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1st time build, need advice for quiet htpc/gaming build, on compatibility, as well as suggestions for improvement

I'm building a HTPC/gaming pc next month, and this will be my first ever pc build, so I want to do it right. Here is my parts list:
(http://pcpartpicker.com/p/vpPNxr) / [Price breakdown by merchant](http://pcpartpicker.com/p/vpPNxr/by_merchant/)

Type|Item|Price
:----|:----|:----
**CPU** | [Intel Core i5-4690K 3.5GHz Quad-Core Processor](http://pcpartpicker.com/part/intel-cpu-bx80646i54690k) | $219.99 @ Newegg
**CPU Cooler** | [Corsair H80i 77.0 CFM Liquid CPU Cooler](http://pcpartpicker.com/part/corsair-cpu-cooler-h80i) | $84.99 @ Amazon
**Motherboard** | [Asus Maximus VI Impact Mini ITX LGA1150 Motherboard](http://pcpartpicker.com/part/asus-motherboard-maximusviimpact) | $220.98 @ SuperBiiz
**Memory** | (http://pcpartpicker.com/part/gskill-memory-f31866c9d16gsr) | $153.00 @ Newegg
**Storage** | [Samsung 840 EVO 250GB 2.5" Solid State Drive](http://pcpartpicker.com/part/samsung-internal-hard-drive-mz7te250bw) | $139.98 @ OutletPC
**Storage** | [Seagate Barracuda 2TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive](http://pcpartpicker.com/part/seagate-internal-hard-drive-st2000dm001) | $84.99 @ Newegg
**Storage** | [Seagate Barracuda 2TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive](http://pcpartpicker.com/part/seagate-internal-hard-drive-st2000dm001) | $69.99 @ NCIX US
**Video Card** | [Gigabyte Radeon R9 280 3GB WINDFORCE Video Card](http://pcpartpicker.com/part/gigabyte-video-card-gvr928wf3oc3gd) | $216.99 @ Newegg
**Case** | [Cooler Master Elite 130 Mini ITX Tower Case](http://pcpartpicker.com/part/cooler-master-case-rc130kkn1) | $34.99 @ Newegg
**Power Supply** | [EVGA SuperNOVA NEX 650W 80+ Gold Certified Fully-Modular ATX Power Supply](http://pcpartpicker.com/part/evga-power-supply-120g10650xr) | $69.99 @ Newegg
**Optical Drive** | [Archgon CB-5021-GB Blu-Ray/DVD/CD Writer](http://pcpartpicker.com/part/archgon-optical-drive-cb5021gb) | $109.99 @ Amazon
| | **Total**
| Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available | $1390.88
| Generated by PCPartPicker 2014-07-22 11:48 EDT-0400 |
I've been reading reviews, and I have a few concerns, 1st, given the size restrictions of a mini itx case, will this build as structured fit/work? Any modifications/suggestions would be appreciated
2nd, am I choosing the best cooling option for a quiet htpc?
3rd, if this setup will work as configured, I am considering trying to purchase the motherboard, and perhaps r9 290x on eBay. As long as the parts are functional, and the warranty is transferable, I'm looking for what you guys think.
22 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about 1st time build advice quiet htpc gaming build compatibility suggestions improvement
  1. Everything is amazing and i would go for that 290x. Buy a mid tower case so u can have more air so the components dont heat up. Everything else good!
  2. envy14tpe said:
    Good build but I'd get a different case:
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811139033&nm_mc=AFC-C8Junction&cm_mmc=AFC-C8Junction-_-na-_-na-_-na&cm_sp=&AID=10446076&PID=3938566&SID=

    EDIT. Saw comment below. I agree..upgrade GPU. Shoot for a 290.


    Thank you for the suggestions, as far as the case goes, is there a functionality issue with the cooler master, or is it a matter of preference?
    And for the video card, I don't really understand the difference between the versions of the same card. If I'm looking on eBay, I won't really be able to dictate which version of the 290x is available, and I don't want to spend more than $250-300 unless I reduce cost in another area. Any particular brand names I should look for and/or avoid though?
  3. MrDominik said:
    Everything is amazing and i would go for that 290x. Buy a mid tower case so u can have more air so the components dont heat up. Everything else good!


    I'm going to be using this as an htpc in my living room, so the smaller form factor is a necessity. I am concerned about cooling though, so I am looking at the best options for mini itx cases
  4. $250-300usd means you should get a 280x. You can find many good ones for around $275. Stick to that. It'll max out most games.
  5. Dark Ecclipse said:
    MrDominik said:
    Everything is amazing and i would go for that 290x. Buy a mid tower case so u can have more air so the components dont heat up. Everything else good!


    I'm going to be using this as an htpc in my living room, so the smaller form factor is a necessity. I am concerned about cooling though, so I am looking at the best options for mini itx cases


    I don't think you will have enough room in that case for the cooler.
  6. I ended up taking the advice about the case, and have switched to the corsair obsidian 250d since it has magnetic dust covers, and will allow a larger radiator. Here are the revised specs, but the graphics card is still under consideration.

    [PCPartPicker part list](http://pcpartpicker.com/p/JQkFbv) / [Price breakdown by merchant](http://pcpartpicker.com/p/JQkFbv/by_merchant/)

    Type|Item|Price
    :----|:----|:----
    **CPU** | [Intel Core i5-4690K 3.5GHz Quad-Core Processor](http://pcpartpicker.com/part/intel-cpu-bx80646i54690k) | $229.99 @ Newegg
    **CPU Cooler** | [Corsair H100i 77.0 CFM Liquid CPU Cooler](http://pcpartpicker.com/part/corsair-cpu-cooler-h100i) | $99.95 @ Amazon
    **Motherboard** | [Asus Z97I-PLUS Mini ITX LGA1150 Motherboard](http://pcpartpicker.com/part/asus-motherboard-z97iplus) | $156.98 @ SuperBiiz
    **Memory** | [Crucial Ballistix Elite 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1866 Memory](http://pcpartpicker.com/part/crucial-memory-ble2kit8g3d1869de1tx0) | $162.00 @ Amazon
    **Storage** | [Samsung 840 EVO 250GB 2.5" Solid State Drive](http://pcpartpicker.com/part/samsung-internal-hard-drive-mz7te250bw) | $129.99 @ Amazon
    **Storage** | [Seagate Barracuda 2TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive](http://pcpartpicker.com/part/seagate-internal-hard-drive-st2000dm001) | $83.49 @ OutletPC
    **Storage** | [Seagate Barracuda 2TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive](http://pcpartpicker.com/part/seagate-internal-hard-drive-st2000dm001) | $83.49 @ OutletPC
    **Video Card** | [Sapphire Radeon R9 280 3GB Dual-X Video Card](http://pcpartpicker.com/part/sapphire-video-card-100373l) | $205.66 @ Newegg
    **Case** | [Corsair 250D Mini ITX Tower Case](http://pcpartpicker.com/part/corsair-case-cc9011047ww) | $74.99 @ Newegg
    **Power Supply** | [EVGA SuperNOVA NEX 750W 80+ Gold Certified Fully-Modular ATX Power Supply](http://pcpartpicker.com/part/evga-power-supply-120g10750xr) | $69.99 @ Newegg
    **Optical Drive** | [Archgon CB-5021-GB Blu-Ray/DVD/CD Writer](http://pcpartpicker.com/part/archgon-optical-drive-cb5021gb) | $109.99 @ Amazon
    **Case Fan** | [Aerocool Silent Master 200B 76.0 CFM 200mm Fan](http://pcpartpicker.com/part/aerocool-case-fan-silentmaster200b) | $19.98 @ OutletPC
    | | **Total**
    | Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available | $1426.50
    | Generated by PCPartPicker 2014-08-06 19:45 EDT-0400 |
  7. Best answer
    ^ If you want to make that build quiet you gotta throw out the Corsair H100i fans and replace them with some Corsair SP (not AF) fans.

    Case Fan: Corsair Air Series SP120 Quiet Edition (2-Pack) 37.9 CFM 120mm Fans ($24.98 @ OutletPC)
    Total: $24.98

    Do you need 16GB of RAM? Most gaming only needs 8GB, and the money you save could buy a 280x instead of a 280.

    btw. On pcpartpicker...when you click on "Export/Markup" select BBCode and copy/paste in the forum..it'll make it nicer on tomshardware.
    Also, I suggest you to search pcpartpicker for "Corsair 250D". Then once you clicked on it go to the bottom left and you'll see Completed Builds Using This Part.....and search this to see other builds using that case and cooling.
  8. Thank you for the suggestions, I'm using my ipad to post (no computer at the moment) but I'll see if I can get the export to work. Honestly, I'm not sure if I need 16 gigs of ram or not, I plan on using the pc for everything from work related stuff, gaming, and a media center so I may have many programs runnung at the same time. How can I judge how much I'll need? I've read several of the articles on toms, but it doesn't seem clear as to whether it would help to have 16 vs 8.
  9. This may help anyone thats interested in building a pc from a to z. I will have alive show and 2 computer tech on hand to ask any questions to and not have to wait a few days for an answer. youll get it immediately.

    If you like the idea please pass it on. tyvm

    https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1154499625/how-to-build-a-gaming-computer-and-save-money
  10. As another cost saving measure, should I skip the dual hard drive raid configuration temporarily and go for a single large storage drive? I am concerned about saving crucial data, but I do have a 100 gb one drive account from Microsoft, so not having dual drives wouldn't be too bad at first....
  11. Dark Ecclipse said:
    As another cost saving measure, should I skip the dual hard drive raid configuration temporarily and go for a single large storage drive? I am concerned about saving crucial data, but I do have a 100 gb one drive account from Microsoft, so not having dual drives wouldn't be too bad at first....


    I have a backup HDD but it only has the really important stuff...photos and some documents. It would be nice to backup all my movies but its not the most important thing to me. If you need to have assurance about backing up your files then get the second 2TB drive. Otherwise, you can always add it later. You don't have to get it right away.

    Still wondering about your choice of GPU. Your components are pretty high end and you might want to spend a little more to get that 280x.

    If you are concerned about RAM then you could buy a single 8GB and add a second 8GB in future if you feel the need. Yes..a single stick of RAM can't utilize dual channel but since mini ITX only have 2 RAM slots and you are worried about enough RAM that could be an option. Although 8GB is fine for most builds.
  12. Here is my final build specs, all of the parts should be here on Tuesday. The one thing I'm trying to figure out still is the arrangement/orientation of the cooling fans. I've been trying to find advice about ideal pressure balancing, but without much success. Any advice on how I should set this up? I was thinking of using the front case fan as an exhaust, and the power supply/radiator/graphics card fans as intake.

    PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

    CPU: Intel Core i5-4690K 3.5GHz Quad-Core Processor ($219.00 @ Amazon)
    CPU Cooler: Corsair H100i 77.0 CFM Liquid CPU Cooler ($99.99 @ Newegg)
    Motherboard: Asus Z97I-PLUS Mini ITX LGA1150 Motherboard ($156.98 @ SuperBiiz)
    Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 8GB (1 x 8GB) DDR3-1866 Memory ($86.99 @ Newegg)
    Memory: Crucial Ballistix Elite 8GB (1 x 8GB) DDR3-1866 Memory ($86.99 @ Amazon)
    Storage: Samsung 840 EVO 250GB 2.5" Solid State Drive ($129.99 @ Amazon)
    Storage: Seagate Barracuda 3TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($99.99 @ NCIX US)
    Video Card: Gigabyte Radeon R9 280X 3GB WINDFORCE Video Card ($289.99 @ Newegg)
    Case: Corsair 250D Mini ITX Tower Case ($74.99 @ Newegg)
    Power Supply: EVGA 750W 80+ Gold Certified Fully-Modular ATX Power Supply ($99.99 @ NCIX US)
    Optical Drive: Archgon CB-5021-GB Blu-Ray/DVD/CD Writer ($109.99 @ Amazon)
    Case Fan: Corsair Air Series SP120 Quiet Edition (2-Pack) 37.9 CFM 120mm Fans ($24.98 @ OutletPC)
    Case Fan: Aerocool Silent Master 200B 76.0 CFM 200mm Fan ($19.98 @ OutletPC)
    Total: $1488.85
    Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
    Generated by PCPartPicker 2014-08-10 18:50 EDT-0400
  13. You are going to swap out the Corsair H100i fans for the Corsair SP ones. Then install this on the side of the case and the exhaust will go out. Then you are putting the 200mm fan on front to pull air in. This article mentions H100i installation:
    http://www.hardocp.com/article/2014/01/21/corsair_obsidian_series_250d_miniitx_case_review/5#.U-gcwfmSy2Y

    I'm not sure about the back. It says it can hold a 80mm fan. If one isn't included then I'd buy one for there to help kick case heat out. Hope that helps.
  14. envy14tpe said:
    You are going to swap out the Corsair H100i fans for the Corsair SP ones. Then install this on the side of the case and the exhaust will go out. Then you are putting the 200mm fan on front to pull air in. This article mentions H100i installation:
    http://www.hardocp.com/article/2014/01/21/corsair_obsidian_series_250d_miniitx_case_review/5#.U-gcwfmSy2Y

    I'm not sure about the back. It says it can hold a 80mm fan. If one isn't included then I'd buy one for there to help kick case heat out. Hope that helps.


    I thought that by putting corsair sp fans as exhausting hot air over the radiator instead of drawing in cool ambient air, that the water cooler wouldn't be nearly as effective. Also, is it a bad thing to have a severely over positive airflow case? I'll post some pictures as the build progresses, thank you again for your help
  15. That 200mm fan is big but the opening is obstructed so it'll decrease the airflow. In general you just want more coming in then going out. Like 2 intakes and 1 exhaust, not 2 exhausts and 1 intake.

    The Corsair SP fans are best to replace your H100i fans and I think it's best to mount it so air is pushed outside case. Rely on front intake to bring in cool air and do what you can to kick the rest out.
  16. I finished my build a few weeks ago, but just got back from Disneyland, so I wanted to post the results. Obviously, being my first build, cable management is not my strongest point, but I was able to get everything in place, and in some semblance of order. I briefly tried to OC using the default settings built into the Asus board, but for whatever reason it caused my system to become unstable. It runs fine at stock speed though, and is still screaming fast compared to my last computer. I haven't done a lot of gaming on it yet, but from what I've seen, I'm impressed. I can run sniper elite III at max settings and still get 60fps. That being said, I have no idea if that game is particularly taxing, but even skyrim looks incredible at max settings. Not sure how to post pics in this forum, copying and pasting the jpegs doesn't seem to work, but if I can figure it out, I'll post some pics soon too. Thank you again everyone who helped, I really appreciated it!
  17. You could post your build on http://pcpartpicker.com/ then share the link here. That way you could write about your build and show photos.
  18. envy14tpe said:
    You could post your build on http://pcpartpicker.com/ then share the link here. That way you could write about your build and show photos.


    Here is the link to my build: http://pcpartpicker.com/b/frvV3C
  19. Build looks great! You talked about lots of BluRay Discs but in one pic I see an insane amount of XBox games. holy crap dude.

    How's the overclock?
  20. envy14tpe said:
    Build looks great! You talked about lots of BluRay Discs but in one pic I see an insane amount of XBox games. holy crap dude.

    How's the overclock?


    Lol, that is 2.5 console generations worth of games. I couldn't ever bear to trade my games in since the payback was such a ripoff, so I hold onto them until I end up giving them to my younger relatives. They have inherited pretty much every one of my old game consoles dating back to the original playstation. Most of the games are for the 360, but I also have a xbox one, and a handful of original xbox games.
    I'm a big buyer of ultra violet codes for most of my movies, paying $5 for a new release movie seems fair, so I usually go that route, but I do have quite a few blurays too.

    As for the OC, I haven't had a ton of time to play around with it yet. My daughter is only 5 weeks old, so she occupies a large part of my "free" time now. I'm luck if I get a couple hours in the evening to play around. Do you use the oc tools built into the motherboard, or is there a better way of doing it? As soon as I cranked up the bios to performance, the system went unstable, and i have no idea why...
  21. Congrats on the new little devil. I think your time to fiddle with your new system is gone.

    To overclock you need to learn how. Don't use the Asus overclocking software. You need to find a manual or find others that have successfully overclocked the 4690k and take a look at their settings in their BIOS. Adjust things in your BIOS and then run Prime95 for half an hour. If it fails then make adjustments or back down. You have a good mobo and an excellent cooler so you should expect a decent overclock..4.4Ghz or so.
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