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Need Some Opinions on These 2 HTPC/Gaming Builds (Budget:$500~$750)

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June 21, 2014 8:57:40 AM

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=====Update 1=====

List 1 is updated. But price is a bit high. Anyone has suggestions for parts to lower the cost?

=====Original=====

Hello folks,

I'm hoping to build a HTPC/Gaming PC for my bedroom (which is a bit crowded). With the helps of some friends and nice people here and there, I have come up with two different designs. I'm hoping to get some opinions on them and see if anyone might be able to improve these designs.

=====Here are some backgrounds=====

Intended Uses for the Computer (Most Important to Least Important):
- Computer simulation (e.g. MATLab)
- Video streaming (e.g. Netflix, Youtube)
- Video editing (e.g. Sony Vegas Pro)
- Gaming (e.g. Minecraft, Starcraft, LOL, GTA, AC, etc)

Country
Canada

Budget
$500 ~ $750 (maximum $800)

Requirements
- Quiet PC
- Low power/nice cooling
- Flat and small

=====Here are the lists=====
Updated List 1: Intel-Based Build
PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

CPU: Intel Core i5-4430 3.0GHz Quad-Core Processor ($195.99 @ NCIX)
Motherboard: Asus H81I-PLUS Mini ITX LGA1150 Motherboard ($86.00 @ Vuugo)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance LP 8GB (1 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($70.48 @ Newegg Canada)
Storage: Sandisk Ultra Plus 128GB 2.5" Solid State Drive ($65.00 @ Vuugo)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($59.99 @ Canada Computers)
Video Card: Asus Radeon HD 7770 2GB Video Card ($145.00 @ Vuugo)
Case: Silverstone RVZ01B Mini ITX Desktop Case ($84.99 @ Memory Express)
Power Supply: Silverstone 450W 80+ Bronze Certified SFX Power Supply ($63.62 @ DirectCanada)
Wireless Network Adapter: Asus USB-N13 802.11b/g/n USB 2.0 Wi-Fi Adapter ($19.73 @ DirectCanada)
Case Fan: Cooler Master R4-L2R-20AC-GP 69.0 CFM 120mm Fan ($6.34 @ DirectCanada)
Total: $797.14


List 2: AMD-based Build
Price breakdown by merchant
CPU: AMD A8-6600K 3.9GHz Quad-Core Processor ($109.99 @ NCIX)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper TX3 54.8 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($19.49 @ DirectCanada)
Motherboard: Asus A55BM-K Micro ATX FM2+ Motherboard ($60.00 @ Vuugo)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance LP 8GB (1 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($70.48 @ Newegg Canada)
Storage: Sandisk Ultra Plus 128GB 2.5" Solid State Drive ($65.00 @ Vuugo)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($59.97 @ DirectCanada)
Case: Rosewill Line-M MicroATX Mini Tower Case ($69.98 @ Newegg Canada)
Power Supply: FSP Group 300W 80+ Certified Micro ATX Power Supply ($47.99 @ Amazon Canada)
Wireless Network Adapter: Asus USB-N13 802.11b/g/n USB 2.0 Wi-Fi Adapter ($19.73 @ DirectCanada)
Total: $522.63

=====Additional Comments=====
- The only things different between the two are the CPU, CPU cooler, Case, and Power Supply.
- I'm not sure whether the graphic included in the intel-i5 is good enough, so I included an extra Video card just to be on the safe side.
Similarly, I'm not sure whether the graphic included in the AMD processor is fine, but this one did not include the video card.
- A friend suggested to get a power supply with 500W+, however I'm not 100% certain. I mean, the estimated wattage is well below it. Can anyone clarify that?

Thanks in advance for any input!

Best solution

a c 276 4 Gaming
June 21, 2014 11:04:31 AM

I would stay away from the Kingston SSDNow drives - the only good thing those have is the price, and Apex cases are generally junk. For HTPC I would go with Intel over AMD - mainly because the Intel chips generate less heat and use less wattage than their AMD counterparts. And you definitely don't need to buy a cooler if you're not overclocking - use that money for a better case like Silverstone or Fractal Design.

Try something like this:

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

CPU: Intel Core i5-4430 3.0GHz Quad-Core Processor ($184.95 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: ASRock H87M Micro ATX LGA1150 Motherboard ($79.49 @ Amazon)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-2133 Memory ($79.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Samsung 840 EVO 120GB 2.5" Solid State Drive ($79.00 @ Amazon)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($52.92 @ Amazon)
Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 750 Ti 2GB Superclocked Video Card ($129.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Silverstone GD05B-USB3.0 (Black) HTPC Case ($94.99 @ Amazon)
Power Supply: SeaSonic S12II 520W 80+ Bronze Certified ATX Power Supply ($65.98 @ SuperBiiz)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($23.99 @ Amazon)
Total: $791.30
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
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June 23, 2014 5:57:23 AM

g-unit1111 said:
I would stay away from the Kingston SSDNow drives - the only good thing those have is the price, and Apex cases are generally junk. For HTPC I would go with Intel over AMD - mainly because the Intel chips generate less heat and use less wattage than their AMD counterparts. And you definitely don't need to buy a cooler if you're not overclocking - use that money for a better case like Silverstone or Fractal Design.

Try something like this:

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

CPU: Intel Core i5-4430 3.0GHz Quad-Core Processor ($184.95 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: ASRock H87M Micro ATX LGA1150 Motherboard ($79.49 @ Amazon)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-2133 Memory ($79.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Samsung 840 EVO 120GB 2.5" Solid State Drive ($79.00 @ Amazon)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($52.92 @ Amazon)
Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 750 Ti 2GB Superclocked Video Card ($129.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Silverstone GD05B-USB3.0 (Black) HTPC Case ($94.99 @ Amazon)
Power Supply: SeaSonic S12II 520W 80+ Bronze Certified ATX Power Supply ($65.98 @ SuperBiiz)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($23.99 @ Amazon)
Total: $791.30
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available


Thanks for the tips and advices.

Hmmm the Kingston drive had pretty good ratings and reviews. That's mainly why I picked it, but I will do more research on it.
The SSD will be mainly for storing the OS. Most of my files will be on the second drive.

The casing and the power supply are changed to Silverstone. The power supply as it stands now gives 450W power, estimated is 238W.
Can anyone verify whether it will be too low, or fine?
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a b 4 Gaming
June 23, 2014 6:18:16 AM

yume_no_basho said:
g-unit1111 said:
I would stay away from the Kingston SSDNow drives - the only good thing those have is the price, and Apex cases are generally junk. For HTPC I would go with Intel over AMD - mainly because the Intel chips generate less heat and use less wattage than their AMD counterparts. And you definitely don't need to buy a cooler if you're not overclocking - use that money for a better case like Silverstone or Fractal Design.

Try something like this:

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

CPU: Intel Core i5-4430 3.0GHz Quad-Core Processor ($184.95 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: ASRock H87M Micro ATX LGA1150 Motherboard ($79.49 @ Amazon)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-2133 Memory ($79.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Samsung 840 EVO 120GB 2.5" Solid State Drive ($79.00 @ Amazon)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($52.92 @ Amazon)
Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 750 Ti 2GB Superclocked Video Card ($129.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Silverstone GD05B-USB3.0 (Black) HTPC Case ($94.99 @ Amazon)
Power Supply: SeaSonic S12II 520W 80+ Bronze Certified ATX Power Supply ($65.98 @ SuperBiiz)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($23.99 @ Amazon)
Total: $791.30
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available


Thanks for the tips and advices.

Hmmm the Kingston drive had pretty good ratings and reviews. That's mainly why I picked it, but I will do more research on it.
The SSD will be mainly for storing the OS. Most of my files will be on the second drive.

The casing and the power supply are changed to Silverstone. The power supply as it stands now gives 450W power, estimated is 238W.
Can anyone verify whether it will be too low, or fine?


wattage should be fine. also stay away from kingston as others have said.
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June 24, 2014 5:29:12 PM

iceblitzed said:
yume_no_basho said:
g-unit1111 said:
I would stay away from the Kingston SSDNow drives - the only good thing those have is the price, and Apex cases are generally junk. For HTPC I would go with Intel over AMD - mainly because the Intel chips generate less heat and use less wattage than their AMD counterparts. And you definitely don't need to buy a cooler if you're not overclocking - use that money for a better case like Silverstone or Fractal Design.

Try something like this:

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

CPU: Intel Core i5-4430 3.0GHz Quad-Core Processor ($184.95 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: ASRock H87M Micro ATX LGA1150 Motherboard ($79.49 @ Amazon)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-2133 Memory ($79.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Samsung 840 EVO 120GB 2.5" Solid State Drive ($79.00 @ Amazon)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($52.92 @ Amazon)
Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 750 Ti 2GB Superclocked Video Card ($129.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Silverstone GD05B-USB3.0 (Black) HTPC Case ($94.99 @ Amazon)
Power Supply: SeaSonic S12II 520W 80+ Bronze Certified ATX Power Supply ($65.98 @ SuperBiiz)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($23.99 @ Amazon)
Total: $791.30
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available


Thanks for the tips and advices.

Hmmm the Kingston drive had pretty good ratings and reviews. That's mainly why I picked it, but I will do more research on it.
The SSD will be mainly for storing the OS. Most of my files will be on the second drive.

The casing and the power supply are changed to Silverstone. The power supply as it stands now gives 450W power, estimated is 238W.
Can anyone verify whether it will be too low, or fine?


wattage should be fine. also stay away from kingston as others have said.


Thanks for the verification!
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a c 276 4 Gaming
June 24, 2014 6:12:34 PM

yume_no_basho said:


Thanks for the tips and advices.

Hmmm the Kingston drive had pretty good ratings and reviews. That's mainly why I picked it, but I will do more research on it.
The SSD will be mainly for storing the OS. Most of my files will be on the second drive.

The casing and the power supply are changed to Silverstone. The power supply as it stands now gives 450W power, estimated is 238W.
Can anyone verify whether it will be too low, or fine?


Yeah definitely do a lot more research on the components you pick - store reviews are never a good way to judge products. A lot of the negative reviews - the people either usually don't know what they're talking about, or they failed to read the manuals prior to installation. And a lot of crappy products get good ratings because of low prices, and a lot of good products get bad ratings because of DOAs, what have you.
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