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My HTPC Gaming Rig

Last response: in Systems
December 16, 2012 11:07:30 PM

Building a sweet (not so) little HTPC for my TV so I can play games on the couch. Here is what I just ordered from newegg.

CASE- 1 x LIAN LI Black Aluminum PC-C33B ATX Media Center / HTPC Case

PSU- 1 x SeaSonic X Series X650 Gold ((SS-650KM Active PFC F3)) 650W ATX12V V2.3/EPS 12V V2.91 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready ... (Modular)

MoBo- 1 x GIGABYTE GA-Z77X-D3H LGA 1155 Intel Z77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

CPU- 1 x Intel Core i5-3570K Ivy Bridge 3.4GHz (3.8GHz Turbo) LGA 1155 77W Quad-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics ...

Memory- 1 x G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 16GB (4 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9Q-16GBXL

Graphics- 1 x EVGA SSC 01G-P4-3652-KR GeForce GTX 650 Ti 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16 HDCP Ready Video Card

SSD- 2 x Crucial M4 CT128M4SSD2 2.5" 128GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)

Cooler- 1 x COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 Plus RR-B10-212P-G1 "Heatpipe Direct Contact" Long Life Sleeve 120mm CPU Cooler Compatible ...

Remote- 1 x Rosewill RHRC-11001 Windows Vista/Window7 MCE/Windows 8 MCE Infrared Remote Control with Learning Function

Plan on running the SSDs in a striped raid array for the OS. Have plenty of HDD space from previously purchased HDDs. Could use a suggestion on TV tuners but not sure if I would even use it. I'm mostly into gaming and watching movies/shows off the net.

What is the standard for using a PC as a DVR? I will look into it but if anyone could answer that I'd appreciate it.

Feel free to rate my purchase. I'm new here but have been building PC's for 19 years now.

Edit: Will post pics when built!

Edit2: Forgot to include the 2 Blu-Ray Burners I plan on buying when the price on the one I'm looking at drops to $54.99 again

More about : htpc gaming rig

December 23, 2012 6:25:16 AM

Gtx 650ti looks off. Isn't the idea to game at 1080p?
16gb is overkill
Won't the 212 cooler be too tall?
December 23, 2012 5:11:43 PM

allanitomwesh said:
Gtx 650ti looks off. Isn't the idea to game at 1080p?
16gb is overkill
Won't the 212 cooler be too tall?

Yeah I'd agree with this. The cooler won't fit in an HTPC case, you'll need a top-down fan like this:

I'd also drop the 16GB of RAM to 8GB and then upgrade your GPU to a Radeon 7850. On a gaming rig don't waste money on more RAM. You always want to put any remaining funds toward the GPU.

I'd also suggest this case instead of the Lian Li:

You don't need two BD-R burners either, just get one and then you can use that extra money for a Radeon 7870 and a stronger power supply.
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December 23, 2012 5:49:56 PM

Yeah it would be smart to use less RAM and a better GPU for gaming. The GTX 660 is pretty good, not the best price/performance ever but it is very efficient which is good for smaller builds. The HD 7850 2GB is great as well.

Larger SSD's perform better than the smaller ones because the memory is basically in an internal RAID 0 setup. This means that a single 256GB SSD will usually perform better than 2 128GB ones in RAID 0. A single drive is also more secure.

Also, that cooler is indeed too tall. You could either use a tower cooler with an 80-92mm fan (making sure it is <135mm tall) or use a top down cooler. That Noctua that was suggested is one of the best.

2 BD Burners sounds like unnecessary noise and cables, it's personal preference though I suppose.

One more thing, the Seasonic X-560 is a slightly newer model that still has more than enough power for that setup. That might be worth considering.
December 23, 2012 10:47:06 PM

So the build is complete already. It's been a couple years since my last build but this one went smoothly. My first quadcore and ssd build though so I'm not as up to date with everything as some of you guys are.

Didn't realize I was going to need a caddy for the ssd's. A quick trip to frys electronics fixed that for me. Also had to pick up a mini-hdmi to hdmi cord (which is a rip off at 9.99 and thats $7 off what it was being sold for. It was in the wrong spot but they honored the price anyways. Still a rip off considering 6ft hdmi cords were being sold for $1.49).

I realized right away that the case wasn't big enough for the cooler. The cooler was about 1" too tall. Now this is a big case. Comparable to a mid tower laid down sideways. I chose this case to fit a full ATX mobo. The other case suggested only fits mATX and the like. I took a look at the 520n and it looks like it is 17 mm shorter ... might fit... not sure... will consider the noctua one suggested. It also has to clear the ram though.

I'm leaning towards keeping the ram at 16gb just because. I knew going into it that I didn't need more than 8gb. I'm just flexing a bit ... it's pointless and I know it.

Now I wish I had looked into the GPU some more. I have a 7770 lying around that was in my friends build but we were having driver/crashing issues while streaming videos and some gameplay. Never purchased an HIS Radeon card before this one. Big fan of the eVGA nvidia cards throughout my tenure as a gamer. Almost hasslefree customer service and return process. So I guess ill try the 7770 a bit to see if I can get it to not crash in my build but I definitely thinking about getting a 1080p type GPU for my build.

Good thing about all this is whatever is left over can go into a side project I have. :D 

Edit: Thanks for the tips... will look for a cooler less than 137mm tall and a better GPU.
December 23, 2012 10:50:04 PM

Will most likely split the 16gb into 2 builds.

Btw I only ordered one bd burner. 2 was unnecessary.
December 24, 2012 1:38:32 AM

Hadn't noticed you're raiding the ssd. The m4 is super stable. You can share that to another project too.
December 24, 2012 1:51:28 AM

Yes, I might do that.

Here is a pic I took when I was building it. It's the only pic I have access to at the moment. More when I get home. You can see it's a fairly large case and there is a structural cross member that runs side to side in the middle that limits my cooler choice even further because of height restrictions. It's not in the pic.

I really like the build quality of this case. Really thick aluminum which I like.

edit:fixed img
December 24, 2012 2:23:36 AM

The GTX 650 ti does game in 1080p

Am I missing something here?

BTW, I'm used to spending $300 on a GPU (back in the day) but the ones being made now are impressive to me at the $150 price point.
December 24, 2012 9:13:00 AM

Yeah it will physically play the games at that res, just not all that well.
December 24, 2012 10:32:41 AM

Yeah, they'll play,but not well. You need a 7870 for well,or atleast a gtx 660ti on the nvidia side. At the least a 7850 1GB OC minimum.
December 24, 2012 11:53:41 AM

If you need ultra high settings then yeah, HD 7850/GTX 660 or better really.
December 24, 2012 8:21:25 PM

Nice parts.You can fit a long card? What is that thing? Definitely no HTPC. I'm envious
December 24, 2012 11:35:42 PM

There looks to be enough room for a long card but the fan in front of the 3.5" bay might be really close.

Definitely not a conventional looking HTPC but that's the purpose of this build.

I think I'll call it "Purpose Built"
December 25, 2012 6:25:29 AM

So that 7950 I was looking at measures almost 11.5"... considering it might be the longest I've ever seen I better wait until I measure the space available.

I am really not thinking this build through as well as I should be. I was able to cancel the order for the 7950 until I do my measurements. The Sapphire ones are particularly long with their bezel design.

Should have no problem fitting a card measuring 10.5". We'll see when I get home how much space I have though. (away from my home with family... holidays)
December 25, 2012 9:44:59 AM

All 7950's are long,but if you can pull a 10.5( I think HIS iceq and Powercolor are short coolers) good for you.
December 30, 2012 9:15:28 PM

Some pics of the rig with stock cooler and 650 ti still... as you can see I have just under 11" of space for a video card so I am looking into those right now. Waiting for a good sale. The cooler will be going in next week.

January 3, 2013 10:51:05 PM

11 inches. That is one rad HTPC.