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Guide: High-End Gaming HTPC

Preparing a HTPC for gaming is something that makes sense, because we have the HTPC under the TV, and usually it has more inches than a monitor, and we understand the interest in using the big screen with our favorite PC games. And if we also have good speakers, the good game action is assured.

We can split the gaming HTPCs types, in three categories:

  • High-End equipment, to play all games without limitations
  • Ultraquiet equipment, seeking for graphics performance, but hearing the HTPC
  • Mid-range equipment. Not that they are particularly noisy, but we slightly lowered the noise level. We are looking to play games, but without reaching the maximum performance.

We will see for each configuration what could be used and in this first post, we will see a high-end HTPC.

These are people where the budget is not the main issue, so it allows us to configure machines with high-end graphics cards. If this is your case we propose something like the following settings:

Case

Antec Fusion Max, is a big box, but we are looking just for this type of case. If you want to mount a high-end graphics, you need a box where it fits. Another case that serves this purpose would be a Silverstone LC17, which is a little smaller than the Antec. The Antec in exchange for its larger size, it offers better cooling.

Power supply

Start with a 500w model. Depending on the graphics card you choose, you could go up to 700 and 800 watts. For the first two I would go to a BeQuiet PSU. For the 800w model, an Antec.

Motherboard

We choose a board with the new Intel chipset, the Z68. As we are in a high-end equipment, but with a spending hat, we’re going for an Asus Z68-Pro V. This board supports the Intel’s newest chipset for socket 1155. It also supports SLI and Crossfire in the future if you want to install a second graphic card. And we can install the LucidVirtu. A system that is still a little green. In theory it allow us to use the graphic card of the processor when the power does not need separate graphics board. Right now is not so fine as it should, but it is an investment in the future as the software improves.

RAM

You should go to 8 GB of DDR3 1600 Mhz. A reasonable amount, with a slightly speed above the standard.

Processor

Intel Core i7 2600 A, and we would leave the its heatsink. It is not too noisy and we are going to have an excellent cooling with the the Antec case.

Hard Drive

A Western Digital Caviar Green 2TB hard drive for data. And an SSD hard disk t othe system. Here as your budget allows and the type of games that you want to play, you can vary the capacity of the SSD. Normally a 80GB disk set up is standard. But if you want to run programs that make intensive use of disk you can go up to 120, 180 or 240 gigabytes disks. In games that use a lot of disc, we achive amizing load times with this system. But the price, of course rises.

DVD rewriter

To load games in that format. If you watch Blu-Rays, you can install a model that also support this format, as in other cases the price rises up a bit.

Keyboard

Since we will be in the room, some distance from the PC, let’s find a wireless gamepad. The Logitech K800 will fit well.

Graphics card

We have come to the assembly key part. Here, it all depends of you budget, like the SSDs. But I’d bet on any of the following:

  • NVidia GTX 570
  • NVidia GTX 580
  • NVidia GTX 590
  • AMD Ati 6950
  • AMD Ati 6970
  • AMD Ati 6990

 

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