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Opinion on $500-$800 HTPC with light gaming

Last response: in Systems
October 23, 2012 1:25:00 AM

Hey all,

Apologies, but it looks as if I posted this in the wrong category at first and didn't follow the advice in the sticky, so let me try again (I'm new here).

Approximate Purchase Date: next few months

Budget Range: $500-$800

System Usage from Most to Least Important: HTPC, media server, gaming (e.g. Team Fortress 2, Portal 2, perhaps stretching to newer titles like Modern Warfare 3, Bioshock 2, and Starcraft 2)

Are you buying a monitor: Will be driving a 1080p projector on a large screen

Parts to Upgrade: NA

Do you need to buy OS: No

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Amazon, newegg

Location: Fairfax County, VA, USA

Parts Preferences: none

Overclocking: No

SLI or Crossfire: Doesn't matter

Your Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080

Additional Comments:
-Needs to have 5.1 sound.
-A near silent rig is very important, however, I'm willing to trade for some additional noise if it's going to get me significant savings.
-I have spare HDDs for main storage, but I want speedy boot times, as the machine will not be left on all the time; an SSD is a must. Again, I'm willing to spend on the upper end of the range if I can fit the games on the SSD so that they start quickly.

And Most Importantly, Why Are You Upgrading: I'm building a home theater.

Here's some parts I picked using my meager knowledge: link to part picker.

Thanks for reading and for the help.
October 24, 2012 1:29:20 AM

Cool, thanks JR. Just a few questions:

1) Not a huge difference, but do you think the extra $20 is worth the upgrade from a 400W to 460W PSU? Power estimates for the machine seem to be in the 200W range.

2) Is it really possible to go completely fanless on a rig like this?
October 24, 2012 10:39:50 PM

1) Sorry, I see that I was being too vague. In the parts list that I linked to in my original post, I had a similar Seasonic power supply, but it was 60W less (400 vs the 460 you suggested) and also $20 cheaper. As I said, it's a small price difference, so I'm probably being too picky, but $20 here and there can make a pretty large difference on the final price. I was wondering whether I would realistically ever need the extra 60W of power anyway.

2) This is really awesome to know, so I'm very happy that you pointed all of this out. Thanks again for all of your input.
October 24, 2012 10:40:03 PM

Best answer selected by songfire.