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Old March 10, 2012, 08:11 AM
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Default cheap build $200ish?

The cheap barebones computer died. This is an IBM Think Center or something like that.

I am guessing the power supply died and maybe some fans. The PSU was getting really hot and was hot to the touch! It really was! I knew it was going to go. The HDDs were clicking and I suspect they're in really bad shape.

I was thinking of building a budget HTPC/like machine. It's just for surfing, watching movies etc. all-purpose. The old machine had XP Pro so this new one will probably have Windows 7. It only had 512mb of RAM so there was a lot of freezing and slowness. So, I want some speed.

I thought this would be good for the price:

Power Supply 600w modular - $40

Intel Celeron G540 cpu - $56

Motherboard - $70

8 GB DDR3 RAM Memory - $40

Total: $206

I think I might have an extra HDD to use. The previous keyboard and mouse will be used. That just leaves a case. I have some old cases but I don't like working with them. I was going to sell them for $10 each on kijiji or something. I have an Antec Solo case so that would do? The other thing I was thinking of was replacing my current computer with a new case. It's in an Antec 300 but it doesn't have the cut-out. I was thinking of maybe putting it in an Antec 302 case and then using the Antec 300 I have now for this new build.

Is it worth doing this? I don't like working with old cases! LOL! But, the cheap/budget build won't need extra cooling and if cable management isn't great, it shouldn't be too much of a problem. The PSU I hope to buy is a modular OCZ 600w one. Is that one ok?

I plan on building this next month. I might buy one or more components if they are on sale and/or at good prices but I can't afford the total build at the moment. I have some other things I need/want to buy.

Comments? Advice? Thanks.
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Old March 10, 2012, 08:52 AM
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Your picks look fine for a budget build and will be a massive improvement from what you had. Given the tight budget of this build I would definitely use one of the cases you already have. The only recommendation I have is the power supply. You choice would work fine, but I would get a 350-450w antec, corsair, or seasonic power supply.
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Old March 10, 2012, 10:40 AM
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For the sake of the argument I am going to assume you live in the US and can order from newegg.

Newegg.com - ASUS F1A55-M LX PLUS FM1 AMD A55 (Hudson D2) Micro ATX AMD Motherboard You have an asus motherboard for about 58 bucks, and since it is asus, you can't go wrong.

Next you have a corsair power supply Newegg.com - CORSAIR Builder Series CX430 V2 (CMPSU-430CXV2) 430W ATX12V v2.3 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Power Supply 45 bucks with a 20 dollar mail in rebate for a total of 25 bucks. Since it is corsair, it will be a much better product than a cheap 600w PSU

You only need 4 GB of ram Newegg.com - Kingston 4GB 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 Desktop Memory Model KVR1333D3N9/4GKC I chose the low profile memory so that if you are using a small mini atx or even itx case, the low ram will help with the airflow.

The CPU is an AMD APU Newegg.com - AMD A4-3300 Llano 2.5GHz Socket FM1 65W Dual-Core Desktop APU (CPU + GPU) with DirectX 11 Graphic AMD Radeon HD 6410D AD3300OJGXBOX This will have better graphics than the intel one due to its discrete level graphics card.

I have added a after market heat sink Newegg.com - COOLER MASTER Vortex Plus RR-VTPS-28PK-R1 92mm Long life sleeve CPU Cooler It is low profile in case you have a small case, and I also added this noctua fan to replace to one on the heat sink and make the PC quiet Newegg.com - COOLER MASTER Vortex Plus RR-VTPS-28PK-R1 92mm Long life sleeve CPU Cooler

After rebates and the 10 percent coupon off the motherboard, this build comes to 220 bucks. You get a much more stable system, a much quieter system, and better graphics for about the same price.
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Old March 10, 2012, 03:17 PM
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If this build, and I am in the process of getting ready to do a "cheap" build just like this, is going to be used at any time for HTPC duties then go the AMD FM1 route. The AMD Lliano on dye GPU is worlds better than the integrated Intel HD Graphics for HTPC duties & casual gaming.
That being said, the new Sandybridge based Celerons are excellent processors and the G540 benches faster than an Athlon II 250 while using less power at load. (Intel Celeron G540 and Celeron G440 Processors Review. Page 4 - X-bit labs)

As for a power supply, this would be my choice, Newegg.com - CORSAIR Builder Series CX430 V2 (CMPSU-430CXV2) 430W ATX12V v2.3 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Power Supply,. I have used this unit & am very comfortable recommending it as a quality item.
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Old March 11, 2012, 11:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kingnubian View Post
If this build, and I am in the process of getting ready to do a "cheap" build just like this, is going to be used at any time for HTPC duties then go the AMD FM1 route. The AMD Lliano on dye GPU is worlds better than the integrated Intel HD Graphics for HTPC duties & casual gaming.
That being said, the new Sandybridge based Celerons are excellent processors and the G540 benches faster than an Athlon II 250 while using less power at load. (Intel Celeron G540 and Celeron G440 Processors Review. Page 4 - X-bit labs)

As for a power supply, this would be my choice, Newegg.com - CORSAIR Builder Series CX430 V2 (CMPSU-430CXV2) 430W ATX12V v2.3 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Power Supply,. I have used this unit & am very comfortable recommending it as a quality item.
Thanks. Thanks for the suggestions.

I was curious how much a cheap fanless discrete video card would increase power. The Intel processors look to be better at power efficiency but in terms of graphics, yes, the AMD is better. So, if a video card for $40 or so is added, is that worth the price? Although, maybe it cancels out the power difference?

That PSU looks interesting but it's much less wattage than the OCZ. Is the Corsair that much better?

The G540 is $57 (approx.) and the AMD Athlon II 250 is $80. So, a video card would wipe out the price benefit of the cpu difference but you still get a faster and more efficient cpu with the Intel?

What do you think? Is it still better going AMD? I just thought AMD wasn't really that good for a HTPC because of the cpu. The integrated graphics is good, though.
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Old March 11, 2012, 12:15 PM
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Corsair along with a couple other brands have very robust and well performing PSUs which is what you want in a PSU which is the life blood of your system. As for the low wattage I wouldn't worry about it. For example my current system with a 1090T and HD 4890 both overclocked pulls only 390W from the wall with a Cougar 700W bronze PSU so if you go with either of the builds suggested here you should be more than safe with a 430W PSU from Corsair.
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Old March 11, 2012, 12:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silent_Avenger View Post
Corsair along with a couple other brands have very robust and well performing PSUs which is what you want in a PSU which is the life blood of your system. As for the low wattage I wouldn't worry about it. For example my current system with a 1090T and HD 4890 both overclocked pulls only 390W from the wall with a Cougar 700W bronze PSU so if you go with either of the builds suggested here you should be more than safe with a 430W PSU from Corsair.
That's good.

Would you go with the AMD APU system or Intel and add a discrete card? They look similar in price but unless you go with the A6-3500 cpu, the Intel cpu seems way better.
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Old March 11, 2012, 03:58 PM
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Well since you want to make a pc with HTPC in mind I would say go with the A6-3500 youtube, movies, and light games should work well on that chip.
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