Gaming Friendly HTPC Build Guide

Build a PC

I love PC build guides. I always find it interesting to see how someone approaches a build, the parts they choose to achieve a particular purpose. Building a PC is always about balancing compromises. The idea of an HTPC that purposefully eschews TV tuning capabilities seems like a waste of perfectly good hardware, but building an HTPC around the base of a solid gaming system is intriguing. I prefer gaming on the PC, but I have trouble imagining a PC being better suited to gaming in the living room than an Xbox or PS3. Anyone else prefer fragging with a mouse and keyboard from the couch?

We’ve built our fair share of home theater PCs in the past, with all sorts of different use cases in mind. Our August 2010 HTPC was a stunner built for 3D, with passively cooled GPU, CPU, and PSU, as well as a four-channel CableCard tuner and Blu-ray 3D support. In June 2011, Gordon tried to make a small-form-factor HTPC that could cut out the previous build’s bulk (and CableCard) while still supporting Blu-ray 3D. Both of those rigs handled their respective tasks well, but what if I don’t care about cable but do care about gaming?

 Maximum PC

  • Absolutely! I’ve never gotten

    Absolutely! I’ve never gotten the hang of those new-fangled controller thingies that the kids are using these days. I’m just too old and fat-fingered, I guess.

    I’m picking parts for performance for gaming, but really require quiet for TV and movies.

    I’m spending some time today trying to figure out if the Noctua NH-D14 PSU cooler that seems like a good choice ( will fit in the case I like, the Antec Fusion Remote Max.

    Specs on the case are 7.5″H x 17.5″(W) x 17.8″(D)

    Specs on the cooler are 6.2 x 5.5 x 6.3 inches

    The cooler is a beast, but from reviews, it seems to be the best at cooling while still being quiet.

    Anyway, a guide that addresses gaming-friendly HTPCs would be most welcome to an amateur like me.

  • I can’t imagien gaming from a

    I can’t imagien gaming from a couch with a mouse and keyboard. Where would you put them and how bad would the lag be.

  • Lag isn’t that bad with good

    Lag isn’t that bad with good wireless peripherals unless you absolutely have to have split hair accuracy, in which case you probably have a bohemath high dollar rig that sounds like a jet to begin with. I couldn’t imagine trying to use a mouse aor keyboard on my lap unless I had a nice big flat surface to work with. As for the tuner it’s mentioned in the article, and we know as well, adding a cablecard or QAM tuner is simple to do. 

  • I’m a PC gamer, and the

    I’m a PC gamer, and the thought of PC gaming from my couch makes me cringe. My gaming rig doubles as my HTPC (basically just threw a cablecard tuner and a couple digital tuners in there since it’s already more than capable) and I use my xbox 360 as an extender to view it on the TV in the living room. If I’m gonna do any gaming on the TV, it’ll be with the xbox and a gamepad.

    However, I do have the USB dongle that connects my xbox 360 gamepad wirelessly to my PC, so if I was in fact attempting PC gaming on the TV then I’d go that route.