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Help building Gaming HTPC

nitro28

Senior member
Dec 11, 2004
221
0
76
Its been a long time since I have been on this forum so I am out of touch with what is the best bang for the buck on a system now. I usually rebuild my system about every 2 years but I haven't had to rebuild in a little longer lately.

I am finishing a dedicated home theater and I want to build a combination HTPC and Gaming rig to both store all my Blu-rays/DVDs and play the games I like in 1080P. I like games like, Far Cry 4, Battlefield, Skyrim and most likely the upcoming Star Wars Battlefront game. I would like to use a rack mount case since all of my equipment is in a rack. I was thinking something like this: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811165411&cm_re=rackmount_case-_-11-165-411-_-Product
BUT, I am totally open to suggestions for cases. I don't know if rack mount cases are big enough for the power supplies and video cards of gaming rigs. Hopefully they are.

1. Processor and motherboard- No clue what is good now
2. Ram-16GB or more of what speed
3. PSU-
4. Hard Drives (1) SSD for OS and about 8-12TB for Blu Rays. I don't have that many blu ray movies at this point (approximately 100)
5. Video Card- I was thinking Radeon 390 or similar if its enough. I have a 136"x62" screen and Panasonic AE8000 projector so full 1080P is important. My screen is wider than 16x9, are games?
6. Fans, blu ray burner etc...

If possible, I would like to keep this build around $1000 give or take. Any suggestions for components?
 

poofyhairguy

Lifer
Nov 20, 2005
14,613
315
126
I will just say it, I never like the idea of your media storage sharing the same case as a gaming level GPU. If your plan is to stack three 4TB drives in the same case as a 390 (which runs hotter than the Nvidia alternative) you might as well just delete those rips now because those hard drives are gonna die.

Basically you need an Intel CPU- i5 or better, a decent single rail PSU (Seasonics would be a perfect), and then any old cheap RAM and cheap SSD will do. Building a gaming rig is paint by the numbers now, with AMD cpus taking a dive there isn't that much to decide on.

The only "hard" decision comes down to the media storage. If you are committed to putting everything in the same box I would get two 8TB drives running in a RAID 1, and I would get a GTX 970 instead of a 390 for less heat in the box. And make sure those 8TB drives are the not OEM versions with the partial warranty, because you will probably end up using it when one of them dies due to heat (unless you plan to run the fans on vacuum cleaner levels).
 

nitro28

Senior member
Dec 11, 2004
221
0
76
I will just say it, I never like the idea of your media storage sharing the same case as a gaming level GPU. If your plan is to stack three 4TB drives in the same case as a 390 (which runs hotter than the Nvidia alternative) you might as well just delete those rips now because those hard drives are gonna die.

Basically you need an Intel CPU- i5 or better, a decent single rail PSU (Seasonics would be a perfect), and then any old cheap RAM and cheap SSD will do. Building a gaming rig is paint by the numbers now, with AMD cpus taking a dive there isn't that much to decide on.

The only "hard" decision comes down to the media storage. If you are committed to putting everything in the same box I would get two 8TB drives running in a RAID 1, and I would get a GTX 970 instead of a 390 for less heat in the box. And make sure those 8TB drives are the not OEM versions with the partial warranty, because you will probably end up using it when one of them dies due to heat (unless you plan to run the fans on vacuum cleaner levels).
Thanks. I have been a Radeon guy for a long time but have no problem using nvidia if you think they have the edge right now. I have lots of room in my rack so how hard would it be to separate the storage for the blu rays outside of my gaming case? Would I have to build a whole second computer or is there another way? I am not a network guy so sorry for the naive questions.

Regarding the processor, would the i5 4690k be a good processor for gaming? any particular motherboards people are liking for this purpose?
 

Aikouka

Lifer
Nov 27, 2001
29,602
473
126
Thanks. I have been a Radeon guy for a long time but have no problem using nvidia if you think they have the edge right now.
His suggestion is mostly due to power usage, which usually correlates to heat. An equivalent GeForce GPU typically uses less power than its Radeon counterpart, which results in less heat to remove from the system.

I have lots of room in my rack so how hard would it be to separate the storage for the blu rays outside of my gaming case?
You could always go with an eSATA setup to separate the drives from the PC. However, a preliminary Amazon search shows that eSATA rackmount devices are rather pricey.

Regarding the processor, would the i5 4690k be a good processor for gaming? any particular motherboards people are liking for this purpose?
That'll work fine, and you may end up getting some good deals on parts as that's a Haswell chip, which has been recently superseded by Skylake.
 

poofyhairguy

Lifer
Nov 20, 2005
14,613
315
126
Thanks. I have been a Radeon guy for a long time but have no problem using nvidia if you think they have the edge right now.
Actually the 390 is a little better if you can get the hard drives out of the case. But the 970 produces way less heat if you are doing it all together.

I have lots of room in my rack so how hard would it be to separate the storage for the blu rays outside of my gaming case? Would I have to build a whole second computer or is there another way? I am not a network guy so sorry for the naive questions.
Honestly just a 8TB USB3 hard drive sitting on top would be fine. You don't have to get fancy, you just need to keep the hard drive out of the hot case. Looking at it rackmount
Nases are pretty pricy.

Regarding the processor, would the i5 4690k be a good processor for gaming? any particular motherboards people are liking for this purpose?
That is a good one if you can get a deal on it. Same for mobos, a lot are going on clearance now that Skylake is out. You picked a great time to do this. I like Gigabyte personally so I would jump on a deal like this:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128715
 

Mushkins

Golden Member
Feb 11, 2013
1,635
0
0
Keep the media storage off of the HTPC and throw together a cheapo secondary box full of hard drives and put it in another room out of sight. Then just access the files over the network (make sure you've got a gigabit LAN if you're working with gigantic blu-ray rips).

As others have said, cramming all of that into an HTPC oriented case is a recipe for hardware failures.
 

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