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Building an HTPC for media and light gaming - thoughts?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
Hey guys,
I'm planning on building a little HTPC and hooking it up to a 32 inch LG TV. I plan on running XBMC for my media playback, netflix, etc. I also want the option of playing some games (RTS mostly Civ V and SC2). Here are my planned components.

CPU/GPU: AMD A8-3870K 100W - $144 or AMD A6-3500 65W - $90
MOBO: Asus F1A75-I DELUXE FM1 A75 - $140 (for the integrated wifi) or ASRock A75M-ITX FM1 - $90
Cooler: Scythe Kozuti - $30
RAM: Corsair Vengeance Low Voltage 1.35v 1600MHz 8GB - $50
Slot Drive: Already have one from an old laptop.
SSD: Plextor M3 128GB - $155
PSU: Pico PSU 150W PSU +120W AC/DC converter - $60
Case: Wesena HTPC-ITX6-Black - $69
Fan: Noiseblocker 80mm NB-Multiframe 1700rpm - $17

Total: $665 or $615(w/Asrock mobo or AMD A6)

I have a $300 Amazon credit, so that takes care of half the cost, but I'm open to any suggestions.

My main concern is that the 100w 3870k will be asking for a little too much power. Reviews of the APU at load see it hovering from 140-160w system output (at stock). I was also looking at the A6-3500 as an alternative.

Note:
  • I do not want to use Dual graphics as this machine's main purpose is HTPC workloads, but I do want the comfort of knowing it can handle some Civ V and SC2 when I want to play those games.
  • Using Intel is not an option as I do not want to use a discrete gpu and HD3000 is lackluster when it comes to gaming.
  • I know about Trinity and no I'm not willing to wait for AMD to "maybe" release them mid 2012. I'd rather build now thumb.gif


So is this doable? Thanks for any and all responses! smile.gif

*UPDATE*
I ended up changing the components. Now it's looking more like this:

CPU: i3 2120T 35W
Mobo: ECS 1155 H67 ITX
GPU: HIS 6570 SIlence edition.
Edited by kriios - 1/27/12 at 1:52am
post #2 of 12
Thread Starter 
poke.gif BUMP
post #3 of 12
That might be pushing it for that PSU, and that APU might be a little under powered for SC2 on anything above medium settings.
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CHILZ - Lan Rig
(17 items)
 
CANARY - Main Rig
(16 items)
 
CADILLAC - HTPC
(14 items)
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel i5-4570s Asus H97M-Plus AMD R9 280 G.Skill RipjawsX 16 GB (2x8) 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveCooling
250 GB Samsung 840 240 GB Kingston 3 TB USB 3.0 Drive Custom Loop 
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Windows 10 Preview BenQ GL2450 Filco MajesTouch2 Ninja PC P&C Silencer Mk III 600 W 
CaseMouseMouse PadAudio
Fractal Design Core 1000 Mionix Castor Monoprice XXL JL Amps + Custom Morel Bookshelf speakers 
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Scythe Kama-Panel 3 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
FX-8150 @ 4.6 GHz Fatal1ty 990FX Pro 9800 GTX+ 512 MB G.Skill Ripjaws X 1866 CL9 
Hard DriveHard DriveCoolingOS
120 GB OCZ Vertex 3 1 TB WD Black 5x 120mm + MCP350 + EK Supreme HF + MicroRes Windows 8 Consumer Preview 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
2x Dell U2212HM Logitech G110 Cooler Master 850W Silent Pro Cooler Master 690 II Adv. 
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Razer Death Adder 3.5G Staples Gel Cushion Asus Xonar DG + Senn. PC333D 
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Q6600 Acer X1800 ATI 5670 2 GB Kingston 
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2 TB WD Green Asus BD-R Windows 7 Home Premium Sony 50" LCD 
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post #4 of 12
You are pushing it with that PSU. Get yourselves a quality 400 W PSU, which is cheaper than that PICO PSU.
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post #5 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by trumpet-205 View Post

You are pushing it with that PSU. Get yourselves a quality 400 W PSU, which is cheaper than that PICO PSU.

I dont think a regular ATX PSU can fit on the case that he chose.
post #6 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bleachigo View Post

I dont think a regular ATX PSU can fit on the case that he chose.

Yup can't fit....the case is a TRUE sff case, so pico is the only option available. I've built other SFF cases in the past, but never something so truly tiny. tongue.gif

I ended up changing the components. Now it's looking more like this:

CPU: i3 2120T 35W
Mobo: ECS 1155 H67 ITX
GPU: HIS 6570 SIlence edition.

Full system load shouldn't go over 150w with this setup from what I've been able to gather around the google sphere.

Thanks for the responses smile.gif
post #7 of 12
Yeah, for 600 bucks you should be able to get something better then that. I would ditch the htpc dedicated case and grab a matx case like a fractal design core 1000. Then grab a 500 watt psu for cheaps, matx board, and an AMD based cpu. They are cheaper and in my opinion, an overclocked quad core athlon processor will outpreform any intel i3 cpus. Also, a cheap graphics card like a 6770 should handle any of those games at good settings.

Let me know if you'd like me to help you put a system together on amazon.thumb.gif
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post #8 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Oberon View Post

Yeah, for 600 bucks you should be able to get something better then that. I would ditch the htpc dedicated case and grab a matx case like a fractal design core 1000. Then grab a 500 watt psu for cheaps, matx board, and an AMD based cpu. They are cheaper and in my opinion, an overclocked quad core athlon processor will outpreform any intel i3 cpus. Also, a cheap graphics card like a 6770 should handle any of those games at good settings.
Let me know if you'd like me to help you put a system together on amazon.thumb.gif

Thanks for the offer, but I'm looking for a very small footprint. As in no deeper than 10 inches deep and wide, and no taller than 6". This case satisfies all of that. I already have a dedicated gaming rig at home (my sig rig). This is more of an HTPC that I can bring to uni to do some light gaming and watch my movies in my apt. Price/Performance at such a SFF is never better than a full fledged system because SFF computer parts generally always carry a price premium.

I already built a similar SFF Gaming rig a while back except instead of a 6770, I had a 570 running in PC-Q11B, it's called Hermes if you want to check it out in my profile. But this time I want the rig to be even smaller and quieter.

Thanks for the input smile.gif
post #9 of 12
192 W Pico PSU with external brick. This would help keep heat out of the case.

http://www.mini-box.com/picoPSU-192-XT-192W-Adapter-Power-Kit
CHILZ - Lan Rig
(17 items)
 
CANARY - Main Rig
(16 items)
 
CADILLAC - HTPC
(14 items)
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel i5-4570s Asus H97M-Plus AMD R9 280 G.Skill RipjawsX 16 GB (2x8) 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveCooling
250 GB Samsung 840 240 GB Kingston 3 TB USB 3.0 Drive Custom Loop 
OSMonitorKeyboardPower
Windows 10 Preview BenQ GL2450 Filco MajesTouch2 Ninja PC P&C Silencer Mk III 600 W 
CaseMouseMouse PadAudio
Fractal Design Core 1000 Mionix Castor Monoprice XXL JL Amps + Custom Morel Bookshelf speakers 
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Scythe Kama-Panel 3 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
FX-8150 @ 4.6 GHz Fatal1ty 990FX Pro 9800 GTX+ 512 MB G.Skill Ripjaws X 1866 CL9 
Hard DriveHard DriveCoolingOS
120 GB OCZ Vertex 3 1 TB WD Black 5x 120mm + MCP350 + EK Supreme HF + MicroRes Windows 8 Consumer Preview 
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2x Dell U2212HM Logitech G110 Cooler Master 850W Silent Pro Cooler Master 690 II Adv. 
MouseMouse PadAudio
Razer Death Adder 3.5G Staples Gel Cushion Asus Xonar DG + Senn. PC333D 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Q6600 Acer X1800 ATI 5670 2 GB Kingston 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
2 TB WD Green Asus BD-R Windows 7 Home Premium Sony 50" LCD 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Acer Media 220 W SFF Acer X1800 Acer Optical 
Mouse PadAudio
The TV cabinet Denon 2808 7.1 AVR + Dahlquist 350W 8" Sub + Kl... 
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CHILZ - Lan Rig
(17 items)
 
CANARY - Main Rig
(16 items)
 
CADILLAC - HTPC
(14 items)
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel i5-4570s Asus H97M-Plus AMD R9 280 G.Skill RipjawsX 16 GB (2x8) 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveCooling
250 GB Samsung 840 240 GB Kingston 3 TB USB 3.0 Drive Custom Loop 
OSMonitorKeyboardPower
Windows 10 Preview BenQ GL2450 Filco MajesTouch2 Ninja PC P&C Silencer Mk III 600 W 
CaseMouseMouse PadAudio
Fractal Design Core 1000 Mionix Castor Monoprice XXL JL Amps + Custom Morel Bookshelf speakers 
Other
Scythe Kama-Panel 3 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
FX-8150 @ 4.6 GHz Fatal1ty 990FX Pro 9800 GTX+ 512 MB G.Skill Ripjaws X 1866 CL9 
Hard DriveHard DriveCoolingOS
120 GB OCZ Vertex 3 1 TB WD Black 5x 120mm + MCP350 + EK Supreme HF + MicroRes Windows 8 Consumer Preview 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
2x Dell U2212HM Logitech G110 Cooler Master 850W Silent Pro Cooler Master 690 II Adv. 
MouseMouse PadAudio
Razer Death Adder 3.5G Staples Gel Cushion Asus Xonar DG + Senn. PC333D 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Q6600 Acer X1800 ATI 5670 2 GB Kingston 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
2 TB WD Green Asus BD-R Windows 7 Home Premium Sony 50" LCD 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Acer Media 220 W SFF Acer X1800 Acer Optical 
Mouse PadAudio
The TV cabinet Denon 2808 7.1 AVR + Dahlquist 350W 8" Sub + Kl... 
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post #10 of 12
I just built in the Origen M-10, which your case is based after. I'm running an i3-2100 and a 6570 no problems at all on a 150W power brick that was supplied with my system. I can load up both Intel Burn Test and Furmark at the same time with no issues whatsoever.

Here's some free advice since I'm aware what you're getting into. BEWARE that passive graphics card you got picked out, there is a heatsink that wraps around the back of the PCB and it would be super tight with the CPU cooler. I got the ASUS version of the 6570 with the nice big heatsink and tiny fan. The fan is inaudible on the stock profile, but my card does reach 55C while watching Blu Rays. Not sure how it would deal with gaming, haven't tried it.

For reference, my CPU 100% loads at around 55-60C with the Silverstone low profile cooler. During movie playback it never reaches 40C. I also set my case up for 60 mm intake fans on the sides, and a 92mm Noiseblocker exhausting out the top. Had to attach my exhaust fan w/ double sided tape, but it looks like the Wesena case has a place to mount one which is nice. I undervolted my intake fans to run on 7V and my setup is dead quiet. You literally need to be within a foot or so to hear it, so spend the money on the fans (I see you picked out a Noiseblocker which is all I use in my PC's, good choice).

If you REALLY want to game, I'd suggest trying to find one of the low profile 6670's to eek out some extra performance for not much more money. Don't worry about passive cooling on the card IMO, I think that heatsink might give you fits, or you'll be breaking out the Dremel. Gaming in this case isn't easy on the temps, but you'll be fine.


Here's a link to my build: Origen M-10


Also, good choice on the Intel build. Don't pigeonhole yourself into Llano if you really want performance.
Edited by Foolsmasher - 1/27/12 at 9:36am
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