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Old 10-17-2012, 09:57 AM   #1
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: America
Posts: 1
Default Gaming HTPC

Hi all. I just registered on this site to get advice for a new gaming computer. I will probably go to a lot of Forums to seek advice. My budget is $1,500, not a penny more (and if I can go cheaper I'd be happy to but I think I need it all for what I want)

I have already bought 2 items: Case, Fractal Design Arc Midi for $70 and Kingston HyperX T1 1600mhz ram (4gb x 4) for $44

So I have $1,386 left and I need everything expect a monitor and speakers Here are my thoughts:

CPU: i5-3570k
MoBo: some ASRock pro-4 or something (at the Microcenter near my house there is a $50 discount when you buy CPU/Mobo and so i can get these 2 things for like $270 after tax)
PSU: Seasonic Platinum 860 or 1000 (i don't want to cheap out on PSU; i want at least 80+ gold and i really like the seasonic's 7 year warranty. PSU is something I want to last for 7 years at least without having to think about it again)
GPU: GTX 670 or Radeon 7970
HDD: WD or Seagate either 1.5/2/3tb; would love to get 2 but will stick with one if I can't swing it
Keyboard: Logitech K800 (or K810 if it comes out soon AND is better than K800)
Mouse: Logitech MX Performance
OS: Windows 8 home 64bit
Optical: Need a blu-ray drive since this will replace my ps3
CPU Cooler: debating between Corsair H100, Noctua, Tuniq, Zalman, etc

So my thought was to skip the SSD. I have one on my current gaming laptop and it's nice but besides the quick boot up to windows, i'm not sure if it helps me a ton. The primary purpose for this HTPC is gaming on my bigscreen. It will also be used for Netflix streaming a lot and then some computer work.

Will I see big improvement to my Steam gaming experience if I get a SSD for the OS? I already have 600gb of Steam games so I definitely cannot afford an SSD big enough for all the games i want.

What CPU cooler should i get, especially now since I went ahead and bought high profile ram (which i really didn't want to but $44 for 16gb was a ridiculous deal to me so i jumped)? I bought the Fractal arc midi partially for the great airflow and the fact that the H100 fits in it perfectly with no case modding needed. But i don't want to spend $100 on it if the cooling of the 212+ or Noctua U12p (both $30-$40) is basically the same.

Hard drives: Should i buy 2 and put them in Raid 1? (that's the advice of my IT friend at work so i have an immediate backup of everything). Should i buy 2 and put them in Raid 0 so i have improved performance? Should i just get one 3tb drive and save some money? (i definitely don't need all that space) Should i buy a 60gb SSD drive for the OS and then a big 3tb drive for Steam? I'm confused

Lastly, I have a like 6 year old Sony 50" SXRD DLP tv. It has 2 HDMI inputs and right now i run my ps3 into it via HDMI and also have a Receiver that controls 7 speakers. If i get one of the new MOBO's that has an HDMI port is it as simple as building my computer, running an HDMI cable from the mobo to the tv and then selecting the right input on my tv and WAHLAAA! Gaming on my TV?

Or will my tv try to downscale the picture and I need to upgrade to a newer tv to really have an HTPC? I know I probably need to go to the AVS forums for this one but thought I'd give it a shot here Oh and my tv model is the Sony SXRD A2020. Thanks!

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Old 10-21-2012, 02:19 PM   #2
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Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: US
Posts: 2,193
Default Re: Gaming HTPC

In my experience blu-ray drives don't seem to work very well for many blu-rays. After having one in my desktop and one in my brother's desktop and both having lots of issues with playing I would never use it to replace a working blu-ray player. I think I only ever got it to play 4 blu-rays correctly before I gave up on it. Maybe it's because I'm using the free copy of PowerDVD that came with the drive, but the paid for version for Power DVD 12 costs $80... Plus the cost of a blu-ray drive and you can buy an actual dedicated blu-ray player for that cost and probably have extra money left over.

ASRock isn't going to be amazing quality. I've owned 2. One I sold after owning it for about a year and a half and it worked ok but I wouldn't expect it to last too much longer. The other I sold to my brother and it started having all sorts of issues at about 1.5-2 years. I hadn't used it much in the time I owned it either.

I'd go with a smaller drive for the OS and keep the larger drive for data/media. That's a personal preference. Don't do RAID unless you have the hardware for it. I've found cheap RAID cards still do a software RAID, which doesn't really work very well for redundancy. I had a software raid fail and I had to get a special program to dig into my drive and get my data off. I gave up on RAID after that. Just do backups if you want to keep your data safe in case of a drive failure. Backup to another drive or external drive.

As for HDMI connections, in theory that should work. I had issues with my HDMI from PC to 5.1 receiver. I think it was that it left a black border around the screen. Yes I could zoom in the picture on the TV, but as soon as I switch to the blu-ray player on the receiver it would be cutting off the area all the way around and I've have to zoom out of the TV to see it all. I use a DVI to HDMI converter from the PC and go to the receiver and all works well. For audio just run from the audio port to the receiver, in my case I used the optical audio port to the receiver. You may not run into that problem, but that's how I fixed mine.
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