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Well.... I took the plunge and ordered gear for my new HTPC - Page 2

post #31 of 114
I never could get my 965 above 3.9 on air, even with voltage tweaks. I settled on that and never really noticed much difference in it and my brothers i7 system. Really, I didn't. Not for real world usage anyway. My system has always felt very snappy. Again, to each their own though; I'd rather spend the money on a good SSD or three plus maybe a higher-end gfx card.
post #32 of 114
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by pcweber111 View Post

I never could get my 965 above 3.9 on air, even with voltage tweaks. I settled on that and never really noticed much difference in it and my brothers i7 system. Really, I didn't. Not for real world usage anyway. My system has always felt very snappy. Again, to each their own though; I'd rather spend the money on a good SSD or three plus maybe a higher-end gfx card.

And that's exactly what I did! biggrin.gif
post #33 of 114
Scott,

I'm curious how you're liking the video card. I refreshed my HTPC over the summer with a Core i5-3570K. I wanted to wait until reviews of the full lineup of NVidia Kepler cards were out before I bought a video card, so I've been running on the Intel integrated graphics to this point. I loaded up Borderlands 2 on HTPC just to see what it would look like on the TV, and it's obvious that I need a better video solution for gaming.

I've read some really positive reviews of that Gigabyte card, but I haven't found much in the way of reviews for use in a HTPC. How is the noise and heat? I do enjoy a HTPC that's as quiet as reasonably possible. I'm not looking for total silence, but I much prefer to hear my content rather than the whining of fans. I'm not looking to overclock beyond the factory overclock for heat/power/noise purposes, but I am curious to hear how your 1080p gaming is going. Are you able to play most recent games with high settings while managing to keep the framerate up?

Thanks.
post #34 of 114
Quote:
Originally Posted by CamelToad View Post

Scott,
I'm curious how you're liking the video card. I refreshed my HTPC over the summer with a Core i5-3570K. I wanted to wait until reviews of the full lineup of NVidia Kepler cards were out before I bought a video card, so I've been running on the Intel integrated graphics to this point. I loaded up Borderlands 2 on HTPC just to see what it would look like on the TV, and it's obvious that I need a better video solution for gaming.
I've read some really positive reviews of that Gigabyte card, but I haven't found much in the way of reviews for use in a HTPC. How is the noise and heat? I do enjoy a HTPC that's as quiet as reasonably possible. I'm not looking for total silence, but I much prefer to hear my content rather than the whining of fans. I'm not looking to overclock beyond the factory overclock for heat/power/noise purposes, but I am curious to hear how your 1080p gaming is going. Are you able to play most recent games with high settings while managing to keep the framerate up?
Thanks.

Having sat and watched first hand (and helping him build it) the card is brilliant. The triple fans make it very quiet due to each fan having to do less. I'm not sure how loud it's gotten during our marathon Borderlands 2 sessions, he'll have to answer that one. As for how it handles games, anything you throw at it. BL2 maxed out with high PhysX, Arkham City maxed out with high PhysX is a little iffy, but looks gorgeous. Arma2 runs maxed, I believe he said Metro 2033 ran maxed. He doesn't have BF3 so can't comment on that. Not sure if he's thrown Crysis/Crysis 2 at it yet. GTA4 ran maxed pretty well, but dropping night shadows to medium made it run nearly smooth as butter.
post #35 of 114
Thread Starter 
The videocard is definitely the quiestest part of the whole build. It's the stock fan for the case that seems to be making the most noise next to the cpu fan that spools up to around 1,500rpm when it gets real hot. I highly recommend this particular card to anyone in need of something similar. It's only weakness is it's limited OC'ing ability but I'm okay with that. Honestly, I only have it OC'd 20mhz to get it's gpu clocked at 1,000mhz. LOL! The videocard itself doesn't seem to get that hot when I've played games. Not that I've noticed. I have noticed that it is quiet as hell and I don't think I've heard the fans go above about 20% speed which is dead quiet. Around 70% is when they get audible really. It's great.

I'm a real sucker for eye candy so whenever possible I will have every setting maxed out. So far everything has run very well.

Runs everything I've thrown at it so far but my render is only 1080p as this is in an HT room environment. So far the only game that I've seen low frame rate was Batman Arkham City but that was only when I had everything maxed, just stepped outside and flew around looking at everything and didn't really give the game time to 'settle'. As soon as I was on the ground fighting about 20 dudes, it ran smooth. Even Metro 2033 ran at a solid frame rate and never dropped and that was every option turned on including the frame rate crushing DoF filter and Physx at max. Wow! I have Crysis 1 and 2 installed but so far have only tested Crysis 1 at full settings. Again, super smooth. Looks amazing on 100". Arma2 runs solid and I do believe I have upped the night shadows back to high and it runs fine.
Edited by Scott Simonian - 9/21/12 at 2:29pm
post #36 of 114
Quote:
Originally Posted by CamelToad View Post

Scott,
I'm curious how you're liking the video card. I refreshed my HTPC over the summer with a Core i5-3570K. I wanted to wait until reviews of the full lineup of NVidia Kepler cards were out before I bought a video card, so I've been running on the Intel integrated graphics to this point. I loaded up Borderlands 2 on HTPC just to see what it would look like on the TV, and it's obvious that I need a better video solution for gaming.
I've read some really positive reviews of that Gigabyte card, but I haven't found much in the way of reviews for use in a HTPC. How is the noise and heat? I do enjoy a HTPC that's as quiet as reasonably possible. I'm not looking for total silence, but I much prefer to hear my content rather than the whining of fans. I'm not looking to overclock beyond the factory overclock for heat/power/noise purposes, but I am curious to hear how your 1080p gaming is going. Are you able to play most recent games with high settings while managing to keep the framerate up?
Thanks.

I like this website http://www.techpowerup.com/when it comes to video card reviews. They measure the decibel levels of each of the video cards they test. They don't review every card around but it's nice to compare what they do review. A lot of the manufacturers use the same fans on different cards. So you can get an idea. Sound on video card fans is a big deal when most of the first runs use the same basic fan design which is always horribly loud.

It's a UK based website, they might have some things that we don't.
post #37 of 114
Thanks a bunch for the feedback on my question guys. That basically addresses all the concerns I had about the card. Unfortunately that makes me want to splurge for the 670 even more now smile.gif I too am looking to run in a HT environment (well as close as I can get for now anyway), so I'm only looking for performance at 1080p. I'm still trying to decide between the GTX 660, the GTX 660 Ti, and the GTX 670. I love the eye candy as well, but I'm trying to decide if the 670 is worth the extra $$, or if it's overkill for a gaming HTPC.
post #38 of 114
Thread Starter 
The 670gtx is worth it, imo.
post #39 of 114
Ah man, Scott you've got me thinking about CPUs now! smile.gif The new AMD FX are right around the corner running on the Piledriver core instead of the Bulldozer core. It's the same base core as that Fusion laptop that we were just talking about. This should bring clock-for-clock performance back up to the Phenom II levels that we are used to, but with the option of 8 cores at 4ghz stock. It's not better enough for you to feel any buyer's remorse over, but I really want to get away from my 8GB memory cap and it would be nice to double my cores and pick up another 800mhz in the process without any silliness of poorer clock-for-clock performance that we saw with Bulldozer.

I think I'll shop for a new AM3+ board to replace my AM2+ board with, drop 16GB of ram in there, and keep my AM3 Phenom II X4 3.2 for a bit while I wait for the FX-8350 8-core 4.0ghz beast to drop to normal prices instead of the inflated launch price.
post #40 of 114
Make that 32GB. 8GB modules are dirt cheap now.
post #41 of 114
Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott Simonian View Post

Played some GTA4 last night on these settings (with a mild video OC) and it crashed twiced. Just the game, not the computer. Even had HWmonitor running in the background and there certainly wasn't any excessive heat or anything. Hmmm.
I think I might just drop the multiplier down to 18x where it seemed to be pretty stable. *shrugs* Borderlands 2 supposedly unlocks tonight so I will opt for stability. wink.gif

I have an extremely similar system to yours: same mobo, FX-8120proc, same SSD, same amount of corsair ram, AMD video cards, blah, and blah, and I would have a similar problem where the game would crash, but not always the computer. I have my 8120 OC'd automatically by the Asus mobo, to 3.9ghz with all wonderful temps (55*C MAX). Turns out many games did not like all 8 of my cores (ME3 was the biggest offender), and after setting them to run off just two cores all was hunky-dory, no more crashes.

To do this Ctrl+shift+esc, select the process you'd like to change (game), right click, selcted "Set Affinity," and select only Core 0 and 1. This worked wonderfully for me; ME3 never crashed again, and anytime a game crashed this fixed the problem
post #42 of 114
Thread Starter 
So far everything seems A-Okay with the computer. The only thing I have to complain about is that it sure seems to run hot. I dunno. Maybe it's just been a long time since I've had a desktop but still...

Soo... I've thought about cooling and yeah maybe add some extra fans. Then I thought, well, maybe watercooling would be a fun upgrade. I've never done one before. Let's start super easy.

I've heard of these but I think they may have got a bad rap. I'm not looking for the ultimate in cooling but just something effective.

http://www.amazon.com/Corsair-Series-Extreme-Performance-CWCH100/dp/B0051U7HMS/ref=pd_cp_pc_0

What do you guys think? The price is right and it looks super simple to use. I hear closed loop systems aren't as good but I like it's simplicity.
post #43 of 114
I think water cooling is more effort than it's worth, as you still have fans in place. If you want a dead silent system, then a mineral oil tank is the better option. If you just want something quieter than a PS3/360S, you can do that pretty easily with air. Remember, heat is fine, as long as it's not escalating.

Something like the integrated cooler you linked to really has no advantages over a basic "tower" style CPU cooler with heatpipes that exhausts towards the rear of the case instead of downward toward the motherboard. In fact, there is a distinct disadvantage as you are adding complicating the design with additional moving parts. More parts means more opportunity for failure.

Stick with air. Follow good airflow theory. Use the appropriate number of fans.



Looking at your case, I question your airflow. Primarily I am sad that your PSU is mounted all the way at the bottom. The 120mm fan on the bottom of the PSU is normally great in guiding airflow. If you flip the fan around then it brings in outside air blows it toward your CPU, the CPU fan exhausts, and the 120mm on the rear of the case pulls air out the back. Even by default when the PSU exhausts as well, it creates negative pressure for CPU exhaust to evacuate in to more quickly.

Is the 120mm on the rear set to exhaust? Is it blowing air toward the left in that picture out the back? Also, your CPU cooler is either backwards, or the fan is mounted on the wrong side. The fan should be located on the right-hand side in that picture, blowing toward the heatsink, and therefore toward the exhausting fan. That's a pretty big problem. smile.gif If the two fans are currently fighting eachother as I think they are, that is creating a pretty nasty chunk of negative pressure between them. Negative pressure means they run noisier and there is less air to pull from in order to do their cooling. If the HSF is blowing the correct way toward the rear of the case, then it is pulling a bunch of air from around the heatsink as well as from the heatsink directly. Focusing the air toward the heatsink as I described will push roughly twice as much air over that aluminum. Flipping the rear exhaust fan around to blow inward is not the correct solution as that will just result in case ambient temperature rising making your GPU fan work harder.

If flipping that HSF around doesn't drop temperatures for you, then you can look at mounting a 120mm directly above your RAM slots to bring in fresh air for the CPU cooler to feed from.

Also, that motherboard power cable that is running over the GPU. You should have enough room between your PCIE 16x slot that the GPU sits in and the back of the case to route that cable through so it sits more flush with the case and gets out of the way of your fans.
Edited by darklordjames - 10/1/12 at 1:12pm
post #44 of 114
Thread Starter 
Hey, James.

- Airflow IS good. I've got a perfect front to back flow going with a mild partition where the videocard resides. The videocard runs very cool and creates it's own airflow from the bottom and bottom-front.

-PSU is ...well, that's where it goes. A lot of cases have the PSU on the bottom now. It pulls cool air from under the case. So far I belive the air from the VC down is very good. The heat around the CPU just seems high, imo

-The CPU heatsink fan IS now on the correct side. In fact, I had documented that I had it put on the correct side just underneath the picture you posted of it in the incorrect position. Post #24 Temperatures were MUCH worse at first but this was fixed the first night after the pics were taken.

-No heat related issues yet, I just want the system cooler over all and wasn't sure if more fans would be the key or not. I guess I should just try that first.

-Fan on the back of the case is set to exhaust. Again, correct airflow was something I considered from the get-go and aside from having the CPU HS fan on backwards at first, everything is working well in that regard. The entire front of the case is perforated.

-The motherboard cable was very short and that was the only way to get it to fit. : / Maybe I should look into some cable extenders?

The watercooler just sounded like a fun project. The price and easy installation/maintenence was right for me. Right now there is room for two 120mm fans up top, one on the bottom near the PSU and one up front where the HDD is. I will be replacing the rear fan as it has blue LED's that cannot be turned off and it annoys the hell out of me but I may get one for the front and one for the top, right above the cpu heatsink to exhaust as that is the hot spot. How's that sound?
Edited by Scott Simonian - 10/1/12 at 2:30pm
post #45 of 114
I think you've got a plan. smile.gif
post #46 of 114
Thread Starter 
Oh?

Oh. Alright. I guess I will do that then. smile.gif I'll order two or three new fans and see about some improved cable management.
post #47 of 114
Scott, those H100's are piles of crap. I've had everything from air, to the sealed units, full blown water and agree with DLJ that water cooling is more effort than it's worth, plus it can cost more than your rig! If you really want to get into WC (which the all in 1's really aren't) I'd look into the new CM Eisberg coolers that are coming out at the end of Oct. They are a step up from the corsair units, as far a quality goes, bigger rads etc and are very close to as modular as a true WC setup. Things can be changed and even the pump can be used on other rads! I have a friend that's been using one for about 2 weeks now, CM has a NDA until Oct 30th but samples have been in the field for a while now. My buddy can't really say much but he did outright say, it is a big step up from any closed unit on the market...
post #48 of 114
Yeah I've never really been a big fan of the closed loop systems myself. I get cool enough temps and good airflow with my CM V8 CPU heatsink and HAF X case. Of course it doesn't hurt that I have four 200mm fans as well but still the only thing I seem to lose is the ability to really go beyond what OC on air gives me. As I'm not into it for that I am content with what I have. On another note, seeing that four pin power cable running across the top of the mobo is annoying me to no end lol. Get an extension and run it around the back of the case like you should. They cost like 6 or 7 bucks. I had that issue in addition to the 24pin mobo cable needing an extention. It was either that or have then run along the top of the mobo and that wasn't gonna happen. Cable management has always been a stickler of mine although I could probably do a lot to improve what I have.
post #49 of 114
Thread Starter 
It bugs me too but at the time I would not have known how long or short the cables were. tongue.gif I'll get some extensions.

Alright then... so no Bose 3-2-1 equivalent watercooler for me. Probably for the best. Seemed like fun project and honestly, I think the H100 system looks cool. *shrugs* But oh well.

I'll get some more fans instead.
post #50 of 114
So I've started ordering parts for my upgrade. Grabbed 32GB of DDR3 for $150 last night. That the same amount I paid for a single 128MB stick of PC-100 back in 1997. Now to finalize my decision on which AMD 970 board I want to pick up and wait patiently for the FX-8350 to release.
post #51 of 114
Scott if you want the H100 go get it. Just because we don't think it's really worth it doesn't mean it's not a valid way to cool your system. If you want the project and like the looks and can afford it, go for it. I'd be remiss if I didn't mention that I went with 16GB of ram when really that's overkill. I wanted it though because it was a good price and I liked having all that ram. I never come close to utilizing it but eh it's my build and I wanted to do it a certain way. smile.gif
post #52 of 114
I've always wanted to do a fully water cooled system, but never felt like it was worth the money or effort. Though I think it would be fun to do. I'll think about it for my next system. Which probably won't be for another year or 2. My current case, which I am very happy with, has some water pipe routing holes already, if I do it.
post #53 of 114
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by darklordjames View Post

So I've started ordering parts for my upgrade. Grabbed 32GB of DDR3 for $150 last night. That the same amount I paid for a single 128MB stick of PC-100 back in 1997. Now to finalize my decision on which AMD 970 board I want to pick up and wait patiently for the FX-8350 to release.

Nice! New build thread a comin'. smile.gif

Quote:
Originally Posted by pcweber111 View Post

Scott if you want the H100 go get it. Just because we don't think it's really worth it doesn't mean it's not a valid way to cool your system. If you want the project and like the looks and can afford it, go for it. I'd be remiss if I didn't mention that I went with 16GB of ram when really that's overkill. I wanted it though because it was a good price and I liked having all that ram. I never come close to utilizing it but eh it's my build and I wanted to do it a certain way. smile.gif

I still might do it at some point. Just wanted your guys opinion first. Still thinking about getting more RAM too...just cuz. tongue.gif

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yrd View Post

I've always wanted to do a fully water cooled system, but never felt like it was worth the money or effort. Though I think it would be fun to do. I'll think about it for my next system. Which probably won't be for another year or 2. My current case, which I am very happy with, has some water pipe routing holes already, if I do it.

Maybe there will be a nicer kit out by the time your next computer is being built. Should be interesting.


I just ordered two of these fans. One for sure is replacing the back exhaust cuz I hate it and the other I was thinking of putting right over the CPU. There are two 120mm fan spots on top. One is right above or slightly behind the CPU heatsink. It's on the side that has the most hot air. Then there is a spot in front of it pretty much in the middle of the whole case where all the cool air is. I could also put one fan in the front to force more air in from the bottom but I don't think that is necessary. The videocard creates a nice draft. I'll post up new pics this weekend.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835553001
post #54 of 114
Quote:
Originally Posted by darklordjames View Post

Additional: We hit 3.8ghz eight years ago. In that time we have managed to creep up to 4.2ghz. We probably have another 20 years of stalled clocks, meaning more cores is the way CPUs will go. At the same time game devs are having trouble splitting code out past anything more than three cores.
No real point to this addition, aside from it's pretty obvious that CPU doesn't matter much right now and won't for quite a while longer. I want to upgrade, but really it's just so I can get around my 8GB ram cap. I have yet to ever come close to thinking "Man, my CPU be sluggish!".

You don't judge a CPU's power or speed by it's hz rating. If you think that the processor 8 years ago that hit 3.8ghz is even half as 'fast' or powerful as even an I5 3450 at single threaded apps then you're sorely mistaken. Processor's have come a long way in that time.

In my opinion it's a nice build, what would be considered somewhere between a moderate and high end gaming build. The GPU may be bottlenecked by your processor in certain games. I use AMD myself and for years it has always been a great, if not better alternative to Intel. Unfortunately nowadays it's hard to not choose Intel. By the way, you could have bought a triple-core cpu and unlocked it's 4th core and saved a few bucks wink.gif
Also, if you find yourself having ongoing issues, swap out your SSD and use your old Sata hard drive. Amd definitely has not tackled the conflict issues that SSD's have brought about, at least not nearly as well as Intel has.
post #55 of 114
Scott, I have a case full of the Cougar Vortex pwm fans, 5 x 140mm and 4 x 120mm Very quiet and flow amazing amounts of air. Great choice!
As far as the new cooler goes. Just give it a month and see what the Eisberg will do! It's not to far away smile.gif If you do end up with a H100, makes sure you get a good one without the grinding pump. Although Corsair says they fixed it, there are threads upon threads of people saying otherwise.
post #56 of 114
"You don't judge a CPU's power or speed by it's hz rating. If you think that the processor 8 years ago that hit 3.8ghz is even half as 'fast' or powerful as even an I5 3450 at single threaded apps then you're sorely mistaken. Processor's have come a long way in that time."

Sure, you could be pedantic and pick out an individual item to respond to, ignoring the entire meaning of the post. Sure, you could do that...

Or, you could read what I actually said. Imagine that!

Clocks have stalled. That is blatantly obvious. We've basically been at 4ghz for a decade. So, improvement must be made elsewhere. Yes, instructions per clock have improved over the Pentium 4, but not by nearly as much as you seem to think. The Athlon 64 and later the switch to the original Core architecture where about a 50% improvement in IPC. Since then, we've seen 10% improvements here and there, equaling up to about another 50% improvement. In effect, yeah, we are sitting on about a 2x improvement in IPC over the Pentium 4. At the same clock speeds. This is a miserable improvement for an 8 year span, and is not nearly as effective as the straight doubling of clock speed every 18 months that served us so well for so long.

Hell, we've barely even moved forward in the number of cores. That same Pentium 4 from eight years ago gave us 4 threads to work with. Now we get 8. Ooooh, fancy. What is obvious though is that core multiplication is going to be the route forward for quite a while, but we currently aren't particularly good at using more than a handful of them.

We've seen three years worth of advancement in CPUs executed in eight years time. Do you measure performance by clock speed? Nope. Of course not. Is clock speed exceptionally instrumental in moving us forward? Absolutely.
post #57 of 114
Thread Starter 
Don't forgot the focus on miniaturization. Processors in general have gotten much smaller in the past decade. That's definitely worth noting.
post #58 of 114
Not really. Yes, the mobile CPU market that didn't really exist a decade ago has gotten tiny. Desktop stuff though is about the same. We dropped from a 600nm process to 90nm from 1992 to 2002, or 6x smaller. We dropped from 90nm to 22nm in the next decade, or 4x smaller. That Pentium 4 die that we keep talking about was 122mm^2, while the current Ivy Bridge is 160mm^2.

So die shrink has slowed down a bit, and comparable CPUs have grown a bit. That doesn't sound like a focus on getting much smaller to me. wink.gif

Hell power use hasn't even particularly improved. We use a bit less on the CPU side, with 65w as the average now instead of 100w. Every bit of that savings is now eaten by the GPU many times over.
Edited by darklordjames - 10/4/12 at 5:40pm
post #59 of 114
James is totally correct in this. The CPU market has stagnated and I don't really think Intel or AMD really care that much. I'm so bored with it I don't really care anymore. I only upgraded my cpu because I was bored. not because I really needed to.
post #60 of 114
Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott Simonian View Post

Nice! New build thread a comin'. smile.gif
I still might do it at some point. Just wanted your guys opinion first. Still thinking about getting more RAM too...just cuz. tongue.gif
Maybe there will be a nicer kit out by the time your next computer is being built. Should be interesting.
I just ordered two of these fans. One for sure is replacing the back exhaust cuz I hate it and the other I was thinking of putting right over the CPU. There are two 120mm fan spots on top. One is right above or slightly behind the CPU heatsink. It's on the side that has the most hot air. Then there is a spot in front of it pretty much in the middle of the whole case where all the cool air is. I could also put one fan in the front to force more air in from the bottom but I don't think that is necessary. The videocard creates a nice draft. I'll post up new pics this weekend.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835553001


I just looked at prices for watercooling gear on frozencpu.com. Yeah I think I'll stick with air cooling. Mainly because I don't even OC. There's really no point to it these days. I think the only time I ever OC'd a cpu was the old celerons that everyone and their grandma OC'd.
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