Eiren's Proposed Gaming HTPC Build

Discussion in 'Home Entertainment Computers' started by eiren, Jun 9, 2009.

  1. eiren

    eiren
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    UPDATES:

    BUILD SO FAR -

    Case = Silverstone LC17B
    Fans = 4 x Noctua R8 80mm + 1 x Silenx Ixtrema slim 80mm fan + Nexus PCI Slot Ventilation Brackets
    Motherboard = Gigabyte GA-EP45-EXTREME
    CPU = Intel Core 2 Quad Q9550
    CPU Cooler = Noctua NH-U9B
    PSU = Corsair HX850w
    RAM = OCZ Blade Series 4GB (2x2GB) DDR2 PC2-9200C5 Low Voltage Dual Channel
    Graphics card = Sapphire Radeon HD4870X2
    Optical Drive = LG GGC-H20L Blu-Ray Reader & HD-DVD ROM SATA Drive
    Hard Disk Drive = 1 x Samsung EcoGreen F2 1.5TB SATA-II 32MB Cache
    Keyboard & Mouse = Logitech MX 5000 Wireless Desktop


    6/7/2009 - Pictures of the build so far here: http://www.avforums.com/forums/home...proposed-gaming-htpc-build-4.html#post9867239

    4/8/2009 - All complete in the build. Everything up and running except the media front end. CPU overclocked to 4.0GHz: http://www.avforums.com/forums/home-cinema-pcs/1014281-eirens-proposed-gaming-htpc-build-7.html#post10072402


    Original post -

    Right... here we go!

    This is probably not a very exciting build to most of you since it more or less takes one of Razor's excellent templates for a gaming HTPC and runs with it. I do need some advice on it though. Here's what I've got so far:

    Case - Silverstone LC17 (£69)
    Fans - 3 x 80mm Coolink SWiF-801 + gaskets (3 x £8 + 3 x £2 gaskets)
    Motherboard - Asus P5Q Pro Intel P45 (£105)
    CPU - Intel Core 2 Quad Q8400 2.66GHz 4MB (£150)
    Memory - 4GB of DDR2 1066Mhz (£35)
    HDD - 1Tb Samsung F1 Spinpoint (£70)
    CPU Cooler - Scythe Ninja II with 120mm fan (£42)
    Graphics card - ATI Radeon HD4870 1GB (which will be upgraded to Crossfire later on) (£180)

    Total = £681

    [I've already got a spare 1000w PSU, so am sorted there.]

    Now I know I can get HD audio via the 4870, so that should be all good.

    My questions are:

    1) What could I improve for minimal expense?

    2) There are HIS HD4870 which are a lot more expensive than the standard ones that have better after market cooling on them. Are there better alternative coolers for the other 4870 models which would be better/cheaper? Would these be okay for a later Crossfire upgrade?

    3) If I am running everything via my video processor to either my projector or plasma at 1080p, what is the optimal resolution to run games at on the PC? Do you run at the max. possible and have the cards down-convert everything to 1080p?

    4) Is it possible to use Remote Desktop to remotely play games on the new PC from my old PC via the home network? Is it going to run like a dog... even for things like Sims 3?

    Thanks in advance!
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2009
  2. wolvers

    wolvers
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  3. eiren

    eiren
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    Sweet that looks good. Yeah I was going for a HIS one there, but after having a good look for the last 20 minutes or so... I am liking the look of the Sapphire Vapor-X or Toxic models... and they seem to be pretty reasonably priced too.

    Seem to get some decent reviews as well... so they might be worth investigating too.
     
  4. Razor

    Razor
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    Thats a nice spec there mate. :smashin:

    1. Not allot really are you going to overclock at all? You could get a more powerful graphics card if you so wished but its not necessary as next gen cards should be out in 4-5 months (ATI 5 series).
    2. Wolvers answered that above
    3. You will be able to run near enough all games bar crysis on full settings @ 1080p with AA. :)
    4. I wouldn't advise it. Install the game on both systems (only one copy needed for this) and share your save game file across both systems.

    BTW thanks for the mention. :smashin:
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2009
  5. eiren

    eiren
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    Thanks for the answers, mate and of course the inspiration. Credit where it's due and all that :D

    I would like to try overclocking it, especially if the Ninja II will allow some tweaking of the CPU, and then I'd definitely look into overclocking the graphics card a bit. So it might be worth paying a bit extra now for a Sapphire Toxic or Vapor-X.

    So is there actually a 1080p setting on games? Or does the card scale up or down to it from whatever the game is set to?

    The problem with the answer to the last question is that my old PC is pretty tired spec wise, so not sure it would run many games now. Which is why I was hoping that the new PC could do the donkey work over the network.
     
  6. Razor

    Razor
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    1080p can be selected for 99% of games.

    Just save your ave game files from your old pc, reinstall all your old games to your new pc. Then just place the save game files in the right folder. :)
     
  7. eiren

    eiren
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    Right the case has been ordered, so that's sorted. Next thing to get is the motherboard.

    I've noticed there's several different versions of the Asus P5Q Pro.

    1 - Asus P5Q PRO P45 Socket 775 8 Channel Audio ATX Motherboard - Ebuyer

    2 - Asus P5Q-E P45 Socket 775 8 channel audio ATX Motherboard - Ebuyer

    3 - ASUS P5Q PRO Turbo iP45 Socket 775 8 -Channel Audio ATX Motherboard - Ebuyer

    I am thinking either 2 or 3 since they have eSATA connections for an external hard drive solution.

    Any other major differences I am missing on those?
     
  8. Razor

    Razor
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    Asus likes to rattle out loads of the same mobo with slight differences to them. They are basically all the same mobo but they might have something added or removed. Compare them on the Asus website and go for the one you like. You wont be getting any worst or better performance from any of the above mobos. Esata is handy, I would definitely want that feature on my mobo. :)
     
  9. eiren

    eiren
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    Cheers for that info. I've ordered the P5Q-E as it has more stuff on it than the Pro (eSATA, backup BIOS chip etc), and I don't really need all the extra overclocking stuff on the Turbo version.

    CPU decision next :smashin: which Quad Core to go for...
     
  10. Razor

    Razor
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    If your on a budget then get a Q6700. If not then a Q9550. :)
     
  11. booyaka

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  12. eiren

    eiren
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    Was going to go with the Q8400 2.66Ghz... but if the Q9550 is worth the extra ££ then I am sure I wont take much persuading :hiya:
     
  13. Razor

    Razor
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    The Q9550 is a better clocker than the Q8400. It is worth the extra cash IMO. :)
     
  14. eiren

    eiren
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    Excellent, well that's another bit sorted. Thanks for all your help again!
     
  15. Ci4N

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    Where are you buying from? That's very cheap.
     
  16. eiren

    eiren
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    All over. It's actually cheaper than what I posted if you shop around by almost a good hundred pounds :thumbsup:
     
  17. Ci4N

    Ci4N
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    O rly? What shops did you use though?
     
  18. eiren

    eiren
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    Scan, eBuyer, Overclockers, Eclipse, Quiet PC... depends which part you're talking about really :thumbsup:
     
  19. Ci4N

    Ci4N
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    Cool, I was just looking for some examples. I haven't heard of Eclipse before:)
     
  20. eiren

    eiren
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    They're in Coventry, and usually pretty good:

    Eclipse Computers




    Question to the experts out there. Am I right in thinking that I won't need any other soundcard other than the on-board sound on the ATI 4870? Including games etc... although I understand that wouldn't support things like EAX?
     
  21. Razor

    Razor
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    I had some issues with the on-board sound and DX10 games, however you might be fine. It seems it only effects some users and this about 3-4 months ago. It might be fixed by now. Give it a go and see how you get on. If you need a separate card go for an Auzentech Forte. :)
     
  22. eiren

    eiren
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    Cheers mate. As ever you're a font of wisdom!

    I'll try the ATI card alone first of all.
     
  23. Razor

    Razor
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    No worries mate. :smashin:

    Thats what I would do. :)
     
  24. eiren

    eiren
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    It's difficult to get info about just what the ATI cards can do audio wise. I can see it can pass 7.1 HD audio via HDMI... but there's nothing on the official ATI site, or even most of the hardware review sites, that mentions sound while gaming or in general... or whether it's just something that happens when watching HD content etc.

    That's entirely awesome that you no longer need a separate sound card (in theory).
     
  25. eiren

    eiren
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    One last question for now... is it worth sticking a 92mm fan in the front of the LC17 case by the HDDs?

    I understand that the middle cage is going to have to come out due to the HD4870 being too long to fit otherwise, but how about the other cage? Worth it?

    How about the side fan? Worth sticking one there?
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2009
  26. eiren

    eiren
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    No ideas/experience with the fans?

    I am about to buy some nice Noctua fans to go in the case, and am not sure how many to get :devil:
     
  27. Razor

    Razor
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    I have 2 rear fans which are coolink, front fan is also coolink but you could use a 92mm noctua. This front fan mainly just keeps the HDDs cool and doesnt bring in that much air as its partially blocked by two HDDs.

    I have a 15mm silent x side fan as my chipset coolers wont allow a 25mm fan to be installed. The side fan will help your temps on your cpu and bring in some cool air. If your going to overclock every little helps.


    My spec list can be found here:

    http://www.avforums.com/forums/9657616-post2.html


    You could use noctua 80mm rear fan and use the reducer to knock down the dB to 10dB, either this or the coolink fans will do the job perfectly and be silent running.
     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2009
  28. eiren

    eiren
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    Thanks Razor! I was hoping you'd be along to help :D

    I wasn't sure whether or not the Noctua fans would be worth the extra money, as they seem to be a good combination of CFM and low dBs.

    I'll get a set and see how I get on.

    One last question for now... is the Ninja 2 different to a Mini Ninja 2? I am assuming the standard Ninja 2 is too big for the Silverstone case.

    This bit in the Gaming HTPC confused me, as there doesn't seem to be a Mini Ninja 2?

     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2009
  29. Razor

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    Ninja 2 is a bit taller. I am not 100% sure it will fit in a htpc case like a lc17.:)
     
  30. eiren

    eiren
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    I reckon it's probably safer to just go with the Mini Ninja with the 120mm fan on it.

    Ahh I'm getting antsy now... I want to get it done and to play Crysis or something on the projector :devil:
     

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