$500 HTPC - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 6 Old 04-07-2013, 09:27 AM - Thread Starter
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Hey guys, would really appreciate your feedback on this (If this does not belong in this section of the site, I didn't realize and will delete it)

PCPartPicker part list: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/P3o1
Price breakdown by merchant: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/P3o1/by_merchant/
Benchmarks: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/P3o1/benchmarks/

CPU: AMD A6-5400K 3.6GHz Dual-Core Processor ($64.99 @ Newegg)
CPU Cooler: Zalman CNPS8000B CPU Cooler ($24.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: ASRock FM2A75 Pro4-M Micro ATX FM2 Motherboard ($63.98 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Corsair CX 430W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V Power Supply ($44.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer ($19.96 @ Amazon)
Keyboard: IOGEAR GKM561R Wireless Slim Keyboard w/Trackball ($34.99 @ Amazon)
Other: HRT music streamer II ($149.00)
Other: SilverStone GD04S Case ($100.00)
Other: 1 TB HDD, DDR3 RAM, and OS owned / reused
Total: $502.90
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-04-07 12:21 EDT-0400)

My father has a huge Jazz CD collection and likes to play them as opposed to burned FLACs or something (which I will put on the HDD anyway) so I decided to try out the HRT DAC, it's going to be hooked up to an amp and bookshelf speakers.

A6 is $50 at Microcenter, which is closeby. The Zalman I might not use if the standard AMD cooler is quiet enough and fits. The psythe shuriken was also an option. MOBO wise this one seemed to have the most features with HDMI as well, advice here would be great, I just did not want to cheap out on the MOBO. Power supply as well, I kind of do not know much about these, chose a semi modular one to have less cables. Optical drive doesn't really make a huge difference from what I have read; we never watch blurays. Read good things about the IOGEAR; even with the trackball problems seems to be a good choice. The case is for aesthetics mostly, but it seems pretty practical as well (maybe with the exception of the DVD drive bay limiting CPU cooler size).

OS wise I did have a question, I have 2x2gb DDR3 RAM. Should I go with 64bit or 32 bit Win 7?

Thanks.

EDIT: 2x4gb of RAM is what I have apparently, so I'll go with windows 7 64 bit.
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post #2 of 6 Old 04-07-2013, 09:28 AM - Thread Starter
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Forgot to mention that there will be no gaming on this machine
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post #3 of 6 Old 04-08-2013, 06:32 AM
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I would consider an 120GB SSD for the OS and Applications. SSD's really enhance the user interface experience. Save your HDD for video and music. rolleyes.gif
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post #4 of 6 Old 04-08-2013, 07:24 AM
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If your goal is to stay under $500 on an HTPC, it's very easy today. Sub $300 is even possible if you find everything on the right sale price and maybe have a part or two laying around.
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post #5 of 6 Old 04-08-2013, 03:46 PM
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Why do you need the usb dac? Just hookup this machine directly to the amp using the onboard audio using something like this or optical if the amp has it.

Instead use the 150$ to get more terabytes of storage or a ssd or simply not spend it.

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post #6 of 6 Old 04-09-2013, 08:43 AM
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You can always add the HRT music streamer II later; and, you did call this thread HTPC which implies you'll be using an AVR for 5.1 or 7.1 audio.  Is this correct or how were you planning to listen to it, and will this be different than how CDs will be listened to?  This APU will pass all these audio formats via HDMI without raising a sweat!  I would offer the SILVERSTONE Black Aluminum MILO Series ML03B Micro ATX Media Center / HTPC Case as there is no interference above the CPU although it is a tighter case - I put a SSD and 2 x 2TB HDDs in it along with a DVD burner and stock HSF of my AMD A6-3500 FM1 APU which is so quiet!  The Biostar mobo has a quiet mode in BIOS which calibrates the fan speed - it never runs above 30 and the fan runs ~900rpm as I recall... sweet!  I agree w/last post to get a 60GB SSD for your system drive, and if you must, get a 1/8" to RCA cable for your analog audio although by far the better solution is to pass all audio via HDMI to a decent AVR and allow its DAC to do the decoding - How does he listen to CDs today?  If it's digital to the amp the HTPC is exactly the same! 

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