DPete27 wrote:First off, those aren't pre-assembled, they're just bundles so that you get a bit of a discount. If you want a pre-built system, try iBuyPower or CyberPower for pre-built systems that actually use good quality components unlike Dell and such.
Total before Windows license = $380
Here's an article to give you an idea of the A10-5800K and A8-5600K gaming performance compared to other processors and discrete graphics cards.
Microcenter has the best prices on CPU + mobo combos like an i3-3225 and AsRock Z77 Pro4-m for $190 or an i3-3225 and Biostar H77Mu3 for $140. These Intel systems would be good with an AMD 7770 for $100 which would wipe the floor with that A10-5800K in gaming.
DPete27 wrote:Check out this 1TB hard drive thats on sale for half off right now = $50. Thats a really good deal. (forgot to include that in my build suggestions, but it's in there now) Since you live near Microcenter, I would strongly suggest the Intel CPU and motherboard combo I suggested at the bottom of my earlier post. I cant overstate how much better a 7770 discrete graphics card paired with that system is for gaming than the AMD APU for only $40 more. But, like I said before, I dont know how much the focus is on gaming with this build. I know you mentioned it, but it was mixed in with a bunch of HTPC uses also.
Any word on the size you're looking for? HTPC's tend not to be full size PCs so they can be hidden away in the entertainment center. If that's what you're looking for, you could still buy the i3-3225 from microcenter combo with the AsRock H77M-ITX motherboard for $175 and a CoolerMaster mITX case for an ultra compact rig that will still support a dual slot graphics card like the 7770 or more.
southrncomfortjm wrote:What’s the major difference between the ASRock and the Biostar?
DPete27 wrote:For RAM, These just went on sale for $35. Same 1600MHz, but 1.25V so technically lower power draw and should run a bit cooler, but more importantly they're $5 cheaper on sale. Thats the same modules I'm running in my main system (in signature). Haven't had any problems.
Check this keyboard out. I have one of these for my HTPC. It works great.
Do you have Cable, Satellite, Over-the-Air or other television service?southrncomfortjm wrote: What about the DVR setup? What do I need for that?
JustAnEngineer wrote:Do you have Cable, Satellite, Over-the-Air or other television service?southrncomfortjm wrote: What about the DVR setup? What do I need for that?
JustAnEngineer wrote:With cable TV, you'll need a cablecard tuner (like the Ceton InfiniTV4 or the SiliconDust HDHomeRun). You pick up the cablecard from your cable provider, follow the instructions to pair it with your tuner and in less than 30 minutes, you should have TV and DVR functions through Windows Media Center. Slow 5400/5900 rpm "green" hard-drives are fast enough for video. You don't need a 7200 rpm drive, but you will eventually want one in the 2 to 3 TB range.
rcs2k4 wrote:Seems ok to me. Only thing I would say is that if you decided to use a dedicated GPU later on down the road (as you mentioned you might do), depending on the GPU chosen that wattage may not be suitable.
Low end GPU's will be ok on it, but something like a Radeon 7850 or higher wants about 500W to be safe. One of those btw, will comliment that system nicely...
rcs2k4 wrote: something like a Radeon 7850 or higher wants about 500W to be safe
DPete27 wrote:rcs2k4 wrote: something like a Radeon 7850 or higher wants about 500W to be safe
Not true for this system. If you plug it into a power supply calculator with a 7850, it only requires a 350W PSU.
DPete27 wrote:Can I suggest one last thing. Why don't you just get a single 1TB hard drive for now and see where that gets you. 3TB is A LOT of space, the holidays are approaching with holiday deals, and hard drive prices will (hopefully) only get cheaper. Back before the Taiwan flooding a year ago, I bought a 2TB hdd for like $65.
rcs2k4 wrote:I still say go over wattage for the PSU every time. They can last years and many upgrade cycles
southrncomfortjm wrote: Other than getting a SATA cable for the blu-ray drive
southrncomfortjm wrote:The Biostar MOBO I got lists: 1 x CPU Fan Header 1 x System Fan Header
DPete27 wrote:southrncomfortjm wrote: Other than getting a SATA cable for the blu-ray drive
The mobo comes with 2 - SATA cables. One for your hard drive and one for your optical drive. If/when you add the second hdd, you'll need to buy/find an extra one.southrncomfortjm wrote:The Biostar MOBO I got lists: 1 x CPU Fan Header 1 x System Fan Header
From my experience with Biostar mobos, that system fan header will probably not have any fan speed controls available (aka it will just run the fan at full speed) Again, I suggest putting it all together and deciding at that point whether or not it's too loud BEFORE spending money on quieter case fans.
Building a computer is actually very simple if you take your time, read included installation manuals, and are careful inserting the CPU into the socket. It's basically just plug everything in where it fits. With small form factor PCs, the biggest challenge is routing cables to allow the most open space inside the case as possible. Having all the cables tucked away allows the fans to push unimpeded air through the case, which is obviously good for thermals. Speaking of which, its a good idea to stress test your system and monitor temps (especially the CPU) to make sure everything is within a safe operating temperature. I imagine you should see something like 40C idle and 60C under load with a stock Intel cooler.