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WoW Capable HTPC

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February 16, 2011 10:57:54 AM

Approximate Purchase Date: March-April this year


Budget Range: $500-$700 But willing to go higher with excellent suggestions


System Usage from Most to Least Important: World of Warcraft, Netflix Streaming, DVD/DIVX Playing


Parts Not Required: OS, Monitor (Will be using the HDTV as the screen)


Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Don't care, like NewEgg.com for prior builds


Country of Origin: USA

Parts Preferences: Have had bad luck with MSI. Anything else is probably ok.
Overclocking: No


SLI or Crossfire: No

Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080

Additional Comments: I'm looking for a Small Form Factor build that is quiet to act as a HTPC. But we are a BIG World of Warcraft household so it has to be able to keep up with running WoW with good quality. That means I assume I need to still consider a discrete graphics solution (Currently using a GTX460 on my regular computer) I have concerns about cooling especially in a SFF. Willing to break the budget a little if the components safeguard cooling and make the solution very quiet, (i.e. SSD) I saw NewEgg SFF Combo Deal as an example but this particular combo seems a little overkill. I don't think I need that much CPU. Don't need or want BluRay, and can get by with a less expensive video card. But maybe I'm wrong, that's why I'm looking for suggestions.

More about : wow capable htpc

a b Ý World of Warcraft
February 16, 2011 12:05:06 PM

This is a low-profile HTPC, so the video card is not as powerful as Batchuka's, but it is less expensive, and includes an HDTV tuner, HUGE hard drive, and a Blu-Ray Burner. I'll do 720p gaming at high, and 1080p gaming at medium for most games. For Wow, it should handle medium-to-high settings at 1080p at 30-40 fps. This is more of an HTPC that games than a small gaming PC.

Antech Microfusion case w/ 80+ certified 350W Power supply: $99.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
an excellent case with room for 4 low-profile cards. the 350W PSU has 2 12v rails with 18 amps each. enough to handle the fancier video card listed below.

Palit GTS 450 low profile video card $129.99 w/ $15 MIR
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
a powerful card for being so small. It will handle not only your HD video at 1080P, including HD audio bitstreaming, it can handle games at 1366x768 (720p) at high details, or 1080p at medium details

AS Rock 880-GXH: $79.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
USB 3 support is why I picked this over the $59.99 version

AMD Athlon II X3 450: $79.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
a great chip, it'll speed up any video conversions, and handles games quite well.

G.Skill 4 GB DDR3-1333: $39.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
there are others this price, but tend to be higher voltage.

Samsung Spinpoint F4 2 TB Hard drive: $89.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
don't let the 5400 RPM fool you, its dense platters make data access comparable to 7200 rpm drives. Since this system has room for only 1 3.5" drive, we might as well make it the biggest we can.

LG Blue Ray Burner: $89.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
to record TV off the disk.

AVerMedia AVerTVHD Duet PCTV tuner: $89.99 ($79.99 thru 2/18)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
A low profile HDTV tuner card, able to record one channel while watching a second.

total: $599.93, not including discounts and rebates
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February 16, 2011 12:10:24 PM

WoW is surprisingly cpu intensive. I updated my Q6600 build recently to a GTX 460 w/ 4 gigs of RAM and the bottleneck is definitely the CPU. I was able to run max settings at great framerate (except in org, obviously) with a mild OC at 1080 resolution.

With WoW one of the biggest things to consider is the next expansion. My 1.5 GHz 12" Powerbook played Vanilla WoW at max settings back in early 2005. When BC hit I had to upgrade. The next xpac will bump it up considerably. If you go with the bare minimum right now you leave no headroom. This is especially true if you are going to be playing on multiple computers (PC/HTPC/Laptop.) You can't upgrade every xpac, so build something to last 3 years.

That bundle you listed looks great.
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a b Ý World of Warcraft
February 16, 2011 12:13:28 PM

ScrewySqrl said:

Antech Microfusion case w/ 80+ certified 350W Power supply: $99.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
an excellent case with room for 4 low-profile cards. the 350W PSU has 2 12v rails with 18 amps each. enough to handle the fancier video card listed below.

AS Rock 880-GXH: $79.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
USB 3 support is why I picked this over the $59.99 version


mATX only mobo Microfusion is incompatible with that ATX form factor Asrock you picked out
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a b Ý World of Warcraft
February 17, 2011 6:31:56 AM

For AM3 the sweet spot is actually PhenomII X3 but since they are no longer available for high res/settings any Deneb X4 would do and this is one game where L3 cache nets real gains but for budget bozes i dun see why Rana X3 and $60 HD 4830 would not a good choice ^^
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February 23, 2011 11:05:57 PM

Interesting considerations. I'm going to have to take your links and ponder them.
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