Quick HTPC replacement build
So the HTPC I built in 2008 has finally died (keeps getting random shutdown, freezes and such) and decided to upgrade a little.
I plan on using the same PSU, Case, CD Drive, and HDD for tv recordings.
This leaves me needing a new CPU, MoBo, RAM. and OS drive.
I already have a new M2 drive to use as an OS drive.
I have these parts in my cart right now:
200GE processor Nice low wattage CPU that should handle my HTPC needs (the current X2 210e handled everything I did)
GIGABYTE AB350M-DS3H mothreboard Seems not a lot of difference in many of these 350 boards for basic builds
Ballistix Tactical 4GB DDR4 2666 Seems to have good ratings, on sale. I see no need for 8 gigs of ram, again, current setup was fine with 4 gigs. I may buy a second stick though.
Any obvious problems here? I figure I will be ordering in the next day or so unless something is bad with this plan.
Hmm, seems that the Raven Ridge CPU won't work on Windows 7???
I am reading that it is a driver issue for the graphics, some places say it works, some say it does not.
And yes, I am still on Windows 7 on my HTPC since Windows Media Center works perfectly for my needs.
The board I linked is now sold out, so looking for another one, plus the sale on the CPU ends in a few hours.
Staying on windows 7 is a pain these days but plenty of people do it for reasons similar to yours. I know that coffee lake does not support win 7 but people say you can still use it. Not quite sure with AMD.
But man 4gb of ram on any system today is cutting it close.
I would get a b450 board personally, AMD ironed out a lot of the memory related problems among other things. Price is usually very close.
Yeah, getting Windows 7 on any modern platform is going to be a PITA (typically it's with the USB controller drivers on Intel, not sure about Ryzen) but it's not impossible.
You didn't tell us what you use the machine for so I guess it's fine if you're just watching movies and YouTube and the like... though with an APU I'd definitely want more than 4GB since you're going to be losing some to the APU and 4GB is already low.
It is just for WMC, watching TV and movies, playing to a 1080p TV.
Again, nothing taxing even for the older Athlon x2 that was in it, so I am sure this can handle it fine.
I have been debating just getting 8 gigs, it is only $25 more. I currently have 4 gigs on the old machine with shared onboard video, so I have 3.5 gigs available, and don't think it really gets close to using it all.
I also was looking at some of the 450 boards since the 350 I picked is out of stock. (This ASRock B450)
I have read a few ways to maybe get past the issue (either loading drivers in the windows .iso, or even just installing windows on one machine and then moving it to the new one).
The vast majority of issues seem to be no USB drivers for Windows 7 and the Windows 10 drivers don't work. Some boards are easier to get working than others.
Getting W7 (for benching) on my Z390 seemed to require a separate USB 2.0 card so I gave up and installed Windows 8.1 EIP for my HWBOT needs :)
Worst case if it is USB issues I will just throw in a USB card.
Only USB I use is the IR receiver (although I need USB to set it up).
OK, order placed.
So I got the 200GE processor, Ballistix Tactical 4GB DDR4 2666 RAM x2, and a ASRock B450M-HDV R4.0.
Total was $160. A little more than I wanted to spend (I have not bought PC products in a while, used to the $30 CPU's and cheap RAM from years ago). If I had stuck with just 4 gigs of RAM, it would have been $25 cheaper, but figured for $25 more, I will never have to worry about RAM.
Seems it is a little issue getting this to work with Windows 7, but hopefully nothing I can't work my way through.
Will be posting back if I have issues with it.
Well, after spending all day trying to get Windows 7 to load properly and not crash, I had to give up.
Seems that ASRock and Microsoft does not want me to do it.
I had to update the MB to the newest BIOS to get it to even start to work.
I used Gigabytes hack to slipstream the drivers into the Windows 7 install, and it did install Windows and it started to work, but as soon as I tried installing any updates, the USB ports quit working. I also had random BSOD with several different errors.
I tried installing a 2 port USB in the PCI-e slot, and I did get it to work after manually installing the drivers, but it was intermitent, as well as getting more BSOD.
I even went up in the attic and dug out a PS/2 keyboard and mouse, and while it did work, it only has 1 plug, so it was either the mouse or keyboard. I could use the on screen keyboard, but that is not a long term solution.
I also could not get Windows to find the M2 drive, it showed up in the BIOS, but was not there to install the OS on.
I am going to return the ASRock board, and am getting a Gigabyte B450M. It seems Gigabyte is a little more supportive of Windows 7 with Ryzen.
If it does not work, guess I will need to find an older CPU that works with Windows 7 (and it sucks that I can't return the 200GE).
I had briefly thought of using my home server (Athlon II 210, Gigabyte 785GMT, 8 gigs DDR3) as the HTPC and using the new build for the server, but I will probably have the same issues, since I use WHS 2011 and it is based off Win 7/Windows Server 2008 R2.
Maybe I will use the server anyway and switch to a Linux based server option?
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