Media-Oriented SFF Build... Opinions?

Hello everyone! I'm planning a media oriented small form factor build and would like your opinions on my projected build.

: 1-2 mos. BUDGET RANGE: $800-900+/-

Skype Conference, Watching Movies, Streaming (upstream+downstream), Gaming.

Mouse, Monitor, Speakers

Amazon (Prime member = included 2-day shipping for qualifying products), NewEgg




SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Possibly in the future

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1920x1080, 1920x1200 (I plan on running this on my LN-T4081f, Samsung 40" 1080p LED-Backlit LCDTV.)

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: I'd like a quiet PC with good airflow. Needs to have wireless G adapter. (Planning on going with Linksys)

Parts on the list for the build:

ASRock M3A785GMH/128M AM3 AMD 785G HDMI Micro ATX AMD Motherboard

AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition Deneb 3.4GHz 4 x 512KB L2 Cache 6MB L3 Cache Socket AM3 125W Quad-Core Processor

G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL7D-4GBRM x2 // 8GB Total

CORSAIR CMPSU-450VX 450W ATX12V V2.2 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Compatible with Core i7 Power Supply

Microsoft Windows 7 Professional 64-bit 1-Pack for System Builders

I've decided to roll with the on-board gpu so I can purchase the "best" processor I can afford right now. I do plan on upgrading to a Sapphire ATI Radeon card when I have some more money.

I know that I didn't list an optical drive, HDD, I figured that I can decide on those a little bit later since I am still in the planning stages.

On the subject of cases, I'm thinking of ThermalTake's LanBox Lite, or NZTX's Rogue.

TT LanBox

NZXT Rogue

Any tips or hints on this build? It will be my first build on my own since my older brother and I built a PC back in '94. lol.

Thanks in advance!

9 answers Last reply
More about media oriented build opinions
  1. Just for media w/o any mention of encoding way overkill and you'd be better served with Rana X3 425 with an undervolt - built lots with these and they are cool running even out of box - in fact why not go with superior IGP, SATA/USB 3.0 ports, etc with the mATX MSI 890GX?

    edit: may want to wait a couple o days for the combos to pop up again to shave off some $$ :P
  2. I will agree that my projected build is overkill, but I tend to do that sometimes. Well, a lot of the time. I guess I'd like my PC to be capable of surviving the next couple of years without having to tear it apart and replace major components. I'd like to have something of a tank when everything is said and done.

    I'll definitely look at the MSI 890GX and take it in to consideration seeing that it has USB 3.0 compatability which looks promising. Gonna see what other specs it's running.

    I'm definitely not an intense gamer, but I would like it to be able to handle games like SC2 or Diablo III when they come out. With my current usage, I have a habit of running multiple browser windows with multiple tabs jumping back and forth, I like to blame it on ADHD but it's something of a habit, all while streaming music/movies/cartoons, hosting skype calls with 10+ callers and running other applications here and there.

    Also, I selected the 64-bit Pro version of Windows 7 for its compatability with programs that will only operate on XP platform. (I read that on a comparison chart somewhere.) Not sure what programs might need it, but it'd be handy to have the capability.

    I went with the G.skill ram because it has a CAS latency of 7 vs 9 on the A-data ram. If it weren't so expensive I'd try to go for 16GB of total ram, but damn! It's expensive!

    I currently have a 2.16 Ghz Intel Core 2 Duo (black) Macboook that I've been using for the past 3 years, so it's a leap back in the PC game for me. :na:

    With that said, I do appreciate you taking the time to build up that wishlist and your component suggestions. It has given me more to think about and I will look at each component and take it in to consideration. Thank you.

    I'm not in a big rush to get everything together so I will wait for the combo deals you spoke about to pop up. ;)

  3. coldsleep said:

    Thanks ColdSleep, I had that open in a tab but I guess I closed it when I was writing my initial post. Waaaay too many tabs open at once. >_> The original post has been edited to reflect ^ information. Thanks again!
  4. Quick question before delving into a build...any interest in cases that look more like standard A/V gear along the lines of the Silverstone Grandia? Or did you pick those two cases because you enjoy the futuristic look? (Not knocking it, just curious.)

    If you weren't considering gaming, I'd think that the i3 would be a strong contender, but going AMD is probably the right choice, though the 965 is overkill.

    Hopefully I'll get around to posting a build in a little bit here.

    Another note, typically overclocking & silent PC are not all that compatible. :)
  5. I do like the look of some of the SilverStone Grandia series. The reason why I selected the two cases mentioned above is that they are small, simple looking cases. I love the sleek smooth lines. It might be that they're cube-ish. Not a big fan of tall rectangular cases or ones with exaggerated panels etc.

    Also, I was thinking that if I decided on using the Rogue case and wanted to overclock I could just throw on a Corsair H50 mounted to an exhaust fan port? The LanBox would need modding on the plastic window or the steel side to run the H50.
  6. Sorry, been busy with this "work" thing all day. ;) Batuchka's build is a good starting point, though if you want to play any demanding games, you'd want a discrete video card. Entry point there would be an ATI HD 5770 for medium details at 1080p. More expensive cards get you better details.

    Maybe I'll actually have time for a full build later, sorry to not be as helpful as I had hoped so far.

    Depending, you might also consider a case that comes with an IR sensor built in, can't recall off the top of my head if any of those Silverstone cases do.
  7. No worries about the build. We've all got our own obligations to take care of. ^^

    My initial build will be using onboard gpu. It should satisfy my immediate needs as there is no release date for either SC2 or DIII. That way I can save up for a nice ATI card, perhaps 2? :D

    I must say that the Silverstone cases are growing on me because of the space available inside. The GD02MT does have IR, comes with a remote and software but it does averages around $360+ before shipping. (Lowest I could find was $329.80 on Amazon with free shipping.)

    It would be nice to control the media aspect through a remote control, but I'm fine with a wireless mouse/keyboard. That or I can run AirMouse on my iTouch and control the PC that way.
  8. Ok, not bothering to look for combos at the moment, but this is going to look fairly similar to batuchka's build. Important things to note: if you're thinking of more than 1 graphics card down the line, you may need to get a larger PSU. And 1 TB may not be enough if you plan on storing movies on this machine. Finally, 4 GB should be more than enough for everything you're looking to do right now...I'd stick with 4 GB and if you find yourself needing more, purchase it later.

    CPU - AMD Phenom II X4 955 BE - $160
    Mobo - MSI 890GXM-G65 AM3 AMD 890GX- $125 - apparently the same one batuchka picked, and I was trying to be all different. Has an eSATA port, in case you decide to add a lot of storage in a separate enclosure for movies or whatever.
    RAM - G.Skill Ripjaws 1.5 V 1333 MHz CAS 7 - $110
    GPU - none for the time being
    HDD - Samsung Spinpoint F3 500 GB - $55
    Optical - LG Blu-ray combo drive (retail) - $105 - I know you can get a $25 DVD drive, just trying to get different options out there.
    PSU - OCZ ModXStream Pro 600 W 80+ Active PFC - $55 - Totally unsure if this is going to fit in the case...need to check on that.
    Case - Silverstone Grandia GD04B - $100
    OS - Windows 7 OEM - $105

    Total: $815 without shipping/tax.

    If you really need to get under $800, you can get slightly cheaper RAM (the A-Data, perhaps) and cut down the processor to a Phenom X3 or an Athlon II X4 or X3.
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