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HTPC - Gaming Build - Sandy? Ivy? Haswell? Which lady!?

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
Hi guys,

I did a ton of researches, but I do need some help to take a decision.

As the title says, I'm planning to build a small versatile config that will be used for movies, desktop (no heavy stuff such as encoding), and some gaming. Not much gaming either, last game I played was Trine 2. I will now be playing on PS3/PS4 for AAA titles, so it will mostly be for indie games exclusive to PC.

My criteria were:

1. Silence
2. Future-proof (considering my needs, lot of builds would be)
3. Cost-effective

So I'm now considering 3 builds:

a) Sandy
ASUS P8Z68-M PRO
Intel i3-3220
Sapphire 7750 Ultimate passive

b) Sandy
ASUS P8Z68-M PRO
Intel i5-2500K
Sapphire 7750 Ultimate passive

c) Haswell
Asus B85M-E
Intel i5-4670k
Sapphire 7750 Ultimate passive

One thing you should know is that I got a great deal for a brand new Intel 335 240GB + i3-3220 for just 200$.

And I can also get the ASUS P8Z68-M PRO for 100$, just not new and with a 3 months warranty only.

With the SSD, that would make config a) above worth a little over 400$.
Config b) will be a little more in the 460-540$ range, since I would need to resell my new i3-3220 to buy a i5-2500k, either new around 200$, or used for 120-130$.
Config c) wouldn't be less than 540$.

I'm not sure Haswell is worth considering, I read it needs more cooling (which isn't good silence-wise), it is more costly, and I already now for a fact from someone who has it than the ASUS P8Z68-M PRO is pretty good for my needs, I don't know about Asus B85M-E.
But I'm not an expert, so there might be a good reason I'm missing for using Haswell instead.

Otherwise, I'm really torn between i3-3220 and i5-2500k. Is it worth 60 to 140$ more? That's what I couldn't figure online, I do like when desktop things goes fast, which is why I wouldn't consider an HDD over a SSD, but does the i5-2500k would make a big difference?
I must say I usually have a few programs opened when I'm working, switching between Internet with multiple tabs, various software opened, with music or a video playing, and the i5-2500k should be better at multitasking, but I have no idea of the difference it would make with i3-3220 in that regard.

I'm opened to suggestions smile.gif

Thanks!
post #2 of 4
An i3 in a gaming/HTPC build won't get you very far. Here is a good all-around build. You can modify it as much as you like; http://pcpartpicker.com/p/1fRfd


PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-4430 3.0GHz Quad-Core Processor ($178.09 @ Outlet PC)
Motherboard: MSI B85M-P33 Micro ATX LGA1150 Motherboard ($64.99 @ Amazon)
Memory: A-Data XPG Gaming Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($49.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Toshiba 2TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($84.99 @ Microcenter)
Video Card: Galaxy GeForce GTX 650 Ti Boost 1GB Video Card ($129.99 @ Newegg)
Case: HEC Enterprise MicroATX Mid Tower Case ($24.99 @ Microcenter)
Power Supply: Corsair Builder 430W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V Power Supply ($19.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $553.03
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-07-12 08:31 EDT-0400)
Delta IV Heavy
(17 items)
 
Atlas V 431
(20 items)
 
 
CPUCPUMotherboardGraphics
Xeon X5650 Xeon X5650 Supermicro C602  Quadro 2000 (780 Ti within next 4 years) 
RAMHard DriveHard DriveHard Drive
24GB 300 GB, 10,00 RPM WITH VTEC YO!!! Crucial MX100 256GB WD Black 1TB 
Hard DriveHard DriveCoolingOS
WD Black 1TB WD Black 1TB Stock HP heatpipe coolers Windows 7 Ultimate 64 Bit 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
AOC 21 Stock HP Delta 80+ PLATINUM 1000W HP Z820 
Mouse
HP 
  hide details  
Reply
Delta IV Heavy
(17 items)
 
Atlas V 431
(20 items)
 
 
CPUCPUMotherboardGraphics
Xeon X5650 Xeon X5650 Supermicro C602  Quadro 2000 (780 Ti within next 4 years) 
RAMHard DriveHard DriveHard Drive
24GB 300 GB, 10,00 RPM WITH VTEC YO!!! Crucial MX100 256GB WD Black 1TB 
Hard DriveHard DriveCoolingOS
WD Black 1TB WD Black 1TB Stock HP heatpipe coolers Windows 7 Ultimate 64 Bit 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
AOC 21 Stock HP Delta 80+ PLATINUM 1000W HP Z820 
Mouse
HP 
  hide details  
Reply
post #3 of 4
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheN00bBuilder View Post

An i3 in a gaming/HTPC build won't get you very far. Here is a good all-around build. You can modify it as much as you like; http://pcpartpicker.com/p/1fRfd


PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-4430 3.0GHz Quad-Core Processor ($178.09 @ Outlet PC)
Motherboard: MSI B85M-P33 Micro ATX LGA1150 Motherboard ($64.99 @ Amazon)
Memory: A-Data XPG Gaming Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($49.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Toshiba 2TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($84.99 @ Microcenter)
Video Card: Galaxy GeForce GTX 650 Ti Boost 1GB Video Card ($129.99 @ Newegg)
Case: HEC Enterprise MicroATX Mid Tower Case ($24.99 @ Microcenter)
Power Supply: Corsair Builder 430W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V Power Supply ($19.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $553.03
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-07-12 08:31 EDT-0400)

I disagree...I have an i3-3225 and i stream all 720-1080P mkv files all day and have no issues, and I can game on it without any issues.

the Integrated HD4000 graphics are plenty powerful for any video duties. Now if you want to game more than basic gaming, you will want a dedicated GPU.
post #4 of 4
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the replies! smile.gif

Well, the HD4000 falls a bit short for me, whereas the 8670D of the AMD Richland would be perfect.

I'm now considering a A10-6700. I'm afraid of the temperatures though compared to Intel, but I feel like just one CPU with an integrated GPU will be easier to cool than a i3-3220 with a passive graphic card solution. I would think a GPU card by itself generates quite some heat in the case, even when "desktoping".
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