I appreciate both of your thoughts.
Originally Posted by Mfusick
First- The CPU. Nice choice but you can find i3's for $80-$100. You can also get the Microcenter combo of the i5 3570k+ that motherboard your looking at for $50 off. Basically making the 3570k i5 CPU $169-50=$119. Same price your paying for the i3. The i5 is better at the same price.
I'd look for a sub $100ish i3 or just go with the i5 for the same money.
That Microcenter deal is good. I'm in Vancouver, Canada though, and Microcenter won't ship here. For US sites that do, shipping costs are generwlly prohibitive. So I'm confined to Canadian retailers and I don't expect many of you to have a finger on the pulse of those prices.
No such combo deal exists here with the 3570k. The cheapest I can get that CPU alone is $210.
Nor can I seem to find any i3s for less than $100 in Canada.
I chose the i3-3225 primarily for the Intel 4000 graphics, hoping that it would allow me to play some games, and for the (perhaps unnecessary?) performance bump allowing me to stream to two tvs and download in the background.
The 3225 seems to be marginally more expensive than a 2nd gen i3. The difference isn't $40-50 like it seems to be in the US, more like $15-$25 more expensive than a 2100. The 3225 seems to be the best deal in my circumstances, for anything mid-tier or above. I will continue to search around though.
An alternative would be to go Celeron/G540,but that would be a different (budget) build entirely. This is indeed an option. I saw your thread http://www.avsforum.com/t/1404685/cheapest-ever-htpc-thats-decent-proud-of-myself
and I've been considering something similar, myself.
If anyone cares: why do Canadians pay so much more for the same product in US?Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
Years ago the Canadian dollar was valued low because we were (and in large part still are) an export-based economy. A low CDN $ is good for exporting because it's attractive to those who buy/import raw materials. In 2004 the CDN$ was probably valued at about .55 to $1USD. North American retailers implemented a two tiered price system in response. CDN prices were inflated by as much as 40% to make up for the difference in currency value.
Since 07/08 global recession the value of the CDN $ has increased, mainly on the strength of a strong housing market and a bullet-proof banking system. These are low-risk investments and became attractive at a time when global markets became uncertain. An influx of investment money caused the $CDN to be at or near par, or exceed $USD, daily, since. The two tiered inflated price system still exists, however, so we pay more dollars for the same products with equal or more valuable currency. In effect this is an unjustifiable tax imposed by retailers, and amounts to gouging.
That this has gone on for 5+ years is ridiculous.
Next- You probably do no need a CPU cooler. The stock intel cooler is very good and very quiet.
The motherboard- Why do you think you need the PRO 4 for $105 INSTEAD OF the PRO 3 for $89 ? I doubt you do. Save the $15 and use that to get 8GB DDR3 1600mhz instead.
That bring me to my next personal choice- 8GB over 4GB. For $15 here I think it future proofs and adds more performance for the same cost as the $15 on the PRO4 board. Step down on the motherboard and double your RAM.
Totally agree on the 8 gb, and thanks for the heads up on the Pro 3. It turns out that price matching the H77 works out to $2 more than the B75 (I have to pay $10shipping for the 79.99 B75 - but can pick up the H77 locally for $92 with $0 shipping), so I think I'll keep the Pro 4 for the $2. I realize now that there's not much of a difference between the two (for my uses). If not for the shipping cost I'd have gone with the Pro 3 on your advice.
Your HDD Seagate is a very nice choice. 3TB Seagate drive is awesome. I have a few of them. Quiet, fast, reliable and power efficient. I use them in my server. I'd buy more and recommend for sure.
Thanks, it seems that Seagate/WD is kind of a Coke/Pepsi kind of thing. Being new to this I don't have a preference for either.
I've been told by others to ditch the 7200 RPM and get the same drive at 5400 RPM for power and heat considerations. In your opinion, does this ring true if the prices are the same? My understanding is that these 7200 drives are new models and improved in many respects, and better HDDs overall. If same price I feel like I should go with this drive over the older model at 5400 RPM.
Your SSD I disagree: I would not buy that Crucial M4 128GB SSD unless you held a gun to my head. The Samsung 830 is generally a better performer and better choice- for a lower cost.
Samsung is considered rock solid in reliability.
I've seen a number of threads in which you've expressed a passionate hate for M4s. I bought one for my wife's laptop in the summer and we've had no issues.
But, your complete disdain has convinced me. I'm ditching the M4 now and forever, solely on the basis of your sheer hatred for them. You appear wholly credible and are far more knowledgeable than I, so I'm just going to follow you on this.
The Samsung deals that you pointed out are not available here, but I can get the 830 for the same price as the M4.
The Vertex 4 is available but $4 more than the 830. Is there any reason to do that?
Very last you can simply download the windows 7 ISO and install it. Buy a keycode. It's cheaper and easier than buying a retail copy of windows.
If you need a link just ask. It's perfectly legal. just register it with MS over the phone.
I already have a win7 on a bootable USB so this would be helpful. I would love to know how to get a key.
I appreciate all of your insight. I've tweaked a bit and have a slightly varied build below.
Originally Posted by flocko
4) I used a tower for my first htpc and hated it. Wife gave me continuous crap about how it looked . I would go with one of the Silverstone modles . The one u posted is VERY nice (GD05B) and the 08B is killer as well .
5) If your going to game heavy , yes, COD is heavy by htpc standards then you will need a discrete vid card.
As far as cable co. sports packages and the other "stuff" . I use a Ceton Infinity 4 pci-e tv tuner card with a cable card and tuning adapter from Time Warner . Gets me away from a set top box but not a complete cut of the cord . Keep in mind that cable cards are a "one way" transmission so no on demand services will be available. A complete cut of the cord is a whole new way of life so you better be prepared.
I decided to go with the Silverstone. Thanks.
I (blindly) hoped that Intel 4000 would handle COD. I see that that's not true . It's not a priority at this time, but I guess I'll keep an eye out for GPU deals over the coming weeks. Thanks.
If I need dedicated graphics, does that make the 3225 redundant?
Where I live, options seem to be "very expensive cable" or "no cable at all", so a tuner card doesn't seem to be viable. I'm interested in learning more about OTA later on, though.I've revised the build
I've made some changes based on comments here and some other forums. I scrapping the Blue-Ray player. I have a pS3 for the time being so I can wait for a screaming deal on a BRD.
Prices are a bit lower than previous because my local merchant matches (Canadian) competitor prices + 25% of the difference (PM prices won't show up in the links provided).
Intel Core i3 3225 Dual Core Hyperthreading Processor LGA1155 3.3GHZ Ivy Bridge 3MB Retail Box - $129.99
AsRock H77Pro 4 M w/ DDR3, 7.1 Audio, Gigabit Lan, CrossFireX / SLI - $92.41
G.SKILLRipjaws X Series 8GB PC3-12800 Dual Channel DDR3 Kit (2 x 4GB) - $33.74
Samsung 830 Series SATA III Solid State Drive, 128GB - $96.58 (Alternatively Vertex 4 for 101.24)
Seagate 3TB Barracuda 7200rpm SATA III w/ 64MB Cache - $127.49
Silverstone GD05B HTPC Case w/ USB 3.0, Black - $93.47
Logitech K400 Wireless Touch Keyboard - $38.47
Asus DRW-24B1ST 24x DVD-RW Drive, SATA, Black, OEM - $16.24
PC Power and Cooling Silencer Mk III 400W Power Supply - $33.53
$721.35 after taxes (argh!).Total
I still need an OS.
Alternatively I'm thinking of scrapping gaming potential and going with something more in tune with a "true" HTPC (Celeron based / around $400) and picking up a Y580 for laptop/gaming needs. I'm still looking into piecing together the latter.
If I do need a dedicated GPU for this machine to make it reasonably game worthy, is it wise to scrap the above CPU altogether, and look for something less powerful/ cheaper, and add a $100-$150 GPU instead?
ie - intel GTX 650 TI 1 GB.GDDR5 was just priced at $112.00, although that deal is over. Maybe pair with a $40 Celeron?
If I do pick up a mid-tier GPU at some point - is the 400W PSU above sufficient?
Thanks again to both of you.