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HT, Light Gaming, "Office/Web App" PCs

Last response: in Systems
July 28, 2009 5:37:02 PM

(This is for 2 systems, preferrably with the same build components. One is to be used as a Blue-Ray HT pc with "Light Gaming" capabilities for games such as Civ 4, Starcraft, etc. <Cpu more than graphics required.> The other will be used primarily as a Web/Office App machine.)


BUDGET RANGE: LOWEST possible for "quality"



System 1: 37" LCD 8ms TV with a maximum resolution of 1360 x 768 <Accepts VGA & HDMI input.>
System 2: 17" LCD 8ms monitor with a maximum resolution of 1280 x 1024

Seagate 320 GB 7.2k Sata 2 drives (Re-use from old project)

CM 360 Elite

Case Fans:
Combination of 2 120mm Scythe GentleTyphoons and 1 80mm Enermax for complete fan replacement. (All fans rated under 20 DB with good sustained air flow).


PARTS PREFERENCES: ATI Graphics for the HT pc due to one particular game played.

OVERCLOCKING: No (Underclocking may be used for power usage. These systems will probably be running 24/7.)

SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Probably not, but if not much more, the potential in the future would be appreciated.


1. Quiet pcs needed. (See above)
2. Include the cost of a Win Vista Home Premium X bit with Win 7 Upgrade into your total cost. (X bit instead of 64 bit in the event a 32 bit would still be an option for these builds.)
3. Due to case choice, a tower type CPU cooler isn't an option. (I have used a CM Gemini 2 on 2 previous AMD build successfully.)
4. ATX MBs are acceptable with the case.
No initial parts research has been done yet, due to the upcoming release of the Intel i5 and the timeline for this purchase. However, I usually build custom gaming PCs for myself, friends, and friends of friends instead of HT and Office pcs. As a result, requesting initial info now. I did know from prior experience, however, that the CM Elite 360 works well as a HT case for excellent cooling. (I built two AMD Phenom 2 720 gaming systems using this case recently and it went well.)

Thank you.
July 28, 2009 9:04:31 PM

build two more 720/am3 builds
July 30, 2009 3:52:18 PM

Did the research, anyone see anything wrong with the build:

LITE-ON Black 22X DVD+R IDE 22X DVD Writer LightScribe Support - Retail

Sony Optiarc Black 2X BD-ROM 8X DVD-ROM 24X CD-ROM SATA Internal 2X BD-ROM Model BR-5100S - OEM

SAPPHIRE 100256HDMI Radeon HD 4670 1GB 128-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready Video Card - Retail

CORSAIR CMPSU-400CX 400W ATX12V V2.2 80 PLUS Certified Compatible with Core i7 Power Supply - Retail

AMD Phenom II X3 720 2.8GHz 3 x 512KB L2 Cache 6MB L3 Cache Socket AM3 95W Triple-Core Black Processor - Retail

COOLER MASTER GeminII S RR-CCH-PBU1-GP 120mm Sleeve CPU Cooler - Retail

Patriot Viper 12GB (6 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Desktop Memory Model PVT312G1333LLHK - Retail
(Note: One system will use 8 GB, the other 4 GB.)

GIGABYTE GA-MA770T-UD3P AM3 AMD 770 ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail
Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 64-bit for System Builders w/ Tech Guarantee - OEM

Logitech EX 110 Black USB + PS/2 Standard Cordless Desktop Keyboard & Mouse Kit - Retail

Cost for Remainder of both systems: $1,431.19
Case + Fans order: $179.44
Total Cost: $1,610.63

Known part missing:

TV Tuner Card (Not wanted at this time, as the HTPC will not be used for this function.)
Links to previous parts:

Scythe GentleTyphoon D1225C12B2AP-12 120mm Case Fan - Retail
("Side/top panel over CPU, intake")

ENERMAX UC-8EB 80mm Case Fan - Retail
("Expansion port side of MB intake")

Scythe GentleTyphoon D1225C12B3AP-13 120mm Case Fan - Retail
("CPU/Ram side of MB intake")

COOLER MASTER Elite 360 RC-360-KKN1-GP Black Steel / Plastic ATX Mini Tower Computer Case - Retail
Related resources
July 30, 2009 4:09:33 PM

A suggestion for the Office/Net rig, use the integrated Radeon HD3200 GPU :p  Case would be CM 360 right?

Edit: If u dun need that WD 640 Black shave off $70 off that total hehe
July 30, 2009 6:34:16 PM

I have never been a fan of system board based video, even for projects such as these, due to having "yet another component on the board that could fail." (If a drop-in GPU goes bad, you can simply drop another in. If the onboard goes bad and you buy a drop-in replacement, there is always the chance that the bios will be locked in onboard mode.) Bad personal luck in past.

No HD needed, due to reuse of 320 GB drives.

For these builds, despite the true lack of need, I want them to be AM3/DDR3 (if from the AMD camp) instead of AM2+/DDR2 since they will be in use for quite sometime with no upgrades... unlike the previously built gaming pcs. (Because, as we well know, gaming machines are evolving monsters.) The 1 GB version of the 4670s was chosen over the 512 MB versions due to the miniscule cost difference for a "higher reliability" manufacturer.

Further, due to the use of lots of quiet case cooling (including a case fan intake directly over the CPU), the Gemini2 CPU cooler will be used as a passive heatsink instead of having its active fan running. (One more "louder" moving fan to avoid.)

The Phenom 2 720 will be overclocked with its multiplier but downclocked in base clock in order to cut its power consumption while providing what should be a slight overall increase in overall clock speed. (The ram will be set to a lower clock and tighter timings for the same effect.)

And, the removal of the BD-Rom from the net/office pc could be an option. But, the user of the system has intentions to move to a small apartment at some point in the future. If this is done, it would become a HT/office/net use PC using a newly bought LCD tv.

As for the Callisto/Ruger AMDs (including the 705e), everything I have seen states to just upgrade to the Phenom 2 720 and cut the power consumption and have a better CPU overall.

Thank you for the suggestions though.

Anyone see any issues with parts / plans for parts?