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Intel or AMD APU? Which case?

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
Hello, so currently I am using a Dell C2D setup for my HTPC with a few external drives attached. I want to build a new HTPC that is more up to date. What CPU brand would you guys recommend? I want to keep the build as cheap as possible but still work fine. I run XBMC "Frodo" and want to be able to play my 720p and 1080p .mkv files without a hitch. I also will have the HTPC hooked up to my surround sound system so the mobo needs to have HDMI out. Does anyone have some good case recommendations that look nice and don't break the bank? I would like to keep it as small as possible, so mATX is probably the smallest I can go since I will need to fit in 2-3 3.5" HDD's and 1 2.5" SSD.
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
C2D E6600 2.4ghz @ 3.6ghz Gigabyte EP45-UD3P Rev 1.0 BFG GTX275 4x1gb Corsair XMS2 DDR2-800 
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150gb Raptor, 3x1tb Storage Samsung 22x DVDRW + LG 22x DVDRW (BOTH SATA) Windows 7 64-Bit Samsung 245BW 24" 1920x1200 5ms 
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Macbook Air
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
C2D E6600 2.4ghz @ 3.6ghz Gigabyte EP45-UD3P Rev 1.0 BFG GTX275 4x1gb Corsair XMS2 DDR2-800 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
150gb Raptor, 3x1tb Storage Samsung 22x DVDRW + LG 22x DVDRW (BOTH SATA) Windows 7 64-Bit Samsung 245BW 24" 1920x1200 5ms 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Logitech G11 Silverstone Strider 750w Modular Antec 900 Razer Copperhead 
Mouse Pad
Custom Outer Space 
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post #2 of 5
You can go ITX and still be fine. I would go with an APU since you are looking for small, low cost and good video output. With the case you can go a Node 304, it will look good in an entertainment center. Also consider a Lian Li Q28 or Q25.

The Node and Q25 will both have an issue in the fact you cannot mount an optical drive. However if this is for streaming then both are great options.
post #3 of 5
An APU is more than enough for a cheap HTPC . I have this and is a pretty good case : http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811163239 .
post #4 of 5
I'm building my second HTPC (this one is for my daughter) with the Lian Li PC-Q27B - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811112400 It's a mini-ITX case and will hold up to 3 drives (4 if you don't need an optical drive) and is passively cooled. I'm using Ivy Bridge i3 with Intel 4000 HD graphics (it's a little pricy so maybe an AMD chip might be an alternative) and picture is great. MoBo is Gigabyte GA-H77-N WiFi so streaming is wireless.
Photo Editing PC
(11 items)
 
HTPC
(11 items)
 
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel i7-4790k  ASUS Sabertooth Z97 Mark 2 ASUS GTX 960 2GB STRIX 16GB Crucial Ballistix Tactical DDR3 1600 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
256 GB Samsung 850 PRO WD 2TB Caviar Black Noctua NH U12S Win8.1 
MonitorPowerCase
NEC MultiSynch P221W SeaSonic G 650 Fractal Design Define R5 
CPUMotherboardRAMHard Drive
Intel i3-3225 Gigabyte H77N-WiFi 4GB Crucial Ballistix Tactical DDR3 1600 120 GB Samsung EVO 840 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
500GB WD Blue LG Blue Ray DVD Reader Noctua NH-L9i Win7 
KeyboardPowerCase
Logitech K-400 Seasonic G360 Lian Li PC Q-27B 
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Photo Editing PC
(11 items)
 
HTPC
(11 items)
 
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel i7-4790k  ASUS Sabertooth Z97 Mark 2 ASUS GTX 960 2GB STRIX 16GB Crucial Ballistix Tactical DDR3 1600 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
256 GB Samsung 850 PRO WD 2TB Caviar Black Noctua NH U12S Win8.1 
MonitorPowerCase
NEC MultiSynch P221W SeaSonic G 650 Fractal Design Define R5 
CPUMotherboardRAMHard Drive
Intel i3-3225 Gigabyte H77N-WiFi 4GB Crucial Ballistix Tactical DDR3 1600 120 GB Samsung EVO 840 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
500GB WD Blue LG Blue Ray DVD Reader Noctua NH-L9i Win7 
KeyboardPowerCase
Logitech K-400 Seasonic G360 Lian Li PC Q-27B 
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post #5 of 5
Any APU should be able to do what you're asking of it quite easily. I run Frodo on an older laptop (second gen i3, nvidia GT310) doing basically the same thing, and it streams HD just fine.

I don't have an "official" HTPC case yet (using the lappy for right now until I free up my current rigs parts for the HTPC and build myself a new main rig), but I have my eye on the Silverstone GD04. It will easily fit the number of drives you need, and to me the most important part is that it looks the part of a proper home theater system (8mm thick brushed aluminum front panel). That, and its the size of a reciever, so once again it fits well into your entertainment center.

Thats just my two cents though.

Good luck with whatever you do smile.gif.
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