(2012-06-27 21:14)Dougie Fresh Wrote: Well, two things:
First, building your own is going to be cheaper than buying a barebones because you're not paying someone else to put it together and test it for you -- it's not even comparable. All these posts have been about barebones not DIY.
Second, if you swap an E-350 into those barebones configurations above, let's say the ASRock which tends to be the cheapest of the lot (which i would not use), the difference in price over the G530/H61 would be $30.
Apples-to-apples for DIY (though I would consider the ASRock not the same quality in my experience as Gigabyte/Intel)
No matter the case, PSU, memory, whatever the difference is $33.17.
I was going to post something similar. If you have a Microcenter then you can get the G530 for $35 so your difference is $21.17 which is where I came up with the ~$20 difference.
To be able to have a system with x3 horsepower that can run Netflix HD, Plex Server transcoding to my mobile devices, Smoother interface, XBMC version 2013, a more upgradeable and future proof system, etc is $20 I would spend every single time.
But that's just me.
(2012-06-27 22:08)Dougie Fresh Wrote: I personally don't have experience with the A4-3400. I don't see people here recommending it but I don't know why. Hopefully someone can answer that.
The G530 and A6-3500 CPUs are in the same benchmark ballpark. Both the Intel and AMD do HTPC things well even though the AMD GPU benchmarks better than the Intel GPU. The better benchmark doesn't get you better PQ or sound so it doesn't matter. After that it comes down to drivers and software compatibility between the two. You'll get a lot of differing experiences there, each having its pluses and minuses with neither being perfect.
A4 is pretty weak for some tasks compared to the A6. For an extra $5-$15 you get 50% more CPU.