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Advice! Hybrid HTPC/Gaming, First time build!

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  • Homebuilt
  • PC gaming
  • Systems
  • Home Theatre
  • htpc
  • Build
Last response: in Systems
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April 18, 2014 7:45:45 PM

After experiencing issues with my AVR and then Microsoft hitting me up for $ for another year of XBL, I've hit the tipping point of deciding to build a HTPC to accommodate my media and gaming ambitions. This would be my first build, needless to say the research has required quite a few hours of reading to feel prepared to post this message. Any help would be HIGHLY appreciated.

My target budget is $800-1200, though I'll go up to $1500 if that ensures the desired features. Here are my general considerations...

Streaming full HD content (Currently using projector at 720 resolution. Will upgrade following this build to 1080p or greater, with consideration toward 4K and 3D)
- Playing games such as Titanfall or Skyrim at higher qualities. I'm out of date on gaming, cut me some slack haha
- Support for online video services such as Netflix, HBOGo, or YouTube, with excellent HD playback
- Support for two windows. One projector, one pc monitor
- (Optional) Support for three windows. One projector, two pc monitors
- (Optional) Blu-ray capability
- (Optional) TV tuner and ability to DVR. Currently don't subscribe to cable tv, so I'm unsure of the value of this. Might be a good future upgrade.

Intuitive User Interface (Thinking of the GF or guests trying to stream movies or music)
- Quick boot time
- Remote control via tablet or smartphone. Slight preference of android, but OS is a minor concern
- Ease of use with web browsing and standard MS Office activities
- (Optional) Ability to pull content remotely --my own server/cloud. I don't currently have an abundance of music/movies

****Proposed Build****

PCPartPicker part list: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/3uaDQ
Price breakdown by merchant: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/3uaDQ/by_merchant/
Benchmarks: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/3uaDQ/benchmarks/

CPU: Intel Core i5-4670K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($214.99 @ NCIX US)
CPU Cooler: Enermax Liqtech 120X 111.0 CFM Ball Bearing Liquid CPU Cooler ($99.99 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: Asus Sabertooth Z87 ATX LGA1150 Motherboard ($229.29 @ Amazon)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($74.98 @ OutletPC)
Storage: A-Data XPG SX900 512GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($259.99 @ TigerDirect)
Storage: Seagate 2TB 3.5" 7200RPM Hybrid Internal Hard Drive ($119.67 @ Amazon)
Video Card: MSI Radeon R7 260X 2GB Video Card ($119.99 @ Amazon)
Case: Fractal Design Node 605 HTPC Case ($149.99 @ NCIX US)
Power Supply: EVGA 500W 80+ Bronze Certified ATX Power Supply ($34.99 @ Micro Center)
Optical Drive: LG BT30N Blu-Ray/DVD/CD Writer ($89.99 @ Mwave)
Total: $1393.87
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2014-04-18 19:15 EDT-0400)


Thoughts & Questions on the Build
- This build has two compatibility issues that I've been unsure how to resolve.
- Is this build overkill? I'm still learning the value vs performance for components
- I have no brand preferences. Just looking for compatibility of build, good customer support, and decent warranty
- Didn't include a sound-card. I'm assuming an AVR is required to manage the desired 6.1 audio?
- I can obtain Windows 8 for ~$10 through work, so I left that cost out
- Stuck with a HTPC case that is ATX, I'm unfamiliar with the nuances of using a smaller case. Would consider a "small" tower
- Quieter system is preferred. Will this meet both cooling and noise considerations?
- Power consumption is a lower priority. I travel for work & fun, so the rig would get maybe a few hours of use per week.
- Is one powerful video card better than two average cards?

THANK YOU FOR ANY HELP! I'm eager to get this together

- Zack

More about : advice hybrid htpc gaming time build

April 18, 2014 7:59:26 PM

Less stuff more gpu! It will not max out even skyrim at 1080p. This build is much better for your budget.

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-4670K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($214.99 @ NCIX US)
CPU Cooler: Corsair H100i 77.0 CFM Liquid CPU Cooler ($104.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: Asus Maximus VI Gene Micro ATX LGA1150 Motherboard ($189.99 @ NCIX US)
Memory: G.Skill Ares Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($64.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($49.99 @ Amazon)
Video Card: MSI Radeon R9 290 4GB Video Card ($423.98 @ Newegg)
Case: Corsair 350D MicroATX Mid Tower Case ($89.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Antec High Current Gamer 620W 80+ Bronze Certified Semi-Modular ATX Power Supply ($59.99 @ NCIX US)
Optical Drive: Asus BC-12B1ST/BLK/B/AS Blu-Ray Reader, DVD/CD Writer ($46.99 @ Newegg)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 8.1 (OEM) (64-bit) ($89.98 @ OutletPC)
Total: $1335.88
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2014-04-18 22:58 EDT-0400)
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April 18, 2014 8:16:33 PM

combine1237 said:
Less stuff more gpu! It will not max out even skyrim at 1080p. This build is much better for your budget.

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-4670K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($214.99 @ NCIX US)
CPU Cooler: Corsair H100i 77.0 CFM Liquid CPU Cooler ($104.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: Asus Maximus VI Gene Micro ATX LGA1150 Motherboard ($189.99 @ NCIX US)
Memory: G.Skill Ares Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($64.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($49.99 @ Amazon)
Video Card: MSI Radeon R9 290 4GB Video Card ($423.98 @ Newegg)
Case: Corsair 350D MicroATX Mid Tower Case ($89.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Antec High Current Gamer 620W 80+ Bronze Certified Semi-Modular ATX Power Supply ($59.99 @ NCIX US)
Optical Drive: Asus BC-12B1ST/BLK/B/AS Blu-Ray Reader, DVD/CD Writer ($46.99 @ Newegg)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 8.1 (OEM) (64-bit) ($89.98 @ OutletPC)
Total: $1335.88
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2014-04-18 22:58 EDT-0400)


Thanks for the quick response! I've read alot about using an SSD for the operating system and maybe some games, is that not a good fit for this build?
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Best solution

April 18, 2014 9:55:34 PM

Yes, ssd is always a good choice.

I had dinner sorry about the late response.

Too answer your original questions.
1. My build fixes that.
2. For gaming as of current #1 cost should be gpu and the gpu I gave you is capable of 4k gaming when xfire (although psu can't handle xfire)
3. I tried to include all decent parts with no skimping (hdd and ssd could be nicer in this updated build, but I cna't justify price increases for a little bit nicer quality)
4.
5. Gave you my opinion on a quiet small micro atx tower, but there are many cases to suite your preferences out there. The downside of mini itx size, or that most commonly used for htpcs is that they can only take one gpu and lack expansion slots for you tuner card.
6. I do believe this case should have decent airflow and maintain decent noise levels, but this again could be taken up with someone more experienced with cases than I.
7. Could have nicer psu for efficiency, but this one is good quality for a single card as it is semi-modular for tidy cables and is oem-ed by seasonic.
8. Always and this is a good link to compare gpus. http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-graphics-car...

I changed build up a bit to cut costs to fit in ssd and larger hdd for possibly recording video.

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-4670K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($214.99 @ NCIX US)
CPU Cooler: Corsair H100i 77.0 CFM Liquid CPU Cooler ($104.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: Asus Z87M-Plus Micro ATX LGA1150 Motherboard ($126.98 @ SuperBiiz)
Memory: G.Skill Ares Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($64.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Crucial M500 240GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($109.99 @ NCIX US)
Storage: Toshiba 2TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($79.99 @ Newegg)
Video Card: MSI Radeon R9 290 4GB Video Card ($423.98 @ Newegg)
Case: Corsair 350D MicroATX Mid Tower Case ($89.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Antec High Current Gamer 620W 80+ Bronze Certified Semi-Modular ATX Power Supply ($59.99 @ NCIX US)
Optical Drive: LG WH16NS40 Blu-Ray/DVD/CD Writer ($59.99 @ Micro Center)
Total: $1335.88
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2014-04-19 00:54 EDT-0400)
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