Hardware [Suggestions] Concept Budget m-ITX HTPC

TotalInsanity4

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Hey everyone :)

I work with computers as a hobby, but I hope to eventually make money off of building computers. However, I have only ever worked with intel/NVidia systems due to their general quality and flexibility. This time around, I am trying to design a system that I may or may not build in the future to be 3 things: A) A general media center, B) Rivaling the power of a console to play modern games should a client want to (not as important, I actually may make two versions of the design; one being a 1080p general purpose Media center and the other being a >720p gaming machine), and C) AS AFFORDABLE AS POSSIBLE. I would actually like it to be $600 or less, if possible.

Now normally I would just design this myself, but because of the budget aspect of the system, I decided to go with AMD components; products I have virtually no experience in whatsoever. So if you could give me a few pointers as to where I could shave some cost while still maintaining quality, I would greatly appreciate it :)

The parts that I have come up with so far:
PCPartPicker said:
Type|Item|Price
:----|:----|:----
**CPU** | [AMD A8-7600 3.1GHz Quad-Core Processor](http://pcpartpicker.com/part/amd-cpu-ad7600ybjabox) | $80.99 @ NCIX US
**CPU Cooler** | [CRYORIG C7 40.5 CFM CPU Cooler](http://pcpartpicker.com/part/cryorig-cpu-cooler-c7) | $29.99 @ Newegg
**Motherboard** | [ASRock FM2A88X-ITX+ Mini ITX FM2+ Motherboard](http://pcpartpicker.com/part/asrock-motherboard-fm2a88xitx) | $71.98 @ Newegg
**Memory** | [Kingston HyperX Fury Red 8GB (1 x 8GB) DDR3-1866 Memory](http://pcpartpicker.com/part/kingston-memory-hx318c10fr8) | $36.99 @ SuperBiiz
**Storage** | [Samsung 850 EVO-Series 250GB 2.5" Solid State Drive](http://pcpartpicker.com/part/samsung-internal-hard-drive-mz75e250bam) | $84.88 @ OutletPC
**Video Card** | [EVGA GeForce GT 740 4GB Superclocked Video Card](http://pcpartpicker.com/part/evga-video-card-04gp43748kr) | $109.99 @ Micro Center
**Case** | [Silverstone RVZ02B HTPC Case](http://pcpartpicker.com/part/silverstone-case-sstrvz02b) | $64.99 @ Amazon
**Power Supply** | [Silverstone Strider Gold 450W 80+ Gold Certified Fully-Modular SFX Power Supply](http://pcpartpicker.com/part/silverstone-power-supply-st45sfg) | $88.99 @ SuperBiiz
**Optical Drive** | [LG BT30N Blu-Ray/DVD/CD Writer](http://pcpartpicker.com/part/lg-optical-drive-bt30n) | $64.99 @ Amazon
**Operating System** | [Microsoft Windows 7 Professional SP1 OEM (64-bit)](http://pcpartpicker.com/part/microsoft-os-fqc04649) | Purchased For $0.00
**Other**| Kodi| $0.00
**Other**| Dual USB 2.0 Header Adapter| $1.85
**Other**| Ortek MCE PC Remote| $14.95
| *Prices include shipping, taxes, rebates, and discounts* |
| Total (before mail-in rebates) | $670.59
| Mail-in rebates | -$20.00
| **Total** | **$650.59**
| Generated by [PCPartPicker](http://pcpartpicker.com) 2016-01-11 18:03 EST-0500 |
http://pcpartpicker.com/user/TotalInsanity4/saved/bY3xFT

Feel free to use this part list for your own builds if you want, I would not be offended in the slightest :)
 
Last edited by TotalInsanity4,

Hatchetball

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http://pcpartpicker.com/p/JB29bv
$636.80 without the blueray which you won't use anyways lol. You can get one for $20 just about anywhere if you really look or even grab a DVD burner out of an old box to install the OS and then buy one later. (Budget)
With this you'll be able to overclock the (A10!) CPU if you want, the superclocked Video card is cheaper and just as effective though I recommend a GTX 750 Ti ($150 range) if it will fit (Should) if you are able to go up on your price range. Either way Raedeon is nice but at the end of the day Nvidia is cheaper and usually better quality and even better life span.
Ram you have better options - $2 more and you get DDR3-1866 instead of DDR3-1600 and still won't be heavy on the motherboard.
MoBo: Your choice is nice but again, you say budget and ASRock is great when it comes to quality for price. With this motherboard you can take your ram a step further with DDR3-2133/2400 but again 1866 keeps you in the game without straining the motherboard in the long run.
Other than that cut back on the not as much needed components that don't matter and you can easily get this under $600. I don't recommend but will say you can find PSU's for less if you go for Bronze and that should take you under $600 but Gold is Gold after all.
Mini ITX builds can be a challenge having to work around parts differences but you did a pretty good job.
Cheap RAM + Cheap CPU = Not good enough
$600 = way more than enough to build a computer capable of what you want it to do and then some.
LG BT30N Blu-Ray/DVD/CD Writer will need a Slimline SATA to SATA power adapter. <--- if you MUST spend the extra $60+ on the Blu-ray, don't forget the power adapter.

Finally, I love the case :D
 
Last edited by Hatchetball, , Reason: thoughts..
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TotalInsanity4

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http://pcpartpicker.com/p/JB29bv
$636.80 without the blueray which you won't use anyways lol. You can get one for $20 just about anywhere if you really look or even grab a DVD burner out of an old box to install the OS and then buy one later. (Budget)
With this you'll be able to overclock the (A10!) CPU if you want, the superclocked Video card is cheaper and just as effective though I recommend a GTX 750 Ti ($150 range) if it will fit (Should) if you are able to go up on your price range. Either way Raedeon is nice but at the end of the day Nvidia is cheaper and usually better quality and even better life span.
Ram you have better options - $2 more and you get DDR3-1866 instead of DDR3-1600 and still won't be heavy on the motherboard.
MoBo: Your choice is nice but again, you say budget and ASRock is great when it comes to quality for price. With this motherboard you can take your ram a step further with DDR3-2133/2400 but again 1866 keeps you in the game without straining the motherboard in the long run.
Other than that cut back on the not as much needed components that don't matter and you can easily get this under $600
Mini ITX builds can be a challenge having to work around parts differences but you did a pretty good job.
Cheap RAM + Cheap CPU = Not good enough
$600 = way more than enough to build a computer capable of what you want it to do and then some.
LG BT30N Blu-Ray/DVD/CD Writer will need a Slimline SATA to SATA power adapter. <--- if you MUST spend the extra $60+ on the Blu-ray, don't forget the power adapter.

Finally, I love the case :D
First off thank you very much for the suggestions, especially the memory and motherboard, I will definitely check out everything you suggested and most likely amend the part list with at least those two

Notes/comments after reading:
I would like to keep the Blu-Ray drive if possible, as this would be an all-in-one media center. I believe that there is a version of this that's cheaper that doesn't have write capabilities, though, so I'll probably check that one out. Edit: This is unfortunately not the case :T

I initially picked an AMD GPU because I erroneously thought that AMD dual graphics would work with higher-end models than the R7 240/50. Keeping in mind that that is the reason for me choosing an APU, would there be any benefit to getting a CPU without integrated graphics? And along that same tangent, how would you rate the 7870K compared to the 7600? Is it really worth it to spend an extra $40 on it?

And lastly, is the 740 SC really the NVidia equivalent to the 370? It may just be that I know NOTHING about AMD cards, but I got the impression that the 370 was more powerful than that...
 
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TotalInsanity4

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Aw nuts... It looks like with the ASRock motherboard I wouldn't be able to use at least one of the two RAM slots with a low-profile CPU cooler due to how they are positioned...

Edit: I'm really frustrated because it appears that on that particular board you can use one of the HDMI ports as an input... I'll see if I can somehow make that work...
 
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Hatchetball

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First off thank you very much for the suggestions, especially the memory and motherboard, I will definitely check out everything you suggested and most likely amend the part list with at least those two

Notes/comments after reading:
I would like to keep the Blu-Ray drive if possible, as this would be an all-in-one media center. I believe that there is a version of this that's cheaper that doesn't have write capabilities, though, so I'll probably check that one out. Edit: This is unfortunately not the case :T

I initially picked an AMD GPU because I erroneously thought that AMD dual graphics would work with higher-end models than the R7 240/50. Keeping in mind that that is the reason for me choosing an APU, would there be any benefit to getting a CPU without integrated graphics? And along that same tangent, how would you rate the 7870K compared to the 7600? Is it really worth it to spend an extra $40 on it?

And lastly, is the 740 SC really the NVidia equivalent to the 370? It may just be that I know NOTHING about AMD cards, but I got the impression that the 370 was more powerful than that...

Is $40 extra dollars worth a A10 capable of overclocks when it's already sitting at a nice 3.9GHz, 4 cores, and 95Watts? Yes. Is $60 more worth it? Yes.
GTX vs R7 - No, the R7 is going to outperform the shit out of the GTX 740 SC at gaming. For wallet damage, GTX. For gaming/hardcore uses, R7. Movies, video editing, photo editing on a budget, GTX.
BUT. If you ware going with the R7 you will need a 500Watt PSU.
You selected a 450Watt, so I suggested the GTX 740 SC. (There really isn't a lot of options for PSU's on your mini itx set up...)
Having integrated graphics is not really a matter in this case because you're installing a video card but the short answer is yes get one with it as video cards can fail and a back up is a back up.

Rating: AMD Radeon R7 370 MSI Gaming 4GB Edition are massively better than the Nvidia GeForce GT 740 EVGA Superclocked SS 4GB Edition.
At this point this isn't a budget build lol you're just building a computer with high end specs.
A Raspberry Pi could run all your videos/streaming purposes for $50 or less :/ that's a budget build...

Ram slot issue: You're buying 1 8GB stick of ram, doesn't matter.
 
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TotalInsanity4

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At this point this isn't a budget build lol you're just building a computer with high end specs.
Yeah, I know lol I'm trying to build it with gaming/emulation in mind as well, but I probably could have toned it down from the start XD And a RaspPie can't run teh gaimez (I know it does pretty fair at emulation up until N64, but in terms of PC gaming it... well... yeah)

And again, I'm going to use the excuse that I don't know very much about AMD hardware so I was just trying to look at price/performance in the beginning, now I'm actually trying to refine my hardware choices
Ram slot issue: You're buying 1 8GB stick of ram, doesn't matter.
Yeah, that's what I was thinking from the start, but that kills off future expandability. However, as you stated this build is so over-the-top already that 8 gigs is more than enough XD Anyway, with that in mind I'm going to swap out the video card and just leave the CPU where it is, I think. Thank you very much for your suggestions :)

Also, price wise, this wouldn't be built for at least until summer, maybe not even for another year, so I'm kind of counting on prices to drop as better hardware is released :P
 
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Hatchetball

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Well it does hinder the expansion in a way but they do make 1x16GB RAM so there is still room to flex.
The A10 actually uses the same integrated graphics and compliments the R7 well.
Here's my last build that I use for gaming, video editing, photo editing, media, etc.
Mainly used for emulating Gamecube, PS2, PSX, Wii, Fallout 4 on Ultra with 4K mods, various other AAA games on Ultra. Witcher 3 on Ultra = amazing.
http://pcpartpicker.com/p/wGcqTW
Had the RAM, HDDs, Blu-Ray, OS, and Thermal compound laying around already so I spend $421 after 2 days shipping costs and not mailing in the rebates (would have been $321 after rebates)
Will be expanding to 16GB RAM soon and putting in a SSD. C'monnnnn taxes hahaha

(*Also yes the H7 fits with 6mm to spare*)
 
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Hatchetball

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You have a compact case. The CPU cooler will play a very important role in keeping the CPU at low temp.
It will be the difference of going from 32C or less while idle to 40C while gaming and 55C idle to temperatures much more in the "nope" zone. Anything at a constant 70C+ several hours a day are going to destroy that R7 in 8 months or less.
Stock for AMD is decent for the most part but not for as compact as your case will be. Without my H7, using my stock, I idle around 38C-40C (x4 120mm fans + x1 140mm fan) and with my H7 playing Fallout 4 on Ultra with mods I sit around 42-48C. My "nope" temp is 78C and it'll never get to 62C+. My case is much larger with high powered fans though. Your case might have one(?) fan and it's not going to be very big.
So... yes you will need a proper heat sink set up and the one you have chosen is very capable of handling a gaming load.
 
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TotalInsanity4

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Ok, then I'm thinking that this is about as refined as it's going to get while still giving a client options for customizability. Thank you very much for your help ^_^

Edit: Also, for what it's worth, I did some digging and I know for certain based off of pictures that the Noctua NH-L9a will give just enough room for BOTH RAM slots, despite being more expensive, so what I'll likely do is order the Cryorig version when the time comes and if it doesn't work, just eat the $20 and upgrade my own intel cooler from stock
 
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Anything at a constant 70C+ several hours a day are going to destroy that R7 in 8 months or less.
This is untrue, these cards are built to take high temperatures without failing
Even running it at 95C 24/7 isnt going to damage it, just ask all the bit coin miners
Now its probably not the best idea to run at those temperatures but 70-80C is perfectly safe
 

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This is untrue, these cards are built to take high temperatures without failing
Even running it at 95C 24/7 isnt going to damage it, just ask all the bit coin miners
Now its probably not the best idea to run at those temperatures but 70-80C is perfectly safe
In a compact case with very little cooling options, at those speeds, it'll die within a year if it's used properly as a gaming video card. R7's are not as good quality as you think they are for a long term video card.
Bit coin miners aren't putting a heavy ass load on it mining, that crap isn't that straining.
 
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