HD 4600 (i3 4340) Crashing w/Win 7 & 8 - Page 2 - AVS Forum
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Old 04-25-2014, 10:03 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by jhughy2010 View Post

If you do decide to return the board you might consider the Z87 chipset. In all honesty I'd probably return the board as well. Also, did you try and contact Gigabyte tech support?

Actually, I have not contacted Gigabyte. That may be a good place to contact lol. Should I try another brand or just another model? This is the first time that I have had a problem with a Gigabyte product. 

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Old 04-25-2014, 11:49 AM
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Originally Posted by testudoaubreii View Post
 

Thanks for your reply.

 

I have downloaded all of the drivers from Gigabyte's site. I cannot install IME for some reason. I thought that is was weird that Windows did not download the drivers right away. Usually, they do that during the installation process. I have to download the internet/network drivers to a USB drive from another computer. I haven't had that problem when installing Win 7 before. 

 

This last time around, Windows installed the generic VGA driver, but when I update it I get the black screen after the Windows logo. 

 

I have Rev 2.0. I am thinking about RAM'ing the board and getting the Gigabyte Mini ITX GA-B85N. I built a machine with the GA-B81 before and did not run into this problem, so I figure I may give it a go. Are there any other mini ITX mobos with a UEFI that may give me better results...assuming that it is a mobo/driver incompatibility? 

 

Thanks!

I've always found Windows to be very flaky about downloading drivers but maybe that's just me.  My SOP is to load all the most current drivers on a USB stick and install them manually and I've not encountered any issues.  As one last thing to try (not clear if you did or not) is to go to the Intel site and compare the posted driver they have vs the one at the Gigabyte site.  Perhaps that is where the issue lies.  I would echo jhugy2010's post about contacting Gigabyte support.

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Old 04-25-2014, 01:05 PM - Thread Starter
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I have been reading that this is problem with either Windows update or Intel's driver and that it has been going on for a while. I am returning everything and getting an AMD/APU set for my HTPC. It seems that is the best way to go. I haven't owned an AMD CPU yet, so I am kind of interested to see how it will go. I think that may be the best best. I have a mini ITX board and case and I do not want a dedicated GPU. That was the entire reason I was going with a small, quite build. 

 

I am just at my wit's end. I don't know what else to do. 

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Old 04-25-2014, 01:58 PM
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For what it's worth, I had an ATI 7750 video card that I have to replace in the past due to an AMD driver update that causes frequent BOSD. Replaced with an NVidia card and never crashed since.
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Old 04-25-2014, 02:39 PM
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Originally Posted by testudoaubreii View Post

Actually, I have not contacted Gigabyte. That may be a good place to contact lol. Should I try another brand or just another model? This is the first time that I have had a problem with a Gigabyte product. 
It does kind of sound like the motherboard. It wouldn't hurt to contact Gigabyte but they'll probably tell you to just RMA it.

If you decide to go with AMD there newer APU lineup is impressive. I'd get the latest Gigabyte FM2 board too. I usually go to techpowerup and read reviews there about hardware before purchasing. They are very well trusted in the hardware enthusiast world.

Living room theater set-up:  
AVR: Pioneer VSX-1124-K.
Speakers/Sub: (4) NHT Classic Two and an NHT TwoC center + PSA-XV15 subwoofer.
HTPC: z97 mobo, 16GB mem, i5-4440, SSD+HD, LG BD drive, Win 8.1 pro w/WMC + MB3.
Content sources: OTA Winegard HD7698P, Amazon Fire TV Stick, Netflix etc.
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Old 04-25-2014, 09:29 PM - Thread Starter
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I packed it all up and it is going back tomorrow. Man, that was one of the worst experiences I have had while building a machine. 

 

Well, now that is over, what components should I get now to build my new one? I really think that I may do an AMD/APU build. That might be great for light gaming and HTPC purposes. 

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Old 04-25-2014, 10:09 PM
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Every once and a while I run across a build that ha problems like you just went through. I have been building PCs since the mid 80s, so I have had time to build with a wide variety of hardware and software. The last time I had difficulty with a build was two years ago and it turned out to be a DDR3 memory issue that was resolved by replacing the RAM. As far as connecting a pc to an AVR/TV it has become fairly easy, especially over HDMI. If I had your problems, I might try the following:

It is very easy to bend the pins in the CPU socket if you are not very careful. Bent pins can give you problems like you describe. You may need a magnifying glass to get a good look at them. If you have any, get a new motherboard.

Check the motherboard BIOS version against the manufactures website to insure that it supports the processor you are installing. If it does not, you may need to update your BIOS.

Reset the motherboard with the CMOS jumper. There are instructions in the manual that came with your motherboard.
Boot from the Windows 7 install disk/usb drive (windows 7 has windows media center built in, windows 8 requires the "professional" version and an add-on app that cost about $10).
Delete the disk partitions that are on the hard drive.
Create a new disk partition for the operating system (I generally use the entire drive, just my preference).
Install windows on that partition.
Use the disk that came with your motherboard to install the Intel Chipset drivers, Ethernet drivers, audio drivers, and VGA drivers. Any other software just complicates your life, but install it if you wish.

If you have the same problems as before, get a different motherboard and try it again.

Don't give up. This is a great hobby and has been known to provide endless hours of joyous frustration.
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Old 04-25-2014, 11:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rjsimmons View Post

Every once and a while I run across a build that ha problems like you just went through. I have been building PCs since the mid 80s, so I have had time to build with a wide variety of hardware and software. The last time I had difficulty with a build was two years ago and it turned out to be a DDR3 memory issue that was resolved by replacing the RAM. As far as connecting a pc to an AVR/TV it has become fairly easy, especially over HDMI. If I had your problems, I might try the following:

It is very easy to bend the pins in the CPU socket if you are not very careful. Bent pins can give you problems like you describe. You may need a magnifying glass to get a good look at them. If you have any, get a new motherboard.

Check the motherboard BIOS version against the manufactures website to insure that it supports the processor you are installing. If it does not, you may need to update your BIOS.

Reset the motherboard with the CMOS jumper. There are instructions in the manual that came with your motherboard.
Boot from the Windows 7 install disk/usb drive (windows 7 has windows media center built in, windows 8 requires the "professional" version and an add-on app that cost about $10).
Delete the disk partitions that are on the hard drive.
Create a new disk partition for the operating system (I generally use the entire drive, just my preference).
Install windows on that partition.
Use the disk that came with your motherboard to install the Intel Chipset drivers, Ethernet drivers, audio drivers, and VGA drivers. Any other software just complicates your life, but install it if you wish.

If you have the same problems as before, get a different motherboard and try it again.

Don't give up. This is a great hobby and has been known to provide endless hours of joyous frustration.

This is rock solid advice and a good step by step.  If you followed this advice and still have issues than yes I'd say it's time to return at least the Motherboard and CPU.  

 

I was pretty close to buying the A10-7850k before I decided to go Haswell.  I wanted to get a separate video card eventually so it really didn't matter too much that the HD4600 was going to be slow and to my surprise, cause problems.  

 

Gigabyte makes a great board for the new FM2.  Here is a link... read reviews though! http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128663

 

I'm not opposed to MSI either:  http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813130756

 

Again, read reviews and do your research.  That particular chipset that I recommended was revamped (I think) in late 2013 for the intro to the new APU from AMD.


Living room theater set-up:  
AVR: Pioneer VSX-1124-K.
Speakers/Sub: (4) NHT Classic Two and an NHT TwoC center + PSA-XV15 subwoofer.
HTPC: z97 mobo, 16GB mem, i5-4440, SSD+HD, LG BD drive, Win 8.1 pro w/WMC + MB3.
Content sources: OTA Winegard HD7698P, Amazon Fire TV Stick, Netflix etc.
HDTV: Sharp LC-60SQ15U (ehhh).
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Old 04-26-2014, 03:49 AM
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Originally Posted by rjsimmons View Post

Use the disk that came with your motherboard to install the Intel Chipset drivers, Ethernet drivers, audio drivers, and VGA drivers.

Using the disk that ships with the motherboard is no longer very good advice (maybe never was), all mobo manufacturers keep drivers updated on their website

You don't really need the disk at all, a preferred way is to use a USB flash drive on a different computer (if you have one, otherwise the disk that shipped in the box is a necessity) and download the NIC driver from the manufacturer's website

When you are installed and have an internet connection, then go for the Chipset drivers and graphics driver. The VGA driver isn't really needed for an HTPC, and the MS included one has really broad compatibility these days. Audio drivers aren't of much use unless you are using the HTPC in a "peculiar" way. I say peculiar because almost everyone just uses HDMI audio these days, and the on-board audio driver has nothing to do with this. HDMI audio is from the PCH which is what the chipset drivers are for

The Intel management engine is a requirement, if it wasn't installing then you probably needed to update your bios. If your LAN, chipset, and graphics drivers are up to date with an old bios then it usually doesn't matter to keep your bios updated. If updates to those 3 drivers aren't installing then flashing your bios is a go-to first step.

This is all HTPC specific advice (which is oriented around using HDMI audio/video) - VGA, onboard audio, other utilities, etc are unnecessary but you should know whether or not you need them based on your particular setup. i.e. - you have an old receiver and need to use onboard audio, you use pc speakers instead of HDMI, you sometimes connect an old-school vga display, etc
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Old 04-26-2014, 05:56 AM - Thread Starter
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Thank you everyone for the advice and help. I followed all of the suggestions and advice in this thread. Unfortunately, I could not get it to work properly. I do not plan to give up. I love building computers and it is a fantastic hobby of mine. I just don't know if I am going Intel or AMD this time around. I really do not want a dedicated GPU for this particular build since it is an HTPC. I have a gaming rig, so I want this one to be nice, quite and small.

 

I just don't understand because I just built a Haswell machine just over a month ago and it was fine with HD 4600 graphics. I guess I just got a bad batch of components lol.

 

Thanks again!

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Old 04-26-2014, 06:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by testudoaubreii View Post

 

I just don't understand because I just built a Haswell machine just over a month ago and it was fine with HD 4600 graphics. I guess I just got a bad batch of components lol.

 

Thanks again!

You didn't tell us this earlier.;)  I suspect that you are correct in that there was some component that was bad.  Hope the new build goes smoothly.  HTPCs are not demanding and do give a lot of pleasure.

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Old 04-26-2014, 06:55 AM
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I've had more issues with gigabyte boards than any other. Just flaky construction.


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Old 04-26-2014, 07:40 AM - Thread Starter
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You didn't tell us this earlier.;)  I suspect that you are correct in that there was some component that was bad.  Hope the new build goes smoothly.  HTPCs are not demanding and do give a lot of pleasure.

I thought I mentioned it, or maybe I just mentioned that I built PCs before. What would you suggest for an HTPC build, AMD or Intel?

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Old 04-26-2014, 09:41 AM
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I thought I mentioned it, or maybe I just mentioned that I built PCs before. What would you suggest for an HTPC build, AMD or Intel?


I've used Intel CPUs because I am a stockholder in the company.:rolleyes:  I don't mind paying the premium for the CPU.  If it's just for HTPC use, you don't need all the bells and whistles that come with faster CPUs.  I do a lot of Internet streaming of European football (soccer) on my HTPC and went with an i3 because of this.

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Old 04-26-2014, 10:38 AM
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I'm thinking that you have a bad board. It's definitely not the memory or CPU for that matter considering you replaced them.

Also, is there a reason you went with the 4670k when you exchanged? That's an overclocker's chip hence the unlocked multiplier. You'd be better suited for an i5 that's closer to the i3 price point. Just saying this to save you some $...

Living room theater set-up:  
AVR: Pioneer VSX-1124-K.
Speakers/Sub: (4) NHT Classic Two and an NHT TwoC center + PSA-XV15 subwoofer.
HTPC: z97 mobo, 16GB mem, i5-4440, SSD+HD, LG BD drive, Win 8.1 pro w/WMC + MB3.
Content sources: OTA Winegard HD7698P, Amazon Fire TV Stick, Netflix etc.
HDTV: Sharp LC-60SQ15U (ehhh).
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Old 04-26-2014, 11:27 AM - Thread Starter
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You guys have been helpful and seem to be quite knowledgeable, so I will keep to this thread instead of starting a new one. What do you think about this build?

 

GIGABYTE GA-F2A88XN-WIFI FM2+/FM2 A88X

AMD A10-7700K APU AD770KXBJABOX

Crucial Ballistix Sport 8GB Kit (4GBx2) DDR3 1600

Cooler Master Elite 110

Corsair CX Series 430 Watt ATX/EPS Modular 80 PLUS Bronze

120 GB Kingston SSD

 

Like I said, I haven't built an AMD rig, yet, but there is a fist time for everything. The CPU/APU may be a bit overkill, but I will be streaming to multiple TVs on my network (possibly at the same time) and may just engage in some light gaming. 

 

What do you think?

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Old 04-26-2014, 12:09 PM
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I use a 3930k on an Asus p9x79-ws with 32gb of ram. I'm the wrong guy to ask smile.gif

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Old 04-26-2014, 02:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by testudoaubreii View Post

You guys have been helpful and seem to be quite knowledgeable, so I will keep to this thread instead of starting a new one. What do you think about this build?

GIGABYTE GA-F2A88XN-WIFI FM2+/FM2 A88X
AMD A10-7700K APU AD770KXBJABOX
Crucial Ballistix Sport 8GB Kit (4GBx2) DDR3 1600
Cooler Master Elite 110
Corsair CX Series 430 Watt ATX/EPS Modular 80 PLUS Bronze
120 GB Kingston SSD

Like I said, I haven't built an AMD rig, yet, but there is a fist time for everything. The CPU/APU may be a bit overkill, but I will be streaming to multiple TVs on my network (possibly at the same time) and may just engage in some light gaming. 

What do you think?

That looks good. I see you are giving gigabyte another try. Nothing wrong withere that.

I'm a fan boy of certain companies. I tend to only buy Corsair memory (there customer support/service is good) and I love Seasonic powersupplies.

One thing you may consider is a 16gb kit. Since the CPU is already overkill why not? smile.gif I think that mobo only has two mem slots.

Make sure the cooler fits in the case you choose.

Living room theater set-up:  
AVR: Pioneer VSX-1124-K.
Speakers/Sub: (4) NHT Classic Two and an NHT TwoC center + PSA-XV15 subwoofer.
HTPC: z97 mobo, 16GB mem, i5-4440, SSD+HD, LG BD drive, Win 8.1 pro w/WMC + MB3.
Content sources: OTA Winegard HD7698P, Amazon Fire TV Stick, Netflix etc.
HDTV: Sharp LC-60SQ15U (ehhh).
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Old 04-26-2014, 03:02 PM - Thread Starter
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That looks good. I see you are giving gigabyte another try. Nothing wrong withere that.

I'm a fan boy of certain companies. I tend to only buy Corsair memory (there customer support/service is good) and I love Seasonic powersupplies.

One thing you may consider is a 16gb kit. Since the CPU is already overkill why not? smile.gif I think that mobo only has two mem slots.

Make sure the cooler fits in the case you choose.

I may eventually bump it up to 16 GBs. I would go with another motherboard, but it is a hard decision. 

 

jhughy2010 mentioned the GIGABYTE GA-F2A88XN-WIFI FM2+ / FM2 AMD A88X  and the MSI A88XI AC FM2+ / FM2 AMD A88X. It seems that mini ITX for a budget price is a hard thing to find for me. How about this one: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157464 

 

 Do you have any suggestions?

 

Thanks!

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Old 04-26-2014, 07:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by testudoaubreii View Post

You guys have been helpful and seem to be quite knowledgeable, so I will keep to this thread instead of starting a new one. What do you think about this build?

GIGABYTE GA-F2A88XN-WIFI FM2+/FM2 A88X
AMD A10-7700K APU AD770KXBJABOX
Crucial Ballistix Sport 8GB Kit (4GBx2) DDR3 1600
Cooler Master Elite 110
Corsair CX Series 430 Watt ATX/EPS Modular 80 PLUS Bronze
120 GB Kingston SSD

Like I said, I haven't built an AMD rig, yet, but there is a fist time for everything. The CPU/APU may be a bit overkill, but I will be streaming to multiple TVs on my network (possibly at the same time) and may just engage in some light gaming. 

What do you think?

Two main things about using AMD (nothing wrong with, but it's my $.02)
  1. I'd go with a case that's big enough to make room for a good aftermarket cooler (pick your cooler then pick your case smile.gif )
  2. Rather than *more* memory (which I think is a waste if you are just going to use this as an HTPC) go with *faster* memory

Faster RAM can help AMDs integrated graphics out better than more RAM will. Go for DDR3-2400 if you can

http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=article&item=amd_ddr3_2400mhz&num=2
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Old 04-26-2014, 09:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by testudoaubreii View Post

I may eventually bump it up to 16 GBs. I would go with another motherboard, but it is a hard decision. 

jhughy2010 mentioned the GIGABYTE GA-F2A88XN-WIFI FM2+ / FM2 AMD A88X  and the MSI A88XI AC FM2+ / FM2 AMD A88X. It seems that mini ITX for a budget price is a hard thing to find for me. How about this one: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157464 

 Do you have any suggestions?

Thanks!
That looks like a good board too. Good price compared to the Gigabyte. I'm never opposed to switching brands. I've owned Asus and EVGA. Both still going strong.

I know it's not much a performance increase now but a 16gb kit in the 2400mhz spec might be worth the extra $60-70. I have been using those 10% off coupons at Newegg to get a better price.

Living room theater set-up:  
AVR: Pioneer VSX-1124-K.
Speakers/Sub: (4) NHT Classic Two and an NHT TwoC center + PSA-XV15 subwoofer.
HTPC: z97 mobo, 16GB mem, i5-4440, SSD+HD, LG BD drive, Win 8.1 pro w/WMC + MB3.
Content sources: OTA Winegard HD7698P, Amazon Fire TV Stick, Netflix etc.
HDTV: Sharp LC-60SQ15U (ehhh).
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Old 04-29-2014, 06:13 AM - Thread Starter
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It appears that I am completely and utterly indecisive. I don't know if I want to go Intel or AMD. And, on top of that, I am thinking about switching over to an mATX build. The motherboards seem to have more options and cheaper prices. 

 

I am open to all suggestions, help and advice.

 

Thanks!

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Old 04-29-2014, 07:25 AM
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If you want a quieter, lower power consumption HTPC, there is only one choice: Intel. The price difference is minimum when you factor in an aftermarket CPU cooler for AMD which is often required.
If you want some light gaming without paying for a dedicated GPU, AMD APU might have a slight edge.

Stay away from Gigabyte. My personal trusted brands for motherboards are Intel and ASUS/ASRock.
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Old 04-29-2014, 07:29 AM - Thread Starter
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If you want a quieter, lower power consumption HTPC, there is only one choice: Intel. The price difference is minimum when you factor in an aftermarket CPU cooler for AMD which is often required.
If you want some light gaming without paying for a dedicated GPU, AMD APU might have a slight edge.

Stay away from Gigabyte. My personal trusted brands for motherboards are Intel and ASUS/ASRock.

Cool. Thanks for your reply.

 

Can you recommend a good mITX mobo for an i5? You mentioned the brands that you would go with, but I don't remember if you recommended the model. 

 

I have the memory and the mITX case. I was thinking about sending it back and looking for a mATX or an ATX HTPC case. I am just about over it, though. I am ready to build something and get my HTPC up and running. 

 

The OS will either be Windows 7 or 8.1. I guess it will be the one that doesn't give me any problems, like the last build lol.

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Old 04-29-2014, 07:42 AM
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My last Haswell i5 build used this one IIRC: http://www.microcenter.com/product/414948/Z87M_Extreme4_Socket_LGA_1150_mATX_Intel_Motherboard# and it is rock solid although that PC doesn't use iGPU but a dedicated GPU for gaming (kid's PC).

You can save a few more $ by going with H87 as well.
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Old 04-29-2014, 07:47 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Foxbat121 View Post

My last Haswell i5 build used this one IIRC: http://www.microcenter.com/product/414948/Z87M_Extreme4_Socket_LGA_1150_mATX_Intel_Motherboard# and it is rock solid although that PC doesn't use iGPU but a dedicated GPU for gaming (kid's PC).

You can save a few more $ by going with H87 as well.

Thanks!

 

I am going to try and find a good Asus mITX. I kind of like my case.

 

I just read something about the Haswell chips not playing too nicely with Gigabyte motherboards. I found a mITX version of the Asus you recommended, so I am going to check it out.

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Old 04-29-2014, 09:57 AM
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I agree with Fox. At the moment I'm Intel all the way. There is a reason there is the "green" compared to AMD. I never personally remember a time when AMD had a PE ratio lol!

I highly recommend a Z87 chipset. Or wait till z97 comes around. I think you'll get better performance, however modest, and maybe better stability. I have to proof though.

I have an i5-4440 with an Asus Z87 at the moment. I decided to go ATX and mid tower because my media center did not have a place for HTPC cases. But the case I chose looks fantastic next to my front speakers.

Living room theater set-up:  
AVR: Pioneer VSX-1124-K.
Speakers/Sub: (4) NHT Classic Two and an NHT TwoC center + PSA-XV15 subwoofer.
HTPC: z97 mobo, 16GB mem, i5-4440, SSD+HD, LG BD drive, Win 8.1 pro w/WMC + MB3.
Content sources: OTA Winegard HD7698P, Amazon Fire TV Stick, Netflix etc.
HDTV: Sharp LC-60SQ15U (ehhh).
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Old 04-29-2014, 10:21 AM
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It looks like Asus has the Z87I-DELUXE which is $187. Pretty costly but packed full of features like 802.11AC Wifi.

It is Z87 and mini ITX.

Living room theater set-up:  
AVR: Pioneer VSX-1124-K.
Speakers/Sub: (4) NHT Classic Two and an NHT TwoC center + PSA-XV15 subwoofer.
HTPC: z97 mobo, 16GB mem, i5-4440, SSD+HD, LG BD drive, Win 8.1 pro w/WMC + MB3.
Content sources: OTA Winegard HD7698P, Amazon Fire TV Stick, Netflix etc.
HDTV: Sharp LC-60SQ15U (ehhh).
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Old 04-29-2014, 10:23 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks!

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Originally Posted by jhughy2010 View Post

I agree with Fox. At the moment I'm Intel all the way. There is a reason there is the "green" compared to AMD. I never personally remember a time when AMD had a PE ratio lol!

I highly recommend a Z87 chipset. Or wait till z97 comes around. I think you'll get better performance, however modest, and maybe better stability. I have to proof though.

I have an i5-4440 with an Asus Z87 at the moment. I decided to go ATX and mid tower because my media center did not have a place for HTPC cases. But the case I chose looks fantastic next to my front speakers.

Thanks!

 

If I go anything other than mITX, I will have to send my case back. I kind of dig the cube look and it looks nice with my other systems near the entertainment center. It is kind of hard to find a non-Gigabyte mITX mobo...for me, anyway. I have taken the boards mentioned by you guys, but I am still looking at Gigabyte...I just hope that it doesn't come around to "byte" me in the arse...hahaha...haha...nevermind :p.

 

I know that you don't dig Gigabyte too much, but this one just came out in January:

 

Gigabyte GA-B85N

 

I am open to anything, though. I think Amazon Prime is another factor because I have it and want to use it for next day shipping. I don't have a brick and mortar store that carries a lot of components.

 

Edit: I am trying to stay away from wifi. I will not use it. I try to stay hardwired when I can.

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Old 04-29-2014, 10:46 AM
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Thanks!

Thanks!

 

If I go anything other than mITX, I will have to send my case back. I kind of dig the cube look and it looks nice with my other systems near the entertainment center. It is kind of hard to find a non-Gigabyte mITX mobo...for me, anyway. I have taken the boards mentioned by you guys, but I am still looking at Gigabyte...I just hope that it doesn't come around to "byte" me in the arse...hahaha...haha...nevermind :p.

 

I know that you don't dig Gigabyte too much, but this one just came out in January:

 

Gigabyte GA-B85N

 

I am open to anything, though. I think Amazon Prime is another factor because I have it and want to use it for next day shipping. I don't have a brick and mortar store that carries a lot of components.

 

Edit: I am trying to stay away from wifi. I will not use it. I try to stay hardwired when I can.

Lol... I hope it doesn't byte you either!

 

I am not opposed to Gigabyte.  I personally have not owned a Gigabyte motherboard and would not be opposed to purchasing one in the future.  There are a few motherboard manufacturers that I would stay away from... Gigabyte NOT being one of them.  The only Gigabyte product I've owned is an Nvidia 6600 GT (guess I'm dating myself a little bit).  It was a solid card.  

 

I think that you had a bad motherboard or perhaps Gigabyte screwed up somewhere along the way and didn't make sure that the motherboard would do well with HDMI output.  If you experience the same issue I think a full onslaught of emails to Gigabyte would do the trick.  

 

We have to take into consideration though that there are some known issues out there with Intel and its driver support.  If you experience the same issue again, I would highly recommend you start looking at the low profile cards offered by Nvidia and ATI.  Since I put the 750ti in my HTPC I have had zero issues with audio and graphics, whereas prior to the installation I was dealing with a tremendous headache with the audio (particularly with Netflix strangely).

 

The board you are eyeing looks good.... worth a shot and for the price it looks like a bargain.  

 

Again, my personal recommendation would be to stick with z87.  I'm more of an 'overkill' type of person, and I realize that it might not be needed.  There were a few boards in the ITX size with z87 that were in the low $100 range.  

 

Read up on the difference between the two chipsets if you haven't and then make the decision for yourself.  


Living room theater set-up:  
AVR: Pioneer VSX-1124-K.
Speakers/Sub: (4) NHT Classic Two and an NHT TwoC center + PSA-XV15 subwoofer.
HTPC: z97 mobo, 16GB mem, i5-4440, SSD+HD, LG BD drive, Win 8.1 pro w/WMC + MB3.
Content sources: OTA Winegard HD7698P, Amazon Fire TV Stick, Netflix etc.
HDTV: Sharp LC-60SQ15U (ehhh).
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