Question mATX barebone with Displayport

Zorander

Golden Member
Nov 3, 2010
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Hi all,

I'm looking for ideas on CPU+Motherboard+RAM combo to replace the innards of the below existing HTPC:

Intel Core i5-760
Gigabyte GA-H55M-USB3
Asus HD7450 (DVI output to Dell U2709 @1920x1200)
Silverstone GD05
Crucial M4 SSD 128GB
Corsair VX-450 PSU
4x2GB Kingston DDR3

The PC is currently used as a spare for general use including browsing and Office so speed is not an issue.
I'm looking to replace the monitor with QHD resolution. As DVI ports have largely gone extinct and the current video card doesn't have DP nor HDMI (2.0) port, I'd rather spend a bit on a new system than a new video card (which don't come cheap nowadays).

Given its intended use, I'm after the most economical/cheapest option.

Thanks in advance!
 
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DAPUNISHER

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Depends on what the market prices are like where you live. Here in the U.S. I can still get a $65 Athlon 3000G, $50 A320 mATX, and 2x4GB DDR4 $50 or 2x8GB $75, win10 pro $15. I have tested the combo, and with a SSD it was surprisingly capable.
 

Zorander

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Nov 3, 2010
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I'm happy to go with used (up to 2-3 years old) as long as the motherboard has DP port (rare apparently in the budget sector).

Is there a list of such motherboards I can refer to? I'm happy to pick CPU and RAM around the motherboard choice.
 

DAPUNISHER

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Is there a list of such motherboards I can refer to?
Not that I am aware of. mATX narrows the field quite a bit. I'd recommend you bust out your google fu. The least expensive new board I saw was the Gigabyte A520M DS3H for $79.
 

Zorander

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Nov 3, 2010
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Thanks for your help. My search led me to the same motherboard.

I'm deciding on the cheapest CPU (with iGPU) but the supported CPU list seems quite... limited. The 3100G/3200G or even 2000-series CPUs are not supported. I have not been in this game for a while but I thought AM4 sockets are backward-compatible?
 

VirtualLarry

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Aug 25, 2001
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I have not been in this game for a while but I thought AM4 sockets are backward-compatible?
Sadly, nope.

I really don't understand the whole entirety of the snafu that was the A520 chipset release, but they were intended to be lower-cost chipsets/boards for APUs, AFAIK, but they ONLY work with the UNRELEASED (for retail) Renoir APUs (4000-series APUs). They DO NOT work with the more popular and common released 3200G and 3400G (and 3000G). Not too smart of AMD, IMHO. That's one reason that A520 boards are cheap at retail - they're mostly worthless.
 

mxnerd

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Jul 6, 2007
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Buy a used Dell 9020 (iGPU = Intel HD Graphics 4600, display ports & VGA, no HDMI) i5 4570 on eBay, move Asus HD7450 to Dell, and sell your old machine.

==

Oops, you only want used stuff that's 2-3 year old. And you didn't reveal your budget.
 
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Zorander

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Nov 3, 2010
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I actually did consider gutting Dells like the above but wasn't sure what form factor those used. I presumed those are ITX and I'm not sure if I can use the motherboard in a mATX case.
 

mxnerd

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Jul 6, 2007
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Dell OptiPlex 9020 sizes.

Untitled.jpg

Dell's motherboard is proprietary , don't think you can swap motherboard with other brands that use various ATX sizes.
 

DAPUNISHER

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Sadly, nope.

I really don't understand the whole entirety of the snafu that was the A520 chipset release, but they were intended to be lower-cost chipsets/boards for APUs, AFAIK, but they ONLY work with the UNRELEASED (for retail) Renoir APUs (4000-series APUs). They DO NOT work with the more popular and common released 3200G and 3400G (and 3000G). Not too smart of AMD, IMHO. That's one reason that A520 boards are cheap at retail - they're mostly worthless.
That is not entirely accurate. Most of the Gigabyte A520 boards work with the 3200g and 3400g, including the H, S2H,and DS3H. I have seen users of the Asus Prime A520 report excellent results out of box too. No official support, but you can find a lot of confirmations of various models working fine.
 
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VirtualLarry

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That is not entirely accurate. Most of the Gigabyte A520 boards work with the 3200g and 3400g, including the H, S2H,and DS3H. I have seen users of the Asus Prime A520 report excellent results out of box too. No official support, but you can find a lot of confirmations of various models working fine.
I did not actually know that. I looked at a few of the A520 boards, and they explicitly say that they support Ryzen 3000 CPUs and 4000 APUs, and then they call out that they are icompatible with the 3200G/3400G. *shug*. I didn't realize that was a sort of "wink, wink, nudge nudge, 'No means Yes'" kind of thing.
 

DAPUNISHER

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I did not actually know that. I looked at a few of the A520 boards, and they explicitly say that they support Ryzen 3000 CPUs and 4000 APUs, and then they call out that they are icompatible with the 3200G/3400G. *shug*. I didn't realize that was a sort of "wink, wink, nudge nudge, 'No means Yes'" kind of thing.
I have seen posts where some brands and models do not work. So it is definitely a gamble if using a board that you do not see confirmation for, by owners. But there is evidently no physical or technical incompatibility involved. .
 

Zorander

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Thanks for that. So there is a chance the 3100G/3200G will work?

I got thinking about buying a used Dell as suggested by mxnerd. I presume I can't move its insides to my own HTPC case because of its proprietary form factor?
 

DAPUNISHER

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Thanks for that. So there is a chance the 3100G/3200G will work?

I got thinking about buying a used Dell as suggested by mxnerd. I presume I can't move its insides to my own HTPC case because of its proprietary form factor?
This guy had no issues with a even older 2200G in the A520m-H.


Gigabyte seems to be the best choice for APU support, from what I have seen.

I have not messed with the old OptiPlex line, but they get a lot of love as ultra budget solutions on Youtube. You could check there to see what people are doing with them.
 

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