Will this build get the job done?

Discussion in 'Home Theater PCs' started by SheHateMe, Feb 17, 2013.

  1. SheHateMe

    SheHateMe Diamond Member

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2012
    Messages:
    7,212
    Likes Received:
    1
    Case:
    LIAN LI Black Aluminum PC-Q12B Mini ITX Media Center / HTPC Case


    Mobo (CPU/VGA combo): ASRock E350M1/USB3 AMD E-350 APU (1.6GHz, Dual-Core) AMD A50M Hudson M1 Mini ITX Motherboard/CPU Combo

    RAM: G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333

    USB IR Reciever (Remote going to the trash):
    Rosewill RHRC-12001 Windows 7 Certified MCE/ Windows 8 MCE Infrared Remote Control


    So, all I want to do with this setup is to have it boot straight into XBMC, be able to send either 5.1 or 7.1 audio out through HDMI to a receiver, and just be as sexy as possible. It should be able to play whatever I throw at it. Mostly Blurays. I do have a few 3DMKVs that may or may not work in XBMC. I am not too concerned. I figured I would do this build over buying a Popcorn Hour. Is this the right choice?


    I don't want to pay money for a Windows OS just to do this, so I am thinking of installing Linux Mint on a 2.5'' HDD and being done with it. The USB IR receiver is for a Logitech Harmony One. I am aware that I have to tweak linux a bit to be able to work with this remote for XMBC so I am currently looking into that.

    Is there anything else I should know about a small form factor setup like this?

    I am planning on throwing in a Bluetooth dongle on the back in case we switch from Xfinity by the time I move back home from college and I cannot use the xbox360 app anymore. That way, I can just get out a wireless keyboard and navigate to xfinity.com and watch my stuff that way.

    Thanks!
     
  2. LOL_Wut_Axel

    LOL_Wut_Axel Diamond Member

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2011
    Messages:
    4,301
    Likes Received:
    0
    Zacate isn't really worth it for an HTPC. For the same money you can just get a Celeron/H61 motherboard combo and enjoy significantly higher performance and efficiency. Also, never go with a 2x2GB configuration for DDR3 RAM... it's a waste of money. That being said, for the same amount of money I'd recommend you get this instead:

    Intel Celeron G550 2.6GHz: $42.99
    ECS H61H2-I3 H61 Motherboard: $49.99
    G.Skill 4GB (1x4GB) DDR3-1333: $23.99

    This would be at least 2-3x faster than the E-350, and you'll definitely notice it in everyday use.
     
  3. serpretetsky

    serpretetsky Senior member

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2012
    Messages:
    549
    Likes Received:
    0
  4. SheHateMe

    SheHateMe Diamond Member

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2012
    Messages:
    7,212
    Likes Received:
    1
    I'm not going to be playing any discs. I'm going to just rip the discs and put them on a NAS.


    Edit: I still have access to Dreamspark through the Engineering college at my Uni (lol). I just picked up a Windows 8 License Key and ISO. I'll just use this since there is going to be too much tweaking on Linux.
     
    #4 SheHateMe, Feb 17, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2013
  5. serpretetsky

    serpretetsky Senior member

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2012
    Messages:
    549
    Likes Received:
    0
    then you should be good if you don't mind fiddling with linux and amd drivers.

    I would listen to what LOL_wut_Axel said as well though. If I could get by with a modern intel celeron system for the same or just a little more money I would probably try to do that. More reassurane that if you can't get proper video hardware acceleration the processor power should be able to brute force it anyways. Plus intel hardware usually plays nicer with linux in my experience.
     
  6. LOL_Wut_Axel

    LOL_Wut_Axel Diamond Member

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2011
    Messages:
    4,301
    Likes Received:
    0

    Go with the Celeron/H61 setup. You will get the same hardware acceleration for HD video, and if you happen to use a video format which isn't hardware accelerated the Celeron has enough horsepower to play it with no stuttering. Again, going with the E350 is a no-win.

    Edit: Looking at the Bench, the G550 should be some 4x faster overall than the E350.

    http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/406?vs=328
     
    #6 LOL_Wut_Axel, Feb 17, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2013
  7. crashtestdummy

    crashtestdummy Platinum Member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2010
    Messages:
    2,894
    Likes Received:
    0
    Go for windows if it's free, but if you wanted to boot straight to XBMC, you could just do OpenElec.
     
  8. assassin24

    assassin24 HTPC Moderator

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2005
    Messages:
    394
    Likes Received:
    0
    Agreed. No reason to use Zacate or Atom anymore.