Make Your Own Living Room PC - Yolrp 2 'Monster'

There is no denying that the Yolrp 1 configuration is very limited. AMD APU has a good, but not record breaking performance and a classic HDD can not be compared to modern SSD memory. Yolrp 2 doesn't have such limitations. Prepare to meet the monster.

While making the second configuration I've also made some basic assumptions: size (max 25x25x38 cm - that's the maximum of what can fit in my living room), price (to 900 Euro) and, of course, performance in games (min 50fps in Bioshock Infinite, 1080p, at ultra graphic details).

 

The heart of the monster - CPU


Let's start with the CPU. No, I won't use a top-class CPU like Intel Core i7 4960X that would already cost almost 1000 Eur. This time I will use an Intel CPU - Core i5 4570. Of course, it is not the top CPU you can get, not even the best i5 but with 4 physical cores working on 3,2GHz (3,6GHz on turbo mode) it can handle all games without any problems. And it has a very satisfactory price - 175 Euro.

The eyes of the monster - Graphic card


Since this time I'm not using integrated graphics, I will need a good graphic card. The new R series from AMD Radeon has a really good price-performance ratio, but from my experience there is always a problem with the  newest drivers. That's why I was looking for something from the "Greens". My choice fell on Asus GTX650TIB-DC2OC-2GD5. As far as a typical GTX 650 is definetely not a gaming card, the 650 Ti is quite good, and the 650 Ti Boost will be perfect. Also, the Asus model is already overclocked and will meet our expectations. 175 Euro removed from the budget.

The muscles of the monster - RAM


Since the Intel CPU doesn't use the motherboard RAM for graphic operations we can cut some costs and don't use 2133 or 1866 MHz but a little slower DDR3-1600MHZ. But since the costs are lower, we can upgrade it to 8GB - that should be enough for several years. Final choice - Goodram GR1600D364L11/8GDC - 70 Euro.

 

The skeleton ot the monster - Motherboard


Now, since we have 3 most important components, it would be good to connect them together. This time I decided to use ASRock Z87E-ITX. This motherboard is not so cheap - about 150 Euro - but provides 802.11ac Wi-Fi, 7.1 audio and is in mITX format so we will be able to put it in a smaller case.

The skin of the monster - Case


Ok, so now let's concentrate on the case. Since we have used a more powerful CPU and a power-hungry graphic card we will need a small case, with a good airflow and min. 400W AC that fits into the first assumption. And it has to be white :) Say hello to Fractal Design Node 304 White. Is it only me, or does it looks like a microwave?



Cool, it will fit next to Xbox One that looks like old video recorder:) Fortunately, it also comes in black so if you don't like to have household goods in your living room pick a dark version. To power everything up, add a Corsair VS Series 450 W AC. The cost of the case and AC - 75 and 35 Euro.

 

The brain of the monster - HDD/SSD


I will spend the remaining 180 Euro on hard drives. Yes, "drives" in the plural. The first one will be a standard HDD Seagate Barracude ST2000DM001 - 2 TB for games, movies and music. Nice, but it is too slow for hardcore gamers. That's why additionally I will use Goodram C50 SSDPR-C50-120 - a not-that-expensive SDD 120 GB drive. Why only 120 GB? Well, because it is enough to install the system and none of the modern SSD drives will have enough storage for a dozen of games. Price: 75+75 Euro.

Evolution of the monster - future upgrade


Of course, this is just one of the possible configurations. You can use, for example, Radeon R290 and Core i7-4770K. The case is big enough to fit a higher CPU cooler so you can try to overclock it a little, but watch out - remember that the computer that stands on the shelf under the TV doesn't have much space for airflow and it is easy to overheat it.

If you have any questions, feel free to ask them in comments or send it directly to me at gordon.kinguin.tv@gmail.com


On Tuesday I will post the rest of necessary informations - for example what game pads would be best to use with PC and  how to configure steam to starts automatically in Big Picture.