Sub $1000 Gaming and HTPC build(s)

Hi everyone.

I'm currently running a HTPC for music and movies in my lounge room with the following HW

Intel Core i3-2100 with stock cooler

BIOSTAR TH67+ LGA 1155 Intel H67 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard

nMEDIAPC Black Aluminum / Acrylic / Steel HTPC 1080P Micro ATX Media Center / HTPC Case

G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-4GBNQ

Thermaltake TR2 W0379RU 500W ATX 12V v2.2 Power Supply

HIS Silence H557HR1G Radeon HD 5570 1GB 128-bit DDR3 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready Low Profile Ready Video Card

OCZ Agility 2 OCZSSD2-2AGTE60G 2.5" 60GB SATA II MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)

Western Digital Caviar Green WD10EARS 1TB 5400 RPM 64MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

LG WH10LS30 10X Blu-ray Burner - LightScribe Support - Bulk - OEM

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

Country: US

Parts Preferences: I am more familiar with Radeon GPUs (and Catalyst) but not a strong preference.

Overclocking: Maybe

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.

Cheers (and sorry for War and Peace)

5 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about 1000 gaming htpc build
  1. Best answer
    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.
  2. Thanks buzz,

    So you think that a new gaming build is a better option than a cheapo HTPC replacement and then upgrade the current HW.

    What I was thinking was something like this:

    AX1930-UR30P Desktop Computer

    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.

    What do you think?
  3. Anyone?
  4. No one has any opinion on this option?
  5. Best answer selected by JoshWilkinson.
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