Researching New Build: RAM, HDD, Case Questions

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Gratificulous Offline
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Post: #1
Below is my build:

AMD A6-3500
ASRock A75M Micro-ATX
Apex DM-318
GSkill 4GB DDR3 1600
(Not a bad setup for $218!)

Case: Has anyone tried this case? I am just noticing it is roughly $20 cheaper than the DM-387 that some people are using.
RAM: In several of the builds people are using the DDR3 1600 when this build can handle higher. Why is this? I assume it has to do with optimal performance for either the mobo/apu.
HDD: I can get a 2.5" SATA HDD from work for nothing. Anyone have experience running their HTPC off a 2.5" SATA (it will probably be 7200RPM)? SSD is not in the budget yet, I hear prices will be trending downwards so I will probably wait a few more months.

Thanks!
(This post was last modified: 2012-05-06 01:00 by Gratificulous.)
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lagledavid Offline
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Post: #2
(2012-05-06 00:53)Gratificulous Wrote:  Below is my build:


Anyone have experience running their HTPC off a 2.5" SATA (it will probably be 7200RPM)?

thats what i'm using no problems

My HTPC AMD A8-3870K CPU/ SilverStone ML03B/ASRock MB-A75M /Seasonic SS-400ET/Corsair XMS3 4GB
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onizuka Offline
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Post: #3
(2012-05-06 00:53)Gratificulous Wrote:  Below is my build:

AMD A6-3500
ASRock A75M Micro-ATX
Apex DM-318
GSkill 4GB DDR3 1600
(Not a bad setup for $218!)

Case: Has anyone tried this case? I am just noticing it is roughly $20 cheaper than the DM-387 that some people are using.
RAM: In several of the builds people are using the DDR3 1600 when this build can handle higher. Why is this? I assume it has to do with optimal performance for either the mobo/apu.
HDD: I can get a 2.5" SATA HDD from work for nothing. Anyone have experience running their HTPC off a 2.5" SATA (it will probably be 7200RPM)? SSD is not in the budget yet, I hear prices will be trending downwards so I will probably wait a few more months.

Thanks!

Good point on the RAM, as far as i understand it the speed of the RAM is these APU builds is critical for performance, 1866Mhz should a no brainer. I forget the particulars however.
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Mick1152 Offline
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Post: #4
Because the GPU in the processor uses the system memory, the fastest memory the system can handle will make a big difference in the GPU performance. (I think that was from one of eskro's posts I read a while back)

I used 1866MHz in both of my builds... although I don't have experience with the 1600 to compare it to, I can say both my systems are perfect!

HTPC 1 - AMD A8-3870K, ASRock A75M, Silverstone ML03B, Kingston HyperX 4GB DDR3 1866, Crucial M4 64GB SSD
HTPC 2 - AMD A6-3500, ASRock A75M-ITX, Kingston HyperX 4GB DDR3 1866, Patriot Torqx 2 32GB SSD
HTPC 3 - Intel Celeron 847, OpenELEC
RV HTPC - Intel i3-2120 Mini-ITX, 12TB Storage
3 Raspberry Pis
unRAID 5 Server - AMD Sempron 145, 4TB Parity, 16TB Storage

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Gratificulous Offline
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Post: #5
Thanks for the feedback guys.

Anyone have experience with this Apex case? Others seem to be going for the DM-387 more than the DM-318; I cannot find much of a difference between the two (besides the 318 being roughly $12 less).
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Beer40oz Offline
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Post: #6
(2012-05-06 03:23)Mick1152 Wrote:  Because the GPU in the processor uses the system memory, the fastest memory the system can handle will make a big difference in the GPU performance. (I think that was from one of eskro's posts I read a while back)

I used 1866MHz in both of my builds... although I don't have experience with the 1600 to compare it to, I can say both my systems are perfect!

+ 1
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pyrospawn Offline
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Post: #7
IMHO, for htpc usages, I don't think you would notice any difference visually between difference ram speed (1333, 1600, or 1866MHZ), unless you are running benchmark test. But with how cheap the ram is these days, why not go for the higher one. If you are on a budget, even ddr3 1333 would be fine.
(This post was last modified: 2012-05-06 19:49 by pyrospawn.)
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Driver 944 Offline
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Post: #8
A few thoughts - not trying to rain on your parade.

I know nothing of that case, but you have to love it for that price. The only concern I would have, if the PSU goes bad, where do you find a replacement? If you can't you would have to go with a Pico PSU for around 75.00 best guess? Or buy another case and start over? For 38.00 I think I would risk it ... how about you?

What about a remote control?

You didn't include a OS, if you need one, Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit Full - 67.00
http://forum.xbmc.org/showthread.php?tid...pid1070887 post #56

A 7200 RPM 2.5" drive is really not a problem. I would scan it first for problems.
Format
Install OS ( I'm guessing you will use Win7 x64)
Run windows update and get the system how you want it
Install CCleaner and run the Registry Cleaner
Defrag disk if needed

I'm sure you will be very happy with your new system.
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Gratificulous Offline
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Post: #9
(2012-05-07 00:33)Driver 944 Wrote:  A few thoughts - not trying to rain on your parade.

I know nothing of that case, but you have to love it for that price. The only concern I would have, if the PSU goes bad, where do you find a replacement? If you can't you would have to go with a Pico PSU for around 75.00 best guess? Or buy another case and start over? For 38.00 I think I would risk it ... how about you?

What about a remote control?

You didn't include a OS, if you need one, Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit Full - 67.00
http://forum.xbmc.org/showthread.php?tid...pid1070887 post #56

A 7200 RPM 2.5" drive is really not a problem. I would scan it first for problems.
Format
Install OS ( I'm guessing you will use Win7 x64)
Run windows update and get the system how you want it
Install CCleaner and run the Registry Cleaner
Defrag disk if needed

I'm sure you will be very happy with your new system.

I appreciate the feedback, no offense taken Smile

At $38, if the PSU goes bad and I am unable to find a reasonable replacement I guess I would buy a whole other case since it is cheaper (go figure). As far as a remote, I had not thought about that too much but I was thinking about the ASRock Smart Remote. I am definitely open to suggestions; it is one piece that is not terribly important but would come down the road for sure.

I have a copy of Win7 x64 I will probably use if I decide against OpenElec. I am still not certain on the hard drive, I will have to determine that when my case arrives.

One other item I am interested in is a 3rd party CPU cooler. Is this necessary? At 65W I assume this CPU does not put out much heat and the stock cooler may be sufficient. The decibels are the only concern...
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