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Media Center and Gaming PC, budget is negotiable

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January 9, 2011 12:15:03 AM

Hello all! This is my first post, though I come through often while researching hardware purchases. I'm not new to building systems, or modding most all of it to suit me, but I haven't really messed with anything of note in about 4 years. I got a laptop (HP dv9715nr) a few years ago and just kind of stuck with it, even though at times I was hating the slowness for doing certain things. Well the laptops about had it as my daily PC so I'm building a new one. I've been putting this off as long as I can (about 9 months) but I'm tired of waiting, mostly on the laptop. :sarcastic:  I bought the new case today, so now I've done that, the rest won't take too long to get together, maybe 3 or 4 weeks tops.

I just want to put up what I've decided to buy and see if you guys know of anything better, or if anything I have picked out is a piece of crap.

I'll be purchasing everything over the next few weeks. While I don't have a budget, perse let's call $2000 to $2500 a good mark to shoot for.

System Usage: Mainly HD video files in Win7 Media Center, Some games (I don't have yet since I have a laptop), and a lot of internet surfing. The idea of this PC is a media center PC. I'm going to buy a 32" to 37" TV as the monitor, put a TV card in it to watch satellite on it and use it as a DVR.

This will be an all new system, I'll need everything except Speakers and a mouse.

My preferred website is newegg as I don't have to pay taxes there. and I've priced everything out at newegg.

I'm in the USA.

I don't have a specific brand loyalty overall, I just want well know reputable parts. I'm willing to pay for quality, so long as thats where the extra money is going. I do have an affinity though for OCZ SSD drives and NVIDIA video cards.

Right away, I probably won't mess with overclocking, as no matter what I get it will be massively faster than my laptop, but I can guarantee one day I'll get bored and start playing with it, and soon have it maxed out.

It may have SLI on down the road, but I don't want any extra cards unless I end up needing it, so at least it won't have dual cards right away.

My monitor res. will be 1920x1080 all the time.


With that out of the way, here's the list so far. I have ONLY bought the case so far, since it's the starting point anyway.


CASE - Cooler Master CM690 II Advanced - PN#RC-692-KKN2 - $79.99

PROCESSOR - Intel Core i7-950 - PN#BX80601950 - $289.99
I've been looking at this processor for 6 months or so and I still like it. I'd prefer this over the new SB chips just because they're tried and have the bugs sorted out.

MOBO - ASUS P6X58D-E, has SATA6, RAID, USB3 and Triple-Channel RAM - $234.99
I've been looking through motherboard layouts for a while and This one seems to fit what I want now and may want later.

RAM - (6x2GB) OCZ Gold 12GB 240-Pin, DDR3 1600 - PN#OCZ3G1600LV12GS - $209
I want to fill all the slots, and 12GB should be more than I need, and with this kit they'll be all matched.

VIDEO CARD - EVGA GeForce GTX 570 (Fermi) 1280MB, 320-BIT, GDDR5, PCIe-2.0x16, HDCP - PN#012-P3-1570-AR - $359

PSU - OCZ ModXStream Pro 700W SLI-certified, 80PLUS certified - PN#OCZ700MXSP - $89.99
I want the 700W PSU in case I do get another Video Card.

BOOT DRIVE - Pair of OCZ Vertex 2 40GB drives in a RAID-0 Config. - PN#OCZSSD2-2VTX40G - $229.98 for both
I have a 50GB version of this in my Laptop and I absolutely love it, and won't have another PC with an HDD as a boot drive.

STORAGE DRIVE - 2TB Seagate Barracuda XT, 7200RPM, SATA6, - PN#ST32000641AS - $169.99
I will add more of these 2TB drives as I need them. I already have about 1.2TB of media as I speak.

DVD BURNER - LITE-ON SATA - PN#iHAS124 - $15.99
I'll buy a bluray drive or burner someday when I think I need it.

TV TUNER - Hauppauge Media Center MCE Kit 1128 PCIex1 MPEG-2 Encoder, Media Center Remote, - PN#WinTV-HVR 1850 - $99.99

KEYBOARD - Logitech K800 Black Illuminated Wireless Keyboard. - PN#K800 - $99.99

MOUSE - I already have a Logitech M705 Mouse and I'll be keeping it

SOUND CARD - I may get an audigy later, but I'll wait and see what the ASUS MOBO codec sounds like first.



What the plan is, is for this to be my media center. I want it in the living room by the TV, and all that will be up there is the PC, Satellite Box, TV, and speakers.

I'll watch all my TV and movies on it, and have a wireless keyboard and mouse on the coffee table. And the Media center remote means when I'm not on the internet or something similar, I'll run the thing totally by the remote control like a TV or DVD player.

So this thing needs to do all this and I'm extremely impatient with lag and jerky video. I also don't want to have to wait while navigating through the Media Center menus with the remote control.

I'll be playing games like doom 3 or the star trek flight simulator type games on it at 1920x1080. I would like to never have to change the resolution from 1920x1080. This will be a single monitor setup

Thanks for reading all this guys!

Kenny
January 9, 2011 7:57:05 AM

Hi wes. This will be my first post ever on tom's too! lol

quick note about the PSU- 570s(and 580s for that matter) are power hungry cards. From what Ive seen on slizone.com, if you do get another 570 for SLI you should go for 850w to be on the safe side(especially if anything in your case will ever be overclocked).

For ease of use it would be better to make sure you have a modular power supply.This way you can just plug stuff in the supply and leave at that, and it makes it easier to upgrade/change parts in the future.
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January 9, 2011 1:46:02 PM

That's way more system that ya need if needs are just gaming and MM.

Case - $90 - Coolermaster HAF-922 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Case Fans - Later - CM Red 200 mm http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
PSU - $110 - XFX Black Edition 850 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
MoBo - $240 - ASUS P8P67 Deluxe http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
CPU - $330 - Intel Core i5-2600K
Cooler - $40 - Scythe SCMG 2100 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
TIM - $5 - Shin Etsu http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
RAM - $70 - 2 x 2GB Mushkin CAS 7 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
GFX - $350 - GTX 570 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
GFX - Later - Same
HD - $170 - Seagate Barracuda XT ST32000641AS 2TB http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
SSD - $199 - OCZ Vertex 2 2.5" 120GB http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
DVD Writer - $19 - ASUS 24X DVD Writer http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
OS - $100 - Win 7-64 Home OEM http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
TV Tuner - $100 - WinTV-HVR 1850 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Keyboard - $67 - Logitech G110 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

If quietness is a concern, as it often is in MM uses, I'd switch out to an Antec P193 / CP-850 combo for an extra $105

$185 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$120 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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January 9, 2011 3:24:17 PM

I definately want a modular PSU. I like neatness.

I do encoding once or twice a week and it does suck waiting around on it.

I also think it's a bit much PC for exactly what I'm doing, but I'm hoping to make it better than I need right now so It will still be good for longer. Being quiet isn't a big problem, as nobody in my house is quiet anyway...lol

Another thing to add too is that this PC will be running pretty much from now on. I'll shut it down when I go off on a trip or something, but otherwise it won't be turned off unless it needs a reboot.


That Sandy bridge CPU and MOBO you listed look really nice. I may change over to that just so it wont be at the end of the road upgrade-wise like the 1366. I mainly picked the 1366 socket because you know how they can be with release dates, and I didn't want to wait around. Looks like I had pretty good timing afterall.

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January 9, 2011 4:09:27 PM

I'm just gonna paste my other parts list in and edit it here:

Updated:

CASE - Cooler Master CM690 II Advanced - PN#RC-692-KKN2 - $79.99 - I already have this.

PROCESSOR - Intel Core i7-2600k, LGA 1155 3.4GHz - PN#BX80623I72600K - $329.99

MOBO - Gigabyte GA-P67A-UD5, LGA-1155, SATA6, USB3.0 ATX - $259.99
I like this one over the ASUS JackNaylorPE recommended because I want RAID-0.

RAM - Mushkin Enhanced Blackline 4GB (2x2GB) DDR3-1600. I'll buy 2 kits for a total of 8GB.
I have 4GB now on my laptop and I'll need a bit more for the next PC.

VIDEO CARD - EVGA GeForce GTX 570 (Fermi) 1280MB, 320-BIT, GDDR5, PCIe-2.0x16, HDCP - PN#012-P3-1570-AR - $359
I'm debating on this one.... I don't think I want dual cards anymore, IF a single GTX-580 would last me a long time. I realize that's where I should put the money in, and I'm debating that. Is it worth the Extra $$? I just want to play whatever comes out in 1920x1080 or the closest res. to that with the high settings.

PSU - XFX Black Edition 850W, 80PLUS SIlver, Active PFC - PN#XPS-850W-BES - $149
If I decide to get the GTX-580 and keep it a single card setup, which PSU should I use then? 700W?

BOOT DRIVE - Pair of OCZ Vertex 2 40GB drives in a RAID-0 Config. - PN#OCZSSD2-2VTX40G - $229.98 for both
I have a 50GB version of this in my Laptop and I absolutely love it, and won't have another PC with an HDD as a boot drive.
I'm going to keep the same setup for the Boot drive. I just want more speed. I have a 50GB boot drive now in my laptop and with everything installed, I still have 15GB free.

STORAGE DRIVE - 2TB Seagate Barracuda XT, 7200RPM, SATA6, - PN#ST32000641AS - $169.99
I will add more of these 2TB drives as I need them. I already have about 1.2TB of media as I speak.

DVD BURNER - LITE-ON SATA - PN#iHAS124 - $15.99
I'll buy a bluray drive or burner someday when I think I need it.

TV TUNER - Hauppauge Media Center MCE Kit 1128 PCIex1 MPEG-2 Encoder, Media Center Remote, - PN#WinTV-HVR 1850 - $99.99

KEYBOARD - Logitech K800 Black Illuminated Wireless Keyboard. - PN#K800 - $99.99

MOUSE - I already have a Logitech M705 Mouse and I'll be keeping it

SOUND CARD - I may get an audigy later, but I'll wait and see what the ASUS MOBO codec sounds like first.
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Best solution

January 9, 2011 5:52:44 PM

with the video card i was in the same dillemma recently. Any card will last you 4 years if you have good airflow in your case. But spending over 500 for a single GPU just isnt worth it in my opinion.I would just get the 570 and overclock it to 580 numbers in terms of clock speed(it handles overclocks very well).

Your PSU is good. If you decide that you will never ever go SLI then yes 700w will be fine. The minimum recommended for 580 is 550W, so the 700 would give you good head room for overclocking and what not(again if you never ever SLI).

For my first build that I just ordered I chose a Seasonic x750 80 Plus Gold PSU because I chose a 6950 over the 570 and I know that it can handle 2 6950 Crossfire(according to AMD website's certified PSU suppliers list).Seasonic also makes PSUs for other brands, such as the highly regarded Corsair(I believe they make them for XFX as well.)

But yes, a 570 will definitely play any game out today at 1920x1080 at max settings. I think max on Metro 2033(present day Crysis) will go around 30 FPS average. Check guru3d.com for the 570 review, as they benchmark all their games with everything on max.
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January 18, 2011 2:22:15 AM

My Case Showed up today, I love it! I'm going to buy the mobo and processor on friday.

Here's my newest list, I haven't been making many changes to it, so this may be it, but it won't be concrete until i hit the pay button. you know how it is. :ange: 

Case: CM 690 II Advanced - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... ]

PSU: Seasonic X750 - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... ]

Mobo: ASRock P67 Extreme6 - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Processor: Intel Sandybridge 2600K - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... ]

Video Card: EVGA Nvidia GeForce GTX 570 - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... ]

RAM: G.Skill Ripjaws 8GB (2x4GB) - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... ]

SSD Boot Drive: OCZ Vertex 2 50GB (Will run in RAID-0 with 3 drives) - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... ]

Storage Drive: WD 2TB 7200RPM 3.5" - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... ][

TV Tuner: Hauppauge WinTV MCE kit 2250 - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... ]

OS: Windows 7 Pro x64 OEM - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... ]

Keyboard: - Logitech wireless lightup keyboard K800 - http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite... ]

Blu-Ray Dvd Writer Combo Drive - Samsung SH-B083L/RSBP - http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml...

The ASrock mobo has more PCI-e slots (I have 0 use for the old PCI slots), and it has 10 SATA ports. 2 satas will goto the case front panel, 1 to a dvd drive, 3 to the ssd's and the other 4 to big HDDs as I need them. I absolutely LOVE the CM 690 II Case. Aside of all the features, just being painted inside and on the back goes a long way! as well as the SATA drive bay on top, I like it, no more messing with enclosures or opening the case to get something off a random HDD. AWESOME!

So as it stands now, I have a Case with a Blu-Ray Drive in it. :lol: 

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January 19, 2011 11:22:51 AM

Best answer selected by wes2880.
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January 21, 2011 11:22:31 AM

I ordered my ASROCK Extreme6 Mobo and went and picked up my processor and cpu cooler from microcenter.

Intel 2600k cpu, and a zalman CNPS9900ALED (blue) Cooler.

I also hated the way the cheapie DVD burner looked in my nice case so I bought a Samsung BD-ROM DVD Writer combo instead, which has the chrome looking door and matches the case quite nicely now.
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