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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am putting together components for an HTPC which will serve the following purposes for me: XBMC (most likely running on Linux); DVD ripping; light gaming (e.g. steam; I am not a heavy gamer but would like the option to do so without spending $$$ for a full gaming PC); streaming (Netflix, Amazon Prime); HD audio; and eventually the integration of a cable card-equipped USB device so I can use mediaportal or the like for a PVR solution.


Here is what I have so far. Please critique any and all of my component choices. I am trying to go with integrated graphics for now, but am open to the prospect of a GPU:


- SilverStone Grandia Series HTPC Case with Aluminum FP Micro-ATX, 2x Hot-Swap Drive Bay, 3x120mm Golf Bladed Fan, USB 3.0 x2 and 11-Inch Expansion Card GD06B (Black)

- MSI Socket FM2/AMD A75/DDR3/SATA3​&USB3.0/A&GbE/M​icroATX Motherboard FM2-A75MA-E35

- AMD A6-6400K Richland 3.9GHz Socket FM2 65W Dual-Core Desktop Processor AMD Radeon HD AD640KOKHLBOX


- Kingston Hyper X Blu 4 GB 1600MHz DDR3 Non-ECC CL9 Desktop Memory (KHX1600C9D3B1​/4G)

- Samsung Electronics 840 EVO-Series 120GB 2.5-Inch SATA III Single Unit Version Internal Solid State Drive MZ-7TE120BW

- Western Digital Caviar Green 3 TB SATA III 64 MB Cache Bare/OEM Desktop Hard Drive - WD30EZRX

- LG Electronics 14x Internal BDXL Blu-Ray Burner Rewriter WH14NS40 - Bulk Drive - Black


- Logitech Wireless Touch Keyboard K400 with Built-In Multi-Touch Touchpad

- 2 wireless xbox controllers (pc editions)


I appreciate anyone's comments and suggestions.

Thanks!


Adam
 

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What's your budget? That will help others give you specific recommendations.
 

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Good budget, I think for the reason you state you will do better with Intel. What part of the country are you in? If you have a microcenter near you, you will find great deals on a motherboard CPU combo deal.


My son did a nice build in the fall with an i5 4670K and a Z87 motherboard for close to about your budget. Managed to get a graphics card as well, but sacrificed on the SSD for a 2TB 7200RPM drive. His specific need required the graphics card but he's thrilled with his build's performance.



Some good resources.

http://www.techbargains.com/catsearch.cfm/0_2_0

http://www.techbargains.com/catsearch.cfm/0_11_0
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank you. I am in New Jersey, so there is a microcenter here (in Paterson). I've actually never been there. I am certainly open to reconsidering an going with Intel. I think I would stick with the SSD, as I would likely experience a greater advantage for my needs having the OS and other files on that drive, rather any boost in graphics. I can always add a videocard later, though.


Anyone have similar build experiences to my initial proposal with either intel/amd processors? I really like the look of that silverstone case, even though I may cut my fingers a bit getting everything to fit inside.


Adam
 

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I second the Intel recommendation.


In general terms, AMD = better graphics, less CPU power, INTEL = Better CPU Power, lesser graphics.


Considering you are planning for a graphics card down the road, why handicap the CPU power now?


If you've never been to MicroCenter, you are in for a (mild) treat. Take a look at the online catalog in the link below and price out your build.
http://www.microcenter.com/site/specials/catalog/catalog.aspx


There's some great deals on AMD parts as well, and the savings may possibly sway you.


Also, the Toshiba 3TB 7200 is discounted at NewEgg currently, and the currently the best price for a 3TB (outside of cracking open an external drive).
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822149408
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Great! I'll look forward to exploring Microcenter on Saturday, then. With regard to Intel, is there a significance increase in performance jumping from i3 to i5? I don't want to go with a cheaper option and then regret it. Conversely, if i5 would greatly increase heat or need for loud fans, that could be a downside to going with the processor. There must be a good balance in performance/watts-heat that people have realized in their HTPC builds.
 

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Normally I am not in favor of using anything more than an i3 for HTPC use, but considering you are planning on doing some gaming, and you do have access to a MicroCenter, I think it won't hurt (as much) to upgrade to an i5, and therefore allow you to have the additional headroom you may need down the road.


To take advantage of the Combo deal (for Mobo + CPU) you are looking at the i5-4670K vs. the i3-4340, which is a difference of $60. Which should be worth it.


EDIT:

Also, they (MC) are running $10 off some Crucial Ballistix RAM kits with Combo purchase (see page 39 in the catalog).

Samsung EVO 120GB is at $79.99 too (Page 41).
 
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
They really do have some great deals....okay, so here's what I've got so far:


Intel Core i5 4670K 3.4GHz Socket LGA 1150 Boxed Processor

MSI Z87-G41 PC Mate Socket LGA 1150 ATX Intel Motherboard

Crucial Ballistix Sport 8GB DDR3-1600 PC3-12800)

Samsung 840 EVO MZ-7TE120BW 120GB SATA 6.0Gb/s 2.5"

WD Desktop Mainstream 3TB IntelliPower SATA

NMedia PC HTPC 7000B Micro ATX Media Center HTPC


I just need a power supply, bluray drive, etc. and I'm about at my budget.
 

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PSU is a little trickier.


Normally for HTPC's, I recommend the Corsair CX430 all day everyday, for general HTPC use. Normally on sale from NewEgg for $20 A/R every other week.


However for you, it's a little different. Adding a graphics card into the mix down the line changes things.


First, you'll have to decide (Roughly) what GPU you are thinking about going to. Note the manufacturers recommended PSU size for the GPU you want, and buy the size based on that info.

I tend to lean toward a higher quality PSU for any type of workhorse computer, and your build is a hybrid of sorts.


I'm been leaning toward the Seasonic and the Antec units when on sale, but comfortable with recommending Silverstone, FSP, Sparkle, some Rosewill, Corsair and Coolermaster.


Here's a PSU Guide from Tom's Hardware:
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/power-supply-oem-manufacturer,2913.html
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick  /t/1523262/please-critique-my-build#post_24503033


Antec has the 380 earth watts on sale at newegg for $29 AR and $39 before. That's a good option I think too.
The EW380 is a good choice and should be more than enough power unless you dramatically change your plans.


This...
Quote:
Intel Core i5 4670K 3.4GHz Socket LGA 1150 Boxed Processor

MSI Z87-G41 PC Mate Socket LGA 1150 ATX Intel Motherboard

Crucial Ballistix Sport 8GB DDR3-1600 PC3-12800)

Samsung 840 EVO MZ-7TE120BW 120GB SATA 6.0Gb/s 2.5"

WD Desktop Mainstream 3TB IntelliPower SATA

NMedia PC HTPC 7000B Micro ATX Media Center HTPC

+ Blu-ray drive
should not draw over 100w except under the most extreme conditions (e.g. running a benchmark test).


So the only open is how much power your graphics card will draw.
 

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+1 for intel AND microcenter. For motherboard/cpu combos, they are hard to beat. You can also find comparable deals to online as far as hard drives and ram goes, and to a more limited extent things like cases and other random parts.



If you go with SSD for the primary drive....don't forget to set windows to record/cache tv on the conventional hard drive if you use MCE and watch television on it. You will probably use up an SSD's lifetime relatively quickly with all that activity, especially something like the Samsung EVO series which uses TLC instead of MLC or better. TLC based SSD's have a much lower lifetime writes rating then other types. Granted the key word is rated, so in practice could die a lot sooner or a lot later, but at either rate SSD's are only good for a finite amount of cycles and using one of those drives for recording will eat them up without giving you any sort of performance benefit.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
So, I've done some additional homework and appreciate everyone's feedback thus far...I'd like to pull the trigger this week and get down to building this weekend. Here is my current thinking. My budget got bumped up a couple hundred dollars, but I think it's worth it.

Please, feel free to critique ANY and all of my choices. I will most likely place an order tomorrow:


CPU: Intel Core i5-4570 3.2GHz LGA 1150 Quad-Core Desktop Processor


Motherboard: MSI H87-G43 ATX High Performance CF Intel Motherboard


Case: SILVERSTONE Black Grandia Series SST-GD08B ATX Media Center / HTPC Case


Ram: G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory


PSU: CORSAIR HX series HX650 650W Power Supply


SSD (system drive): SAMSUNG 840 Pro Series MZ-7PD128BW 2.5" MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)


HD (data - later will eventually pull from an unraid server - next project!): Seagate Barracuda 7200.14 3TB 3.5" SATA 6.0Gb/s Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive


LG Black Blu-ray Drive SATA Model UH12NS30


Logitech K400 (920-003070) Black RF Wireless Keyboard


Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64-bit - OEM


Anything I'm forgetting? Think I'm making a mistake with any of these components? I'd love any feedback.


Adam
 

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I think your power supply might be a bit overboard (if you are really paying $110 for that model). Truth is the $20 CX430 can take up to 500 watts according to reviews. Even if you end up adding a mid to high end gfx card later on, you are unlikely to ever use more than 300 watts. GFX cards are becoming more efficient every generation, so that number is likely to only go down.
 

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I agree with StinDaWg, the HX 650 is a bit much, especially if you are planning a server in the future.

Unless you plan on getting an 'gaming enthusiast' level GPU


Don't get me wrong, it's a great PSU, especially considering the $30 in savings.

But you may be over emphasizing the importance of the 80 Plus "Gold" rating.


I'm thinking at somewhere between 500 and 600 watts should be ample.


There are quite a few PSU's like the Antec HCG and SeaSonic M12 (SeaSonic Based), Silverstone Strider (FSP Based), Rosewill Capstone (SuperFlower based), etc. that are modular, and cost less.

See the Tom's Hardware article I linked earlier to see who the builder is.
 

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CX430 is a good quality budget power supply.


If you want a modular gold certified, then get look at the SeaSonic SSR-450RM
 

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