Advice: Gaming and HTPC Build under 2K.

Discussion in 'General Hardware' started by yellier355, Feb 9, 2013.

  1. yellier355

    yellier355 Junior Member

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    Hello all,

    I tried to include everything from the sticky and hopefully this will give you a clear indication of what I am looking for. I am in the market for a new mini-itx build so that I can place it near my receiver and off the floor and such. I am having trouble deciding on what graphics card, SSD and case to get. I did put some in the pcpartick list for a general idea.

    Ram Speed: Is 1600 really better to get than the faster ram?
    Graphix: I am up for Nvidia or Amd but prefer one that has better driver support. Most likely, I will not be doing SLI.
    SSD: So who is the winner for this? I only need one as I have spare 2tb drives laying around.
    Cases: I was looking at the prodigy, COOLER MASTER Elite 120 and few other small ones. Which is best to work with and actually fit a high end card in.


    1. What YOUR PC will be used for. That means what types of tasks you'll be performing.

    Gaming and watching blue ray movies via HDMI from my Pioneer VSX-1120-K reciever with Panasonic viera tc-p50g20 tv and Full 5.1 paradigm speaker set. Generally, what I am doing now is using my main pc from my study which is too big and I would like to place the computer in my entertainment center and return my main PC back to my study!! The clearance is about 10"H and 15"W. Length will not be a concern and I can add to the width by moving things around.

    2. What YOUR budget is. A price range is acceptable as long as it's not more than a 20% spread
    1500-2000USD

    3. What country YOU will be buying YOUR parts from.
    USA

    4. IF you're buying parts OUTSIDE the US, please post a link to the vendor you'll be buying from.
    5. IF YOU have a brand preference. That means, are you an Intel-Fanboy, AMD-Fanboy, ATI-Fanboy, nVidia-Fanboy, Seagate-Fanboy, WD-Fanboy, etc.

    I mainly buy intel and Nvidia.However, I have been considering going amd for the graphics card which is why I am writing this post. I am not sure who has the best performace INLClUDING driver support and updates.

    6. If YOU intend on using any of YOUR current parts, and if so, what those parts are.
    New Mini-Itx Build and spare 2Tb drives/

    7. IF YOU plan on overclocking or run the system at default speeds.
    Over Clocking.

    8. What resolution, not monitor size, will you be using?
    1920X1080p

    9. WHEN do you plan to build it?
    Thinking about this month or I could wait.

    X. Do you need to purchase any software to go with the system, such as Windows or Blu Ray playback software?
    NO
     
    #1 yellier355, Feb 9, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2013
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  3. mfenn

    mfenn Elite Member <br> Currently on <BR> Moderator Sabb
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    I think you missed a few questions on the sticky (7-10). Anyway, what you have listed is probably overkill, (the GTX 680 4GB in particular is a waste of money at $600). What sorts of games do you play?

    Also, I'm not sure that the Kraken X40 will fit in the SG08B. Looking at the pictures, there is only one fan mounting position on the SG08B, and it is meant for the 180mm AP fan. I don't see any provision for mounting a smaller diameter fan. A big radiator is probably pointless anyway if you're not overclocking. Are you?
     
  4. yellier355

    yellier355 Junior Member

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    I just put that in for reference really. But I play or will be playing Far Cry 3, Crysis 3, skyrim(plus texture mods), hitman, metro 2033 and etc.. I tried to list the high demand ones. :). Im shooting for max settings if possible.

    I plan to overclock but not right away, doesn't have to be that particular case though. Ill have to find some other ones I have been looking at. I do dig the bitfenix prodigy though.

    other cases:
    Fractal Design Node 304
    COOLER MASTER RC-120A-KKN1
    more to come.
     
    #3 yellier355, Feb 9, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2013
  5. biostud

    biostud Lifer

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    Since you probably would like silent I would go for a Asus GTX 670 DC-II 2Gb. And it definitely doesn't look like that case will take a 140mm radiator.
     
    #4 biostud, Feb 9, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2013
  6. mfenn

    mfenn Elite Member <br> Currently on <BR> Moderator Sabb
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    I don't think that the Prodigy will fit into your space unless you lay it on its side. It's about 15" tall. The games you listed aren't that demanding for 1080p, so you don't need to go all the way to GTX 680, and certainly not the 4GB version.

    Here's what I would do:

    i5 3570K $215 AP
    GA-Z77N-WIFI $110
    G.Skill DDR3 1600 8GB $45
    MSI GTX 670 $390
    Samsung 840 250GB $180
    Reuse HDD $0
    Slim Blu-Ray $65
    Silverstone NT06-PRO $53 AR
    SG08B w/ PSU $200 - not a bad price when you figure that it comes with a Silverstone PSU
    Total: $1258 AR AP

    This is really all you need for 1080p gaming. I'm actually surprised that the mini-ITX premium is only about $200 (not counting the Blu-Ray) over the full ATX version of the same thing.
     
  7. yellier355

    yellier355 Junior Member

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    Thanks for the replies so far!!
    So why the ga-z77N board over the asus?
    For the MSI with only 2 gigs, will this be fine with games like skyrim/crysis and texture Mods?
    I thought about the bluray drive and really dont need it as I can stream from a server. But this price range is really darn good. What about the case and airflow, do you know if that card blows air out or in the case and also hows the case compared to others?

    Thanks again
    Yes, I am surprised the mini-itx form factor is so close in price now. Wahoo!! lol
     
  8. mfenn

    mfenn Elite Member <br> Currently on <BR> Moderator Sabb
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    I put a Blu-Ray drive in because you mentioned Blu-Rays and I assumed you meant physical disks. By all means, take it out if you don't need it.

    The Gigabyte board was chosen because it does what you need and costs, less. There is no reason to overspend on a motherboard, simple as that really.

    2GB is generally fine at 1080p. Even if it wasn't, I wouldn't get the 4GB GTX 670 because it is slower than the normal one (which is already slower than AMD) and costs too much. The 4GB GTX 680 is just a ridiculously bad value. Really, the only reason I put in the GTX 670 is because you say you like Nvidia, the 7970 3GB is all around a better choice.
     
    #7 mfenn, Feb 10, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2013
  9. yellier355

    yellier355 Junior Member

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    Ah, No biggie at all really. I might put a blu ray in if need be later.

    Make sense to me and I usually see asrock as an alt. I mainly go with asus but Ill give this board a go this time around. Price is def. good.

    Are amd drivers just as good as nvidia? I wouldn't mind trying out amd this time around either. What is the best 7970 card? I do, dig the twin frozer though.
     
  10. mfenn

    mfenn Elite Member <br> Currently on <BR> Moderator Sabb
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    AMD drivers are fine IMHO, I have run AMD for the last generation and never run into a driver bug. IMHO, this Sapphire 7970 is the best combination of performance and value.
     
    #9 mfenn, Feb 10, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2013
  11. yellier355

    yellier355 Junior Member

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    Thanks!! Buddy at work swear by sapphire so I could give that a go as well. Do you think the case I chose is good price/performance?

    Wierd, I think you linked to a 7950 instead?
     
    #10 yellier355, Feb 10, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2013
  12. piasabird

    piasabird Lifer

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    So you have a slim optical drive you plan on using? Never mind.
     
  13. Sleepingforest

    Sleepingforest Platinum Member

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    Here's the 7970 in question ($393 AR w/shipping). The Prodigy is a good case because, to be honest, it's huge for mITX, and it might not fit in the space you want. Other cases are smaller but basically as good (look around under mITX cases or HTPC cases at Anandtech for some reviews).
     
  14. yellier355

    yellier355 Junior Member

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    Is the joke there is no good 7970 (HaHa!!) Can you re-link. Thanks!! Yeah, the case is quite big and I could just put it behind my tv if thats what i get. I have been checking out other cases. I think, I need to youtube to get a better idea instead of pictures. Thanks for the info though!!

    Question: Above someone linked to value ram for a gamming rig? Does it matter at all these days?
     
  15. mfenn

    mfenn Elite Member <br> Currently on <BR> Moderator Sabb
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    Sorry, I was considering both and copied the wrong link. I edited my post to include the correct one.
     
  16. mfenn

    mfenn Elite Member <br> Currently on <BR> Moderator Sabb
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    Once you are at DDR3 1600 and 1.5V it honestly doesn't matter for Sandy/Ivy Bridge. All RAM with the same specs is identical, no matter if it is marketed as "value" or "l33t gam4r".
     
  17. yellier355

    yellier355 Junior Member

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    Awesome thanks!! Okay, I am going to go with the bitfenix prodginy. What modular power supply should I get for that sapphire card(out of stock at newegg darn) and also should I still stick with the cpu cooler linked or do the self-sustained water cooling (Kraken or corsair ones)?
     
  18. Sleepingforest

    Sleepingforest Platinum Member

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    You won't need water cooling. As for the power supply, I recommend the Silverstone Strider series because the Prodigy has a really cramped space for the PSU and cables. The Strider is short and built for SFF.

    Also, the Sapphire 7970 seems to have sold out. Try this Gigabyte 7970 for $380 (hopefully, I link it this time. Sorry about that!)
     
    #17 Sleepingforest, Feb 12, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2013
  19. yellier355

    yellier355 Junior Member

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    I am in luck saphire is back in stock. I think, I got everything here. I am not sure how to link this neatly. The Powersupply is not modular, is there one that is better and is and maybe has shorter cables?700watt or 600w? Looking at latest newegg sales....might change up lol

    Also, the cpu cooler, is that the best one as I am reading the fan is loud.

    I will be overclocking both cpu and gpu so just want to make sure I have a great build for gaming and blu ray watching. thanks again everyone.


     
    #18 yellier355, Feb 13, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2013
  20. Sleepingforest

    Sleepingforest Platinum Member

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    Wait! You only need a 500W PSU--save $20-30 while you still can by going with a lower capacity Strider! The SSD is also pretty overpriced--you don't use a PSU heavily enough merely gaming to merit the Pro. This $180 Samsung 840 is a better fit.
     
  21. yellier355

    yellier355 Junior Member

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    No worries, I was waiting for ya to reply. :).. Do you think, this ram is better? I linked to 3. I was just curious about the timings. the one in the middle is the value ram. Just double checking, are you sure 500 watts will be enough with over clocking and such? I guess with a great psu this is good and thats why?



    The strider series, so which one is better. Seems some are modular and others not. Also, sell shorter cables.

    from newegg on the psu...thats kinda why i upped it.
    Our recommended PSU Wattage: 594 W
    Please click &#8220;Find PSUs&#8221; button to find out the best results.

    Ill take a look at the ssd as well. Thanks for the catch..
     
    #20 yellier355, Feb 13, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2013
  22. mfenn

    mfenn Elite Member <br> Currently on <BR> Moderator Sabb
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    The Value RAM is the best because it costs the least. The timings do not matter unless you run memory benchmarks for run.

    Power supply calculators are designed to get you to buy a bigger power supply. The actual power draw of an i5 with a 7970 is something like 380W.
     
  23. yellier355

    yellier355 Junior Member

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    ah, good point!! Thanks!!
    What about below, psu? do you think those shortened cable package is worth it?

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16817256085
    Compact 140mm Depth Design for Easy Intergration
    SILVERSTONE ST55F-G 550W ATX 12V v2.3 / EPS 12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS GOLD Certified Full Modular Active PFC Power Supply
     
  24. mfenn

    mfenn Elite Member <br> Currently on <BR> Moderator Sabb
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    No, I don't think it is really worth double the money.
     
  25. yellier355

    yellier355 Junior Member

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    Ha, I am so hesitant about 500 watts. lol
     
  26. Sleepingforest

    Sleepingforest Platinum Member

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    Do not feel hesitant about 500W. My PC, with overclocked i5 and a 670 (as seen in the signature) doesn't even pull 200W from the wall while gaming and pulls only around 350W when pushed to the absolute brink using synthetic benchmarks. Get this one for $50 AR (that's an alright deal for any kind of PSU, let alone a smaller form factor one).

    Also, modularity doesn't really help, since you won't have much excess if you buy a PSU with the appropriate amount of power. I just helped my friend out with an i5/7850 build today; after an HDD, SSD, graphics card, and the motherboard, he had one leftover connector, which was easily hidden.
     
    #25 Sleepingforest, Feb 14, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2013