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Looking for help on new HTPC - Need to build around GPU

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May 28, 2013 9:46:10 AM

Hello everyone,

While this is my first post on Tom's, I used it several months back to piece together my first build by viewing other's questions. The community here is very helpful so I decided now is my time to ask for a little assistance:

I recently received a GTX 780 as a birthday gift. That card is to go into my gaming desktop down in my man cave. The problem is that I already have a Matrix 7970 Platinum and now I am unsure what to do with it. Should I sell that card or should I keep that for my HTPC build? I would love for the system to be as small as I can get it (the wife would prefer a small box to go into our TV stand rather than a tower on the ground in our bedroom). If the majority of you decide I should keep it, I need help building an HTPC around it.

I will need pretty much everything except peripherals (will be using 60 inch Sharp LCD 1080P and I will worry about kb/m at a later date). I know it isn't much but my budget right now is 500 USD. I should be coming into another 300 USD over the weekend making the grand total 800 USD. Will this be enough to build a decent machine around that card?

All I plan on doing is playing games and running XBMC for my media. As far as games go, I stay current and I play everything. I also want to be able to get the best settings I can which is why I kind of want to keep that card. I don't plan on overclocking the CPU.

So now I leave it to you knowledgeable people at Tom's to help me. Is building an HTPC around this card a good idea? If so, please help me build a computer around it in the most inexpensive way. I will fill out a form if the general consensus says to build, but I kind of wanted to see if it would be worth it before I went that far.

All help is greatly appreciated and thanks to all in advance!



More about : htpc build gpu

May 28, 2013 9:50:09 AM

A 7970 is a powerful card for a HTPC, but if you want to game off it as well, then why not. I am sure mini-ITX will be a suitable form factor for your HTPC and a $800 budget is decent enough to pack some good components.
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May 28, 2013 10:01:29 AM

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($224.99 @ Newegg)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($33.24 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: ASRock Z77E-ITX Mini ITX LGA1155 Motherboard ($145.66 @ Newegg)
Memory: Patriot Signature 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($49.99 @ Amazon)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($79.99 @ Amazon)
Case: BitFenix Prodigy (Black) Mini ITX Tower Case ($99.98 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Corsair Enthusiast 650W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($59.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Asus BW-12B1ST/BLK/G/AS Blu-Ray/DVD/CD Writer ($49.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $743.83
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)

Add the 7970 and you are all set. This is probably one of the most powerful HTPC I have seen.
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May 28, 2013 10:06:52 AM

A 7970 is a big card to put in a small htpc enclosure. You might discover that it's hard to find a small case (mini-itx or micro-atx) to fit your graphics card. So that is what I would look at first.
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May 28, 2013 10:34:10 AM

I have that case, so don't worry, he can fit it.

You will need to add two 140 MM fans at least to the case to provide proper airflow.



That is my rig, with a 7870 and a i5-3570k, not that the HDD cage is removed and I added two 140MM fans for better airflow.
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May 28, 2013 11:17:14 AM

mattius92 said:
CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($224.99 @ Newegg)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($33.24 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: ASRock Z77E-ITX Mini ITX LGA1155 Motherboard ($145.66 @ Newegg)
Memory: Patriot Signature 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($49.99 @ Amazon)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($79.99 @ Amazon)
Case: BitFenix Prodigy (Black) Mini ITX Tower Case ($99.98 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Corsair Enthusiast 650W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($59.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Asus BW-12B1ST/BLK/G/AS Blu-Ray/DVD/CD Writer ($49.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $743.83
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)

Add the 7970 and you are all set. This is probably one of the most powerful HTPC I have seen.



Thanks for the help mattius! The build looks pretty good. I have a few questions though:

I still need to add an OS to this build (Windows 7) which is going to put me a little over budget. So I would need to shave off a few bucks.

Even though I have an overclocker's card, I really don't plan on overclocking it or the CPU, so I could probably ditch the the K chip and the aftermarket cooler, or do you recommend me going this route?

Also, is there anything comparable to the 3570k on AMD's side of the market? Would going with an AMD CPU/MOBO save me a few bucks? The board would need to have WiFi too, just like the ASRock board you had originally picked.

Thanks again!

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May 28, 2013 11:46:45 AM

There are no good AMD mini-ITX boards, whatsover, which is sad, but I prefer Intel. Are you able to drive to a microcenter? Because they have Intel CPUs for at least a $100 less then any website, but if not I would recommend this slight configuration change.

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($194.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: ASRock Z77E-ITX Mini ITX LGA1155 Motherboard ($139.99 @ Amazon)
Memory: Patriot Signature 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($49.99 @ Amazon)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($64.99 @ Newegg)
Case: BitFenix Prodigy (Black) Mini ITX Tower Case ($64.99 @ NCIX US)
Power Supply: Corsair Enthusiast 650W 80 PLUS Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($82.98 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Asus BW-12B1ST/BLK/G/AS Blu-Ray/DVD/CD Writer ($49.99 @ Newegg)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) ($89.94 @ Outlet PC)
Total: $737.86
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
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