Build an All-in-one 3D Gaming HTPC with Flexible Storage Expansion Using ICY DOCK Storage Solutions
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The evolution of the TV has been continuous, with the most recent additions of becoming bigger, slimmer, cheaper and lighter, with the quality of video advancing each year. With advent of HD 3D gaming on PC, the quality and appeal makes it a great addition to have at home. But, with current consoles such as the PS3, XBOX 360 with the outdated graphics, 3D and overall quality cannot compare to their PC counterparts. However, a gaming PC is not usually used where a TV is because chances are that the PC would look out of place and could take up a lot of space. One solution to this is the use of a gaming HTPC, as it is able to fit into your living room without standing out or taking too much space.
 
A gaming HTPC is an excellent solution for those who want to be able to play the latest HD video games, watch HD movies, TV, and surf the web V without taking up a whole lot of space. You can select specific components for your needs and have high quality HDMI output from your system. With that in mind, we want to select components that look good in your living room, handle the performance requirements, have cooling options, and be as silent as possible. We have narrowed some examples of what components can be used:
 
Note: These are components complied based on user feedback from Newegg and have not been built or tested. All prices are provided by Newegg with the exception of the Blu-ray Burner (Amazon) and do not account for rebate, shipping, or tax amounts.
 
$1000 Gaming HTPC Build
Chassis
1 x APEVIA X-MASTER-BK/500
$69.99
Processor
1 x Intel Core i5 Ivy Bridge 3450
$199.99
Motherboard
1 x ASRock Z77 Extreme4 LGA 1155 Intel Z77 (ATX)
$109.99
Graphics Card
NVIDIA 3D Vision Kit compatible GPU; 1 x EVGA GTX 660 SC
$229.99
Memory
1 x Corsair 8GB Vengeance Blue LP DDR3
$40.99
Power Supply
1 x OCZ ModXStream Pro 600W
$74.99
Storage
1 x Crucial M4 64GB SATA III SSD
$74.99
Blu Ray Burners
1 x Panasonic UJ240
$55.97
Storage Accessories
$84.99
$41.99
Total Cost: $983.88
 
$2000 Gaming HTPC Build
Chassis
LIAN LI Black Aluminum PC-C33B (ATX/mATX motherboard, full Aluminum, Silent, full length GPU & ATX PS support)
$159.99
Processor
Intel Core i5 LGA 1155 3570K (Ivy-Bridge)
$229.99
Motherboard
ASUS P8Z77-V PRO LGA 1155 (ATX)
$189.99
Graphics Card
NVIDIA 3D Vision Kit compatible GPU; EVGA GeForce GTX 680 Classified 4GB 256-bit GDDR5
$559.99
Memory
2 x Corsair 8GB Vengeance Blue LP DDR3
$79.99
Power Supply
1 x Corsair CMPSU-750TX 750W
$129.99
Storage
2 x Crucial M4 128GB SATA III SSD
$102.99 (ea)
1 x Seagate Barracuda Green ST2000DL003 2TB HDD
$99.99
Blu Ray Burners
1 x Panasonic UJ240
$55.97
Storage Accessories
$84.99
$41.99
3D Kit
1 x NVIDIA 3D Vision Kit
$127.99
Total Cost: $1966.85
 
The above system builds should be able to handle everything you throw at it with very little problems. All components use the latest technology and so will last for years to come for your HTPC. If you want to add 3D gaming, overclock, or an additional storage option to your list, we suggest looking into the high end build.
 
Now lets talk about the storage part. The idea behind the ToughArmor MB994IPO-3SB and DuoSwap MB971SP-B combination is to use the 2 x 5.25 external bay of the Lian Li case, giving you enough space to fit 1 x Blu-ray, 2 x SSD in RAID, 1 x hot-swap 3.5 HDD slot and 1 x hot-swap 2.5 HDD/SSD slot. So, you would have fully featured a gaming HTPC with a Blu-ray player, 2 hot-swappable SSD bays, and a hot-swappable 2.5 + 3.5 bay with SATA 6Gbps speed.
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With the ToughArmor, you can store 1 x slim ODD and 2 x 2.5 SATA/SAS SSD or HDD, all in a single 5.25 bay. This is the perfect solution for your gaming HTPC to install a Blu-ray player while creating a high performance RAID 0 SSD setup to boost your entire gaming experience. The device uses full metal construction, fully protecting and cooling your investments. Also, if you opt for traditional hard drives, a built in 40mm cooling fan can be used to provide optimal cooling to your hard drives. Otherwise, the fan can be shut off to completely eliminate any noise when using SSDs. Hot swapping also allows you to swap any of the trays at will. In case of a drive or slim ODD failure, swapping out just takes the release of the particular latch, and then removing and replacing the SSD, hard drive, or slim ODD. It is a big plus to have a HTPC build in your living room as you no longer need to deal with the cables, just remove the entire system from your TV stand, or open the case to reach the failed SSD/HDD.
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Please click on the product banner above for the product information.
 
The DuoSwap will be able to fit into the second 5.25 bay available, allowing 1 x 3.5 and 1 x 2.5 SSD/HDD, using a completely tool-less drive installation system. The DuoSwap is similar to an external docking station, but you receive full benefits of the SATA 6Gbps performance without limitations of USB, eSATA, or FireWire. This allows you to easily swap your hard drives out from one computer to the other and easily make a backup of your media collection. When the device is not in use, the two part anti-dust cover protects your HTPC from any entering dust, thus helping keep your system clean. Overall, this adds more expandability options for your system.
 
With your high end gaming HTPC in place, you can experience the newest video games in 3D with the best hardware, meanwhile, still being able to use all the capabilities of an HTPC -- within the confines of your living room.
 
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