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Thread: A HTPC/Small desktop, watcho think of this build?

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    A HTPC/Small desktop, watcho think of this build?

    http://www.scan.co.uk/savedbasket/ad...d00bb1d1acbc23

    So this is a build i plan to do as a birthday present to a very close person to me, she'll be using it mainly to surf the web, do university work, and watch bluray movies. I don't think she'll be playing any games on there.
    i have a couple of questions though.
    1- Is the graphics card really necessary for bluray playback?
    2- if a GPU is necessary, will the 220W PSU be able to handle the 6450?

    thanks

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    Re: A HTPC/Small desktop, watcho think of this build?

    A gfx card will not be needed for bluray. The on-board GPUs are more then powerful enough.

    I would maybe wait a few days and see if scan get any more Llano gear in, you should be able to knock 20-40 quid off once the 3500/3400/3300 llano arrives.
    Last edited by shaithis; 31-08-2011 at 12:43 AM.
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    Re: A HTPC/Small desktop, watcho think of this build?

    It looks like a Core i3 2100 will struggle in the case:

    http://techreport.com/articles.x/21515

    I would wait until the rest of the Llano range is released too. An A4-3400 will have around the same performance as a 2.7GHZ Phenom II X2 and has an IGP around the same speed as an HD6450 DDR3. AFAIK,it will be around £60.

    This motherboard will be around £70 to £75:

    http://www.hexus.net/content/item.php?item=31495

    You can get this case:

    http://www.scan.co.uk/products/lian-...tx-case-no-psu

    This PSU has got a good review from Hardware Secrets:

    http://www.scan.co.uk/products/300w-...t-fan-matx-oem


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    Re: A HTPC/Small desktop, watcho think of this build?

    I've just built this exact same spec, minus the graphics card for my HTPC.

    Have it running Win 7, XBMC and PowerDVD for blu-rays without any problems at all.

    The stock cooler for the i3 2100 fits, just, the PSU sits on top of the fan. I get 39/40 degrees at idle. So not too bad. Motherboard is mid 30's.

    A review I read of the Llano cpu's is they're better than the i3 gpu wise but worse on the cpu side. I'd suggest going with the i3 if the main use of the pc is web browsing?

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    Re: A HTPC/Small desktop, watcho think of this build?

    Quote Originally Posted by adz08 View Post
    I've just built this exact same spec, minus the graphics card for my HTPC.

    Have it running Win 7, XBMC and PowerDVD for blu-rays without any problems at all.

    The stock cooler for the i3 2100 fits, just, the PSU sits on top of the fan. I get 39/40 degrees at idle. So not too bad. Motherboard is mid 30's.

    A review I read of the Llano cpu's is they're better than the i3 gpu wise but worse on the cpu side. I'd suggest going with the i3 if the main use of the pc is web browsing?
    I read that the CPU fan is quite noisy? is that true?

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    Re: A HTPC/Small desktop, watcho think of this build?

    Not particularly, noisiest part of mine is my HDD (A samsung f3 2TB). I'd say it's no louder than an off the shelve PC from the likes of HP or Dell.

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    Re: A HTPC/Small desktop, watcho think of this build?

    Cool, thanks for the reply.
    now if only scan puts back the core i3 2105 back in stock before this weekend, that's what i don't like about scan, there's always one product i need that isn't in stock

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      • Memory:
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    Re: A HTPC/Small desktop, watcho think of this build?

    Or everythings in stock when you place the order, then goes out of stock before it's despatched!

    Worth mentioning, make sure you've got a right angled sata cable for the Blu Ray player, I didn't have room between my blu ray player and psu for a normal one! Same possibly for HDD too.

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    Re: A HTPC/Small desktop, watcho think of this build?

    Quote Originally Posted by adz08 View Post
    Or everythings in stock when you place the order, then goes out of stock before it's despatched!

    Worth mentioning, make sure you've got a right angled sata cable for the Blu Ray player, I didn't have room between my blu ray player and psu for a normal one! Same possibly for HDD too.
    I have a crapload of right angled sata connectors
    one more question, is it possible to mount a HDD in the 3.5" bay bellow the optical drive without interfering with the cpu cooler?

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      • PSU:
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      • Case:
      • Cosmos
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    Re: A HTPC/Small desktop, watcho think of this build?

    I've not done it myself, I've got mine installed using the side rails, but one of the reviews I read install one in the front without any problems. Again, it'll be very tight though.

    If you're thinking of two HDD's, remember theres only 2 sata power connectors and 2 4pin molex.

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    Re: A HTPC/Small desktop, watcho think of this build?

    Quote Originally Posted by adz08 View Post
    I've not done it myself, I've got mine installed using the side rails, but one of the reviews I read install one in the front without any problems. Again, it'll be very tight though.

    If you're thinking of two HDD's, remember theres only 2 sata power connectors and 2 4pin molex.
    I have spare Molex to sata adapters

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    Re: A HTPC/Small desktop, watcho think of this build?

    The Core i3 2100 maximum temparature is around 69C - I have one in my second computer myself.

    However,the review does show that the Core i3 2100 under any load will exceed its safe temperature.







    Also with web browsing no one is going to notice the difference between a Core i3 2100 and even an older dual core from two years ago. Also the Core i3 2105 consumes more power than a Core i3 2100 if you look at reviews and runs hotter.

    In fact getting an SSD was the biggest improvement to general performance IMHO and is more likely to be noticed. Going for an OTT CPU makes little or no difference.

    In fact with packages like Office 2010 are GPU accelerated too and the AMD GPUs are simply better for any sort of media decoding.
    Last edited by CAT-THE-FIFTH; 31-08-2011 at 01:14 PM.


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    Re: A HTPC/Small desktop, watcho think of this build?

    Well this review:
    http://www.anandtech.com/show/4476/amd-a83850-review/9

    Seems to suggest the A8-3850 uses a fair amount more power than the i3-2105, but I'd go for the 2100 anyway as there would be very little gains from the HD3000 GPU in the 2105.

    Llano looks good, just I don't see any advantage using one in a PC not being used for gaming. So I don't really know who the AMD is aimed at?

    As I said earlier, I have the above spec and it does everything the OP wants without really breaking a sweat.

    I agree, an SSD would make the bigger difference, if anything else, it would make the system near enough silent.

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    Re: A HTPC/Small desktop, watcho think of this build?

    Quote Originally Posted by adz08 View Post
    Well this review:
    http://www.anandtech.com/show/4476/amd-a83850-review/9

    Seems to suggest the A8-3850 uses a fair amount more power than the i3-2105, but I'd go for the 2100 anyway as there would be very little gains from the HD3000 GPU in the 2105.

    Llano looks good, just I don't see any advantage using one in a PC not being used for gaming. So I don't really know who the AMD is aimed at?

    As I said earlier, I have the above spec and it does everything the OP wants without really breaking a sweat.

    I agree, an SSD would make the bigger difference, if anything else, it would make the system near enough silent.
    Fail.

    Perhaps you should look at the CPU I actually mentioned which is the 65W A4 dual core. I did not mention the A6 and A8 as they are OTT for the purposes described. The UVD3 decode block on any of the Llano CPUs is far better than anything Intel has to offer.

    I have a Core i3 2100 myself and numerous Core2 CPUs. The web-browsing experience is actually the same on all of them.

    I wrote most of my thesis on Pentium M 1.7GHZ laptop with 1GB of RAM FFS. I used a Q6600 at stock speeds with 4GB of RAM to do most of my image editing work(and running some algorithms) which involved files which were over 300MB is size. Any of the Llano CPUs with clockspeeds over 2.4GHZ have better single threaded performance.

    In all cases it was RAM quantity and disk speed which were the limiting factors. The A4-3400 runs at 2.7GHZ and the HD6410D IGP has UVD3 which means it will be better for video decode too.

    When it comes to video,the quality of the decode blocks is far more important than the CPU speed.

    If you really think a Core i3 2100 is going to suddenly make web browsing faster you are taking the mickey.
    Last edited by CAT-THE-FIFTH; 31-08-2011 at 02:15 PM.


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    Re: A HTPC/Small desktop, watcho think of this build?

    Well i'd be more than happy to consider the AMD Llano, but i need to order the build before the weekend so i can build the computer before her birthday.
    here's an updated version, i got rid of the Graphics card and the HDD, and added an OCZ vertex 2. I have a spare 500 gb spinpoint F3 so that should for storage.
    http://www.scan.co.uk/savedbasket/b3...6efcdf00133c9f

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      • Case:
      • Cosmos
      • Operating System:
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    Re: A HTPC/Small desktop, watcho think of this build?

    Theres no mounting for a 2.5 inch HDD in the Thermaltake case, but it can easily be housed under the drive bays.

    Quote Originally Posted by CAT-THE-FIFTH View Post
    If you really think a Core i3 2100 is going to suddenly make web browsing faster you are taking the mickey.
    No, not browsing on its own, but once you take into account multitasking, multiple tabs, flash. It can help.

    My work PC is a 1.8 core 2 due and is a pain in the backside to browse with more than a few Chrome tabs open and Outlook.

    For its price, the i3 is a good CPU.

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