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CPU, GPU, and Mobo for HTPC

andrx47

Member
Dec 6, 2012
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1. What YOUR PC will be used for. -- HTPC that connects to my TV via HDMI. Must be able to play Blurays with MadVR plugin, stream movies via streaming services, play Emulated games (PS2, N64, but nothing more demanding), play PC games at reasonable settings (like BF4 at low/medium settings at 1080p would be plenty powerful). Would like it to be reasonably low power and quiet. Everything must fit in a mATX case.

2. What YOUR budget is. A price range is acceptable as long as it's not more than a 20% spread -- $350, $400 max.

3. What country YOU will be buying YOUR parts from. -- USA

4. IF you're buying parts OUTSIDE the US, please post a link to the vendor you'll be buying from.
We can't be expected to scour the internet on your behalf, chasing down deals in your specific country... Again, help us, help YOU. -- NA

5. IF YOU have a brand preference. That means, are you an Intel-Fanboy, AMD-Fanboy, ATI-Fanboy, nVidia-Fanboy, Seagate-Fanboy, WD-Fanboy, etc. -- Intel CPU. Mobo and GPU can be whatever

6. If YOU intend on using any of YOUR current parts, and if so, what those parts are. -- 430w PSU with 4pin 12V ATX connector, Antec Fusion Case (mATX is a must), 3TB WD Red HDD, 128GB SSD, Bluray burner, G.Skill Trident X DDR3 2400 RAM.

7. IF YOU plan on overclocking or run the system at default speeds. -- If I do OC (probably wont), it will be without any voltage increases.

8. What resolution, not monitor size, will you be using? 1080P Panasonic Plasma HDTV

9. WHEN do you plan to build it? --Would like to purchase parts on February 10th at the latest

X. Do you need to purchase any software to go with the system, such as Windows or Blu Ray playback software? -- No


Thanks to all for your help!
 

cytoSiN

Platinum Member
Jul 11, 2002
2,262
7
81
Looks like you've got a good start on parts. If you live near a Microcenter you can save on an mATX/CPU combo. For GPU, for your purposes, you'll need to be able to bitstream HD audio, so you'll want at least a 660 if you're going nvidia. Lower-end AMD GPUs can bitstream HD audio, but I'm not sure how low you can go. You could, in theory, bitstream HD audio with an onboard GPU, but I wouldn't recommend it in 2014 with so many affordable dedicated solutions out there. For now, my recommendation is to choose a CPU (i3 4340 maybe, but you can't OC without a "K" chip?) and see what type of bundle deal you can get on a motherboard, either at MC or Newegg (does anyone else bundle?). Then see how much money you have left and buy the best GPU that you can afford that will bitstream HD audio (Nvidia's website has specs, I'm sure AMD is similar). If you want to spend a little more, and possibly OC, I'd recommend taking a look at the parts I just used in a new build, here: http://forums.anandtech.com/showthread.php?t=2366954
 

cytoSiN

Platinum Member
Jul 11, 2002
2,262
7
81
Again... the problem is his 430w PSU... :(

OP, what PSU is it? Corsair CX430? ...or?
Good point. There are plenty of calculators out there for total wattage. But if HD audio is your thing (as it should be for an HTPC), you may want to look at AMD and/or a new PSU.
 

andrx47

Member
Dec 6, 2012
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Thanks for the replies all. It is a Thermaltake TR2 430w. Unfortunately, I live in Wisconsin where there are no nearby Microcenters. What is everyones opinion on a Intel 3350P or a 3470S? It is pushing my budget a bit, but would it be worth the upgrade from a dual core? I was also looking at the 260X for a GPU. What do you guys think?

Did a quick Wattage calc, shouldn't push far over 350w with these parts.
 
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Charlie98

Diamond Member
Nov 6, 2011
6,207
38
91
At this point, follow mfenn's advise on the other thread... his advise is solid all the way.

As a general rule, I'd skip the P or S CPUs and just stick with plain vanilla or a K chip if you want to OC. It's a tough call... balancing the CPU and GPU on a budget.

Question for you... are you going to be encoding on this machine? ...ripping DVDs to .MP4 or something?

So far, I like the i3-4130 chip with either a H87 or B85 board and the 7850.
 

Binky

Diamond Member
Oct 9, 1999
4,046
4
81
CPU isn't terribly relevant. Any of the latest i3 or higher should do fine. You will need to investigate the GPU horsepower needed to push whatever madvr settings you intend to use. You probably need something at least as powerful as a 7750, up to a 7850/R9 270. I don't know the Nvidia equivalent, but that would work very well too. Your case limits your GPU choices - it's half-height, right? That may limit you to a 7750 card.
 

andrx47

Member
Dec 6, 2012
37
0
0
Thanks again guys. I do plan on doing some encoding. It doesn't have to be lightning fast for this, but I don't want it to be slow either. It is sounding like getting a dual core and a better GPU might be the way to go.
 

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