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TV gaming computer

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October 17, 2012 3:00:56 PM

Hi guys!
My friend wanted a gaming computer for is 38" Led tv.

The computer must run skyrim (with enb mods) in ultra and smooth, dirt 3, diablo 3 and BF3. All ultra settings.

So this is the settup that I came up with!

Intel Core i5-3550 Quad Core, Retail
Mushkin 8GB DDR3 1600MHz (2x4GB) Blackline. CL8, 1.5V
Gigabyte GTX 670OC PCI-E3.0 2GB GDDR5
Inter-Tech Energon EPS-750 CM 750W, 140mm vifta
Gigabyte S1155 Z77M-D3H motherboard.
Thermaltake Armor A30 mATX case.




I realy want your oppinion about this computer! And is there any performence diffrence betwene ATX and m-ATX?

More about : gaming computer

a c 271 4 Gaming
October 17, 2012 4:29:07 PM

I'm not entirely sure about that PSU and whether or not that case will accept a full ATX power supply. You will also have to check the dimensions of the case to make sure that Gigabyte card can fit.

If you can get the Silverstone Grandia that's a far better case than anything else you can get for an HTPC.
October 17, 2012 6:20:45 PM

g-unit1111 said:
If you can get the Silverstone Grandia that's a far better case than anything else you can get for an HTPC.


YES! This is exactly what I was going to write. If its going to be part of a TV system you should get a large horizontal case - that way it will fit on a shelf with cable box, etc. It will look a lot nicer too.

Doesnt necessarily need to be the Grandia though - there are a few options in this form factor (although Silverstone is the best at it).

Related resources
October 17, 2012 6:23:06 PM

Also if its getting plugged into a tv go ahead and get a blue-ray player!
a b x TV
a b 4 Gaming
October 17, 2012 6:48:26 PM

How do you plan to HOOK IT UP?

There are three options:
1) Use the PC input (may be VGA which is fine, or limited to 1360x768 which isn't good if your TV is 1920x1080). Audio would be the 3.5mm stereo output.

2) Use the normal HDMI input:
This is tricky.. You can't simply use the HDMI output on the discrete graphics card as the sound output from that is only certain movie codes that the graphics card audio portion decodes.

I think you could get it to work using a Virtu MVP motherboard in i-Mode so you are hooking up to the motherboards HDMI output. So you'd be getting the game video from the addon GTX670 and the audio from the onboard sound.

3) audio receiver:
pass the VIDEO via the HDMI input and use a separate sound system likely using a digital audio output. Can simply use the addon GTX670's DVI output and a DVI->HDMI cable.
a c 271 4 Gaming
October 17, 2012 6:49:03 PM

deadlockedworld said:
YES! This is exactly what I was going to write. If its going to be part of a TV system you should get a large horizontal case - that way it will fit on a shelf with cable box, etc. It will look a lot nicer too.

Doesnt necessarily need to be the Grandia though - there are a few options in this form factor (although Silverstone is the best at it).


I have the GD05B and I couldn't have asked for a better HTPC case - the thing is built like a tank, was fairly easy to assemble, and has room for a full ATX PSU and mATX motherboard which is what I was going for. The cable management kind of sucks but in an HTPC you won't really see those anyways.
October 17, 2012 9:04:08 PM

g-unit1111 said:
I have the GD05B and I couldn't have asked for a better HTPC case - the thing is built like a tank, was fairly easy to assemble, and has room for a full ATX PSU and mATX motherboard which is what I was going for. The cable management kind of sucks but in an HTPC you won't really see those anyways.


I wasnt disagreeing with you! Just encouraging him to shop around. I have the smaller Silverstone Milo and its great. Matches my Comcast box, LOL.
a b x TV
a b 4 Gaming
October 17, 2012 11:59:57 PM

SOME POINTS:

1. The motherboard you mention doesn't have Virtu MVP. You may need it to connect properly to your HDTV in i-Mode. If this is confusing feel free to ask questions. Here's a different board that is micro-ATX, Ivy Bridge as well:
http://us.ncix.com/products/?sku=72469&vpn=GA-Z77M-D3H%...

2. HASWELL (new motherboard and new CPU) is coming about April 2013. I know that's six months but Haswell has DRASTICALLY improved power management and this is a computer next to your HDTV.

The Haswell CPU is said to consume up to 20x LESS POWER in idle mode. The new motherboard should also be more efficient.

It won't matter much during GAMING (first Haswell CPU's are still 22nm), non-gaming use like movies or web-browsing should be far quieter.

3. You'll want Windows 8 likely. It will likely end up with some sort of REMOTE CONTROL navigation through the new interface which would be very handy.

4. STEAM has an awesome new BETA version that allows you to use your XBOX Controller to open many games and even navigate the WEB!

5. If you'd like a list of my Steam games that work with the CONTROLLER and my opinion I'd be happy to post (since it's an HDTV gaming machine, I assuming games that work with a controller are preferred. Not sure how he'd play Diablo 3... )
a b x TV
a b 4 Gaming
October 18, 2012 12:21:03 AM

CASE:
*It's NOT EASY to find a good case for an HTPC gaming machine. You need to do a lot of research.

You really need to write a LIST of your needs, for example:
- supports full ATX Power Supply
- supports 3.5" and/or 2.5" drives (some support only 2.5")
- front USB3 (if motherboard supports front panel USB3. Make sure these match USB3 or USB2)
- included fans and fan control system?
- ATX or micro-ATX? (ATX takes up more space, but adds more slots for expansion)

This SILVERSTONE is just an example, but this is the best form factor IMO:
http://us.ncix.com/products/?sku=58738&vpn=GD06&manufac...

Basically it's a micro-ATX tower placed on its side with the insides readjusted (DVD burner, drives etc) at 90-degrees.
October 18, 2012 11:39:53 AM

photonboy said:
SOME POINTS:

1. The motherboard you mention doesn't have Virtu MVP. You may need it to connect properly to your HDTV in i-Mode. If this is confusing feel free to ask questions. Here's a different board that is micro-ATX, Ivy Bridge as well:
http://us.ncix.com/products/?sku=72469&vpn=GA-Z77M-D3H%...

2. HASWELL (new motherboard and new CPU) is coming about April 2013. I know that's six months but Haswell has DRASTICALLY improved power management and this is a computer next to your HDTV.

The Haswell CPU is said to consume up to 20x LESS POWER in idle mode. The new motherboard should also be more efficient.

It won't matter much during GAMING (first Haswell CPU's are still 22nm), non-gaming use like movies or web-browsing should be far quieter.

3. You'll want Windows 8 likely. It will likely end up with some sort of REMOTE CONTROL navigation through the new interface which would be very handy.

4. STEAM has an awesome new BETA version that allows you to use your XBOX Controller to open many games and even navigate the WEB!

5. If you'd like a list of my Steam games that work with the CONTROLLER and my opinion I'd be happy to post (since it's an HDTV gaming machine, I assuming games that work with a controller are preferred. Not sure how he'd play Diablo 3... )


Thanks for the reply!
1. Virtu MVP?! what do I lose if I don't have it? Game performance or quality? The idea was to connect the computer with HDMI cable.
2. Are they going to be expensive?

October 18, 2012 12:08:43 PM

ALSO!

This case is the only one that is like an HTCP case, and is available in our local store (We live in Iceland, so we dont get the"good stuff") The case supports full size graphic cards, micro and m-ATX motherboards. I forgot to mention that we are going to use SSD 120GB for system and games but a USB 3.0 Portable Hard Drive for the movies. The case has usb 3 in front and the motherboard supports that.

But can we use the HDMI cable for the video and normal Jack for the sound (The tv has audio input) We dont need 5.1 sound system, we only have 2.1!

OK we changed the power supplie to 600W, I used a calculator and it told that we would need about 450. We are not going to use SLI but maby overclocking.

But thanks for the replys!!
October 18, 2012 2:20:33 PM

arnoreids said:
OK we changed the power supplie to 600W, I used a calculator and it told that we would need about 450. We are not going to use SLI but maby overclocking.


Do you know about PSUs? Look for the highest efficiency unit you can afford from a company like Seasonic or Corsair (not sure what brands you have available -- feel free to post). Higher efficiency = lower heat and noise. Variable speed fan is very to keep helpful in a quiet HTPC too.
a b x TV
a b 4 Gaming
October 18, 2012 6:06:14 PM

arnoreids said:
Thanks for the reply!
1. Virtu MVP?! what do I lose if I don't have it? Game performance or quality? The idea was to connect the computer with HDMI cable.
2. Are they going to be expensive?


I strongly suggest you copy this, possibly print it and spend time understanding the audio/video paths as well as Virtu MVP technology:
The PROBLEM using a normal HDTV's HDMI input is that the addon graphics card does NOT supply full sound on its HDMI output.

HDMI sound, from the graphics card is only certain audio codecs like Dolby Digital and MP3 that are decoded on the sound card itself. Game sounds for example, need to be decoded by the onboard audio chip or addon sound card.

Virtu MVP has several advantages and you can Google it. The motherboard I linked above somewhere is just over $100, is a Z77 Ivy Bridge, micro-ATX and has Virtu MVP. So I think it's probably ideal.

How does Virtu MVP solve the audio problem?
There are two MODES, i-mode and d-mode.
i-Mode allows you to plug the HDMI cable into the MOTHERBOARD but still use the addon graphics card. Here's the audio/video path:

a) NON-GAMING:
Audio-> onboard sound chip
Video-> Ivy Bridge CPU (i.e. i5-3570K) HD4000 chip

b) GAMING:
Audio-> onboard sound chip
Video-> addon graphics card (i.e. GTX670)

The slight DRAWBACK is that i-mode might not perform as well as d-mode. On the other hand this can be offset by HYPERFORMANCE and Virtual VSYNC and quite frankly it's the only easy option anyway to hook up a TV.

*So if you hooked up your PC to your HDTV using the HDMI cable simply plugged into your addon graphics card (which you have to with no Virtu MVP) you'd get no game sounds.

Alternative:
As I mention there are alternatives. The easiest one depends on your HDTV connections, for example I have this:
a) VIDEO-> VGA cable (to PC input on HDTV)
b) AUDIO-> 3.5mm stereo M-M connection

Most HDTV's have a PC-input section to basically transform your TV into a monitor. The biggest drawback is that a 1920x1080 HDTV might only have a 1360x768 input. If your HDTV is already the lower input you may wish to use the PC input instead.

*IMPORTANT*:
- the PC input allows you to change the resolution in a game (i.e. 1024x768)
- the normal HDMI input (not a PC-HDMI input if it exists) is locked to your resolution (1360x768 or 1920x1080)

SUMMARY:
1) get a Virtu MVP motherboard (can be disabled)
2) understand the audio and video path options
a b x TV
a b 4 Gaming
October 18, 2012 6:37:36 PM

NOISE and design.
(I know I replied a lot but this is useful info IMO.)

SSD/Hard Drives:
I strongly recommend this:
a) 128GB Samsung 830 (for Windows/apps)
b) 2TB WD GREEN or similar hard drive (games, downloads, Windows backup etc)

The SSD will be faster and also quieter. The hard drive can shut down (Power Options set up properly in Windows).

The Samsung 830 is the only SSD I can currently recommend on quality and price. Several cheaper options are failing completely. You do NOT want to mess around here and this drive has been seen for $100 USD. If you get a WD drive you can download their free Acronis True Image software and periodically backup your SSD drive in case of virus/failure etc. Strongly recommended (once per month). Always keep the FIRST backup (Activated and all updates/drivers) in case issues creep into later backups like viruses.

NOISE SUMMARY for Idle Mode (non-gaming use):
a) Hard Drive powers down and SSD makes no noise
b) Virtu MVP shuts off addon graphics card
c) CPU HSF (heatsink plus fan) if setup properly will spin down CPU fan (if not setup properly in BIOS and fan plugged into CPU_FAN on motherboard fan spins at 100%). You do NOT have to spend more than $30 to get a good HSF but it does have to be setup properly.

*Make sure you can either control the case fans automatically by temperature, or else get case fans that are very quiet (20dB per or less).

Summary:
1) Noise is important in this PC. In idle mode you really just want all noise coming from several slow-spinning fans.

2) An SSD is important to noise, but it's also important to back up Windows as discussed above.

3) The ideal setup for noise/value is an SSD for Windows/apps and a HARD DRIVE for bulk storage.
!