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Sub $450 build verification (HTPC and light Gaming)

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November 25, 2013 8:25:07 PM

I'm trying to make an HTPC for my living room and run it into my HD receiver via HDMI; so far I've settled on these parts for the build:

http://www.ncix.com/products/?sku=80963&promoid=1244
http://www.ncix.com/products/?sku=75057
http://www.ncix.com/products/?sku=67358&promoid=1244
http://www.ncix.com/products/?sku=36517&promoid=1244

I'm going to use my friends old 64gb SSD, a 500gb internal hard drive, 1TB portable hard drive and get a slim-line Blu-Ray drive off of Ebay.

This is my first build so anything I have missed is purely ignorance; will this setup as is work for HD video streaming, audio streaming and occasional light gaming (I dont need it to do anything harder then 30fps at most and 1080i/p). Will the A6-5400k APU be enough juice for my needs?
November 25, 2013 8:27:38 PM

Isn't $450 more than enough for an HTPC?
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November 25, 2013 8:27:40 PM

Isn't $450 more than enough for an HTPC?
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November 25, 2013 8:37:18 PM

the specs as listed price out as $342.46, what I want to know is whether or not it would be able to handle 1080p gaming occasionally or if I'd have to go to my $450 max to achieve that. Also not included is the price of the optical drive which i still need to get
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a b 4 Gaming
November 25, 2013 8:39:21 PM

Do you have any 5.1 audio system ? Or just stereo from the TV ?
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November 25, 2013 8:45:26 PM

My receiver can do 5.1 but I have it currently setup as 2.1, I'm going to use the HDMI out on the motherboard to connect it to my receiver then my receiver to the TV
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a b 4 Gaming
November 25, 2013 8:50:50 PM
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a b 4 Gaming
November 26, 2013 12:15:15 AM

define light gaming. Minecraft ? TF2 ? Both of them will run fine.
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November 26, 2013 1:12:45 AM

IRONBATMAN said:
define light gaming. Minecraft ? TF2 ? Both of them will run fine.


Need for speed, GRID, mass effect, XCOM

Mostly racing games, but I like a couple FPS.
I have heard that Crysis, Bioshock and Mass effect are pretty demanding and I just want to know if the parts i've listed would play them comparable to a ps3 or Xbox 360? This would be output through the HDMI port on the mobo
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a b 4 Gaming
November 26, 2013 6:26:38 AM

Comparable to Xbox or PS3 ? No way.

Let me list the build for convenience

CPU + GPU / APU

AMD A6-5400K

Motherboard

MSI FM2-A75MA-E35

RAM

AMD performance 2x2GB

PSU

Antec Basiq 350 watts

Case

Fractal Design Node 604


______________________________

This is my first time seeing someone buy AMD's RAM. So I went to check some reviews.
Here's what I found
http://www.overclockersclub.com/reviews/amd_performance...
It doesn't seem too bad.

The A8-5600K isn't fantastic, but I'm sure it would run most games on at least low-med settings.
I could only find BF3 Benchmarks


A small upgrade would be the A10-5800K
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November 26, 2013 11:02:33 AM

IRONBATMAN said:
Comparable to Xbox or PS3 ? No way.

Let me list the build for convenience

CPU + GPU / APU

AMD A6-5400K

Motherboard

MSI FM2-A75MA-E35

RAM

AMD performance 2x2GB

PSU

Antec Basiq 350 watts

Case

Fractal Design Node 604


______________________________

This is my first time seeing someone buy AMD's RAM. So I went to check some reviews.
Here's what I found
http://www.overclockersclub.com/reviews/amd_performance...
It doesn't seem too bad.

The A8-5600K isn't fantastic, but I'm sure it would run most games on at least low-med settings.
I could only find BF3 Benchmarks


A small upgrade would be the A10-5800K


Is that the format vthat i should have listed parts in? My bad.

Ok, updated parts list as follows:

APU
AMD A10-5800K

Motherboard
MSI FM2-A75MA E35

Memory
G.Skill Sniper series 8GB DDR-2133

PSU
Antec Basiq 350Watt

Case
Fractal Design Node 605

Price total for this build is $370.37
Would this now be comparable to a console?
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a b 4 Gaming
November 26, 2013 11:40:06 AM

No. you would have to spend another $200 to do so.
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November 26, 2013 2:40:30 PM

IRONBATMAN said:
No. you would have to spend another $200 to do so.


What would that $200 be spent on? can you give me some examples? Thanks for all your help thus far IRONBATMAN!

http://www.extremetech.com/gaming/171158-can-you-build-...

Isn't the Celeron G1610 not nearly as capable a processor as the A10-5800K?
What is it about this build that makes it almost PS4 comparable?
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November 26, 2013 11:18:58 PM

Alright so its really a matter of choice between console and pc gaming; the reason I wouldn't go out and buy a PS4 is because I'm a very casual gamer, I still play my PS2 and O.G. Xbox sparingly. I want to step into the new age of gaming but I use my laptop which is extremely slow, unable to stream anything higher then 480p so therefore doesn't like its job of watching boxing and kickboxing online. At most i'd get a used ps3 but I'd like to play my ps2 games still. It doesn't make sense for me to buy a 6 year old ps3 that originally had over heating problems, so I've come to the conclusion that it makes more sense to build a pc That plays games well and streams even better and keep my ps2 and xbox for SAG.

But my budget is an issue. What's confusing me is the fact that an experienced member who's helping a lot is disagreeing with articles and builds I've read here and on other websites.
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a b 4 Gaming
November 27, 2013 12:48:49 AM

So are you looking for a PC that's comparable to a Console and that can stream videos smoothly ? It won't be very slim if you're looking for one. You will have to subscribe to a better connection plan if you want to stream videos more smoothly. So that's maybe $50 a month or something. And then if you want a Console replacement, $600 would be just great.
here
PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: AMD FX-6300 3.5GHz 6-Core Processor ($117.96 @ OutletPC)
Motherboard: Asus M5A97 LE R2.0 ATX AM3+ Motherboard ($76.97 @ OutletPC)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1866 Memory ($52.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($58.98 @ OutletPC)
Video Card: MSI Radeon HD 7850 2GB Video Card ($109.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Antec VSK-2000 ATX Mid Tower Case ($34.99 @ Mwave)
Case Fan: Cooler Master COOLER MASTER JetFlo 120 Blue LED Case Fan 95.0 CFM 120mm Fan ($16.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Corsair Builder 500W 80+ Bronze Certified ATX Power Supply ($44.99 @ Microcenter)
Optical Drive: Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer ($16.98 @ OutletPC)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) ($89.00 @ Amazon)
Total: $619.84
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-11-27 03:48 EST-0500)
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November 27, 2013 1:10:52 AM

No, I'm looking for a home theater pc that can stream videos smoothly and play games with little difference compared to a last gen console.

Everytime I see a build that compares to a console its within my price range but includes a video card.
http://www.gamefront.com/how-to-build-a-pc-that-can-kic...

If i were to add a video card that had an HDMI out, would that bring me closer to my goals?
Again, what I dont understand is why pc's with CPU's less capable than the A10-5800k seem to be better for gaming then the build I've listed. I know theres something here you know that I'm not understanding and I'm starting to suspect that its the lack of a video card.
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November 27, 2013 4:24:01 AM

At $436 (added shipping. After rebate) this is a pretty great build. It's around 10 fps better compared to next gen consoles too.
The CPU is basically an A10 without the integrated GPU.

R9 270X GPU:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

MSI FM2 MOTHERBOARD:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

EVGA 500W PSU:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

ATHLON X4 750K FM2 CPU:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

FRACTAL DESIGN 1000 CASE:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

GSKILL 4GB DDR3 RAM:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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November 27, 2013 4:42:18 AM

With that build, you can play most games at high settings.
Not sure about 4k but I've heard really good stuff about this GPU's audio so if you want an HTPC that can handle games like:
Bioshock Infinite at 73 fps, Ultra
Metro Last Light, 56 fps, Very High
Crysis 3, 33 fps, Very High
all at 1080p then this build is probably the best for your budget.
The R7 260X 2GB is also a great option if you want to save. It is priced at $139 and it runs
Metro Last Light at 45 fps on High, Crysis 3 at 33 fps on High and Battlefield 3, 36 fps on Ultra
all on 1080p

The R9 270X is pretty much just a tweaked 7870 so watch this.: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qIT9uLDjZcg

Benchmark by Austin Evans, aka duncan33303
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November 27, 2013 4:51:52 PM

Nuck Chorris said:
With that build, you can play most games at high settings.
Not sure about 4k but I've heard really good stuff about this GPU's audio so if you want an HTPC that can handle games like:
Bioshock Infinite at 73 fps, Ultra
Metro Last Light, 56 fps, Very High
Crysis 3, 33 fps, Very High
all at 1080p then this build is probably the best for your budget.
The R7 260X 2GB is also a great option if you want to save. It is priced at $139 and it runs
Metro Last Light at 45 fps on High, Crysis 3 at 33 fps on High and Battlefield 3, 36 fps on Ultra
all on 1080p

The R9 270X is pretty much just a tweaked 7870 so watch this.: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qIT9uLDjZcg

Benchmark by Austin Evans, aka duncan33303



Ok, so lets get this straight.
The reason that the A10 build was inadequate was due to the fact that it lacked a GPU? Yeah?
If I want a PC that will adequately play games I need a graphics card because most APU's is not powerful enough. Correct?
If I want to add a Hauppauge board will it fit on this board alongside the GPU?

Is there any way to rotate the 5.25 drives in the case so that they are horizontal?


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a b 4 Gaming
November 27, 2013 9:23:24 PM

I don't think you can add a GPU to your HTPC .
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November 27, 2013 11:05:35 PM

IRONBATMAN said:
I don't think you can add a GPU to your HTPC .


Why do you say that? The factory specs for the Node 605 say it will except up to a 290mm GPU

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November 28, 2013 12:13:50 AM

poorking2u said:


Ok, so lets get this straight.
The reason that the A10 build was inadequate was due to the fact that it lacked a GPU? Yeah?
If I want a PC that will adequately play games I need a graphics card because most APU's is not powerful enough. Correct?
If I want to add a Hauppauge board will it fit on this board alongside the GPU?

Is there any way to rotate the 5.25 drives in the case so that they are horizontal?




Yes,
Yes,
and possibly yes. Depends on what PCI port it uses, if it uses PCI Express 1 then no (the small one) because the GPU will block the port. You'll either need to find a TV tuner that uses the PCI port or get a different Motherboard like this one http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... it's $59.99, has analog audio ports, more USB 2.0 ports, 2 USB 3.0 ports and a DVI port.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/0/0c/PCI_...
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November 28, 2013 12:55:19 AM

Nuck Chorris said:

Yes,
Yes,
and possibly yes. Depends on what PCI port it uses, if it uses PCI Express 1 then no (the small one) because the GPU will block the port. You'll either need to find a TV tuner that uses the PCI port or get a different Motherboard like this one http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... it's $59.99, has analog audio ports, more USB 2.0 ports, 2 USB 3.0 ports and a DVI port.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/0/0c/PCI_...


The Loolz, you suggested the mobo I was originally going to use.
Ok, following your guideline setup and doing a little research and part picking of my own I've come up with a setup as follows:

CPU
AMD Athlon II X4 750K

Motherboard
MSI FM2-A85XA-G43

Memory
G.Skill Sniper Series 8GB DDR3-2133

GPU
PowerColor Radeon HD 7870 GHz Edition 2GB
(I choose the HD 7870 because the tomshardware review of the R9-270 said there was almost no difference between the two and I can get this GPU for under $150)

PSU
Antec 450W ATX Power Supply (is this enough juice?)

Case
Fractal Design Arc Midi R2 (Black)

Will this do what i ask of it? Total is $362 seeing as I'm in Canada (doesnt include GPU or shipping) so I have a little wiggle room in my budget but if this is good enough I'm all good :lol: 

Also, does anyone know of a touchscreen/lcd screen that will display info (song artist, Place in DVD, temps, time etc) that will fit in the 5.25 bay (a la fan controller)?

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November 28, 2013 1:06:47 AM

poorking2u said:
Nuck Chorris said:

Yes,
Yes,
and possibly yes. Depends on what PCI port it uses, if it uses PCI Express 1 then no (the small one) because the GPU will block the port. You'll either need to find a TV tuner that uses the PCI port or get a different Motherboard like this one http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... it's $59.99, has analog audio ports, more USB 2.0 ports, 2 USB 3.0 ports and a DVI port.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/0/0c/PCI_...


The Loolz, you suggested the mobo I was originally going to use.
Ok, following your guideline setup and doing a little research and part picking of my own I've come up with a setup as follows:

CPU
AMD Athlon II X4 750K

Motherboard
MSI FM2-A85XA-G43

Memory
G.Skill Sniper Series 8GB DDR3-2133

GPU
PowerColor Radeon HD 7870 GHz Edition 2GB
(I choose the HD 7870 because the tomshardware review of the R9-270 said there was almost no difference between the two and I can get this GPU for under $150)

PSU
Antec 450W ATX Power Supply (is this enough juice?)

Case
Fractal Design Arc Midi R2 (Black)

Will this do what i ask of it? Total is $380 so I have a little wiggle room in my budget but if this is good enough I'm all good :lol: 

Also, does anyone know of a touchscreen/lcd screen that will display info (song artist, Place in DVD, temps, time etc) that will fit in the 5.25 bay (a la fan controller)?



I don't think 450 watts is enough for a 7870.. It also requires 2 pci connectors but if your PSU doesn't have it, you can always use a molex to pci adapter. It says on AMD's website that the 7870 requires at least 500w or more.

P.S: you also get better audio with R9 270X
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November 28, 2013 1:17:23 AM

poorking2u said:
Nuck Chorris said:

Yes,
Yes,
and possibly yes. Depends on what PCI port it uses, if it uses PCI Express 1 then no (the small one) because the GPU will block the port. You'll either need to find a TV tuner that uses the PCI port or get a different Motherboard like this one http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... it's $59.99, has analog audio ports, more USB 2.0 ports, 2 USB 3.0 ports and a DVI port.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/0/0c/PCI_...


The Loolz, you suggested the mobo I was originally going to use.
Ok, following your guideline setup and doing a little research and part picking of my own I've come up with a setup as follows:

CPU
AMD Athlon II X4 750K

Motherboard
MSI FM2-A85XA-G43

Memory
G.Skill Sniper Series 8GB DDR3-2133

GPU
PowerColor Radeon HD 7870 GHz Edition 2GB
(I choose the HD 7870 because the tomshardware review of the R9-270 said there was almost no difference between the two and I can get this GPU for under $150)

PSU
Antec 450W ATX Power Supply (is this enough juice?)

Case
Fractal Design Arc Midi R2 (Black)

Will this do what i ask of it? Total is $380 so I have a little wiggle room in my budget but if this is good enough I'm all good :lol: 

Also, does anyone know of a touchscreen/lcd screen that will display info (song artist, Place in DVD, temps, time etc) that will fit in the 5.25 bay (a la fan controller)?



The Bitfenix Recon displays the temp and fan speeds.

The Scythe Kaze Chrono displays the time, temp and fan speed but can only display one at a time.
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November 28, 2013 2:25:48 AM

Nuck Chorris said:
What OS will you be using? Windows 8 has a multi-tasking feature called 'snap' where you can do this http://wscont1.apps.microsoft.com/winstore/1x/24964c42-...
Many apps in Windows 8 is fullscreen so this feature is very useful.


I'd be using Windows 7.

Ok, because of the fact that I'm in Canada as opposed to the U.S of A
my pricing will be different.

The updated build list is as follows:

CPU
AMD Athlon II X4 750K
Motherboard
MSI FM2-A85XA-G43
Memory
CORSAIR Vengeance LP 8GB DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600
GPU
HD 7870 2GB
(I choose the HD 7870 because the tomshardware review of the R9-270 said there was almost no difference between the two and I can get this GPU for under $150)
PSU
Thermaltake TR2 500W
Case
Fractal Design Arc Midi R2 (Black)

Without the GPU or shipping costs this build is $362.90 so I will have to get a used HD 7870 to stay close to my budget it seems. My guess is that including the HD 7870 and shipping cost this build will end at around $525; $75 more than I would really like to spend. Is this about as cheaply as I can get it?
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November 28, 2013 4:48:12 PM

Get 4 gigs ram instead of 8. Just upgrade later when you really need 8 GB.
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November 29, 2013 12:13:52 AM

Nuck Chorris said:
Get 4 gigs ram instead of 8. Just upgrade later when you really need 8 GB.


Alright, might do that too. I went to a bunch of local PC shops today and found some interesting used gear. I found a used FX-8350 for $100, its so cheap that I may as well get it.

On the GPU front theres these babies at various stores to choose between:
HD-5870 for $80
HD-7770 for $70
HD-6870 for $65
Which one is the best deal?

I'll go with an ASUS Adrock 970 Extreme3 R2.0 for the mobo; my ssd deal fell through so I'll have to get one (no biggie).

SO.. tentative build looks like:
GPU
AMD FX-8350
Motherboard
ASUS Adrock 970 Extreme3 R2.0
Memory
Corsair Vengeance LP 8GB (its $10 more expensive then the cheapest 4GB)
SSD
Sandisk 64GB
Case
Fractal Design ARC MIDI R2
PSU
Corsair CX500

Without the GPU thats $413, I'll pony up for whatever GPU is the best deal no probs.

I'm gonna add a Touchscreen fan controller and a Silverstone FP58B (hopefully i can find a sub $40 slotdrive ODD for it). as well but that might be a while. Any thoughts?
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November 29, 2013 12:44:04 AM

I wouldn't really cheap out on a graphics card because if you have a GPU that's as good or is better than a 7850 then you'll be playing games at the same or better fps as next gen consoles. That's about 6 years of running games atleast above 30fps.
But I'd get the 6870 for $65 over the 5870 and 7770 because it has the best performance and support balance.

Some argue that the 5870 is better than the 6870 but I think the 6870 is better.

The 7770 supports DX11.1 which is supposed to be better and it might also support future DirectX'es and the 6870 might not so if you want DirectX support for 1-3 more years then go with the 7770.
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November 29, 2013 1:25:16 AM

If I switch from the ARC MIDI R2($95) to the Fractal Design Core 3000 the prices change to$513 with the HD-7850, with the 5870 (seeing as its the most expensive) $458... Right on my budget and lower if I go with a different GPU and from what I've seen comparing the 7850 vs 5870 vs 6870 the space between them is not super grand.

I'm kinda thinking I could get one of the used ones and upgrade to a higher end card next year. Is that to foolish a thought process?
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November 29, 2013 1:49:37 AM

Yeah, you probably should get a used 7770 and then get a higher end GPU next year when DirectX 12 might come out. DirectX might become irrelevant though because of Valve's Steam OS..

When you get a brand new 7770 (also for $70) you also get a free game from AMD.
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November 29, 2013 2:16:16 AM

I think I'm gonna get the 5870 due to this thread post or the 6870 because its not to far behind it.
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November 29, 2013 3:27:37 AM

You choose but I'd get the 6870
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November 29, 2013 10:25:30 AM

Awesome man, I consider this solved. Once I finish the build I'll post pics. HUUGE thanks to you Nuck Chorris and IRONBATMAN for all your considerable patience and help!
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a b 4 Gaming
November 29, 2013 10:31:19 AM

Older Cards consume a lot more power ...
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