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Build Advice HTPC replacement

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by thewelshbrummie, 13 Jan 2022.

  1. thewelshbrummie

    thewelshbrummie Minimodder

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    Need some opinions about my planned HTPC replacement, and what you'd do.

    My HTPC is simply a TV computer. It's on 24/7 and not used for gaming. Performance isn't necessary as it spends little time actually doing something. My current HTPC is in my signature, but runs an Ivy Lake 3220T (capped 35W TDP, back when it meant something). Originally built in 2010, I last made changes in 2013 and it hasn't been touched since.

    12th gen CPU pricing is good but B660 ITX motherboards... not so much. I'm wondering if going 10/11th gen might be the better option. Thoughts welcome.

    --

    This may also tie in to my parents PC. Build in Jan 2011 with a 1st gen Core i3, I replaced the motherboard and CPU in Jan 2016 with an i3 6100 (more on this later).

    I'd intended on using Alder Lake for my HTPC but I'm wondering if I'm better off not doing so.

    Both computers are going to be replaced this year, most likely in May.

    --

    I have the case, boot SSD and a 5TB 2.5" HDD that I'll be using.

    If I go 11th gen, I'd need the following:

    CPU - Core i3 10105 - £110
    Motherboard - Asus Strix B560-I - £155
    CPU Cooler - Noctua NH-L9i Chromax - £55
    RAM - Corsair DDR4 Vengeance LPX Black @3,600MHz - £64
    TV Tuner - Hauppauge WinTV-quadHD - £97
    PSU - Silverstone SX500-LG v2.1 - £80

    It's a total of £560

    With 12 gen, I'd need to change the following:

    CPU - 12100 is £140 (+£30)
    Motherboard - if I stick with 2x m.2 slots, then the Asus B660-I - £245 (+£90). There are cheaper options but I still need at least £200.
    RAM - Crucial DDR5 @4,800MHz - £60 if I drop to 8GB, or more than double if I stick.

    It's at least an extra £80. £180 if I go with 16GB DDR5 RAM.

    If I go 11th gen, then I'd probably keep these parts for 3-4 years before upgrading again - with the view of reusing the memory in the replacement I have for my parents PC to double what they would have in the rebuild I've planned for them (matx B660 is far cheaper and is mainly DDR4). Their newbuild is pretty much set, 12400 with an matx B660 and DDR4 - and the price isn't likely going to change. They'll be getting 4 more cores than their existing build and double the memory.

    The catch is that if I go 11th gen I'd probably want to upgrade sooner and the Noctua cooler would need to be replaced as the original L9i isn't compatible with LGA1700, I'd need the specific 1700 version of the cooler later on.

    I'm just wondering if it's a false economy to go with 11th gen vs 12th, considering that a 12th gen build will more than likely be good for 7-10 years. It just feels cheeky to be forced to spend £50+ over a B560 board.

    --

    The TLDR - should I go 11th or 12th gen. If I go 12th gen, DDR5 & 8 or 16GB or DDR4, with a view to replacing the parts a bit sooner?

    Money isn't the issue but I'm just wondering if I'd be wasting it one way or the other.
     
  2. saspro

    saspro IT monkey

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    Are you just using it for watching/recording TV?
     
  3. Gareth Halfacree

    Gareth Halfacree WIIGII! Lover of bit-tech Administrator Super Moderator Moderator

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    If you are just using it for watching and/or recording TV... why upgrade at all?
     
  4. teacherboy

    teacherboy Part Carbon/Nylon/Bovine

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    If just a htpc then what about a mITX set-up like a j5040 quad core - only uses 10W and has 4 sata ports and a pcie x 1 port for a sata card if you need more - totally silent and works - i had one as a htpc for a while until i decided i had to have HDR output which it won't do but that was just about its only limitation in that role - i replaced it with an R5-5600g.

    https://www.asrock.com/mb/Intel/J5040-ITX/
     
  5. thewelshbrummie

    thewelshbrummie Minimodder

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    Looks like I wasn't clear.

    My current HTPC is running an Ivy Bridge CPU... and more importantly, Win7. Security wise it's not safe to run it any more, especially when remote access is now a requirement. I could put Win 10 on it but that wouldn't be a long term option and I'm losing Windows Media Center regardless, so I'd rather start over with a new build that will last at least 5 years.

    The question was whether upgrading to 10/11th or 12th gen, from 3rd gen, was what you'd do.

    That said, I've found an answer that makes the decision obvious. I wasn't aware that Intel removed SGX extensions from 11th gen and newer (AMD never supported it). I'd like to keep UHD Blu-Ray playback as an option, which makes the decision clear. 10th gen it is. And the 10105 is more than powerful enough.
     
    Arboreal and The_Crapman like this.
  6. The_Crapman

    The_Crapman Don't phone it's just for fun. Lover of bit-tech

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    If security is your only concern with the current rig, I wouldn't bother upgrading. Unless you're also an aws data centre node, I think you'll be safe enough. Far too much is made of security vulnerabilities or support loss, but it's largely irrelevant to individuals. Keeping an eye on who's been hacked and changing passwords when required is the only thing you should worry about. That and if your antivirus software is mining on your rig or digitally harvesting your organs for ad money.
     

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