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Gaming HTPC advice

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July 10, 2012 9:09:13 AM

Hi all,
I'm currently putting together a HTPC that I want to use for gaming as well (Mass Effect 3, Diablo 3, Fallout 3 & NV, etc.) . I will be hooking it up to my TV via HDMI and use the PC to replace my cable box, rip my blurays/dvds and stream movies via Hulu and Netflix.
I live in Hawaii and have to do most of my shopping online (did my initial search via Google shopping). I'm looking at around 1500 dollars as a budget but in a push can push it to 2 grand. I really dont have a time frame for the build since I will be ordering the parts piecemeal as the money become available (aka my wife lets me buy the parts ;p)
Basically I want a small form factor, with the power to play games. the biggest issue I've had is video cards and the case. I need at least two expansion slots (video card and cable tuner). I'm not sure if the low profile cards are good enough to play the current and future stock of games. Also I'm concerned about the background noise of the fans (CPU, CASE, and Video). and am not to sure of the wattage I need for the computer as well.
I stumbled on to Tomshardware doing the research and a lot of the reviews you all gave have been very useful and I figured I'd get your take on my choices.
heres the plan:

Case: Lian Li PC-C36 MUSE (two full sized expansion slots available, as well as a full ATX PSU, and mATX mobo)
PSU: SeaSonic X Series X650 Gold (not sure if I need 650W but figured it wouldn't be TOO over powered and it has a 80Gold rating)
Mobo:ASUS Maximus V GENE (mostly because it has PCIe x16 and come with a mPCIe combo card so i can get a mPCI wifi card without the need for a third expansion slot)
CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K Ivy Bridge 3.4GHz
GPU: PowerColor AX7750 1GBD5-DH Radeon HD 7750 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16 HDCP Ready Video Card (most powerful single slot GPU I could find in the US)
RAM: Corsair Vengeance 8 GB : 2 x 4 GB Memory (was really temped to go for 16 or 33 GB simple because i could lol)
SSD:Corsair Force Series GT 120 GB - 2.5" (for OS and some other basic programs)
HDD:WD Caviar Green WD30EZRX - 3 TB - 3.5"
Optical Drive: LITE-ON IHBS112-04 12X BD-R 2X BD-RE 16X DVD+R 12X DVD-RAM 8X BD-ROM SATA 12X Blu-ray Burner
Tuner: Ceton InfiniTV 4 PCIe
Extras: mSATA SSD Drive (30GB) and mPCIe WiFi card for the mobo)
Rii Mini Wireless Keyboard

What do you think? I know its way overpowered for a HTPC but I think it'll work well as a gaming rig. anything I did wrong or should do different?

More about : gaming htpc advice

a b B Homebuilt system
July 10, 2012 11:58:10 PM

For a gaming rig you'd best go with a far better card than a HD 7750 and for me it is a case of the strategic *placement* of the pcie slot for the Ceton rather than getting a high end board/chip (paired with low end GPU) :p 

This is the ECS H77 H2-M3

Even with a non single slot GPU, you'd be losing a PCI slot (irrelevant) at worst and the pcie slot is nicely on the edge of the board ^^

Here is a suggested stock/no OC mATX build


Ceton InfiniTV 4 PCIe
http://www.amazon.com/Ceton-InfiniTV-PCIe-4-channel-Cab...
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July 11, 2012 3:35:15 AM

If I was you I would get a regular case so you can get more powerful parts but other than that you have a good build:) 
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July 11, 2012 3:38:59 AM

Look into the gigabyte g1. Sniper m3 I think it is micro- ATX
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a c 136 B Homebuilt system
July 11, 2012 4:01:39 AM

OCing doesnt make sense in an HTPC , and especially not when you want quiet and already have great cpu performance .

i5 3550
H77 m-ATX board
2 x4 gig of RAM
Radeon 7850 .. gigabyte model with windforce cooler
Silverstone GD 05 case which take m-ATX boards, a full ATX psu , and has 3 120mm near silent fans so probably much better cooling than the Lian Li
http://www.silentpcreview.com/silverstone-gd05
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July 11, 2012 8:23:08 AM

Thanks for the replies,
Batuchka:
one of my issues is a slim form factor. this will be sitting on my entertainment center, I want something that looks like a cable box or a piece of AV gear. I chose the lian li because of the short height and the full size expansion slots (the SilverStone Lascala SST-LC11B-M http://www.silverstonetek.com/legacy.php?pid=130&area=e... the desire for a slim case is mostly the limiting factor in this build. with the lian li i only had two slots and one had to go to the cablecard. so that left only one for the GPU. If i was to go for the LC11 i could get a better two slot GPU. but then I'm worried about the case cooling. maybe a gemini 2 M4 ( i have family in England that can get it) or a big shuriken would solve the issue with the large fan helping cooling the entire case. I think i'm gonna have to annoy the wife and buy a big block.
I don't think they make slim cases with multiple full sized slots now, and aren't any good low profile GPUs on the market that i could find (I have family looking for the AFOX 7850 LP, but i'm not hopeful)

Robert751:
I looked at the g1 sniper, but chose the maximus V because of the mini pcie combo card that comes with it. with the Lian li case I only had two expansion slots so i didnt have the ability to add WiFi to the build. the Maximus V solved this by allowing me to get wifi without using a slot.

Outlander_04:
I'm not worried about OCing on this build. the MoBo was chosen because of the miniPCIe card and the mATX form factor. as well as the the on board X-fi audio (this is a gamming rig as well).
" target="_blank"> was also in consideration but its not in production anymore (but i found one used on Ebay) also has a less than 4" height and full sized slots. but i think it has some ventilation issues.
the desire for a slim case is mostly the limiting factor in this build. with the lian li i only had two slots and one had to go to the cablecard. so that left only one for the GPU. If i was to go for the LC11 i could get a better two slot GPU. but then I'm worried about the case cooling. maybe a gemini 2 M4 ( i have family in England that can get it) or a big shuriken would solve the issue with the large fan helping cooling the entire case. I think i'm gonna have to annoy the wife and buy a big block.
I don't think they make slim cases with multiple full sized slots now, and aren't any good low profile GPUs on the market that i could find (I have family looking for the AFOX 7850 LP, but i'm not hopeful)

Robert751:
I looked at the g1 sniper, but chose the maximus V because of the mini pcie combo card that comes with it. with the Lian li case I only had two expansion slots so i didnt have the ability to add WiFi to the build. the Maximus V solved this by allowing me to get wifi without using a slot.

Outlander_04:
I'm not worried about OCing on this build. the MoBo was chosen because of the miniPCIe card and the mATX form factor. as well as the the on board X-fi audio (this is a gamming rig as well).
" target="_blank"> http://www.silverstonetek.com/legacy.php?pid=130&area=e... the desire for a slim case is mostly the limiting factor in this build. with the lian li i only had two slots and one had to go to the cablecard. so that left only one for the GPU. If i was to go for the LC11 i could get a better two slot GPU. but then I'm worried about the case cooling. maybe a gemini 2 M4 ( i have family in England that can get it) or a big shuriken would solve the issue with the large fan helping cooling the entire case. I think i'm gonna have to annoy the wife and buy a big block.
I don't think they make slim cases with multiple full sized slots now, and aren't any good low profile GPUs on the market that i could find (I have family looking for the AFOX 7850 LP, but i'm not hopeful)

Robert751:
I looked at the g1 sniper, but chose the maximus V because of the mini pcie combo card that comes with it. with the Lian li case I only had two expansion slots so i didnt have the ability to add WiFi to the build. the Maximus V solved this by allowing me to get wifi without using a slot.

Outlander_04:
I'm not worried about OCing on this build. the MoBo was chosen because of the miniPCIe card and the mATX form factor. as well as the the on board X-fi audio (this is a gamming rig as well).
" target="_blank"> was also in consideration but its not in production anymore (but i found one used on Ebay) also has a less than 4" height and full sized slots. but i think it has some ventilation issues.
the desire for a slim case is mostly the limiting factor in this build. with the lian li i only had two slots and one had to go to the cablecard. so that left only one for the GPU. If i was to go for the LC11 i could get a better two slot GPU. but then I'm worried about the case cooling. maybe a gemini 2 M4 ( i have family in England that can get it) or a big shuriken would solve the issue with the large fan helping cooling the entire case. I think i'm gonna have to annoy the wife and buy a big block.
I don't think they make slim cases with multiple full sized slots now, and aren't any good low profile GPUs on the market that i could find (I have family looking for the AFOX 7850 LP, but i'm not hopeful)

Robert751:
I looked at the g1 sniper, but chose the maximus V because of the mini pcie combo card that comes with it. with the Lian li case I only had two expansion slots so i didnt have the ability to add WiFi to the build. the Maximus V solved this by allowing me to get wifi without using a slot.

Outlander_04:
I'm not worried about OCing on this build. the MoBo was chosen because of the miniPCIe card and the mATX form factor. as well as the the on board X-fi audio (this is a gamming rig as well).
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July 11, 2012 9:25:51 PM

Well best of luck with your computer
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!