HTPC Build Advice

Hello everyone! I had such a good experience with my first build and advice that I have decided to return for a second set of opinions. I am looking to build what will primarily be a HTPC/gaming machine for a family member. Here is my checklist:

Approx. Purchase Date: Within a month or two (no hurry on this)

Budget Range:$500 to $800

System Usage: Gaming, watching movies/videos, surfing internet/checking emails

Buying a monitor: No

Parts: (See Below Checklist)

Buying OS: Yes (OEM Windows 7 64-bit)

Preferred Website: Newegg, but would definitely consider others

Location: St. Louis, MO area

Parts Preference: Intel CPU, Asus Motherboard

Overclocking: Maybe (if setup will allow it)

SLI/Crossfire: No

Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080 preferably (using 40" 1080p HDTV as monitor)

Additional Comments: I'm building a machine used for gaming and home theater purposes primarily. I have a list of parts I am considering below, but I would very much appreciate some more experienced opinions/recommendations!

Why Are You Upgrading: My family member currently has a 4 year old laptop that they want to replace, and based on what they plan on using the machine for, I have determined that a HTPC system would be the best fit for them. They intend to do some gaming, and would like to see upper-level performance (at least better than console gaming, which is what they are switching from), and I would like to see it all fit into a HTPC-oriented case. Here is my current parts list:

Processor: Intel i5 3570k

Motherboard: Asus P8Z77-M MicroATX Motherboard

RAM: Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3-1600

Storage: WD Caviar Blue 1TB 7200RPM 64MB Cache

Video Card: Gigabyte GTX 650 1GB

Case: Silverstone ML03B HTPC

Power Supply: Raidmax 530W Modular

Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer

OS: Win7 Home Premium OEM 64-bit

Currently I am sitting at a total of $783.85 after rebates and shipping fees. Any advice on these parts? I have linked each part to its product page on Newegg for reference. Let me know if there are any questions! Thanks for the help!

PCPartPicker Link: Current Part List
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  1. PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

    CPU: AMD A10-5800K 3.8GHz Quad-Core Processor ($99.99 @ Microcenter)
    CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($29.99 @ NCIX US)
    Motherboard: ASRock FM2A75 Pro4-M Micro ATX FM2 Motherboard ($69.98 @ Outlet PC)
    Memory: Patriot Gamer 2 Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($47.98 @ NCIX US)
    Storage: Samsung 840 Series 120GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($89.99 @ NCIX US)
    Storage: Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($89.98 @ Outlet PC)
    Video Card: HIS Radeon HD 6670 2GB Video Card ($64.99 @ Microcenter)
    Case: Fractal Design Core 1000 MicroATX Mini Tower Case ($37.99 @ Amazon)
    Power Supply: Corsair Builder 430W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V Power Supply ($29.99 @ Newegg)
    Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($17.98 @ Outlet PC)
    Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) ($89.98 @ Outlet PC)
    Total: $668.84
    (Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
  2. PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

    CPU: Intel Core i5-3350P 3.1GHz Quad-Core Processor ($179.99 @ Newegg)
    Motherboard: ASRock H77 Pro4-M Micro ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($89.99 @ Newegg)
    Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($49.99 @ Newegg)
    Storage: Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($89.98 @ Outlet PC)
    Video Card: PowerColor Radeon HD 7870 XT 2GB Video Card ($235.66 @ Newegg)
    Case: Silverstone ML03B HTPC Case ($59.99 @ Amazon)
    Power Supply: XFX 550W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($63.99 @ NCIX US)
    Optical Drive: LG GH24NS95 DVD/CD Writer ($17.98 @ Outlet PC)
    Total: $787.57
    (Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
    (Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-04-18 00:50 EDT-0400)

    This is many orders of magnitude better. Do this for sure.
  3. The first build, by ksham, is decent, but my whole build is centered around the Silverstone case, because it is going to go into an entertainment center, like a console would. I did a little bit more research and realized that the ML03B case will need a low-profile video card in order to fit in the system, so most video cards will not be compatible.

    The second build, by tiny voices, is pretty close to what I was originally considering, but I don't think the case allows enough clearance for the PowerColor GPU, or many others for that matter. I would also prefer getting the WD Blue over the WD Black and possibly put the $20 towards something more useful, like a Bluetooth or Wireless Adapter (which I'm not including in the build here).

    Also, relevant to the two builds posted, I've noticed that some Micro-ATX cases can only hold two RAM modules, so I am leaning towards getting a single 8GB module for now, then upgrading with another 8GB later (if I don't just purchase 16GB now).

    Here is a new build I have come up with, one that features an AMD processor:

    AMD FX-6300
    AsRock 960GM MicroATX
    Corsair Vengeance Low Profile 8GB Blue
    Sapphire HD7750 Low Profile Card
    WD Blue 1TB 7200RPM
    Raidmax RX-530SS 530W Modular
    Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD Burner
    Silverstone ML03B Case
    Windows 7 64-bit Home Premium

    PCPartPicker Total of $608.82

    My choice of RAM may change, but I would like to keep with something that is low profile, to keep air flow as efficient as possible. If I can find two 4GB Low Profile modules, I may go with that, as I don't really need 16GB, but more importantly I need low profile modules.

    Other than that, how does this build stack up? Any glaring issues? As I said before, I'm not looking for performance that is going to max every single game out graphically, but I would like to see performance significantly better than current consoles (360, PS3).
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