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HTPC / Gaming Rig 2013

by badiali


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CPU Clock Rate


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GPU Effective Memory Clock Rate



This will stream all media/Netflix and take care of any gaming needs for the foreseeable future. Will build a small tv tray thing for RTS keyboard and mouse needs. It will live in my media cabinet (when built) with all of the other home theatre gear. The intention was to have a full use computer that can take care of my movie/music needs and eliminates the need for a new PS4 console.

The Node 605 is a really nice case, just a little larger than I would have liked. It think it has the smallest footprint on the media cabinet though in that it sits like a large audio receiver.

I went for the full ATX because I wanted the additional features - the extra PCI slots for a tuner/capture card at some point, maybe SLI if I can fit 2 cards in with HD cages installed. I wish it had provision for a standard size optical drive instead of only a slim drive. Also, a full ATX board doesn't allow optical drive installation as well - you have to use an external. A smaller ATX board would be suggested if you only want a media center unit. Some screws feel a bit cheap and the front panel USB 3 connector is beastly - a very tight fit with all of the fan headers on my board next to it.

On the positive side, this case is super quiet. Comparing this to my PS3 for movie watching is almost a joke. It's also pretty solidly built with a nice finish on the exterior. Hard drive cages are nice. It comes with 2 great case fans as intakes - I added a third as an exhaust.

CPU cooling is a bit of a challenge - you will need a low profile heatsink + fan combo. Liquid cooling doesn't fit unless you want to shave a bit of the board edge and mount your fan or rad outside your case (not nice looking). I really wanted to fit an H50 in there so there was some breathing room. The Noctua option I chose just squeezed (horizontally). I needed to shift the small bottom fan a little to fit beside the heatsink on the board. The pipes occupy one slot of RAM with this configuration. Plenty of clearance to the top of the case though as recommended by Fractal Design - even more if you don't want to top fan installed, but I don't know why you wouldn't want it there.

Cable management is non-existent. A modular PSU helps but its going to be a bit messy if you've got a large graphics card and CPU heatsink.

Price-wise, I could have cut some corners and gone with some less expensive parts, but I want this machine to last for at least 5 without needing to make upgrades. The graphics and processor are the major expenses and I want to play some nice looking games.

Pictures of the guts once GTX 770 card is installed and cables are wrangled.

*apologies for the low light camera phone images.

Comments Sorted by:

DjArtifact 4 points 53 months ago

That case is so sexy, nice keyboard too.

Wanderer89 2 points 50 months ago

Have any picks with the gpu installed? I'm about to pick up two of these I think.

zlogs 1 Build 2 points 48 months ago

Would love pics with the gtx 770 installed.

edman545 10 Builds 1 point 53 months ago

I like this build for a HTPC case and the budget. Like you said, you could have saved some cash getting lesser components, but if you have the budget, then why not pay more now and not have to mess with it for a long time.

Keep in mind you will need to get the media pack for windows 8 if you want native DVD/Blu ray playback, as well as windows media center.

And for a tuner, I would recommend the HDHomerun Prime if you have digital cable. Get a cable card from your provider and you can pause/record from any channel you subscribe to, including "copy once" flagged premium channels such as HBO. The best part is that it sits on your network and not inside your computer, and yet still acts like a locally installed tuner. You can also pull the channels via uPNP streams to other non-windows devices as well, although you may not get protected channels. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16815345006

dschutt84 3 Builds 6 points 53 months ago

Just get VLC player and XBMC....this solves all the Windows 8 DVD issues for free.

badiali submitter 1 Build 1 point 53 months ago

That's the plan.

hunter32tz 1 Build 1 point 53 months ago

New favorite HTPC build by far. Love the case too

D3ck3rCain 1 point 53 months ago

Nice Case

canders 7 Builds 1 point 53 months ago

Great looking case. I don't see the Blue Ray or GPU. Any photos with it all assembled? Up vote BTW.

tyabbott 1 point 53 months ago

Great Build, awesome ps4 replacement.

thefishkid1 2 Builds 1 point 53 months ago

Amazing CPU Cooling. What temps you get?

Mickado 1 Build 1 point 53 months ago

Very nice!

deadlyhooves 1 point 53 months ago

What monitor/tv do you have this hooked up to?

construction 3 Builds 1 point 53 months ago

loving the case :)

coryjamesking 2 Builds 1 point 48 months ago

Omg this is beautiful. Way to spend the money needed to make a truly quality rig. All this in a HTPC. wooo hoooo nice job mate!

tkernan6 1 Build 1 point 47 months ago

How did it go fitting in the GTX770?

Fonnz 1 point 47 months ago

wow, amazing! A build with that Cpu cooler and is it any good, what are the load temp?

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badiali submitter 1 Build 1 point 51 months ago

The optical drive was pretty much to install the OS and for occasional BluRay movies. Most of the things I watch are all Netflix/streamed. It would have been nice though to tuck in a slim drive, but the motherboard takes up some of that space.