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Please Help Me With My HTPC/Gaming Build

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June 18, 2013 11:35:40 AM

Ok, I know this has probably been discussed 1000 times and will probably incite a fanboy riot. But after doing tons of research and studying benchmarks and all, I'm no closer to deciding whether or not to purchase the AMD FX 8350 or Intel i5-3570K for my media PC. I've become a government drone sys admin and have been dragged kicking and screaming out of the new tech loop...so I'm in need of help from some of my fellow nerds to spec out a decent HTPC / Gaming PC.

Things I will be using the PC for:

-Playing DVDs, BluRays, Streaming Netflix, Amazon Prime vidoes, playing ripped DVDs from SSD and/or HDD
-Playing games on Steam, would like to use "Big Picture" to start the games and utilize that interface. Most games will be XBOX 360 and PS3 ports and not soley PC only games. So we'll be using XBOX 360 controllers...possibly unneeded info there.
-The PC will probably be on quite a bit, but would like to let it go to sleep easily when not in use..
-I would like to be able to run all available console emulators available with ROMs that I have for all of my old games.
-iTunes, MP3 playback

I want to use this thing as an HTPC / gaming rig that will be hooked to my 42" LED with 1080p, and not be doing anything work related like Office, Photoshop, video editing...etc. In fact, I would like to not even hook a mouse and keyboard to this thing if at all possible.

So, with all of that information, what are your recommendations? And please, if you are a massive fanboy of one or the other and you think that will create bias in your response, just think, what are you gaining from your needless dedication? If you don't own stock or aren't an employee of the company then the answer is most likely nothing. So please be constructive in your reply and thank you all for your help.


Also, if you all have any suggestions for an ATX or Micro ATX motherboard I'd be greatly appreciative. I'm planning on using my dedicated video card 1GB DDR3 w/ HDMI out (owned), 1X8 GBs RAM 1600, 400 watt PSU (owned), BluRay/DVD write, 1 TB 7200 RPM WD HDD (owned) w/ 128 GB SSD. I know those parts are vague, but I haven't picked brands yet for the parts I do not already own. Just mapping out the specs I'd like. I would like to also keep it under $600 if possible.

Thank you all for any help!

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June 18, 2013 11:42:56 AM

For a build like that, you could probably go for something cheaper like an i3, or FX 4300. There is no need to go for a higher end processor and a lower end video card for an HTPC rig.
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June 18, 2013 12:04:52 PM

expl0itfinder said:
For a build like that, you could probably go for something cheaper like an i3, or FX 4300. There is no need to go for a higher end processor and a lower end video card for an HTPC rig.


Even if I plan to game it up with Steam...you wouldn't recommend either? LOL, or are you telling me my video card sucks and I should update that as well?

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June 18, 2013 12:10:59 PM

Chris Stoker said:
expl0itfinder said:
For a build like that, you could probably go for something cheaper like an i3, or FX 4300. There is no need to go for a higher end processor and a lower end video card for an HTPC rig.


Even if I plan to game it up with Steam...you wouldn't recommend either? LOL, or are you telling me my video card sucks and I should update that as well?



Well I don't know enough about your video card to say something like that. Anyway, there is no such thing as a video card that "sucks". It may just be better for one thing than another. I am saying that buying a processor of that caliber would be potentially bottlenecked. It would save you money to go with something a little lower end, and you would still get very good performance.
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June 18, 2013 12:27:50 PM

Chris Stoker said:
expl0itfinder said:
For a build like that, you could probably go for something cheaper like an i3, or FX 4300. There is no need to go for a higher end processor and a lower end video card for an HTPC rig.


Even if I plan to game it up with Steam...you wouldn't recommend either? LOL, or are you telling me my video card sucks and I should update that as well?



What he's trying to say is that there's no point getting a CPU that will be so heavily bottlenecked by your graphics card. From what we can see (with you mentioning DDR3) is that you won't be able to run most higher end games regardless, and so a fx4300 would be fine. What types of games do you plan on playing, and at what resolution? Also, exactly which card do you own?
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June 18, 2013 12:35:19 PM

Eyedeology said:
Chris Stoker said:
expl0itfinder said:
For a build like that, you could probably go for something cheaper like an i3, or FX 4300. There is no need to go for a higher end processor and a lower end video card for an HTPC rig.


Even if I plan to game it up with Steam...you wouldn't recommend either? LOL, or are you telling me my video card sucks and I should update that as well?



What he's trying to say is that there's no point getting a CPU that will be so heavily bottlenecked by your graphics card. From what we can see (with you mentioning DDR3) is that you won't be able to run most higher end games regardless, and so a fx4300 would be fine. What types of games do you plan on playing, and at what resolution? Also, exactly which card do you own?


Well crap I was hoping you weren't going to ask all of this. No sense in trying to be cool now. My wife likes to play the Lego games...I know, I know, I need a huge rig for that. But I would like to play BF3 and BioShock on 1080p if possible. I'm trying to replace my Xbox with this to basically consolidate everything in to one, plus have a BluRay and be able to take advantage of Steam.

I also knew the DDR3 was going to red flag me here. I have an:
-HIS Radeon HD 6570 IceQ 1 GB (128bit) DDR3 HDMI DVI-D (HDCP) VGA PCI Express X16 2.1 Video Card

So, I would like to get one of the higher end processors to have a system that can play high end games, plus last me for a few years to come without needing updates. Are you guys recommending a new video card then? Any suggestions on that? Thanks...
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June 18, 2013 12:38:03 PM

Chris Stoker said:
Eyedeology said:
Chris Stoker said:
expl0itfinder said:
For a build like that, you could probably go for something cheaper like an i3, or FX 4300. There is no need to go for a higher end processor and a lower end video card for an HTPC rig.


Even if I plan to game it up with Steam...you wouldn't recommend either? LOL, or are you telling me my video card sucks and I should update that as well?



What he's trying to say is that there's no point getting a CPU that will be so heavily bottlenecked by your graphics card. From what we can see (with you mentioning DDR3) is that you won't be able to run most higher end games regardless, and so a fx4300 would be fine. What types of games do you plan on playing, and at what resolution? Also, exactly which card do you own?


Well crap I was hoping you weren't going to ask all of this. No sense in trying to be cool now. My wife likes to play the Lego games...I know, I know, I need a huge rig for that. But I would like to play BF3 and BioShock on 1080p if possible. I'm trying to replace my Xbox with this to basically consolidate everything in to one, plus have a BluRay and be able to take advantage of Steam.

I also knew the DDR3 was going to red flag me here. I have an:
-HIS Radeon HD 6570 IceQ 1 GB (128bit) DDR3 HDMI DVI-D (HDCP) VGA PCI Express X16 2.1 Video Card

So, I would like to get one of the higher end processors to have a system that can play high end games, plus last me for a few years to come without needing updates. Are you guys recommending a new video card then? Any suggestions on that? Thanks...


OK, yeah I don't think that video card would really cut it. But the 7850 is one hell of a steal, I own one, and I couldn't be happier. Plus three free games!
I own this one: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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June 18, 2013 12:42:55 PM

expl0itfinder said:
Chris Stoker said:
Eyedeology said:
Chris Stoker said:
expl0itfinder said:
For a build like that, you could probably go for something cheaper like an i3, or FX 4300. There is no need to go for a higher end processor and a lower end video card for an HTPC rig.


Even if I plan to game it up with Steam...you wouldn't recommend either? LOL, or are you telling me my video card sucks and I should update that as well?



What he's trying to say is that there's no point getting a CPU that will be so heavily bottlenecked by your graphics card. From what we can see (with you mentioning DDR3) is that you won't be able to run most higher end games regardless, and so a fx4300 would be fine. What types of games do you plan on playing, and at what resolution? Also, exactly which card do you own?


Well crap I was hoping you weren't going to ask all of this. No sense in trying to be cool now. My wife likes to play the Lego games...I know, I know, I need a huge rig for that. But I would like to play BF3 and BioShock on 1080p if possible. I'm trying to replace my Xbox with this to basically consolidate everything in to one, plus have a BluRay and be able to take advantage of Steam.

I also knew the DDR3 was going to red flag me here. I have an:
-HIS Radeon HD 6570 IceQ 1 GB (128bit) DDR3 HDMI DVI-D (HDCP) VGA PCI Express X16 2.1 Video Card

So, I would like to get one of the higher end processors to have a system that can play high end games, plus last me for a few years to come without needing updates. Are you guys recommending a new video card then? Any suggestions on that? Thanks...


OK, yeah I don't think that video card would really cut it. But the 7850 is one hell of a steal, I own one, and I couldn't be happier. Plus three free games!
I own this one: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


7850 is truly a steal, I have one as well just the Sapphire version. I assure you that you'll be able to play BF3 Ultra & 1080p with 45 avg fps, might need a bit of tweaking where aa is concerned but you will be very happy. Also, the 7800 series comes with Bioshock Infinite for free, so that's something to consider. If you have the cash for it, I'd go with the i5 all day but just note that you'd be fine with even an fx6300.
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June 18, 2013 12:46:39 PM

I completely agree. Then you will be able to handle any modern games, as well as quite a few in the future. Plus, it will be no slouch in overall system performance.
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June 18, 2013 12:46:59 PM

10994742,0,1323927is truly a steal, I have one as well just the Sapphire version. I assure you that youll be able to play BF3 Ultra & 1080p with 45 avg fps, might need a bit of tweaking where aa is concerned but you will be very happy. Also, the 7800 series comes with Bioshock Infinite for free, so thats something to consider. If you have the cash for it, Id go with the i5 all day but just note that youd be fine with even an fx6300. said:


Well that does look pretty freaking awesome and at a good price. Thank you. So, which processor would you guys recommend for my needs then. I was still looking at "AMD FX 8350 or Intel i5-3570K". Any other suggestions are awesome too.

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June 18, 2013 12:54:45 PM

Chris Stoker said:
10994742,0,1323927is truly a steal, I have one as well just the Sapphire version. I assure you that youll be able to play BF3 Ultra & 1080p with 45 avg fps, might need a bit of tweaking where aa is concerned but you will be very happy. Also, the 7800 series comes with Bioshock Infinite for free, so thats something to consider. If you have the cash for it, Id go with the i5 all day but just note that youd be fine with even an fx6300. said:


Well that does look pretty freaking awesome and at a good price. Thank you. So, which processor would you guys recommend for my needs then. I was still looking at "AMD FX 8350 or Intel i5-3570K". Any other suggestions are awesome too.



IMO you can't really go wrong with either one. But the i5 will have better single threaded performance, which will be more important in games and other simple tasks. But don't get me wrong, it's no slouch when it comes to multithreaded applications as well.
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June 18, 2013 12:59:36 PM

expl0itfinder said:
Chris Stoker said:
10994742,0,1323927is truly a steal, I have one as well just the Sapphire version. I assure you that youll be able to play BF3 Ultra & 1080p with 45 avg fps, might need a bit of tweaking where aa is concerned but you will be very happy. Also, the 7800 series comes with Bioshock Infinite for free, so thats something to consider. If you have the cash for it, Id go with the i5 all day but just note that youd be fine with even an fx6300. said:


Well that does look pretty freaking awesome and at a good price. Thank you. So, which processor would you guys recommend for my needs then. I was still looking at "AMD FX 8350 or Intel i5-3570K". Any other suggestions are awesome too.



IMO you can't really go wrong with either one. But the i5 will have better single threaded performance, which will be more important in games and other simple tasks. But don't get me wrong, it's no slouch when it comes to multithreaded applications as well.


That's what I was thinking. I like it because it's better single threaded, and will run cooler and use less power than the AMD. But the cost difference and the feeling that I get less with the Intel even if the latter isn't completely true just keeps me on the fence.
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June 18, 2013 1:03:11 PM

Well it will actually run hotter. The stock cooler is not very good, and Ivy bridge runs hot as it is. But it likely won't be an issue. The price difference isn't very significant. You will likely see better performance out of the intel, just because of what you will primarily be using your pc for.
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June 18, 2013 1:04:29 PM

You may want to get different RAM as well, don't quote me on this but I'm quite sure a single 8gb stick won't be able to take advantage of dual channel, meaning 2x4gb sticks would perform better. I'm not sure on the performance gains when using dual channel, but its something to consider.

EDIT: Just remembered that you could just get another 8gb stick, lol. What brand and series is the RAM you're currently using?
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June 18, 2013 1:10:57 PM

Awesome, thank you guys very much for the information. I think I'm going to talk my wife into letting me get the I5 with the HIS H785F2G2M Radeon HD 7850 as you all suggest. May have to start feeding the babies only twice per day, but at least their Yo Gaba Gaba will be streamed in 1080p. At least I have my priorities straight :) 

Edit: I was thinking 8 GBs of 1600 RAM with a lower latency if I could get it for a decent price and then probabaly upgrading to another stick in the very near future for that very reason. I don't have a particular brand in mind. Are you thinking 2x4GBs would function better? I know dual channel has been all the rage for the last few years, but I never real research the performance difference.
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June 18, 2013 1:18:46 PM

Chris Stoker said:
Awesome, thank you guys very much for the information. I think I'm going to talk my wife into letting me get the I5 with the HIS H785F2G2M Radeon HD 7850 as you all suggest. May have to start feeding the babies only twice per day, but at least their Yo Gaba Gaba will be streamed in 1080p. At least I have my priorities straight :) 

Edit: I was thinking 8 GBs of 1600 RAM with a lower latency if I could get it for a decent price and then probabaly upgrading to another stick in the very near future for that very reason. I don't have a particular brand in mind. Are you thinking 2x4GBs would function better? I know dual channel has been all the rage for the last few years, but I never real research the performance difference.


You could just wait and get another 8 gigs, but make sure its the exact same stick as the one you have now, as mixing and matching could lead to some issues (although unlikely, why take the risk?)
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June 18, 2013 1:19:45 PM

expl0itfinder said:
Chris Stoker said:
Awesome, thank you guys very much for the information. I think I'm going to talk my wife into letting me get the I5 with the HIS H785F2G2M Radeon HD 7850 as you all suggest. May have to start feeding the babies only twice per day, but at least their Yo Gaba Gaba will be streamed in 1080p. At least I have my priorities straight :) 

Edit: I was thinking 8 GBs of 1600 RAM with a lower latency if I could get it for a decent price and then probabaly upgrading to another stick in the very near future for that very reason. I don't have a particular brand in mind. Are you thinking 2x4GBs would function better? I know dual channel has been all the rage for the last few years, but I never real research the performance difference.


You could just wait and get another 8 gigs, but make sure its the exact same stick as the one you have now, as mixing and matching could lead to some issues (although unlikely, why take the risk?)


Ok cool, that was my plan. Make the cost hurt less by spreading over the long run.
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June 18, 2013 1:21:46 PM

Chris Stoker said:
expl0itfinder said:
Chris Stoker said:
Awesome, thank you guys very much for the information. I think I'm going to talk my wife into letting me get the I5 with the HIS H785F2G2M Radeon HD 7850 as you all suggest. May have to start feeding the babies only twice per day, but at least their Yo Gaba Gaba will be streamed in 1080p. At least I have my priorities straight :) 

Edit: I was thinking 8 GBs of 1600 RAM with a lower latency if I could get it for a decent price and then probabaly upgrading to another stick in the very near future for that very reason. I don't have a particular brand in mind. Are you thinking 2x4GBs would function better? I know dual channel has been all the rage for the last few years, but I never real research the performance difference.


You could just wait and get another 8 gigs, but make sure its the exact same stick as the one you have now, as mixing and matching could lead to some issues (although unlikely, why take the risk?)


Ok cool, that was my plan. Make the cost hurt less by spreading over the long run.


Haha, good plan. And screw food, I hear Yo Gaba gaba in 1080p is quite the experience.
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June 18, 2013 2:12:47 PM

Chris Stoker said:
Awesome, thank you guys very much for the information. I think I'm going to talk my wife into letting me get the I5 with the HIS H785F2G2M Radeon HD 7850 as you all suggest. May have to start feeding the babies only twice per day, but at least their Yo Gaba Gaba will be streamed in 1080p. At least I have my priorities straight :) 

Edit: I was thinking 8 GBs of 1600 RAM with a lower latency if I could get it for a decent price and then probabaly upgrading to another stick in the very near future for that very reason. I don't have a particular brand in mind. Are you thinking 2x4GBs would function better? I know dual channel has been all the rage for the last few years, but I never real research the performance difference.


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July 12, 2013 7:03:12 AM

Chris Stoker said:
expl0itfinder said:
Chris Stoker said:
Awesome, thank you guys very much for the information. I think I'm going to talk my wife into letting me get the I5 with the HIS H785F2G2M Radeon HD 7850 as you all suggest. May have to start feeding the babies only twice per day, but at least their Yo Gaba Gaba will be streamed in 1080p. At least I have my priorities straight :) 

Edit: I was thinking 8 GBs of 1600 RAM with a lower latency if I could get it for a decent price and then probabaly upgrading to another stick in the very near future for that very reason. I don't have a particular brand in mind. Are you thinking 2x4GBs would function better? I know dual channel has been all the rage for the last few years, but I never real research the performance difference.


You could just wait and get another 8 gigs, but make sure its the exact same stick as the one you have now, as mixing and matching could lead to some issues (although unlikely, why take the risk?)


Ok cool, that was my plan. Make the cost hurt less by spreading over the long run.


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July 12, 2013 7:04:31 AM

Chris. Not to be a pain but I'm looking for exactly the same thing. Would you mind publishing your final build including mobo case memory etc. thanks
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