Replacement Mobo / CPU for HTPC

hipsterdoofus

Limp Gawd
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Feb 2, 2009
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Hey all, I have an ancient HTPC that I think has a mobo that is dying. I mean the thing is like 11 or 12 years old, but suddently it isn't seeing hard drives...2 drives and all at once it can't see either.


The case is good as is the power supply, and I have ample storage space. What I was thinking of doing was buying a new Mobo, CPU, and RAM. I'd possibly also buy like a 256 gb SSD for the OS drive.

I used to run Windows Media Center, but the last month I've been doing Plex and am getting used to it, so if I stay with Plex, the graphics on this system don't matter too much because I'm just serving them out to my fire stick or whatever.

Considering this ancient system has done fantastic as an HTPC, I can't imagine anything new would need much horsepower to do the job, but I would like to "modernize" since the current system is so old, but no reason to blow a lot of money on it unnecessarily.

I would love suggestions as this is the community that helped me with the first build.

Thanks
 

defaultluser

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If you're near a Microcenter, this is an unbeatable deal for a quad-core with respectable graphics. :

https://www.microcenter.com/product/503183/amd-ryzen-3-2200g-quad-core-am4-boxed-processor-with-wraith-stealth-cooler

They will take $20 more off a motherboard combo (just get an entry-level b450)

https://www.microcenter.com/product/509732/asrock-b450m-pro4-amd-am4-matx-motherboard

The you just need to spend $35 on 8GB DDR4 ram (get 2x4, so you don't starve the onboard graphics). A quad-core upgrade for a little over $150 is hard to beat, and should last you a similar amount of time

If you're not near Micro center, Amazon has the same chip for $85:

https://www.amazon.com/AMD-Ryzen-Processor-Radeon-Graphics/dp/B079D3DBNM

But no combo means you're paying $30 more.
 
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hipsterdoofus

Limp Gawd
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Feb 2, 2009
Messages
151
Thank you for the reply. Unfortunately, no Microcenter near me.

I was thinking at one point there were combo deals you could get that lowered the overall cost, but I wasn't sure if those existed anymore, so I guess I may need to buy it all separately.

Don't see any prices on RAM anywhere near what you posted though, on Amazon, which stinks! Looks like it would be nice to have a Microcenter!

I do have a discrete graphics card on this system, so I guess the 2 sticks may not be as important; however, since this system will act as a plex server rather than a WMC system, I guess I don't have to be as concerned about graphics.
 

hipsterdoofus

Limp Gawd
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Feb 2, 2009
Messages
151
I forgot to mention that while I'm doing this, I was also considering switching the OS over to an SSD - something just big enough to maintain the OS, so I was thinking of NVMe and it didn't look like that mobo you posted had a port for that, so I guess I may have to spring for a little bit more.
 

defaultluser

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I forgot to mention that while I'm doing this, I was also considering switching the OS over to an SSD - something just big enough to maintain the OS, so I was thinking of NVMe and it didn't look like that mobo you posted had a port for that, so I guess I may have to spring for a little bit more.
From specs page for that motherboard:

2 x M.2 Socket 3

M.2 Port Type:

2242
2260
2280
2230

Don't just read the marketing text; EVERYTHING north of $60 has an m.2 slot now.

You can see one of the m.2 slots in the center of the motherboard, marked Ultra m.2 pcie gen 3 x4

The second port only runs at sata3 speed, but that's no biggie for such a cheap mobo.

I guarantee the integrated graphics are faster than a 4850.

igp_perf_rel_1080.png


The gt 1030 = GTX 750 , which is faster than a HD 7770,, which is almost twice as fast as your 4850.

Not to mention, the modern graphics cards have video acceleration for more than just.h.264
 
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hipsterdoofus

Limp Gawd
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Feb 2, 2009
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Right you are. Again, I'm so far removed from buying stuff like this regularly that i don't know what to expect.

I really appreciate your assistance. Any thoughts on my plan with the SSD? Alternatively, if I wanted to spend more money, I suppose I could get a larger sized one and in addition to my OS, use it for frequently accessed files, such as recorded TV, but that seems like it would get pricey quick. It looks like the sweet spot on those right now is 512 GB.
 

defaultluser

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recorded TV i just as fast to access on a 7200 rpm hard drive as it is on an ssd. I wouldn't waste money on high-end unless you're doing more with it.
 

hipsterdoofus

Limp Gawd
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recorded TV i just as fast to access on a 7200 rpm hard drive as it is on an ssd. I wouldn't waste money on high-end unless you're doing more with it.
Thanks. What about from the standpoint of having the SSD for the OS? If nothing else, that puts my OS on a separate drive from my media.
 

defaultluser

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Thanks. What about from the standpoint of having the SSD for the OS? If nothing else, that puts my OS on a separate drive from my media.
An SATA SSD drive is plenty fast for the OS, but feel free to pick up an entry-level nVME drive (might as well future-proof). These are pretty highly-rated.

https://www.newegg.com/western-digital-blue-500gb/p/N82E16820250091

If you ever decide to do more with this system, it can be upgraded to an 8-core APU (Renoir will be on desktop soon), or 16 core CPU (if you decide to ad a new discrete card for gaming). 4 cores is just the beginning :D
 
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hipsterdoofus

Limp Gawd
Joined
Feb 2, 2009
Messages
151
An SATA SSD drive is plenty fast for the OS, but feel free to pick up an entry-level nVME drive (might as well future-proof). These are pretty highly-rated.

https://www.newegg.com/western-digital-blue-500gb/p/N82E16820250091

If you ever decide to do more with this system, it can be upgraded to an 8-core APU (Renoir will be on desktop soon), or 16 core CPU (if you decide to ad a new discrete card for gaming). 4 cores is just the beginning :D
Yeah that's what I was thinking. And even though the OS would really only need 256 (or shoot, probably only 128) GB max, it doesn't look like it's worth it to cut that low just because you don't save very much.

Alright, well if I move forward with this, I'll try to post and update. I've been working with this machine for a long time. I think the only thing I've done is replaced the power supply and added another 2gb of ram to get it to 4, so this would be a major update that wouldn't cost much and would get me to something more sustainable. I've never done much like commercial removal, but if I did, this would certainly handle it better!
 

hipsterdoofus

Limp Gawd
Joined
Feb 2, 2009
Messages
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Yeah that's what I was thinking. And even though the OS would really only need 256 (or shoot, probably only 128) GB max, it doesn't look like it's worth it to cut that low just because you don't save very much.

Alright, well if I move forward with this, I'll try to post and update. I've been working with this machine for a long time. I think the only thing I've done is replaced the power supply and added another 2gb of ram to get it to 4, so this would be a major update that wouldn't cost much and would get me to something more sustainable. I've never done much like commercial removal, but if I did, this would certainly handle it better!
The only thing I see that is making me nervous is about how there is a shared lane with the SATA 3_3 and M2_2. I just want to make sure I can use everything. So if I'm reading right, there are 4 SATA ports, 2 M.2 ports. If I used M2_2, I can't used ONE of the SATA ports, but I still have 3, is that right? But if I use M2_1, it doesn't look like that happens. I have 3 SATA drives total (2 hard drives and a DVD player)...so if I do that and get the m.2, I should be ok?

Edit: Nevermind, think I figured it out!
 
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