2600K HTPC or current gen?

Callipygous

Junior Member
Sep 30, 2015
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#1
Goal is to build a compact(ish) HTPC on a mitx/matx platform that is capable of mid-high range gaming.

I came across a 2600k, Corsair H50, and atx Z68 motherboard in the local classifieds for 160$. I've tested everything and the hardware checks out. I already had a gtx 550ti, a HD 7750, and a mini itx H61 motherboard on hand.

I would like to be able to overclock the 2600k (which isn't doable on the H61 chipset) but I worry about heat on a mitx/matx platform. Also, mitx/matx mobos with overclock capable chipsets for the 1155 are not cheap. I'm finding them with pricing starting right around 100. It's hard to justify that money on tech 3 generations old.

Do I:

1) Grab a cheap case, stuff the hardware I have in it and be happy?

2) Drop 100 on a mobo that allows OC and stuff it all in the above case?

3) Sell everything and run current gen integrated graphics on an i5?

If I'm missing anything or you have other ideas input is appreciated.
 

Fallen Kell

Diamond Member
Oct 9, 1999
5,272
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#2
In a small case HTPC, overclocking really isn't an option because you can't do it and keep the system quiet (while dealing with the heat). If you use a large case that has room for 140mm fans and a large tower heatsink like a Noctua NH-D15, well, you can overclock and still be quiet.

I say this all the time, small size, quiet, high performance, choose 2.


Really what you should do is give up on the small size and get something like an Antec Fusion Remote Max (if you can find one) or similar large style HTPC case, or just use a mid tower like a Fractal Designs Define R5.
 
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Callipygous

Junior Member
Sep 30, 2015
5
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0
#3
Going mid tower is something I'm considering for the sake of cost. I can slap that Corsair water cooler that came with it on there and get her up to 4.4Ghz, strap the 550ti in and I'll be playing Skyrim on the couch for the cost of a case.

This is interesting. I can't tell if there will be enough clearance for the H50 radiator and an optical drive.

I currently have a HAF 932 for my main rig. I loved it at first when I lived in a house but have since moved in to a small condo and space has become a premium. I'm hoping to get a good deal on the R5 around black Friday to replace the 932.
 
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Fallen Kell

Diamond Member
Oct 9, 1999
5,272
15
91
#4
Yeah, it might fit the H50, but it is really hard to say for certain if there is clearance for fitting the hoses that stick out of it. I'm just glad I picked up a Fusion Remote Max back in the day since it is tall enough to fit pretty much any tower cooler out on the market and it doesn't look out of place with the other gear in my audio/equipment rack (in fact my amplifiers are larger).
 

Callipygous

Junior Member
Sep 30, 2015
5
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#5
That's a good looking case no doubt. It seems like some thought went into it just browsing the pictures real quick. They have the PSU partitioned off, lots of ventilation, and you're right it would look at home next to an AV receiver.

For the IR receiver on that case, is there a standard IR header on motherboards that it connects to or does it use a USB header? Once you have the IR input coming in, what software handles it? Is there native support in Windows?

That IR receiver is a huge plus to me. Someday in the future I will hide all of my AV equipment in a closet and set up an RF to IR repeater. Someday.
 

Charlie98

Diamond Member
Nov 6, 2011
5,941
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#6
ATX+K-chip+gaming=tower, at least if you want to keep it cool, even in the case of a HTPC application.

I originally had my (mATX) build in a HAF922... waaaaaay too big, the HAF932 even more so.

If you don't immediately have to put the pieces together, you might be able to find a mATX board for your 2600, sell off the ATX board, and then go to a smaller case like the Define Mini or Arc Mini (the Arc is probably more adaptable for WC than the Define) or a true HTPC case (look at Silverstone.)
 
Nov 20, 2005
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#7
OP that is my htpc in my best viewing area. I have mine in a full tower case though, some look really nice nowadays.
 

Callipygous

Junior Member
Sep 30, 2015
5
0
0
#8
You guys have convinced me that full size ATX HTPC is something to strongly consider. I like mATX but I get that there are drawbacks - mainly heat. My plan for now is to scrounge for a used mATX motherboard and wait for a great deal on a case: which I don't plan to buy used. Whichever option presents itself as the most financially viable will be the one I go with.

Now I just gotta rack up some posts so I can browse the hardware sale section of the forums.
 

Charlie98

Diamond Member
Nov 6, 2011
5,941
0
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#9
You guys have convinced me that full size ATX HTPC is something to strongly consider. I like mATX but I get that there are drawbacks - mainly heat.
Not at all... there are vey few differences between the larger ATX vs the not much smaller mATX, heat being, largely, a byproduct of the CPU chosen, not the mobo. Your ability to cool any CPU is based on an aftermarket cooler that will fit in the case, be it water or air, and the case's ability to move air through the case. An mATX mobo in a adequately designed and laid out case is no more likely to have heat problems than an equivalent ATX system.

Your problem will be finding a reasonable mATX board (Z68 or Z77) on the used market... but don't give up, they are out there!
 

crashtech

Diamond Member
Jan 4, 2013
8,973
242
126
#10
I used to have a SFF HTPC, but realized a 4U enclosure is almost the same size as my Yamaha receiver, and looks very much at home sitting next to it. Going big solved a lot of problems, particularly making component selection easy
 

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