Request for opinions: Gaming/HTPC for living room

Hi All,
I've finally decided to build a PC to hook up to my new TV. I've been thinking about it for a long time. I will be using this to play media as well as play current games - (mostly my son will be using it for games). So, comments and opinions are welcome.

Approximate Purchase Date: This week
Budget Range: ~$1000.00 - $1300.00
System Usage from Most to Least Important: Watching local media (NAS attached movies (blu-ray rips included), music, recorded TV, etc), watching and recording live tv. Playing FPS and RPG games.
Parts Not Required: Need everything
Preferred Website(s) for Parts: I Use newegg and amazon, but willing to use any site with good prices.
Country: US
Parts Preferences: Intel and Nvidia
Overclocking: No
SLI or Crossfire: No
Monitor Resolution: 1080p LED TV (LG 55LW6500)

Additional Comments:
Very interested in a Quiet PC. Willing to sacrifice some game grahpics quality for low noise, but would like as high quality as possible. I will be trying out 3D games. I may have gone a little overboard on the chosen parts, but if something costs $10.00 - $20.00 more, and it is a jump up in quality or features, I usually pick the upgrade. If you see things that are obviously overpowered, that would be helpful. I had a hard time with the graphics card - I would like something very quiet, but don't know about the quality tradeoff for that, and I don't know about the noise characteristics of the card I chose.
I will not be upgrading this PC, if I need something better in 3 or 4 years, I'll just start from scratch again.

Parts I've kind of selected so far:

Case: http://www.amazon.com/Antec-FUSION-REMOTE-MAX-Fusion/dp/B001ER6CF0/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1327514498&sr=8-1 - Antec Fusion Remote Max
Motherboard: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131806 - ASUS Maximus IV Gene-Z/GEN3
CPU: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115077 - Intel Core i3-2120
Memory http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231314 - G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) (total 8 GB)
PSU: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817151088 - SeaSonic X Series X650 Gold
Graphics Card: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814125401 - GIGABYTE GV-N560UD-1G GeForce GTX 560 Ti
Boot Drive: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820148441 - Crucial M4 CT064M4SSD2 64GB (SSD)
Data Drive: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136490 - Western Digital Caviar Green WD10EARS 1TB 5400 RPM
Optical Drive: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827151232 ]SAMSUNG Black 12X BD-ROM
TV Tuner: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16815116037 -Hauppauge WinTV-HVR-2250 Dual TV Tuner
Keyboard/ Mouse: - No good idea yet.
11 answers Last reply
More about request opinions gaming htpc living room
  1. Posting links that way is time consuming as we have to copy and paste each one.

    http://www.amazon.com/Asus-Media-Player-Catalog-Category/dp/B005FNEGCA/ref=sr_1_5?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1327517580&sr=1-5

    For less than $100 you can get this device which will play any type of media and streaming media , then you can have the Pc seperate and just for surfing and gaming.
  2. Quote:

    PSU:http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817121083KINGWIN STR-500 500W ATX 12V v2.2, EPS 12V v2.91 and SSI EPS 12V v2.92 SLI Ready 80 PLUS PLATINUM Certified Modular Active PFC Stryker Fanless Power Supply


    Not a good choice for PSU - this is the one I'd recommend: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139027

    A lot of people have complaints about the CX but I use the 430W version and it's been great so far, and was a steal at the price I paid for it.

    If gaming is not your biggest priority the GENE-Z would be pretty pointless to have, you could go with an H61/H67 and shave about $100 off the cost of your system.

    Alternately you could save even more money by going with an AMD Llano - it's tailor-made for HTPCs and runs a Radeon HD 6670 off the chip and eliminates the need for a central graphics card. Maybe try something like this:

    CPU: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103942
    Motherboard: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128511
  3. inzone said:
    Posting links that way is time consuming as we have to copy and paste each one.

    http://www.amazon.com/Asus-Media-Player-Catalog-Category/dp/B005FNEGCA/ref=sr_1_5?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1327517580&sr=1-5

    For less than $100 you can get this device which will play any type of media and streaming media , then you can have the Pc seperate and just for surfing and gaming.


    Sorry about the links, I was trying to use the method suggested in the "How to ask for new build advice" sticky. I must hve got it wrong somehow.

    I currently have a WDTV Live, so a media streamer is what I'm trying to replace. I want one interface for everything. Local (file and disc) , live, and internet content. Planning on using XBMC.
  4. Thanks for the feedback

    g-unit1111 said:

    Not a good choice for PSU -


    Any reason why this is not a good choice? It got very good reviews at a lot of review sites.

    g-unit1111 said:

    If gaming is not your biggest priority the GENE-Z would be pretty pointless to have, you could go with an H61/H67 and shave about $100 off the cost of your system.


    That was one of my major problems deciding on a MB - h67 vs z68. But I figured for an HTPC, the quick sync capability of the z68 might be useful.

    g-unit1111 said:

    Alternately you could save even more money by going with an AMD Llano - it's tailor-made for HTPCs and runs a Radeon HD 6670 off the chip and eliminates the need for a central graphics card. Maybe try something like this:


    I'm pretty sure I want to go for discrete graphics, I want this to last a few years, and I think the llano won't be able to keep up with game advances.
  5. If you want to do any gaming then the intergrated graphics is not the way to go , it really struggles with games.
  6. Kingwin used to produce crap PSUs, and they are still in many people's minds. I have also seen that the 80+ platinum model you selected has reviewed very well, as you pointed out, so it would be an excellent choice for quality. I'm not sure you'll want to power a GTX560Ti with it though; oh it will work just fine, but you WILL need fans running in your case to move some air through the PSU to cool it. Take a look at the Seasonic X-560. It is fully modular, 80+ gold, and only runs its fan when needed.
  7. ^+1 on the Seasonic.
  8. I would suggest a pioneer BD drive, they are the most quiet- I had to replace my samsung because I didn't like the disk noise during the quiet part of films.

    That Seasonic x-560 looks nice.. might be my next upgrade in my HTPC

    Also, I like my DeNovo Mini Keyboard pricey but totally cool at the same time. It works in a mouse-keyboard mode (orange backlighting) or flip the switch and it's a Media Center remote (green backlight)- works great with XBMC
  9. The psu is platinum rated, which is good for a constricted case like the Antec. But, it will depend on good case cooling because it is fanless.

    Instead, I would suggest a Seasonic 650w gold rated modular psu
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817151088
    I use the 750w version, and the fan, if it ever runs, is inaudible.

    I might consider a EVGA GTX570 for the gpu. It has a direct exhaust type cooler which tends to direct heat out of the case directly.
    EVGA can reduce the minimum fan profile to 30% which is very quiet. Under load, such a card might not have to work as hard, remaining quieter.
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814130593

    While the stock Intel cooler will do the cooling job, and the 2120 is not a hot cpu, the cooler will spin up noisily under load. I might consider using an aftermarket cooler with a slower turning 120-140 mm fan.
    Noctua makes some of the best, but there are other good low profile units out there.
    Here is the Noctua NH-C12P SE14
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835608019

    In other respects, it looks good.
  10. photokev1 said:
    I would suggest a pioneer BD drive, they are the most quiet- I had to replace my samsung because I didn't like the disk noise during the quiet part of films.

    I hadn't really thought about the noise of the BD drive. Thanks. Pioneer drives seem to be hard to find though.

    photokev1 said:
    Also, I like my DeNovo Mini Keyboard pricey but totally cool at the same time. It works in a mouse-keyboard mode (orange backlighting) or flip the switch and it's a Media Center remote (green backlight)- works great with XBMC

    Definitely pricey - anyone have any experience with the Lenovo mini keyboard?
  11. geofelt said:

    Instead, I would suggest a Seasonic 650w gold rated modular psu
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817151088

    Good suggestions - the 650 is only $5.00 more than the 560, and it looks like it comes with a better fan. I think I'll go with the 650.
    geofelt said:

    I might consider a EVGA GTX570 for the gpu. It has a direct exhaust type cooler which tends to direct heat out of the case directly.
    EVGA can reduce the minimum fan profile to 30% which is very quiet. Under load, such a card might not have to work as hard, remaining quieter.
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814130593

    Good suggestion, but that's about $120.00 more. Don't think I can justify it. It looks like the 560 Ti I selected also exhausts out the back, so I'll stick with that for now.

    geofelt said:

    While the stock Intel cooler will do the cooling job, and the 2120 is not a hot cpu, the cooler will spin up noisily under load. I might consider using an aftermarket cooler with a slower turning 120-140 mm fan.
    Noctua makes some of the best, but there are other good low profile units out there.
    Here is the Noctua NH-C12P SE14
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835608019

    Yep, I was thinking about whether I would need a quieter cooler. I will probably use the stock for now, and change later if needed.

    geofelt said:

    In other respects, it looks good.


    Thanks
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