HTPC & Gaming Build Advice


Jan 20, 2009

I am looking to move our HTPC from our basement upstairs and build a new HTPC & Gaming machine to go downstairs with our 75" screen. I will be running XBMC Gotham + Steam Big Box for gaming. We watch a lot of movies downstairs and I don't think I'd be able to get by without XBMC and instead of buying a PS4/Xbox One I'm opting for the Steam Big Box instead. These are my priorities for the machine:

#1 - Watch HD Movies and TV and Play games at Max Settings
#2 - Reliability, don't want it flaking out after a year (or sooner!)
#3 - Power consumption low, want parts that offer low power consumption while still giving me the power I need for gaming
#4 - Low noise, since it's in our family room I don't want an insanely loud machine. I can live a little noise

Here is my list of components I have thus far. Price isn't really an issue but I'd like to keep it as low as possible while still getting the most bang for my buck based on my priorities above. Any help or advice is very much appreciated! One big question I have is which motherboard would you choose (or even a completely different one). I have two listed below and I can't tell the difference between the two besides price and manufacturer.

Case - Cool Master Elite 130 - $50 -

CPU - Intel Core i5-4570S Haswell - $199 -

Motherboard - GIGABYTE GA-Z97N-Gaming 5 LGA 1150 Intel Z97 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Mini ITX Intel Motherboard - $149 -


Motherboard - ASRock Z87E-ITX LGA 1150 Intel Z87 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Mini ITX Intel I217V Lan 802.11ac WiFi Intel Motherboard - $135 -

Graphics Card - SAPPHIRE DUAL-X 100365L Radeon R9 270 2GB 256-Bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 Video Card With BOOST & OC - $150 -

Memory - G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-8GBXL - $83 -

SSD Boot Drive - Samsung Electronics 840 EVO-Series 120GB 2.5-Inch SATA III Single Unit Version Internal Solid State Drive MZ-7TE120BW - $84 -

Power Supply - CORSAIR CXM series CX600M 600W ATX12V v2.3 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply - $70 -

Media Hard Drive - Western Digital WD Blue WD10EZEX 1TB 7200 RPM 64MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive Bare Drive - OEM - $60 -

Blu-Ray Player - LG Black 12X BD-ROM 16X DVD-ROM SATA Internal Blu-ray Drive Model UH12NS30 - OEM - $50 -



Jan 20, 2012
I have a very similar build to the one you're planning (my specs are almost identical but I built mine a couple of years ago so I have the core i5 3330S and Radeon 7850).

Yes get the i5-4570S CPU. Pair it with an Antec Kuhler 620 water cooler and limit the fan speed to around 700-800 RPM and it's almost completely silent but will never go over 50 degrees.

You don't need a Z87 motherboard as you won't be overclocking. The ASRock H87M-ITX is a great choice.

I have the Sapphire Dual-X 7850. Great idle, but gets a little noisy when gaming. It's a good card but the Asus Direct CU ii cooler is probably a better option.

For power supply the Corsair RM450 would be an excellent choice. It's literally silent at low loads, under 40% load the fan turns off completely. the RM series is way better than the CX series (which are mediocre build quality).
Alternatively Silverstone sell a short cable kit which is perfect for Mini ITX builds. Pair this:
with this: