Critique my "budget build" - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 25 Old 11-20-2012, 02:59 PM - Thread Starter
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After exhaustively reading Assassin's HTPC build guide and browsing a few more places I came up with the following "budget build." As I've stated before, my HTPC needs are quite modest compared to most. Basically I'm just looking for more flexibility than a Roku or Boxee unit offers, but not a full on 3D/gaming unit. This HTPC needs to:

Playback 1080p content from internet sources (Netflix, Hulu, etc...), OTA TV, and cable

Function as a DVR to record said sources (while simultaneously watching another source/channel)

Play DVD, CD, and Blu-Ray discs

Rip DVDs and CDs to the hard disc (not Blu-Rays, just old movies and music that we already have-new stuff we can stream)

Here is my parts list-criticism welcome and encouraged:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811121100&nm_mc=AFC-C8Junction&cm_mmc=AFC-C8Junction-_-na-_-na-_-na&AID=10446076&PID=4176827&SID=1lt4qg3ub4pex
Black 0.7mm Thickness SECC Steel 7K09BBA30FNRX Micro ATX Media Center 300W Power Supply / HTPC Case

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813135288&nm_mc=OTC-pr1c3grabb3r&cm_mmc=OTC-pr1c3grabb3r-_-Motherboards+-+Intel-_-ECS+(EliteGroup)-_-13135288
ECS H61H2-M2(1.0) LGA 1155 Intel H61 HDMI Micro ATX Intel Motherboard

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819116399&Tpk=G620
Intel Pentium G620 Sandy Bridge 2.6GHz LGA 1155 65W Dual-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics BX80623G620

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231643&nm_mc=AFC-C8Junction&cm_mmc=AFC-C8Junction-_-na-_-na-_-na&AID=10446076&PID=4176827&SID=2obfq6urkt8x
G.SKILL NS Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10600) Desktop Memory Model F3-1333C9D-8GNS

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822152379
SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 ST1000DL004 / HD105SI 1TB 5400 RPM 32KB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827106374&nm_mc=OTC-pr1c3grabb3r&cm_mmc=OTC-pr1c3grabb3r-_-Blu-Ray+Drives-_-Lite-On-_-27106374
LITE-ON Black 12X BD-ROM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-ROM SATA Internal Internal 12X Blu-ray Combo Model ihes112-04 - OEM

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16815116037
Hauppauge WinTV-HVR-2250 Dual TV Tuner w/ MPEG-2 Encoder PCI-E x1 - OEM

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16880101002
Rosewill RRC-126 Windows Vista/Window7 MCE/Windows 8 MCE Infrared Remote Control

With the cost of Windows 7 (I get an employer discount) I think I can do it all for about $545-thoughts?
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post #2 of 25 Old 11-20-2012, 03:08 PM
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You seem budget conscious so I would get the G630 over the G620 for 5$ cheaper.

I'd also get the 39$ MSI z68 board newegg had instead if the lower quality H61.

Wait for a few Black Friday deals.

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post #3 of 25 Old 11-20-2012, 03:09 PM
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Oh and there's a deal on the faster/better DDR3 to match the z68 chipset.

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post #4 of 25 Old 11-20-2012, 03:29 PM
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post #5 of 25 Old 11-20-2012, 03:58 PM
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http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16

819116406&nm_mc=EMC-IGNEFL111912&cm_mmc=EMC-IGNEFL111912-_-EMC-111912-Index-_-ProcessorsDesktops-_-19116406-L012A

http://promotions.newegg.com/NEemail/Nov-0-2012/Pre-BF_72Hs-19/index-landing.html?nm_mc=EMC-IGNEFL111912&cm_mmc=EMC-IGNEFL111912-_-EMC-111912-Index-_-E0-_-EnterSale

EMCJJJH36 code. 54$

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post #6 of 25 Old 11-20-2012, 05:52 PM
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Badfish740,

I have the same ECS mobo with a G620 & it works just fine. Sometimes the mobo goes on sale for about $25 & IIRC once it was only $15. I'm not saying it's the best but it works for me. It does have only 3 slots but that's all I needed, two PCIe x1 and one PCIe x16. Has HDMI output & also a SPDIF header on the mobo in case you need digital coax audio out.

The Rosewill RRC-126 also works quite well. They give you a software disc but no clear explanation what it really does. It is used if you want to use and/or make Netflix a default with remote. But there is no need to install any software in order to use the remote with WMC.
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post #7 of 25 Old 11-20-2012, 06:09 PM
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OP- if you really want save cash I'd take look at this:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16856119062&nm_mc=OTC-pr1c3grabb3r&cm_mmc=OTC-pr1c3grabb3r-_-Barebone+Systems-_-Foxconn-_-56119062

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post #8 of 25 Old 11-20-2012, 06:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

You seem budget conscious so I would get the G630 over the G620 for 5$ cheaper.

Or the G540 for $50 (I'm using a G530, and it's perfectly adequate for non-3D material).

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819116408

Michael


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Did you really need to quote that entire post in your reply?
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post #9 of 25 Old 11-20-2012, 06:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Badfish740 View Post
Play DVD, CD, and Blu-Ray discs
 

For BD, you'll need software, TMT5 or PowerDVD. Otherwise, you'll need to rip with MakeMKV then play it back with standard stuff.


Downloadable FREE demo discs:
http://www.avsforum.com/t/1475769/de...ently-authored 

Did you really need to quote that entire post in your reply?
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post #10 of 25 Old 11-21-2012, 08:46 AM - Thread Starter
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Wow-didn't even know these were out there-thanks! It looks like this would save quite a bit of time and money-looking forward to learning more about them. Of course now I see that it's sold out. Is that because it was such a low price or do they always discount them that much? Will they go on sale that low again once they get more in?
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post #11 of 25 Old 11-21-2012, 09:56 AM
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http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822148844&nm_mc=OTC-pr1c3grabb3r&cm_mmc=OTC-pr1c3grabb3r-_-Hard+Drives-_-Seagate-_-22148844


89$ 3TB too

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post #12 of 25 Old 11-21-2012, 10:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LastButNotLeast View Post

For BD, you'll need software, TMT5 or PowerDVD. Otherwise, you'll need to rip with MakeMKV then play it back with standard stuff.

Corel has a black friday sale with WinDVD 11 marked down to $40. I preferred TMT5 with my trials, but that's a good price on the software and probably the cheapest for a retail media software.

Also, if your system specs are lower you could always speed things up with a faster HDD. I wish I'd seen this post previously. Newegg had a 300 GB WD Velociraptor drive for $70 and it made system responsiveness a lot better. Personally, I think the HDD is the slowest component, even with just the OS on the drive everything is speed up. I think you're build looks good and will get the job done. I hope you enjoy it when it's all set up.biggrin.gif
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post #13 of 25 Old 11-21-2012, 11:09 AM
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That's why it should be illegal to use a HDD instead SSD for OS

Even velociraptor 10k rpm are terribly slow for OS installations.

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post #14 of 25 Old 11-21-2012, 11:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Badfish740 View Post

Wow-didn't even know these were out there-thanks! It looks like this would save quite a bit of time and money-looking forward to learning more about them. Of course now I see that it's sold out. Is that because it was such a low price or do they always discount them that much? Will they go on sale that low again once they get more in?

Sorry I missed this earlier.

Yes it should come back in stock.

One of those with a 49$ vertex3 SSD 120gb.

Some $20 ddr3 1600mhz 8gb

You have a decent little HTPC cheap.

You could at 3tb of storage for 89$ with the Seagate drive I linked too

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post #15 of 25 Old 11-21-2012, 03:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

That's why it should be illegal to use a HDD instead SSD for OS
Even velociraptor 10k rpm are terribly slow for OS installations.

I must be the only one on the planet not impressed with switching to an SSD. If you shut down your computer or restart it frequently for some reason, boot times will be much faster. But if you put the computer to sleep, waking up is not that much faster, and I noticed almost no improvement in Media Browser, TMT, or other programs loading and running. And, of course, your media files are on HDD, so they aren't affected at all.

Just so you know you're not totally missing out if you need to put the OS on an HDD.


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post #16 of 25 Old 11-21-2012, 06:49 PM
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Your the only one. You must have fine something wrong.

For me it's night and day.

I can't operate a PC without SSD. It's way too slow.

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post #17 of 25 Old 11-21-2012, 06:54 PM
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@LastButNotLeast: You have AHCI selected\enabled in BIOS right? and what OS?
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post #18 of 25 Old 11-21-2012, 07:13 PM
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Something was obviously wrong. No modern hardware build with quality SSD couldn't be noticeably improved vs a HDD.

That's impossible.

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post #19 of 25 Old 11-21-2012, 08:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sidefx79 View Post

@LastButNotLeast: You have AHCI selected\enabled in BIOS right? and what OS?

Yes. Win 7 whatever (as per Assassin).

Speed tests show it's working (I think), I'm just not impressed with much of a difference in normal usage, and I think his money is better spent elsewhere. 

I've tried different ports (it's SATA 3, 6Gb/s, as is the mb, which makes absolutely no difference to it or the HDDs I have), drivers, the usual stuff (I've been doing this type of thing for more decades than I care to admit). It's not that I'm unhappy, I just don't seem to be as enthused as everyone else.

And if you're putting together a "budget build" (as was my original plan, too), a separate partition on a big HDD works fine.


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post #20 of 25 Old 11-21-2012, 09:22 PM
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That tuner has limited usability. Fine if your source is an antenna and OTA but for cable, most systems have limited NTSC and Clear QAM, if any. The FCC basically gave CATV companies free reign to scramble everything so even if you still have Analog and Clear QAM on your cable don't count on it lasting.
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post #21 of 25 Old 11-21-2012, 10:35 PM
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if you have a MicroCenter near by, the G550 is $34.99 and its sufficient for HTPC, use some of the money saved from not picking up the Pentium processor and upgrade to SSD. way better investment and it'll run a lot smoother and faster.

instead of the TV Tuner you chose, I'd get an HDHomeRun Dual, it plugs into your router, and to your cable line.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16815345007

8gb for 31.99 is pretty good, MicroCenter has 4gb for 17.99 if you really wanted to save more money, and 4gb is plenty. some of my HTPC's have 2gb smile.gif
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post #22 of 25 Old 11-22-2012, 04:28 AM
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Superbiz has great CPU prices btw.

You can get better CPU for like $50.

G850 or 860 is basically an i3 for $10 more.

If you looking at g530 for $35 you can step up for small charge and still stay well under i3 prices.

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post #23 of 25 Old 11-22-2012, 06:50 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fventura03 View Post

instead of the TV Tuner you chose, I'd get an HDHomeRun Dual, it plugs into your router, and to your cable line.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16815345007
Quote:
Originally Posted by olyteddy View Post

That tuner has limited usability. Fine if your source is an antenna and OTA but for cable, most systems have limited NTSC and Clear QAM, if any. The FCC basically gave CATV companies free reign to scramble everything so even if you still have Analog and Clear QAM on your cable don't count on it lasting.

I'm a little confused-I was told that the Hauppauge tuner would take a cable card (looks like a credit card) from my cable company that I would have to rent for $1.50 a month or so instead of a box and that would allow me access to all channels. Am I not understanding this correctly? Does the HDHomeRun Dual accept a cable card?
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post #24 of 25 Old 11-22-2012, 07:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

Your the only one. You must have fine something wrong.
For me it's night and day.
I can't operate a PC without SSD. It's way too slow.

He's not the only one. biggrin.gif


For a regular machine sure, especially as affordable as SSD's are becoming vs their performance. For a budget HTPC however...budget being the key word here...it is hardly necessary. Even the $40 or so you can get a 64gb one for is better spent on a TB or 2 larger hdd if not simply saved to lower the overall cost of the machine. Except for startup and shut down, they really dont add enough to be considered essential on an HTPC. With or without doesnt make any difference with any video playback, and while they can make menu transitions and such slightly faster in some cases moving around the software frontend, it will hardly make or break the experience.

Out of 4 pc's in my home, the HTPC is the only one without one and I still have no intention on adding one due to this. I actually did give in to that notion once before....decided screw it, they are really cheap, why not after coming across another good deal after all my other machines already had em. Set it up in the HTPC and wasnt all that impressed with the difference. Since the SSD was identical to the one in my main desktop, I pulled it from the HTPC to use in the desktop in raid configuration where it would be much better served. smile.gif
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post #25 of 25 Old 11-22-2012, 05:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Badfish740 View Post

I'm a little confused-I was told that the Hauppauge tuner would take a cable card (looks like a credit card) from my cable company that I would have to rent for $1.50 a month or so instead of a box and that would allow me access to all channels. Am I not understanding this correctly? Does the HDHomeRun Dual accept a cable card?
No, but the HDHR Prime does: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16815345006&Tpk=HD%20Homerun%20prime. This Hauppauge does cable card: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16815116072 as does this Ceton: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16815706001. If your source is cable I wouldn't bother with a Clear QAM tuner unless you want to gamble that your cable provider isn't going to turn it into a doorstop.
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