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Cheapest ever HTPC that's decent. Proud of myself. - Page 9

post #241 of 1016
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joeforsale View Post

Well show the break-down good sir!

+1 I wanna see a break-down too. I have spent $214 IF I get my last coupon code to go through, if not add $23.50 back to the final cost.

That's Triple Core A6 APU. Quad Core Trinity would be nice but that will be the basis for a new workstation.

The question this coming Black Friday is if HP/Toshiba start blowing out Llano laptops as Trinity laptops will be on the market. Should be able to get an A4-3400M with Web Cam and 802.11n WiFi for $299 from several places.

The other question is are we going to get another price drop on PS3's?
post #242 of 1016
Thread Starter 
Dude,

That's like 6 months from now.
post #243 of 1016
Quote:
Originally Posted by dj4monie View Post

  • ASRock A75M - $79.99 (Amazon, No Tax, Free Ship)
  • Patriot Signature Line Memory DDR3 4GB (2x2GB) 1600Mhz - $23.99 (Amazon, No Tax, Free Ship)
  • AMD A6-3500 Retail Box - $69.99 (Fry's via Price Match with Microcenter)
  • OCZ Agility Petrol 64GB SSD *Final Price Pending (Staples)

This is an upgrade of my current HTPC build which is five years old.

The SSD was $82.99. I got a Staples $25 off $75 for $2.50 from Hotcoupons4u to make it $63.99. However I found an additional coupon code for another $23.50 off online purchases, making the final price $39.56 IF the additional code is accepted. I won't know until the morning.

Total with taxes, free shipping on all (Motherboard, Memory, SSD) - $214.66

Not bad for equal CPU performance with Intel's cut-down i3 G-series CPU, but with arse kicking GPU performance. Along with low idle wattage and should be around 30W while watching SD/HD OTA content.

Great job there.

Last week Tigerdirect had the A6-3500 for 59.99 after rebate.
Just shows how quick deals come and go...have to grab them fast.
post #244 of 1016
I've been looking at a cheap HTPC build myself - mostly for DVR purposes. Is it just me or is my build extremely expensive? These prices are from Newegg and do not include shipping.
  • Silverstone ML03B - $60
  • Celeron G530 - $50
  • Biostar H61 - $50
  • Antec Green 380W - $60
  • Crucial 4gb DDR3 1333 - $24
  • OCZ 60gb Solid State Drive - $75
  • Samsung Ecogreen 2tb - $120
  • HIS Radeon 6570 - $65
  • Ceton InfiniTV 4 - $200

    Total: $705
I think part of my elevated cost is because of the fanless Radeon 6570 and the Ceton 4, both of which jacks up the cost by $265. My reasoning is that the 6570 has the best deinterlacing/image processing capabilities, compared to integrated solutions (HD2000) or a lower end discrete card (Radeon 6450).

Also, I hear that the user experience is significantly better in WMC7 if you use a SSD.

I have yet to build an AMD-equivalent shopping list. The A6-3500 (TDP of 65w) did look intriguing but the Radeon 6530D APU is still not at the level of the 6570.

Thoughts?

My Main HTPC Uses: DVR Solution, Stream to 1 or 2 Media Center Extenders, Netflix in HD (which requires a good CPU due to poor Silverlight coding), Blu-Ray is NOT necessary since I have a PS3
post #245 of 1016
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

Dude,

That's like 6 months from now.

I know, just saying... Trinity has already been shipped to OEM's, so I predict Back To School sales in August will possibly have deeply discounted Llano laptops.

Its either that or PS3 which their are rumors floating around of another price cut at E3 (June 5/7)

In either case I'll be in EUROPE by then!
post #246 of 1016
Quote:
Originally Posted by dan4081 View Post

Great job there.

Last week Tigerdirect had the A6-3500 for 59.99 after rebate.
Just shows how quick deals come and go...have to grab them fast.

Microcenter has/had it for the same price no rebate. Too bad Fry's doesn't have price protection. I had Fry's PM the APU about a month ago to then $69.99 that Microcenter was selling it for ($76.11 final price).

You do have to jump on these, I could have saved another $10 off the darn thing!
post #247 of 1016
Quote:
Originally Posted by Comp625 View Post

I've been looking at a cheap HTPC build myself - mostly for DVR purposes. Is it just me or is my build extremely expensive? These prices are from Newegg and do not include shipping.
  • Silverstone ML03B - $60
  • Celeron G530 - $50
  • Biostar H61 - $50
  • Antec Green 380W - $60
  • Crucial 4gb DDR3 1333 - $24
  • OCZ 60gb Solid State Drive - $75
  • Samsung Ecogreen 2tb - $120
  • HIS Radeon 6570 - $65
  • Ceton InfiniTV 4 - $200

    Total: $705
I think part of my elevated cost is because of the fanless Radeon 6570 and the Ceton 4, both of which jacks up the cost by $265. My reasoning is that the 6570 has the best deinterlacing/image processing capabilities, compared to integrated solutions (HD2000) or a lower end discrete card (Radeon 6450).

Also, I hear that the user experience is significantly better in WMC7 if you use a SSD.

I have yet to build an AMD-equivalent shopping list. The A6-3500 (TDP of 65w) did look intriguing but the Radeon 6530D APU is still not at the level of the 6570.

Thoughts?

My Main HTPC Uses: DVR Solution, Stream to 1 or 2 Media Center Extenders, Netflix in HD (which requires a good CPU due to poor Silverlight coding), Blu-Ray is NOT necessary since I have a PS3

Well, you can get a AMD A55 board for about the same price ($49) and the A6-3500 from a few places for $60. If you're still stuck on getting the video card, it will be faster with the APU than alone with the cut-down i3 (G-series) Intel.

Otherwise you won't need a card with an APU, of course depending on what your doing. You need faster memory however, recent testing by Tom's Hardware confirmed the APU depends heavily on memory bandwidth and the sweet spot is 1600Mhz. You can get 1866Mhz but that depends on the bios update for your board. Most will overclock to 1866Mhz anyway. The Patriot memory doesn't have heat spreaders on it, so I'll be keeping it at 1600Mhz.

I won't be using my HD4670 anymore so I wanted to keep roughly the same graphical performance without a discrete video card. If I decide to boot up one of the games I have which are all DX9 or DX10 anyway it will run it (A6-3500) at acceptable levels at either 720p or 1080p most features turned on.
post #248 of 1016
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike99 View Post

Seagate Barracuda Green 1.5TB for $89.99, free shipping.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc..._-22148725-L0D

Glad to see those prices coming back down close to "pre-flood" levels!
post #249 of 1016
I bought the Seagate Green 1.5TB at Micro Center for $84.99 and an LG optical drive for $15.99.

Put it all together & it works!! It’s just laid out on a table for now because I’m deciding what to do for a case. I might just use my old Dell case.

But I have on question on partitioning. I installed Windows & read "What to know before installing Windows" & thought it mentioned partitioning. But I never got an option to partition. If I decide to partition, how or when is that done?
post #250 of 1016
Mfusick -

You mentioned you have used the ECS mobo. I just got mine up & running with the G620 CPU & checked the Windows Experience Index and it was only 1.0, the lowest it can go. The graphics & game graphics are both 1.0 which obviously is the bottleneck.

One place I looked (don't recall where at the moment) it said hardware acceleration is either disabled or not supported...

When I go to the Display Adapter Troubleshooter the HW accelerator slider is all the way to Full. It also says All Accelerators Are Enabled.

Any idea why the Windows Experience is 1.0? What have you experienced with your ECS graphics?

That being said, I am using the VGA monitor connection because I don't have an HDMI monitor. I thought VGA was considered hi-rez, but could this connection be affecting the graphic index?
post #251 of 1016
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike99 View Post

Mfusick -

You mentioned you have used the ECS mobo. I just got mine up & running with the G620 CPU & checked the Windows Experience Index and it was only 1.0, the lowest it can go. The graphics & game graphics are both 1.0 which obviously is the bottleneck.

One place I looked (don't recall where at the moment) it said hardware acceleration is either disabled or not supported...

When I go to the Display Adapter Troubleshooter the HW accelerator slider is all the way to Full. It also says All Accelerators Are Enabled.

Any idea why the Windows Experience is 1.0? What have you experienced with your ECS graphics?

That being said, I am using the VGA monitor connection because I don't have an HDMI monitor. I thought VGA was considered hi-rez, but could this connection be affecting the graphic index?

Update chipset and intel video drivers finish updating all windows 7 updates and service packs and restart and retest.

Then we can troubleshoot more if needed.
post #252 of 1016
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike99 View Post

I bought the Seagate Green 1.5TB at Micro Center for $84.99 and an LG optical drive for $15.99.

Put it all together & it works!! It's just laid out on a table for now because I'm deciding what to do for a case. I might just use my old Dell case.

But I have on question on partitioning. I installed Windows & read "What to know before installing Windows" & thought it mentioned partitioning. But I never got an option to partition. If I decide to partition, how or when is that done?

Your ok. Windows did it automatically.

Just check its what you want in my computer. Disc mgmt.

There was an option below in small hyperlink print called drive options. You click drive options if you want to delete or create a partition or format a partition or drive.

Windows 7 main install screen will pass by this if you don't click the drive options link below the main "next" button icon that's more apparent.

You just missed it. But windows 7 probably did it for you.
post #253 of 1016
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

Your ok. Windows did it automatically.

Just check its what you want in my computer. Disc mgmt.

There was an option below in small hyperlink print called drive options. You click drive options if you want to delete or create a partition or format a partition or drive.

Windows 7 main install screen will pass by this if you don't click the drive options link below the main "next" button icon that's more apparent.

You just missed it. But windows 7 probably did it for you.

Does that mean Windows also automatically formatted (or re-formatted) the HDD?
post #254 of 1016
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike99 View Post

Put it all together & it works!! It's just laid out on a table for now because I'm deciding what to do for a case. I might just use my old Dell case.

I didn't know you could re-use old name brand cases! Are all Dell cases compatable with ATX (or microATX) form factor? How about other brands like HP, Compaq, Gateway or IBM/Lenovo?

Any problem with Power Supply connectors? Years ago I thought all name brand motherboards had proprietary mounting and power supply connectors?

My brother's got several old name brand Pentium 4 systems sitting around. I could maybe use one of those cases/PS if they'll work.
post #255 of 1016
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike99 View Post

Does that mean Windows also automatically formatted (or re-formatted) the HDD?

Yes.

On mine when I forgot to select disc options it did two partions. Each 60GB on my 120GB SSD- effectively splitting it in half.

I did not want this so I deleted the partition- made one full size and installed to that again.

If you have a new drive and forget to select drive options and create a partition or format a drive- Windows 7 can do it automatically for you in the installation process.

If you don't like how windows 7 does it- you can use the drive options and control how it is done yourself. That is what it is for.

no doubt- Microsoft tried to make it easier for noobs to just install windows with the way it is set up. But the controls for advanced drive options are clearly located at the begining of the installation process if you need them. I think you just missed it.
post #256 of 1016
Thread Starter 
Mike99- what kind of drive are you using?

also,

Do you have online access to do the updates? Any luck with the issue about the windows experience score?

Quote:
Originally Posted by kentullis View Post

I didn't know you could re-use old name brand cases! Are all Dell cases compatable with ATX (or microATX) form factor? How about other brands like HP, Compaq, Gateway or IBM/Lenovo?

Any problem with Power Supply connectors? Years ago I thought all name brand motherboards had proprietary mounting and power supply connectors?

My brother's got several old name brand Pentium 4 systems sitting around. I could maybe use one of those cases/PS if they'll work.

You can buy an adapter for older PSU's to work on new stuff.

Example old HDD's connected with IDE power cables. New ones take SATA. You can buy an IDE to Sata Cable adapter for one entire single US Dollar. They cost about .99$ on ebay.

With this you can use any old case and PSU.


Most the other plugs are the same- but if not they make adapter for that too.

Then again, you can get a decent Diablotek 400watt PSU for like $15 shipped all day long on Newegg.

You can also get a pretty decent Logisys ATX case with 480 watt PSU for $29.

Using an old cheap retail case is not worth it IMO. A new one is better/cheaper.

My favorite budget case is the Coolermaster Elite. It's superior to other sub $50 cases I have built in -including the beloved Antec300 which everyone seems to think is the best. I have one of these Antec300's per Assassin and other reccomendations for my HTPC but I would happily trade for a Coolermaster Elite. I built two PC's side by side in both cases and nothing the Antec offers is better than the coolermaster. Coolermaster had overall better build quality and feature set. Only thing it lacked was the fan controls that the Antec had- but most modern motherboards do this anyways. Mine does so the feature is not that helpful.

Coolermaster is $39 shipped, and they make a matching PSU that sells for $17 AR and is 430watts. I also liked the Coolermaster PSU better than the Antec Eco. Freakin Antec did not even come with a power cable, cheap bastards. I never had a PSU fail on me ever (knock on wood) so I guess I tend to discredit the mental aspect of "piece of mind" you get with a more expensive or perceived higher quality PSU. That's rubbish.

My main machine has a $250 PSU in it. But I can't say anything negative about the $20 PSU's I have used not to recommend them whole heartedly for basic builds.
post #257 of 1016
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

Mike99- what kind of drive are you using?

also,

Do you have online access to do the updates? Any luck with the issue about the windows experience score?



You can buy an adapter for older PSU's to work on new stuff.

Example old HDD's connected with IDE power cables. New ones take SATA. You can buy an IDE to Sata Cable adapter for one entire single US Dollar. They cost about .99$ on ebay.

With this you can use any old case and PSU.


Most the other plugs are the same- but if not they make adapter for that too.

Then again, you can get a decent Diablotek 400watt PSU for like $15 shipped all day long on Newegg.

You can also get a pretty decent Logisys ATX case with 480 watt PSU for $29.

Using an old cheap retail case is not worth it IMO. A new one is better/cheaper.

My favorite budget case is the Coolermaster Elite. It's superior to other sub $50 cases I have built in -including the beloved Antec300 which everyone seems to think is the best. I have one of these Antec300's per Assassin and other reccomendations for my HTPC but I would happily trade for a Coolermaster Elite. I built two PC's side by side in both cases and nothing the Antec offers is better than the coolermaster. Coolermaster had overall better build quality and feature set. Only thing it lacked was the fan controls that the Antec had- but most modern motherboards do this anyways. Mine does so the feature is not that helpful.

Coolermaster is $39 shipped, and they make a matching PSU that sells for $17 AR and is 430watts. I also liked the Coolermaster PSU better than the Antec Eco. Freakin Antec did not even come with a power cable, cheap bastards. I never had a PSU fail on me ever (knock on wood) so I guess I tend to discredit the mental aspect of "piece of mind" you get with a more expensive or perceived higher quality PSU. That's rubbish.

My main machine has a $250 PSU in it. But I can't say anything negative about the $20 PSU's I have used not to recommend them whole heartedly for basic builds.

I think you may be a little bit in left field here.

A quality PSU absolutely DOES make a huge difference. Have you ever lost components to a cheap PSU while trying to cut corners? Well I, and many others, have. To tell someone that using a quality PSU is "rubbish" just isn't sound advice. In fact, many would argue that getting a quality PSU is one of the best pieces of advice to give a builder. You have been lucky in choosing cheap (notice I didn't say inexpensive) PSUs in some of your personal builds.

The Antec is a "green" PSU meaning that among other things it doesn't ship with a power cord on purpose since the company figures that many/most people have an extra lying around and this cuts down on e-waste. The Antec also is made by Seasonic which is the best PSU manufacturer across the board.

Personally I think the Coolermaster Elites are horribly ugly compared to the Three Hundred. Not sure where you are seeing where the the Coolermaster is vastly superior. I think they are both good budget cases.
post #258 of 1016
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by assassin View Post

I think you may be a little bit in left field here.

A quality PSU absolutely DOES make a huge difference. Have you ever lost components to a cheap PSU while trying to cut corners? Well I, and many others, have. To tell someone that using a quality PSU is "rubbish" just isn't sound advice. In fact, many would argue that getting a quality PSU is one of the best pieces of advice to give a builder. You have been lucky in choosing cheap (notice I didn't say inexpensive) PSUs in some of your personal builds.

The Antec is a "green" PSU meaning that among other things it doesn't ship with a power cord on purpose since the company figures that many/most people have an extra lying around and this cuts down on e-waste. The Antec also is made by Seasonic which is the best PSU manufacturer across the board.

Personally I think the Coolermaster Elites are horribly ugly compared to the Three Hundred. Not sure where you are seeing where the the Coolermaster is vastly superior. I think they are both good budget cases.

Your right about the PSU quality, but since I have been lucky I discredit it.

And- I am not saying get the cheapest thing out there- but a name brand Corsair or Coolermaster or Rosewill for $20-$30 is fine in my book for basic builds.

This guy is obviously concerned with costs- and if so- and provided we are talking cheap equiptment here- My idea I was trying to give is that a cheaper PSU is ok to use in a budget build.

I think these things should be relative. A $30 PSU is more than good enough for a $300 total cost HTPC, and too often I see people thinking that a higher end PSU will provide them piece of mind- or more insurance- against failure. While it's possible- it's not certain. You could buy the best PSU made and still have crap luck and get that 1 out of 100 that just blows up.

But- I have never had a PSU fail in 20+ PC's I build. I think I had an OCZ crap out once in socket 939 days- but it did not ruin anything.

He has a $35 motherboard, a sub $50 CPU and $20 ram. I can't in good faith recommend anything but a basic sub $30 PSU for this application. The Corsair or Coolermaster rebadge models that sell for $17 bucks I mentioned are more than appropriate. The Antec of Seasonic might be considered better but for $50 or $60 it's not needed. I don't think it's really much better either in the big picture.

I might be unique in thinking this- but for the price of a cheap HTPC I would rather keep an inexpensive PSU and take the chance of losing the whole thing than overspend or blow my budget on an expensive PSU. It's unlikely that even a sub $20 PSU is going to have any issues in the first few years of use provided you choose a brand name with a decent track record.

And- Antec leaving out the cord for the price they charge for that PSU, as well as the lack of mounting screws and substandard packaging is not a good trait at all in my book. I still think it's a great PSU and I got a great deal on mine- if you found it for $30 or so- pull the trigger by all means. But- I mean come on- does it really cost much to include a power cable? If you bought one and did not know better and build a PC you could not plug it in and test it. Assuming someone has one is an excuse for being cheap, and even though I have 5 extra laying around somewhere- I still was slightly offended and put off by lack of it's inclusion.

regarding the case-

The antec I got was broken. I ended up RMA a motherboard thinking it was DOA. Not a bad thing- I ended up with a Z68 Extreme Asrock for $80 after it was all done.

But- the Antec300 does not impress me much. The power button on mine was defective. You press it and it does not turn on the motherboard. If I hit the on button directly on the board it powers right up.

Yes I know how to connect a system header panel. And it works in another case- and multiple motherboards did not work in the Antec300.

That is strike 1 for me.

Second- I took pictures of both builds and would be happy to post in another thread demonstrating the superiority of the Coolemaster case. (I paid the same $39 shipped for both)

The coolermaster was quieter.
The coolermaster was not defective.
I think it actually looks better in person. In my photos it looks much different and better than online on the newegg pictures. Likewise- the Antec looks worse. But- In reality they look about the same so it would be pretty tough to like one and not find the other at least acceptable.

Now-

The coolermaster is actually sprayed and coated smooth inside and out- the inside of the case is nice.

In contrast the Antec is bare metal and evidence of black paint overspray is inside the case on the bare metal. not my mark of quality.

The worst part of the Antec300 is the reset button. It's hidden and you must press it in. But they protect it with very small button depressed so it does not get pressed easily.

For a normal male hand- this means your fingers are too large and you must find a pencil or screw driver to depress the button. Total annoying.

Any product that assumes I am too stupid and tried to protect me from myself by trying to be smarter than me in design gets a flunking "F" for a grade from me.

I won't accidently press the reset reset button, so when I want to do it it should be as easy as pressing a button- not searching for a tool to do it.

The coolermaster also has an additional HDD space over the Antec- while still being neater and smaller overall. Plus you can use tooless connections or easily remove for standard. All the cages are powdercoated smooth black and it's much quieter and more solid than the flimsy metal in the Antec.

Same story on the back panel.

it might just be personal preference - But I do like the coolermaster.

Neither is at the level of my main machine case (COSMOS II) but clearly the coolermaster is closer in the stuff that is important to me.

Thermal performance should be acceptable on both. You can add more fans in more locations on the coolermaster- but the Antec is not lacking here so it's a wash. Also the Antec did include a top fan- and the fans include speed control if you need this feature.

To me that was the only two things that were better on the Antec.

I am not bashing it. I like both the Antec300 and the Eco PSU, and I am very happy with both.

But my point is- I am also happy (happier) with other products too. Specifically to this guy- The $17 Coolermaster PSU 430watt or same Corsair and I was actually trying to suggest either the Antec300 or Coolermaster Elite as a nice capable case.

I will make sure I post some pics and give a thorough review of both cases side by side with same boards in them.

There was at least 10 times I said to myself "I like how coolemaster does this better" while building two PC's side by side.
post #259 of 1016
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

I built two PC's side by side in both cases and nothing the Antec offers is better than the coolermaster. Coolermaster had overall better build quality and feature set.

Hate to tell you but the experts don't agree with you...

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/...-430,2707.html

Quote:


While many of its competitors have gone with cheaper materials to address the $50 gaming case market, Antec chose instead to scale back the bling in its Three Hundred. Buyers get dual exhaust fans in a case that's around 33% thicker than most competitors, but give up LED lighting and several tool-free features.









Also this nugget:

Quote:


Rosewill wins the value competition (and consequently, our Recommended Buy award). But we can only really sign off on it for buyers who have extremely tight budgets. All but one of the cases we looked at today are made of 0.6 mm or thinner steel and lack the durability (and noise dampening) we prefer for long-term (and daily) use. The one exception, Antec's Three Hundred is priced beyond the $50 target set forth during the planning stages of this piece. Though many of us have also been accused of being cheap, we'd all gladly pay a few dollars more for a 0.8 mm-thick model.

Since you (and many others) got the case for $40 shipped you got a bargain on the best reviewed case under $50.

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/...sion,2723.html
post #260 of 1016
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

I think it actually looks better in person. In my photos it looks much different and better than online on the newegg pictures. Likewise- the Antec looks worse. But- In reality they look about the same so it would be pretty tough to like one and not find the other at least acceptable.





I might agree with you based on these two pictures from new egg.

but in person- there's a lot less real world difference in how they look.

What is the easiest way for me to get a photo from my iphone uploaded online to post in this thread???
post #261 of 1016
Thread Starter 


vs.

post #262 of 1016
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

Your right about the PSU quality, but since I have been lucky I discredit it.

Again, not sound advice for others.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

And- I am not saying get the cheapest thing out there- but a name brand Corsair or Coolermaster or Rosewill for $20-$30 is fine in my book for basic builds.

You realize that those companies don't make any of their own PSUs. So recommending a "name brand" isn't very good advice either as making a blanket statement like that just isn't smart.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

This guy is obviously concerned with costs- and if so- and provided we are talking cheap equiptment here- My idea I was trying to give is that a cheaper PSU is ok to use in a budget build.

I think these things should be relative. A $30 PSU is more than good enough for a $300 total cost HTPC, and too often I see people thinking that a higher end PSU will provide them piece of mind- or more insurance- against failure. While it's possible- it's not certain. You could buy the best PSU made and still have crap luck and get that 1 out of 100 that just blows up.

But- I have never had a PSU fail in 20+ PC's I build. I think I had an OCZ crap out once in socket 939 days- but it did not ruin anything.

He has a $35 motherboard, a sub $50 CPU and $20 ram. I can't in good faith recommend anything but a basic sub $30 PSU for this application. The Corsair or Coolermaster rebadge models that sell for $17 bucks I mentioned are more than appropriate. The Antec of Seasonic might be considered better but for $50 or $60 it's not needed. I don't think it's really much better either in the big picture.

I might be unique in thinking this- but for the price of a cheap HTPC I would rather keep an inexpensive PSU and take the chance of losing the whole thing than overspend or blow my budget on an expensive PSU. It's unlikely that even a sub $20 PSU is going to have any issues in the first few years of use provided you choose a brand name with a decent track record.

And- Antec leaving out the cord for the price they charge for that PSU, as well as the lack of mounting screws and substandard packaging is not a good trait at all in my book. I still think it's a great PSU and I got a great deal on mine- if you found it for $30 or so- pull the trigger by all means. But- I mean come on- does it really cost much to include a power cable? If you bought one and did not know better and build a PC you could not plug it in and test it. Assuming someone has one is an excuse for being cheap, and even though I have 5 extra laying around somewhere- I still was slightly offended and put off by lack of it's inclusion.

Well, unique thinking is defininitely one term.

Again, what did you pay for the PSU? $30 on sale? So you got a Seasonic for $30 and might have had to pay $2 for a power cord if you didn't have one lying around. No idea where you get off bashing this product.

Power cord: http://www.monoprice.com/products/pr...seq=1&format=2

And you tell people to get a lesser PSU to save literally a few bucks without knowing who makes or manufacturers those PSUs? I don't get it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

The antec I got was broken. I ended up RMA a motherboard thinking it was DOA. Not a bad thing- I ended up with a Z68 Extreme Asrock for $80 after it was all done.

But- the Antec300 does not impress me much. The power button on mine was defective. You press it and it does not turn on the motherboard. If I hit the on button directly on the board it powers right up.

Yes I know how to connect a system header panel. And it works in another case- and multiple motherboards did not work in the Antec300.

That is strike 1 for me.

So you got a mass produced product that was defective? That happens to everyone and all products.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

Second- I took pictures of both builds and would be happy to post in another thread demonstrating the superiority of the Coolemaster case. (I paid the same $39 shipped for both)

The coolermaster was quieter.
The coolermaster was not defective.
I think it actually looks better in person. In my photos it looks much different and better than online on the newegg pictures. Likewise- the Antec looks worse. But- In reality they look about the same so it would be pretty tough to like one and not find the other at least acceptable.

The Coolermaster is not even close to being quieter. They use crap metal (see above) and it is not quieter because of this. Period.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

The coolermaster is actually sprayed and coated smooth inside and out- the inside of the case is nice.

In contrast the Antec is bare metal and evidence of black paint overspray is inside the case on the bare metal. not my mark of quality.

Really? Who in the hell cares? Its the inside of the case.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

The worst part of the Antec300 is the reset button. It's hidden and you must press it in. But they protect it with very small button depressed so it does not get pressed easily.

For a normal male hand- this means your fingers are too large and you must find a pencil or screw driver to depress the button. Total annoying.

Any product that assumes I am too stupid and tried to protect me from myself by trying to be smarter than me in design gets a flunking "F" for a grade from me.

I won't accidently press the reset reset button, so when I want to do it it should be as easy as pressing a button- not searching for a tool to do it.

The coolermaster also has an additional HDD space over the Antec- while still being neater and smaller overall. Plus you can use tooless connections or easily remove for standard. All the cages are powdercoated smooth black and it's much quieter and more solid than the flimsy metal in the Antec.

Same story on the back panel.

it might just be personal preference - But I do like the coolermaster.

Neither is at the level of my main machine case (COSMOS II) but clearly the coolermaster is closer in the stuff that is important to me.

Thermal performance should be acceptable on both. You can add more fans in more locations on the coolermaster- but the Antec is not lacking here so it's a wash. Also the Antec did include a top fan- and the fans include speed control if you need this feature.

To me that was the only two things that were better on the Antec.

I am not bashing it. I like both the Antec300 and the Eco PSU, and I am very happy with both.

But my point is- I am also happy (happier) with other products too. Specifically to this guy- The $17 Coolermaster PSU 430watt or same Corsair and I was actually trying to suggest either the Antec300 or Coolermaster Elite as a nice capable case.

I will make sure I post some pics and give a thorough review of both cases side by side with same boards in them.

There was at least 10 times I said to myself "I like how coolemaster does this better" while building two PC's side by side.

No idea what you are talking about here. I don't even know the last time I pressed a reset button. To be honest I have no idea if my 300 even has one. You do know you can push the power button for 5 seconds to reset, correct? Many cases don't even have a reset button because of this.

And the metal is not thicker.

You really need to watch what you say sometimes without researching it a little (any) before you make these assumptions.
post #263 of 1016
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post



vs.


Coolermaster tried to copy (ripoff) the Three Hundred and didn't do so well based on the tests that I showed.

Please give me something other than your biased opinion to show otherwise.
post #264 of 1016
Thread Starter 
Antec inside:


vs
Coolemaster Inside:



To me inside it's no contest. No bare metal exposed. Much more sound aborbing in the black coating they use and feels more sturdy overall.

It looks trick too. Inside and back panel is not just cheap sheet metal like the Antec.

There is better wire mgmt on the coolermaster too.







If you never used a nice case before- You might never notice the small differences. My main case is arguably the best case available on the market at any price point. The quality and thoughtful design has spoiled me and I guess I just expect certain things that I should remember normally don't come in $39 cases with free shipping.

I think anyone would be happy with either case in a single application. But having built in both- my choice would be the coolermaster assuming your board has fan speed control.

I added a small quiet fan to the top of the coolermaster I had, while the antec came with a top fan. But- the Antec had no front fan on the HDD's and the Coolermaster did. So I guess on either model either fan could be moved so it's really a tie.

I don't need a front fan since I run SSD only and no HDD's so I left it on top to aid in the CPU cooler. Both are set to run at Level 2 on Asrock Bios with Target CPU temp 5 higher than stock. I want the fans to run slow and quiet and will sacrifice some higher temps for this.

Both are excellent cooling cases and should never had thermal issues on most builds.
post #265 of 1016
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by assassin View Post

Hate to tell you but the experts don't agree with you...

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/...-430,2707.html


Since you (and many others) got the case for $40 shipped you got a bargain on the best reviewed case under $50.

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/...sion,2723.html

It's funny I just read this myself. I can honestly say I don't agree with the experts.

They got it wrong.
post #266 of 1016
Again, these are your biased opinions and fancy illustrations.

I provided objective evidence of the better case.

I don't care about the painting inside and how "trick" it looks inside. I could just as easily say how "untrick" it looks outside.

Ultimately I care how it works for HTPC and Servers. And the Antec Three Hundred is just a better design.

And that's not just my opinion.

I will leave it for others to decide based on the evidence that we have both provided.
post #267 of 1016
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

It's funny I just read this myself. I can honestly say I don't agree with the experts.

They got it wrong.

That Coolermaster wasn't even close to being the best.

So they must have REALLY got it wrong then.
post #268 of 1016
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by assassin View Post

Again, not sound advice for others.

Disagree. A $35 ECS motherboard, $20 of DDR3 and a $49 CPU does not require a Seasonic PSU for $50+ making it the single most expensive component in the system.

I would get a $17 Coolermaster 430watt as I suggested. It's not total crap and much more appropriate. It's really the only thing I ever suggested. I also tried to dismiss the idea that you *must* use a high end expensive PSU that is so commonplace. For $200 PC's let's be realistic here. The equitpment is neither high end, expensive or cutting edge. It's value does not justify the expense of a $50+ PSU, nor require it. If someone wants to spend the money and makes the decision to get a better PSU good for them. I support that choice. But I won't insist it must happen and is the only choice. It's clearly not.

And last- You know this- I got a ECO for $29 so if someone wants to deal shop and finds a value like that it's clearly probably one of the best possible options. I did.

Quote:
Originally Posted by assassin View Post

You realize that those companies don't make any of their own PSUs. So recommending a "name brand" isn't very good advice either as making a blanket statement like that just isn't smart.

You know I realize. I posted the article in my build thread.
But- you do realize that not every non seasonic PSU is not total crap right?
The coolermaster and Corsair PSU's that frequently sell for under $25 might not be the quality of a Seasonic for twice the price- but there is absolutley no reason to think they won't function as intended and work appropriately in a very basic low cost build.

To expect it to break, or not function or even fear it's failure just seems silly to me. Eventually you will either have good luck or bad luck.

Same as me with the Antec300 Case. I had bad luck and got a bad unit that was defective. It happens.

But it's not normal and not to be expected.

Quote:
Originally Posted by assassin View Post

Again, what did you pay for the PSU? $30 on sale? So you got a Seasonic for $30 and might have had to pay $2 for a power cord if you didn't have one lying around. No idea where you get off bashing this product.

I never bashed it. I think it is a good PSU. Just I think for the price they charge normally for it they could include this $2 cord. Showing me how little it costs only reinforces my argument it should have been included.

I have bought countless other PSU's before, and all of them came with power cords. It's not a deal breaker, but it's certainly not a selling point either.



Quote:
Originally Posted by assassin View Post

The Coolermaster is not even close to being quieter. They use crap metal (see above) and it is not quieter because of this. Period.

Really? Who in the hell cares? Its the inside of the case.

This is an opinion of yours that is not univerasal across all people. Have some open mindedness.

My comments were based on the appreciation I had for the coolermaster case being nicer inside during the build process. It was more fun to build in and felt overall better designed and higher quality.

I do like the black over the sheet metal of the Antec. The coolermaster is quieter because it vibrates less. With both fans on max- the Coolermaster was quieter. When I turned down the fans both cases were acceptably quiet.

While it's not a decisive victory my impression was the coolermaster was better. They were literally side by side.



Quote:
Originally Posted by assassin View Post

No idea what you are talking about here. I don't even know the last time I pressed a reset button. To be honest I have no idea if my 300 even has one. You do know you can push the power button for 5 seconds to reset, correct? Many cases don't even have a reset button because of this.


The reset button is located right next to the power button but it's impossible to press in with a normal sized finger. What's the point if that is true anyways?

And- Not sure what cases your using but most do indeed have reset buttons. And most motherboards have reset hook ups for these on the system panel. I know you know this stuff so I won't press this issue.

Bottom line is,

I am not going to argue with you.

And I am not bashing the Antec300. I am happy with it. Never did I say it was not a good case.

I admit I had a bad one, and I am pretty easy going about these things. It sure does change my perspective a bit- but overall I can't see anyone getting this case for $40 being upset with the choice. I am not.

I think we can just agree to disagree. It's just my opinion having bought, built, owned and used both side by side.

My personal HTPC is in an Antec300 with an ECO PSU. I think your reading more into my words than needed. I am not bashing either product, but I can't say without hesitation they are clearly the best and only option either.

Certainly there is some other products in this class that could be better in some areas. I know you love the Antec300 and the ECO PSU and honestly I bought them based on your reccomendation. I got a great price on both and I am happy with the choice.
I guess I should really say thank you about this. THANK YOU
But have an open mind. The coolermaster is indeed at the same level as the Antec300, and certainly there can be an argument it's worth a look. I won't doubt if some people find it better in some ways. I did.
post #269 of 1016
So basically you are recommending that people choose an inferior PSU over a PSU that is markedly better with better parts internally, better manufacturing, etc because you haven't been burned personally to save about $10. And no one is recommending a $50 PSU as a necessity. As you just proved you purchased a Seasonic for $32 including cord which is money very very well spent.

And you are recommending a case that placed last in an objective case review being tested head to head by professional reviewers instead stating that "nothing the Antec offers is better than the coolermaster. Coolermaster had overall better build quality and feature set" even though the reviewers showed objectively that it was made out of inferior materials and had the worst cooling design out of any of the cases tested.

And finally you perseverate over a $2 cord when the purpose is to keep the cost down to the consumer by intentionally leaving this part out as many or most of PC builders have a few extra lying around (I also note which of these PSUs need cords in my hardware guide, btw).

Did I miss anything?

I encourage other's different viewpoints even if they differ from mine as frankly I just enjoy reading them and learning from them but in this case I think your recommendations (especially on paying a little extra for a quality PSU as being "rubbish") potentially dangerous and just plain bad advice.
post #270 of 1016
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by assassin View Post

So basically you are recommending that people choose an inferior PSU over a PSU that is markedly better with better parts internally, better manufacturing, etc because you haven't been burned personally to save about $10. And no one is recommending a $50 PSU as a necessity. As you just proved you purchased a Seasonic for $32 including cord which is money very very well spent.

No. Your wrong. I was recommending a $17 PSU to match a cheap build with the thinking that the ECO we are talking about normally sells for $50. (Plus a power cord purchase..lol)

Now if someone wanted to make the decision to upgrade to a better model that's cool. I did. I found the ECO for $29 and jumped on it. That's a solid option I would endorse for sure.

But to try and make a guy with a $35 motherboard, $20 Ram, and a sub $50 CPU currently running on hit kitchen table that needs a PSU and case for his budget build think he needs a high end PSU - I think that's wrong.

Your assuming that a non Seasonic PSU must be total trash, or won't work/break/fail etc... That's just wrong.

I made three office PC's with the same $17 PSU from Coolermaster and never had any issues. Nor do I expect any for years to come.

Your really reading into this more than you should. I think you think I am suggesting the PSU does not matter. That's not the case. I am just suggesting for a guy with a real low cost build it's ok to get a cheaper PSU.
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