All-in-one living room PC (HTPC + NAS)

My two roommates and I have a lot of media to share and a brand new HDTV to watch movies on. I also have a fantasy of being able to play games on the TV with a wireless mouse and keyboard, like a console but better! So I'm hoping I can build a machine that does a few different things, and that I'm not trying to kill TOO many birds with one stone. I'm willing to accept that a "generalist" machine won't do anything as well as a specialized build, so I don't need to play Crysis 2 in 1080p or have ultra-fast NAS, more than 2 drives, etc.

But maybe it's worth being ambitious / cramming in features! I like the idea of having a jack-of-all trades living room box. How much gaming performance can you get out of something that also does HTPC/NAS duty?

Approximate Purchase Date: Now / anytime in the next month

Budget Range: Up to $1500 after rebates

System Usage from Most to Least Important:
- playing back 1080p movies on a HDTV, running software like mediabrowser etc.
- acting as a network-accessible file server for 1-2 TB of data, hopefully on the internet too via VPN
- download content
- play 3D games -- not the cutting edge, but something like Fallout ought to look good in 1080p
- running iTunes to act as a central music player for wireless speakers (e.g. via Airport Express)
- rip DVDs
- record TV with a TV tuner card (strictly optional, may not work out real well w/ our cable box setup)

Parts Not Required: Keyboard, Mouse, Monitor, Speakers

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: I like newegg.com but not picky!

Country of Origin: USA

Parts Preferences: Can't be a full tower case due to space constraints. The ideal would be a small cube, but willing to have a bigger case if it allows for storage requirements, better cooling, or better GPU options for gaming.

Overclocking: Willing to consider it.

SLI or Crossfire: Hopefully not necessary for semi-decent gaming?

Monitor Resolution: Will be connected to a HDTV: 1920x1080.

Additional Comments: Nice-looking case a plus, since it's for living-room movie watching it can't have very noisy fans, but doesn't need to be totally silent. (HD noises OK). At least four USB ports needed. Wireless/N.
2 answers Last reply
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  1. I put 2 HDD for Raid 1 (mirror) or just use as a backup. you dont want to lose your media :-) GPU was chosen for 1080p gaming and is should run cooler and quieter. HDD were chosen for reliability, they should be just fine for DVR function and media playback. Need to add OS and some software for the BR drive playback.

    HTPC/NAS/GAMER with SSD

    SILVERSTONE SUGO SG02-BF Black ABS / SECC Steel MicroATX Desktop Computer Case
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811163112
    Item #: N82E16811163112
    $74.99

    SILVERSTONE FN81 80mm Case Fan
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811999343
    Item #: N82E16811999343
    Return Policy: Standard Return Policy
    $17.98 (2 x $8.99 each)

    Silverstone Short Cable Set For Silverstone Strider Series Modular PSU Model PP05
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16812162010
    Item #: N82E16812162010
    $24.99

    SILVERSTONE Strider Plus ST50F-P 500W ATX 12V v2.3 & EPS 12V 80 PLUS BRONZE Cert Modular Active PFC Power Supply
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817256065
    Item #: N82E16817256065
    $79.99

    XIGMATEK CSF-CBK33-U01 Mono-Cool Fan Controller
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811996023
    Item #: N82E16811996023
    $13.99

    SAMSUNG Spinpoint F4EG HD155UI 1.5TB 5400 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822152287
    Item #: N82E16822152287
    -$5.00 Instant
    $64.99
    119.98(2 x $59.99)

    ASUS ENGTX560 DCII OC/2DI/1GD5 GeForce GTX 560 (Fermi) 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814121446
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    $199.99

    CORSAIR XMS 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory CMX4GX3M2B1600C9
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820145339
    Item #: N82E16820145339

    $10.00 Mail-in Rebate Card
    $39.99

    GIGABYTE GA-H67M-D2-B3 LGA 1155 Intel H67 SATA 6Gb/s Micro ATX Intel Motherboard
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128473
    Item #: N82E16813128473
    -$5.00 Instant
    $99.99
    $94.99

    Intel Core i5-2400 Sandy Bridge 3.1GHz (3.4GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Processor BX80623I52400
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115074
    Item #: N82E16819115074
    $194.99

    ASUS Black Blu-ray Drive SATA Model BC-12B1ST/BLK/B/AS
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827135247
    Item #: N82E16827135247
    $59.99

    SAMSUNG 470 Series MZ-5PA128/US 2.5" 128GB SATA II Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820147063
    Item #: N82E16820147063
    -$20.00 Instant
    $229.99
    $209.99
    -------
    $1,131.86

    here is the Cable Turner. Newegg is out of stock right now, but you can get it on Amazon
    ---------------------------
    Item #: N82E16815706001
    Return Policy: Standard Return Policy
    -$100.00 Instant
    $399.99
    $299.99
    ---------------------------
    Ceton InfiniTV 4 Digital Cable Quad-tuner Card
    http://www.amazon.com/Ceton-InfiniTV-Digital-Cable-Quad-tuner/dp/B003B4VLJQ/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1310469888&sr=8-1
    Ceton InfiniTV 4 Quad-tuner Card for Watching Digital Cable TV on the PC, PCI-Express x1 Interface
    $299
    ------------
    1430.86
  2. Thanks, this looks great for our needs! The RAID 1 is a great suggestion, much appreciated!
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