Help Upgrade HTPC to High Spec Gaming Machine Ready for Oculus Rift!


Prominent Member
Hi Guys,

Need some help in choosing the best parts to install in my current HTPC that i use for streaming movies to my 121" projector with XBMC and Blurays.

I am wanting to upgrade the system to a High-End Gaming machine, ready to play with my VR Kit (Oculus Rift) once it arrives in the next few weeks.

I want to be able to play all high end games such as Skyrim, Crysis 3, Bioshock Infinite on the best settings possible. Don't forget with the Oculus Rift, you are in sense displaying the game twice for 3D, so frame-rate needs to be try and remain high.

I dont in sense have a budget, can spend a few hundred if needed. But would like to spend as little as possible if i can.

Now my HTPC is a Assassins HTPC. Assassin HTPC -

The only things i feel that i need to upgrade are the RAM and GRAPHICS CARD.

As i am in a small shoebox case, i am quite restricted to the size of the graphics card. Hence, looking for the best one i can get in this case with this motherboard i have.

As the HTPC is in a Home Cinema Room, it needs to be reasonably quite operation and stay pretty cool! My current HTPC is really good at doing this currently, hardly makes noise and doesn't get very hot.

The cabinet it is in has some holes in the back for some air flow and also i try to leave the front half open (sliding door) when the HTPC is on.

Here is what my current spec is:

Shoebox Case
AsRock H77m-ITX motherboard
Intel i5 3570k
64GB Crucial SSD
1TB Secondary WD HDD (Used for installing games)
4GB G Skill Ares RAM

I tried to play a few games on my current machine, such as Dear Esther, Slender Arrival, Amnesia. But putting any of these games on a high setting really made the game chug and hardly playable.

For the RAM, I'm not sure if i should just get one more 4GB card to make it 8GB or if i should go for a brand new 16gb (2x8gb) Ram Kit.
From what ive seen across the net, people are saying that 8gb is enough and having 16gb would hardly make any difference?!?

Thanks for all your help guys!


Distinguished Member
The Oculus Rift latest version has only a 1280x800 display so I would imagine any high end graphics card would be more than enough (size permitting). There's a Nvidia 670 card intended for mini-ITX systems which should do.

8/16GB is utter overkill, but RAM is so cheap it doesn't matter though keep in mind you need to be running 64-bit windows beforehand in order to make use of 4GB+. If you really want to you'd be better off spending your money on a lower latency 2GB kit if on Windows 32-bit.


Prominent Member
Thanks for your help mate.

The consumer Oculus is going to be 1080p (atleast thats what they are trying to achieve) - thats also the size i play my games at (as i use a projector with 1080p being maximum anyway).

Saying that i want the best to get now so that i dont have to bother upgrading again next year. Hence, the card should be able to play all latest games such as Skyrim, Tomb Raider, Bioshock Infinite at ultra settings in 1080p.

Im not sure if i have windows 32 or 64, i think its most likely the 64.

The problem with my htpc case is that i can not install a 2 slot card, i have only one slot available, and i know (correct me if I'm wrong) that there is only one high end gnu single slot card and that is the AMOX Radeon 7850 - which in this year is a bit old and average.

Or is there a better card that i could be going for?



Distinguished Member
I'd be surprised if they can get 1080p panels they are struggling to get screens if you read the article, might happen but don't assume it.

Ultra settings and 1080p plus the rift which needs to maintain a steady 60fps for it to work well are not a good idea given the space limitations you have if you cant stick the biggest & fastest graphics card in the PC

You'd likely do 60fps reliably with high-medium settings and no anti-aliasing on a GPU like the Radeon 7850. I personally dont know what other single slot cards are out there.

Also only certain kinds of games even benefit at all from the Rift, the developer kits some end users are toying with require a huge amount of tweaking to work with games that the Rift doesn't support. The consumer version will likely have a handful of games that support it with no extra work required but dont expect all games to just work with it.

If your on Windows 64-bit then you way as well stick 4-8GB RAM in there.


Prominent Member
Thanks for your input.

Its actually a lot easier to add VR in games then it reads in the article. Any game built using UDK or unity will be automatically OR ready anyway! The only other thing they need to worry about is either disabling or handling head rolling correctly, which should be straight forward.

Other games that dont support it at launch will be i assume from the community via mods etc.. But yes not all games are meant for it anyway, its more of the slower paced less frantic ones such as Dear Esther, Slender, Amnesia, Punumbra etc...

Anyway, yeah i understand what you are saying that i will get with the 7850 card, which is why i still have not gone out and bought it! Im still searching and thinking about what to do. My current case is the problem that i have as it only has space for one slot card. and i cant really fit a pc tower into the cabinet where my HTPC sits, i can go a little bigger then my current case but not too much bigger.

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