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HTPC/Steambox parts recommendation. Small footprint, low TDP, not noisy, PS4 replacement

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  • Western Digital
  • Games
  • Build
  • Systems
Last response: in Systems
June 11, 2013 4:36:42 PM

I have few parts lying around from my last build (Intel Q6600, 8 GB XMS2 RAM, 6870HD, Antec 300, OCZ Synapse, WD Black 2TB) and peripherals like MS 4000 keyboard, Gigaworks T20 SII speakers, 23" monitor. What I want to do is a Lenovo Ideacentre A720 with powerful graphics card. I already have a PS3, and will only consider a next-gen console only after a "slim" version is announced.

Things which I will carry forward for the next build are:
OCZ Synapse + WD Black,
Peripherals.
W7 OS, Adobe CS6, Office, etc

Things I need:
Case: Bitfenix prodigy or smaller/narrower or taller
Motherboard-mini-itx with wifi/bt.
CPU
GPU
RAM

Will build it within 2 - 3 months.
Budget: £1k
Will not OC components as I am looking for quiet, low temp solution. Ambient room temperature is 26-34C throughout the year.

I want a good small footprint, low TDP build, but needs to accommodate the OCZ and WD Black. I want can make do without an optical drive. Must be able to game on 1080p monitor or TV. PC will be mainly used for work and games. Most demanding game I have is XCOM: EU. Other games include most of the lego games, Trine, Magicka Sonic generations. Not really high end games. I have NFS S2U, Dirt2, not high end also. I use 2x xbox 360 wired controllers for local co-op games via steam and Logitech DFGT for the racing games.

The PC will be used mostly for work, and some PS and web browsing. I have few CPU crunching software (which loads the CPU cores 100%) 24/7 for weeks, but this would be rare occurrence.

I was thinking a AMD A10-6800K APU, but the graphic performance is not there yet. The APU would be great as I can build it around an ASrock mini-ITX motherboard in a small Antec ISK casing. Another problem with going the AMD method is that, AFAIK, only Asrock has a mini-ITX motherboard. Even Asus does not have a mini-itx APU solution, which is annoying since I would like something like the Asus P-Z77i-Deluxe motherboard as that has build in wifi/bt antennas.

Two things which I have a trouble selecting parts are:
Motherboard and case.

I think if these two components are solved, the rest would be easy.

I would like the case to be small as possible but have graphical power of the 6870HD but with lower TDP if possible. No "bling" cases as the PC will be next to the monitor and will be in the bedroom so the low TDP is important. To me, the Antec 300 was a huge case. It is not that I'm using it to the max. I don't mind, tall case like the Falcon Northwest Tiki or Alienware X51, however, I don't think any off-the shelf solution is possible. I could be wrong. I'm not going to do RAID, SLI/crossfire or multimonitor setup. Also, this will sit next to my PS3, Mini Hi-Fi.

Any ideas?

More about : htpc steambox parts recommendation small footprint low tdp noisy ps4 replacement