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 Post subject: Do everything man cave build
PostPosted: Mon May 06, 2013 1:01 pm 
8086
8086

Joined: Mon May 06, 2013 11:30 am
Posts: 2
I'm planning a do-everything (htpc+) for my man cave. This will be my first build of any kind btw. This build must be able to play any games, stream/display HD (Blu-Ray and HDX) movies and TV on a 65" LED 480Hz 1920 x 1080p display. It has to be quiet for when movies or TV is in use. Since the display has this native resolution I'm trying to determine what is overkill given this potential build:

Windows Pro 7 SP1 64-Bit

Corsair Obsidian Series Black 550D Mid Tower Computer Case (CC-9011015-WW)

Corsair Professional Series HX 1050 Watt ATX/EPS Modular 80 PLUS Gold (HX150)

Corsair Hydro Series Extreme Performance Liquid CPU Cooler H100i

Intel Core i7-3820 Quad-Core Processor 3.6 GHz 10 MB Cache LGA 2011 - BX80619I73820

ASUS Sabertooth X79 LGA 2011 Intel X79 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

Sapphire Radeon HD 7950 3GB DDR5 HDMI / DVI-I / Dual Mini DP with Boost PCI-Express Graphics Card 11196-16-20G

OCZ Technology 256GB Vector Series SATA 6.0 GB/s 7 mm Height 2.5-Inch SSD with 100K IOPS And 5-Year Warranty- VTR1-25SAT3-256G

Seagate Barracuda 3 TB HDD SATA 6 Gb/s NCQ 64MB Cache 3.5-Inch Internal Bare Drive ST3000DM001

Crucial Ballistix Sport 32GB Kit (8GB x 4) DDR3 1600 MT/s (PC3-12800) CL9 @1.5V UDIMM 240-Pin Memory BLS4CP8G3D1609DS1S00

ASUS BW-12B1ST/BLK/G/AS 12X Blu-ray Internal Burner Drive with Disc Encryption - Black - Retail Box

Ceton InfiniTV 4 PCIe - 4-channel Internal Cable TV Tuner Card for CableCARD


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 Post subject: Re: Do everything man cave build
PostPosted: Mon May 06, 2013 3:20 pm 
Smithfield
Smithfield

Joined: Sun Jun 18, 2006 7:37 pm
Posts: 5055
Things to change/improve:

  • Probably the case. Something with a lot of breathing room would be nice.
  • Dump the X79 platform. If you need something now, the Z77 platform is much nicer on a price/performance level, paired with a Core i5-3570K. Otherwise if you can wait, Intel's Haswell releases next month.
  • You're going to have get a video card with a different heatsink, particularly ASUS's or MSI's (MSI has a lineup called Twin Forzor that's pretty good on thermals and noise). Stock cards are noticeably loud when running hot.
  • 8GB of RAM is all you need for a gaming/media hub build. Really.


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 Post subject: Re: Do everything man cave build
PostPosted: Mon May 06, 2013 3:56 pm 
Mr. Late Night
Mr. Late Night
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Joined: Wed May 26, 2004 12:10 am
Posts: 753
I agree with what Latios said as well as some other changes:

    Way too much PSU for the specs given and even less will be needed once the system is pared down a bit. The most you're going to need is a decent 600 - 700 watt PSU. I would recommend looking at a Corsair TX-650 or a Seasonic 650 watt PSU
    Liquid cooling does not necessarily equal a quieter system. I've heard plenty of AIO solutions such as the A100 that were noisier than a heatsink with a pair of fans. You might want to consider something along the lines of a Hyper 212 EVO with a pair of Noctua fans instead or a similar air cool solution
    One additional suggestion I would make in video cards to consider would be the Gigabyte line of 7950s with WindForce cooling. I have one and I can't hear it whether it's idling or running at full bore, the cooling system does one heck of a job too with it hitting a high of 60 degrees Celsius under a full load


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 Post subject: Re: Do everything man cave build
PostPosted: Mon May 06, 2013 4:11 pm 
Smithfield
Smithfield

Joined: Sun Jun 18, 2006 7:37 pm
Posts: 5055
If you need help figuring out the wattage, plug your build into http://extreme.outervision.com/psucalculatorlite.jsp but at the bottom right, adjust for 100% load and 10% capacitor aging. This should give you the maximum power your system will consume when it's older. Then go up about 50W-100W. If you want the reasoning, you can look at the spoiler.

Spoiler: show
From what I've found using this tool and what I measured off the wall using a Kill-A-Watt, when running Crysis at least, my computer pulls between 50%-60% than what this website recommends. Since there's rarely a case where you'll tax your computer nearly 100% for long periods of time, I just go with this format.


Alternatively, since this is a single card setup with the possibility of overclocking, 600W should do.


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 Post subject: Re: Do everything man cave build
PostPosted: Mon May 06, 2013 4:42 pm 
8086
8086

Joined: Mon May 06, 2013 11:30 am
Posts: 2
LatiosXT wrote:
Things to change/improve:

  • Probably the case. Something with a lot of breathing room would be nice.
  • Dump the X79 platform. If you need something now, the Z77 platform is much nicer on a price/performance level, paired with a Core i5-3570K. Otherwise if you can wait, Intel's Haswell releases next month.
  • You're going to have get a video card with a different heatsink, particularly ASUS's or MSI's (MSI has a lineup called Twin Forzor that's pretty good on thermals and noise). Stock cards are noticeably loud when running hot.
  • 8GB of RAM is all you need for a gaming/media hub build. Really.


Interesting you think the case is too small. I saw the case Youtube demo'd on Corsair's site. The thing's huge, and has built-in soundproofing which is a plus when I play movies. I chose the power supply just because that was what was used in the demo and is supposed to be very quiet. Considering that I only plan on using one video card that probably is overkill. My primary concern about video cards is that because my TV is only 1080p will I still benefit from a better card playing games as well as TV and streaming? I want to have as much of all worlds as possible. I can wait. Haswell? I haven't bought everything yet. This stuff get's confusing. I thought X79 was a step up from Z77 and the Core i7 chip I was looking at more or less future proof socket-wise. I got a headache now.


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 Post subject: Re: Do everything man cave build
PostPosted: Mon May 06, 2013 7:02 pm 
Smithfield
Smithfield

Joined: Sun Jun 18, 2006 7:37 pm
Posts: 5055
lordez4 wrote:
Interesting you think the case is too small. I saw the case Youtube demo'd on Corsair's site. The thing's huge, and has built-in soundproofing which is a plus when I play movies. I chose the power supply just because that was what was used in the demo and is supposed to be very quiet. Considering that I only plan on using one video card that probably is overkill. My primary concern about video cards is that because my TV is only 1080p will I still benefit from a better card playing games as well as TV and streaming? I want to have as much of all worlds as possible. I can wait. Haswell? I haven't bought everything yet. This stuff get's confusing. I thought X79 was a step up from Z77 and the Core i7 chip I was looking at more or less future proof socket-wise. I got a headache now.

Having a better look at the case, it might be good. But you probably may want to get better fans and make sure there's good filtering on the intakes. As for the "soundproofing", I don't know if sound dampening foam works as people think it should. It only dampens sound that resonates in the case. Exhaust fans are not affected, and this is what you usually hear out of a case.

There's no benefit to upgrading the video card. The baseline resolution these days is 1080p and even the GTX 660 Ti and Radeon HD 7870 GHz Edition can handle most games at this resolution and provide buttery smooth framerates. The you'd only get a benefit if you were driving a higher monitor.

The problem with the X79 is that it's more expensive and you don't get much more performance out of it unless you buy a Core i7-3990X as opposed to a Core i7-3770K with a Z77 board. Sure, there's an Ivy-Bridge E based chip coming out, but it's probably going to cost $1000. And besides that for games, you get a rapidly diminishing on returns once you go past the Core i5-3570K. The Core i7-3770K doesn't perform much better, same with the 3990X, and you're spending almost 5x at that point. As for streaming media, if it's just streaming and not re-encoding (like PS3 Media Server), then a dinky Celeron can do the job. If it's re-encoding you could use a beefier processor, but the i5 is more than capable of handling that task.

Haswell is Intel's next generation CPU.


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 Post subject: Re: Do everything man cave build
PostPosted: Sat May 11, 2013 1:44 pm 
[Team Member]
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Joined: Sat Jun 26, 2004 4:31 am
Posts: 11071
Location: Home Sweet Home
I have always used a large power supply in my builds because they will last longer and run cooler than a power supply with just enough to run the system. Remember these psus are switching psus, so the system is supplied enough power to run it and no more. If your system needs 500 watts, that is all the psu will generate and as a result will be lower in heat output, which will make the psu last longer because electronic components really don't like heat and die early if they are put to the maximum output for the psu. I have a 1000 watt Antec psu in my rig that I have been using for the past six years. This is the third rig it has run in as I build new every two years whether I need it or not.....I am a gamer. This psu will go into my new build at the end of fall this year. So, yes, going large on watts is ok if you don't mind spending the buck difference between it and a psu that will just make it. For me the benefit out weighs the cost and that is why I do it.

Nasty


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 Post subject: Re: Do everything man cave build
PostPosted: Sat May 11, 2013 3:42 pm 
Smithfield
Smithfield

Joined: Sun Jun 18, 2006 7:37 pm
Posts: 5055
Nasty, do you have an imperical evidence that larger wattage power supplies last longer?

If the manufacturer was actually smart, they'd choose components for the respective load and in the end, they all last pretty much the same length of time. I've had a cheap came-in-a-case PSU last 6 years in a place with hot-humid summers, and that room had no AC running. You'd think in conditions like that, the PSU would last a year, at best. Not to mention laptops often times ship with power bricks that meet the maximum load of the laptop (which includes usage and charging) and they tend to last quite a while, at least the ones I've used.

But either way, getting a quality PSU period wll go a long way.


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 Post subject: Re: Do everything man cave build
PostPosted: Sat May 11, 2013 5:34 pm 
[Team Member]
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Location: Home Sweet Home
I did read an article about my claims a while back. I stands to reason that if a psu is designed to output 1000 watts it will need heavier transformer than a 500 watt psu for a start along with the other components being more physically robust to deal with the heat that will be produced at maximum load. This was a sound principle to base my opinion on me tinks... Don't forget most psus due to heat will only reach 80% efficiency when running, so buying a larger psu really does make sense. At least for me it did because I have used this psu for three rigs now and I think it will make one more before it runs out of head room. :)

Nasty


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 Post subject: Re: Do everything man cave build
PostPosted: Sat May 11, 2013 6:53 pm 
Smithfield
Smithfield

Joined: Sun Jun 18, 2006 7:37 pm
Posts: 5055
Well, again, my recommendations are for 100% load with 10% cap aging using ExtremeVision's calculator. And with what I've measured at the wall with my last two builds, it usually comes out that a nominal load is 50%-60% of what the calculator recommends. Otherwise, it will drop to like 20%-30% on idle. Also keep in mind this is off the wall.

I never assume full load because it's never a situation. I only punch that in to the calculator because I've found on many a review on PSU's, efficiency is at its peak at about 50% load.

In any case, I don't think it's worth while to spend more money on a higher wattage PSU. You might as well buy a Core i7 when all the computer is doing is for the kid's internet needs. Do you save money by transferring it from PC to PC? Sure, if you keep your builds and not pawn them off.


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