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Project Steambox [Canned]

Posted: 10 Oct 2012, 11:01
by StarBound
After MTs links on the AMD FM based processors in the AMD vs Intel thread I started wondering if it would be a viable idea to create a system that is solidly built for gaming and watching movies on your HDTV. The idea is to waste as little as possible on getting a good gaming system going and dedicating it to gaming and media only. The other thing is to get Steams BigPicture or whatever they want to call it going.

Firstly we need a CPU/GPU capable of running games and playing them at an acceptable pace (30fps+). Since this is not the monster in my signature we can scale detail.
Being a media system a bluray is the optical choice.
A SSD will be used for initial start up so a 60gb will do as it only needs the OS. A 2TB HDD will be the game storage for the system.
The system will only be using a small PSU as it does not have the high powered hardware.
Expansion possibilities:
If needed the board must feature a pci-e 16x slot and PSU might need to be strong enough should a dedicated gfx card be used for future gaming.
Input devices:
Wireless mouse and keyboard with 2 Xbox 360 controllers for windows.

Windows 7 64-bit or Windows 8 64-bit. Chrome for Internet browsing and adobe reader plus a AV program. No office.
Gaming software: Steam, Origin, ect.

This is what the specs are currently looking like:
AMD FM1 A8-3870k (integrated GPU)
MSI A75MA-G55 motherboard
Intel 330M SSD 60gb
2TB HDD from WD or SG
8GB ram that can run at 1866mhz
Bluray drive
Thermaltake light power 650W
Wireless input devices

I'm estimating the total around R5k-6k. So now the question is, would it be worth wasting money on this? Or should I simply skip it?

Re: Project Steambox

Posted: 10 Oct 2012, 11:33
by hamin_aus
You want to build a gaming rig with integrated graphics... not sure if trolling....

Also, a 60GB SSD is not big enough if you want to store game files on it. I have a 128GB and it's almost full, my new rig will have a 240GB SSD and even that will get filled eventually :idea:

I'd say just forget the multimedia aspect of this build... a decent gaming rig will automatically be a good multimedia rig, while the converse does not always apply.

You might also want to look at thunderbolt for multimedia.... delicious extra monitors.....

Re: Project Steambox

Posted: 10 Oct 2012, 11:55
by SykomantiS
The first question I have is- what about socket FM2? Isn't it due for release just about now?
The second is- foregoing the possible future dedicated graphics, would one get away with a smaller psu? Would that even be worthwhile?

I would look at a build like that- but not for gaming. Kinda over that. I would maybe look at a sound card though- if it is accepted that it would offer improved audio and be worth it.

Re: Project Steambox

Posted: 10 Oct 2012, 12:03
by StarBound
I already have my monster rig :)

The 60GB SSD is just for booting up and stuff like chrome ect. The games will be running off the 2TB HDD.

Extra monitors need not apply in this case. All will go through HDMI onto an HDTV. If I was planning for a multi monitor setup it would have been my current system with 3x 120hz displays and a DP port and cable to each.

Basicly its a system sitting next to my consoles able to play pc games at the lowest possible price... and I am curious as to how AMDs APU performs.

Hybrid Crossfire is a possible upgrade for low power consumption and aditional frame rate. Sound will be over HDMI.
I could wait for FM2 and the A10 series with the integrated 76xx cores.

Re: Project Steambox

Posted: 10 Oct 2012, 12:09
by hamin_aus
StarBound wrote:I already have my monster rig
So why bother trying to game on this one at all :?:

This is indeed a hair-brained thread :P

Re: Project Steambox

Posted: 10 Oct 2012, 12:15
by StarBound
jamin_za wrote:So why bother trying to game on this one at all :?:
Because I am curious to see what the low end can do these days. Tablets and idevices are kicking consoles so hard and let's be honest that all my system recommendations for anyone that games reguardless of the games they play is an intel i5 with geforce 670gtx varient that I won't move from.

So it would be interesting to see what can be done under a small budget, the best bang for buck ...which means I should probably remove the ssd to get down to the level.

Re: Project Steambox

Posted: 10 Oct 2012, 12:17
by SykomantiS
jamin_za wrote:
StarBound wrote:I already have my monster rig
So why bother trying to game on this one at all :?:

This is indeed a hair-brained thread :P
Maybe from a gaming perspective, yes. But for me, not so much.

Re: Project Steambox

Posted: 10 Oct 2012, 16:23
by StarBound
There is a perspective that I forgot about. A console is built on the best spec and price point that it can offer. Even if I manage to slap together a working system at R5-7k the Wii U is releasing this November and we might even see the PS4 and Xbox 720 next year.

I am still very interested in the capabilities of this system. I just need to figure out if its worth going this route when a dedicated console is still better.

Re: Project Steambox [Canned]

Posted: 21 Oct 2012, 14:52
by StarBound
And the final decision was cancel the project.

I can easily afford the components however,
1 - PS3/Xbox 360/Wii and the soon to be Wii U are dedicated coach consoles
2 - Load times might have been down a good deal but the cost simply doesn't stack up when a dedicated PC already exists
3 - a better screen is already used on my main PC and a HDTV won't give the same colour yield or clarity at the distance
4 - DRM restrictions are still in place making it hard to have another system that potentially wants to sync
5 - Multiple logins for the same software platforms might not work
6 - Gamepad is not the solution to every game

In the end I have a system that surpasses expectations. Going back to something inferior won't put a smile on my face.

Re: Project Steambox [Canned]

Posted: 21 Oct 2012, 17:48
by hamin_aus
StarBound wrote:I have a system that surpasses expectations.
Why you even thought a multimedia PC was a good idea when you have a monster rig that can do multimedia while in hibernate is beyond me :P

Just invest in a TV with a wireless network card and connect it to your main rigs media center.
That,s what I did.

Except for the lack of MKV support it works a treat.

Re: Project Steambox [Canned]

Posted: 21 Oct 2012, 21:20
by StarBound
Well I can always do it via my wireless network. My ps3 is set up like that although my media is spread over a few hundred directories. The point was streaming game video.