Build: HTPC/Steambox

Introduction:

This is my living room HTPC / Steambox setup designed for home theater, HDTV/PVR and light gaming. My requirements for this build boiled down to the following:

  1. Living Room Use
  2. Quiet
  3. Compact/Discrete
  4. Low Power

This build differs from my other HTPC as it’s going to be used for light gaming, it wont however need to play the latest AAA titles. The rest of the time it will be used as a media centre PC and HDTV PVR, so it needs to be quiet and compact. I’m not looking to break the bank so parts will be sourced at the price/performance sweet-spot, not the bleeding edge. This build will hold it’s own against the last gen gaming consoles from the PS3 era.

Hardware:

  • APU: AMD FM2+ Kaveri A10-7800 (3.5GHz)
  • Mobo: ASUS A88XM-PLUS
  • RAM: G-Skill 8GB Ripjaws X DDR3 2133 Dual Kit
  • SSD: Crucial MX100 128GB
  • PSU: Corsair CX430
  • HSF: Stock HSF
  • FAN: Noctua NF-B9 92mm Quiet Cooling Fan
  • Case: Silverstone PS-09 MicroATX
  • Total Cost: £313.98

The Good: Low powered, quiet (damn near silent), affordable, capable HTPC, light gaming rig.

The Bad: Old architecture, upgrade path limited, won’t stand-up to latest AAA gaming titles

The Motherboard was purchased secondhand of eBay. All the remaining components were purchased new from mainstream online retailers. The choice of using the APU (combined CPU and Graphics processor) was an easy one, why spend money on a discrete graphics card when you don’t need one.

The choice of case wasn’t great if i’m honest, it does the job (it was very cheap), but the airflow is poor. If you were to add a discrete graphics card the temperature inside the case would rise substantially making the fans work harder and louder, and inevitably cause thermal throttling on the GPU.

Software:

Windows 7 Professional, Windows Media Centre, Kodi, Plex Home Theatre, Steam

 

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