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Mathieu's Future Gaming HTPC - MathieuB - 01-12-2011

This is my next project, building a Gaming HTPC for my living room, to go with my new 40" Sony HDTV Big Grin

For now, I'll use this post to plan it and when I'm actually building it, I'll share some pictures and possibly videos with you all Smile

Motherboard: ASUS M4A88T-I Deluxe - $125
Mini-ITX, supports AM3 processors, PCI-Express 16x slot (for Video Card), USB 3.0, E-SATA, integrated Wifi, Bluetooth.
CPU: Athlon II X3 455 95W - $89
Not 100% sure yet, might go with a low-TDP CPU, or possibly underclock/undervolt it. Intel is an option too, as long as it doesn't cost too much.
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master GeminII - $40
Stock cooler is too noisy for my tastes, so after-market is a must. This one of the few coolers that will fit on the motherboard and in the case. Got some MX-3 thermal paste on hand too- Free
RAM: Kingston SO-DIMM DDR3 1333MHz 4GB (2x2GB) - $53
Motherboard requires SO-DIMM RAM sticks.
Video Card: Radeon HD 6850, not sure which brand/model yet. Why? Because it's powerful enough for 1080p (the games that I play anyway) and its power consumption/heat is the best in its class. Gigabyte is quiet, but exhaust hot air in the case, which is not ideal in a Mini-ITX case. Might go with Sapphire Toxic, since it exhaust the air outside of the case.
Storage SAMSUNG Spinpoint F4 HD204UI 2TB 5400 RPM - $100
For media storage. Might re-use one of my current Spinpoint F3 1TB to cut on costs, although it's a 7,200rpm drive, might be a tad too noisy. Might also go with HDD/SDD Hybrid, or a 2.5" laptop drive.
Optical Drive LITE-ON 4x Blu-ray Reader - $40
To watch Blu-ray movies. Might upgrade to a Blu-Ray Burner, especially now that they often can be found for ~$80
Case: LIAN LI PC-Q08B Black Aluminum Mini-ITX - $120
I just Heart that case. Mini-ITX format, brushed aluminum, two fans, plenty of ventilation holes, full size optical drive, full size ATX power supply (to a limit...), great looks. Will likely replace front fan with a non-LED model, as well as mod the power button (WAY too bright when the PC is on)
The SILVERSTONE SG07-B is also another good option.
Power Supply: Seasonic M12II 620W 80 PLUS Bronze Modular - $75
Modular, to avoid a cable mess in such a small case.

Total, so far: $642, not including video card, so about $820.

Let me know what you think about, throw in your ideas and suggestions!

RE: Mathieu's Future Gaming HTPC - Grimalkin - 01-12-2011

Pretty good !

Athlon X3 fit the bill. Sure, TDP is high but at this price and with GeminII, hard to make better! Phenom X2's TDP is lower but you think dual core will be limiting?

RE: Mathieu's Future Gaming HTPC - Geran Brown - 01-12-2011

Looks good. Gaming on a HTPC, that could be difficult to handle the heat.

RE: Mathieu's Future Gaming HTPC - Grimalkin - 01-12-2011

Yeah, it could be good to have two modes: one near silent for htpc with low rpm for fans and one more noisy for gaming. If it's automatic with temp sensor, it's even better... Maybe a external rheobus: NZXT Sentry LXE?

RE: Mathieu's Future Gaming HTPC - Chungster - 01-13-2011

The Samsung F4 2TB drops down to 79.99 pretty frequently.

I have one and they provide lots of space, are quiet, and I hear that they're very reliable.

RE: Mathieu's Future Gaming HTPC - Grimalkin - 01-13-2011

For the Silverstone SG07, a new review of this case with a GTX570 in french for you Mathieu:

RE: Mathieu's Future Gaming HTPC - Perrywinkle - 01-14-2011

I'll have to keep an eye on this, as my father is going to be doing a HTPC also used for gaming is the near future. I just got him to buy a new 48" LED flat panel tv this last x-mas and got rid of his 600 lb. tv from the 90's. So he will have it on there and also a regular monitor, hopefully I can get him to upgrade that now also.