Advice on htpc build.

Discussion in 'Computer Hardware, Devices and Accessories' started by kjb1686, Feb 19, 2013.

Feb 19, 2013

Advice on htpc build. by kjb1686 at 7:14 PM (1,270 Views / 0 Likes) 37 replies

  1. kjb1686
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    Member kjb1686 GBAtemp Regular

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    Hi everyone i am building a home theater P.C for my mother. I have no need for a O.S as i have both. I have built one already on PC part-picker here is the link.

    http://pcpartpicker.com/p/Ey10

    Any advice would be appreciated. Instead of the keyboard and mice i have there i was also considering this as a alternative.
    http://www.amazon.com/FAVI-Entertainment-Wireless-Keyboard-FE01-SL/dp/B0053Y9WVG/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1361301166&sr=8-1&keywords=FAVI Entertainment Mini Wireless Keyboard with Mouse Touchpad (FE01-SL%2

    It is small and a perfect size but i don't know about the touch-pad on the keyboard.
     


  2. Lanlan

    Member Lanlan Tits

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    For an HTPC I recommend an AMD APU build. Cheap and will give you everything you need
     
  3. Lanlan

    Member Lanlan Tits

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    http://pcpartpicker.com/p/EzmS
    Here's a quick build I just came up with. The main parts are the APU and the FM1 motherboard, you can change the other stuff to what you see fit. Keep in mind that APUs benefit greatly from faster RAM, I included 1333mhz because it was cheap, but if you find a good deal on faster RAM go for it. You won't need a video card with this, I have the same APU and it plays every game on the market, without a video card.
     
  4. kjb1686
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    Member kjb1686 GBAtemp Regular

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    That build looks nice and is very cheap i found a deal for 1600mhz ram so that is good. I haven't been keeping up on AMD only intel. As a matter of fact here is the updated link for the build you gave me.

    http://pcpartpicker.com/p/Ezs5

    Next i just need to find a decent case any recommendations as to one, preferably no more than 60 dollars for one.

    One more thing while i am at it i am looking for a new monitor so i am curious what is a good one under 250 that will be good for gaming.
     
  5. Lanlan

    Member Lanlan Tits

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    I'm a big advocate of APUs, basically a CPU with very good integrated graphics.
     
  6. Originality

    Member Originality Chibi-neko

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    Which is ideal for low budget PCs.
    Although, whole different story when discreet graphics are included...
     
  7. trumpet-205

    Member trumpet-205 Embrace the darkness within

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    What kind of HTPC are you looking for? To me APU and Intel Core i3 is about the same if you use it for web browsing, watching H264, word processing, etc.

    They are about the same because Intel iGPU is capable of hardware acceleration on video playback (not sure if APU has it too). If you happened to watch Hi10 H264 then Intel will have an advantage out because of software acceleration from extra CPU power.

    Typically I recommend Intel Core i3 for regular HTPC (for extra CPU power and lower power consumption), and AMD APU for HTPC + gaming (for extra GPU power). If anything I would invest a good sound card on HTPC. Even Xonar DG is better than onboard sound card.
     
  8. kjb1686
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    Member kjb1686 GBAtemp Regular

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    Just a basic HTPC something to watch movies,maybe a few 720p movies also and occasionally browse the web. I might get the AMD APU and not the Intel i3 as it is cheaper.
     
  9. trumpet-205

    Member trumpet-205 Embrace the darkness within

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    Go for it. I really think you should invest in a sound card.
     
  10. kjb1686
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    Member kjb1686 GBAtemp Regular

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    Would a sound card make a lot of difference than if i used the motherboards own audio, i am not a audiophile and i have only a basic set of speakers. I have nothing special for speakers just cheap 50 dollar ones i found.
     
  11. trumpet-205

    Member trumpet-205 Embrace the darkness within

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    To me it did. I can hear a lot of details in movies and gaming where I couldn't with onboard sound card. Like I said even Xonar DG, which is an entry level sound card, can make a difference.
     
  12. Foxi4

    Reporter Foxi4 On the hunt...

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    AMD APU > Intel CPU without any external GPU.

    Who needs software acceleration when there's hardware acceleration? AMD's APU's are sort-of specifically-designed to work with HD Video anyways. You won't feel the difference in videos, but your wallet will, not to mention the difference you'll see in video games.

    If this was a laptop with an entirely separate graphics card, I would side with trumpet merely because Intel CPU's fare better in general, but if this is supposed to be an All-in-One box, AMD takes the cake - integrated Radeons are far better than Intel HD's.
     
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  13. kjb1686
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    Member kjb1686 GBAtemp Regular

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    @ trumpet-205

    I wouldn't know never had a external sound card always used integrated ones.

    @ Foxi4

    I am leaning towards the AMP APU build but i just need a case and either a cheaper APU or something to get the build down lower. As i said i have virtually no experience dealing with AMD APUS only intel, so i have no clue about which APU's are decent.

    Thanks everyone so far for the help you have provided.
     
  14. Foxi4

    Reporter Foxi4 On the hunt...

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    This should help:

    PassMark CPU Benchmark Lookup

    It's a fantastic "cheat-sheet" for looking up the best marriage between price and performace. They have the same chart for GPU performance, so just check which APU's come with what GPU's and compare. The way I see it, a Radeon will always beat an Intel HD card - Radeons are made with hardware acceleration in mind, Intel HD's on the other hand are supposed to be efficient when it comes to power consumption - they're not really "alternatives" (or at least I don't see them as alternatives), they're there in case you need to save battery life and you won't be doing that with an HTPC.
     
  15. Lanlan

    Member Lanlan Tits

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    APUs are named based on their performance, and so far there are two generations. FM1 was first gen, there were E series, the lowest, A4, A6, and A8. A8-3870k is the best FM1 APU. FM2 introduced new APUs including the A10. FM1 and FM2 are not cross-compatible. If you're not gonna be playing games, an A6 would more than suffice. Just be sure to get the right socket. Also, the ones with K at the end are overclockable, don't waste your money on those if you won't overclock.
     
  16. kjb1686
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    Member kjb1686 GBAtemp Regular

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    Alright i will go through the list and see what i can find and post back. As for motherboards though what about those would the one i have on my part list works for all AMD APUS or do i need something specific for certain ones.
     
  17. The Real Jdbye

    Member The Real Jdbye D:

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    I suggest a small HTPC case instead of a large mid tower, it would look a lot better in your mom's living room and take less space as well.

    Personally I went with a prebuilt ASRock HTPC, as it was compact and offered rather good specs. Since it's based on laptop hardware, that means it's more compact than what you'll be able to build yourself, it also makes it more power efficient, which is great for a HTPC which tends to be something you leave on 24/7.

    As for keyboard/mouse I would suggest a media keyboard with a trackball, as they are much better to use than a touchpad and suit a living room better than a separate mouse and keyboard. I wouldn't recommend getting something as small as the one you linked to, but it depends on how often the keyboard will be used and what it'll be used for.
     
  18. Foxi4

    Reporter Foxi4 On the hunt...

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    When you're done choosing a CPU, you have to find a motherboard with a matching socket and that's that. Of course the more memory slots the better etc. but you already know that.
     
  19. Lanlan

    Member Lanlan Tits

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    Just worry about whether your APU is FM1 or FM2. Choose your motherboard based on that.
     
  20. kjb1686
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    Member kjb1686 GBAtemp Regular

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    @ The Real Jdbye

    What about a keyboard like this. Also what ASRock HTPCdid you purchase now i am curious to see if i can buy one cheaper than i can build.

    pcpartpicker.com/mr/logitech/logitech-keyboard-920003070

    @ Foxi4

    I will be at this for a while it seems i am going to take a glance at prebuilts and see what i can find.

    @ Everyone

    I am looking for a monitor so i can give my mom my old but decent monitor. Something under 250 would be nice mainly for gaming.
     

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