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Gaming/HTPC for $800-$900

Last response: in Systems
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March 7, 2011 3:40:31 PM

Hi. I'm trying to build a Gaming/HTPC for the living room for $800-900, but i would love to get the price below that if possible. Im open to all suggestions!


Approximate Purchase Date: After I get back from Afghanistan, May/June 2011

Budget Range: Trying to stay around 800-900. Would love to go lower tho.

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming and watching movies on the 1080p television in the living room. Media sharing across the LAN.

Parts Not Required: Monitor and Hard Drive. Have the following:

Seagate Constellation, ES ST32000644NS 2TB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: newegg.com

Country of Origin: USA

Parts Preferences: Prefer AMD for the price point. NVIDIA is my first choice for video card but im flexible on both points.

Overclocking: yes - The CPU I have listed apparently can be made faster with a simple multiplier adjustment saving a few dollars on a more expensive CPU.

SLI or Crossfire: no

Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080 or 1920x1200

Additional Comments: My choice of case, as you will see is potentially problematic, but it’s the only way I can convience the wife to let me set it up in the living room. I think adequate airflow can be achieved with a few properly placed fans, but there are some issues that hopefully some one may be able to help with.


CPU: AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition Deneb 3.2GHz Socket AM3 125W Quad-Core Processor HDZ955FBGMBOX (139.99)
MOBO: ASRock 870 EXTREME3 AM3 AMD 870 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard (109.99)
RAM: G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL7D-4GBXM (64.99)
HSF: need suggestions here. Based on what I can tell about my choice of case ill need something low profile.
HDD: Seagate Constellation, ES ST32000644NS 2TB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s
PSU: Antec EarthWatts EA650 650W Continuous Power ATX12V Ver.2.2 / EPS12V version 2.91 SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified ... (84.99)
GPU: EVGA 01G-P3-1366-TR GeForce GTX 460 SE (Fermi) 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card (159.99)
DVD: LG Black Blu-ray Disc Combo SATA Model UH10LS20 LightScribe Support - OEM (67.99)
CASE: nMEDIAPC Red Wood Wood/Steel HTPC 8000 ATX Media Center / HTPC Case
OS: Microsoft Windows 7 Professional 64-bit 1-Pack for System Builders (139.99)


Final Cost: 837.92

Obviously the case is made of wood. I cant really do much about this unless there are some case alternatives that would look good on the entertainment center and fit these parts. The main appeal of this case right now is that the wife likes it and it fits full sized GPUs and ATX parts. Downside, its wood and it only has one 140mm fan. I believe I could place two fans in the front of the case behind the “speakers”. Im looking for a system that will run well at 1920x1080 so as to use it as a home theater as well as gaming system in the living room. I could live with out the blu-ray drive as we have a PS3, but it seemed like a item that would be central to the theme/design of this project.

Ill also add ive been out of the homebuilt game for a long time. The skills to do it I still have, but the parts to use, im fuzzy on. I used the Recommended build by usage thread as a starting point and then starting reading the various CPU/GPU best performance for the money articles to come up with the above build. I want to be able to play current games, and upgrade as needed for the next couple years with out having to do another complete build. If there is any way I could save money on this build and still be able to meet those goals, im open to suggestions. Also, if ive made any horrid mistakes in chosing parts, let me know. I’ll be deployed here in Afghanistan for another month or so, but when I get back id like to start working on this, which brings me to my final point…should I wait and re-evaluate then based on new tech that may be coming out between now and then? If so, id still like general advice on this setup to see if I still have any clue as to what im doing. Thanks!

More about : gaming htpc 800 900

March 8, 2011 3:59:40 AM

I've read good reviews of the Hauppauge 2250 Tv tuner card. ($130). And everything else looks good. And if you're storing heaps of stuff 2Tb might fill up a bit quick.

Just suggestions, cheers.
!