Need feedback for HTPC build (mostly for Motherboard/PSU)

Building a new system? Need help choosing between parts? Then step in and let our trained gerbils assist you.

Moderator: JustAnEngineer

Need feedback for HTPC build (mostly for Motherboard/PSU)

Postposted on Sat Aug 20, 2011 11:36 pm

So first some back story... After giving it some thought I've decided to build two identical HTPC systems to function as STB replacements plus general media 'extenders' (for lack of a better description). I have all of my media (1080p .mkv's, archived DVD .iso's, various audio, etc etc) stored on my WHS 2011 box. I also plan to install a Ceton InfiniTV 4 card into my WHS box, and then to assign each HTPC a virtual tuner (for Live TV duties). I do not intend for the HTPC's to be designed to store recordings locally. Rather, I want them to have as small a footprint as possible (while still meeting my needs). Therefore I plan to have DVR'd recordings offloaded to the WHS Recorded TV drive (by either directly recording them to the WHS via a mapped network drive or - what's more likely - by routine transfers each night).

I have already done quite a bit of research, and I believe I have settled on the new AMD Llano A6-3650 for my CPU, err APU. I have an i5 2500k in my main rig, and went back and forth a bunch between the A6 and the i3 2100 (really 100W vs 65W) - but decided on the A6 due to both IGP superiority and 24p content (of which I have a lot). However, because of my size requirements I *must* have a Mini-ITX size motherboard/case. I thought I had picked out all of my components, only to discover that the motherboard I wanted was not available in the US yet...

Questions:
Beyond some insight any of you may have as to when the motherboard I want may be available stateside (or if you know of a comparable Socket FM1 mITX motherboard I could consider), I also have a question regarding how much power I will need. I will include a list of the components I have chosen with applicable links:

Motherboard: Asrock A75M-ITX (chosen for 892 audio chipset, HDMI 1.4a output, Gigabit Lan, USB 3, and eSata) http://www.asrock.com/mb/overview.asp?Model=A75M-ITX
CPU/GPU/APU: AMD A6-3650 (chosen for price/performance, graphics, and 24p) http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6819103943
RAM: 8GB (2x4GB) Corsair DDR3 1333 (chosen for price point/quality) http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6820233132
HDD: WD 2.5" 250GB 7200RPM (had this on hand, but chosen for adequate daily DVR storage [before offloading to server if necessary], price, and relative speed) http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6822136279
Case: mITX M350 (chosen for small footprint, price) http://www.mini-box.com/M350-universal- ... -enclosure
--In addition to these components there may also be a few USB powered HDD's and/or flash drives attached to the unit at any given time.

I was considering (wanting) a picoPSU for my power requirements - but wasn't sure what I would need. Would a 120W picoPSU be adequate, or should I go with a 150W, or 160W (w/ peak of 200W)? And, again, if anyone has any idea about when the heck that Asrock A75M-ITX will be showing up, or knows of another available mITX socket FM1 mobo, I would be happy to hear.

Thanks in advance for any input/advice.
HorseIicious
Gerbil
 
Posts: 84
Joined: Tue Aug 16, 2011 7:52 pm
Location: Florida

Re: Need feedback for HTPC build (mostly for Motherboard/PSU

Postposted on Sat Aug 20, 2011 11:44 pm

Go for the 150W-160W PSU and make sure it is as high quality as at least an 80 plus bronze PSU.
Laptop: HP Pavilion 17-e016dx. AMD A8-5550M, 4GB RAM, 750GB HDD, AMD Radeon HD 8550G integrated video, 17.3" display, 1600*900 (HD+) resolution, SD card reader, Windows 8.1 (DL Classic Shell)
riviera74
Gerbil Elite
 
Posts: 865
Joined: Mon May 29, 2006 6:14 am
Location: FM, FL, USA

Re: Need feedback for HTPC build (mostly for Motherboard/PSU

Postposted on Sun Aug 21, 2011 11:58 am

horseicious, not to throw a wrench in your plan, but did you consider the i3-2105? it has HD3000 graphics like the i5s and its only $15 more than the i3-2100. i was considering the AMD A series and the i3-2105 myself but i went with the plain ole i3-2100 because i wanted to go with a seperate video card that would definetly bitstream HD lossless audio in my recently built HTPC. for that reason i had to go with a mATX board instead of ITX because i also wanted to put a TV tuner card in my build. i had looked at a lot of the ITX boards and couldnt find one i really liked myself either. I was definetly not impressed with the A series ITX motherboards. I think with them being so new, there just arent enough options out there yet.
i7-4770k, ASRock Z87 Extreme6, Radeon R9 270, 16 GB G.Skill Ripjaws X DDR3-1600, Creative SB Z, OCZ Vertex 460 240 GB SSD, 2x 1TB WD Black HDD, Windows 8.1 Pro
ALIAS
Gerbil Elite
 
Posts: 672
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2004 5:59 pm
Location: Texas

Re: Need feedback for HTPC build (mostly for Motherboard/PSU

Postposted on Sun Aug 21, 2011 4:12 pm

ALIAS wrote:horseicious, not to throw a wrench in your plan, but did you consider the i3-2105? it has HD3000 graphics like the i5s and its only $15 more than the i3-2100. i was considering the AMD A series and the i3-2105 myself but i went with the plain ole i3-2100 because i wanted to go with a seperate video card that would definetly bitstream HD lossless audio in my recently built HTPC. for that reason i had to go with a mATX board instead of ITX because i also wanted to put a TV tuner card in my build. i had looked at a lot of the ITX boards and couldnt find one i really liked myself either. I was definetly not impressed with the A series ITX motherboards. I think with them being so new, there just arent enough options out there yet.


ALIAS, the built-in Radeon graphics of an A6 or an A8 from AMD crushes any integrated graphics offered on any Intel CPU right now. I would point him to a microATX board because he will have more choices and better performance in general at lower prices than ITX.
Laptop: HP Pavilion 17-e016dx. AMD A8-5550M, 4GB RAM, 750GB HDD, AMD Radeon HD 8550G integrated video, 17.3" display, 1600*900 (HD+) resolution, SD card reader, Windows 8.1 (DL Classic Shell)
riviera74
Gerbil Elite
 
Posts: 865
Joined: Mon May 29, 2006 6:14 am
Location: FM, FL, USA

Re: Need feedback for HTPC build (mostly for Motherboard/PSU

Postposted on Mon Aug 22, 2011 9:30 pm

Hey guys, thanks for the comments. I took a very hard look at some Intel solutions over the past few days. I found an 1155 mITX mobo with every feature I needed, and at a decent price point. It really has me wavering. The problem is, though, that I just don't think I can get past the 24p bug in the Sandy Bridge architecture... I'll have to borrow the wife's laptop for a few tests over the next few days and see if it really bothers me (since I've never actually experienced it, only read about it).

I'm unwilling to compromise on the mITX size, though (and a discrete card is not an option for the tiny case I have picked out). So if I find the SB IGP 24p bug to be bothersome to me I guess I'm just going to have to wait it out until the retailers finally start to get FM1 mITX boards in stock, bummer...

Anyway, thanks again.
HorseIicious
Gerbil
 
Posts: 84
Joined: Tue Aug 16, 2011 7:52 pm
Location: Florida

Re: Need feedback for HTPC build (mostly for Motherboard/PSU

Postposted on Tue Aug 23, 2011 6:46 pm

HorseIicious wrote:Hey guys, thanks for the comments. I took a very hard look at some Intel solutions over the past few days. I found an 1155 mITX mobo with every feature I needed, and at a decent price point. It really has me wavering. The problem is, though, that I just don't think I can get past the 24p bug in the Sandy Bridge architecture... I'll have to borrow the wife's laptop for a few tests over the next few days and see if it really bothers me (since I've never actually experienced it, only read about it).

I'm unwilling to compromise on the mITX size, though (and a discrete card is not an option for the tiny case I have picked out). So if I find the SB IGP 24p bug to be bothersome to me I guess I'm just going to have to wait it out until the retailers finally start to get FM1 mITX boards in stock, bummer...

Anyway, thanks again.


Well if these are going to be extenders then I don't see why you couldn't go with a E-350. It does support bitstreaming and you're talking about 30W or less for the entire system. Slip in a high performance USB stick or a low low cost SSD or 2.5 mechanical and you should be set.
Core i7 920 @stock - 6GB OCZ Mem - Adaptec 5805 - 2 x Intel X25-M in RAID1 - 5 x Western Digital RE4 WD1003FBYX 1TB in RAID 6 - Nvidia GTX 460
kc77
Gerbil Team Leader
 
Posts: 242
Joined: Sat Jul 02, 2005 2:25 am

Re: Need feedback for HTPC build (mostly for Motherboard/PSU

Postposted on Tue Aug 23, 2011 9:25 pm

kc77 wrote:Well if these are going to be extenders then I don't see why you couldn't go with a E-350. It does support bitstreaming and you're talking about 30W or less for the entire system. Slip in a high performance USB stick or a low low cost SSD or 2.5 mechanical and you should be set.


Thanks. Yeah, given my options that's probably not a bad idea. I had actually even considered the E-350 options at first. However, I got a little scared away by reading a lot of comments about how some 1080p .mkv's wouldn't play smoothly, as well as issues with 1080p flash. Overall, I think an E-350 system would likely meet my live TV needs (although, I'm not entirely sure how well it would do for lots of live TV pause/rw/ff operations). But my real worry is that it won't suit my "media tank" needs as far as accessing all of my 1080p .mkv's, and/or other media from the internet (from any number of streaming sites which I know will only become more resource intensive down the line). I'm thinking I would like these boxes to last at least a few years. And the last thing I want is to end up with two HTPC systems that don't have enough juice to do what I want. That's why I ended up originally settling on the FM1 APU which I thought would give me a lot of overhead to start with, plus upgrade options down the road. I'm sure the FM1 mITX boards will have to start showing up here in the next few weeks. At least I sure hope they do...
HorseIicious
Gerbil
 
Posts: 84
Joined: Tue Aug 16, 2011 7:52 pm
Location: Florida


Return to System Builders Anonymous

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest