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Alienware Alpha / HTPC Replacement £500 UK

ianuk2005
  • 56 months ago

Hi,

I'm considering replacing my Alienware Alpha i3 and my HP 54L Microserver into a single gaming/htpc setup. Also i'm in the UK so prices tend to be a bit more expensive but my budget is £400-£500.

Requirements

Must perform better than the alpha (960 gtx 4gb ideal)

small as possible without overheating (ideally size of the N54L or smaller)

i3 4th gen or better, ideally 5th/6th gen

8GB Ram

1TB with room for more

A huge bonus would be to fit a DVB-S2 tuner card. I already have a PCIe one spare, alternative might be to fit a usb one inside the case?

Thanks, Ian

Comments

  • 56 months ago
  • 1 point

5th gen would be broadwell just to be picky, not many parts for that. Skylake is 6th gen though obviously is overlapping with 4th.

Anyway..

Similar footprint hopefully to you n54l and all the performance you asked for with all high quality components.

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

Type Item Price
CPU Intel Core i3-6100 3.7GHz Dual-Core Processor £95.30 @ Novatech
Motherboard MSI B150M BAZOOKA Micro ATX LGA1151 Motherboard £64.42 @ Ebuyer
Memory Corsair Vengeance LPX 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR4-2400 Memory £42.06 @ Amazon UK
Storage Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive £35.98 @ CCL Computers
Video Card PowerColor Radeon R9 380 4GB PCS+ Video Card £166.06 @ More Computers
Case Thermaltake Core V21 MicroATX Mini Tower Case £45.44 @ CCL Computers
Power Supply Super Flower Golden Green HX 450W 80+ Gold Certified ATX Power Supply £47.71 @ CCL Computers
Prices include shipping, taxes, rebates, and discounts
Total £496.97
Generated by PCPartPicker 2015-10-29 14:13 GMT+0000
  • 56 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks, going to update it to say 5th/6th gen.

Would swapping the r9 out for a 960 4gb cause any issue (I use gamestream a lot) and would this also fit in the case mobo: http://www.amazon.co.uk/DVBSky-S952-profile-windows-software/dp/B00FAPDVDS

  • 56 months ago
  • 1 point

You could use a 960 yeah. I'm not totally sold on the 4gb version here as it struggles to utilise this amount of VRAM but it certainly cant hurt to have more than 2gb.

That expansion card will be fine also.

  • 55 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks, do you know of any smaller cases that could fit this in or is this about as small as I can go? Would be ideal to have 25x25x30cm or less for the space I have.

  • 55 months ago
  • 1 point

That will almost certainly be mini itx and you lose the expansion port. You could mod something to use usb inside fairly simply.

First thoughts for mATX would be the Silverstone SG02

  • 55 months ago
  • 1 point

How about this, same sort of price as the v21

http://en.sharkoon.com/product/1679/CAM#specs

  • 55 months ago
  • 1 point

That looks perfect!

Would that house all the listed components?

  • 55 months ago
  • 1 point

Yep has enough expansion slots for your gfx and capture cards.

  • 55 months ago
  • 1 point

One slight problem I have thought of is the placement of the expansion slots on the mobo as it only has 3. It will work but will leave you capture card next to the gfx card obstructing some airflow.

My solution would be just add £5 or find an alternative board with a 4th slot. This one has a full pcie slot but you can pop your pice 1x in it no problem

http://uk.pcpartpicker.com/part/msi-motherboard-b150mmortar

  • 55 months ago
  • 1 point

ok so i'm guessing the GPU takes up two slots with the fan? So if I got this and put my other pcie card in the 16x slot there would be a nice gap between them? Sounds sensible as it's a small case and the tuner is passively cooled and can run quite hot on it's own.

  • 55 months ago
  • 1 point

Exactly as you describe. The single slot gap should leave everything happy.

  • 55 months ago
  • 1 point

Also just to double check no extra LAN/sound cards, cpu coolers etc will be needed for the build? Just the stock components listed?

I hear the 5th/6th gen intels run really cool so i'm assuming I just need to use the stock coolers?

  • 55 months ago
  • 1 point

All onboard unless you want WiFi which would need to be added.

Yes very cool no problems on stock coolers

[comment deleted by staff]
  • 55 months ago
  • 1 point

Doesn't leave room for his capture card.

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