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Old September 22, 2011, 12:09 PM
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Default HTPC sub $400 FM1 chipset vs AM3 + Graphics

I'm looking on some opinions on either a FM1 or AM3 based HTPC, it's going to run either XBMC or Boxee, and will need to play 1080p, I'm also looking to use it to download newsgroups and fold. So far this is what I have.

FM1:
Gigabyte a75m d2h
$84
and
AMD a4-3400$75

Subtotal $159

AM3
Asus m5a78l m lx $55
AMD athlon x2 270 $65
Asus HD 5450 1gb $29

Subtotal $149



2TB Green $75
4GB mushkin sliverline $25
LG super drive $20
Antec Basic 350W $30
Sliverstone milo $65 or Sliverstone grandia $100

Subtotal $215 wit Milo or $250 with Grandia

FM1 $374 / $409
AM3 $364 / $399

It seems that the AM3 wins as it has better performance and is slightly cheaper but I would like all of your opinions on these two builds or another option that falls under $400.
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Old September 22, 2011, 12:31 PM
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Not sure if you've thought about heat but for an HTPC I always go with as many onboard components as possible, definitely would chose against a dedicated video card in this case. That'll allow you to run a smaller power supply as well, and smaller/slower fans.
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Old September 22, 2011, 01:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trowakage View Post
Not sure if you've thought about heat but for an HTPC I always go with as many onboard components as possible, definitely would chose against a dedicated video card in this case. That'll allow you to run a smaller power supply as well, and smaller/slower fans.
I think there's quite a few low powered ATI cards on the market now. I think the Radeon HD 6570 and others would be comparable and allow a low powered AM3+ setup.

I recommend a AM3+ system and that's what I'd pick if I was going with AMD right now.

I'd like it to be a bit future proof and I don't think FM1 is.

Unless AMD wants to turn off a lot of people, the 990FX/X motherboards should take a bulldozer cpu and for the meantime, the buyer could use any number of Phenom processors. But, I'd make sure it's a AM3+ socket so I think min. is 890FX but not sure.

You could even consider a low-profile passively cooled graphics card that would give you more motherboard/chipset options that would still make for a good HTPC but a bit more expensive.

Just some ideas/my two cents.
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Old September 26, 2011, 04:55 PM
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given the less complexity of having cpu and gpu fused together I would go with the APU, so FM1. now if you want to fold, depending with what, you could use both the cpu and gpu in the same time but I would go with a 4 core not with a 2 core. also folding on the same gpu as the one that does the display will be problematic, the image will lag visibly so not recommended, unless is a very powerful card, (the gtx460 is folding with no lags in display while the gts 250 lags). so folding is very important where will it be done? if gpu alone i would go AM3 with some integrated graphics and add another dedicated video card. For example my rig has 3 gpus that are folding, all nvidia, and the display is done by a fourth, a Radeon 4350. Like this I can fold fine , I have no lag, I have hardware blu ray decoding power, and what is most important, the 3 videocards that fold don't need external displays. If you plan folding on cpu alone best bet would be the X6, but if is out of budget I would settle for an X4 BE and fold only on 3 cores and leave the fourth one for HTPC activities. Ok, so just to make it shorter : htpc duty alone would go FM1, if you add folding as variable, AM3 with good integrated graphics (880G/880GX) plus additional nvidia gpu. ATI gpus are in general poor PPD producers.
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