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First Time Build - Need advice on Gamer/HTPC

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May 2, 2011 8:09:14 PM

Approximate Purchase Date: within the next 30 days

Budget Range: around $1,600

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, HTPC, Processing Video Files

Parts Not Required: I need all

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: newegg.com but I live close to a Microcenter and would be open to purchasing from any reputable seller for a better price

Country of Origin: USA!

Parts Preferences: None - Open

Overclocking: Maybe (interested in learning)

SLI or Crossfire: Maybe (in the future)

Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080

Additional Comments: I want to have a competent gamer and an HTPC. Would it be better to buy two separate machines? Also, it will be used as an HTPC a good portion of the time so power usage is important. This is my first built, I would like to buy parts with an upgrade path.

Here is what I have so far:

1 COOLER MASTER HAF 922 RC-922M-KKN1-GP Black Steel + Plastic and Mesh Bezel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case $99.98

1 ASUS P8P67-M PRO (REV 3.0) LGA 1155 Intel P67 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard
$139.99

1 EVGA SuperClocked 01G-P3-1563-AR GeForce GTX 560 Ti (Fermi) 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support $259.99

1 XFX Core Edition PRO750W (P1-750S-CAB9) 750W ATX12V v2.2 & ESP12V v2.91 SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified $119.99

1 Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz (3.7GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor BX80623I52500K $224.99

1 G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL7D-4GBXM $59.99

1 SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
Model #:HD103SJ $69.99

1 Logitech K120 Black USB Wired Standard Keyboard $14.99

1 ASUS VW246H Glossy Black 24" 2ms(GTG) HDMI Widescreen LCD Monitor $199.99

1 Logitech G9x Black Two modes scroll USB Wired Laser Gaming Mouse Instant $69.99

1 SAMSUNG Black Blu-ray Drive SATA Model SH-B123L/RSBP LightScribe Support (Retail) $69.99

1 Microsoft Windows 7 Professional SP1 64-bit 1-Pack - OEM $139.99

1 Arctic Silver 5 Thermal Compound - OEM $11.98

1 COOLER MASTER Hyper N 520 RR-920-N520-GP 92mm Sleeve CPU Cooler Intel Core i7 compatible $29.99

1 Logitech Z506 75 watts RMS 5.1 Surround Sound Speakers $79.99

Subtotal: $1,591.83




May 2, 2011 8:15:42 PM

I'm not going to say anything about your build right now, because I think you need to figure out the concept of HTPC/GAMING first.

- Are you looking for your HTPC to be in the living room w/ the TV and having your Gaming computer in the office or something? All I know is if you have to constantly move the computer back and forth between rooms you will become quickly annoyed. I did the same thing for awhile and ended up building an HTPC.

- Would you be happy having a gaming case in the living room, or do you want something smaller that almost looks like a DVD player. There are quite a few cool looking HTPC cases out, and they are certaintly too small to fit in proper gaming components.

IMO, you could go with a nice HTPC build ~$500, and spend the other $1100 on a pretty nice gaming computer. But those are just my two cents.
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May 2, 2011 8:17:36 PM

if your concerned about your electricity bill on your htpc, you should buy a seperate machine for that. this config that you have will use 400 - 600 watts while a nettop for htcp will use 25-50 watts.
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May 2, 2011 8:25:50 PM

Thank you for the replies. The PC would be located in a game room that has a big screen TV and I also plan to have a separate monitor. I figured I could just get a long HDMI cable to connect to the big screen when needed.

As an HTPC the computer would be on most of the time (to record shows and the like). David do you know what is the related ballpark cost for 400 - 600 vs. 25-50?

If it is more cost effective for a period of 36 months to have two separate computers that would be the path I would follow. Just wonder what is the best decision. I figured one machine would be a more simple and effective solution but if it uses too much power maybe I need to rethink the solution.

Thanks again for the advice.
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May 2, 2011 8:28:04 PM

Jordo - an HTPC case would be nice but I would rather have a bigger computer case for ease of build and to be able to have more flexibility to upgrade.
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May 2, 2011 8:39:10 PM

I think going the 2 separate machine is a much better route

you going to be setting up the machine on a domain? if not you can go with home premium and save $40

also i noticed you are going with 64 bit OS but are only using 4gb of ram...this ram is currently on sale for $75 with promo code ($15 more than current setup)

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

and your hard drive is $10 less with free shipping on amazon currently
http://www.amazon.com/Samsung-Spinpoint-3-5-Inch-Intern...
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Best solution

May 2, 2011 8:42:44 PM

The cost depends on your energy costs for your utility company.
heres a map of average electricity price per kwh (kilowatt hour)





Here's the formula to figure the cost of running a device:
wattage x hours used ÷ 1000 x price per kWh = cost of electricity

500 watt machine x 3000 hrs (abt 10 hrs a day) / 1000 x .15 (rate for LA) = $225

or

htcp machine 50 watt machine x 3000 hrs / 1000 x .15 = $22.5 +
gaming machine 500 watt machine x 1000 hrs (abt 3 hrs a day) / 1000 x .15 = $75
$97.5

you save $127.5 each year! x3 = $382.5 - this should be your budget on a htcp


side reading -article on using mutiple machines
http://www.lifehacker.com.au/2011/03/how-to-use-multipl...
i think that it would be best t separate the two computers and network them so you can share file and such.

lifeking said:

As an HTPC the computer would be on most of the time (to record shows and the like). David do you know what is the related ballpark cost for 400 - 600 vs. 25-50?

If it is more cost effective for a period of 36 months to have two separate computers that would be the path I would follow. Just wonder what is the best decision. I figured one machine would be a more simple and effective solution but if it uses too much power maybe I need to rethink the solution.

Thanks again for the advice.
Share
May 2, 2011 8:44:30 PM

also, do you really need win 7 pro? you can shave costs there
and, if you build the htpc, try using linux to further cut costs
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May 2, 2011 8:52:49 PM

I agree with david617 a few extra networking features that average user will never use doesn't warrant a 40 dollar price increase. But you want a gaming machine/htpc and to play most games you need windows for ease of installing/use. Don't get me wrong I like Linux I just wish game manufactures would make their games compatible with it.
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May 2, 2011 8:58:07 PM

i meant linux on the 2nd machine. he'll get win 7 on machine 1 and linux on machine 2
mlcaouette said:
But you want a gaming machine/htpc and to play most games you need windows for ease of installing/use. Don't get me wrong I like Linux I just wish game manufactures would make their games compatible with it.
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May 2, 2011 9:10:58 PM

Best answer selected by lifeking.
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May 2, 2011 9:15:27 PM

Thank you for the advice. It seems that building two machines is the way to go. I am back to the drawing board. I will try to design a two machine solution, an HTPC ($500) and gaming machine ($1,000).

Since it is my first build I will start witht he HTPC. I like the idea of Linux but I don't know if I have the time to learn a new OS. I may try... free is a good price.

Thank again for the advice.

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May 2, 2011 9:47:20 PM

Linux for the second machine is a great idea David. Sorry I didn't realize that is what you had meant. Linux is a quick learn it is mostly a graphical user interface similar to windows a few things are done old school using a terminal. If you want to use itunes I wouldn't recommend Linux though because of the trouble you'll run into trying to get it to work.
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May 2, 2011 10:25:51 PM

you might be able to use your copy of windows for up to 3 pc's
2306969,12,827764
I like the idea of Linux but I don't know if I have the time to learn a new OS. I may try... free is a good price.

Thank again for the advice.[/quotemsg said:

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May 3, 2011 3:37:09 AM

save yourself the trouble and get the coolermaster hyper 212+ instead of the hypern 520... I didnt learn this until too late myself. The 212+ has much better cooling performance and it will work with fan controllers. You can easily add a second fan for push/pull like the hyper n520. Even though the 520 has a good sale price right now i think the 212 is much more worth it
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