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You know what they say, Opinions are like....really helpful

Last response: in Systems
October 12, 2010 11:14:09 AM

Hi Guy's and Gal's,
I know all of you tech geniuses out there get lots of dumb sh1ts begging for your help but if you could have a little look at what i'm hoping to build and give me some advise i will be eternally greatfull.

Approximate Purchase Date: 4 - 5 Days.

Budget Range: Approx $1500

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Media Centre networked with NAS and TV, Internet, workstation, light gaming (Age of Empires style sim and arcade style card games, nothing major like MW2), Graphics software e.g. Photoshop.

Parts Not Required: need everything.

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: no preference

Country of Origin: Australia

Parts Preferences: Intel, Would also like to be able to sit back on couch with wireless keyboard of some description maybe with a trackball built into it.

CPU: Intel core i5 750 or 760 (i just found out that the 7XX series of the i5 doesn't have integrated graphics)


Asus P7P55 D E EVO

Graphics Card:

ATI Radeon HD 5850 (another $350 and probably overkill)
Radeon 5670

HDD: One for operating system / programs and another for media.

RAM: Gskill - DDR3-1333 4GB Dual Channel [ECO] F3-10666CL9D-4GBECO

Optical Drive: Haven't really looked into these much either.

Digital tuner: Not sure yet but i want to be able to record 3 or 4 channels at a time, so i dont know if that means 2 x twin HD tuners ?.

Power Supply: Corsair CMPSU-650HX

Operating System: Windows 7Home Premium 64bit

Case: Cooler Master CM690 II Advanced

Overclocking: No

SLI or Crossfire: Not really sure what this is.

Monitor Resolution: 1024x768, around the 20inch mark.

Additional Comments:

The case will likely be kept in the entertainment cabinet in the loungeroom so ideally it should be fairly quiet.

Now i don't know if this is possible but we don't really have a lot of room for a designated study area, so i am wondering if there is a way that another member of the family can be using the computer in another room while the case is in the lounge.

Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

I am but a lowly mortal cowering in the shadow of your incredibly large knowledge filled brains.


More about : opinions helpful

October 12, 2010 11:40:19 AM

OK. I will start.
Basically you are already on the correct path.
But, I still can't tell which hardwares are the correct ones for you.

The only thing is that you have to make something clear even to yourself :

1. You have listed some relatively old games but I know what kinda games you wanna play.
The thing is, you might also wanna play future games of those kinds. Even Civ V is already very graphical demanding.
Your relatively low res monitor (1024*768), are you really wanna keep or use this "only"
Do you wanna also connect the pc and play games in a full HD television?
Are you planning to get a better monitor in the near future?
HD5670 is more than enough to be used as HTPC but might not be able to handle Civ V on full HD.

2.I also a little confused, you have listed CM690 II but you wanna have your pc in the living room with not so much space. CM690II is quite enough but relative big.
If you want it small, you might wanna look also of having a mATX system. short...
What do you want actually :
1. Pure HTPC?
2. HTPC with mid-class gaming?
What kinda form factor do you really want or what is the size in your imagination?
October 12, 2010 11:48:20 AM

For such low res and such what i would rig up for peeps

785G mATX
GTS 450 1GB
450-600w 80+ PSU
Shoebox/Cube casing (Thermaltake Lanbox, SG-02F, Aerocool M40, etc)
Related resources
October 12, 2010 11:54:54 AM

Yup! Exactly! If you need only a machine for your 1024*768 and only for watching movies (even on TV) a pure HTPC machine should be sufficient, just like posted by batuchka.

But U have mentioned games, if you like to play them on full HD resolution, HD5670 will not be sufficient. Moreover, I suspect that you would also like Civ V or even SC2.

Beside the usages, I am also not clear on the form factor you want.

Please clarify this first!
October 12, 2010 6:20:41 PM

Hi Guy's, firstly thanks for your replies. I will try to clarify a few things for you.
I have now realised the error of my monitor choice and will be getting a HD monitor 1920 x 1080 res, around the 20 inch mark.
secondly, I have a TV cabinet that would be big enough to keep the CM690II in it, I would like the room to expand the system later if i want. (Not sure if case is in a cupboard with door closed, will it get too hot?)

And lastly i would certainly like to be able to play the likes of Civ V through my Full HD TV.

Thanks again for all your help, I look forward to hearing from you.

regards, AndyfromOZ.
October 12, 2010 6:33:20 PM

Now you are talking.
HD5670 is definitely not for you.
Get at least HD5850 or GTX480.
You might wanna have the SLI/XFire option open so that you can add the second HD5850 or GTX480. All you need to prepare are just about 750-850W PSU and a SLI/XFire-able mobo.
If you are not planning to XFire or SLI, than a 650W should be enough.
The rest is fine
October 12, 2010 6:41:41 PM

Will the ASUS mobo's mentioned in my list do SLI/XFire.
October 12, 2010 6:56:36 PM

Yeah, the P7P55D-E's support both CrossfireX and SLI (at x8/x8 link speeds).