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Looking for feedback on HTPC build...

nipplefish

Senior member
Feb 11, 2005
399
0
76
This is going to be a cheap, low-power box intended to blend in with my stereo and TV. I'll be using it for Netflix, watching ripped DVDs, and recording TV off an HDHomeRun Prime. The recorded TV will be stripped of commercials and re-encoded for smaller size using MCEBuddy. It will also be used for some light gaming. It will run 24/7.

CPU - A10-5800K - I decided on this due to the low idle power as well as the stronger integrated graphics vs. Intel. CPU performance is close enough to the i3's that it doesn't seem like a major loss. Thought about the A8 but for 20 bucks figured I may as well get the top-end. Also thought about the A10-5700 but it's $20 more than the 5800, so I could just undervolt/underclock to reach the same levels if necessary.

Mobo - MSI FM2-A75MA-E35 - Seems to have everything I need and it's only $60. I don't intend to overclock.

SSD - Intel 330 SSD (60GB) - It's Intel and it's cheap.

Memory - 2x2GB Kingston HyperX Genesis (1866MHz) - 4GB should be plenty for this PC, right?

PSU - Antec Earthwatts 380W - Good reviews, efficient, cheap.

Case - Silverstone ML03B - Looks nice, USB3 ports on the front, low-profile, decently priced.

I have a spare 640GB HDD that I will throw into it. I'll add a larger drive at a later date. I also don't think I need an optical drive at the moment, though I may opt to add a BD drive at some point.

Total price is $372 shipped. Any feedback is appreciated.
 
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ecosmartpc

Member
Aug 15, 2012
67
0
66
www.ecosmartpc.com
I like the EA380D but for the ML03 since it's tight I like this PSU instead:

FSP Group FSP300-60GHS-R 300W SFX12V 80 PLUS Certified Power Supply. Being SFX it takes up much less space but it comes with an SFX-to-ATX/PS2 bracket which lets you mount it in the ATX PSU bay of the ML03. FSP makes very good PSUs. I have one of these in my home server and it's inaudible.

If the A8-3870K is any indication, it will run hot. You're going to want a better cooler than the stock, maybe something like the Scythe Shuriken. If you can underclock it, do. You might even be better off heat/noise-wise with something like a G850 and a discrete GPU card like the HD6670 if you're doing light gaming.

Compare:
SAPPHIRE Radeon HD 6670 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready Low Profile Video Card $74.99 AR
Intel Pentium G850 Sandy Bridge 2.90GHz Socket 1155 Dual Core 32nm Processor Model: BX80623G850. Retail $67.99
Total: $142.98

vs. the A10-5800K
AMD A10-5800K Trinity 3.8GHz (4.2GHz Turbo) Socket FM2 100W Quad-Core Desktop APU $119.99 w/ coupon code EMCJNJA222
Total: $119.99
Difference: $22.99

So, just some food for thought before you decide.
 
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nipplefish

Senior member
Feb 11, 2005
399
0
76
Thanks, I appreciate the input. The G850 isn't going to have the CPU power that the A10 does, though, according to the AT review. It's going to be background encoding video a lot of the time so I'd want something like a 3220 if I were going Intel. Heat and noise aren't much of a concern, though I think I will look at getting an aftermarket cooler.
 

assassin24

HTPC Moderator
Mar 27, 2005
394
0
0
For CPU intensive tasks you really should consider Intel.

And after you add an aftermarket cooler the Intel option with a discrete card is cheaper.
 

nipplefish

Senior member
Feb 11, 2005
399
0
76
The G850 is cheaper, yeah, but it's slower than the 5800k in everything but single-threaded tasks. Going from the AT review the 3220 would be closer in performance, but combine that with a graphics card and you're pushing $200. I'm just not sure that price premium is worth the savings in power/noise.
 

ecosmartpc

Member
Aug 15, 2012
67
0
66
www.ecosmartpc.com
If encoding time is important, I'd pick the i5-3570K. The CPU performance is going to be far superior to the A10-5800K and the GPU will be good enough you don't need a card except for gaming. Yes, it costs more but you won't need to underclock it/undervolt it to have it run cool and quiet.
 

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