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~$1000 HTPC / Gaming Build

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October 25, 2012 5:35:41 AM

Approximate Purchase Date: Rolling, would start buying parts now if found good deals but might also wait through BF to see if anything crops up

Budget Range: Would prefer getting it below $1000 after rebates / shipping / before tax, but am always open to the value of a few extra dollars

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Watching large amounts of digital media stored on internal raid drives, serving media to local network, gaming, image/video editing

Are you buying a monitor: No
Do you need to buy OS: No
Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Any site
Location: Manhattan, NY, USA
Parts Preferences: I'm usually an Intel/Nvidia fan, but really only because I've used them most of my life and find it easier to compare their chip lines
Overclocking: Yes
SLI or Crossfire: No
Your Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080 42in TV

Potential Build:
PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($189.99 @ Microcenter)
Motherboard: Asus P8Z77-M Micro ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($122.99 @ Amazon)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($34.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Mushkin Chronos 120GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($84.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 2TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($89.99 @ NCIX US)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 2TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($89.99 @ NCIX US)
Video Card: Zotac GeForce GTX 650 Ti 2GB Video Card ($169.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Fractal Design Define Mini MicroATX Mini Tower Case ($99.98 @ NCIX US)
Power Supply: OCZ ModXStream Pro 600W 80 PLUS Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($38.91 @ NCIX US)
Optical Drive: Asus BC-12B1ST/BLK/B/AS Blu-Ray Reader, DVD/CD Writer ($56.23 @ Amazon)
Total: $978.05
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)


Additional Comments: Preferably would like to set up serving media to web somehow to be able to log in / stream privately, I like sleek cases, Games I'd play- AC3, SC2, Shogun, Skyrim. Would be doing graphic/video editing, and most likely using Plex or some other media center to play and serve media.

Haven't thought yet about any kind of extra cooling, and would definitely consider it if it wasn't that expensive. I felt like this was a pretty good all around build for the money and would be way overkill for HTPC type purposes but I definitely use my share of performance intensive software and games, along with my desire to ideally have it act as a hub for my media to be backed up in RAID and play in my living room while allowing wireless access elsewhere.

Any suggestions for different parts / small incremental upgrades that would be worth it / things I really don't need are appreciated! I'm not in a rush to build the computer, but any good deals going on I'd definitely jump on, in the hopes of eventually getting it together at a discount, since I am price conscious.

Thanks a lot! Never posted before, and haven't been in the PC building market much before either, so I appreciate the help!

More about : 1000 htpc gaming build

October 25, 2012 6:03:41 AM

Welcome. Main suggestion is that you really need an aftermarket CPU cooler if OCing.

I'd be looking at seeing if you can fit an ATX case, as Newegg has a sweet deal on the Z77 Extreme4 now (8GB free RAM).

You probably want more than a 650Ti if gaming. I mainly recommend AMD currently due to their awesome prices. I'd look at doing this:
PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3470 3.2GHz Quad-Core Processor ($191.97 @ CompUSA)
Motherboard: ASRock H77M Micro ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($69.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($34.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Mushkin Chronos 120GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($84.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 2TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($89.99 @ NCIX US)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 2TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($89.99 @ NCIX US)
Video Card: Asus Radeon HD 7870 2GB Video Card ($229.99 @ NCIX US)
Case: Fractal Design Define Mini MicroATX Mini Tower Case ($99.98 @ NCIX US)
Power Supply: Antec Neo Eco 520W 80 PLUS Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($46.98 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Asus BC-12B1ST/BLK/B/AS Blu-Ray Reader, DVD/CD Writer ($56.23 @ Amazon)
Total: $995.10
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)

It can't OC, but an i5 is fast enough at stock you won't have to for a long time. Plus you get cooling problems in small, quiet cases. The board you had wasn't great at OCing anyway, and this has a far better GPU; near the 660Ti.
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October 25, 2012 4:04:59 PM

Thanks for the input, a few questions-

So I really do want to keep the case as small as I can, does using an ATX MB pretty much automatically mean I'll need a mid-sized tower? In the searching I've done so far I haven't really found any mini towers that fit ATX, but I don't know if there are any towers that aren't mini but at least come close.

My gaming is probably going to be a lot lighter than my media usage/serving and general software usage (I don't necessarily need ultra graphics or anything, and don't really plan on playing FPS games, pretty much all RPG or RTS), which was why I was putting a lighter emphasis on the graphics card relative to the combined quality of everything else. Is the extra 80 for that radeon really worth sacrificing the general CPU/mb performance? Would it be worth it to stick to 4 dimm motherboards with adding an extra pair to upgrade in the future in mind?

Also what would a comparable AMD chip to the i5-3470/3570k be?

Thanks again for the help, I definitely need these kind of ideas to get looking at other comparable options, and the different trade offs.
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October 25, 2012 6:37:38 PM

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0085S33XK/ref=ox_sc_a...

There's a great case you could try. Surprisingly small, deceptively good cooling and enough space for a decent graphics card and any low profile CPU cooler.

i5-3450 - $194.99
2x4GB Samsung 1600Mhz (Ultra low profile and low voltage RAM) - $35.99
ASRock B75M-ITX - $89.99
Powercolor HD 7850 1GB - $169.99
Mushkin Enhanced Chronos 120GB - $84.99
3TB Seagate Barracuda 7200RPM - $149.99
SILVERSTONE ST45SF 450W SFX - $79.99 (80 PLUS Gold full modular version is only $20 more)
Silverstone FT03B-MINI - $129.50 (Amazon)

Total - ~$930 all from Newegg except the case

You still need an optical drive there and it has to be a slim slot loader but they are pretty stylish anyway. In my opinion at least.

EDIT: The reason I suggest that case over the Fractal Design one is that I have the Define R3 myself and it looks great in the pictures but less so in person. The airflow isn't as good as I hoped, I would overheat if I overclock at all, even with my massive overkill cooler. The plastic on the front looks and feels a bit cheap as well. I'm going to swap into something like that Silverstone when I can afford to switch my CPU/Mobo/Case/PSU. Maybe when Haswell and/or DDR4 are around.
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