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New Htpc/light Gaming Build


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#1 anon123

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Posted 20 December 2010 - 10:57 PM

I'm thinking of building an HTPC and debating two sort of philosophies - an old cheap CPU with a nice graphics card, vs a nice new CPU with integrated graphics. Specifically:

Option 1 (old cheap CPU): E5500, GTX460 1GB
Option 2 (new CPU): Core i5-2500K, iGPU

Surprisingly these 2 builds do come out roughly equal in price since sandy bridge requires a more expensive mobo and CPU (using the est. $120 mobo and $200 cpu) while the Wolfdale build requires a more expensive PSU and GPU, and everything else is about the same.

I plan on using the PC hooked up over HDMI to my TV to play 1080p x264 videos, doing some very light gaming (e.g. starcraft 2 is about it), and perhaps some light video editing. I believe both should serve my purposes, but not too sure which will serve them BETTER.

Any insights as to which is better for my purposes? I know the second option will be more upgradable, but honestly considering how often I upgrade I don't think that really will make any difference. What I buy now is probably going to be it until I redo everything.



#2 Aldanga

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Posted 20 December 2010 - 11:07 PM

Why not do an AMD tri or quad build? You'd have quite a bit of money for a GPU still and be able to get the best of both worlds.

#3 anon123

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Posted 20 December 2010 - 11:28 PM

When I was considering that earlier it generally seemed like AMD is better for having more cores at the same price point than Intel but that it made little real world difference when most things are single-threaded. I'm looking in to it now, it looks like this may be countered by the fact that so many things are unlockable and overclockable on the AMD processors.

Do you know how a AMD Phenom II X3 715 Black Edition would compare to the E5500? It looks like I could get a mobo+cpu for the same price.

Also how would this AMD system with the GTX460 compare to sandy bridge?

#4 Aldanga

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Posted 21 December 2010 - 04:10 AM

I find that having a quad is definitely worth it. It depends on your usage, of course, but I wish I'd gotten a quad back when I originally built my PC. Video editing will be faster with a quad, as will any converting you have to do.

The Phenom II X3 715 looks like a very solid CPU. Any decent dedicated GPU will destroy an integrated one.

What kind of budget are you looking at? I can cook up some builds and see what your options are.

#5 anon123

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Posted 22 December 2010 - 03:05 AM

I already have some things like a hard drive, mouse, keyboard, CPU cooler (hyper master 212+ which is compatible with all the AMD and Intel sockets), OS, and of course my TV. What I need is: case, motherboard, CPU, GPU, PSU, and memory. I'd like to keep it under $450 for those things, but the cheaper the better so long as it does everything I need.

I also looked around a bit - it looks like if I do go with an AMD build better to get an ATI based card as they seem to play nicer than with Nvidia (probably because AMD/ATI are the same company). What's also nice with ATI is many more of their cards seem to have HDMI out and HD audio bit-streaming, which are essential for my HTPC use.


#6 anon123

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Posted 31 December 2010 - 05:57 AM

Haven't heard back in a bit but I think I came up with a build if anyone is interested. Keep in mind this is for an HTPC with light gaming in mind. I am going to sit on this before I purchase while waiting for Sandy Bridge just in case - not long until it is out so I figure it is worth the wait, and if it's a no-go I will have this build ready to go.

All prices below include shipping.
Total is $448.

If anyone is interested in the other components of my build, my cooler is about $30, my wireless mouse+keyboard are $60, and my 1TB hard drive is $70 so my total hardware cost if bought from scratch would come to $608. Not bad for a decent HTPC rig that can also handle some light gaming!

I think it will be interesting to compare this to a Sandy Bridge setup with integrated GPU once parts are released, prices are out, and some more benchmarks are up.

Edited by anon123, 31 December 2010 - 06:56 AM.


#7 Aldanga

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Posted 31 December 2010 - 07:45 AM

Oh, man. Sorry. I thought I'd replied to this and didn't think twice because of the holidays. My bad. sleep.gif

The build looks great save for the PSU. I'm always wary of cheap PSUs. Mine are usually $80+ for 500W or more. But you can go for it if you like. Just consider the possibility of the cause being your PSU if you ever have problems before assuming it's another part.

#8 anon123

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Posted 31 December 2010 - 10:34 AM

Thanks for the reply - happy holidays!

This modular PSU is basically half price for $50 right now which puts me just a tad over budget, but sounds like it is worth it - http://www.newegg.co...1-017-_-Product

#9 Aldanga

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Posted 31 December 2010 - 05:08 PM

It's not really half price, but it is cheaper than it's ever been--at least according to The Camelizer. Looks good. smile.gif




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