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Old July 23, 2013, 09:20 AM
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Default anyone built a livingroom Steam box? any tips?

So I'm thinking of making use of the big picture mode in Steam and building a dedicated box for the livingroom. But I realized I could use some parts from my existing rig and upgrade it for more desktop performance, except all I think I'd take is the GTX560Ti because it's probably bottlenecking the 3750K (?), the only bad thing is the fan on the GPU is louder than I'd like for my small livingroom.

What specs has anyone else used for a similar system? Did you find out what worked well and what you would have changed? I'd like to stay with nvidia.

I suppose I could use the 560 in a well vented case and try to insulate it. I don't really need 5.1 sound or bluetooth, could possibly try wireless but I'm sure I'd get sick of it and run a cable eventually.

Didn't think of the BST forum before writing this, I'll go there now.

And a controller Canada Computers | Gaming | Microsoft (JR9-00011) Wireless XBox 360 Controller For Windows and Xbox - Black (Retail Box)
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Old July 23, 2013, 09:49 AM
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I'm collecting parts to do the same thing. My plan is an m-ITX build in a case that takes a standard PSU. So a Node 304, CM Elite 120, or the new Cubitek. I'm staying away from the Prodigy as I think it's too big. They're like twice the size of my wife's Sugo m-ITX.

I've got a HD6870 that I'll be using with an aftermarket cooler. I figure that should be enough grunt for 1080P.

And a yes to that controller, that's what I use. It will be migrating out of my office when I'm ready.
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Old July 23, 2013, 09:53 AM
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I'd love to see this done, just so I have a baseline for if I want to try it myself.

My cousin and I were fooling around with Big Picture and Ironically an X-box controller (the way they do the typing for one is really cool).
Looks like a great way to do a SteamBox.

-ST
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Old July 23, 2013, 10:43 AM
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My rambling advice:

I'm with SugarJ on avoiding the Prodigy. I bought one after reading rave reviews about it, and I've already packed it back up and put it in a corner. It's a pain to work with and very large. (Not to mention, unstable on the plastic risers) I would highly recommend the Cubitek Mini Cube. A friend of mine picked one up and it's pretty slick.

If you decide to use a pre-built liquid loop, stick with a single thickness radiator. Dual thickness + 2 fans to drive air through it makes for a VERY tight squeeze in small form factor cases. (a 68xx series card warks fairly well too I'm sure, but you won't get one for much less than a 78xx card if you're searching.)

Definitely use an X-Box controller.

If you keep your eye out on CL or Kijiji, you can pick up a 7870 for $150. (I paid that price after bargaining a guy down from $175) That'll be your best bang for the buck @ 1080p. I originally was using a 5770 for mine, but then I started playing Trine2, and the 5770 basically had a hernia. (Even AC3 made it go weak in the knees a bit.) I moved up to the 7870 and it's been awesome ever since.

Wireless is great if you aren't playing anything multiplayer or using a chat program.

Don't replace your BluRay player. I used the Steam Box to run BR for all of 2 times. Then the inconvenience of booting up and and launching a BR (vs simply popping the disc in and hitting 'play') just annoyed me to no end. I know it only adds a minute or so, but when you just want to sit on the couch and watch a movie, that'll really kill the mood.

SSD. SSD. SSD. If your budget allows it, and all you're using it for is gaming, I HIGHLY recommend running SSD. A lot of people stay away from SSD on a Steam/gaming rig since it only effects boot and load times. But building a Steam Box is all about getting the 'console experience' with a PC, and a big part of improving that is to not be waiting for Windows and Big Picture load times. And 250GB is plenty large enough for a decent array of games to be installed at any given time.

Last edited by Caldezar; July 23, 2013 at 11:13 AM.
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Old July 23, 2013, 11:07 AM
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I built one last year, I used a silverstone SG08. It has a 600w PSU. I'm really surprised it actually handled a GTX 690 & a 3770k.
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Old July 23, 2013, 11:26 AM
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Hmm, if I didn't already have a PSU that would be an excellent choice. I love Silverstone cases. I'd use my wife's SG06 but it only has a 400w PSU.
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Old July 23, 2013, 01:04 PM
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Wow that is nice, I'm looking into that.
Quote:
Originally Posted by onin View Post
I built one last year, I used a silverstone SG08. It has a 600w PSU. I'm really surprised it actually handled a GTX 690 & a 3770k.
Thanks for the suggestions!
And I'll be using a ps3 for bluray, so no worries there.
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Old July 23, 2013, 02:00 PM
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I built one, well, its currently waiting for a gtx 770 to pop in it. Can be used 98% of the time without a keyboard. I have a really terrible youtube video of it in action here: XBMC RetroArch and Steam Bigpicture - YouTube

Edit: It's a 2500k@4.2 Asrock z77e-itx, 8gb gskill CL9 Adata sx900 256gb SSD
Sitting inside a sugo sg05 with the 450watt PSU.

Sg05, sg08, fractal design node 304 all good choices for case.

I have both the logitech f710 controller as well as the official microsoft wireless controller. The f710 is superior for anything requiring use of the dpad. I use if for all my emulators. (Its an XInput controller so its recognized in games the same way as the xbox controller. Also has a handy button on the front for switching the dpad and analog which I use quite often.)

Last edited by SeeThruHead; July 23, 2013 at 02:13 PM.
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Old July 23, 2013, 03:43 PM
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Priced out some parts tonight, going with an i3 3225, gigabyte h77n wifi mobo, 4gb ddr3, a 256gb ssd on sale for $179, and the coolermaster elite 120 case because they had it in stock for $55 and It looks better to me. With the suggested cpu cooler from coolermaster and a 360gamepad it came to just under 7 bills with tax. And that's using my own power supply and gpu.
Not confirmed on this setup yet, going to sleep on it. Thoughts?

Last edited by On2wheels; July 23, 2013 at 03:55 PM.
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Old July 23, 2013, 09:00 PM
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I personally like ATI over Nvidia when it comes to TV applications... everything is just easier imo. Fan noise is the living room killer and while the video cards tend to be the loudest it seems it would be the best choice to water cool.

my 2cents

I personally use a boxie box... yes it has a few caveats but it generates no heat and no noise. The newer ones incorporate "my movies" apparently. I haven't tried updating my original one as my file server is down.
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