Is this a good HTPC build? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 6 Old 04-18-2014, 12:06 PM - Thread Starter
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Hello,

I am about to pull the trigger on a build. I know there are two camps, Intel and AMD. I am partial to Intel, so that is what I would like to go with. I will be be using XBMC, streaming video from it to various SmartTVs on my network, music and light emulation (NES). That's it. Is this going to be alright for my needs?

Intel i3-4340 3.6 GHz
Gigabyte GA-H87N-WIFI
2 x 2 GB Patriot Signature Line DDR3 1600
Corsair Builder Series CX 430 Watt
Cooler Master Elite 110 - Cube Style
120 GB Kingston SSD
1 TB External HDD USB 3.0

That is about all my budget can afford. I think that I would like to go with this, so what do you think? 

Thank you in advance for all responses.

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post #2 of 6 Old 04-18-2014, 12:41 PM
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Looks good to me but why the external hard drive instead of internal? Also if this going to be your server too you might want to think about a case and board that can support more hard drives for future growth. For example,

this board -- http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813132032
+ this case -- http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811352027

The Fractal case is a few inches deeper but otherwise the same form factor and dimensions and as someone who owns one I can tell you it is a fantastic case. Great build quality and with a good aftermarket heatsink/fan replacing the stock intel cooler you could easily rig it to be totally silent except for the case fans which I can't hear unless I put my ear right up to it.

Just a suggestion. What you're looking at seems fine too.
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post #3 of 6 Old 04-18-2014, 01:07 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ElJimador View Post

Looks good to me but why the external hard drive instead of internal? Also if this going to be your server too you might want to think about a case and board that can support more hard drives for future growth. For example,

this board -- http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813132032
+ this case -- http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811352027

The Fractal case is a few inches deeper but otherwise the same form factor and dimensions and as someone who owns one I can tell you it is a fantastic case. Great build quality and with a good aftermarket heatsink/fan replacing the stock intel cooler you could easily rig it to be totally silent except for the case fans which I can't hear unless I put my ear right up to it.

Just a suggestion. What you're looking at seems fine too.

Thank you for your reply!

 

I am using an external mostly because it has all of my stuff on it. I thought that being USB 3.0 it would have the speed I need to stream and play music/video files. I don't intend on adding anything else. I really like the small, cube shape of that CoolerMaster, although yours looks pretty cool, too. It is just a little more than what I am looking to pay for my case.

 

Will that CPU do all that I need for streaming 1080p, watching 3D movies, music and such?

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post #4 of 6 Old 04-18-2014, 01:28 PM
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Yeah the i3 will do you fine. If you were going to be doing a lot of transcoding (streaming to multiple devices at the same time, etc.) then maybe I'd suggest stepping up to an i5. Otherwise the i3 will handle everything you're looking it.

Another thought though: if you're not going to need space for storage have you thought about just doing an i3 NUC instead? You can get them pretty cheap -- especially the thunderbolt ones which you can just get an ethernet adapter for. You lose some of the fun of building your own but you'd get the same functionality in a much smaller package. And if you don't anticipate needing more than a single internal hard drive for storage or any other expansions down the road like adding a video card, you would seem to be a good candidate for one. I have the Sandy Bridge Celeron NUC myself which I use as my HTPC and I've been very happy with it (the Fractal case is for my unRAID server).
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post #5 of 6 Old 04-19-2014, 04:27 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ElJimador View Post

Yeah the i3 will do you fine. If you were going to be doing a lot of transcoding (streaming to multiple devices at the same time, etc.) then maybe I'd suggest stepping up to an i5. Otherwise the i3 will handle everything you're looking it.

Another thought though: if you're not going to need space for storage have you thought about just doing an i3 NUC instead? You can get them pretty cheap -- especially the thunderbolt ones which you can just get an ethernet adapter for. You lose some of the fun of building your own but you'd get the same functionality in a much smaller package. And if you don't anticipate needing more than a single internal hard drive for storage or any other expansions down the road like adding a video card, you would seem to be a good candidate for one. I have the Sandy Bridge Celeron NUC myself which I use as my HTPC and I've been very happy with it (the Fractal case is for my unRAID server).


Thanks for you response!

 

I was looking into the i3 NUC, but after I add the power cord, mSATA and RAM, it comes out to the same price, if not a little more expensive, then the components I will use to build the one I listed in the OP. I am debating on whether or not to go ahead with this build or just use the i7 3770K/GeForce 780 gaming rig that I have for my HTPC. I have a 25' HDMI cable hooked up to the TV, and I can run XBMC and stream, but I have to have the PC on all of the time. If I am streaming to another source and the PC goes to sleep, I, of course, lose the connection. I don't know if it is worth have the gaming rig on all of the time, or maybe just put it to sleep after we are finished watching/listening to media, or just build a dedicated HTPC. Plus, the gaming rig is not exactly silent.

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post #6 of 6 Old 04-20-2014, 10:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by testudoaubreii View Post

I am using an external mostly because it has all of my stuff on it. I thought that being USB 3.0 it would have the speed I need to stream and play music/video files. I don't intend on adding anything else.
You don't need USB 3.0 for playing video files (Even 40 Mbps Blu-ray). 2.0 works fine.
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