Advice on a HTPC build for Media and Game Emulation

Joystik

Active Member
I am going to build a HTPC in the next couple of weeks and I'm seeking some advice on whether or not the specs and equipment below will be enough to meet my needs for the machine. Primary use will be Media, game emulation, basic web surfing and streaming.

1. Case - Antec Fusion Remote (Remote Max if I'm likely to have GPU card size problems)
2. OS - Windows 7 64-Bit
3. Ram - 4gb 1333 or 1600 mhz? More than likely Corsair XMS3.
4. CPU - i3-550, i5-650 or i5-660? On cpubenchmark the 660 is close to that of my Q9550 wich I am guessing is to powerful... There is a £30 price difference between each CPU starting at £94.99 for the i3-550.
5. GPU - ATI 4650 DDR2, 5450 DDR3 or 5670 DDR5? (all with 1gb)
6. PSU - Antec NeoPowerHE 430 (I already have this as it came with a previous Antec Case I bought).
7. Unsure about the motherboard at present... More than likely an Asus.
8. Do I need to purchase a sound card or will the onboard sound suffice? Can I achieve DTS, etc on either?

Uses:

Music & Video - XBMC
Currently using my WD TV but it still struggles with some formats and doesn't decode HD audio, plus it's crap for music. Nothing out of the ordinary- HD movie playback, HD audio and 5.1/7.1.

Game Emulation - Hyperspin
I want to run MAME and Hyperspin from the machine, that is very important. Needs to be powerful enough to run the basic 2D games (Final Fight, Sunset Riders, etc) and 3D games such as Tekken Tag, Virtua Racer and Daytona USA. As well as CPSIII (Warzard & Street Fighter III) and Fist of the North Star on the Naomi emulator. Currently these work well on my PC I use for music production but this has a Q9550 so is expected.

In addition to this I'd like to be able to run PS2, Dreamcast and Xbox emulation as it'll mean I can pack away my old consoles and play favourite games I've held on to all from one convenient place.

PC Gaming

This isn't a big issue, I'm a console gamer rather than PC so it'll only be a select few games such as Sims 3, World of Goo and possibly Football Manager. Yes graphically I know PC is superior, but for the sake of Xbox live and my friends who also own the console.


What I would like to know is whether the components I'm planning to buy will be powerful enough, or are they too powerful meaning I can downgrade and save some cash. I'm hoping to start ordering the bits in a weeks time :))

Cheers guys,
 
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next010

Distinguished Member
For all the old stuff that would be fine, but neither the PS2 or Xbox are anywhere near the level of mame usability/emulation.
 

Joystik

Active Member
Thanks for your reply. I did some more research late last night and found out about the xbox, etc emulation. It's a shame really, it would have been great to use a single controller and machine to play my old games. All for the sake of a bit of Capcom Jam, MvsC2 and so on, my guilty pleasures. Ah well I'll be keeping my consoles out then, no biggy :). I'd have kept my NeoGeo out for nostalgia reasons alone away lol.

I've settled for the i3-550 as according to the cpubenchmark the i3-550 has a score 3,009, i5-650 3,113 and the i5-650 3,120. That being said there is hardly anything between them to warrant the cost. I know the i5's have the turbo boost feature but seeing as it's only going to be media and mame, I can't see either of them needing or really taking advantage of the processors features.

However I'm still unsure about the graphics card but leaning towards a 5670..? Also whether or not I need a soundcard to get decent surround sound and decode hd-audio or the motherboard will suffice?
 

mattclarkie

Distinguished Member
Just a note, but from my browsing the Antec Fusion with remote is about £60 more than this , and you can get a USB remote receiver and Remote for about £30


I'd go for the 5 series GPU, the 4 series isn't worth it IMO.
 
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Joystik

Active Member
I did see that case too thanks :) Although it's probably being fussy I decided to stick with the Fusion remote for cosmetic reasons mostly... The volume knob, the disc tray being covered and for the fact that it comes with the remote and screen. Cheapest I've found it for is £115 which isn't too bad. It would cost me at least £100 for nsk and a decent remote.

I'll definitely stick with the 5 series then :)
 

Joystik

Active Member
Thanks for all the help. I've sorted out which components I'm using but have had to postpone my build until April :'(.. I'm still going to get the graphics card and some other bits for now that I can utilise in my main pc until then.

Cheers.

PS I'll post pics when done.
 

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