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Please help, heading towards overkill and am having over-analysis paralysis.

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
The short and sweet of it for those who are tldr inclined is that I am looking for that sweet spot in a processor that is enough to handle 1080p content without lag, but power sipping enough not to need too many fans to be annoying during the quiet parts of movies. With proc and chipset suggestions, I can find the right board (unless you have a burning suggestion which is welcome).

More detail: So I’ve been planning my htpc build for a while now. Have gone in a few different directions already, but keep changing my mind, and now I know what I want, just not what I need. I’ve done my research, and am no newb (lurker maybe), but the problem is that I keep talking myself into getting way more than I need for this build. I need some objective perspective.
What I want to achieve:
I want to watch Blu-ray and play HD content off the net, music, etc. No DVR/PVR. No gaming.
I already have 12tb of content, so I need a board with sata to spare (min 6 ports with at least one esata).
I want it to have uefi for fast boot, and Raid. Planning on Win8 64.
I’m Intel, just am, no slight to amd, it’s just my comfort zone.
Money isn’t an option, but I just don’t want to spend more than I will actually need/use for this build. I don’t want a Ferrari just for driving to the mailbox to pick up my mail.
Willing to source out used, so can be anything including older if it fits the bill.

So i3, i5, atom, or wait for Avoton, etc? Ivy or Sandy? Integrated + graphics core, or fanless card?
Please save me from myself . smile.gif
post #2 of 14
You should really break out of your comfort zone and consider the AMD APU's. They're more then powerful enough, and they're VERY affordable.

What all size motherboards do you want/require. What components do you need? I assume budget is not a issue(although I will keep it low)

I suggest this.

Motherboard($100) - ASRock FM2A85X Extreme6 FM2
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157339

Memory($70) - Team Xtreem LV 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 2400
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820313323

APU($90 with promo code EMCXRWS75) - AMD A8-5600K Trinity 3.6GHz
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819113281

Total price - $260

Viable M-ATX motherboard

Motherboard($75) - ASRock FM2A85X Extreme4-M FM2
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157342

Viable M-ITX motherboard

Motherboard($100) - ASRock FM2A85X-ITX FM2
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157357
Edited by Alanim - 5/18/13 at 11:48pm
My Rig
(5 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
A8-5600k BIOSTAR Hi-Fi A85S3 FM2 HD 7560D Integrated GPU Team Vulcan 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3 1600 
Hard Drive
TOSHIBA P300 HDWD110XZSTA 1TB 7200 RPM 64MB Cache 
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My Rig
(5 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
A8-5600k BIOSTAR Hi-Fi A85S3 FM2 HD 7560D Integrated GPU Team Vulcan 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3 1600 
Hard Drive
TOSHIBA P300 HDWD110XZSTA 1TB 7200 RPM 64MB Cache 
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post #3 of 14
*edit* cannot wait to get a new mouse, so I can stop double posting.
My Rig
(5 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
A8-5600k BIOSTAR Hi-Fi A85S3 FM2 HD 7560D Integrated GPU Team Vulcan 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3 1600 
Hard Drive
TOSHIBA P300 HDWD110XZSTA 1TB 7200 RPM 64MB Cache 
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My Rig
(5 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
A8-5600k BIOSTAR Hi-Fi A85S3 FM2 HD 7560D Integrated GPU Team Vulcan 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3 1600 
Hard Drive
TOSHIBA P300 HDWD110XZSTA 1TB 7200 RPM 64MB Cache 
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post #4 of 14
a raspberry pi will run xbmc and 1080p and they cost peanuts. So will a cheap tablet with mini usb to HDMI

you dont need an ivy bridge and a large case. The only reason people are doing this is that there A.) a little bit intentionally sticking with the traditional desktop form as they always have done or B.) need 2 or 3 storage bays & some gaming ability.

if you think you might game, then get a decent trinity AMD APU now or wait for Kaveri and get more of a boost for the same money (imo of course) I have one ( A10-5800k) and it feels as snappy as my 1055T @ 3.8ghz if not more so, and it will play some games on low settings @ 1080p 40-50 frames or medium/low settings @ 720p 50-60fps

Also AMD GPU's can do proper 24fp output (23.976) to avoid judder on bluerays which intel cant do.
post #5 of 14
Dude this is something that like an ipad or cellphone can do these days. And any aftermarket cooler should be good enough to let you run passively with zero fans.

And i3 is complete overkill for something like this, they don't even make i3s in most dells, hps, etc, because they are considered too high end for most people. The fact you'd consider an i5...

I would honestly recommend you build out of used parts and stuff, you really don't need much power at all here. Literally any $40 cpu would be more than adequate for this.
Build In Progress
(17 items)
 
   
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Haswell i7-4770K 4.8GHz@1.452v/1.97vRIN Gigabyte Z87X-UD3H Older Gigabyte 7950 (H60 Mod) 2x4GB Gskill 2400CL11 Hynix CFRs 
Hard DriveCoolingOSMonitor
Samsung 830 128gb Corsair H110 w/4x 140mm Yate Loon High Blues W7 x64 Ultimate Yarrgh Matey Dell U2312HM Matte IPS 1080p 
MonitorMonitorKeyboardPower
Sanyo DP19640 18.5" 768p KDS Rad-7xp 1024p CM Storm Quickfire Rapids Brown Rosewill Capstone 750 
CaseMouseMouse PadAudio
Bitfenix Shinobi Modded CM Storm Spawn Steelseries Diablo 3 2 set CD Speaker + Big Sub 
Other
Bitfenix Recon Fan Controller Moded 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Delidded i7-3770K 5GHz@1.499 Gigabyte Z77X-UD5H 1.1 Sapphire Dual-X 7950 3L Boost 4x2GB Mushkin Ridgeback 2200mhz 8/11/8/27 1.75v... 
Hard DriveCoolingCoolingCooling
Intel X25-M 80GB SSD NH-D14 SE2011 Noctua 120/140/140 Fans 3 x Yate Loon Mediums (Petras) 2 x NZXT Havik 140mm Fans 
OSMonitorMonitorKeyboard
Hax'd W7 Ultimate 64-bit Sanyo DP19640 19'' KDS Radius Rad-7xp 17'' Ducky 1087 MX Brown 10keyless 
PowerCaseMouseMouse Pad
Rosewill Capstone 550w Modular NZXT Source 210 w/Modded Window Razer Deathadder 3.5G Steelseries Blizzcon D3 
AudioAudioOtherOther
Phillips FW-C250 2 Speaker Set w/3 CD Changer JBL Sub 6 Subwoofer NZXT Sleeved LED Strip 1m Blue NZXT Sentry 2 Fan Controller 
Other
Colonial Blue Paracord Sleeving 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Phenom ii X4 955C2, $31, 5 broken pins, works! ... Biostar A770e3 6.3 Red&Black MSI GTX 460 768mb Twin Frozr II 2 x 2GB Kingston HyperX 1333 OC to 1348CL7@1.65v 
Hard DriveCoolingCoolingCooling
Intel X25-M G2 80GB SSD NH-D14 SE2011 6 x Case Fans (4 x YL-M, NZXT case fan, CM Hype... Jerryrigged Chipset-Northbridge 80mm HSF 
CoolingOSMonitorKeyboard
Jerryrigged VRM Heatsink (sawed off stock AM2 h... Hax'd W7 Ultimate 64bit Sanyo DP19640 19"1360x768 Ducky Cherry Browns 10keyless 
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Antec Earthwatts 430D NZXT Gamma Steelseries Kinzu Optical Steelseries Blizzcon Diablo 3 
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Build In Progress
(17 items)
 
   
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Haswell i7-4770K 4.8GHz@1.452v/1.97vRIN Gigabyte Z87X-UD3H Older Gigabyte 7950 (H60 Mod) 2x4GB Gskill 2400CL11 Hynix CFRs 
Hard DriveCoolingOSMonitor
Samsung 830 128gb Corsair H110 w/4x 140mm Yate Loon High Blues W7 x64 Ultimate Yarrgh Matey Dell U2312HM Matte IPS 1080p 
MonitorMonitorKeyboardPower
Sanyo DP19640 18.5" 768p KDS Rad-7xp 1024p CM Storm Quickfire Rapids Brown Rosewill Capstone 750 
CaseMouseMouse PadAudio
Bitfenix Shinobi Modded CM Storm Spawn Steelseries Diablo 3 2 set CD Speaker + Big Sub 
Other
Bitfenix Recon Fan Controller Moded 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Delidded i7-3770K 5GHz@1.499 Gigabyte Z77X-UD5H 1.1 Sapphire Dual-X 7950 3L Boost 4x2GB Mushkin Ridgeback 2200mhz 8/11/8/27 1.75v... 
Hard DriveCoolingCoolingCooling
Intel X25-M 80GB SSD NH-D14 SE2011 Noctua 120/140/140 Fans 3 x Yate Loon Mediums (Petras) 2 x NZXT Havik 140mm Fans 
OSMonitorMonitorKeyboard
Hax'd W7 Ultimate 64-bit Sanyo DP19640 19'' KDS Radius Rad-7xp 17'' Ducky 1087 MX Brown 10keyless 
PowerCaseMouseMouse Pad
Rosewill Capstone 550w Modular NZXT Source 210 w/Modded Window Razer Deathadder 3.5G Steelseries Blizzcon D3 
AudioAudioOtherOther
Phillips FW-C250 2 Speaker Set w/3 CD Changer JBL Sub 6 Subwoofer NZXT Sleeved LED Strip 1m Blue NZXT Sentry 2 Fan Controller 
Other
Colonial Blue Paracord Sleeving 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Phenom ii X4 955C2, $31, 5 broken pins, works! ... Biostar A770e3 6.3 Red&Black MSI GTX 460 768mb Twin Frozr II 2 x 2GB Kingston HyperX 1333 OC to 1348CL7@1.65v 
Hard DriveCoolingCoolingCooling
Intel X25-M G2 80GB SSD NH-D14 SE2011 6 x Case Fans (4 x YL-M, NZXT case fan, CM Hype... Jerryrigged Chipset-Northbridge 80mm HSF 
CoolingOSMonitorKeyboard
Jerryrigged VRM Heatsink (sawed off stock AM2 h... Hax'd W7 Ultimate 64bit Sanyo DP19640 19"1360x768 Ducky Cherry Browns 10keyless 
PowerCaseMouseMouse Pad
Antec Earthwatts 430D NZXT Gamma Steelseries Kinzu Optical Steelseries Blizzcon Diablo 3 
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post #6 of 14
My main use for an htpc is to watch streaming video, Netflix mainly (it appears that most of the USA is doing the same thing. After 8.00PM (I believe that was the time stated) a full 33% of Internet traffic is devoted to Netflix, with a bit under 20% devoted to the number 2 streamer YouTube. I use the coolest/cheapest running 4 cores I can find for my Netflix machines(they turned out to be Q6600s). Since Silverlight has fallen short on user end hardware acceleration it does not matter what gpu you use as it is all cpu. By using a 4 core cpu you can keep the individual core utilization down under 15%.A dual core will show 50-70% cpu utilization. This is something I like to avoid. You say Win 8 64.Perhaps with Win 8 hardware acceleration is going to work and most of the work will get handed off to the gpu.I think I read about a move away from Silverlight for Netflix in any case.

You could use a 4 core for the actual streaming the use a high powered NIVIDIA gpu to fold with while watching videos. There will not be any degradation in video playback due to folding.
Edited by PCCstudent - 5/19/13 at 2:49am
WC Rig
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i7-930@4.05GHz ASUS P6X58D-Preminum XFX GeForce 275 896mb 6GB Corsair TR3X6G1600C8D 
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WD 150gb Raptor LightScan Win 7 64-bit Acer 22" 
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G15 Corsair HX620W Antec 1200 several various 
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none 
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WC Rig
(13 items)
 
  
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i7-930@4.05GHz ASUS P6X58D-Preminum XFX GeForce 275 896mb 6GB Corsair TR3X6G1600C8D 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
WD 150gb Raptor LightScan Win 7 64-bit Acer 22" 
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none 
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post #7 of 14
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the suggestions. Much appreciated. I feel a little better knowing I don’t have to worry too much about being underpowered. Seems like whatever I can cobble together that meets minimum needs and price should be fine.

@phill1978, I thought of going with a slim head unit and and nas for the 12tb storage (3 4tb drives and another 2 for raid0 os), but from much of what I read, modest 4 bay nas’ seemed flakey and/or slow. Decent ones pushed $500 quick and figured better to just go with a big case at that point anyway since it fits in my av rack fine. Less money overall and more reliable/upgradable.

@Belial “the fact that you’d consider an i5,” I know right? Turbo boost seemed like a good idea, but may be more marketing that real world useful. The only reason I thought to go sandy or ivy is uefi. I want that instant gratification of quick boot time, what can I say, patience isn’t always a virtue. smile.gif

I had thought of looking into AMD, better gpu in the trinity, but 22nm ivy’s seemed like they might be able to do what I needed with less power. Also trying to narrow my options instead of increasing them. Like I said, I’m kind of in option overload.

Thanks all!
post #8 of 14
If you really require intel then your best bet would be this.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819116774

and whatever motherboard fits your needs.
My Rig
(5 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
A8-5600k BIOSTAR Hi-Fi A85S3 FM2 HD 7560D Integrated GPU Team Vulcan 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3 1600 
Hard Drive
TOSHIBA P300 HDWD110XZSTA 1TB 7200 RPM 64MB Cache 
  hide details  
Reply
My Rig
(5 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
A8-5600k BIOSTAR Hi-Fi A85S3 FM2 HD 7560D Integrated GPU Team Vulcan 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3 1600 
Hard Drive
TOSHIBA P300 HDWD110XZSTA 1TB 7200 RPM 64MB Cache 
  hide details  
Reply
post #9 of 14
Only for multimedia?

I would get an A8-5500 or an A10-5700 with an ASRock FM2A85X-ITX.

But if you do insist on an Intel... i3 or better. Anything below that just cannot handle 1080p playback decently (frameskipping, bad refresh rate sync and such). Also, get an Ivy. Sandy's picture quality was... well, let's say it wasn't good.
   
AGP bencher
(14 items)
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Ryzen R7 1700 Gigabyte GA-AX370-Gaming 5 Sapphire HD 6950 2GiB 2x8GB KFA2 HOF DDR4-3600 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveHard Drive
Crucial MX100 256GB Seagate 600 Series 240GB Seagate 7200.14 2TB Samsung F3 1TB 
CoolingCoolingCoolingCooling
EKWB Supreme HF XSPC Rasa GPU EK XT360 EK 4.0 
OSMonitorMonitorKeyboard
W10 Pro LG IPS235 LG E2250V KUL ES-87 
PowerCaseMouseAudio
SF Leadex II 650W Lian Li PC-A05NB Logitech G9 Xonar DX 
AudioAudio
SMSL SA-S3+Technics CB-250 Sennheiser HD555 
CPUMotherboardRAMHard Drive
AMD A10-5700 Gigabyte F2A75M-HD2 G.SKILL Ares 2133 CL9 Hitachi 5K750 
Hard DriveCoolingOSMonitor
Momentus .7 200GB Noctua NH-L9a Server 2012 R2 Standard AUO B156HW01 
PowerCaseOther
PicoPSU-80-WI-25V AIO Aluminium Handmade TP-Link Archer Something Something Wi-Fi AC 
CPUCPUCPUMotherboard
Core2Duo E6400 Core2Quad Q6600 Pentium Dual Core E5200 AsRock 4COREDUAL-SATA2 R2.0 
GraphicsRAMHard DriveOptical Drive
A dumpload of ancient AGP cards Kingston Value DDR2-667 CL4 2T @CL3 1T Seagate 160GB 7200.10 LG IDE DVD-ROM 
CoolingCoolingOSMonitor
Ghettomade CPU waterblock 49cc 2stroke engine copper radiator WinXP SP2 32bit ProView 17" 
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Tacens Radix V 550W Ghetto aluminium bench 
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AGP bencher
(14 items)
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Ryzen R7 1700 Gigabyte GA-AX370-Gaming 5 Sapphire HD 6950 2GiB 2x8GB KFA2 HOF DDR4-3600 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveHard Drive
Crucial MX100 256GB Seagate 600 Series 240GB Seagate 7200.14 2TB Samsung F3 1TB 
CoolingCoolingCoolingCooling
EKWB Supreme HF XSPC Rasa GPU EK XT360 EK 4.0 
OSMonitorMonitorKeyboard
W10 Pro LG IPS235 LG E2250V KUL ES-87 
PowerCaseMouseAudio
SF Leadex II 650W Lian Li PC-A05NB Logitech G9 Xonar DX 
AudioAudio
SMSL SA-S3+Technics CB-250 Sennheiser HD555 
CPUMotherboardRAMHard Drive
AMD A10-5700 Gigabyte F2A75M-HD2 G.SKILL Ares 2133 CL9 Hitachi 5K750 
Hard DriveCoolingOSMonitor
Momentus .7 200GB Noctua NH-L9a Server 2012 R2 Standard AUO B156HW01 
PowerCaseOther
PicoPSU-80-WI-25V AIO Aluminium Handmade TP-Link Archer Something Something Wi-Fi AC 
CPUCPUCPUMotherboard
Core2Duo E6400 Core2Quad Q6600 Pentium Dual Core E5200 AsRock 4COREDUAL-SATA2 R2.0 
GraphicsRAMHard DriveOptical Drive
A dumpload of ancient AGP cards Kingston Value DDR2-667 CL4 2T @CL3 1T Seagate 160GB 7200.10 LG IDE DVD-ROM 
CoolingCoolingOSMonitor
Ghettomade CPU waterblock 49cc 2stroke engine copper radiator WinXP SP2 32bit ProView 17" 
PowerCase
Tacens Radix V 550W Ghetto aluminium bench 
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post #10 of 14
Thread Starter 
I did check out AMD. Seems like a good option. Think I'll wait a month to see if the Richland releases drop some prices, and decide then between A8, A10, or i3-3225.
Thanks again for all the good suggestions.
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