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New build: HTPC and occasional gaming for<650$

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February 24, 2013 8:17:33 PM

Forum,

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): http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

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)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CPU: AMD A10-5800K ~130USD (overkill, I know, but A6 is quite limited for gaming and A8 is just a little bit cheaper)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

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)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

PSU: be quiet! Pure Power L7 300W ~45USD
http://www.amazon.com/Be-Quiet-Power-300W-Small/dp/B002...
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
Thanks!
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...
http://pcpartpicker.com/p/FPdX

2)That PSU is not good...and i don't think you should lower the wattage...you should raise the wattage instead... take this
http://pcpartpicker.com/part/corsair-power-supply-cx430

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...
http://pcpartpicker.com/part/xigmatek-cpu-cooler-gaiasd...
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
http://www.amazon.de/Corsair-CP-9020058-EU-CMX430-PC-Ne...

http://www.amazon.de/XFX-P1-450S-X2B9-Edition-Wired-PC-...

I would get this motherboard
http://www.amazon.de/Asrock-Mainboard-ASRock-FM2A85X-Ex...

Ram speeds scale well until 2133 mhz so consider that and judge according to your prices
Found this cheapish ram
http://www.amazon.de/G-Skill-2133-111-RipjawsX-Arbeitss...



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)
http://www.amazon.de/Zalman-CNPS8900-Extreme-Ultra-K%C3...


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
!