New Build Advice & USB3.0 vs SSD
#1
Im building an HTPC only for the purposes on running XBMC with the following specs. My goal is to be able to stream HD and 3D (1080p) movies from my Unraid server (require gigabit connection) while maintaining a smooth interface that loads thumbs etc. I am no longer happy with my Apple TV2, and am not looking to spend too much money - I think I did very well I can sell my apple tv 2 for $280-300 so i could more than break even.

My only question is can I save money and boot from a usb3.0 key in place of an SSD. Are there any benefits to having an SSD over running XBMC from a USB key? Im sure I can get a cheap 64gb+ usb 3.0 key for pretty cheap. I dont mind purchasing the SSD but if i dont see any benefits why spend the extra money - if im wrong please let me know.

CPU: Intel Pentium G2020 2.9GHz Dual-Core Processor..................................($64.99 @ Newegg Canada)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master GeminII M4 58.4 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler....($34.99 @ Amazon Canada)
Motherboard: ASRock B75M-ITX Mini ITX LGA1155 Motherboard....................($89.99 @ Newegg Canada)
Memory: Patriot Gamer 2 Series 4GB (1 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory...............($14.99 @ Memory Express)
Storage: Sandisk Extreme 120GB 2.5" Solid State Disk..................................($99.99 @ Canada Computers)
Case: Cooler Master Elite 120 Advanced (Black) Mini ITX Tower Case................($42.12 @ DirectCanada)
Power Supply: Raidmax 380W ATX12V Power Supply...................................($16.55 @ Amazon Canada)
.........................................................................................................Total: $363.62 -> 263.63 Without SSD

As for the motherboard I cannot find a cheaper Mini ITX B75 motherboard that seems reliable and has HDMI + Optical out for cheaper. ( on second look i found this board GIGABYTE GA-H61N-USB3 http://goo.gl/76FRt )

Any help would be appreciated, even just to comment on my build - or offer up a completely different cheaper idea. Also If I needed in the future I can throw in a good graphics card and an extra stick of Ram and this build should easily be able to play most games with high/ultra detail (obviously depending on the graphics card).
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#2
For a start you don't need anywhere near 64G or 120G for your system disk. xbmcbuntu fits in 4G, but you should allow a lot more for your database (unless you are going to put that on your server via mysql, which you probably should.) So a 40G ssd would be sufficient.

I have seen people say that their computers are flaky when booting off usb3, I would go for the ssd. Alternatively you could get the usb3 stick (32G will be enough) and if it doesn't work, they are handy things anyway.

I would get an nvidia graphics card, 520 fanless are pretty cheap.
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#3
Thanks, I guess youre right about the hard drive size. Also Ive been reading up reviews and it seems the integrated graphics in the ivy bridge pentiums is more than enough for me to watch 1080p 3d movies, i wont be doing anything else with the system. Im not sure if its worth spending the extra money on a fanless card.
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