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Discussion Starter #1

Hello,

After giving up looking at barebone PCs and streaming media players, after reading the threads here I decided to explore HTPC builds.

I tried looking at Assassin's guides, but the problem is I kept looking for nice components and it easily goes $500+..

So I tried looking builds in this forum instead.

 

My purpose is simple

Play Hi10P 1080p h.264 animes in my TV, connecting the player to a network so I don't have to plug/unplug my USB all the time to my current ASUS O!Play Mini that I'm using, which doesn't go well with Hi10P, of course, though it still plays it. Small form factor is also a preference, will be putting it below my TV with a limited vertical space.

 

I need advice how should I go about this

1. Find a decent htpc from eBay?

2. Find a barebone in newegg (~$200) and add CPU and HDD? But that would quickly go over the limit

3. A decent build I see here is http://www.avsforum.com/t/1489606/design-me-a-htpc-below-300-to-do-what-i-need#post_23718887 didn't realize this is too big also, and I will still need the case

4. Found another build at http://www.tomshardware.com/answers/id-1800144/300.html#11530323 too big.. oops

Or can anyone suggest me a build?

 

Also, do I need a Haswell?

And I was looking at this thread http://www.avsforum.com/t/1404685/cheapest-ever-htpc-thats-decent-proud-of-myself/ but I got.. really lost. I just don't know the minimum requirements.

 

 

Thanks for all your help! I'm not 100% sold on HTPC yet but I want to know my options.

I'm currently running an Alienware m11x R1 - that's Core 2 Duo 1.3GHz with 1GB video card and 8GB RAM.

I can't play Hi10P 1080p on MPC-HC. The video loves to stop (while the audio is running). Thinking about replacing it soon once a decent mobile replacement comes out but I can't find any better alternative for something I can leave on 24/7 for my uses than HTPC, except if you have other alternatives for me.

 

EDIT: So the decent $300 ones I found are ATX build with tall towers or they already have some parts which makes them
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by iceaco  /t/1494341/looking-for-300-htpc-for-hi10p-playback#post_23822708


Are there compact builds that would be ~$300?

The short answer is no.


You are going to have to increase your budget.
 

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check out a Zotac Z box.. The one I use works fine and cost about $240, hard drive and memory included.. FYI, I only use mine for XBMC, no idea how it performs with other things..
 

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Discussion Starter #4

Quote:
Originally Posted by bigbw  /t/1494341/looking-for-300-htpc-for-hi10p-playback#post_23822836


check out a Zotac Z box.. The one I use works fine and cost about $240, hard drive and memory included.. FYI, I only use mine for XBMC, no idea how it performs with other things..
 

I heard somewhere that Atom doesn't play well with Hi10P, have you tested it with XBMC?
Quote:
Originally Posted by assassin  /t/1494341/looking-for-300-htpc-for-hi10p-playback#post_23822797



The short answer is no.


You are going to have to increase your budget.
 
Haha, as I said, I ended up around $500+ when I looked at your guide. Will $500 fetch me a decent HTPC with Haswell?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by iceaco  /t/1494341/looking-for-300-htpc-for-hi10p-playback#post_23822858


I heard somewhere that Atom doesn't play well with Hi10P, have you tested it with XBMC?

With or without spending ~$100 on a copy of Windows? Meaning are you planning on using Windows and have you included that into your budget if you don't already have a copy?
 

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Discussion Starter #6

Quote:
Originally Posted by assassin  /t/1494341/looking-for-300-htpc-for-hi10p-playback#post_23823019



With or without spending ~$100 on a copy of Windows? Meaning are you planning on using Windows and have you included that into your budget if you don't already have a copy?
I guess I can cut it out from the budget because I already have a copy.
 

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 http://wiki.xbmc.org/index.php?title=Hi10P


It's tough but doable for about $350 or so.


Figure on budget blocks like the following, this is how I generally plan for limited budgets:


CPU: $50 (dual core Celeron)

MOBO: $50 micro-ATX

RAM: $50 (2x2GB)

HDD: $50 (1TB - 7200)

Windows 7: $80

Case: $40

PSU: $20 (cx430)

Misc: $10

There would be no ODD, keyboard, remote, etc. Hopefully you have some of these laying around.


Of course, anything you can get cheaper than the value in those blocks you can apply elsewhere.


You'll have to hunt for sales to get good components at these prices.
 
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Actually, the more I read up on Hi10P, it looks like Intel QuickSync capability is recommended starting on the Sandy Bridge i3 and higher.


Adjust budget to:


CPU: $125 (i3)

Windows: $0, as you have stated that you already have a copy.


EDIT:

I can't seem to easily find a list of processors with quick sync, but it appears to be intel processors with HD2000 graphics and Up

The lowest I've seen on some posts on other forums who have no problem with Hi10P is a Pentium G630 (Sandy Bridge).
 

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Discussion Starter #9

Quote:
Originally Posted by wiley165  /t/1494341/looking-for-300-htpc-for-hi10p-playback#post_23823178

http://wiki.xbmc.org/index.php?title=Hi10P


It's tough but doable for about $350 or so.


Figure on budget blocks like the following, this is how I generally plan for limited budgets:


CPU: $50 (dual core Celeron)

MOBO: $50 micro-ATX

RAM: $50 (2x2GB)

HDD: $50 (1TB - 7200)

Windows 7: $80

Case: $40

PSU: $20 (cx430)

Misc: $10

There would be no ODD, keyboard, remote, etc. Hopefully you have some of these laying around.


Of course, anything you can get cheaper than the value in those blocks you can apply elsewhere.


You'll have to hunt for sales to get good components at these prices.
I see. This will help plan the budget better. I kept looking at $100 for _each_ component.. Looks like either I wait for deals or I spend on whatever I can get. Thank you for the basic outline!
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by iceaco  /t/1494341/looking-for-300-htpc-for-hi10p-playback#post_23823444


I see. This will help plan the budget better. I kept looking at $100 for _each_ component.. Looks like either I wait for deals or I spend on whatever I can get. Thank you for the basic outline!

Be very careful with this approach. Most places have a 30 day return policy. If you take longer than that to collect all your parts when they go on sale you might be left with a bunch of incompatible (or defective) PC parts that you can't return because you are outside the return policy by the time you actually go to do your build.
 

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Very true Assassin.


It helps to subscribe to NewEgg's deals as well as Tiger Direct where he get emailed deals daily.

Having a MicroCenter available helps on CPU/Mobo combo's.

Also he should pay attention to sites like Slickdeals, Tech Bargins, FatWallet, Amazon, etc. Even the Deals Thread here at AVS.


I think the hardest deals to come by are the HDD for $50, and Win 7 for $80. You can usually get those once a month from NewEgg.

He could also settle for a 500GB or 750GB drive in that $50 price range too.


The Corsair CX430 PSU goes on sale regularly for $39.99 - $20 MIR


The pricing for the mobo is probably aggressive at $50. The AsRock H77M normally $65, but frequently for sale for $55-$58, would be a good choice.


The i3-3240 is normally priced at $120 at NewEgg


4GB (2x2GB) DDR3-1600 Ram can easily be found in the $40 range


The last thing (I think) should be case. By going with a Micro-ATX board, that probably give the most flexibility at a low price point.

Then it's just a matter of finding one with the aesthetics and orientation the OP wants.


Other items of note would be a DVD drive for $15, or BD-Rom for $30. A Rosewill remote for $13.
 

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Discussion Starter #12

Thank you assassin, wiley, I'll use your replies as a guideline in my hunt for components.

Tried bidding a good one on eBay but didn't win :\

I've been following slickdeals but I haven't kept a watch on the prices of components.

Keyboard, Mouse, and OS are out of the budget as I have extra for each of them.

 

Thank you again. I'll try to buy all the component within one/two week span when I'm ready and found what I want.
 

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For $300, here is what you can do.

1) Buy a refurb small form factor Core 2 Duo with Windows 7 for under $200 from the egg or tiger. I've seen a bunch of thinkcenter M57 (I think that is the #) recently.

2) Add a
 

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Need haswell no, but previous intel processors have a minorish bug playing back 23.xxx fps that was solved with haswell.  For HTPC haswell based cpu's should definitely be preferred.
 

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Discussion Starter #16

Haswell mATX build ~$430  http://pcpartpicker.com/b/GAq

Haswell ITX build ~$430  http://pcpartpicker.com/b/GAs

Ivy Bridge ITX build ~320  http://pcpartpicker.com/b/GC6

 

Am I choosing the right things? (w/o OS and I/O because I already have them)

 
Quote:
Originally Posted by lespurgeon  /t/1494341/looking-for-300-htpc-for-hi10p-playback#post_23828466


For $300, here is what you can do.

1) Buy a refurb small form factor Core 2 Duo with Windows 7 for under $200 from the egg or tiger. I've seen a bunch of thinkcenter M57 (I think that is the #) recently.

2) Add a
 

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Why do you have a 5450 in your builds? I would go with a single 4gb stick of ram so if you ever want to upgrade to 8gb you can just get another 4gb. The SSD is not really necessary especially if you're on a tight budget. Save the $100 and spend it on a better case/psu, cpu, gpu for madvr, or go with 8gb ram. 
 

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^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ what he said 5450 is no * better than intel HD 2500 graphics HD 6450 maybe a little better and has it's own 1 GB of ram

but intel HD 2500 should be fine. *unless there is some difficulty with Hi10P playback that I'm not aware of
 

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Discussion Starter #19

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mrkazador  /t/1494341/looking-for-300-htpc-for-hi10p-playback#post_23830189

 

Why do you have a 5450 in your builds? I would go with a single 4gb stick of ram so if you ever want to upgrade to 8gb you can just get another 4gb. The SSD is not really necessary especially if you're on a tight budget. Save the $100 and spend it on a better case/psu, cpu, gpu for madvr, or go with 8gb ram. 
1. 5450 - no reason, just being stupid I guess =) Thanks for noting it~

2. I didn't know the difference between single and double stick - some Dell guy told me that I can only replace my RAM with 2 sticks in my m11x so I thought that's the way it works. Noted.

3. SSD - actually just a placeholder - would be the same price as a 2-3TB HDD, but I don't have any storage lying around basically so need to allocate budget for it. (Although I do have an option of not keeping files in it and only stuff I haven't watched yet, as I am already doing right now)

Can madVR use HW acceleration for Hi10P? I'm actually not familiar with the technicalities.
 
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