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  • Community Question: What makes a good motherboard?

HTPC Build

the.chad

Member
Apr 1, 2011
25
0
0
Hi all

Setting myself a project in the new year to do my first HTPC build.

Doing loads of research looking into all the different builds out there (mad props to Assassin's Hardware guide!!!) and think I have a decent build on my hands.

Here's links to the parts I'm looking at:

CPU:
http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=187_1490&products_id=24883

Noticed this CPU had the Intel HD 4400 integrated graphics and a slightly higher i3 had the 4600. Is the price difference worth the performance here?

MOBO:
http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=138_1019&products_id=23792

RAM:
http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=186_538_1137&products_id=16034

PSU:
http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=15_354&products_id=22269

CASE:
http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=20116

Scored a 3TB HDD from a mate I'm planning to use for it as well.

Essentially looking at having this machine run the server and client for MediaBrowser 3 and maybe some light gaming (only as demanding as the Lego series of games for friendly co-op).

How's this build look, could you recommend any additions or changes?



Cheers!
 

LoveMachine

Senior member
May 8, 2012
491
3
81
Regarding the iGPU, I doubt you would notice any difference for your needs with the 4600. Certain MadVR rendering options might be slightly better, but outside of that, no difference.
 

Binky

Diamond Member
Oct 9, 1999
4,046
4
81
The case can take microATX motherboards. Is there a reason for the more expensive mini-itx board? You could save a few bucks if you used a microATX board.

I haven't used the newer HD4000 integrated GPU, but I was never happy with the speed of the HD2500-HD3000 when using media browser. It was just menu lagginess (laggyness?), playback was always fine. You can install a discrete GPU later if it's laggy on this system.

The memory link is for a single stick. Are you planning on using just a single stick of memory? You can probably get by with 4gb, but I always put in 8GB just because the cost difference isn't significant. I'm not sure about any performance penalty on newer systems using single channel memory instead of dual. It is generally true that single channel is lower performance but I'm not sure if it is significant on this platform.
 

piasabird

Lifer
Feb 6, 2002
17,183
60
91
Everything is costing too much. But is not too high. I think you can get a better motherboard for less.

Gigabyte GA-Z87N-WIFI Socket 1150 Haswell Mini-ITX Motherboard, Intel Z87 Chipset, Support Intel Socket H3 CPU, DDR3 2933(O.C.), Dual Gigabit LAN, SATA 6Gb/s Raid, USB 3.0, 7.1-Ch HD Audio, Windows 8 Ready

http://www.directron.com/gaz87nwifi.html
$129.99 for the Z87NWIFI.

That model of motherboard should cost around $112.89
http://www.directron.com/gah87nwifi.html

Look at the shipping cost too.

If you went with a standard black case you could maybe cut the cost of the case in half to 2/3. Or you could get something like a cooler master 130 Elite which is a nice small case with a black mesh front. Depends where you want to put it and what you are going to put in the case like drives and video cards. If you like that case just go for it.
 
Last edited:

the.chad

Member
Apr 1, 2011
25
0
0
Everything is costing too much. But is not too high. I think you can get a better motherboard for less.

Gigabyte GA-Z87N-WIFI Socket 1150 Haswell Mini-ITX Motherboard, Intel Z87 Chipset, Support Intel Socket H3 CPU, DDR3 2933(O.C.), Dual Gigabit LAN, SATA 6Gb/s Raid, USB 3.0, 7.1-Ch HD Audio, Windows 8 Ready

http://www.directron.com/gaz87nwifi.html
$129.99 for the Z87NWIFI.

That model of motherboard should cost around $112.89
http://www.directron.com/gah87nwifi.html

Look at the shipping cost too.

If you went with a standard black case you could maybe cut the cost of the case in half to 2/3. Or you could get something like a cooler master 130 Elite which is a nice small case with a black mesh front. Depends where you want to put it and what you are going to put in the case like drives and video cards. If you like that case just go for it.

Prices are Australian, plus we have to pay the Australian tax as well :(

There are a few places around with cheaper parts but I've had some good interactions with the place I'm getting the gear and they're yet to let me down.

I'll have a dig though and checkout those other mainboards you recommended!
 

the.chad

Member
Apr 1, 2011
25
0
0
I haven't used the newer HD4000 integrated GPU, but I was never happy with the speed of the HD2500-HD3000 when using media browser. It was just menu lagginess (laggyness?), playback was always fine. You can install a discrete GPU later if it's laggy on this system.
That's what my plan was to see how the integrated graphics go.
If anything is to choppy I'd plan on getting one of the small form factor AMD cards.


Cheer!
 

the.chad

Member
Apr 1, 2011
25
0
0
Moving some funds around I believe I can spend a little more on this machine early next year.

Would it be of any benefit upgrading the CPU to an i5 Haswell or would the difference be minimal in a HTPC?
 

LoveMachine

Senior member
May 8, 2012
491
3
81
You won't notice any difference at all for HTPC use, perhaps some minor improvement in games, but the only real advantage (and it would be a dramatic difference) would be encoding with apps like Handbrake.
 

Binky

Diamond Member
Oct 9, 1999
4,046
4
81
Anything near the i3-4130 that you selected is a very powerful CPU for HTPC use. I would spend the extra money on more HD space, things to quiet down the system (if needed), blu-ray software, and maybe fun stuff like a nice keyboard, a nice remote, or media browser addons.
 

Ventanni

Golden Member
Jul 25, 2011
1,421
127
106
The iGPU will be perfect for what you're intending it to do. There won't be any need to pick up a cheap AMD card at all. Earlier in the year, I had a period where I wasn't really able to game much at all. My fiance at the time used my computer constantly, so I uninstalled the dGPU and used the HD4000 for a while, and based on my experience I can tell you this:

-I notice no difference between it and my Geforce-285 when browsing the web.
-Some playback software like Media Player Classic can take advantage of the Quicksync feature for hardware/playback acceleration. Watching a bluray rip of the first Hobbit movie at 1-3% CPU utilization is pretty impressive!
-It's actually pretty capable of light gaming. I've played Half-Life 2 and Starcraft II (1080p) on it with some settings turned down and it was more than playable. Not as pretty of course, but playable.

The HD4400 is like ~30% faster than the HD4000 with some various other improvements, so you should be quite happy with your purchase. I admit having a 3770k as basically a Facebook and Pinterest machine for a while was completely overkill (sacrilege, I know!), but it taught me to respect the HD4000 for what it was capable of.
 

Alan G

Member
Apr 25, 2013
127
0
0
+1 to what Ventanni has written! I'm running an i3-3225 on my HTPC (and build a similar one for my daughter); HD4000 video is perfect on the TV.
 

piasabird

Lifer
Feb 6, 2002
17,183
60
91
I just purchased an i-3 4330 for $124 on the after christmas sale. Not too bad of a price. It has the HD 4600 video and 4Meg Cache. I also purchased the same motherboard.

1 x ($124.99) Intel Core i3-4330 Haswell 3.5GHz LGA 1150 54W Dua $124.99
1 x ($104.99) GIGABYTE GA-H77N-WIFI LGA 1155 Intel H77 HDMI SATA $104.99
1 x ($84.99) G.SKILL Ares Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDR $84.99
1 x ($69.99) Western Digital WD10EZEX 1TB 7200 RPM 64MB Cache S - OEM $69.99
Subtotal: $384.96
Tax: $0.00
Shipping and Handling: $0.00
Total Amount: $384.96

I purchased a Cooler Master 130 Elite For like $49 and an OS win7 for like $99. I think if I waited, I could have got the OS for less.
 

Alan G

Member
Apr 25, 2013
127
0
0
I just purchased an i-3 4330 for $124 on the after christmas sale. Not too bad of a price. It has the HD 4600 video and 4Meg Cache. I also purchased the same motherboard.

1 x ($124.99) Intel Core i3-4330 Haswell 3.5GHz LGA 1150 54W Dua $124.99
1 x ($104.99) GIGABYTE GA-H77N-WIFI LGA 1155 Intel H77 HDMI SATA $104.99
Sorry to tell you but your CPU is not compatible with the MoBo you have listed. You needed the H87N board.
 

NonToxic628

Junior Member
Dec 30, 2013
9
0
0
www.shacknews.com
Sorry to tell you but your CPU is not compatible with the MoBo you have listed. You needed the H87N board.
Truth. Good catch on that.

Although you can always say this, you might wait and see what AMD Kaveri's benchmark at. We should start seeing benchmarks in a few weeks. If anything, prices may drop on the processors you intend to buy.
 

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