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Need advice to build budget microATX HTPC $800-900

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June 19, 2012 3:10:41 PM

Hello guys! This is my first post here in tom's hardware but I have always been using this site to read some nice advice about PC's. Infact, digging in this site was also a big help to me when I built my gf's computer. So, thank you in advance for all the help. I know this community is very helpful :) .

Approximate Purchase Date: Mid to end of July 2012 (Next Month)

Budget Range: ($800-$900)

System Usage from Most to Least Important: HTPC but i want it to play League of Legends at very high settings with 60fps.

Parts Not Required: mouse, keyboard, monitor, speakers.

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Newegg.com and amazon.com. I also have a microcenter store not too far.

Country: Germantown, MD, USA

Parts Preferences: Only preference i have is using Nvidia gfx cards

Overclocking: Maybe

SLI or Crossfire: No

Monitor Resolution: 1920x1200 I have an HDTV 42".

Additional Comments: Since i am using it as an HTPC i would love for it to boot very fast. I would be doing some light image editing (photoshop) and Light video editing. And most importantly, I want to be able to play League of Legends on highest settings with 60fps


Here are the parts that I have in mind:

This case is a must. SilverStone Aluminum Micro ATX Tower Computer Case FT03B (Black)

CPU: i5 3570K or i5 2500K (Should i just go with 3570K for a few more bucks?) Yes, I want to have the option to OC later on

GPU: EVGA GeForce GTX 550 Ti But I might upgrade to a GTX 570 or 580 in the future.

PSU: Corsair Enthusiast TX V2 Series 750-Watt. It seems like this is the one that fits the case I want.

Please let me know how to maximize the efficiency of the parts. And the cheaper it will cost me the better.

I built my gf's comp with a i5 2500k + GTX 550 ti + Asus Z68-V LX so i know that combo works well. I just don't know what's a good micro ATX mobo.

Again, thank you so much in advance guys!

Best solution

June 19, 2012 3:53:08 PM

I know the case "is a must" but for a 800-900 build,a case should be low on the priority list.
I know your'e a nvidia fanboy,but the Radeon Hd 6850 will offer much better performance than the 550ti and only a little more.
You're psu is really overkill. 600w should be plenty,with overclocking as well.

With that in mind this is what I would reccomend.
MB: ASRock Z77 Pro4-M/$110
CPU: i5 2500k/$220
Cpu Cooler: Corsair H60/$65
RAM: 8gb G.skill ARES series 1600/$47
PSU: OCZ ModXStream Pro modular 600W/$67($42 after MIR)
SSD: OCZ Agility 3 60gb/$67($57 after MIR)
HD: Western Digital Caviar Blue 500gb/$75
Optical Drive: ASUS 24x OEM/$17
Case: SilverStone SST-PS07B/$79($69 after MIR)
GPU: ASUS Radeon HD 6850/$150($130 after MIR)

Total $897($832 after MIR) Prices from newegg

Some notes,I added a ssd so this build will boot incredibly fast.
the 3570k will give you no real advantage as you are using a pci 2.0 card. and you should be able to OC the 2500k a little more than the 3570k
I got a very similar case,just at half the price
I added a good liquid cooler so you can overclock it to your hearts delight. I doubt a good air cooler would fit inside such a small case.
It is a very strong build and shouldn't have a problem playing LOL at very high setttings.

Best of luck with your build!
Cheers!
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June 19, 2012 4:38:02 PM

Definitely check your local Microcenter. Not sure if prices are the same at all stores, but the I5-3570K is on sale for $190 and you may find a combo deal (when adding a motherboard to your cart) for even more savings. For instance:


Intel Core I5-3570K
ASRock Z77 Pro4-M

This motherboard is listed at $109.99, but added to the shopping cart with the Core I5-3570K, it's only $59.99.

-Wolf sends
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June 19, 2012 5:56:53 PM

Wolfshadw said:
Definitely check your local Microcenter. Not sure if prices are the same at all stores, but the I5-3570K is on sale for $190 and you may find a combo deal (when adding a motherboard to your cart) for even more savings. For instance:


Intel Core I5-3570K
ASRock Z77 Pro4-M

This motherboard is listed at $109.99, but added to the shopping cart with the Core I5-3570K, it's only $59.99.

-Wolf sends


Thanks for the tip! I did the same thing with my gf's build and saved a bunch at MicroCenter. I don't know why i didn't think of this.

I might be building this PC sooner
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June 19, 2012 7:03:13 PM

I read about the ASRock Z77 Pro4-M mobo. It said that it has an on-board graphics chip. Would this graphics be ok with watching movies and some light photoshop works (creating icons and wallpapers)?

I will just save up for a better video card. And I will just be using my MSI GT780DX for playing LoL and heavier jobs until I have enough for a better video card.
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June 19, 2012 7:15:01 PM

To be honest, I don't know. I just threw that out as something I've been considering (I'd be using a discrete card 100% of the time).

-Wolf sends
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June 19, 2012 8:39:35 PM

ald3n3 said:
I read about the ASRock Z77 Pro4-M mobo. It said that it has an on-board graphics chip. Would this graphics be ok with watching movies and some light photoshop works (creating icons and wallpapers)?

I will just save up for a better video card. And I will just be using my MSI GT780DX for playing LoL and heavier jobs until I have enough for a better video card.

if you were using integrated graphics you would want to use the ones on your cpu. intel hd 4000. Yes and they are actually quite impressive.
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June 20, 2012 3:22:32 PM

andystanley said:
if you were using integrated graphics you would want to use the ones on your cpu. intel hd 4000. Yes and they are actually quite impressive.


Thank you for the answer. Yeah, my knowledge with building comps is very limited. Thanks for all the help guys!. Turns out I'll be building this next week =D Too eager to wait till next month.

I will update you guys after the build, before i close this thread and pick a best answer.

Thanks again guys!
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June 20, 2012 3:44:37 PM

ald3n3 said:
Thank you for the answer. Yeah, my knowledge with building comps is very limited. Thanks for all the help guys!. Turns out I'll be building this next week =D Too eager to wait till next month.

I will update you guys after the build, before i close this thread and pick a best answer.

Thanks again guys!

awesome! best of luck!
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June 20, 2012 4:16:32 PM

Here's what i have decided to get. Most of them are thanks to you, andystanley. I changed some stuff after reading a bit. But please let me know if I am missing anything, or if I should be getting something else instead of what i have, or if the build will work perfectly. Thanks!

Silverstone aluminum micro ATX 164.99 Amazon
i5 3570k 189.99 MicroCenter (cheaper when bundled with ASRock Mobo)
ASRock Z77 Pro4-M 59.99 MicroCenter (cheaper when bundled with i5 3570K)
Crucial M4 CT064M4SSD2 72.99 Newegg
OCZ ModXStream Pro 600W Modular 64.99 Amazon
GTX 570/580 (will save for this) =(
G.SKILL 8GB (2x4gb) 1600MHz 46.99 Newegg
Antec Kuhler H2O 620 Liquid Cool 47.99 Amazon
2 tb Seagate Barracuda 109.99 Amazon
Asus 24xDVD-RW OEM 16.99 Newegg (I read that my case might only fit slimline dvd drive so i have to double check this one

Total = $774.91 Not too bad?
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June 20, 2012 4:38:50 PM

Looks awesome!
Only thing I'd change would probally be the g.skill ripjaw series. get the G.skill ARES series instead. Same performance,just lower profile heatspreaders. Microatx is small so you might want smaller heatsinks so it doesn't get in he way of the cooler or anything else.
Everything else looks great though!
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June 28, 2012 1:07:14 PM

Build done =)



Despite the size of this case (pretty small) it has awesome cable management. All the wires goes to a hidden compartment in the back of the case, along with the HDD and SSD. I love it!

And with the water cooling? Temp stays around pretty low. It's like a refrigerator inside my case lol

Thank you all for your help and advice!Specially AndyStanley
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June 28, 2012 1:08:20 PM

Best answer selected by ald3n3.
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June 29, 2012 7:40:17 PM

Your welcome. Glad to be of assistance :) 
Enjoy your pc!
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