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post #1 of 15 Old 03-15-2013, 01:25 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi guys. I'm researching into building an HTPC, but never done it before. I'm using an 09 Mac Mini, but it won't do everything I want.

I'm big into retro games with emulators, basic games like Civ V, Sim City. Play 1080p from an external drive, lossless audio, play blurays, will have a tv tuner to record basic cable, stream stuff etc.I'm using XMBC on the Mac, but open to other options of course. Here's what I was looking at getting. Any advice is greatly appreciated.

CPU
AMD A4-5300

Motherboard
MSI FM2-A55M-E33

RAM
Corsair 2x4GB

Bluray
Liteon IHES112-04

SSD
Corsair 120GB refurb

Power Supply
Seasonic S12II 380B

TV Tuner
Hauppauge WinTV-HVR-2250

HDD
Seagate 3TB external (using with Mac now)

Case
NMediaPC 1000B, LCD module, IR receiver

Remote
Harmony 880

How would this work, anything I'm missing or chose wrong? Cost adds up to about $650 without Windows 7.

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post #2 of 15 Old 03-15-2013, 08:15 PM
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Only thing that looked ugly was the refurbed SSD. Yeah, I know, usually they aren't a problem
but with 120-128G SSD going for $80 new??? Why bother getting a refurb? Especially since
your other components are very solid choices?

mi dos pesos.
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post #3 of 15 Old 03-15-2013, 08:22 PM
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I don't like the A4. The A6 is as anemic as I will go for an AMD build. Just my opinion of course.
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post #4 of 15 Old 03-16-2013, 10:34 AM - Thread Starter
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Granted I only looked on Newegg, but prices I saw were around $120 for SSD's. I'll keep looking around. How about the A6-5400K CPU? I originally wanted an Intel i3, but I'm trying to keep costs down as much as possible.

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post #5 of 15 Old 03-16-2013, 11:01 AM
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A6-5400K is more or less equivalent to Core i3 in gaming performance, neither of which may be a good choice for games like Civ V and SimCity, depending on the resolution and settings.
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post #6 of 15 Old 03-16-2013, 11:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by renethx View Post

A6-5400K is more or less equivalent to Core i3 in gaming performance, neither of which may be a good choice for games like Civ V and SimCity, depending on the resolution and settings.

Not sure I agree with you there Renethx...

Passmarks:
i3 3220: 4282
A6-5400K: 2174

One of these is much better/easier to slap in a more powerful card later if the gaming experience is lacking or if it needs to be improved.
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post #7 of 15 Old 03-16-2013, 11:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gostillerz View Post

Hi guys. I'm researching into building an HTPC, but never done it before. I'm using an 09 Mac Mini, but it won't do everything I want.

I'm big into retro games with emulators, basic games like Civ V, Sim City. Play 1080p from an external drive, lossless audio, play blurays, will have a tv tuner to record basic cable, stream stuff etc.I'm using XMBC on the Mac, but open to other options of course. Here's what I was looking at getting. Any advice is greatly appreciated.

CPU
AMD A4-5300

Motherboard
MSI FM2-A55M-E33

RAM
Corsair 2x4GB

Bluray
Liteon IHES112-04

SSD
Corsair 120GB refurb

Power Supply
Seasonic S12II 380B

TV Tuner
Hauppauge WinTV-HVR-2250

Check Techbargains Storage section for good SSD deals (usually before Slickdeals or any other site posts) http://www.techbargains.com/catsearch.cfm/0_11_0

Right now you could get a 120GB Samsung 840 for $85 with free shipping if you use the 15OFF coupon code LINK

I prefer the HDHR Prime as a tuner

Either processor can handle retro emulators (2D) easily. Check out RetroArch. Word in the forums is that libretro support may be builtin to XBMC
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post #8 of 15 Old 03-16-2013, 12:36 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for putting up with my noobness. There's so many options for parts, it's pretty damn overwhelming. I was reading more, and someone suggested this:

CPU: AMD A10 5800K
Motherboard: MSI FM2-A75IA-E53

I like that the motherboard has built in wifi and Bluetooth, and the reviews for the CPU were very good. It's more than I was looking to spend, but $100 isn't gonna kill me if the performance justifies the added loot. The first of many more questions. Will the PC recognize the external HDD I'm using on the Mac? I just have mp3, FLAC, and movie files on it, but don't know about how the drive is formatted.

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post #9 of 15 Old 03-16-2013, 01:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gostillerz View Post

Thanks for putting up with my noobness. There's so many options for parts, it's pretty damn overwhelming. I was reading more, and someone suggested this:

CPU: AMD A10 5800K
Motherboard: MSI FM2-A75IA-E53

I like that the motherboard has built in wifi and Bluetooth, and the reviews for the CPU were very good. It's more than I was looking to spend, but $100 isn't gonna kill me if the performance justifies the added loot. The first of many more questions. Will the PC recognize the external HDD I'm using on the Mac? I just have mp3, FLAC, and movie files on it, but don't know about how the drive is formatted.

A10 5800K is a good choice. Its gaming performance is better than HD 6570 and GT 630. Video playback performance is the best in this class.

But, why a mini-ITX mb? Unless you decide to go with a mini-ITX case, you'd better choose a microATX mb.
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post #10 of 15 Old 03-16-2013, 01:25 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by renethx View Post

A10 5800K is a good choice. Its gaming performance is better than HD 6570 and GT 630. Video playback performance is the best in this class.

But, why a mini-ITX mb? Unless you decide to go with a mini-ITX case, you'd better choose a microATX mb.

Because I don't know what I'm doing biggrin.gif

Okay, I'll go with that CPU. For cases, I was looking at either nMediaPC 1000B or 5000B. Could you suggest a motherboard that'll make more sense? I like the wifi and Bluetooth built in, but it's not necessary by any means.

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post #11 of 15 Old 03-16-2013, 01:28 PM
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Any special reason you are sticking with AMD? AFAIK the A10 is ahead only for onboard graphics and overclocking but behind on general CPU performance, at the expense of being a relative power hog with the concomitant problems of heat

Purely IMHO, for games, a discrete card will always serve better and the 7760D onboard the A10 is not the equivalent of a Radeon 77xx card.
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post #12 of 15 Old 03-16-2013, 01:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nebiroth View Post

Any special reason you are sticking with AMD? AFAIK the A10 is ahead only for onboard graphics and overclocking but behind on general CPU performance, at the expense of being a relative power hog with the concomitant problems of heat

Purely IMHO, for games, a discrete card will always serve better and the 7760D onboard the A10 is not the equivalent of a Radeon 77xx card.

Great post.
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post #13 of 15 Old 03-16-2013, 02:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by assassin View Post

Not sure I agree with you there Renethx...

Passmarks:
i3 3220: 4282
A6-5400K: 2174

One of these is much better/easier to slap in a more powerful card later if the gaming experience is lacking or if it needs to be improved.

Just curious, why would one of those be easier to slap in a more powerful card later?
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post #14 of 15 Old 03-16-2013, 03:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nebiroth View Post

Any special reason you are sticking with AMD? AFAIK the A10 is ahead only for onboard graphics and overclocking but behind on general CPU performance, at the expense of being a relative power hog with the concomitant problems of heat

Simply A10 is the best in price/performance in this price range (CPU + GPU). Or do you know any better choice? Power consumption..., well, there is not significant difference between A10 and Intel+HD 6570 (at most 10-20W difference).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nebiroth View Post

Purely IMHO, for games, a discrete card will always serve better and the 7760D onboard the A10 is not the equivalent of a Radeon 77xx card.

Not entirely true. A10+HD 7760D is better than the combination of any CPU+HD 6570/GT 630 in gaming and video playback. Of course if he is willing to spend more than $200 on CPU+GPU, Core i3+HD 7750 or higher is obviously better in performance, but that's not the present case:
Quote:
Originally Posted by gostillerz View Post

It's more than I was looking to spend, but $100 isn't gonna kill me if the performance justifies the added loot.
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post #15 of 15 Old 03-16-2013, 03:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike99 View Post

Just curious, why would one of those be easier to slap in a more powerful card later?

Because for gaming one is going to have a very weak CPU that will limit some games and some settings much more than the other one (hint: the weaker one begins with A and ends with D) given the same graphics card.
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