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Old October 6, 2011, 01:31 PM
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Go with the i3 2100 build.

Do some research, it does do 1080p playback with the integrated graphics just fine. I (like yourself) have done a build for two of my family members using very similar specs. After tax my grand total came to about $499. Would have been a bit less but I had to purchase a cable adapter as my PSU didn't synch with my motherboard too well. This was about 6 months ago, so you should be able to put together a build for less. I'm glad to see you picked a motherboard with an HDMI connection, as a lot of the cheaper ones don't offer it.

I do a lot of CAD work myself, and I can tell you that the i3 2100 can handle it. Now don't expect to do any complex 3d models or even 2d drawings with hundreds of XREF's. But for basic 2d/detailing use you will get by just fine.

While your current HTPC build would probably also be a good fit for them, the CPU is outdated and it doesn't offer anything more than the i3 build. The 5450 isn't an exceptional card and will only perform slightly better than the i3.

Good luck with whatever option you go with. I'm glad they have decided to not go the Dell route to get more bang for their buck.
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  #12 (permalink)  
Old October 6, 2011, 04:08 PM
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Radeon 4350/4550 handles 1080P (even matroska mkv) with no issues, so does the integrated Radeon 4250 from the 785G chipset from AMD assisted by a quad core Athlon. I am pretty sure even a dual core Athlon would have no issues with that. Llano graphics units are generation 6 and they handle a lot of video formats in hardware so it would be a good choice. But you don't have any chance of trying the 1080P streams on your system before sending it?
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  #13 (permalink)  
Old October 11, 2011, 09:01 AM
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Well, I'm now contemplating mixing build 1 and 2 together to get some of the added performance but keeping costs down at the same time
Build 3:
Intel Core i3 2100 (or 2105)
Corsair 4GB DDR3 RAM
Gigabyte H67 motherboard
Silverstone Grandia GD05B
Corsair 400W PSU

~500GB Hard Drive (trying to keep cost on the hard drive low as they just need a new one but not a crap ton of space)
Internal Flash card reader in a 5.25 to 3.5 bay adapter
External usb dvd-rom drive

I'd then try to go ahead and re-sell the SB Pentium processor and gpu I had on a BST forum.
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