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Motherboard and CPU for HTPC/Gaming Build

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April 16, 2013 8:02:48 PM

In the process of upgrading to a new HTPC build and have the opportunity to upgrade to a newer motherboard and CPU. First, here is what I will be using in the build currently:

Case: Silverstone GD05B
Graphics Card: EVGA 560 Ti
PSU: Antec Earthwatts EA-650

I would like to stay around 350 or below on the motherboard and CPU. In the past I have used AMD, but open to either for this build. Feel free to explain why you are suggesting one over the other.

Most of my use will be in a few areas:

  • Streaming Video and DVR
  • Gaming (Skyrim, Dishonored, etc.)
  • Photography

  • My current build has lasted me several years and I would like this one to do the same.

    Thank you again for your help.

    Best solution

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    April 16, 2013 8:27:50 PM

    PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

    CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($220.98 @ Newegg)
    CPU Cooler: Antec KUHLER H2O 920 110.0 CFM Liquid CPU Cooler ($78.99 @ Newegg)
    Motherboard: ASRock Z77M Micro ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($79.99 @ Newegg)
    Total: $379.96
    (Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
    (Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-04-16 23:26 EDT-0400)

    Hard to go wrong with the 3570K. I also like AsRock motherboards and that one is a nice, inexpensive mATX one.

    I also included a suggestion for a self-contained liquid cooling unit that I think would work really well in that case where space is at a premium. It will let you overclock that i5 substantially without much noise.
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    April 16, 2013 8:32:16 PM

    not many htpc mbs worth a damn for AMD...

    that said your budget and needs pretty much demand something like an AMD... if your case can support Micro ATX (i think it can) then this is probably your best option.

    Asus M5A78L-M/USB3 - $80
    FX 6300 - $130
    8gb DDR3 1600 Crucial BLS8G3D1609DS1S00 - $55
    some small self contained water cooler for $90 would hit your number of $350

    Now... i'm not really a fan of this, but really this is your best option outside of going intel...
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    April 16, 2013 8:41:36 PM

    ingtar33 said:
    not many htpc mbs worth a damn for AMD...

    that said your budget and needs pretty much demand something like an AMD... if your case can support Micro ATX (i think it can) then this is probably your best option.

    Asus M5A78L-M/USB3 - $80
    FX 6300 - $130
    8gb DDR3 1600 Crucial BLS8G3D1609DS1S00 - $55
    some small self contained water cooler for $90 would hit your number of $350

    Now... i'm not really a fan of this, but really this is your best option outside of going intel...


    Ok - lets not worry to much about the overall cost aspect - what do you suggest?
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    April 16, 2013 8:51:04 PM

    Daniel Moody said:
    ingtar33 said:
    not many htpc mbs worth a damn for AMD...

    that said your budget and needs pretty much demand something like an AMD... if your case can support Micro ATX (i think it can) then this is probably your best option.

    Asus M5A78L-M/USB3 - $80
    FX 6300 - $130
    8gb DDR3 1600 Crucial BLS8G3D1609DS1S00 - $55
    some small self contained water cooler for $90 would hit your number of $350

    Now... i'm not really a fan of this, but really this is your best option outside of going intel...


    Ok - lets not worry to much about the overall cost aspect - what do you suggest?


    If cost is no object i'd go intel, an i7-3770k or an i5-3570k... or wait for haswell... the Asus Maximus V Gene is about the best micro ATX board you can get... then i'd stick some badass DDR3 1866 Mushkin Redline ram into it, and a good i80 cpu cooler, and call it a day.

    of course that whole thing would be like 2x your budget.


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    April 16, 2013 9:15:32 PM

    JD88 said:
    PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

    CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($220.98 @ Newegg)
    CPU Cooler: Antec KUHLER H2O 920 110.0 CFM Liquid CPU Cooler ($78.99 @ Newegg)
    Motherboard: ASRock Z77M Micro ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($79.99 @ Newegg)
    Total: $379.96
    (Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
    (Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-04-16 23:26 EDT-0400)

    Hard to go wrong with the 3570K. I also like AsRock motherboards and that one is a nice, inexpensive mATX one.

    I also included a suggestion for a self-contained liquid cooling unit that I think would work really well in that case where space is at a premium. It will let you overclock that i5 substantially without much noise.


    That is a nice, elegant solution - what do you think of ingtar33's suggestions on the alternative motherboard? What RAM would you utilize?
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    April 16, 2013 9:33:20 PM

    I would go with this RAM as it is a nice, low profile option:

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


    I think moving up to the Maximus would probably be a waste for you. The only thing I could see you taking advantage of might be the additional 6GB/s SATA ports as it has 6 vs. 2 from the $80 AsRock. If you are going to include more than 2 SSDs, it might be something to look at. Otherwise, it really doesn't offer anything better since SLI and Crossfire are out of the question due to the limitations of the case.
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    April 17, 2013 8:08:11 AM

    JD88 said:
    PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

    CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($220.98 @ Newegg)
    CPU Cooler: Antec KUHLER H2O 920 110.0 CFM Liquid CPU Cooler ($78.99 @ Newegg)
    Motherboard: ASRock Z77M Micro ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($79.99 @ Newegg)
    Total: $379.96
    (Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
    (Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-04-16 23:26 EDT-0400)

    Hard to go wrong with the 3570K. I also like AsRock motherboards and that one is a nice, inexpensive mATX one.

    I also included a suggestion for a self-contained liquid cooling unit that I think would work really well in that case where space is at a premium. It will let you overclock that i5 substantially without much noise.


    JD88 said:
    I would go with this RAM as it is a nice, low profile option:

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


    I think moving up to the Maximus would probably be a waste for you. The only thing I could see you taking advantage of might be the additional 6GB/s SATA ports as it has 6 vs. 2 from the $80 AsRock. If you are going to include more than 2 SSDs, it might be something to look at. Otherwise, it really doesn't offer anything better since SLI and Crossfire are out of the question due to the limitations of the case.


    In regards to the CPU Cooler - I love the idea of this one, but worried about having enough air flow in the case as this would take over one of the three 120mm fans in the case (I have two NOCTUA NF-S12B-FLX 120MM fans that will go in here as well as two Enermax T.B. Silence 80mm fans that can attach to the back). This article, 4th image, gives some really good views of what space is left when a unit is put in place. If you go a page back in the article you can see the mounting locations of the fans. I know Silverstone likes the idea of the positive case pressure to force contaminants out, but what are your thoughts on what will work here for both case fans and CPU cooler?
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    April 17, 2013 8:30:54 AM

    Hmm I see your point. I don't think air flow is going to be a concern because the air would simply blow through the rad and back into the case if you want positive pressure.. I have the 920 on my current rig and the air coming out of it is never very hot.

    The biggest problem I see is space. I'm concerned that the cooler will conflict with the power supply if it is mounted on the single 120mm fan on the right side (assuming you are looking into the case from above). Depending on how long your PSU is, it may not fit. The 920 extends about a half inch past a standard 120mm fan on both sides (as all liquid coolers do).

    Also, I don't see it fitting on either of the other 120mm fan locations due to them already being almost flush with the motherboard.

    Your only option for cooling might be an air unit similar to the one shown in that review. My concern there is that thermal headroom for overclocking would be pretty limited.
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    April 17, 2013 8:48:39 AM

    JD88 said:

    Your only option for cooling might be an air unit similar to the one shown in that review. My concern there is that thermal headroom for overclocking would be pretty limited.


    I am honestly not that big of an overclocker - I may experiment with it a little on this build, but not a huge concern unless you think I need to be able to do this in order to run key software items. It may just be one of those things that I put it together and then see what would work best.
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