. A CPU like the G540/620 plus a cheap gaming card is a much better option for about the same or just a little more money.


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post #17 of 20 Old 09-22-2012, 05:35 PM - Thread Starter
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Well if all it takes is a 64, I might just buy 2 of the 90 SSDs since they're so cheap right now. I might install Skype on it since I've already got a separate webcam I use when I hook my laptop up to the tv. Assassin, when I say light gaming, I basically mean VERY infrequent rounds of cheap shareware type games. Nothing intense; that's what I have a PS3 for. By the way, you're the main reason I'm attempting to build this instead of buying an off the shelf system. I've read some of your stuff and it got me curious to try it myself.
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post #18 of 20 Old 09-23-2012, 02:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by assassin View Post

I always ask as its the exception to the rule that need any sort of gaming at all.

But you didn't ask. You assumed. And then when I made my recommendation to go with the Llano, you said it was a bad idea. And the 65xx Radeon on the Llano is quite capable. Runs Diablo3, Torchlight II, Trine and all sorts of nice games just fine.

In terms of LFE, size does matter!
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post #19 of 20 Old 09-23-2012, 05:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Favelle View Post

But you didn't ask. You assumed. And then when I made my recommendation to go with the Llano, you said it was a bad idea. And the 65xx Radeon on the Llano is quite capable. Runs Diablo3, Torchlight II, Trine and all sorts of nice games just fine.

Well you didn't ask either, did you? Anyway, its not the best option for gaming and has almost no upgrade path if you want to stretch from "light" gaming to "moderate" gaming for example.

The Llano gets mentioned as this fantastic option for gaming when really it is not. As I mentioned there are better options for about the same amount of money.


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post #20 of 20 Old 09-23-2012, 03:54 PM
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why not use a intel ivy bridge cpu for a htpc? the ivy bridge chip is only 22nm so it does not use a lot of power.and it has a on chip gpu.
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Well if all it takes is a 64, I might just buy 2 of the 90 SSDs since they're so cheap right now. I might install Skype on it since I've already got a separate webcam I use when I hook my laptop up to the tv. Assassin, when I say light gaming, I basically mean VERY infrequent rounds of cheap shareware type games. Nothing intense; that's what I have a PS3 for. By the way, you're the main reason I'm attempting to build this instead of buying an off the shelf system. I've read some of your stuff and it got me curious to try it myself.
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