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Please rate before I buy

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 
So after looking around at many different options, this seems to be my best one.

CPU: Core i5 3570K 3.4GHz LGA 1155 Processor
MOBO: ASRock Z77 Pro3 1155 ATX Intel Motherboard
RAM: G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800)
HDD: Kingston 120GB SSDNOW V+200 SATA 3 with NAS for mass storage
Case: Need recommendations
PSU: Pending on case
TV Tuner: Pending on recommendations

This is more of a benchmark right now but I am looking to keep the cost down but do everything my DVR at home can do. I will add a TV Tuner but not sure which is best. This HTPC will be used to record/watch live tv at the same time and to play lite games such as emulators/roms.
post #2 of 27
Since you said your "looking to keep the cost down", I think a Core I5 3570K processor is a bit overkill for a HTPC. I suggest you go either with a Celeron, Pentium or at most a Core I3 processor, any of which would be more than powerful enough to record and playback HD OTA and play lite games.

You can feather cut cost by going with a B75 chipset microATX motherboard, and on eBay you can get a OEM Hauppauge WinTV-HVR-1800 for about $25. I can't really suggest a power supply but when I built my HTPC 3 months ago, I went with a 380-watt Antec EA-380D and I've been happy with it ever since.

Hope this helps...
post #3 of 27
I recently built an HTPC to use as a DVR. It has a G620 CPU, H61 mobo, 4GB RAM, two OTA dual tuner cards & an HD 6450 video card. I don't play any games on it but when recording 4 HD OTA programs & playing back a different program the CPU usage varies from about 7 to 17%.

I don't recall what the CPU usage was before installing the video card but is was still pretty low since recording video does not use the video card. I installed the HD 6540 because I was having some stuttering when watching some older SD OTA programs with WMC7.

I used two AVerMedia Duet tuner cards because they were cheaper than the Hauppauge dual tuner cards. However AVerMedia just discontinued the Duet cards & they didn't know if there was going to be a replacement.

I really like having 4 tuners, especially with the fall TV season here. I can record more stuff than I can watch!
post #4 of 27
These are a few of the components used in mine -

Case - nMEDIAPC Black Aluminum panel & Steel HTPC 1000B Micro ATX Media Center / HTPC Case
Tuner - 1 x HDHomeRun DUAL - High Definition Digital TV Tuner (Network Attached) HDHR3-US (Black) by SiliconDust and a AVerMedia Duet tuner card
Power Supply -I use a Antec NEO ECO 400C 400W Continuous Power ATX12V 2.3 / EPS12V 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Power Supply but I know this one is recommended as well - PC Power and Cooling Silencer MK III 400W Modular 80PLUS Bronze Power Supply
post #5 of 27
Thread Starter 
Here is my final product. Mucho thanks to Assassin's guide.

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i3-2100 3.1GHz Dual-Core Processor ($104.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: Asus P8Z68-M Pro Micro ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($119.98 @ NCIX US)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($29.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Kingston HyperX 3K 120GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($99.99 @ Newegg)
Case: nMEDIAPC HTPC 5000B HTPC Case ($79.98 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Antec EarthWatts Green 380W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($40.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Total: $475.92
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
post #6 of 27
post #7 of 27
Thread Starter 

That's the one I got. wink.gif

PCpartpicker just likes to link newegg.
post #8 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Viperlx View Post

Here is my final product. Mucho thanks to Assassin's guide.
PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks
CPU: Intel Core i3-2100 3.1GHz Dual-Core Processor ($104.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: Asus P8Z68-M Pro Micro ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($119.98 @ NCIX US)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($29.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Kingston HyperX 3K 120GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($99.99 @ Newegg)
Case: nMEDIAPC HTPC 5000B HTPC Case ($79.98 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Antec EarthWatts Green 380W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($40.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Total: $475.92
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)

Why Sandy Bridge? Its obsolete. Get Ivy Bridge - clock for clock its around 10% faster. Get an i3 3225 + Gigabyte H77M-D3H.
post #9 of 27
For HTPC use the SB will work just fine and save up to $50 when on sale of the IB. Jeez my Clarkdale i3 works just fine in this application which I saved $30 of the SB when assembling my HTPC 18 months back. There really is no need for the extra power of the IB over the SB for an HTPC not used for gaming.
post #10 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sammy2 View Post

For HTPC use the SB will work just fine and save up to $50 when on sale of the IB. Jeez my Clarkdale i3 works just fine in this application which I saved $30 of the SB when assembling my HTPC 18 months back. There really is no need for the extra power of the IB over the SB for an HTPC not used for gaming.

Longevity for one. And its slightly faster. No reason not to go for a new i3 over the old one.
post #11 of 27
We'll have to agree to disagree.

Why would a previous generation new processor last any less time than a current generation new processor. They're both new. As far as use goes, in an HTPC there really isn't anything that changes all that fast because it is going to be dependent on changes in display technology. Unless you've got $10k to $15 to throw down on a display it isn't changing any time soon and the content just isn't there and won't be there for some time.

Save money now. Upgrade later when the other stuff is available.

BTW, I have this argument with my son all the time.
post #12 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sammy2 View Post

We'll have to agree to disagree.
Why would a previous generation new processor last any less time than a current generation new processor. They're both new. As far as use goes, in an HTPC there really isn't anything that changes all that fast because it is going to be dependent on changes in display technology. Unless you've got $10k to $15 to throw down on a display it isn't changing any time soon and the content just isn't there and won't be there for some time.
Save money now. Upgrade later when the other stuff is available.
BTW, I have this argument with my son all the time.

Looks like it. I usually don't buy old anything when a new model is out, especially when its tech.
post #13 of 27
That is the way to an empty bank account, especially in this case as the older chip will perform quite adequately in this application. If you're going for all out power and are doing gaming you might as well go i7, otherwise you're throwing your money away but to each his own.
post #14 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sammy2 View Post

That is the way to an empty bank account, especially in this case as the older chip will perform quite adequately in this application. If you're going for all out power and are doing gaming you might as well go i7, otherwise you're throwing your money away but to each his own.

Nothing to do with all out power, Ivy is superior all round. Its the OP's choice anyway.
post #15 of 27
You are missing the point. An i3-550 gets the job done. I know this because mine has been doing it for over a year now. A SB will get the job done now. No need to spend more money for something that is "superior" when you don't need that "superiority".
post #16 of 27
FWIW .... I gotta go with Sammy on this one . Really hard to argue with common sense .

Everyone is free to do as they wish but trying to justify it with an "empty hand " approach is .... well , not gonna work wink.gif
post #17 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tiddles88 View Post

Why Sandy Bridge? Its obsolete. Get Ivy Bridge - clock for clock its around 10% faster. Get an i3 3225 + Gigabyte H77M-D3H.
I'm evaluating this right now, too. But, buy all the reading I've done, the SB isn't "obsolete" by any stretch of the imagination.

The i3-3225 you mention is running $145, compared to $105 for the i3-3100. That's 38% more to go from 3.1GHz to 3.3GHz and HD Graphics 2000 to HD Graphics 4000. I don't think the bang for the buck is there. The i3-3220 has HD Graphics 2500 and is $120 - that's still 19% more.

Given that the OP has stated he wants to keep costs down, he's probably better off with a G620 for now for $64.
post #18 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by jlv View Post

I'm evaluating this right now, too. But, buy all the reading I've done, the SB isn't "obsolete" by any stretch of the imagination.
The i3-3225 you mention is running $145, compared to $105 for the i3-3100. That's 38% more to go from 3.1GHz to 3.3GHz and HD Graphics 2000 to HD Graphics 4000. I don't think the bang for the buck is there. The i3-3220 has HD Graphics 2500 and is $120 - that's still 19% more.
Given that the OP has stated he wants to keep costs down, he's probably better off with a G620 for now for $64.

I totally agree with you. For HTPC Sandy Bridge (or even Clarkdale) is far far far from "obsolete".

FWIW I just jumped on the i3-2100 $80 deal because pound for pound (or dollar for dollar) its still one of the best CPUs for the money and certainly a better value HTPC CPU for how I use my HTPC than a i3-3225 at almost double the cost.

Unless you are using Madvr or gaming you will see no noticeable benefit in going from Clarkdale to Sandy to Ivy for 1080p/720p playback. You will likely see slightly lower wattage readings which is nice but it will take a long time to recoup a 5-10w difference.
post #19 of 27
I'm not concerned about just playback -- but rather how playback will be while recording 2 OTA (1080i) streams (via an HDHomeRun), and then scanning and removing commercials.
post #20 of 27
None of the "i" processors can do MadVR with 720p29/30 content but you don't need to use MadVR either. EVR (CP) works quite well.
post #21 of 27
Playback will be fine. Mine is recording and streaming off my network all the time with no stutter or hiccups.
post #22 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by jlv View Post

I'm not concerned about just playback -- but rather how playback will be while recording 2 OTA (1080i) streams (via an HDHomeRun), and then scanning and removing commercials.

Just fine. The i3 (Sandy or Ivy) is a beast of a CPU.
post #23 of 27
One 'future' application (that is currently starting to appear) is QuickSync accelerated encoding, decoding and transcoding. My i3-3225 (with HD4000 graphics) using Mirillis's QS encoder beats my i7-2600 using HandBrake's multithread AVC encoder. To me the $20 to $60 more for the 3225 over the i3-2100 was worth it. Here are some numbers as run by one of MyCE's reviewers: http://club.myce.com/f184/3770k-vs-3770s-327174/#post2633974
post #24 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by olyteddy View Post

QuickSync accelerated encoding, decoding and transcoding.

If you need it for any of these things, of course.
post #25 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by assassin View Post

If you need it for any of these things, of course.
I used to advocate that hard disk storage was cheap, so why compress but lately I'm thinking a 2 or 3 to 1 compression, especially for DVD or recorded TV sources maintains a fairly good PQ and puts a lot more program on a given disk. Also makes them a bit more portable to play on my tablet.
post #26 of 27
My $50 G620 (Micro Center) and $25 ECS mobo (Newegg) work just fine recording 4 HD OTA programs at the same time.
post #27 of 27
I've been reading quite a bit about CPU options for my HTPC. The items that made me choose the 3570k was:
1. GPU on CPU equals less power usage compared to a separate video card
2. I wanted the upgrade HD4000 graphics if I was going to use the GPU on the CPU
3. I have read you should have 1 core for each Media Center Extender connected to the HTPC
4. I will have 5 tuners connected to it
5. I may be recording up to 5 things at once with 3 Media Center Extenders streaming from it.
6. going to using this for years to come (hopefully) & who knows what I will need in the future
7. got the CPU on the cheap side

My build:
Intel 3570k ($200 @ Microcenter)
ASRock H77 Pro4-M MicroATX motherboard (yet to be purchased)
4 GB DDR3 (left over after upgrading my main PC)
nMediaPC 7000B MicroATX case(on sale for $60)
120 GB SSD ($60)
Hauppauge WinTV-HVR-2250 (craigslist, $50)
SiliconDust HD Homerun Prime 3 tuner, network attached (yet to be purchased)
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