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$300~ budget suggestions? - Nathanial - 2013-08-24

Hi everyone,
I have about $300 to put towards an HTPC. I was hoping I could get some input.
I'm comfortable building my own PCs.. but I'm used to building power horse gaming rigs with 700 watt power supplies..

So something compact, quiet, and ideally.. energy efficient would be awesome.

And of course, runs openelec smoothly, and can do 720p and 1080p playback without any problems.

I have a 3 TB external drive loaded with TV shows and movies already, so a couple of USB ports (if I had the option, at least one USB 3 would be nice) is ideal. Due to the design of my apartment, wifi would be nice.. but if it doesn't work out in the budget, it's not like I'll be streaming media anyway. And no gaming or anything either.. just openelec Smile

For the remote, I was thinking the Mele F10? Does anybody have any experience with that? Link:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0092KDSQW/ref=ox_sc_act_title_1?ie=UTF8&psc=1&smid=A2MOZZLQ0SCV2K

I greatly appreciate any time and input. I also look forward to becoming part of the community, and will hopefully be able to help around here myself some day.

Cheers,
Nate


RE: $300~ budget suggestions? - MediaPi - 2013-08-25

Welcome Nathanial welcome to the forums, you'll fit right in.

You seem to be real new to the low power devices out now because for your requirments $300 is more than enough to pick almost anything you want. You've got android devices, one in particular is leading the stock and has a bright future
The Ouya $99

Quad-core tegra 3 @1.5 or 1.8 I think
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZLEcxa_0JOU

Or you got Intel's Next Unit of Computing NUC. You have 4 version the lowest being able to output 1080
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eR8pH-y0vd0

thats a celeron version, you can get i3,i5,i7

Intel will release 2 more NUC's in a matter of weeks so I would wait until they show their cards.

Since you have it in your budget forget the Ouya and get a NUC,its the best per buck, You've got enough in your budget to get you a NUC i3 I would say. Also because your use to making your own build's you will fit right in.

The haswell NUC 3rd generation will cost alot more than $300 but its got
USB 3.0
SATA 6Gbit/s and SATA power
3.5mm audio
mini HDMI
Display Port


so wait for that to be released to see what they do with the current generation prices. and have a look at NUC celeron or the NUC i3

Yes I've heard that the mele f10 is basically one of the best remotes. the pro version is meant to be better


RE: $300~ budget suggestions? - Nathanial - 2013-08-25

Hi! Thanks for the warm welcome and the input.

I did some research on the i3 NUC, and it looks like just for the barebones system it's close to that $300 point? Unless I'm looking at the wrong thing. So I decided to go with the Celeron NUC model on Newegg, as it's $120 less, and apparently more than capable of my requirements?

Here's what I picked out. Your thoughts?

http://secure.newegg.com/WishList/PublicWishDetail.aspx?WishListNumber=23797206

I was also looking at this build earlier:
http://forum.xbmc.org/showthread.php?tid=165797

They both come to a pretty similar price after you buy all the extras for it. Would you say the NUC is better?

Also, would it be cheaper/more efficient to just build my own from parts, or are the cost differences negligible?


RE: $300~ budget suggestions? - cwide - 2013-08-25

NUCs take mSata drives. Not normal SSDs.

Like this. http://www.amazon.com/Crucial-mSATA-Internal-Solid-CT032M4SSD3/dp/B0082PVK8Q/ref=sr_1_6?ie=UTF8&qid=1377389752&sr=8-6&keywords=msata

Also if you want wifi you will need this: http://www.amazon.com/Intel-6235AN-HMWWB-Centrino-Advanced-N-Bluetooth/dp/B007QXLIWI/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1377389806&sr=8-1&keywords=centrino+6235

Or something like it.

You can also run Openelec off a USB flash drive. If you use a skin with minimal fanart it will be fine.


RE: $300~ budget suggestions? - Nathanial - 2013-08-25

Ohhhh. Doh. Should have noticed. Okay, so swap out the SSD with a mSata and does everything look solid? Ideally, I wouldn't want to run openelec itself on a USB drive. How is the NUC compared to the other build I linked by chance? And is it worth looking into building a system from scratch instead?

Sorry for all the questions, I really do appreciate all the input and friendliness Smile


RE: $300~ budget suggestions? - MediaPi - 2013-08-25

Nathanial the link you posted of that build intial looked really good, but then I checked the amazon reviews, quite bad some say they didn't get 1080p on vlc. and also this comment from ned scott

"Nice, but "$286" and "intel atom" does not compute in my mind, no matter how small and sexy it is :/

So I woudn't personally go with the other one plus you can buy better cheaper parts for the NUC, since its a build you'll have to half complete.

have a think about it but keep these thoughts in you mind.

A NUC uses less power so can basically be left on.
You can buy fanless cases for a NUC. Completely silent
You have a community around you with a NUC that you can share and enjoy
NUC can do everything you want.

As for building with your own parts I have no experience on that so I can't comment.
More users will give you advice and have more experience than me. Lets just see what they say but NUC celeron so far from me


RE: $300~ budget suggestions? - Nathanial - 2013-08-25

You're right, I think the NUC build is sounding pretty sweet. Would you think 2 GB RAM is sufficient enough?
Will probably be placing an order shortly Smile


RE: $300~ budget suggestions? - MediaPi - 2013-08-25

have a look at this video of the NUC celeron on just 1 gig of Ram



but Ram costs so cheap, atleast you can upgrade in the future. also remember theirs a refresh of the NUC's coming any day now, so if you can hold out for about a month, it will be better to see if the last generation NUC's will lower in price

Also Its really small and looks sick, don't you think? fit in any living room IMO


RE: $300~ budget suggestions? - Nathanial - 2013-08-25

Okie doke. I'll try to hold off then. I appreciate the help!!


RE: $300~ budget suggestions? - MediaPi - 2013-08-25

Your welcome dude


RE: $300~ budget suggestions? - jammyb - 2013-08-25

(2013-08-25, 03:08)MediaPi Wrote: have a look at this video of the NUC celeron on just 1 gig of Ram



but Ram costs so cheap, atleast you can upgrade in the future. also remember theirs a refresh of the NUC's coming any day now, so if you can hold out for about a month, it will be better to see if the last generation NUC's will lower in price

Also Its really small and looks sick, don't you think? fit in any living room IMO

WTF. So this guys running openELEC off network. No SSD/USB installed.

Tell me more!!


Edit - oh uses NFS i haven't got that Sad


RE: $300~ budget suggestions? - aesalazar - 2013-08-25

(2013-08-25, 09:53)jammyb Wrote: WTF. So this guys running openELEC off network. No SSD/USB installed.

Tell me more!!


Edit - oh uses NFS i haven't got that Sad

He is doing a PXE boot. IIRC, nfs isnt required. Just need a NAS/server that support it (network bootstrap, TFTP, etc). I thought about doing it myself but opted for an actual hard drive. Figured it would be less load on the server and wouldnt wake it from hibernation unnecessarily. But then again, cant play content without it woken up so I may still try it some day.

Ernie


RE: $300~ budget suggestions? - jammyb - 2013-08-26

Any links/guides I can read to have a go?

Very interested. Smile


RE: $300~ budget suggestions? - MediaPi - 2013-08-26

(2013-08-26, 08:41)jammyb Wrote: Any links/guides I can read to have a go?

Very interested. Smile

This guide shows how to boot openelec using pxe boot with system and storage mounted via nfs


RE: $300~ budget suggestions? - aesalazar - 2013-08-26

(2013-08-26, 08:41)jammyb Wrote: Any links/guides I can read to have a go?

Very interested. Smile

Nothing generic but since I have a synology, I have this:

http://www.synology.com/support/tutorials_show.php?lang=us&q_id=583

The concept is the same on any server. You need DHCP which anyone with a router has and you need to be able to point it at the boot files via TFTP. Boot will probably be a little slower since it is pulling across the network but once it is loaded you should be good. And it makes doing backups really easy Smile

Ernie


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