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Gaming HTPC

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March 19, 2012 7:20:53 PM

Approximate Purchase Date: Next week or so

Budget Range: This isnt strictly set, but look to spend around £800+

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, Console Emulating (Wii and PS2), Watching TV, Playing and Streaming 1080p movies, general HTPC usage

Parts Not Required: (e.g.: keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers, OS) n/a

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Not actually that fussed at this time

Country: (e.g.: India) UK

Parts Preferences: by brand or type Unsure

Overclocking: Maybe

SLI or Crossfire: Maybe

Monitor Resolution: 1900x1200

Additional Comments: See below







I am hoping to build a Gaming HTPC.
I am a little out of the loop with most components as the last time I had a PC built was 2006 so a lot has changed since then.

Here is my idea for what my Gaming HTPC hybrid should be able to do:


1)Running Ubuntu mainly (but will also be installing windows)
2)Plays 1080p (obviously)
3)Plays Blu-Ray discs (maybe burn them)
4)Stream media
5)Possibly use for encoding
6)Quiet when not doing demanding tasks such as running games, quiet running during tv/movie playback really is a must
7)Use for gaming (ie Skyrim)
8)I have a 5.1 sound system and ideally I would like it connected straight to the PC (preferably using optical out)
9)Use as a server (so my laptop does not have to be on all the time), will have my external hdd case (with 2x2tb SPANNED hdds in) connected.
10)Remote Control use (may be a problem using ubuntu....)
11)Be able to watch TV shows (so will include a tuner card)
12) Low power usage when not doing demanding things (as I think the pc will be on most, if not all, of the time.



Decided components (this section can very easily be changed and most likely will be changed)

Motherboard:
Asus P8Z68-V PRO/GEN3 Motherboard (Socket 1155, ATX, DDR3, USB 3.0, HDMI, Bluetooth Module)
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Asus-P8Z68-V-PRO-GEN3-Motherboard/dp/B005T3TLM6/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top

Processor:
Intel Core i7-2700K 3.5 GHz Quad Core Processor (Socket 1155, 8MB L3 Cache, HyperThreading Technology, Retail)
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Intel-i7-2700K-Processor-HyperThreading-Technology/dp/B005X55OR6/ref=sr_1_1?s=computers&ie=UTF8&qid=1332072281&sr=1-1

RAM
Corsair CMZ8GX3M2A1600C9 8GB 1600MHz CL9 DDR3 Vengeance Memory Two Module Kit
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Corsair-CMZ8...omputers_img_c

Case
Lian Li PC-C32B Black HTPC Case
http://www.kustompcs.co.uk/acatalog/info_0929.html

Really unsure about this
GPU:
Asus GeForce GTX 570 ENGTX570 DCII/2DIS/1280MD5
http://www.kustompcs.co.uk/acatalog/info_5329.html

Really unsure about this
PSU
BeQuiet Pure Power L8 730W Power Supply BN183
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/730w-...-quiet-fan-atx
OR
OCZ-ZT750W-UK - 750W OCZ ZT Series Fully Modular PSU 80+ Bronze Certified ~85% Efficiency 140mm Fan 5 Year Warranty
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/750w-...-year-warranty

After that I am a little hazy on what components would be ideally suited for my task.
I believe the rest of my shopping list is:

GPU
RAM
PSU
HT Case
Blu-ray Drive
Sound Card (is this necessary?)
Wireless keyboard and mouse
Remote Control



As the onboard graphics are decent I think I may hold off on buying the graphics card until a later date.

Any equipment I have already listed is very open to suggestions and changes.

Thanks


UPDATE:

After some research I have found that my options are limited due to the Lian Li case only accomodating GPU cards of 270mm or less, so to find a small, quiet, cool, reliable card is tricky, however this seems to be quite good:


Gainward GeForce GTX 580 "GOOD Edition" 1536MB GDDR5 PCI-Express Graphics Card
http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=GX-141-GW

Review:
http://www.tweaktown.com/pressrelease/4782/gainward_geforce_gtx_580_good_1536mb_superb_premium_own_design_faster_than_ever/index.html

Does anyone have experience with this card and if so, would it be a good choice?

The card is 267mm as stated here:
http://www.gainward.com/main/vgapro.php?id=452

Do you think 267mm is too close to 270mm?

More about : gaming htpc

March 19, 2012 11:47:26 PM

UPDATE

So my friend and I have gone through a list and these are the components as it stands:

CPU
Processor (i5 2500k)
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/intel-core-i5-2500k-unlocked-s1155-sandy-bridge-quad-33ghz-hd3000-igp-850mhz-6mb-cache-95w-retail

Motherboard
Asus P8Z68 Gen 3
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/asus-p8z68-v-gen3-intel-z68-s-1155-ddr3-sata-iii-6gb-s-sata-raid-pcie-30-%28x16%29-d-sub-dvi-d-hdmi-atx

TV Card
Peak PCI DVB-T
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Peak-DVB-T-Channel-Scheduling-Recording/dp/B0018D8J60/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top

SSD OCZ Agility 3
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/120gb-ocz-agility-3-ssd-25-sata-6gb-s-sandforce-2281-read-525mb-s-write-500mb-s-85k-iops

Case Lian Li C60B
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/lian-li-pc-c60b-black-aluminium-matx-htpc-case-usb3-e-sata-w-o-psu

PSU
Corsair 600w PSU
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/600w-psu-corsair-builder-series-cmpsu-600cxv2uk-80-eff-80-plus-eps-12v-quiet-fan-atx-v23

Ram Corsair Vengeance DDR3
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/8gb-%282x4gb%29-corsair-vengeance-blue-ddr3-pc3-12800%281600%29-non-ecc-unbuffered-cas-9-9-9-24-xmp-15v

Blu Ray Drive
LG 10x BD Writer
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/lg-10x-blu-ray-writer-16x-dvdr-8x-plusrw-6x-rw-12x-ram-oem-plus-s-w-bh10ls38auau

CPU Cooler
Scythe Shuriken CPU Cooler
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/scythe-shuriken-revb-quiet-low-profile-cooler-3-heat-pipe-htpc-ready-all-amd-intel-cpu

Keyboard
Razer Arctosa Black Edition
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/razer-arctosa-black-edition-programmable-gaming-keyboard-with-hyperesponse

GPU and Sound card added later, what do you think?
Related resources
March 20, 2012 10:34:20 PM

thedemon1366 said:
UPDATE

So my friend and I have gone through a list and these are the components as it stands:

CPU
Processor (i5 2500k)
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/intel-core-i5-2500k-unlocked-s1155-sandy-bridge-quad-33ghz-hd3000-igp-850mhz-6mb-cache-95w-retail

I would go with the i3-2120. It's great at gaming, and only 65W (vs 95W for the 2500K).


Sandforce SSDs are unreliable. The 128GB Crucial M4 is faster and has much better firmware.


The reviews of Lian Li HTPC cases I've read recently say they aren't very good at staying cool and quiet. I'd go with a Silverstone Sugo series case instead.


That PSU should be fine, but an HX series or SeaSonic PSU will give you better temps.


I think it looks like a good build. I wouldn't worry about a sound card: modern motherboards have great built-in sound, and adding another card will hinder airflow. That GTX 580 you listed earlier looks like it will be quiet, and the Z68 motherboard will make it easy to switch to the 2120's IGP for movie time.
March 20, 2012 11:16:41 PM

I was thinking of changing the case anyway as it does not have an IR receiver. I Was looking at:

Antec Fusion Remote Max:
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/antec-fusion-remote-max-...

Any thoughts on this case?

Will I not need sound card for gaming in 5.1?

Do you have any comments about the TV card at all? I have little experience with them, but basically I just want freeview with HD from it, will the above card do?
a b 4 Gaming
March 21, 2012 12:42:13 AM

Unless you're running 15 CAD projects simultaneously, the i5 2500K > i7 2700K.
Get an i5 2500K and invest the money in a better GPU.
I'd suggest the 6870 or 6950.
Get the OCZ power supply. Always get your PSU from a reputable brand.
March 21, 2012 8:10:09 AM

Thanks,

Do you have any comments about the case I mentioned in the post above or the TV card?
March 21, 2012 7:57:02 PM

thedemon1366 said:
I was thinking of changing the case anyway as it does not have an IR receiver. I Was looking at:

Antec Fusion Remote Max:
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/antec-fusion-remote-max-...

Any thoughts on this case?

Will I not need sound card for gaming in 5.1?

Do you have any comments about the TV card at all? I have little experience with them, but basically I just want freeview with HD from it, will the above card do?

That case looks great, I hadn't heard of it. This site seemed to like it, and Silent PC Review, which is really picky about cooling and acoustics, said a lot of good things about it.

The motherboard has 8-channel audio, so you could watch Blu-ray movies in 7.1 if you wanted.

I don't know much about TV cards either, but I suspect that certain cards could cause a headache with drivers. I hear good things about Hauppage.
!