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The HTPC/Gamer lets do this thing

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February 2, 2012 1:48:27 AM

Goal: A computer that boasts living room aesthetics and is quiet while 'entertaining' in HPTC form but still be able to get some great fps later in gaming form.

Let's do this-

Approximate Purchase Date: February

Budget Range: 2000 dollars

System Usage from Most to Least Important: OTA DVR/Netflix/Gaming

Parts Not Required: Monitor

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Only the egg

Country: USA

Parts Preferences: whatever makes the implausible plausible

Overclocking: Maybe

SLI or Crossfire: Maybe

Monitor Resolution: 1080P, 1920x1080

Additional Comments: The goal of this experiment is to get a aesthetically pleasing (read living room, not glowing blue with lasers and a disco ball) air cooled but very quiet system that plays games and does my HTPC chores of DVR, netflix, and TV viewing with power management so it doesn't suck my dollars all day/night long.


Intel Core i3-2120 Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz LGA 1155 65W Dual-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 2000 BX80623I32120
129.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Motherboard -ASUS P8P67 DELUXE (REV 3.0) LGA 1155 Intel P67 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard with UEFI BIOS
199.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

RAM - CORSAIR Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Low Profile Desktop Memory Model CML8GX3M2A1600C9
49.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

GPU - MSI R6950 Twin Frozr III PE/OC Radeon HD 6950 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card with Eyefinity
299.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

HDD - Seagate Barracuda Green ST2000DL003 2TB 5900 RPM 64MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
129.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

SSD - Corsair Force Series GT CSSD-F90GBGT-BK 2.5" 90GB SATA III Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)
149.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

PSU - CORSAIR Gaming Series GS800 800W ATX12V v2.3 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC High Performance Power Supply
124.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Optical Drive -ASUS Black 12X BD-ROM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-ROM SATA Internal Blu-ray Drive Model BC-12B1ST/BLK/B/AS - OEM
57.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Over the Air tuner- HDHomeRun DUAL - High Definition Digital TV Tuner (Network Attached) HDHR3-US (Black) by SiliconDust
$99.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Keyboard/mouse- IOGEAR GKM561R Black 2.4GHz Wireless HTPC Multimedia Keyboard with Laser Trackball and Scroll Wheel
39.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Gaming -Microsoft JR9-00011 Xbox 360 Wireless Controller for Windows (Can't believe this costs more than the keyboard/mouse...smh)
43.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

OS - Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64-bit - OEM
99.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

total so far is about
~1400

Case - Think aesthetics and quiet air cooled with some beautiful fan AND cable management, would love front USB 3.0 connectors as well

HELPPPPPPsss

What would you change? How would you keep it quiet? How do I manage the fans so its not a buzzsaw 24/7?

CPU cooler, Do I need one? How is the stock cooler? CPU the weak link but maybe thinking of upgrading with Ivy Bridge or should I hit te i5 now?
Is the GPU I chose quiet? Is it strong enough to last awhile? Has anyone had good luck unlocking to 6970?
Motherboard good, bady, ugly? Seems strong to me but I'm just looking at specs and not peoples experience and future CPU upgrading.

What parts am I just totally wrong on? Lets do this! I think with a bit of help I can manage something that few dare, a aesthetic gamer that is also a quiet HPTC/DVR that uses minimal energy when not being put through it's paces.

E

More about : htpc gamer lets thing

February 2, 2012 2:04:33 AM

I read somewhere wireless XBox 360 controller will not work on the computer. Try a wired one if I turn out to be correct. Those usually cost about $10-15 less than yours.

i5-2500k: $220
Antec Earthwatts 750W PSU: $85
G.Skill Sniper Series 2 x 4GB DDR3 SDRAM 1.25v: $50
Sapphire Radeon 7950: $460
ASRock Z68 Extreme3 Gen3 Motherboard: $122
Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit Upgrade Disk: $125
Same Mouse and Keyboard as yours.
Crucial M4 128GB SSD: $180
Same HDD as yours
CM Hyper 212 EVO: $35
HAF 922 Mid-Tower: $100
The rest is same as yours

This totals to about $1700 ($1685 if you go with wired controller). It has a better CPU, MOBO, good Cooler, cheaper yet still reliable PSU, a better Graphics Card, and nice looking case with Red LED, cable management, and high airflow.

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February 2, 2012 2:16:41 AM

^Almost exactly that build. Get an XFX Pro Series 750W, though; it's better. The high wattage assumes future Crossfire.
Might as well save $10 and get identical Kingston HyperX RAM.
Incidentally, some of your links don't work. Looks like you pasted them.
Get a decent mouse for gaming. I highly recommend the $45 Razer DeathAdder. You may think you like the 360 controller now, but you'll see.

Oh, one caveat: the 7950 is quite loud. It should throttle way down during straight-up media playback (or you can set the fan profile yourself), but during gaming it won't be anything like quiet. It is, however, by far the best high-end value around.
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February 2, 2012 2:25:50 AM

I'd say skip the ATX motherboard and go with something smaller to be a bit more unobtrusive in the living room.

Ideally if you move over to a mini-itx board you can really hide your HTPC in all sorts of pleasant form factors, I went with an old NES for mine.



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February 2, 2012 2:29:36 AM

kajabla said:
^Almost exactly that build. Get an XFX Pro Series 750W, though; it's better. The high wattage assumes future Crossfire.
Might as well save $10 and get identical Kingston HyperX RAM.
Incidentally, some of your links don't work. Looks like you pasted them.
Get a decent mouse for gaming. I highly recommend the $45 Razer DeathAdder. You may think you like the 360 controller now, but you'll see.

Oh, one caveat: the 7950 is quite loud. It should throttle way down during straight-up media playback (or you can set the fan profile yourself), but during gaming it won't be anything like quiet. It is, however, by far the best high-end value around.

What makes it better?
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February 2, 2012 2:41:40 AM

Thanks azeem40
What about this board? I would like to get a bit more USB 3.0 and have onboard 1394.

GIGABYTE GA-Z68XP-UD3 LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
144.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Also wondering about the PCI 2.0 for Sandy Bridge that will possibly switch to PCI 3.0 when Ivy Bridge comes along?
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February 2, 2012 2:47:38 AM

I wouldn't go the mini-HTPC route, as this is shaping up to be a very serious build.

You definitely don't need PCI 3.0. No graphics hardware that exists can max out a PCIe 2.0 x8 slot.

azeem, it's more efficient. The Antec's quite a decent box too.

That board looks fine.

Oh, and one more thing: choose your case almost purely by stylistic preference. Almost anything over $60 will work fine. The 7950 is long, so that's about the only thing to check.
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February 2, 2012 2:47:48 AM

Links fixed thanks for the heads up Kajabla
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February 2, 2012 2:56:35 AM

kajabla said:
I wouldn't go the mini-HTPC route, as this is shaping up to be a very serious build.

You definitely don't need PCI 3.0. No graphics hardware that exists can max out a PCIe 2.0 x8 slot.

azeem, it's more efficient. The Antec's quite a decent box too.

That board looks fine.

Oh, and one more thing: choose your case almost purely by stylistic preference. Almost anything over $60 will work fine. The 7950 is long, so that's about the only thing to check.

Well, I could tell from my post, but what makes them moreso?
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February 2, 2012 11:47:45 AM

For a more "living room-esque" aesthetic, I'd probably recommend going with an nMediaPC 6000B HTPC case, but you're not going to get any card over 9.5" long into it. That eliminates most high-end/enthusiast graphic cards.

-Wolf sends
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February 2, 2012 9:44:16 PM

We're talking about a high-end gaming build here, wolf. HTPC functionality is basically an afterthought when you want this kind of performance.

Azeem, here you are:
http://www.jonnyguru.com/modules.php?name=NDReviews&op=...
http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/article/XFX-PRO-750-W-Po...

They're very close, but the XFX comes out on top in their efficiency tests. However, that's not even the XFX I'm suggesting. There don't seem to be reviews around of the current XXX edition, which is 80+ Silver rated. The well-reviewed XFX in my link is only Bronze.
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February 2, 2012 10:30:50 PM

@ Kajabla - No, we're talking about an aesthetically pleasing HTPC with gaming capabilities.

Quoting the OP:
Quote:
Goal: A computer that boasts living room aesthetics and is quiet while 'entertaining' in HPTC form but still be able to get some great fps later in gaming form.

Quote:
System Usage from Most to Least Important: OTA DVR/Netflix/Gaming


I think an HD6770/HD6790 would provide sufficient (though not extreme) gaming capabilities and actually fit within the case I suggested; providing the OP with an aesthetically pleasing system as well as a competent gaming system.

-Wolf sends
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February 2, 2012 10:33:51 PM

Well, let's ask the boss :D 
flampton, what are you looking for?
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February 3, 2012 12:57:38 AM

Thank you everyone so here we go for a semi-finalized list:

CPU- Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz (3.7GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 3000 BX80623I52500K
229.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

MOBO- GIGABYTE GA-Z68XP-UD3 LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
144.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

RAM - G.SKILL Sniper Low Voltage Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-8GBSR2
49.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
(Couldn't find the hyperX memory that is 10 bucks cheaper on the Egg)

GPU - SAPPHIRE 11196-00-40G Radeon HD 7950 3GB 384-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card
449.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

HDD - Seagate Barracuda Green ST2000DL003 2TB 5900 RPM 64MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
129.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

SSD - Crucial M4 CT128M4SSD2 2.5" 128GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)
176.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

PSU - XFX PRO750W XXX Edition Semi-Modular 80Plus Silver 750 Watt Power Supply
129.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CPU FAN - COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 EVO RR-212E-20PK-R2 Continuous Direct Contact 120mm Sleeve CPU Cooler Compatible with latest Intel 2011/1366/1155 and AMD FM1/AM3+
34.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Logitech F310 Gamepad with broad game support and customizable buttons
29.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
(I like playing old school games with a controller)

but if a nice mouse for the newer games can't be too bad

RAZER DeathAdder Black Edition RZ01-00152400-R3M1 Black 5 Buttons 1 x Wheel USB Wired Optical 3500 dpi Mouse
59.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Can't find the 45 dollar version on the Egg

And here is the big pick that I'm worried about:

Case1: Fractal Design Define R3 Black Pearl w/ USB 3.0 ATX Mid Tower Silent PC Computer Case
109.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Case2: Antec P280 Black ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
129.99
hhttp://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


The rest is the same
Optical Drive -ASUS Black 12X BD-ROM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-ROM SATA Internal Blu-ray Drive Model BC-12B1ST/BLK/B/AS - OEM
57.99
same as above

Over the Air tuner- HDHomeRun DUAL - High Definition Digital TV Tuner (Network Attached) HDHR3-US (Black) by SiliconDust
$99.99
same as above

Keyboard/mouse- IOGEAR GKM561R Black 2.4GHz Wireless HTPC Multimedia Keyboard with Laser Trackball and Scroll Wheel
39.99
same as above

OS - Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64-bit - OEM
99.99
same as above

What do you think? And what about the dueling cases? Are there other cases that I'm missing that are silent and flair free?


and kajabla and wolf you're both right. Wolf: I want the system for the majority of time to be a reliable DVR/TV/Netflix computer that is quiet as possible and kajabla: I also want to run games at a reasonable power for the next few years. And for the case by aesthetically pleasing I meant that I don't want a glowing disco ball geek festival but a nice black case that is unobtrusive.
Example of what I'm not looking for currently :D 
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

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February 3, 2012 2:26:12 AM

Choose the case by looks. I like the Antec, personally, but it's all you.
It's lame that the DeathAdder's gone back up, but it's worth $60.
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February 3, 2012 12:17:37 PM

I don't know. I kind of like the NZXT :heink:  NOT!!!

I agree with kajabla in that it's up to you. Whichever appeals to you more, that's the one you should get. Of the two you linked, I think I like the Fractal better because it's all black.

-Wolf sends
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!