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New build: HTPC and occasional gaming for<650$

Last response: in Systems
February 24, 2013 8:17:33 PM


I would like to build a reasonably cheap HTPC that also supports casual gaming. XBMC with 3D 1080p playback from ethernet-connected NAS is a must and playing games like assassins creed or crysis are nice to have, that is why I'll go for the AMD APU first and if necessary, I'll upgrade with a dedicated GPU. High-end games/settings are out of scope.

Approximate Purchase Date: within the next 2 months
Budget Range: <500 EUR (>650 USD) incl. rebates and shipping (live in Germany)
System Usage from Most to Least Important: (XBMC 3D 1080p playback, gaming older/low resolution games, surfing the web)
Are you buying a monitor: No, will use 46" LED TV from coutch
Do you need to buy OS: No, using MSDAA Win8 64bit for free :) 
Parts Preferences: AMD is not a must but I figured I can save the GPU here
Overclocking: Propably not
SLI or Crossfire: Propably not
Your Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080
Additional Comments: I would like a quiet PC - it should be inaudible when watching a movie from 3m/10ft distance
Why Are You Upgrading: Want to run XBMC/play games, my notebook does not have HDMI, last PC build was Athlon64 in 2007, but gave that to my mom

I started with a more minimalistic setup (F2A55 and A4) and then saw some cheap upgrade options. The presented parts are propably more than I need, but I am comfortable with some buffer (prices can be different than in the newegg links, but I'll order in Germany, so I converted EUR in USD):

Case: SilverStone Milo ML03 ~80USD (nice under the TV, USB3 in the front):

HDD: takeMS UTX-2200 120GB ~120USD (German-brand SSD, supposed to have good value for the money, quite similar specs as Intel 330 or Samsung 840, but cheaper)

RAM: Kingston HyperX 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1866 Desktop Memory Model KHX1866C9D3K2/8GX ~80USD (no special reason for this)

CPU: AMD A10-5800K ~130USD (overkill, I know, but A6 is quite limited for gaming and A8 is just a little bit cheaper)

Mobo: ASUS F2A85-M ~90 USD (also looked at the LE edition but this has only 2 RAM slots or the ASrock FM2A75 Pro4-M or the ASrock FM2A85X Extreme4-M, cannot really decide)

PSU: be quiet! Pure Power L7 300W ~45USD
Fan: Scythe Shuriken Rev.B (SCSK-1100) ~25EUR

Apart from your opinion, I have some questions about this setting:
- A friend brought up the idea of having different VMWare images for surfing/banking/playing so that these things are separated for security, but he has 16GB RAM. What do you think? I it worth 80 USD more? - That is why 4 memory slots come in handy.
- Does the fan suit in the case and will it go well with the RAM?
- Is DDR3-1866 good with this setting or will DDR3-2400 bring a serious improvement?
- Is 300W well-dimensioned or shall I go for an even lower wattage?

Comments are highly appreciated, even if they involve a complete makeover
February 25, 2013 3:02:59 AM

my suggestions
1) i don't think you would really need 16GB of RAM... and you don't need a fast performance ram too... you will only get a little to no improvement by having a faster ram...

2)That PSU is not good...and i don't think you should lower the should raise the wattage instead... take this

3)A10 is good... you can add in an HD6670 for Hybrid CFX which will increase your system performance...

4) do you really need a CPU cooler? for overclocking? if you do need it then take this instead... is cheaper and performs quite well too...
a b 4 Gaming
February 25, 2013 3:21:03 AM

I like the build too but I also recommend getting a better PSU like the CX430 or any XFX, Antec or Seasonic ones

I would get this motherboard

Ram speeds scale well until 2133 mhz so consider that and judge according to your prices
Found this cheapish ram

I would choose this for a good low profile heatsink if you ever decide to OC as it is about the same size as the stock one and not a tower one (tower one's won't fit in your case)

The case limits you to low profile cards so the only way to go for GPU is either 1. get a low profile 7750 2. grab a low profile 6670 and hybrid CFX with the APU

You can run a VM on 8gb of ram just fine, make it some linux distro and give it 2gb of ram when you're using it, leaving your main system 6gb to work with