Console Killer – Living Room PC

I’ve been back and forth over the last six months or so trying to decide what to do with regards to a new games machine in the living room. PS4? Xbox One? New PC? I’ve been convinced I was going to get each of them at some point, but then changed my mind. Over the last week though I finally made my mind up and decided to build a PC to sit under the TV.

In my mind, the living room PC had to meet some certain criteria:

  • Small – it’s got to fit in the unit under the TV
  • Quiet – the Xbox 360 is so noisy, I want something that I can’t hear when it’s doing its thing
  • Powerful – my friends are already buying PS4s, I want something that at least keeps up with the graphics, preferably beating it.

With that in mind I put together a Mini-ITX build on PCPartPicker which got chopped, changed and altered based on feedback from the likes of bit-tech and reddit. In the end I settled on this spec:

  • CPU – Intel Core i5 4570S (only draws 65W so should be cool and keep fan noise down)
  • Motherboard – Asus H81l-plus (stripped down, but ample for my mITX needs)
  • RAM – 8GB (2 x 4GB) Patriot Viper 1600MHz DDR3
  • GPU – MSI Twin Frozr 2GB GTX 760
  • SSD – Samsung 840 EVO 120GB (OS drive and favourite games)
  • HDD – WD 1TB Caviar blue
  • PSU – Corsair CXM 500W Modular (modular means I can just leave out cables I don’t need)

All of that lot is getting stuffed into one of these:

antec isk 600

Antec ISK 600 mini-ITX case. Pretty.

I looked at a lot of different cases before choosing this one. I had to go for something that won’t look out of place under the TV, which meant unfortunately I had to drop cases like the Cooler Masters. In the end it came down to this one, one of the nicer Silverstones, and the Fractal Node 304. If I’m being honest, I like the blank, expressionless front of the 304 better, but the space inside the case is what made my mind up for me.

Now all that’s left is waiting for delivery and finding a few child-free hours to put it together carefully. I’ll update again with build pictures hopefully, and some results from early testing.

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