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First HTPC Build Specs - Please Critique!

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
OK, this is my first HTPC attempt. I intend to use it primarily for streaming and HD video, Blu-ray, etc. After reading a bunch of recommendations and specs, I'm currently looking at the following:

MOBO: Gigabyte GA-Z68MA-D2H-B3 LGA 1155
CPU: Intel Core i3 2100T LGA 1155 3.1
RAM: G.Skill Ripjaws X 4GB (2x 2GB) DDR3 2133
VID: ASUS ENGT440/DI/1GD5 GeForce GT 440 GDDR5 1GB
HDD(OS): WD Caviar Blue 500GB 7200 RPM 6.0 Gb/s
HDD: WD Caviar Green 2TB SATA 3.0Gb/s 64MB
CASE: nMedia HTPC 5000B RT
DVD: SAMSUNG SH-B123L SATA Blu-ray
PSU: Seasonic S12II-430 Bronze 430W 80 PLUS Bronze

I expect this will be powerful enough to play back anything I want, and possibly also to do some gaming or ripping and transcoding.

However, just as I was getting comfortable with my choices, folks in another forum mentioned switching to an AMD build, either an Athlon or Llano. However, I'm not sure it's worth it. The i3 2100T should run cool and quiet at 35W with most of the work offloaded to the GT440. The Llano would be cheaper, but with a weaker CPU.

I could also save $$ by downgrading the GT440 or mobo a bit.

What do you think? Opinions or recommendations?

Thanks!
post #2 of 12
Honestly, I have a 80 gig laptop drive running my OS atm, and I haven't ran into too many problems. Once I am running XBMC (which is ALL the time, unless I need to restart for some reason), most of my data comes from my drive with all of my movies. So I *think* that it would be better to get a 2TB WD Blue for your movies and a cheaper drive for your OS.
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Big Blue
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post #3 of 12
In all honestly, and take my advice with a grain of salt but I think a cheap Athlon II X2 would suffice nicely and save you a ton of money.
    
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post #4 of 12
Get an H67 board with an Intel Pentium G850.

This will also make the cost low & do all your HTPC stuff.

The G850 is better compared to the Core i3 2100T model in some tasks. Check the Xbit labs review for more.
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post #5 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by harishgayatri View Post
Get an H67 board with an Intel Pentium G850.

This will also make the cost low & do all your HTPC stuff.

The G850 is better compared to the Core i3 2100T model in some tasks. Check the Xbit labs review for more.
Interesting. Looks like ~$95 for the G850 and ~$135 for the 2100T, and the power consumption is actually similar. The 2100T is slightly more powerful, but they're both 1155, so I can always upgrade.

I assume I can drop the RAM down to 1333 as well, yes? I was already going to go down to 1600.
post #6 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by GanjaSMK View Post
In all honestly, and take my advice with a grain of salt but I think a cheap Athlon II X2 would suffice nicely and save you a ton of money.
That might be too low end, though, partially because I see few AM3 mobos with SATA 6 and none with USB 3.0. The ones that do have them are pretty expensive. Also, I'm not confident in the upgrade path for AM3. I could be wrong, though. I'm not that familiar with AMD.
post #7 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by blabbate View Post
That might be too low end, though, partially because I see few AM3 mobos with SATA 6 and none with USB 3.0. The ones that do have them are pretty expensive. Also, I'm not confident in the upgrade path for AM3. I could be wrong, though. I'm not that familiar with AMD.
why do you need sata 6 for and hdd system ?
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post #8 of 12
i3 2100, H61/H67 mobo, 1333 ram, ssd boot drive, you don't need gpu(intel HD 2000 is plenty for what you want to do) unless you're using software that specifically takes advantage of it(lav cuvid, madvr), if you might do some gaming, I would consider the AMD Llano chips(significantly better integrated graphics than intel) and you can add a gpu later if you need more juice plus its a true quad-core and mobo's have sata 6/usb 3.0 standard.
Edited by armada10 - 7/20/11 at 10:11pm
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post #9 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by duox View Post
why do you need sata 6 for and hdd system ?
Just upgradability, really. It's not a dealbreaker.
post #10 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by armada10 View Post
i3 2100, H61/H67 mobo, 1333 ram, ssd boot drive, you don't need gpu(intel HD 2000 is plenty for what you want to do) unless you're using software that specifically takes advantage of it(lav cuvid, madvr), if you might do some gaming, I would consider the AMD Llano chips(significantly better integrated graphics than intel) and you can add a gpu later if you need more juice plus its a true quad-core and mobo's have sata 6/usb 3.0 standard.
The Intel HD 2000 still has the 23.976 issue, right? Is it just not as big a deal as people say?
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