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First PC Build in 10 years, need some advice

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January 7, 2013 4:07:08 PM

I am ready to build my first PC in awhile. The last one I built was about 10 years ago, most of the installation should be the same, but it's the components that make my head spin.
My goal is to make a PC/HTPC that is somewhat future proof and has the ability to add components at a later date when needed(tuner card, etc)
As of now I want this PC/HTPC to hook-up to my HDTV, no monitor yet. I want to be able to use it as a HTPC for watching movies, music, pictures, etc. But I also want it to play the newest games and look and run great on my HDTV.
My budget is $1000

Must Haves:
-blu-ray player
-HTPC case
-good video card $250 max
-future proof CPU Intel? or AMD?
-good motherboard ATX or micro-ATX
-SSD
-big enough PSU to support future add-ons and such

Thanks,
Ken

More about : build years advice

a b B Homebuilt system
January 7, 2013 5:11:56 PM

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $70 after rebate with shipping
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $65
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $65
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $200
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $48
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $155 after rebate
http://www.amazon.com/BW-12B1ST-BLK-Blu-ray-Internal-En... $80
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $102

total: about $785
You can spend alot more on the case if you want. Newegg doesnt carry many full size htpc cases. Mostly smaller stuff now, which you may prefer. They are out of stock of many Liam Li and antec htpc cases, but antec doesn't make many anymore.
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a c 91 B Homebuilt system
January 7, 2013 10:28:54 PM

sharkbyte5150 said:
I'm not familiar with HTPC cases but here's an example that serves all of your needs, and under budget...

http://secure.newegg.com/WishList/PublicWishDetail.aspx...


HEC and Apevia cases are pretty much junk. With cheap cases you get what you pay for - and I've used a lot of them. I'd go with Silverstone or Fractal Design if you can afford to do so. Far better HTPC cases. In this build that extra fan is a piece of junk - you might as well use the stock fan and save some money. You don't need the extra thermal compound either. I would rather drop the SSD (especially given my distaste for Intel branded ones) and upgrade the video card to something better.

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3470 3.2GHz Quad-Core Processor ($179.99 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: ASRock H77 Pro4/MVP ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($87.55 @ Newegg)
Memory: Mushkin Blackline 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($35.57 @ NCIX US)
Storage: Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($88.98 @ Newegg)
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 7870 GHz Edition 2GB Video Card ($251.97 @ Newegg)
Case: Fractal Design Node 605 HTPC Case ($177.98 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: PC Power & Cooling Silencer MK III 500W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V Power Supply ($64.58 @ NCIX US)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($16.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $903.61
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-01-07 19:28 EST-0500)
January 8, 2013 1:58:01 AM

Just wanted to say thanks for the quick replies! I just got home from work and am excited to read over your builds. I will let you know if I have any questions.
January 8, 2013 2:17:19 AM

sharkbyte5150 said:
I'm not familiar with HTPC cases but here's an example that serves all of your needs, and under budget...

http://secure.newegg.com/WishList/PublicWishDetail.aspx...


I really like the case you picked. This build is eventually going to be a PC not a HTPC, so I'll be getting a monitor sometime in the the future. The option of turning it vertical is a plus. On that note, do they make optical bluray drives that do not use a tray(like a PS3) or have a tray that will hold the DVD vertical?

Is a 300w PSU powerful enough for the discrete video card and maybe some future add-ons?

Thanks,
Ken
January 8, 2013 2:42:52 AM

g-unit1111 said:
HEC and Apevia cases are pretty much junk. With cheap cases you get what you pay for - and I've used a lot of them. I'd go with Silverstone or Fractal Design if you can afford to do so. Far better HTPC cases. In this build that extra fan is a piece of junk - you might as well use the stock fan and save some money. You don't need the extra thermal compound either. I would rather drop the SSD (especially given my distaste for Intel branded ones) and upgrade the video card to something better.

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3470 3.2GHz Quad-Core Processor ($179.99 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: ASRock H77 Pro4/MVP ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($87.55 @ Newegg)
Memory: Mushkin Blackline 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($35.57 @ NCIX US)
Storage: Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($88.98 @ Newegg)
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 7870 GHz Edition 2GB Video Card ($251.97 @ Newegg)
Case: Fractal Design Node 605 HTPC Case ($177.98 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: PC Power & Cooling Silencer MK III 500W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V Power Supply ($64.58 @ NCIX US)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($16.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $903.61
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-01-07 19:28 EST-0500)


Is it OK to use the stock CPU fan that comes with the CPU? Do I only need an aftermarket fan for overclocking or is there other benefits of these fans(sound, etc.)? I remember the PC I built awhile ago was like a jet engine.

What's so good about these SSD drives? I heard it's good to have your OS installed on it to save load times, start-up times, etc.

a b B Homebuilt system
January 8, 2013 12:48:56 PM

I use smartfan settings in the bios to reduce fan noise for my stock Intel heatsink. For ssd's, the failure rate is dropping; I see alot of failures with regular hardrives lately. I leave my regular hardrive disconnected; the ssd is quiet and has all the capacity I need. You may try a small capacity one for boot up only. I cloned my regular drive before disconnecting it; that way I have a full backup of basic files ready to go in case the ssd fails. My stock Intel fan runs at around 1600 rpm and 48-50c, which is ok. If you want lower temps, then get an aftermarket cpu cooler, but it's not necessary unless you're overclocking, which the 3470 isn't designed for.
January 9, 2013 10:13:27 AM

After looking into a lot of HTPC cases online, I do not know if a full size video card will actaully fit in any of them. Does anyone have any experience building in a HTPC case with a video card?

My plan was to integrate this build into my home theater, but now I am starting to lean towards tower cases. Is it plausible to build in a HTPC case with let's say a micro ATX MOBO and a 10" x 5" type video card?
a b B Homebuilt system
January 9, 2013 11:52:16 AM

Maybe. My case is about 5.5 inches high, which restricts some cpu heatsinks but not many video cards. I can fit a full size atx board, but micro atx leaves more room for stuffing leftover cables from the power supply and side fans. My ssd is attached with 2 screws on one of the case fan areas on the side; this works well as an ssd is so light that 2 screws will hold it in place. You'll have to measure carefully for a long video card. My card is regular size, not ten inches. It works with a regular length bracket, but also came with a low profile bracket which I may need someday.
January 9, 2013 3:08:52 PM

So I think I have got the components down for my build I will try to get a list going and post it on this thread.
The only problem I am having is deciding between micro ATX or regular, and the case. So obviously this will make a huge difference in what I buy.
By measuring my entertainment center cabinet I have about 6"-7" clearance in height, length and width don't matter. I think I am going to find a case first and build my system around that, I will just have to be mindful of the measurements of my video card and such. I also do not want it to be too cramped for heat reasons and I want it to run quiet and cool.

My last build awhile ago was like a jet engine I remember having to turn it off when I wanted to watch TV or a movie so I could hear it.
January 9, 2013 3:20:21 PM

OK here ya go, let me know what you think? A little over budget

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3470 3.2GHz Quad-Core Processor ($179.99 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: ASRock H77M Micro ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($69.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: Mushkin Blackline 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($35.57 @ NCIX US)
Storage: Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($84.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Crucial M4 64GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($72.51 @ SuperBiiz)
Video Card: Gigabyte GeForce GTX 660 2GB Video Card ($209.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Antec Fusion Remote Black HTPC Case ($153.98 @ SuperBiiz)
Power Supply: SeaSonic 620W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($88.53 @ Amazon)
Optical Drive: Asus BC-12B1ST/BLK/B/AS Blu-Ray Reader, DVD/CD Writer ($55.98 @ NCIX US)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 8 (OEM) (64-bit) ($87.99 @ NCIX US)
Total: $1039.52
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-01-09 12:18 EST-0500)
a b B Homebuilt system
January 10, 2013 7:41:52 PM

Great build!

To answer a few of your earlier questions...

SSD's help with read/write speeds and faster boot times, but try to keep it uncluttered as much as possible (no media files, just OS and programs). Be prepared for the fastest booting system you've seen!

Stock CPU coolers work just fine if you're not overclocking and since didn't get a "K" series CPU you won't need anything beyond stock fan, and most are very quiet.

Some BD-ROM drives or DVD drives have small clips that hold the disc in place if positioned vertically, but I have seen some drives that have a slot like a car stereo. You could call around to local PC shop to see if they know of any available like that.

I have the same PSU, great choice!!
January 11, 2013 3:01:05 PM

sharkbyte5150 said:
Great build!

To answer a few of your earlier questions...

SSD's help with read/write speeds and faster boot times, but try to keep it uncluttered as much as possible (no media files, just OS and programs). Be prepared for the fastest booting system you've seen!

Stock CPU coolers work just fine if you're not overclocking and since didn't get a "K" series CPU you won't need anything beyond stock fan, and most are very quiet.

Some BD-ROM drives or DVD drives have small clips that hold the disc in place if positioned vertically, but I have seen some drives that have a slot like a car stereo. You could call around to local PC shop to see if they know of any available like that.

I have the same PSU, great choice!!


Thanks for answering my questions, I appreciate it. I may upgrade my SSD to around 120GB. My plan is to load my OS and any games just for fast load times. I am trying to make this a console type replacement and a full fledged Home theater solution. Now I just have to do some research into TV Tuner cards, to see if that makes sense.

If I do eventually buy a monitor to turn this into just a PC, I was thinking of just buying a new case when that comes about.
January 11, 2013 3:12:44 PM

OK here is a new updated build. I changed my video card and case, and of course going over budget again, mainly because I have not bought and OS since Windows 98.
My plan is to use Steam Big Picture and my wireless XBOX controller for most games, but I would like an option for a compact keyboard/mouse to play games like CIV5 and browsing, anyone have a suggestion for a good wireless/bluetooth keyboard/mouse replacement?
The MOBO I picked is cheap. Stupid question, does that mean it's "cheap?" I have all these high end components and my MOBO is only $69 it just seems wrong to me.
So not going to OC anything, just want a flexible HTPC/future PC that I can upgrade in the future.

Thanks everyone, all your input is greatly appreciated!

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3470 3.2GHz Quad-Core Processor ($149.99 @ Microcenter)
Motherboard: ASRock H77M Micro ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($69.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1866 Memory ($89.98 @ Outlet PC)
Storage: Crucial M4 64GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($72.51 @ SuperBiiz)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($69.99 @ NCIX US)
Video Card: MSI GeForce GTX 660 2GB Video Card ($219.99 @ Microcenter)
Case: Fractal Design Node 605 HTPC Case ($134.99 @ NCIX US)
Power Supply: SeaSonic 620W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($88.98 @ SuperBiiz)
Optical Drive: Asus BC-12B1ST/BLK/B/AS Blu-Ray Reader, DVD/CD Writer ($55.98 @ NCIX US)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 8 (OEM) (64-bit) ($87.99 @ NCIX US)
Keyboard: VisionTek Candyboard Wireless Mini Keyboard w/Touchpad ($49.24 @ Amazon)
Total: $1089.63
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-01-11 12:03 EST-0500)
a b B Homebuilt system
January 13, 2013 5:57:16 AM

Better RAM choice, I always use Ripjaws but no need for 1866, 1600 is fine and will get the price back closer to last build.
!