Budget Mini-Gaming/HTPC

Hey all,

Planning out my next PC build. Have two builds narrowed down based on Intel Haswell and AMD FM2+ platforms but I'm looking to get some opinions and suggestions from you guys/gals before finalizing everything.


Some key points:

-Must use the Inwin BP655 m-ITX case with 200w PSU (I've done some research, the PSU is actually decent (and replaceable)). 

-Must be able to handle moderate gaming (1080p ~ medium+/-), streaming and HTPC functionality.

-Can be Haswell 1150 or FM2+ platform. (No older tech please.) Will not be overclocking.

-Budget as close to or less than $450 CANADIAN.

-No OS required. Will probably go Linux or Steam OS, not sure yet.

-No storage required. Already have a spare 2.5" 500GB HDD from a laptop I can use.

-No optical drive required. Will add a Blue-ray drive later on.


I love the Inwin BP655 case and have wanted to do a build with one since I first saw it in person last year. Smaller than an xbox 360 and cool design (IMO). I believe I have a pretty good idea of how I can maximize gaming performance within this case and the given budget on both Intel and AMD platforms, but I'm curious to see what you guys/gals can come up with. You may think of something I haven't. How much performance per dollar can you cram into this case, given the above criteria? Let's see how creative you can be...


Here are a few of my thoughts. Personally, I had issues with an APU build that I did and the beta SteamOS. I don't think the beta was ready for AMD graphics. Although I am sure the final product will support AMD graphics. Also, I have seen promising things with the Intel Iris Pro integrated graphics, but the HD4000 series of graphics really aren't up to 1080p. The A10-6800k build with Windows that I did a few weeks ago did pretty well at 720 medium to high, and 1080p will medium to low settings. This was with 2400Mhz RAM so that makes a difference as well. Hope this helps a bit.

I was thinking about building a small pc in that case as well.  The performance per dollar won't be pretty, but if you want performance, you can probably get that.

Get the new AMD A10-7850k and pair it with a low profile HD 7750 that uses DDR3 RAM.  Crossfire the igpu with the 7750 for decent performance if you want to, but I think doing this will bring you out of your budget.

Fast 2400mhz RAM to help with the APU.  8 gigs, ofc.

Seasonic TFX 300w PSU.  I heard the power supply is kind of shitty in that case lol, and if you ever go dual graphics, you might need a tad bit more power.


Well, I've already com up with what I believe will give the best performance per dollar, that will fit in that case and not push over 200watts, for around $450 CDN. 

The Intel build I cam up with is about $30 cheaper than the AMD option, but it won't give me as much gaming performance and lacks a few features I'd prefer to have, so the Intel option is getting tossed (unless someone thinks they can come up with a better one?) http://ca.pcpartpicker.com/user/MEC-777/saved/3wko 

I was mainly curious to see what others on this forum could come up with, given the budget and case limitations. I'll post the final AMD build and justification some time tomorrow. 

Will let a few others take a crack at it for the mean time. :)

I was looking for the A10-7600k, which will perform similarly to the 6800k but at lower heat output.  If you have the 6800k in there, it'll still  be a decent gaming rig.

Something to consider: http://ca.pcpartpicker.com/p/2Gy4F

I think you were thinking of the A8-7600. It's the Kaveri 45/65watt non-K part that's slated to hit the shelves later in Q1 2014. 

Oops, yeah.  That chip.  With a small enclosure, I think it'd help a lot.

OK, here's the build I've come up with. Before you look at the list, I'm NOT going to be using the A10-6790k. It's only there as a place holder for the CPU I will be using which is supposed to be a similar price.



The breakdown/justification;

Case - Inwin BP655 - Its' small, slim, stylish, built-in 200w PSU, low cost, and just because I like it. ;)

Storage - 2.5" WD Scorpio Blue 500GB HDD - Left over from a laptop. It's free.

Motherboard - Gigabyte GA-F2A88XN-Wifi - FM2+ socket, built in wifi, lots of features, one of the least expensive FM2+ mini-ITX motherboards.

Ram - 8GB (2 x 4GB) dual channel 2400mhz (for optimal APU performance).

Processor - A8-7600 Kaveri APU (45/65w) - Low power, reasonable cost, very capable quad-core, on-die R7 GPU cores. Will [hopefully] benefit from HSA, mantle and all that fun stuff on the horizon.

Graphics Card - R7-250 1GB GDDR5 - Most powerful GPU that will fit into this tiny case at a reasonable price (less than $100). This will run in dual graphics with the A8-7600 with some really good performance scaling (see Tom's hardware review, dual graphics test with the R7-240).

So the whole point of this machine is to not only be a Linux/Steam OS game streaming/HTPC, but also a gaming PC capable of playing modern titles at 1080p on it's own. Because of it's small size, I can take it anywhere, just like a console. Sure, you can build a more powerful gaming PC for the same cost, but not in this small of a form factor. Also, I'm banking on HSA and mantle becoming more widely used (there's already a sizable list of games being developed to work with mantle), and thus turning this modest build into something far more capable in the future.

Well, there it is. Thoughts? Opinions?

Might go with an HD7750 1GB GDDR5 slim GPU, if I can find one. Little more expensive than the R7-250, but also packs a little more punch.

Looks good.  You should be able to get some decent performance out of dual graphics.