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Cheapest ever HTPC that's decent. Proud of myself. - Page 6

post #151 of 1016
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike99 View Post

Mfusick,

I noticed the Apex case is 12.75 high/wide. Is that tight to work in? While I've upgraded every PC that I've had, this is a first time build for me & am concerned about the size.

I don't know how may cards will eventually end up in this HTPC, but will it handle a pair of tuner cards & a graphic card? When I did some of those PSU calculators they all came up with about 220W. If the Apex PSU has to be swapped does it use a standard size one?

Zon2020, et al,

Initially I thought about using an i3-2100 CPU. Then after reading more it seemed like the G620 would be just as good. I guess it's just a mental block against using a Celeron G530. Not to say that I can't be convinced to use a G530, but what, if any, performance hit would I take compared to the G620 if I want to use the PC for other things, such as authoring a video to DVD?

Yes you can easily swap psu with any standard psu.

Also .. You probably do not need graphics card.

Next... G630 @ 2.7ghz for $61.99 is what I recommend. PM me if you need a link.

i3 is nice but the g630 will be enough. Good compromise between i3 and g530 and great value at 62$.

Last... There is plenty of room in that case. It is not my favorite but it's good and will work fine for a good price/value
post #152 of 1016
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

Yes you can easily swap psu with any standard psu.

Also .. You probably do not need graphics card.

Next... G630 @ 2.7ghz for $61.99 is what I recommend. PM me if you need a link.

i3 is nice but the g630 will be enough. Good compromise between i3 and g530 and great value at 62$.

Last... There is plenty of room in that case. It is not my favorite but it's good and will work fine for a good price/value

Micro Center has the G620 @ 2.6GHz for $49.99. Is the G630 worth the difference in cost?
post #153 of 1016
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike99 View Post

Micro Center has the G620 @ 2.6GHz for $49.99. Is the G630 worth the difference in cost?

No. 11$ for 100mhz. Not big deal.

Both r good. I have both. Little real world difference.
post #154 of 1016
Quote:
Originally Posted by drealit View Post

To start, I would sell off that junk PSU that came with the enclosure for $15-20 to some unsuspecting ebayer... I absolutely do not trust low tier PSU's since I've had a few experiences where they took out other components when they malfunctioned (no thank you). I would pick up one of the $15-20 Corsair 400W units that usually floats by during the year (I usually buy one if I don't already have one on hand if I see the deal).

And there it is for $17 AC/AR haha: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16817139026

If anyone of you do regular small builds throughout the year, I suggest picking up one of these wonderful units whenever they come around. It received a 9 rating from JonnyGuru when reviewed.
post #155 of 1016
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by drealit View Post

And there it is for $17 AC/AR haha: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16817139026

If anyone of you do regular small builds throughout the year, I suggest picking up one of these wonderful units whenever they come around. It received a 9 rating from JonnyGuru when reviewed.

Solid idea. I just bought one.
post #156 of 1016
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

Yes you can easily swap psu with any standard psu.

Also .. You probably do not need graphics card.

Next... G630 @ 2.7ghz for $61.99 is what I recommend. PM me if you need a link.

i3 is nice but the g630 will be enough. Good compromise between i3 and g530 and great value at 62$.

Last... There is plenty of room in that case. It is not my favorite but it's good and will work fine for a good price/value

If you guys are referring to the Apex DM-318 that Mfusick linked earlier, it DOES NOT use a standard PSU. I would say an SFF PSU instead, but you better get precise measurements from someone that has one before buying a replacement because they're not all the same.

BT
post #157 of 1016
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joeforsale View Post

Anyone ever use ECS motherboard? They have an Intel H61 socket 1155 for $34.99 after MIR with $2.99 shipping.

ECS is horrible. Never had a good one.

BT
post #158 of 1016
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bjterry62 View Post

ECS is horrible. Never had a good one.

BT

It works as intended. I have one. I certainly would not use the word "horrible"

I had no issues at all with mine. It works everyday in an office environment.

I have a G620 installed on it running off a 60GB Vertex 3 SSD. It's in an ancient cases that only had USB1.0 ... lol.

I needed IDE to SATA power adapters for the oldschool PSU.

It's totally a frankenstien budget build.. but it works great.

I have no hesitation recommending this board to others, it's good for a sub $50 motherboard.

I like the Asrock better for $20 more though...
post #159 of 1016
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

It works as intended. I have one. I certainly would not use the word "horrible"

I had no issues at all with mine. It works everyday in an office environment.

I have a G620 installed on it running off a 60GB Vertex 3 SSD. It's in an ancient cases that only had USB1.0 ... lol.

I needed IDE to SATA power adapters for the oldschool PSU.

It's totally a frankenstien budget build.. but it works great.

I have no hesitation recommending this board to others, it's good for a sub $50 motherboard.

I like the Asrock better for $20 more though...

I've had three. First one lasted about 6 weeks. RMAd and the second lasted a little over 2 months. Got it replaced one more time and the third lasted a little over a year. It was very buggy the entire time. Three strikes, your out. I won't buy another. YMMV

BT
post #160 of 1016
Quote:
Originally Posted by drealit View Post

And there it is for $17 AC/AR haha: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16817139026

If anyone of you do regular small builds throughout the year, I suggest picking up one of these wonderful units whenever they come around. It received a 9 rating from JonnyGuru when reviewed.

I'll probably get one of these. If not for the HTPC then maybe my desktop. But I have a couple of questions.

Some of the reviews mention that some of cables are shorter than normal. From everyone's experience will this be a problem or are 400mm cables typically long enough?

Also some of reviews question the use of the 6+2 pin PCIe connector. I have no idea what kind of a problem that might cause. I looked up some inexpensive graphic cards but could not anything about them using a 6 pin or 6+2 pin connector. Is this normally used only on high end graphic cards?

I don't plan on using a graphic card, but if for some reason I do it would be nice not to have a problem.
post #161 of 1016
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike99 View Post

I’ll probably get one of these. If not for the HTPC then maybe my desktop. But I have a couple of questions.

Some of the reviews mention that some of cables are shorter than normal. From everyone’s experience will this be a problem or are 400mm cables typically long enough?

Also some of reviews question the use of the 6+2 pin PCIe connector. I have no idea what kind of a problem that might cause. I looked up some inexpensive graphic cards but could not anything about them using a 6 pin or 6+2 pin connector. Is this normally used only on high end graphic cards?

I don’t plan on using a graphic card, but if for some reason I do it would be nice not to have a problem.

Depends on the case.

They certainly would not work in my case:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

Case came with extension cable for 12v Power plugs



Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post


Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post



another shot






Below is another picture from the back of the case.

I love that both sides swing open and tons of room on the back side behind the motherboard for cable mgmt.



post #162 of 1016
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike99 View Post

I'll probably get one of these. If not for the HTPC then maybe my desktop. But I have a couple of questions.

Some of the reviews mention that some of cables are shorter than normal. From everyone's experience will this be a problem or are 400mm cables typically long enough?

Also some of reviews question the use of the 6+2 pin PCIe connector. I have no idea what kind of a problem that might cause. I looked up some inexpensive graphic cards but could not anything about them using a 6 pin or 6+2 pin connector. Is this normally used only on high end graphic cards?

I don't plan on using a graphic card, but if for some reason I do it would be nice not to have a problem.


What kind of case are you getting?

A small case it's not a problem. Most HTPC cases are small.
post #163 of 1016
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

What kind of case are you getting?

A small case it's not a problem. Most HTPC cases are small.

I'm not sure. I think about an HTPC case because that would blend in with the other A/V components. Since I've never built a PC I don't want to find to myself scratching my head trying to figure out how to get everything to fit.

And I've thought about a mini tower because I could stick it in the corner where my antenna coax & CAT 5E cables are & it would be out of sight. All the PC's I've had have been mini tower cases with lots of room.

An HTPC case would look cool. A mini tower would be out of sight so it would not matter what it looked like.

I'd just hate to pass up a $17 PSU that gets good reviews.
post #164 of 1016
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike99 View Post

I'm not sure. I think about an HTPC case because that would blend in with the other A/V components. Since I've never built a PC I don't want to find to myself scratching my head trying to figure out how to get everything to fit.

And I've thought about a mini tower because I could stick it in the corner where my antenna coax & CAT 5E cables are & it would be out of sight. All the PC's I've had have been mini tower cases with lots of room.

If you decide you want a mini tower, I highly recommend the Silverstone TJ08-E. Truly great case. Very easy to work in, room for lots of stuff. And it's quiet. It has a big 180mm fan in the front (with a slide out dust filter by the way). With a 120mm fan in the rear, it creates good front-to-back air flow. Built a desktop for my wife using this and a i5-2500k and it runs cool, it's quiet, and it's relatively small. And you can use whatever standard PSU you want. (I used a SeaSonic S12II 520).

Allthough if you use a reasonably sized HTPC case like a something like a Silverstone GD04 you won't have any trouble getting anything to fit if you use the standard Intel cooler and a reasonably sized PSU (A 5.5" long PSU like that CX430 is ideal. I used an FSP Aurum Gold 400 in my GD04.). I think the GD04 is pretty easy to build and cool. By the way, one way to get comfortable is Youtube. Search for the model of case you're considering and you're likely to find videos of builds using that case which will give you a feel for it, some familiarity about what to look out for, and some confidence about how easy it will be.
post #165 of 1016
Ya don't be scared of building... it's like putting building blocks together. If you've ever put together a lego set, you can put together a computer (IMHO).

As for the PSU, I haven't run into any issues yet with it. I've used it in mid tower enclosures along with small ones. I could see how one might run into issues with large mid towers (antec 300 possibly?) but this is one of those situations where you shoot first and ask questions later. If you don't end up being able to use it, you can surely sell it on eBay or to one of the members here with ease. I love having a quality cheap PSU hanging around as a backup and also to knock out any possibilities of failed PSU's while testing (if you pop it into your dead computer and it works... something is up with your current PSU or connections haha).
post #166 of 1016
Thread Starter 
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16817371029

Great deal on great PSU if you guys looking for something better
post #167 of 1016
Quote:
Originally Posted by assassin View Post

I also pay $15 for each and every version of Media Browser that I use. I probably don't have to as I could just download the same thing for free but this would also be illegal. So in the end I have paid hundreds of dollars to Media Browser because its the right thing to do.

I thought Media Browser was legal to use for free unless you wanted the premium features? I paid the money for mine (a bargain) so I don't know if something has changed?

I know it's a little off subject, but I was curious.
post #168 of 1016
Quote:
Originally Posted by TornadoTJ View Post

I thought Media Browser was legal to use for free unless you wanted the premium features? I paid the money for mine (a bargain) so I don't know if something has changed?

I know it's a little off subject, but I was curious.

No. Official installers have to pay to use it (we are one as you can see)

Here.

Here
post #169 of 1016
I want to thank everyone for helping me spend my money!

Thank goodness it's not a lot of money. I was in no hurry & was going to just get a component here & there whenever there was a good sale. So far the sales are happening one right after the other.

I just ordered the $17AR PSU from Newegg. I'm still not sure about a case but figured I'd grab the PSU & have it handy if it is needed.

The RAM is on the way.

The mobo arrived yesterday. The UPS box is in good condition but the mobo box has two smashed corners. The board looks OK & I hope there is no hairline crack that will cause a problem.
post #170 of 1016
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike99 View Post

I want to thank everyone for helping me spend my money!

Thank goodness it's not a lot of money. I was in no hurry & was going to just get a component here & there whenever there was a good sale. So far the sales are happening one right after the other.

I just ordered the $17AR PSU from Newegg. I'm still not sure about a case but figured I'd grab the PSU & have it handy if it is needed.

The RAM is on the way.

The mobo arrived yesterday. The UPS box is in good condition but the mobo box has two smashed corners. The board looks OK & I hope there is no hairline crack that will cause a problem.

Just a piece of advice, I had started the process the same way you were, just buying the components as they came on sale, but then I realized if I kept at this for over month I could run out of time to return some of my components if they were DOA. If you have some parts laying around to test them then that's fine but if you are buying them as they come on sale it's something to keep in mind.
post #171 of 1016
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike99 View Post

I want to thank everyone for helping me spend my money!

Thank goodness it's not a lot of money. I was in no hurry & was going to just get a component here & there whenever there was a good sale. So far the sales are happening one right after the other.

I just ordered the $17AR PSU from Newegg. I'm still not sure about a case but figured I'd grab the PSU & have it handy if it is needed.

The RAM is on the way.

The mobo arrived yesterday. The UPS box is in good condition but the mobo box has two smashed corners. The board looks OK & I hope there is no hairline crack that will cause a problem.

You will be fine.

These things are not fragile.

You probably would scream if you saw how I treated PC component.

Most think they are fragile- but in 20 years of building PC's I never broke anything. It always works fine.

It's unlikely your motherboard has a crack from shipping.
post #172 of 1016
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post


You will be fine.

These things are not fragile.

You probably would scream if you saw how I treated PC component.

Most think they are fragile- but in 20 years of building PC's I never broke anything. It always works fine.

It's unlikely your motherboard has a crack from shipping.

+1 on this. I, too, and notorious for monkey-fisting PC components during a build and the only casualty I've ever suffered was a cheap pair of clips that held a front panel of a case in place. It was an easy fix, but i was ticked off about the clips just snapping.
post #173 of 1016
Haha ditto to everything said above. I've only had motherboards die on me and 1 hard drive... and it wasn't from the many occasions of my manhandling that they underwent.
post #174 of 1016
Quote:
Originally Posted by JackDiesel14 View Post

Just a piece of advice, I had started the process the same way you were, just buying the components as they came on sale, but then I realized if I kept at this for over month I could run out of time to return some of my components if they were DOA. If you have some parts laying around to test them then that's fine but if you are buying them as they come on sale it's something to keep in mind.

I am aware of that & also the rebates. I might pick up the CPU on Friday. The RAM should be delivered by then. The PSU hopefully Monday. Then I can do the POST.

Just thinking about the POST, do most people plug in a speaker to just hear a beep or use the monitor?
post #175 of 1016
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

[b]Intel Celeron Dual-Core Processor G530 2.4GHz 2MB LGA1155 CPU, Retail - BX80623G530 37$ with code.
http://www.superbiiz.com/detail.php?name=G530BOX


http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16813135288
ECS H61H2-M2(1.0) LGA 1155 Intel H61 HDMI Micro ATX Intel Motherboard
$34 AR

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16811148046
1 x ($29.99) Broadway Com Corp 1243MA-BLACK Glossy black Steel ATX Mini Tower Computer Case 500W Power Supply
$29.99 (Free shipping with Newegg business code)


http://www.tigerdirect.com/applicati...srkey=P33-5310
Patriot PG34G1333EL Gamer 2 Desktop Memory Module - 4GB, PC3-10666, DDR3-1333MHz, 9-9-9-24 CAS Latency, Intel XMP Ready $12.99

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16827106289
1 x ($17.99) LITE-ON DVD Burner - Bulk 24X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 12X DVD+R DL 24X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM Black SATA Model iHAS124-04 - OEM (Free shipping)
$17.99

OCZ Agility 3 AGT3-25SAT3-60G 2.5" 60GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)
15% off with promo code HARDOCPX418A, ends 4/24
48$ shipped:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16820227725

That's it. 60GB SSD replaced 80GB HDD for only $12.

Still well under $200 and SSD based OS.

I dare you beat that!
post #176 of 1016
How is that $48?
post #177 of 1016
Never mind, the page didn't completely load and I didnt see the MIR. I dont think Ill be able to pass that up!!
post #178 of 1016
Thread Starter 
15% coupon code + $20 rebate.
post #179 of 1016
Thread Starter 
ok Bit of an update:

I have decided to make a basic HTPC for the Bedroom. My requirements were:

QUIET. It is a bedroom.
Affordable. I want maximum value
Capable. I want decent performance.

It would be installed into an AV closet with my receiver, projector, TiVO HD, Cablebox, Bluray and subwoofer. The room is hardwired with speaker wire in walls, and you can't tell there is any AV equiptment in the room when the screen goes up except for small elegant speakers on wall. It's set up 6.1. My favorite place to watch a movie in house because it is so comfortable. Wife and I use it every night.

Therefore- size was not a factor. Noise was. I won't see the PC box, and I was hoping not to hear it also.


I recently have bought the above stuff and also some other good stuff:

Antec NEO ECO 400C 400W Continuous Power ATX12V 2.3 / EPS12V 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Power Supply ($29!! U MAD?)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16817371029


http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16813157252
ASRock Z68 PRO3-M LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard $69.99 OPEN BOX

Antec Three Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case $40 Shipped
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16811129042

I also bought this:

COOLER MASTER Elite 430 RC-430-KWN1 Black Steel / Plastic Computer Case
$39.99 + $2.99 shipping. $10 Mail in. Makes it like $33 shipped.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16811119227

Very curious to see what case is better. Many including Assassin like the Antec - and claim it is quiet. I plan to use that case. Which this case will replace my Thermaltake Armor 10 bay that is at my office, and the Full tower will then become my Server Case. If I like the Coolermaster better- I might just make the HTPC in that and use the Antec300 as the server. Lots of options.




I have used the Coolermaster Case before in a basic i5 build:






It was quiet and easy to build in. Just enough space, without being too big.

I will have a mini case shoot out I guess.


I currently have 5 different cases in my home office, and I am building a few different builds side by side.

I will share my thoughts about all in some future posts.


The HTPC for the bedroom is planned to be:


Antec300 Case $40
Antec Eco 400watt PSU $29
Asrock Z68 motherboard $70
G.Skill RIPJAWZ 8GB DDR3 PC12800/1600mhz (4GBx2) $36
G630 Intel CPU $62
OCZ Vertex3 120GB $109
-------------------------------
$346 TOTAL COST

I decided to go a step up from the previous build stuff because for my personal use if I don't do it now- I will always be pulling it apart or upgrading.

I am hoping this set up will serve me for at least 6 months before I am tempted to change anything or pull it apart.

I will frankenstien the Sata cable + Sata power out the case and install OS from DVD drive- but then remove it. No Optical is needed on this PC. It will be serviced from my server. Any disc gets ripped to that anyways.


That now leaves me with a spare ASRock H61M/U3S3 LGA 1155 Intel H61 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard.

I am going to use this for a server board with a G530, and a PCI SATAII card, and a PCI-X SATAIII card.

I want to play around with WHS2011 + FLEXRAID.

Can't decide if I should use the $48 60GB SSD I just bought for the OS for that server- or use a 320GB WD Blue drive I have laying around. I also have a 300GB Velociraptor I was going to list on ebay for $60. I might keep that for the OS too... since it's faster. Just wondering if it even matters or not.

Part of me tells me for $48 I should just use the SSD and be done with it once and for all. The only part that has me is if it is hard to install to only 60GB. I keep reading that WHS2011 needs 160GB to install to.
post #180 of 1016
The ECS H61H2-M2(1.0) mobo uses DDR3 1333. However when looking at G530 vs. G620, most listings indicate they both support only DDR3 1066 RAM. Is that correct?

I realize the differences may be small, but does that reduce any impact of using a G620?
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