Looking to build a Windows 7/8 HTPC for XBMC - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 14 Old 12-04-2012, 10:52 AM - Thread Starter
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I am planning to cut the cord finally after having enough of paying Cox 100 bucks a month for sub-standard entertainment. I contemplated Roku, WDTV, Apple TV etc. but it seems a dedicated Windows/XBMC box would best cover my needs.

My budget is about $300

1. I already have a spare 500 gb hybrid laptop hard drive and a 3 tb external hard drive and therefore need a system that can accommodate a 2.5" hard drive and has USB 3.0 ports. I do not need an optical drive.

2. Ideally I'd like a pre-assembled box that has everything but a hard drive. However I am not averse to assembling everything if it gives me better price/performance.

3. I would like Windows 7/8 on it with XBMC. My primary uses are uTorrent, Netflix, Amazon Prime and streaming online tv (CNN etc.) through my parents' Verizon FIOS login. I would also like to record some of the shows if possible.


What would be the best hardware for these requirements. As of now, I am planning to get this E-i5 AMD A6-5400K mini-ITX barebones HTPC from ecosmartpc.com for $330 and I guess I'll have to spend another $70 for RAM etc.

http://www.ecosmartpc.com/ei5amdtrinity.html

Although it's a little over my budget, it looks like it has everything I need. Is the price worth it? Are there any other good alternatives out there?
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post #2 of 14 Old 12-04-2012, 11:40 AM
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I really dont see the value of that barebones....

It comes with the A6-5400....which goes for $75 on Newegg.
It also comes with the ASRock FM2A75M-ITX which is $89 on Newegg
and it comes with a case and power supply....

So thats 75+89=$164...they are charging $330, so you are paying 166 for the case and power supply?
Seems high to me.

Then, you still have to add Ram, your re-using your own hard drives, and then you need to add a copy of Windows 7 or 8.

I think you are much better off letting someone on here spec out a build for you...maybe based on an Intel Celeron
or even the same A6-3500 they offer.
Using your Hard Drives I think you can get the cost way down and still easily do everything you want.

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post #3 of 14 Old 12-04-2012, 02:25 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the reply. I just checked on Newegg and it doesn't seem to come with any case as far as I can tell.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157340

Perhaps there was a deal or there's another link I could not find.

I wouldn't mind paying about 40 bucks extra overall if it's a high quality pre-built barebone system. However, like I mentioned I'm open to buying everything separately and building myself if it has significant price/performance benefits.
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post #4 of 14 Old 12-04-2012, 03:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by libbrichus View Post

Thanks for the reply. I just checked on Newegg and it doesn't seem to come with any case as far as I can tell.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157340
Perhaps there was a deal or there's another link I could not find.
I wouldn't mind paying about 40 bucks extra overall if it's a high quality pre-built barebone system. However, like I mentioned I'm open to buying everything separately and building myself if it has significant price/performance benefits.

Sorry, what I meant in my post was the barebones you linked to comes with a case and a power supply for the extra $166 they are charging over Neweggs prices.

Also, I could be wrong but I dont believe the barebones you linked to comes pre-built.

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post #5 of 14 Old 12-04-2012, 05:02 PM
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You can build one for less than that deal, but it won't have nearly as nice a case, as small a case, or as quiet a system.

You'd go cheaper with a cheaper, larger case. It'll have larger fans to keep it cool. You want silent fans? Have to spend extra for higher end fans.
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post #6 of 14 Old 12-04-2012, 06:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dan4081 View Post

I really dont see the value of that barebones....
It comes with the A6-3500....which goes for $75 on Newegg.
It also comes with the ASRock FM2A75M-ITX which is $89 on Newegg

They don't work together.

- A6-3500: Socket FM1
- FM2A75M-ITX: Socket FM2

You have to change either A6-3500 -> A6-5400K (or any other Trinity APU) or FM2A75M-ITX -> A75M-ITX (or any other FM1 mb).
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post #7 of 14 Old 12-04-2012, 06:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by renethx View Post

They don't work together.
- A6-3500: Socket FM1
- FM2A75M-ITX: Socket FM2
You have to change either A6-3500 -> A6-5400K (or any other Trinity APU) or FM2A75M-ITX -> A75M-ITX (or any other FM1 mb).

You are right....the CPU in the barebones the poster linked is indeed the AMD A6-5400K...I typed 3500 by accident.

Fixed now....

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post #8 of 14 Old 12-04-2012, 07:10 PM
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You'd better build it yourself, that's much cheaper. For example,

- A4-3400 Llano, $45 (e.g. at Directron) / A4-5300 Trinity, $50
- ASRock A75M-ITX, $90 / FM2A75M-ITX, $90
- Realan E-i5 with 120W PSU, $128 shipped (check this thread)
- Total:

Llano supports BR 3D, which Trinity does not. There are many cheaper case+PSU, e.g. Antec ISK 310-150, $78 (shipped, that includes a 150W PSU).
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post #9 of 14 Old 12-04-2012, 07:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dan4081 View Post

Sorry, what I meant in my post was the barebones you linked to comes with a case and a power supply for the extra $166 they are charging over Neweggs prices.
Also, I could be wrong but I dont believe the barebones you linked to comes pre-built.

Separately, the E-i5 case with power supply is $100. This is a high-quality all-aluminum case with a internal 120W DC power supply and 120W external AC adapter. The barebones also includes a low-profile heatsink that goes for $20 separately since the stock heatsink does not fit and is not suitable for HTPC anyway. It comes fully assembled and tested with a 90-day warranty (buyer is not responsible for return shipping) if anything goes wrong and 14-day return. It comes with shipping in the US which for that system runs anywhere from $9-$20 depending on where in the US it's shipped to. It also included free email support for the life of the system.

And, if you prefer the A4 over the A6 they'll do that for the difference.

So, it's more like $46 for assembly, testing, shipping and support by the aforementioned math.

The RAM is not $70 biggrin.gif and it gets Memtest86+ tested.

FWIW, to me the definition of barebones is a fully assembled computer that just doesn't have the RAM, HDD/SDD and software.

 

 

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post #10 of 14 Old 12-04-2012, 07:38 PM
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StardogChampion, where do you buy this case? The only seller in US I found is ecosmartpc at ebay, but it looks like it comes with only a 84W AC-DC power adapter (while the DC-DC is 120W).
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post #11 of 14 Old 12-04-2012, 07:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by renethx View Post

StardogChampion, where do you buy this case? The only seller in US I found is ecosmartpc at ebay, but it looks like it comes with only a 84W AC-DC power adapter (while the DC-DC is 120W).

There are more options on the website.

The AMD barebones comes with the 120W but if you buy the case separately there is the option of the 60W (standard), 84W or 120W adapter depending on your needs. Intel barebones come with the 84W except i5/i7 which come with the 120W. There's actually also a 150W and 180W option in the E-i7 soon to be available with a LP6670 card for gaming. But, I digress. I guess my math above was wrong since the case with 60W adapter is $100 but the upgraded to 120W case is $128. So, they're practically giving them away biggrin.gif. The ones on eBay come with one step-up upgraded AC adapter because eBay isn't great with configuration.

I feel like I can only talk about so much here since there as far as pricing and where I get thing because are rules around resellers and such. I am happy to provide information however and of course, not just about these barebones and cases but anything HTPC like I always have.

 

 

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post #12 of 14 Old 12-05-2012, 06:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StardogChampion View Post

There are more options on the website.
The AMD barebones comes with the 120W but if you buy the case separately there is the option of the 60W (standard), 84W or 120W adapter depending on your needs. Intel barebones come with the 84W except i5/i7 which come with the 120W. There's actually also a 150W and 180W option in the E-i7 soon to be available with a LP6670 card for gaming. But, I digress. I guess my math above was wrong since the case with 60W adapter is $100 but the upgraded to 120W case is $128. So, they're practically giving them away biggrin.gif. The ones on eBay come with one step-up upgraded AC adapter because eBay isn't great with configuration.
I feel like I can only talk about so much here since there as far as pricing and where I get thing because are rules around resellers and such. I am happy to provide information however and of course, not just about these barebones and cases but anything HTPC like I always have.

Thanks for the info.
When I first looked at the link the OP provided I didnt realize the case was that expensive.
All in all, the barebones posted seems to be a good buy.

Only the OP can decide if the extra money spent for that case and assembly is worth it to him.

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post #13 of 14 Old 12-05-2012, 07:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dan4081 View Post

Thanks for the info.
When I first looked at the link the OP provided I didnt realize the case was that expensive.
All in all, the barebones posted seems to be a good buy.
Only the OP can decide if the extra money spent for that case and assembly is worth it to him.

You're welcome and fully agreed. Offer advice, experience, even cool shiny stuff and leave it up to the guy with the $$$ -- is a great way to live.

 

 

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post #14 of 14 Old 12-05-2012, 10:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by renethx View Post

StardogChampion, where do you buy this case? The only seller in US I found is ecosmartpc at ebay, but it looks like it comes with only a 84W AC-DC power adapter (while the DC-DC is 120W).
Look at his sig. wink.gif
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