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Building HTPC w/ gaming capabilities part time


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#1 MistaT40

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Posted 20 April 2014 - 17:14

Hey guys - been almost 10 years, but I'm actually going to try to build a desktop again for HTPC and being able to fire up a recent game whenever I need to.  

 

Besides having no recollection on how to put things together, I need to first select parts within my budget of $1000.  So far I'm at $1200 including taxes but what do you guys think of the specs?  Any suggestions or maybe downgrade in specs that can give me similar performance but of course lower the price point?

 

CPU: Intel Core i5-4430 3.0GHz Quad-Core Processor  ($220.11 @ DirectCanada)
Motherboard: ASRock Z87 Extreme3 ATX LGA1150 Motherboard  ($134.48 @ NCIX)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-2133 Memory  ($92.58 @ DirectCanada)
Storage: Seagate Momentus Thin 500GB 2.5" 5400RPM Internal Hard Drive  ($59.65 @ DirectCanada)
Video Card: PowerColor Radeon R9 270X 2GB Video Card  ($205.98 @ NCIX)
Case: Fractal Design Node 605 HTPC Case  ($152.53 @ Memory Express)
Power Supply: Cooler Master Silent Pro M2 620W 80+ Bronze Certified Semi-Modular ATX Power Supply  ($76.67 @ Newegg Canada)
Optical Drive: LG BT30N Blu-Ray/DVD/CD Writer  ($106.52 @ Newegg Canada)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 8.1 (OEM) (64-bit)  ($124.28 @ Canada Computers)
Keyboard: Logitech K400 Wireless Slim Keyboard w/Touchpad  ($40.38 @ DirectCanada)
Total: $1213.18
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2014-04-20 13:14 EDT-0400)




#2 Mindovermaster

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Posted 20 April 2014 - 20:01

Why not buy everything at ncix? They price match.

#3 goodbytes

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Posted 20 April 2014 - 20:10

Your case is not recommended by Anandtech, apparently it's over priced and has poor acoustics (the worst scenario for a HTPC).. I've recently built a similar box and almost got a Fractal but after reviews decided against it and went for this: http://www.silversto...pid=293&area=en couldn't be happier, and i think it's cheaper than the Fractal



#4 Aergan

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Posted 20 April 2014 - 20:14

Your case is not recommended by Anandtech, apparently it's over priced and has poor acoustics (the worst scenario for a HTPC).. I've recently built a similar box and almost got a Fractal but after reviews decided against it and went for this: http://www.silversto...pid=293&area=en couldn't be happier, and i think it's cheaper than the Fractal

 

Can vouch for the GD06, great case and still serving me well.



#5 OP MistaT40

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Posted 20 April 2014 - 20:21

Your case is not recommended by Anandtech, apparently it's over priced and has poor acoustics (the worst scenario for a HTPC).. I've recently built a similar box and almost got a Fractal but after reviews decided against it and went for this: http://www.silversto...pid=293&area=en couldn't be happier, and i think it's cheaper than the Fractal

 

Thanks for the tip - this was actually my other choice and glad to hear some actual feedback from users.


Why not buy everything at ncix? They price match.

 

I didn't know they price match?  They do that?  However, they might not have all the parts I am looking for


So here is my 2.0 revision - changed the case, MB, PSU and optical drive.  Think this is better spec or value?  $50 difference. 

 

PCPartPicker part list: http://ca.pcpartpicker.com/p/3vbUt
Price breakdown by merchant: http://ca.pcpartpick...Ut/by_merchant/
Benchmarks: http://ca.pcpartpick...bUt/benchmarks/

CPU: Intel Core i5-4430 3.0GHz Quad-Core Processor  ($220.11 @ DirectCanada)
Motherboard: Asus Z87M-Plus Micro ATX LGA1150 Motherboard  ($150.40 @ DirectCanada)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-2133 Memory  ($92.58 @ DirectCanada)
Storage: Seagate Momentus Thin 500GB 2.5" 5400RPM Internal Hard Drive  ($59.65 @ DirectCanada)
Video Card: PowerColor Radeon R9 270X 2GB Video Card  ($205.98 @ NCIX)
Case: Silverstone GD06B HTPC Case  ($135.58 @ Memory Express)
Power Supply: EVGA 500W 80+ Bronze Certified ATX Power Supply  ($52.13 @ Memory Express)
Optical Drive: LG WH14NS40 Blu-Ray/DVD/CD Writer  ($79.08 @ Newegg Canada)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 8.1 (OEM) (64-bit)  ($124.28 @ Canada Computers)
Keyboard: Logitech K400 Wireless Slim Keyboard w/Touchpad  ($45.18 @ Amazon Canada)
Total: $1164.97
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2014-04-20 16:20 EDT-0400)



#6 goodbytes

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Posted 20 April 2014 - 20:27

Thanks for the tip - this was actually my other choice and glad to hear some actual feedback from users.

 

 

No problem.

 

Another consideration with these cases, especially with a full-size GPU, they can and will get very hot, i noticed the GPU screaming during gaming, i replaced the fans with 3 of these silent fans: http://www.quietpc.com/nf-s12a-pwm, they keep my system cool and quiet, even with the low voltage adapters connected i can't hear my GPU being over worked when gaming, although i don't think the fans on my GPU were very good anyway.



#7 Sikh

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Posted 20 April 2014 - 21:49

Im actually thinking about the Silverstone for the HTPC. I saw the Fractal and I love fractals design and simplicity. I respect Anandtech and trust the review, but If I wanted to make the case silent I could. Anyway, I love the front / overall layout of the silverstone so im going with that. Its going to be HTPC / Steam Box.

I second Noctua fans. I love noctua and my recent PC build has about 8-10 noctua fans all running with low voltage adapters, its AMAZING how quiet these fans are and how much air they push. I do recommend staying away from the blades when they are on. Most fans, Ive caught my fingers and nothings happened, happen to catch my finger on one of my front fans and it actually cut me and drew blood... That tells me these fans are very well designed and durable, also the notches in the blades actually do something



#8 Andre S.

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Posted 21 April 2014 - 03:00

Consider the newly released Silverstone Raven Z for an even smaller PC. I have a very similar case to that GD06 in my living room and have grown annoyed at its size, I wish I had gone for something smaller now.

 

Great find on the video card, for 180$ after all rebates that's a good deal.

 

Price matching at NCIX is easy, works well and is well worth the trouble. Just buy everything there and save on shipping.

 

I'm always suspicious when seeing 2133mhz RAM in an Intel build, if you can find 1866mhz or even 1600mhz RAM for less money then go for it, the faster memory will do absolutely zilch for you.

 

The hard drive will really drag this whole system down with terrible boot times and sluggish response. If you can put some money into an SSD that'll make a tremendous difference.



#9 OP MistaT40

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Posted 21 April 2014 - 03:33

No problem.

 

Another consideration with these cases, especially with a full-size GPU, they can and will get very hot, i noticed the GPU screaming during gaming, i replaced the fans with 3 of these silent fans: http://www.quietpc.com/nf-s12a-pwm, they keep my system cool and quiet, even with the low voltage adapters connected i can't hear my GPU being over worked when gaming, although i don't think the fans on my GPU were very good anyway.

 Ok that's good to know too - what GPU do you have?


Consider the newly released Silverstone Raven Z for an even smaller PC. I have a very similar case to that GD06 in my living room and have grown annoyed at its size, I wish I had gone for something smaller now.

 

Great find on the video card, for 180$ after all rebates that's a good deal.

 

Price matching at NCIX is easy, works well and is well worth the trouble. Just buy everything there and save on shipping.

 

I'm always suspicious when seeing 2133mhz RAM in an Intel build, if you can find 1866mhz or even 1600mhz RAM for less money then go for it, the faster memory will do absolutely zilch for you.

 

The hard drive will really drag this whole system down with terrible boot times and sluggish response. If you can put some money into an SSD that'll make a tremendous difference.

 

Thanks!  So are you saying that if I go higher than 2133 say 2300, performance will be similar as to 1866?  Why's that? 


Im actually thinking about the Silverstone for the HTPC. I saw the Fractal and I love fractals design and simplicity. I respect Anandtech and trust the review, but If I wanted to make the case silent I could. Anyway, I love the front / overall layout of the silverstone so im going with that. Its going to be HTPC / Steam Box.

I second Noctua fans. I love noctua and my recent PC build has about 8-10 noctua fans all running with low voltage adapters, its AMAZING how quiet these fans are and how much air they push. I do recommend staying away from the blades when they are on. Most fans, Ive caught my fingers and nothings happened, happen to catch my finger on one of my front fans and it actually cut me and drew blood... That tells me these fans are very well designed and durable, also the notches in the blades actually do something

 

Hard to install?



#10 Andre S.

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Posted 21 April 2014 - 03:42

Thanks!  So are you saying that if I go higher than 2133 say 2300, performance will be similar as to 1866?  Why's that? 

Because those Intel CPUs are not very dependent on memory performance. Benchmarks have proven this. If you were going for the highest possible performance with overclocking and money was no object, then going for the fastest memory will eek out a few % more performance, but for most builds it's just not a good value for the money. You don't need anything faster than 1866.



#11 OP MistaT40

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Posted 21 April 2014 - 04:08

Because those Intel CPUs are not very dependent on memory performance. Benchmarks have proven this. If you were going for the highest possible performance with overclocking and money was no object, then going for the fastest memory will eek out a few % more performance, but for most builds it's just not a good value for the money. You don't need anything faster than 1866.

 

Seems like they are saying in avg 1866 C9 is a good balance for most users unless I am reading that wrong.  It actually is more than my current memory choice but this is good info - didn't know this.

 

The Raven Z is a sweet case, but it actually increase the total cost of my build to over $1300....might just stick with my choice selection right now.  Video card would have a problem fitting into any slimmer case



#12 Andre S.

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Posted 21 April 2014 - 04:13

The Raven Z is a sweet case, but it actually increase the total cost of my build to over $1300....might just stick with my choice selection right now.  Video card would have a problem fitting into any slimmer case

Your current case + psu amounts to 165$, the Raven Z + ST45SF-G PSU would be 200$ (at newegg.ca), it's not much more expensive. The case can accommodate full-size cards without issue it seems, as they are installed sideways using a PCI-E riser. The main drawback would probably be that the build would be trickier.



#13 OP MistaT40

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Posted 21 April 2014 - 12:56

Your current case + psu amounts to 165$, the Raven Z + ST45SF-G PSU would be 200$ (at newegg.ca), it's not much more expensive. The case can accommodate full-size cards without issue it seems, as they are installed sideways using a PCI-E riser. The main drawback would probably be that the build would be trickier.

 

But it also means having to change the MB too which becomes more expensive...this is how it would look with your suggestions (2.0 v.2).  What do you think compared to 2.0?

 

PCPartPicker part list: http://ca.pcpartpicker.com/p/3vGbx
Price breakdown by merchant: http://ca.pcpartpick...bx/by_merchant/
Benchmarks: http://ca.pcpartpick...Gbx/benchmarks/

CPU: Intel Core i5-4430 3.0GHz Quad-Core Processor  ($220.11 @ DirectCanada)
Motherboard: ASRock Z87E-ITX Mini ITX LGA1150 Motherboard  ($198.82 @ Vuugo)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1866 Memory  ($97.16 @ NCIX)
Storage: Seagate Momentus Thin 500GB 2.5" 5400RPM Internal Hard Drive  ($59.65 @ DirectCanada)
Video Card: PowerColor Radeon R9 270X 2GB Video Card  ($205.98 @ NCIX)
Case: Silverstone RVZ01B Mini ITX Desktop Case  ($96.03 @ Memory Express)
Power Supply: Silverstone 450W 80+ Bronze Certified SFX Power Supply  ($77.85 @ DirectCanada)
Optical Drive: LG BT30N Blu-Ray/DVD/CD Writer  ($106.52 @ Newegg Canada)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 8.1 (OEM) (64-bit)  ($124.28 @ Canada Computers)
Keyboard: Logitech K400 Wireless Slim Keyboard w/Touchpad  ($40.38 @ DirectCanada)
Total: $1226.78
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2014-04-21 08:55 EDT-0400)



#14 Andre S.

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Posted 21 April 2014 - 16:16

You could get the Gigabyte Z87N Mini-ITX motherboard. The only real complaint I've seen about it is the lack of space around the CPU, but if you're using the stock Intel cooler that shouldn't affect you.



#15 Sikh

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Posted 21 April 2014 - 21:10

...

 

Hard to install?

 

If you are talking about the fans, not at all. Its just these are designed really well and have small indents that are suppose to cut the air and redirect the airflow. But I realized those are dangerous when the fan is running lol.