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HTPC/STEAMBOX

by kumaizard

Description

First build! Nice and quiet htpc/steam machine/now I'm couch locked playing rocket league... for my girlfriend and I. OS on one ssd, Steam and games on the other ssd, and data storage on the mechanical. Came together without issue. I did not pay full price for any part, I here it's best to purchase all your parts at once, for many reasons, but I am not made of money. Waited for sales and used those rebates and promo codes. Ended up being just over a grand. I was looking for something with a modest power draw (old building, old wires,) cool (temperature) and quiet, and could handle new games at 1080p. The haswell and maxwell architecture really do the trick. Low power consumption, low heat, low fan rpm. Steady gaming, streaming, and a little wiggle room for future upgrades.

Update! Thanks to the pcpartpicker community for all the feedback, upgrading the psu from 500w to 760w for many reason ;) thanks again for all your comments! Couldn't do it without all of you.

Comments Sorted by:

Darkseiders 6 points 42 months ago

You really do need to upgrade your PSU asap. I would recommend the EVGA SuperNOVA G2/P2/GS line(s), but xfx and seasonic PSUs are very good as well.

tiny_voices 4 Builds 3 points 42 months ago

I would definitely agree that when the second GPU show us, I would not use it until you have a better PSU.

m52nickerson 1 Build 3 points 42 months ago

I will agree as well. 500W is not enough for this build.

tiny_voices 4 Builds 2 points 42 months ago

A really high end 550w unit might cut it, but I would really recommend a 650w unit here. Something like an EVGA GS or an XFX would be ideal.

m52nickerson 1 Build 1 point 42 months ago

A high end 550w might cut it if the GPUs are not overclocked. I would still go with a 650w at the least.

tiny_voices 4 Builds 1 point 42 months ago

I would say 650w is what he should go with unless he plans to get higher end cards down the line. Any good 650w unit will be fine.

kumaizard submitter 1 Build -1 points 42 months ago

It's really not that dire folks. She's hummy along very nicely. Still have almost 30 watts to spare under load. I have plans for another build with a future forward psu, I don't plan on upgrading this rig much. The first of many I hope!

tiny_voices 4 Builds 4 points 42 months ago

I would recommend you get a better PSU when you use 2 cards. The cx500 really isn't up to it. It isn't a terrible unit, but for this PC with 2 cards, it is not a good idea.

kumaizard submitter 1 Build -1 points 42 months ago

it's working great so far, still have some 30 watts to spare under load. But yes, for the next build gonna do a little more future proofing ;)

tiny_voices 4 Builds 1 point 42 months ago

Using this PSU the way you are is a terrible decision. It WILL fail. Replace it. It is meant for budget PCs and low end computers. NOT dual card systems. It will not last long at all and when it goes, don't expect it to be the only thing dead.

Darkseiders 1 point 42 months ago

Exactly. The fact that you have 30 watts to spare is also a problem. I highly doubt that this PSU actually performs at 500w as well.

tiny_voices 4 Builds 1 point 42 months ago

It doesn't at all. It goes out of spec over 80% usage. Using this PSU with only 30w to go is REALLY dangerous. OP will either replace it, or pay the price.

kumaizard submitter 1 Build 0 points 42 months ago

Well, I've said it before and I'll say it again... Its my first build fellas!!! Bunch of negative nellys over here!! It's been working great the past months and has excepted every add on (gpu cards, harddrives...) with out a probelm. Maxwell and Haswell use less energy, and with adaptive energy consumption enabled the gpu's don't pull that energy. I appriecate the input, but the know-it-all attitude is really ******. We are all people who love computers, right? If you wanna come over and look at the machine and see with your own eyes, you are welcome to, and we can talk shop and have coffee and cake. Lastly, I agreed with you! WTF!!! Yes, when i have extra funds i may upgrade, I have had my eye on corsairs tx750 for some time, but at the time of purchase the cx500 was about $30. I was a starting off point if you will. So why beat this dead horse any further?

m52nickerson 1 Build 3 points 42 months ago

As others have said, 500W is really not enough for this build.

Other then that, nice build.

kumaizard submitter 1 Build 1 point 42 months ago

Thanks much!

soundreaper 1 Build 3 points 42 months ago

+1 because the build looks great but why not 1 GTX 970 instead of 2 960's?

kumaizard submitter 1 Build 1 point 42 months ago

At the time of purchase the price was right, and with cards oc I can get close to a 970. But! the 2gb of ram will be my bottle neck. 970 with 4gb will out live these cards in a growing 4k world. And thanks much!! Next build, bigger case, bigger card, bigger psu. America...

soundreaper 1 Build 2 points 42 months ago

LOL! I'll be looking forward to that next build!

mspring 6 Builds 1 point 38 months ago

two 960's smoke a 970 and two 4gb 960's beat a 980 most of the time.

soundreaper 1 Build 1 point 38 months ago

Correct but going single card generally has benefits over SLI :D

bengy22 4 Builds 2 points 42 months ago

i see no one has commented here so i will put mine, i have a few questions about the build. Why a 4590? the 4690k is around the same price and you can over clock it. Second why have to ssd's when buy the 500gb one would be the same price? And for my last question why two gtx 960's? i don't see two in you're pictures and was putting two in the parts list a mistake? overall a nice looking build though :)

kaan 1 Build 2 points 42 months ago

Usually 2x SSD's == 2x speed with raid 0, so it's better to buy multiples

Can't comment on the other questions tho

kumaizard submitter 1 Build 1 point 42 months ago

I'll be updating the pictures with the other card soon ;) and thanks for checking it out! I did not purchase all the parts at once so the 1,600 tag is exaggerated. Chose the 4590 because it was much cheaper at the time of purchase (around $150 after taxes.) Though I agree with you, I wish I had got the devils canyon :/ and the cards were purchased separately, once from amazon and then from newegg, with the discounts I came in a little cheaper than a 970 and just about the same benchmarks if I overclock them (compounded with devils canyon would have hit that sweet spot... poot.) The ssd's were the same, didn't buy them at once and waited for sales and ended up paying about $0.30 a gig.

bengy22 4 Builds 2 points 42 months ago

ok cool, so will you be updating the pictures for the 2 960's? i got to get off but its cool to see builds and think to your self how your build will look like build - im going to be building a 2 way sli gtx 960 or a 970 if the price for the 970ftw+ 2.0+ goes down again at the end of the year :).

OAcesync 1 Build 4 points 42 months ago

I would always recommend a stronger single card so should definitely get a 970. You should never really SLI mid range cards like 960 especially with only 2GB it's kinda a waste. Minimum card to SLI/Xfire is the 290 and above if you're playing at minimum 1440p, if you're not playing 1440p and above then having two GPUs is a waste imo

bengy22 4 Builds 2 points 42 months ago

lol, im going to be playing a 1080p.... but the cards i would get would have 4gb and who doesnt like the look of TWO cards?!? :) -main reason why im getting them and not a 970

OAcesync 1 Build 2 points 42 months ago

Why to avoid SLI Drivers issues can be bad Overclocking becomes troublesome as it has to be the same so it's hard to get good results if two cards have different ASIC rating A lot more heat generated and is a bigger problem to deal with More power consumption More chance of bottleneck depending on the GPU or CPU Not all games support it and day zero or beta experience is usually bad for Dual GPU profiles Scaling issues, it doesn't always go well Two spare cards more go to waste when you upgrade. VRAM does NOT stack in Xfire or SLI simply mirrors each other(Don't bring up DX12 because no one has decisive information of that rumour) Performance is inconsistent.

You should never SLI mid range cards because they are always going to be better single card options that will give generally better or same performance without the heap of problems and pretty cheaper than the SLI solution. Like I said already unless you are playing 1440p at the Minimum you should never SLI or Xfire because there are single cards that can give whatever performance you desire at that resolution that are reasonable and not complete overkill like dual 980Tis for 1080p. Because of this you should at the minimum Xfire 290s anything below that level of card is a waste of money especially the 960 which even as a single card isn't worth buying. Also you buy a 970, come around upgrade you can easily sell the card for decent money and buy a new one losing out on less money, dual 960s you have two cards that will quickly depreciate and sell for lesser money than what you payed for losing out on more money. Get a R9 390(which I recommend) or a 970, overclock and see the performance difference because it won't be their or be miniscule while a 390 would still give better performance at 1440p and higher than dual 960s. Trust me single card should always be the go to option Never SLI or Xfire unless they're flagship or around flagship bracket which can't be matched in performance when in SLI or Xfire Sorry for the essay :p

kumaizard submitter 1 Build 1 point 42 months ago

Thanks again!! If I were you, I may wait for a consumer version of the Tesla chipset to hit the market, that'll future proof your rig for some time, but who knows if/when that will happen?

JheyoDELperu 2 points 42 months ago

first, i looked at your pic's.. nice i thought..a nice quiet gaming pc..BUT then i saw your title... and read "H t p c "

My face. . . " D : oh. "

kumaizard submitter 1 Build 2 points 42 months ago

Oh she games buddy ;) she games real good. But she's gonna go into the living room after the next build and be the center of the home theater, for couch gaming and moives, the Home Theater Personal Computer. What's wrong with that?

JheyoDELperu 2 points 42 months ago

nothing s wrong tho...the opoosite... thats a freaking home ***n badass theatr PC!!! Daaaammm... !!! sweet +1 all dayyy

kumaizard submitter 1 Build 1 point 42 months ago

awwwww shucks... you know how to make grown man blush :)

CQC 11 Builds 2 points 42 months ago

Would also recommend one higher end card vs. two average cards, especially at 2gb vram. R9 390 8gb models have been as low as $225 and hover around $260 depending on the sale. Much better option than two 960s.

Iceman320 1 Build 1 point 42 months ago

^ Yup this guy knows, and I have to fully agree.

This way there won't be any SLI driver issues with games etc as well

kumaizard submitter 1 Build 1 point 42 months ago

Agree, 4gb card or that 8gb R9 would be super sweet. But I purchased the cards separately when they were on sale, the performance to price ratio at the time was too good to pass up. The next build will be different. Thanks for the input!

Orion555 2 points 38 months ago

It's all good - nice setup. It's a rockin' build - Great Job! :)

Orion555 2 points 38 months ago

Good job - like the dual 960 setup :) +1

Herr_Tito 1 point 42 months ago

SLI 2GB GTX 960s, WHY?! CF 4GB R9 380s are the same price an perform much better, and so does a single R9 390X.

Iceman320 1 Build 1 point 42 months ago

No point in a r9 390X at its current price really, the r9 390 will perform CLOSE to the same when overclocked.

Herr_Tito 1 point 42 months ago

As if the 390X can't be overclocked too.

Iceman320 1 Build 1 point 42 months ago

Very true, but there is a rather significant price gap between them (in New Zealand anyway) that I can't really justify spending. If I were to spend that much I may as well make the jump to a 980 ti

kumaizard submitter 1 Build 1 point 42 months ago

I bought the cards separately, ended up costing less than a 970 or an R9, and I can almost match the benchmarks with cards oc. I agree though, a 4gb card would have been much nicer but I was looking for bang for my buck with this one. The $1,600 total is a little exaggerated, ended up spending just over a grand.

Herr_Tito 0 points 42 months ago

It's nigh impossible to buy 2 GTX 960s for less than $305, the price of the cheapest GTX 970, or $295, the price of the cheapest R9 390.

kumaizard submitter 1 Build 1 point 42 months ago

Do I really need to show you the receipt? And why buy a "cheap" 970. Sounds like a waste of $300. I purchased the two cards over the past months, you may need to look up price reports from the end of the summer if you want to be precise on the cost of the cards, and the rebates that were in effect at the time. I'm not sure why you care so much?

[comment deleted by staff]
Vergere 7 Builds 1 point 42 months ago

Also, LED's are kinda distracting when your trying to watch a Halloween movie...

kumaizard submitter 1 Build 2 points 42 months ago

Not if it's behind the TV making it glow ominously!!! Muah ah ah ahhh!

kumaizard submitter 1 Build 1 point 42 months ago

whisper quiet, cant stress this enough. The fans are 25db at %100. WIth the haswell and maxwell architecture they both draw less power, so less heat, fans are quiet. Even under load, playing grey goo or rocket league for hours on end the gpu's barley break 50c.