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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello, I'm going to buy a computer today from a retail store. I know people are going to suggest that I buy all the parts and build one, but I'm a total computer noob. Below are the options.



A. http://www.bestbuy.ca/en-CA/product/...4e7b22c27fen02


B. http://www.bestbuy.ca/en-CA/product/...a30dd4f895en02


C. http://www.futureshop.ca/en-CA/produ...7ff2fe4066en02


I'm thinking the Athlon II 450 is the best, since it has the 4200 radeon card and the Intel HD Graphics have problems with blu-rays? Thanks.
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We have had this disussion before in many other threads. There is nothing wrong with buying a mass-produced computer from HP, Dell, Compaq or other builders if you don't plan to ever upgrade it. The problem is that companies use some propietary parts so you can't upgrade later (either you can't upgrade at all, or you have to buy the parts from them). They don't ususally provide extra expansion slots. They fill all the memory slots with the smallest modules (some just have two slots) so you can't add more later or have to throw away what came with the machine. The power supplies are weak (and proprietry - at least with Dell). I couldn't even add a video card to my Dimension 3100. I'll never buy another mass produced computer. It cost me more in the end.


Buy or build a custom HTPC and you know you're getting the best parts, will have room to upgrade later, and get something that is specifically built for your needs.

This is not an endorsment - I don't personnally know Asassin and have not bought one of his computers, but his computers(components) are top notch and the prices are as good as you can find anywhere (go to his website see what he has then price the parts on your own), he can't be making much money - if any, on these builds. I think he just loves building them).


The downside is you might have to wait a few more days to get one. But it will work when you get it.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by CountryBumkin /forum/post/20903971


We have had this disussion before in many other threads. There is nothing wrong with buying a mass-produced computer from HP, Dell, Compaq or other builders if you don't plan to ever upgrade it. The problem is that companies use some propietary parts so you can't upgrade later (either you can't upgrade at all, or you have to buy the parts from them). They don't ususally provide extra expansion slots. They fill all the memory slots with the smallest modules (some just have two slots) so you can't add more later or have to throw away what came with the machine. The power supplies are weak (and proprietry - at least with Dell). I couldn't even add a video card to my Dimension 3100. I'll never buy another mass produced computer. It cost me more in the end.


Buy or build a custom HTPC and you know you're getting the best parts, will have room to upgrade later, and get something that is specifically built for your needs.

This is not an endorsment - I don't personnally know Asassin and have not bought one of his computers, but his computers(components) are top notch and the prices are as good as you can find anywhere (go to his website see what he has then price the parts on your own), he can't be making much money - if any, on these builds. I think he just loves building them).


The downside is you might have to wait a few more days to get one. But it will work when you get it.

Great post.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by sycochkn /forum/post/20904018


My Intel HD Graphics plays Blu-rays just fine.

Doesn't the Sandybridge graphics have problems with video output, so you can't use the hardware acceleration (dxva) feature, and the cpu will have to do the decoding?
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by CountryBumkin /forum/post/20904327


Shawn,

The three systems you linked to don't have Blu-ray player. If this is going to be used for HTPC duty, you need to add a BD.

Oh, they will be downloaded movies from the net.
 

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Couple of questions

1. What will you be using as a display? And how do you plan on conecting?

2. What will you be using for audio? And how do you plan on conecting?

3. I see you are in Canada, where abouts are you located?
 

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 http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Gateway+...&skuId=2632034


Bought three of these in the past month for HTPC network and have performed flawlessly. I'd suggest avoiding the "mini" case styles since you get a lesser power supply and may have trouble upgrading in the future if you need to. A regular sized case gives you the peace of mind knowing that you have some wiggle room for extra hard drives, graphics cards etc.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by CalgaryCowboy /forum/post/20905365


Couple of questions

1. What will you be using as a display? And how do you plan on conecting?

2. What will you be using for audio? And how do you plan on conecting?

3. I see you are in Canada, where abouts are you located?


1. My Sony hdtv, it's 1080i. I use the DVI connection.

2. Plugging speakers into the back of the computer.

3. I'm in BC.



Quote:
Originally Posted by ekscden /forum/post/20905449

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Gateway+...&skuId=2632034


Bought three of these in the past month for HTPC network and have performed flawlessly. I'd suggest avoiding the "mini" case styles since you get a lesser power supply and may have trouble upgrading in the future if you need to. A regular sized case gives you the peace of mind knowing that you have some wiggle room for extra hard drives, graphics cards etc.

That will be out of my price budget
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MlNDBOMB /forum/post/20905590


the i3 system is the best imo.

Is it the best, even though the Sandybridge gpu has problems with DXVA, wouldn't I be better off with the radeon 4200, since I can enable DXVA with that gpu?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by shawnb44 /forum/post/20906107


1. My Sony hdtv, it's 1080i. I use the DVI connection.

2. Plugging speakers into the back of the computer.

3. I'm in BC.






That will be out of my price budget
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Is it the best, even though the Sandybridge gpu has problems with DXVA, wouldn't I be better off with the radeon 4200, since I can enable DXVA with that gpu?

I have had zero problems with my i3-2100 sandy bridge using built in graphics with blurays. I have it connected to my mits. hc4000 projector with zero problems at all. Definitely recommend i3
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by andyb22 /forum/post/20906654


I have had zero problems with my i3-2100 sandy bridge using built in graphics with blurays. I have it connected to my mits. hc4000 projector with zero problems at all. Definitely recommend i3

do you use gpu acceleration for movies or just let the processor do the work?
 

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I can't see buying anything besides Sandy Bridge today. I have seen some quad core phenoms. Even saw an HP new quad core, pretty well equipped with 4 gig, 1 TB, the optical drive and OS... new not refurbed. Woot had and it sold out fast at $299.


I just yesterday picked up MicroCenter's house brand (PowerSpec) i3 SandyBridge: 4 gigs (a single stick so not setup as dual channel), 1 TB WD, optical dirve and Win7 Pro for $399... oh and it had some Wireless N card in one of the slots. I bought it to be Ceton Host exclusively. I like that it had Win 7 Pro so I could run it headless. It has plenty of drive bays, 1 PCIe x16

3 PCIe X1 and a PCI slot.. so very flexible box. Minimal lights on the front and it actually comes with both and OS and Driver DVDs. It allows you to choose your OS drive and partioning scheme.. so pretty much a full OS, probably locked to the serial number or something. Also virtually no bloatware. It boots to an option for a trial of ESET. I said no an loaded MSE which is not part of the factory image. I did uninstall the Bing Bar but otherwise it was a very clean factory image.


$399 is hard to compete with, 20 minute drive for me. I have built the last 3.. it was time for a pre-built and it allowed me to get on with the task of moving the Ceton right away. Worked well, did not even have to change my client setups at all. Just pulled the Ceton from my HTPC rig and stuck in the MicroCenter box and did the drivers and tuner share setup. Bingo! TV wasn't down more than a half-hour.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by shawnb44 /forum/post/20910435


Gonna go with the Athlon II 450 - 4200 radeon. I don't plan on upgrading and don't want to deal with the intel gpu dxva problems. Thanks.

Still not sure why you think this is a problem. Or why you would go with a 4200 which can't bitstream.


I think you were set on that combo from the beginning though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by assassin /forum/post/20910535


Still not sure why you think this is a problem. Or why you would go with a 4200 which can't bitstream.


I think you were set on that combo from the beginning though.

I'd like to use dxva, and lots of people are having problems using it with the intel gpu. So, that's why I think the amd is a better option for me. Unless there's something I don't know?
 
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