Sage Advice Sought: HTPC/Steam Build

I tried to follow the rules and format, hope this is laid out clearly.

Approximate Purchase Date: In the next month or 2

Budget Range: 700-750 with OS (Windows 8.1?)

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Running XBMC, Netflix Amazon Hulu, Web Surfing, Emulation, and Light/Moderate Gaming (Interested in Day Z, Some Indies, and general Steam Big Picture gaming) Doesn’t have to be Ultra settings. Would like to be able to stream HD 1080P, and don’t need a lot of storage for home library.
Are you buying a monitor: No- Will be on my 50 inch TV from 8 feet away

Do you need to buy OS: Yes (Think I can get Student or a free license)

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Anything that’s cheap and ships quickly!

Location: USA

Parts Preferences: Most of my research points me toward Intel Haswell, but I am open to AMD as well. Just need to know what I need without causing overkill, but still room to upgrade down the road.

Overclocking: Not opposed to it, but rather not.

Additional Comments:
Hey Everyone,
I know I am the 1,000,000th person to post on this topic, but I am truly at a loss. I have been lurking for a long time on the site, but finally decided to reach out for help.
I am looking to build my first HTPC. I have a RPi set up, XB1, AppleTV, all dispersed throughout the house. I really want ONE setup that provides similar services to these devices.
I would like an HTPC to run XBMC, Emulation, and moderate Steam Big Picture (something I could future proof to some degree). I really don't need the BEST gaming or Ultra settings. I will post some pc partpicker ideas I had (based on internet builds, but I need someone to say, buy this!), and I need to know if I can drop some things (I will prob drop Bluray) or do I need to add a graphics card, etc? I would appreciate any advice (Intel i3, i5, or AMD, Cases, etc).

I am trying to keep this under $700-$750, so that may give me some room on the upside if I drop the Optical? More cooling, less cooling? Add Video Card? etc? Sorry I'm such a noob. Thanks!

And Most Importantly, Why Are You Upgrading: Because HTPCs are friggin awesome.
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  1. Best answer
    PCPartPicker part list:
    Price breakdown by merchant:

    CPU: Intel Core i3-4130 3.4GHz Dual-Core Processor ($117.98 @ SuperBiiz)
    Motherboard: ASRock H87M Pro4 Micro ATX LGA1150 Motherboard ($80.99 @ Newegg)
    Memory: Crucial Ballistix Sport 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($47.47 @ NCIX US)
    Storage: Kingston SSDNow V300 Series 120GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($69.99 @ Amazon)
    Storage: Western Digital WD Green 2TB 3.5" 5400RPM Internal Hard Drive ($84.99 @ Amazon)
    Video Card: XFX Radeon R7 260X 1GB Video Card ($119.99 @ NCIX US)
    Case: Silverstone GD06B HTPC Case ($119.99 @ Amazon)
    Power Supply: Corsair Builder 430W 80+ Bronze Certified ATX Power Supply ($39.99 @ Amazon)
    Total: $681.39
    (Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
    (Generated by PCPartPicker 2014-02-06 15:15 EST-0500)
  2. This looks good, and provides me with more solid footing.
    So, based on this, I wont need any extra cooling? Fans?
    I really appreciate your help!
  3. The case comes with 3 x 120mm fans, that should be enough. I've been looking at that case as well, it's pretty sweet!
    With the GPU, you shouldn't have a problem playing modern games at at least medium-high settings.
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