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Whats Better, HTPC or Gamming Desktop

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
I have recently found out about HTPCs, and I think they are awesome. I've only known about them for 3 days, and been researching them: how much they cost already built, how to build your own and how much it cost to build your own. Although I think these things are cool, and want to have something I built (which I can still do in a desktop), I don't see the practical use of building one of these.You can buy a big TV, HDMI adapter and have a awesome gamming desktop instead. It seems like most HTPCs I've seen built, is just a computer put in a cool but tiny box.

So I ask, as a person who thinks HTPCs are cool. What do you gain using a HTPC system, instead of a awesome gamming desktop?????

I would be using it to game mostly, but also watch movies, among other things.

Thank You,
NWOrphan
post #2 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by NWOrphan View Post

I have recently found out about HTPCs, and I think they are awesome. I've only known about them for 3 days, and been researching them: how much they cost already built, how to build your own and how much it cost to build your own. Although I think these things are cool, and want to have something I built (which I can still do in a desktop), I don't see the practical use of building one of these.You can buy a big TV, HDMI adapter and have a awesome gamming desktop instead. It seems like most HTPCs I've seen built, is just a computer put in a cool but tiny box.

So I ask, as a person who thinks HTPCs are cool. What do you gain using a HTPC system, instead of a awesome gamming desktop?????

I would be using it to game mostly, but also watch movies, among other things.

Thank You,
NWOrphan

My interpretation of HTPC is a PC that has the ability ( hardware and software ) to play back audio and video brilliantly, with extra storage space for all your media. I don't think that just because you have a full tower case, it is no longer classified as such. In other words, just put together a nice build for yourself with a good graphics card and decent storage, get versed in your software of choice - be it Jriver or XBMC or what not, and you've got yourself an HTPC!
post #3 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by NWOrphan View Post

What do you gain using a HTPC system, instead of a awesome gamming desktop?????

Keep in mind that both are just PCs. Considering that you would be using an HTPC for gaming, about the only difference between an HTPC and a gaming desktop computer is the type of case you put it in. Even then, there's no rule stating HTPCs must be in cases that look like stereo receivers. If you don't care about looks, go ahead and build it in a tower case and put it right next to your TV if you want (or better yet, hide it in a closet). I mean, you don't need special components to play a movie or listen to music. In the past you had to be more careful with component selections but today it doesn't really matter. Your component choices are going to be centered around gaming. Anything you pick for that will most likely play a movie just fine. If you didn't care about gaming, integrated GPUs work fine. About the only special component needed is if you wanted to record TV.

So, the question really is, do you want to hook your computer up to a TV/projector or always use it while sitting at a desk? These days, we hardly ever use our HTPC anymore. Honestly, our Apple TV and stand alone blu-ray player get much more use. The only thing the HTPC is used for is playing movies from our library and even then we usually use an Apple TV or blu-ray player instead since we pretty much stopped ripping our movies. All the other things an HTPC can do we stopped using it for years ago since we either don't care about it (e.g. DVR) or feel that stand-alone components do a better job (e.g. music, playing a movie from a physical disk).

I tried using my HTPC for gaming lots of times and even on a 120" screen I just never got into it. When it comes to keyboard/mouse games, I prefer sitting at a desk. I use consoles when I want to game while sitting on the couch.
post #4 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by mslide View Post

I tried using my HTPC for gaming lots of times and even on a 120" screen I just never got into it. When it comes to keyboard/mouse games, I prefer sitting at a desk. I use consoles when I want to game while sitting on the couch.

Did you try using the Xbox controller on your HTPC for gaming? Far superior to current consoles, IMO.
post #5 of 9
A home theater PC is just a PC used in a home theater. You normally use a media center gui for accessing your media. It really doesn't matter what kind of case you use.

I personally use a tower case and hide it.

The popular choice for a gaming htpc seems to be Steam Big Picture. I prefer xbmc's advanced launcher(I'll write a guide some day).

The only advantage of using a small htpc is that it is small.
post #6 of 9
I go for the best of both worlds - built a gaming PC in a bitfenix prodigy case. Small case, with handles. I drag it back and forth from my office to my theater, depending on what Im playing.
post #7 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by NWOrphan View Post

So I ask, as a person who thinks HTPCs are cool. What do you gain using a HTPC system, instead of a awesome gamming desktop?????

I would be using it to game mostly, but also watch movies, among other things.

Thank You,
NWOrphan
I don't know that it's nessecarily cooler. I have both a Gaming PC and and HTPC that I use for gaming. The main difference is the case. For my gaming PC I have it rack mounted in a 5U case. My HTPC is in a case that makes it look more like a stereo component.

In terms of actual processing power they are pretty much the same. My gaming PC I waited for the my sweet spot and got an i7 920(?) that I OCed to 4 or 4.2 (can't remember) and my HTPC is an i5 2500k OCed to 4.5. Plenty og CPU power for gaming. I think I stil have a copuple of years left on the CPUs. But, I just upgrdade the video card as I see fit.

The only reason I use my gaming machine any more (for gaming) is when I play an MMO. Mostly becuase I dual box and I can watch TV in my office. But, the majority of my gaming is on my HTPC becuase I can play on a 21:9 110" wide screen. I like big screen gaming better and find it more immersive; it's like plyaing a movie. Unfortuantely, it's harder to eat popcorn and kill bad guys at the same time. smile.gif
post #8 of 9
If you really want both a Gaming PC and HTPC, I think they have small cases that look like HTPCs, although I'm not sure all of the gaming pc components will fit in that small case.
post #9 of 9
Gaming PC plugged into the 1080p projector and surround receiver and software to play blu-ray. My definition of gaming HTPC - whatever case or other hardware you want is fine with me.
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