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Aj12

Broken In
1. What is the purpose of the computer? (Note: If you are planning to say multimedia, you will have to be more specific as all types of systems are capable of doing that)
A: WiLL primarily be used to watch movies, SD & Full Hd content(1080p).

2. Are you open to alternate ideas/products giving similar better performance but offering more VFM/ sellers? If not- why?
A: Yes

3. What is your MAX budget?
A: 15k, may flex a little if deemed worthy.

4. Planning to overclock?
A: No

5. Which OS are you planning to use?
A: Win 7 Ultimate

6. How much hard drive space is needed?
A: 2 TB

7. What resolution will the screen run at & whats the size of the screen you want? If you already want have one and want to use it, mention its resolution and size.
A: Will be connected to the already existing Samsung 32" LCD TV (32" HD Ready TV that is pure perfection - LA32A330J1N - LCD TV - television | SAMSUNG with resolution 1366 x 768 via HDMI

8. How would you rate your hardware knowledge from the count of 1-10? (1 being the lowest, 5 being you are somewhat in sync with the current performers and 10 being the highest)
A: 8

9. Have you ever built a desktop before or will this be done by an assembler?
A: will be done by an assembler

10. When are you planning to buy the system?
A: ASAP

11. Are you one of the types looking out for "future proof" configurations?
A: yes

12. Are there going to be any components that you don't want to include in this new rig? If yes, do mention.
A: Already have Tv and speakers

13. Which city do you live in and are you open to buying from shops from other city/states?
A: Kerala. Yes

14. Mention any other points if deemed necessary
A: Small form factor is a priority

Here's what i had in mind...

Mobo/APU - Asrock E350M1 Hudson M1 Mini-ITX mobo w/AMD E-350 APU (1.6GHz, dual-core)

Cooler - Stock

Ram - Corsair Vengence 4GB (2x2)

Hdd - Seagate Barracuda LP 2Tb

Gpu - integrated Radeon HD 6310

Cabinet - Cooler master Elite 100 or Antec ISK 300-65 case

suggestions are welcome

and should invest in a media centre remote or wireless keyboard & mouse combo??? (i will be using xbmc)

and if a remote please suggest one,cause i do not own a phone running ios or android hence ruling out remote apps.

i will use this rig just for watching movies.

Thats all for now.
 
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sam9s

The High 5 Flyer
Well 15K is a modest budget, but if you can stretch it a bit I can suggest a better config both in terms of GPU and processing power.

Following is what I suggest.

ZOTAC H55ITX-A-E Mini ITX WiFi Intel Motherboard

Price :: 7000 Approx might be even less as the last time was around 6-8 months when I checked the price. I am quoting the same.

2. Intel Core i3 530 CPU

Price :: 5000 Approx

3. Case Antec ISK 300-150 CPU Mini-ITX

Price :: 5000 Approx

4. No need for fan as the case has a high quality 80mm fan

5. 1TB WD Cavier Green

Price :: 2200 again might be even less.

6. RAM 2GB enough. DDR3 Corsair/G.Skill.

Price :: 1000

7. Windows 7 Home premium. or if you want you can opt for XBMC Live. OpenELEC (XBMC fine tuned for USB) is the best out there. XBMC Live and Open ELEC does not need windows to run. They are installed on USB and boots via USB itself.

TOTAL ::20200 . as I said might be even less.

The above hardware will do HD audio and play almost all formats. The form factor will be the smallest, And because its ITX based PC the power consumption would not cross 150W.

Coming to remote, no need to go for a media centre remote or wireless keyboard & mouse combo, If you have any android phone just download Android Official XBMC Remote Does every thing that a physical conventional remote does, infact more.

If you have iPhone...... apple also has the official XBMC remote. If you have Symbian then bad luck, I dont think we have XBMC remote under symbian ... :). Then you might lookout for a physical remote.
 
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OP
Aj12

Aj12

Broken In
Nice setup!!!

I will definitely increase my budget to get what u suggest

But which would be better

Running windows 7 home premium and running xbmc on startup By either changing the Shell or using the MMC to change the user interface as u described in ur thread

(wont this be better with respect to installation of drives codecs and even support for a discrete media centre remote as opposed to running on OpenELEC)

or running OpenELEC off a 2gb flashdrive.

keep in mind that i plan to store all my media files locally on the internal hdd
and not stream them from a desktop hdd or media server.

and could you also specify a physical remote for use with this setup as i have symbian...

just a suggestion...

why not use an intel core i3 2100/2100T @ 5500 & Zotac H67 mini ITX @ 6000
again this is just a suggestion..
 
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sam9s

The High 5 Flyer
Nice setup!!!

I will definitely increase my budget to get what u suggest

But which would be better

Running windows 7 home premium and running xbmc on startup By either changing the Shell or using the MMC to change the user interface as u described in ur thread

(wont this be better with respect to installation of drives codecs and even support for a discrete media centre remote as opposed to running on OpenELEC)

or running OpenELEC off a 2gb flashdrive.

keep in mind that i plan to store all my media files locally on the internal hdd
and not stream them from a desktop hdd or media server.

and could you also specify a physical remote for use with this setup as i have symbian...

just a suggestion...

why not use an intel core i3 2100/2100T @ 5500 & Zotac H67 mini ITX @ 6000
again this is just a suggestion..

I have not used Open ELEC extensively, but its been said that what ever you can do with XBMC 10.1 you can do with open ELEC as well. See its not a huge thing to try our, its free as well. Just install and try it by yourself, if it works per your satisfactions continue using it and further configure it. If you are unsatisfied due to any reason dump it and go for XBMC over windows simple.

And yes you can use Core i3 2100 as well its definately better then i3 530 as its second gen proc and mobo, but I guess it would land more expensive. With i3 2100 and H67 its might shoot further (keeping the rest same), while there would not be a huge jump over the performance. The only main difference between H55 and H67 is H67 supports 2nd gen CPU, supports more ram (16gb) and also has USB 3.0 rest everything is same.
So it only boils down if you can afford and stretch your budget go for H67 else H55 will also do the job.

For remote you can go with something like ...

Microsoft MCE Remote Control USB IR Receiver win7 Vista | eBay

NEW HP MCE /REMOTE CONTROL /USB IR RECEIVER /IR Emitter | eBay
 
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sam9s

The High 5 Flyer
^^ Mixed experiences/reviews, some I have seen raving about the performance, and some were crying out loud for drivers and codes mixup. Personally I am not a fan of Fusion and would like to keep things separate.
 

Cilus

laborare est orare
Just an general query, how is the AMD Fusion platform for an HTPC? Review here: AMD Fusion A8 3850 Review : The IGP Reinvented

They are the best in HTPC solution, provide processing power slightly better than an Athlon II X4 3 GHz processor and GPU performance slightly better than HD 5570. So in GPU aided HD playback with different post processing filters, they provide better performance + you will get decent enough performance for casual gaming.
 
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Aj12

Aj12

Broken In
I have not used Open ELEC extensively, but its been said that what ever you can do with XBMC 10.1 you can do with open ELEC as well. See its not a huge thing to try our, its free as well. Just install and try it by yourself, if it works per your satisfactions continue using it and further configure it. If you are unsatisfied due to any reason dump it and go for XBMC over windows simple.

And yes you can use Core i3 2100 as well its definately better then i3 530 as its second gen proc and mobo, but I guess it would land more expensive. With i3 2100 and H67 its might shoot further (keeping the rest same), while there would not be a huge jump over the performance. The only main difference between H55 and H67 is H67 supports 2nd gen CPU, supports more ram (16gb) and also has USB 3.0 rest everything is same.
So it only boils down if you can afford and stretch your budget go for H67 else H55 will also do the job.

For remote you can go with something like ...

Microsoft MCE Remote Control USB IR Receiver win7 Vista | eBay

NEW HP MCE /REMOTE CONTROL /USB IR RECEIVER /IR Emitter | eBay


So for a budget of 20K what would you recommend???

The i3 2100 & H67 or the i3 530 & H55

cause i am not familiar with the prices & could you also provide the total cost excluding the price of the remote...
 

sam9s

The High 5 Flyer
^^ ofcourse i2100 would be better even if that exceeds little over 20K . Board Zotac H67 ITX, I checked, its 11000. i3 2100 is 5500, so it comes to 16500 for Mobo, Proc. Ram is 1200 for 4GB stick. HDD is 2500 for 1TB. This equates to 20200. The cheapest decent ITX cabinet is CM Elite 100 which is 3000 (with PSU) so you end up with 23200. Add 1000 for misc and you should be able to assemble the pc for 24200, which is good I would say. Or you can cut down to 2GB ram which should bring down the cost to 23600

I think you should go with this.
 
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jagdish

Journeyman
AJ12, if you are only going to watch movies go with AMD liano A8 3850 it will serve your purpose better it has a powerful GPU built in with CPU so less heat generation, low power consumption and its a quad core CPU hence better perfomance.it will have better post processing so it can improve video quality so it will save money because you need not have to purchase Powerdvd for its post processing Now my MB has a integrated 4250 GPU and video quality is impressive it takes very less CPU to play HD movies just about 2-5% and I am happy with it:wink:So go for liano
 
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sam9s

The High 5 Flyer
Yes, APU will cost you much less than a separate built, but then there are trade offs, but I guess jagdish is right in a way that if only movies is what you want APU will suffice. How ever if you also wanna do some processing (like ripping and encoding DVDs or BDs) or decent gaming, the i3 combination will do far better.
 

Krow

Crowman
Llano makes sense if one is on a tight budget. Anyway, I never understood why people would spend a lot on their HTPC and not so much on the display and the audio setup. I think the audio setup needs more investment with a sound card and a good 5.1 system along with the display.
 
OP
Aj12

Aj12

Broken In
Yes, APU will cost you much less than a separate built, but then there are trade offs, but I guess jagdish is right in a way that if only movies is what you want APU will suffice. How ever if you also wanna do some processing (like ripping and encoding DVDs or BDs) or decent gaming, the i3 combination will do far better.


As mentioned earlier i will use thing rig ONLY to watch movies(it should full hd content without any playback issues)
and i plan to use it for about a year or two or even more.

i will make use of my main rig for all encoding,ripping & gaming.

but as you mentioned earlier wont there be a problem with drivers and or are the solved with an update.

Llano makes sense if one is on a tight budget. Anyway, I never understood why people would spend a lot on their HTPC and not so much on the display and the audio setup. I think the audio setup needs more investment with a sound card and a good 5.1 system along with the display.

i am on a tight budget right now:-x

so unfortunately cannot afford a better audio setup right now.

and i plan to use this HTPC with the display that i already own..

But i will upgrade i 6 months time(even then this rig will be used only to watch movies as mentioned previously) and it also should have the provision to add a sound card for a better audio setup if the on board audio does not cut it...
 

sam9s

The High 5 Flyer
As mentioned earlier i will use thing rig ONLY to watch movies(it should full hd content without any playback issues)
and i plan to use it for about a year or two or even more.

i will make use of my main rig for all encoding,ripping & gaming.

but as you mentioned earlier wont there be a problem with drivers and or are the solved with an update..

I somewhere mentioned that I am not a fan of APUs reason is these uncertainties, like drives issues and streaming full BD ISOs. When I had to assemble my HTPC, and was reading reviews and suggestions all across internet I did not get a very positive impression of APUs. I mean most of them were positive and were raving about the same, but there were instances where everything was not perfect. My choice was I need perfect performance even if I had to spend 5,6 K etc so opted for custom build. Plus I also wanted to future proof my HTPC with 3D support which APUs are not good at.

@AJ12 weigh your options and make a choice, up to you.
 

Krow

Crowman
You are likely to encounter driver issues with any AMD setup in case you use a non-Windows setup. Bear that in mind before you make your purchase. For the hassle free setup, I guess Intel takes the cake. You should look at a good sound card and HT setup later though. Best of luck for your purchase. :)
 
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