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Low Profile HTPC With Scope For Gaming? Looking for advice

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August 17, 2010 1:50:24 PM

Hi Guys,

I have spent the last few weeks avidly reading the forum to try and get myself up to speed before embarking on my first build.

As mentioned in the title the primary use for this would be as an HTPC with all of the associated features for movies, music, pic's etc.

The budget for the components is £500 which I have picked out below:

CPU (£54.63) - AMD Athlon II X3 440
HDD (£43.99) - Spinpoint F3 1TB
MB (£104.33) - MSI 890GXM-G65 MATX Motherboard
Optical (£45.00) - LiteOn iHOS104 Blu-Ray Reader & DVD-Rom
PSU (£59.99) - Be Quiet Special Edition White 600W E7 Modular PSU
RAM (£69.65) - OCZ Platinum 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666)

Total £377.59

When (if!) the low profile 5770 from PowerColor becomes available I would look at adding that to be able to game with which I have budgeted £130 for.

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: By end of August
BUDGET RANGE: £500
SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Movies, TV, Music, Gaming, Surfing
PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Keyboard & Mouse, Logitech z5450 speakers, OS,Edit: Monitor
PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: ebuyer.com, scan.co.uk - wherever I can get the best deal!
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: UK
PARTS PREFERENCES: AMD
OVERCLOCKING: Maybe
SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Maybe
MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1366x768 to begin with!
ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: I will be using the Moneual Moncaso 320s case and teaming it up with the BlackGold BGT3595, both of which are outside of the £500 budget.

I have some questions...
1) Are all of the parts compatible?
2) Is the PSU overkill? Is there a better / cheaper / more appropriatePSU?
3) If I were to swap the CPU for an AMD 415e would this have much of an effect in gaming?
4) The TV card would need to go in the PCI express X1 slot. Does it matter which PCIe slot the GPU goes in as using the first would cover the PCI express X1 slot that the TV card would need?
5) Is there a better value build I should be looking at? I went with the MSI 890GXM-G65 as it offers better scope for crossfiring in the future over something like the Gigabyte GA-880GM-UD2H.

Thanks for your time!
August 17, 2010 2:06:01 PM

Actually for peeps like you with an eye out for gaming i usually go with shoeboxes/cubes. They are still low profileish but can fit full sized monster GPUs - something u wouldn't want to compromise when bitten by the gaming bug :p  I wouldn't advocate multi GPU for the most part and even less so in an SFF/HTPC build so look at the Gigabyte 880GMA-UD2H (or the Asus equivalent) : that Giga u picked out is just a 785G with refreshed IGP still on SB710 :
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
August 17, 2010 2:19:46 PM

Thanks for the quick reply batuchka

It needs to sit in the cabinet under the TV (Should have written that in my first post!) hence the need for low profile. That aside, how do the rest of the components sit together?
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August 18, 2010 7:18:20 AM

batuchka said:
I would go Crucial Ballistix DDR3 1333 CL7
http://www.ebuyer.com/product/179278


If I were to with the Gigabyte board you suggested would I be compromising the possibility of crossfiring in the future with only having 4x in the second lane?


August 18, 2010 7:23:41 AM

Well the reason i suggested a 880G was not to go CF actually ^^
August 19, 2010 7:23:35 AM

batuchka said:
I would go Crucial Ballistix DDR3 1333 CL7
http://www.ebuyer.com/product/179278


lol - These are the ones that I was going to buy if I bought everything from ebuyer.com!

I just checked out both of the RAM and and the timings on the OCZ set seem a little quicker than the Crucial once. Are the Crucial ones a better set/brand or are they both much the same? I don't see the need to spend the extra otherwise...
August 19, 2010 7:36:49 AM

Its the overall track record that makes me go non OCZ for DDR3 platforms ^^
August 19, 2010 5:27:55 PM

Hi Guys,

Does anyone have any views as to the merits (or otherwise) of the 415e for gaming?
August 22, 2010 7:01:18 AM

Bump:

I am good to go then guys?

I am a little nervous given its my first build! :o 
August 23, 2010 5:00:12 PM

The PSU is overkill for a non-Crossfire build with a 5770. It's probably reasonably appropriate if you do go CrossFire, or you end up going with a bigger GPU than the 5770.

Unless the price difference between the 440 and 415e is really huge, I don't think I'd bother. .4 GHz isn't a huge number, but I think you're going to have trouble finding a decent HSF to fit in the case in order to overclock. I'd prefer to pay a little more and not worry about overclocking for a primarily HTPC-focused build.

Other than that, I think it looks like you're set.
!