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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
First off let me just state I don't need a high-end gaming rig (that's what the ps3 is for!!!
biggrin.gif
) My 6 year old Dell dual-core is still running strong & currently meets my computing needs. I do a lot of DVD burning & occasionally some video encoding.

However, I would love to have a custom rig that is a little more current and easily upgradeable in the future. My build experience is limited to installing a new hdd, new graphics card, and new fans in my current box.

Here's my blueprint:

case: NZXT Hades mid tower

cpu: AMD Athlon II X4 640 Propus 3.0GHz 4 x 512KB L2 Cache Socket AM3 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor ADX640WFGMBOX

mobo: BIOSTAR A880G+ AM3 AMD 880G HDMI Micro ATX AMD Motherboard (onboard graphics is preferred, however I do have a 9500 gt I can steal from the Dell)

ram: G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800)

psu: Antec BP550 Plus 550W Continuous Power ATX12V V2.2 80 PLUS Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply

cpu cooler: COOLER MASTER RR-H101-22FK-RI 80mm Long life sleeve bearing CPU Cooler (had to look long & hard for a cooler that was less than 130mm tall so as not to interfere with the case's 200 mm side intake fan)

There is room in my budget to upgrade the processor to a Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition Deneb 3.2GHz (extra $50 for L3 cache do I really need it???)

or upgrade the mobo to an ASUS M4A88T-V EVO/USB3 AM3 AMD 880G HDMI USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard (again an extra $50 for what? I LOVE the Asus brand name but don't really need most of the features on this board)

If anyone cares to make a strong case for either (or both) of those upgrades or can find a flaw with my blueprint I sure would appreciate the help.
 

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Well since you've chosen a m-atx motherboard and you want an HTPC, I'd recommend going with a lower profile HTPC case like antec p180 or any Fractal (Define R3) case. Lian Li has some sleek sleek ones as well. I'm partial to the PC-A05NB. Also, for your build, I'm not sure you need an aftermark CPU cooler unless you plan on doing some overclocking. Save the money.

Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the reply, I am planning on learning how to do some mild overclocking (I believe that is all that board allows).
 

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Biostar A880G+ = unheatsinked 3+1 power phase.
Get a minimum heatsinked 4+1 power phase if you want to seriously overclock your 95W TDP processor. Especially if you have a tower cooler.
 

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Not any better, also a 3+1.
3+1 will be fine for a stock Athlon II x4; if you will be overclocking the Athlon II x4, you will want a 4+1. Especially with a tower cooler. Sadly the only one that seems to fit the price range is this Jetway board.
 

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Great board choice, but ASUS M4A88T-V EVO offers better parts quality, features, and slightly better price after rebate.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
thats an 8+1 power phase isn't it? that board will be better for upgrading to a hexacore down the line then?
 

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To Phenom II x6 or any 125W processor, yes, very
smile.gif

-xd
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
here's my amended build then:

case: NZXT Hades (already purchased)

cpu: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103871

mobo: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131668

ram: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820211409

psu: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817371016

cooler: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835103074

puts me at $427 US (includes the hades tower & shipping)

already have an asus cd/dvd drive & a seagate 1TB barracuda Hdd.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
the 212 stands 158mm tall and the sunbeam stands 151mm tall

neither of which will fit in the hades tower with the side 200mm fan installed
 

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Remeber guys. READ THE TITLE. Why do people always try to get you to get something that is over your budget or out of your spec range?

OP: If you are not going to be doing any major overclocking and are basically going to use your new build for watching movies and listening to music I say stick to your original build. Hint: while you aren't watching movies or you aren't using your HTPC have it crank out some folding.

I swear I think some of you are on the payrolls of these manufactuers the way you all are pushing more expensive items all the time on people with lower budgets. Get off it.
 

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2 things.

1) You don't need to overclock a HTPC if you're just gonna watch movies and surf the web on it. All it will do is cause excess heat for absolutely no visible performance gains. Seems like a bad tradeoff for an extra 100 mhz.

2) I'd put that extra 40/50 bucks into getting a dedicated video card. Something small and low powered, preferably not needing any PCI-E connectors to run. A GT240 or a Radeon 5570 fit the bill perfectly. Having a dedicated video card ensures that you will run 1080p video without any lag. Some people will say onboard is enough (and sometimes it is) but any sort of lag issues while running videos will be solved with a low cost video card.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
thanks for the confirmations erick & hyujmn, some sound reasoning there.

the micro atx board with only 2 ram slots makes me hesitate, my only experience is with full atx boards.

as for the encoding of video, doubling the cores 2 to 4, and ram from 2 gigs to 4 (yes i'll be using a 64 bit OS) should yield some significant results even on that budget board should it not?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by mardi72;11975020
thanks for the confirmations erick & hyujmn, some sound reasoning there.

the micro atx board with only 2 ram slots makes me hesitate, my only experience is with full atx boards.

as for the encoding of video, doubling the cores 2 to 4, and ram from 2 gigs to 4 (yes i'll be using a 64 bit OS) should yield some significant results even on that budget board should it not?
You can watch full 1080p videos perfectly with any dual core, 2 gigs of RAM, and a GT 240/Radeon 5570.

There will be no difference compared to an i7 @ 4ghz with HT on, Tri-SLI 580s, and 24 gigs of RAM.
 
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