HTPC laptop/desktop advice
Hi! I've been coming to this site a lot over the last year or so since I discovered it, but this is my first time posting. I'm looking for some advice concerning purchasing a new laptop and/or desktop for HTPC purposes. I've been waiting for what seems like forever for new laptop models to come out in Canada, but I got tired of waiting yesterday and decided to try out a Sony VAIO E laptop from FutureShop yesterday (I have 14 days to return it if I don't like it). It seems like a pretty decent option, but I'm wondering if I might be able to get something that better fits my needs for around the same price or a few hundred dollars more.
I'll try to cover all my bases. Sorry if it's long, but I appreciate any advice I can get!
Information regarding expected system usage:
Options I am considering (listed prices are before Quebec taxes):
In terms of personal preference, I think that option #2 would be my optimal choice. I think it provides the most "bang for the buck" out of the 3. Option #1 is probably my least favorite as I don't think it makes sense to have a laptop that big. To me the whole point of a laptop is having something portable. A 16 inch behemoth is definitely not portable (especially with <2 hrs of battery life) and a 15 inch machine isn't much better IMO.
Thanks again for any help!
Well just to let you know if you're looking to have a stand alone htpc there are a few things you don't need that you think you do. First off is you do not need 4GB of ram, you can get by just fine with 2GB. Depending on how small you want to go and if they can handle them, you could go with an atom itx board. I'm not sure how well the last generation atom N330s can handle 1080p/bluray with their nvidia counter part on board however i know they can handle 720p.
Well for option #2, which is what I would go for as well, you could look at either of these notebooks:
NCIX.com - Buy ASUS Eee PC 1201PN Black Atom N450 NVIDIA ION2 2GB 250G 12.1IN WXGA Draft N WIN7 Premium Netbook - 1201PN-PU17-BK In Canada. $519.99
or a little bit bigger and higher powered:
NCIX.com - Buy ASUS U30JC-A1 13.3IN Core I3-350 4GB GeForce G310M 320GB WIN7 Premium Notebook - U30JC-A1 In Canada. $969.99
There are others in between, but it does come down to how much gets spent in the HTPC.
Well you can't use that ram with that motherboard as its DDR3 ram mobo and you are looking at ddr2 RAM. I can in a little bit link you what my current htpc build is as i found for me my ionitx doesnt have enough sata ports to act as a htpc and server.
Silverstone Grandia GD05B Black HTPC mATX Desktop Case 1X5.25 2X3.5INT 1X2.5INT 3X120MM Fan No PS $87.04
AMD Phenom X3 8250E Triple Core Energy Efficient Processor 1.9GHZ 1.5MB L2 2MB L3 65W AM2+ OEM $45.64
ASUS M4A785-M mATX AM3/AM2+ 785G DDR2 PCI-E16 PCI-E 2XPCI SATA RAID Video Sound GBLAN Motherboard $74.95
Corsair CMPSU-400CX 400CX 400W ATX 12V 30A Power Supply Active PFC 120MM $48.49 (22$ MIR on it until the end of the month)
All of these things have been price matched with NCIX and comes in at 256.12$
a Acer nettop would be perfect for this.
dual core atom, ION graphics and can play 1080P/bluray, has built in HDMI aswell.
i think they're around $300 for 2gb of ram and a 320gb hdd.
Also, would the configuration I posted above work if I switch to any DD3 memory? This is pretty affordable: NCIX.com - Buy Patriot Signature 2GB 1X2GB DDR3-1333 CL9 Memory Module - PSD32G13332 In Canada.
Or would I be better off going with the motherboard you suggested? How does it compare to this one: NCIX.com - Buy Gigabyte GA-MA785GM-US2H AMD785G mATX AM2+ PCI-E DDR2 Video Sound GBLAN CrossFireX HDMI Motherboard - GA-MA785GM-US2H In Canada. ? They both seem to have excellent reviews.
Shopbot - Compare prices - Canada - Price Comparison - Comparison Shopping and PriceBat.ca - Search & Compare Canada Online Store Prices Before You Buy are your friends. Its how i Price Matched everything listed there. I should mention that the Phenom X3 i got is OEM, which means it doesnt come with a heat sink (fine for me as i got one for it anyways). It only supports ddr2 (which i got for like 20$ used when i was starting my old htpc build) and the asus one is slightly better then the gigabyte one.
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