Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question
Solved

Gaming / HTPC Build

Last response: in Systems
Share
September 10, 2013 4:53:41 PM

I am working on a computer to act as a gaming and home theater pc. It doesn't need to be super high end but it does need to be decent and have room to upgrade. As long as it can run most mainstream PC games on mid to high settings, and can handle console emulators up to PS3/Xbox 360. Now since I did bring up emulators let me clarify I am only using ROMs for game which I own the disc for.

This will be hooked up via HDMI to a 32" 720p LCD TV, which will eventually be replaced with a 55" 1080p LCD TV.

The build will take place in 3 parts. Part one is CPU/Motherboard/RAM to be placed in an old used case temporarily and using an old Zotac 9800GT video card. I am looking to spend 200-300 for the CPU/Motherboard and ideally 8GB of RAM too. Part 2 will be a purchase of a new graphics card for 150-200. and Part 3 will be buying my case and accessories such as a bluray drive.

I have decided on this case: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

It requires a Micro-ATX, DTX, Mini-ITX motherboard. For my price range a latest i7 is out of the question but I do want my motherboard to support a good higher-end processor so I can later upgrade while using the same motherboard but I can start out with a more basic CPU. I believe an Intel based build will give me the best upgradability but feel free to recommend an AMD build if it will still give me upgradability and get me a better system initially. So I am seeking your advise for a good motherboard and CPU to start off my build with. If the CPU cooler is too high I will also need a good lowprofile after market cooler before I move it into the silverstone case.

Next month I will be looking to get a graphics card, so I am also looking for suggestions on that as well. It says the case can take upto 11inch expansion cards. Or any other suggestions or feedback you have is appreciated.

More about : gaming htpc build

a b 4 Gaming
September 10, 2013 5:59:13 PM

PS3/XB360 emulator:

They exist, but I highly doubt they would be worth the effort. Even if you got a game working I don't think it would run well.

Considering how inexpensive a XBOX360 or PS3 would be, it would make far more sense to just buy a console, or better yet spend $400 for a new PS4.

I've gone down this road before just for fun, and building an inexpensive, quiet HTPC/Gaming PC is expensive and difficult. You can take the cost difference between spending $1000 on a PC and a PS4 ($600) and put that towards games.

The PS4 will perform similarly to a $1000 PC with graphics similar to a HD7950/GTX760 if the game is tweaked well.

*If you really want to go ahead I can make suggestions but personally I think the PC isn't ready yet for the living room even with "Big Picture" for Steam. The PS4 is just so much better. The only drawback is the number of game titles but that will increase.

A PS4 is actually only $340 if you subtract the $60 controller which you'd have to buy for a PC.

The PS4 will also have streaming of PS3 games if you have a great network connection (recommend 3000KBytes/second minimum.) Eventually most of their titles will be available.
m
0
l
September 10, 2013 6:11:19 PM

I already have 3 xbox 360 controllers and the wireless adapter for PC. Most of my games are PC games, the emulators are more for the titles I cannot get on PC that I still want to play without having to but a console.

That said I found a site that helped me build this parts list. I really spent more than I wanted to but I think it's worth it in the end.

PCPartPicker part list: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/1Cljm
Price bre)akdown by merchant: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/1Cljm/by_merchant/
Benchmarks: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/1Cljm/benchmarks/

CPU: Intel Core i5-2450P 3.2GHz Quad-Core Processor ($215.99 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: ASRock B75 PRO3-M Micro ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($69.99 @ Amazon)
Memory: A-Data XPG Gaming Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($69.99 @ Newegg)
Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 660 2GB Video Card ($203.98 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Cooler Master Elite Power 460W ATX12V Power Supply ($39.99 @ Best Buy)
Optical Drive: LG UH12NS29 Blu-Ray Reader, DVD/CD Writer ($54.98 @ SuperBiiz)
Total: $654.92
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-09-10 21:06 EDT-0400

And for what it's worth I would buy an xbox one before I would buy a ps4.
m
0
l
Related resources

Best solution

a b 4 Gaming
September 10, 2013 6:41:17 PM

Hi,
1. Not a good choice for CPU.
You can get an i5-3570K for about $220. It's newer gen (1150 socket). Better performance at same frequency. It's overclockable though you don't need to.

If the CPU you chose was cheaper it might be worth it but for about the same price it's pointless.

2. An MSI GTX760 would cost $260 but give much better performance.

3. That PSU really isn't very good. It lists only "greater" than 70% efficiency when many are well over 80%. It only has a single 6-pin connector which might be a problem.

a) This is $40 after rebate, but I'd recommend a quieter, better-quality PSU:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

b) These are more expensive but quieter, better-quality PSU's:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

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

4) CPU Cooler:
If you want that computer to be quiet, you'll need to spend a minimum of $30 on a cooler

5) BETTER MEMORY (free shipping):
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

6) Motherboard:
This one is $87. You can compare yourself to see if it's better:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Other:
There is a SILVERSTONE case and included 600W SFX PSU that is really awesome for a Small Form Factor PC. It requires a mini-ITX motherboard but it's really awesome.
http://www.silverstonetek.com/product.php?pid=317&area=...

You could bet a motherboard like THIS one:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Share
a c 209 4 Gaming
September 10, 2013 6:58:01 PM

For your budget I would go with an AMD build. As for the emulators they work fine, but some might have a few problems and non of them can go online. Better to stick with pc games ;) 

Here it is:

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: AMD FX-6300 3.5GHz 6-Core Processor ($117.98 @ Outlet PC)
Motherboard: Asus M5A78L-M LX PLUS Micro ATX AM3+ Motherboard ($44.99 @ Microcenter)
Memory: G.Skill Ares Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1866 Memory ($62.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($59.98 @ Outlet PC)
Video Card: Gigabyte Radeon HD 7950 3GB Video Card ($203.98 @ Newegg)
Case: Silverstone SST-GD05B-USB3.0 (Black) HTPC Case ($107.98 @ SuperBiiz)
Power Supply: XFX 550W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($44.99 @ NCIX US)
Optical Drive: LG UH12NS30 Blu-Ray Reader, DVD/CD Writer ($39.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $682.88
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-09-10 21:56 EDT-0400)
m
0
l
a b 4 Gaming
September 10, 2013 7:16:50 PM

The FX-6300 is much cheaper, but also significantly lower performance compared to an i5-3570K in many games. Sure, it's $100 cheaper but that translates to under 5% total PC investment (hardware, games, internet) over a three-year period. It also puts out more heat thus will be make the CPU fan noisier.

Proof: http://www.hardwarecanucks.com/forum/hardware-canucks-r...

Results of FX-6300 vs i5-3570K:
Deus Ex: 78%
Dirt 3: same
Skyrim: 69%

The FX-6300 has value in certain scenarios but I wouldn't recommend it here.
m
0
l
a c 209 4 Gaming
September 10, 2013 7:31:40 PM

photonboy said:
The FX-6300 is much cheaper, but also significantly lower performance compared to an i5-3570K in many games. Sure, it's $100 cheaper but that translates to under 5% total PC investment (hardware, games, internet) over a three-year period. It also puts out more heat thus will be make the CPU fan noisier.

Proof: http://www.hardwarecanucks.com/forum/hardware-canucks-r...

Results of FX-6300 vs i5-3570K:
Deus Ex: 78%
Dirt 3: same
Skyrim: 69%

The FX-6300 has value in certain scenarios but I wouldn't recommend it here.


I agree but I am trying to stay in his budget. Also I wouldn't get a k series because those are useful only if you overclock in general.
m
0
l
a b 4 Gaming
September 10, 2013 7:59:33 PM

RazerZ said:
photonboy said:
The FX-6300 is much cheaper, but also significantly lower performance compared to an i5-3570K in many games. Sure, it's $100 cheaper but that translates to under 5% total PC investment (hardware, games, internet) over a three-year period. It also puts out more heat thus will be make the CPU fan noisier.

Proof: http://www.hardwarecanucks.com/forum/hardware-canucks-r...

Results of FX-6300 vs i5-3570K:
Deus Ex: 78%
Dirt 3: same
Skyrim: 69%

The FX-6300 has value in certain scenarios but I wouldn't recommend it here.


I agree but I am trying to stay in his budget. Also I wouldn't get a k series because those are useful only if you overclock in general.


I get that.
However I listed a CPU at the same price point that was better at the same frequency/less heat.

If you are spending $200 the best CPU's are one of the two:
a) i5-3470
b) i5-4570

They are nearly identical. Which one you choose might be more about what motherboard's are available.

*Pretty sure I made a previous mistake listing an 1150 motherboard and 1155 CPU. The i5-3470 uses 1155. The i5-4570 uses 1150. The one you chose initially used 1156 I believe (gets hard to remember).

**I doubt you're interested, but I found a link to the SFF case/PSU I referred to earlier. There are videos on Youtube etc. It's pretty neat and runs fairly quiet if setup correctly: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
m
0
l
a b 4 Gaming
September 10, 2013 8:04:55 PM

I started looking at XBOX360/PS3 emulators to see what hardware you'd need then realized that this would likely be technically illegal. Therefore I can't comment any further on that here.

Sorry.
m
0
l
September 10, 2013 8:38:41 PM

photonboy said:
I started looking at XBOX360/PS3 emulators to see what hardware you'd need then realized that this would likely be technically illegal. Therefore I can't comment any further on that here.

Sorry.


As long as I own the discs for any ROMs I am using, which I do, it is covered under fair use. The supreme court ruled that a "backup" copy does not have to be in the same format at the original. The ROM is the fair use backup copy of the disc.
m
0
l
a b 4 Gaming
September 11, 2013 6:34:43 AM

Mark_999 said:
photonboy said:
I started looking at XBOX360/PS3 emulators to see what hardware you'd need then realized that this would likely be technically illegal. Therefore I can't comment any further on that here.

Sorry.


As long as I own the discs for any ROMs I am using, which I do, it is covered under fair use. The supreme court ruled that a "backup" copy does not have to be in the same format at the original. The ROM is the fair use backup copy of the disc.


It appears you may be right, though it gets a little complicated such as requiring a BIOS copy and that may be deemed illegal. Not going to argue the point though, but it does appear legal enough that I don't mind discussing.

It would be interesting to know what hardware is required to achieve 60FPS in any XBox360 or PS3 game. (FYI, did you know that Crysis averaged roughly 23FPS at times on the PS3 and only a little better on the Xbox 360. Ouch!)

There have been several truly amazing deals on Steam and occasionally some good deals at Humble Bundle.

*If you want my best effort at creating a parts list I'd have to know your exact budget or else I can't balance the parts properly. I'd have to know exactly what that included (Windows, case, mouse, monitor...). BTW I strongly suggest Windows 8 64-bit OEM as well as START8 from Stardock. Many people keep recommending Windows 7 but Windows 8 is improved in many areas and the new screen can be bypassed with Start8. I've been using W8 for a year and like it slightly better. Some of the issues I had with Windows 7 disappeared as well. Actually, I've not had one issue.
m
0
l
September 11, 2013 12:51:17 PM

I have $300 right now to put into this and will have dedicated another $200 per month to go to this build. I already have a retail copy of Win 7 Home Premium I am no longer using that I was going to put on this. I have just an old 180GB hard drive laying around I can use for now. That should give me enough capacity for now. In the future if I can store my games on my NAS and run them from there reliably I can just do that or if not I can eventually get say a 1TB green drive. I don;t think I'd need an SSD because I usually just keep my computers on, so I don't have to wait for Windows to boot up often. It will be connected to my TV so I don't need to worry about a display and I have some old cheap USB keyboards/mice laying around I can use for now, eventually may buy a "gaming" keyboard/mouse.

I would say I would like to stay at around $600-$700 total so it can be done within a few months time but I have some flexibility with this.

I was going to start with Motherboard/CPU and hopefully RAM to if I can do all 3 for $300 and put that in an old case. Next month put that $200 to a video card, and the final month get the case and PSU maybe a bluray/DVD reader to play rentals from redbox or something, but that's low priority as my own collection is streamed from a Plex server.
m
0
l
!