Zonet ZEW1642D PCI Wireless adapter
Hauppauge 2200 Dual TV Tuner (installed but not in use as we are on cable at the moment)
Win7 Home Premium 64 bit OEM
+ Wireless keyboard/trackball and WMC remote
It took me a long time to be the system running well which is one of the reasons I added the 5570 - 1080p playback just worked properly out of the box while the Intel HD graphics did not.
Now that its working though I want to tinker. I currently play games on a Acer 4820TG laptop with a Radeon 5650M - it works okay for Company of Heroes and EU3 but the 14" 1366x768 real estate is a bit limiting.
I want to add a standalone gaming machine with a decent size monitor and enough performance to smoothly handle Skyrim, Starcraft and maybe some casual FPS. I'm also looking at centralising all my media storage in a Raid 1 NAS - mainly because I'm sick of syncing it across the laptop and HTPC all the time.
Should I buy something even more thrifty as my HTPC (maybe a AMD Fusion powered mini-PC) and then upgrade my HTPC hardware for gaming or would I get better value just building a new stand-alone gaming PC? Does anyone have hardware recommendations?
I'm generally interested in smaller cases although I do have a have a Silverstone GD05 case, a super-multi DVD drive spare along with an old 500MB HDD which I could use in the short term. My budget is less than $1000 with monitor and OS.
From the template:
Approximate Purchase Date: could be next week or might wait until after Christmas
Budget Range: no more than $1000
System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming / HTPC
Parts Not Required: See above
Preferred Website(s) for Parts: I generally shop on newegg and Amazon but happy anywhere
Parts Preferences: I am more familiar with Radeon GPUs (and Catalyst) but not a strong preference.
SLI or Crossfire: No
Monitor Resolution: 1440x900 minimum more would be better
Additional Comments: I like small, compact systems. I have built 2 or 3 systems but never with complete success.
I think the H67 is well suited for the HTPC duty. So lets just leave the HTPC alone for now.
Get a Z68, corei5 combo. For a monitor resolution, 1080p is pretty standard these days and you'll find the best value monitors in this range. I've seen 23inchers going for as low as $120, but I would spend a bit more to get a decent one.
So in the midrange graphics you could go with the HD 6850/70 or GTX 460 although I guess those are hard to come by now. What I recommend however is either the HD 6950 or the GTX 560ti for some of the newer titles coming out.
Which for $299 with an OS seems really cheap. If I pull the inards out of a cheapie Acer like this for a new HTPC in the nMedia case and then I could add a good monitor and a 6950/560Ti to my current HW and have some change left over.