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New gaming build for a small space

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December 4, 2012 3:26:52 PM

I've prepping to build out my first desktop in 5 years, although I have a sort of special situation. First, I'm a gamer and entertainment enthusiast, so this computer will get used for all sorts of those activities. Secondarily, it will also be used for occasional word processing and frequent web browsing. Even more occasionally it will be used for coding.

Since I live in a small apartment, the computer will sit inside my entertainment center and be connected to my 40" Samsung LCD, which will be used as the monitor. I wish I could have a desk setup with an actual monitor, but unfortunately I do not have this as an option. I'll end up with my Desktop+TV, iPad and iPhone as my primary digital interfaces (XBox 360 and Wii hardly get used).

The space for the desktop is 15"H x 20"W x 12"D (with an inch or so of breathing room on all sides), so I'm pretty sure MicroATX is a must.

That being said, I have a ~$1000 budget to get the whole shebang, including a wireless keyboard and mouse for gaming (no cords strung out in the 5 feet from the TV to the couch for people to trip on).

Here's what I have so far:

Mobo: MSI H77MA-G43 Micro ATX ($84.99)
CPU: Intel Core i5-3570 Ivy Bridge 3.4GHz ($214.99)
RAM: G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 ($36.99)
GPU: SAPPHIRE 100352-2L Radeon HD 7950 3GB 384-bit GDDR5 ($299.99)
SSD: Mushkin Enhanced Chronos 2.5" 240GB SATA III ($164.99)
HDD: Western Digital Blue WD5000AAKX 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 6.0Gb/s ($69.99)
Case: COOLER MASTER Elite ATX Mini Tower ($49.99)
PSU: SeaSonic S12II 520 Bronze 520W ATX12V ($67.99)
Fans: 3 MASSCOOL 80mm Case Fans ($8.58)
TOTAL: $998.50

It looks like the best bets for wireless keyboard/mouse are:

Mouse: Razer Orochi Bluetooth Gaming Mouse ($68.99) [Finally, more than 3 mouse buttons!]
Keyboard: Logitech K800 ($81.99)

Thoughts?
December 4, 2012 4:38:07 PM

I should also mention that my biggest concern is that not everything will actually fit in the case. I've also realized that I'll need to add in some sort of wireless solution. I guess I'll do a Rosewill RNX-N600UBE Wireless Dual Band Adapter, since I have a dual-band router
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December 4, 2012 5:11:11 PM

If I'm sitting on the couch, Xbox 360 or PS3 is SOOO much better for gaming. I'd just dust off the Xbox for gaming and get a $1000 laptop for all your other goals.

Your build looks very good. The only worry would be the graphics card length, so compare specs there. But again, I don't think you are going to like hunching over the coffee table to use the computer.

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December 4, 2012 5:26:09 PM

Don't worry about fitting things. I bought the smallest matx case I couod find. It is about the same size as yours if not slightly smaller, and I have a massive 7970 oc in it (I needed to build a support bracket out of legos for it lol).

Btw perfect build. It is nice to see a post like this every now and then. Restores my faith in humanity... ;) 
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December 4, 2012 5:29:20 PM

twelve25 said:
If I'm sitting on the couch, Xbox 360 or PS3 is SOOO much better for gaming. I'd just dust off the Xbox for gaming and get a $1000 laptop for all your other goals.

Your build looks very good. The only worry would be the graphics card length, so compare specs there. But again, I don't think you are going to like hunching over the coffee table to use the computer.


Yeah, it's too bad the Xbox doesn't have the kind of games I'm in to (Like MWO or GW2). :)  I initially sought to build a laptop gaming solution, but it ended up being $1800 and still couldn't compete with a $1000 desktop. Even if I dropped $2600 on a laptop, you end up getting something that's going to be an expensive paperweight in a few years when no games will run on it. Serious diminishing returns.

I actually plan to have the keyboard sit on my lapdesk and the mouse on an arm of the couch. It's essentially what I do with my laptop now.
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December 4, 2012 6:03:32 PM

Alright, just thought I'd warn you! I might try getting the wireless keyboard and mouse first and try them out with your laptop hooked up to the TV just to make sure the experience is going to suit you. I had media center dreams like this once that ended in me moving the computer up to a spare bedroom instead. :) 

And I hear you on the gaming laptop. My friend dropped $3600 on a i7/GTX580M gamer laptop last year and it's getting smoked by $800 desktop builds now.

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December 12, 2012 5:49:49 PM

Best answer selected by stalkerh.
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December 12, 2012 5:53:07 PM

Put this build together last night... it was a pleasure. I changed a few details of the build in the meantime as well, by moving to a Silverstone Temjin mATX case and upping the SeaSonic to a 550W modular model. I can't wait to give it a ride tonight!
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