Description

This is my first time making a HTPC and would greatly appreciate any feedback as to what and where I can improve. I am going to use this build to watch TV and as a home media server. The Ceton InfiniTV Tuner is going to allow me to replace 2 cable boxes and DVR subscription, saving me $45 a month. I would also like to play PC games on this computer and that's where I am going to need the most help.

I want this build to be a Silent HTPC while playing movies but a lean killing machine while playing games. I did some searching around this site and so far I learned that if I change GeForce GTX 660 with a GeForce GTX 760 I can get much better graphics. Please feel free to critic my build but please let me know what I can change to make this a better gaming HTPC. I would truly appreciate any help I can get.

Ps. I originally intended on using Corsair Hydro H60 CPU Water cooler to keep this build as cool and quiet as possible. Unfortunately, I ran into some issues trying to install the H60 on this small case. The only way I can install the H60 is to remove the Blu-Ray Drive and Bay. For the time being I am using the Noctua NH-L12, but the fan configuration I am currently using gets louder than I would like when the PC is under heavy loads. I already own a Blu-Ray player, but I believe that I need an optical drive in order to play most PC games. The dilemma I am now facing is whether to keep the optical drive or the H60. Please let me know what you think, keeping in mind that my priorities are too maximize performance/versatility while keeping the PC as quiet as possible.

Comments

  • 77 months ago
  • 2 points

That is a sexy, sexy HTPC case.

  • 77 months ago
  • 1 point

Thank you kindly sir.

  • 77 months ago
  • 1 point

man this is an amazing machine, if money isn't an issue, go for the 760 man!

  • 77 months ago
  • 1 point

Thank you. I am going to go with the 760. There is not that big of a price difference between models, so it is definitely worth it.

  • 77 months ago
  • 1 point

I love the idea of a small, sleek case which can fit high end hardware.

This is one of my personal favourite builds :D

One thing that I noticed though: in the second to last picture, there is some Corsair packaging, but nothing in your build is made by them. What is it?

  • 77 months ago
  • 2 points

Thank you very much Olympuse410. That's the Corsair Hydro H60 water cooler which I bought but for the life of me can't figure out how to fit into this case. The only way I can see fitting is by removing the blu-ray drive/bay and mounting it where the two 120mm case fans are. I have been searching around the net to see if I can find a configuration that would allow me to keep both but no luck so far.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1WMboiQZ8XU

This guy has a H50 install outside the case. That will probably get very loud under load. Let me know if you have any suggestions before I return this good looking but bulky water cooler.

  • 77 months ago
  • 1 point

Console killer right here. Same size but far more powerful.

  • 77 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks. I am thinking of getting a steam membership. Hopefully get discounted prices on some awesome games. Would you recommend using a xbox remote to play games or do you have a better suggestion?

  • 77 months ago
  • 1 point

I switched from console to PC last year and I now find that I prefer keyboard and mouse to the controller. I would recommend just getting a good keyboard and mouse setup and giving it a shot for a while. But in the end it really just comes down to your preference.

  • 77 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks. I will do that. I will let you know how it goes.

  • 77 months ago
  • 1 point

The mouse and keyboard combo is best for me and many other.

Except if youre playing a racing game or simulator of any kind.

  • 77 months ago
  • 1 point

Thank you sir. I need to get a few games and borrow/buy a gaming keyboard and mouse so that I can start trying that setup.

  • 77 months ago
  • 1 point

Np man

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  • 77 months ago
  • 1 point

Thank you for sharing your knowledge. I am going to try both to see which one I prefer. I will see if I can borrow a gaming keyboard and mouse from a friend. Bad timing on the steam summer, shame on the for not waiting for me. Do you know how often do they have sales?

  • 77 months ago
  • 1 point

Usually one big one during summer and a medium one in winter.

If you want cheap games check out the following:

Steamtrades - since steam games go on sale all the time people stockpile them and later sell them at prices close to sale.

Ex: Metro 2033 is like 20 usd. It was once pretty much free. You can find it on steamtrades for like 2 usd, or trade for a very cheap game. But watch out for scams.

Humblebundle

They do bundles from time to time for howevermuch you want to pay. You can get games valued at over 300 for one dll. (Although its for a good cause and you should not skimp)

Cheapshark.

Cheapshark lists deals and compares them through websites.

  • 77 months ago
  • 1 point

BeardCreep you are awesome. Thank you ever so much for the info.

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  • 77 months ago
  • 1 point

dude this is the best htpc ive ever seen... period

  • 77 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks BlackWidow. Hopefully I can make it a little better with the help of the awesome members of this site.

  • 77 months ago
  • 1 point

very nice. for such a small case you were able to do that so clean.

  • 77 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks usmc0811. I wish I had gotten a sleeved cable modular Power supply which would of made the cable management lots better/easier.

  • 77 months ago
  • 1 point

your seasoniC wasn't modular? I had originally ordered a seasonic 560 but returned it for something with more wattage. I just see so many small cases that look like a rats nest of wires. people make a big deal about cable management on a full sized case. those little enclosed ones seem to have less fans and vents so how do they stay so cool?

  • 77 months ago
  • 1 point

The Seasonic is modular but it comes with ribbons cables instead of sleeved round cables. If I had known that I would have ordered a different power supply. This case uses positive air pressure (both left side and right side case fans are configured to suck air into the case forcing the air to exit through the back of the case) to keep all components cool. I don't know about other cases since this is my HTPC build.

  • 77 months ago
  • 1 point

How much was the armour kit?

  • 77 months ago
  • 1 point

NewEgg is giving them for free when you order the motherboard.

  • 76 months ago
  • 1 point

What was your reasoning behind adding the Gryphon Armor? I'm considering the same mobo, cpu and cooler combo in a XON 560 (http://pcpartpicker.com/part/xion-case-xon560wt). I was thinking that once it's built I'll never be going back in the case and the case will never be moved off of the desk (except to clean on both accounts), then I wouldn't need the extra protection, especially at $85ish.

  • 76 months ago
  • 1 point

Cool case Dude. Well, Newegg was giving the Gryphon Armor for free with Motherboard at the time so I did not have to pay for it. The armor looks awesome plus it helps keep your system clean, cool and quiet. If you are trying to build a silent computer and you can find it for a good price I would recommend getting it.

  • 72 months ago
  • 1 point

The thing about video cards is you can always get better performance. I would say spend as much as you want on it. Just be sure to research the products well to be sure it's what you want, maybe you want more, maybe you don't want to spend that much money on it. A good sight to determine what graphics card to get is the Futuremark hardware channel, it will show you the price and 3Dmark score of tons of graphics cards and CPUs. Something else to think about when building machines in the future is that "for a gaming build you shouldn't spend more on you're CPU, motherboard and RAM than your graphics card". There are some exceptions, such as if you're going super low budget, but generally speaking this will help you balance your PC, and get you better performance.

  • 38 months ago
  • 1 point

I have this same PC case. Are you still using it? I did a build with this case awhile back without replacing my GPU. Now, I'm looking for a better GPU that will fit. The old Radeon 5850 fit but the connectors are not on the top of the card. What are some GPUs that will fit for around $300-$400 or less?

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  • 77 months ago
  • 2 points

Thank you very much. I am going to follow your advice and RMA the 660 back to Newegg and get the new and improved 760. The craziest thing is that the 660 and 760 are going for the about the same price.

  • 77 months ago
  • 1 point

Couldn't you use EVGA's step up scheme instead of faking a faulty product?

  • 77 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks for the tip, but unfortunately this video card model is not covered by the step up scheme. It is not on the current list of cards that you can trade up.

  • 77 months ago
  • 1 point

Well that's a bugger... To think you where 1 number away from being able to step up

  • 77 months ago
  • 1 point

I was pretty bummed when I found that I could not use the step up process with EVGA. Now I have to go through the RMA process with NewEgg. That's the price you pay for ignorance. Should have check this site before ordering the parts.

  • 77 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks for the link. I did not know that you can do that.

  • 77 months ago
  • 1 point

I'm not sure how you are going to fake a faulty product, but the 760 is only a 5-10% improvement and going for anywhere from $50-$90 more

  • 77 months ago
  • 1 point

I am trying to get the best performance I can out of this small build. I would also like to future proof as much as possible so that I don't have to make any upgrades for a few years. Fortunately I still have all the packaging and NewEgg has an awesome return for replacement within 30 days warranty. I was thinking of getting this one ($40 difference):

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814130932

What do you think?