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 Post subject: Building a living room PC for a friend
PostPosted: Wed Nov 15, 2017 11:36 am 
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I want to convince a friend, who just got a real house, to get a living room PC. He's open to the idea, but will need some convincing. If it costs too much, then I'm sure he'll turn it down. Right now he's got a study room PC with a Core i3 Sandy Bridge and a GTX 750, which I helped him build years ago. It cost $800 then, OS included, so I'm trying to target not too much more than that. The most advanced game he plays on it is Far Cry 4, but he might play more games if the PC was more up to it.

A tower case isn't out of the question, but I think he'd be more favorable to a desktop form factor. If it can go on a shelf, with the various other living room boxes stacked on top (mainly a TiVO box and Blu-Ray player), that's even better. So I am looking at the Silverstone GD09B as a case. Use would be from about ten feet away, and preferably should be inaudible at that range.

My parts list WIP:

GPU:
I'm looking at a 3GB Geforce GTX 1060, for $200. If he balks at the total price, we could skip the GPU for now and upgrade later down the line.

CPU:
Kind of out of the loop on the current CPUs, but a Core i5-7400 Kaby Lake costs $190. Not sure if you can go much cheaper without a huge power sacrifice, or if you can get more bang for proportionally little more buck.

SSD:
Samsung 960 EVO 250GB, $125. I have a Pro myself, but the prices just skyrocketed on these things.

Motherboard:
ASRock Z270M Pro4, $100

RAM:
G.SKILL Ripjaws 4 Series 8GB, $100

OS:
Windows 10 Home, $100

Case:
Silverstone GD09B, $87. Also, wireless peripherals are a must. Is it going to be a problem that this case only has two front USB ports, or are Bluetooth/RF receivers fine using rear USB ports?

HDD:
WD Red 2TB, $85

PSU:
Rosewill Glacier 500W, $61

ODD:
Might skip this. Does it make a big difference for airflow/noise with this case? It would be convenient to have this.

HSF:
Not sure. Should we / can we do better than stock in a case like this?

Peripherals:
Already got a DS4 and DS3 controller, and two Bluetooth adapters (the DS3 needs a dedicated adapter). We need a wireless mouse and keyboard too, not sure what kind is good, or if we should use Bluetooth or not.

Total cost so far is about $1050, not including the HSF or peripherals, or $850 if we skip the GPU.


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 Post subject: Re: Building a living room PC for a friend
PostPosted: Wed Nov 15, 2017 3:06 pm 
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A couple of comments...

- desktop (horizontal) style cases are pretty inferior to vertical ones for cooling gaming systems..,smaller fans, airflow restrictions, cooler height. Also, people tend to cram them into closed shelves with no hope for exchange of air. So, you create a little hot box..probably not good for stacking other equipment on top :) That said, a 65W CPU and a 120Wish GPU isn't a high load system.

- SSD: Very little benefit of the 960 EVO over the 850 Evo in a gaming PC and the latter is waaay cheaper.

- mobo. good board. better look in the manual to see how many case fans it can control with voltage control. Might only be 1 with the rest having to be PWM.

- CPU: pricing is pretty flat..you might be able to get the higher clocked i5-7500 for less.

- gfx: what's the monitor resolution/what resolution do you want to play games? The 3GB version of the GTX 1060 is a bit of a nerf. Less memory, but also reduced gpu performance. The GTX 1050 Ti or the full GTX 1060 6GB might be a better fit.

- HDD: WD Blue (5400rpm) 4TB have been going for $115. (I say this as my backup archives slowly consume my 2TB drive).

- PSU: Seasonic Focus 550W.

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 Post subject: Re: Building a living room PC for a friend
PostPosted: Wed Nov 15, 2017 3:42 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2013 8:53 am
Posts: 11
4K would be nice, but I realize gaming at 4K on a moderate load system might not be practical. I'm sure he'll be happy with current games at 1080p, or even less. I am worried about heat, though, especially since I expect him to cram the case on a shelf underneath the TiVo and HDMI switch. How do the 1050 Ti and full 1060 compare in that regard?

Also, the shelf would be open in the front, but closed in the back.


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 Post subject: Re: Building a living room PC for a friend
PostPosted: Wed Nov 15, 2017 4:59 pm 
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Location: Monterey Bay, CA
ikantspelwurdz wrote:
Also, the shelf would be open in the front, but closed in the back.

Unless the shelf has no sides along with no front, it'll be a hot box. Even with a 75W GTX 1050 Ti. The fans will run at max rpm to try and keep the components cool which will defeat the whole 'inaudible from 10' away" goal. If, on the other hand, the only enclosed areas are top, bottom, and back, then there is an air flow path.

4k - eSports, some, sure. Far Cry - prolly not, even with 1060 6GB...unless you really dialed back quality settings.

cpu cooler: you'll want to replace the box cooler with something better...but you can run into height conflicts with the ODD. Top down's like the Scythe Big Shuriken 2 Rev B (replacing the thin fan with a 25mm height pwm fan) or possibly the Noctua NH-L12 without the top fan (or deleting the bottom fan and putting the top one in there). If it's a short form factor ODD, possibly a short tower cooler, like the Noctua NH-U9S could work.

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1080p Gaming build: i5-4670K, Mugen 4, MSI Z87-G45, MSI GTX 760 2GB Gaming, 8GB 1866 RAM, Samsung 860 Evo 500GB, Crucial MX100 256GB, WD Red 2TB, Samsung DVD burner, Fractal Define R4, Antec True Quiet 140 (2 front + rear) case fans, Seasonic X-560. 35-40W idle, 45-55W video streaming, 170-200W WoW, 200-230W Rift, 318W stress test (Prime95 + Furmark)

Support SPCR through these links: Amazon and Newegg


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 Post subject: Re: Building a living room PC for a friend
PostPosted: Thu Nov 16, 2017 3:58 am 
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Location: Sweden
CA_Steve wrote:
- gfx: ... The 3GB version of the GTX 1060 is a bit of a nerf. Less memory, but also reduced gpu performance. The GTX 1050 Ti or the full GTX 1060 6GB might be a better fit.
I very much concur with this.
ikantspelwurdz wrote:
... current games at 1080p, or even less. I am worried about heat, though, especially since I expect him to cram the case on a shelf underneath the TiVo and HDMI switch. How do the 1050 Ti and full 1060 compare in that regard?
The 1050Ti can play current games okay at 1080p, the 1060 run them at maximum settings. The 1050Ti is, IMO, best value gaming card for 1080p right now, but the 1060 is the go-to for great performance.
They're both around 100W in terms of heating, which should be okay.

As for CPU you should also consider a Ryzen 5 1600 ($200 with okay cooler included) with a B350 motherboard. That's more performance than any Kaby Lake Core i5, at least when overclocked.


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 Post subject: Re: Building a living room PC for a friend
PostPosted: Sun Nov 19, 2017 6:21 pm 
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Posts: 11
So, an update on the situation. I measured the shelf space. There are two shelves, separated vertically by a thin wooden divider. Their dimensions are 32" wide, 14" deep, 14.5" tall. He would be OK with sawing off part of the wooden divider, which would give about 30" of vertical space, 14" of depth, and however much width we allow from how much of the divider is sawed off.

This makes a tower case a feasible option, though if the tower is deeper than 14" it's going to overhang from the shelf somewhat. Also, it won't have much space behind it, or to the right, but there will be space above it, and to the left.

Any recommendations for a case based on that? Being quiet is still important, and we'll want to accommodate a Geforce 1050 Ti at first, with the option of something more powerful later down the line.


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