Living Room Box - Pentium G3528, Geforce 750 Ti etc.

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Living Room Box - Pentium G3528, Geforce 750 Ti etc.

Postposted on Mon Aug 18, 2014 10:25 am

Thought I'd add this in here. This past weekend I put together a living room PC, mostly so I can play Steam and Dolphin games in the living room while my wife is taking care of paperwork. Specs are:

Case: Thermaltake Core V1
CPU: Pentium G3258, currently OC'd to 4 GHz (mostly just to try it), using the stock HSF.
Motherboard: Asrock Z97E-ITX/ac
Video: EVGA Geforce 750 Ti
RAM: 8 GB DDR3-1600, Crucial low profile.
PSU: Cooler Master V550
Storage: Crucial M100 256 GB, old 750GB WD Green drive for mass storage purposes.

The case is pretty much excellent. Easy to install everything, lots of space and channels to route cables around. The included front case fan is a 200 mm, 800 rpm maximum giant that produces almost no noise even when you put your head next to the box.

I like the motherboard. I haven't had anything from Asrock in the past, but it's working just fine so far. Setting up and tweaking settings in the BIOS was easy enough.

Looking at the Newegg page for that RAM, there are a lot of poor reviews. I may have made an error - I purchased the RAM because, well, I've been buying memory from Crucial since the previous century, and it's always worked, period. The pair of sticks I've got in this box are no exception, but clearly there are a lot of people having issues.

The CPU and GPU were an attempt at getting a good balance between performance, cost and heat (so I don't need to use more or louder fans). So far, that appears to be paying off - games play smoothly with all the settings turned up, but the temperatures stay reasonable and the noise level barely increases, if at all. I'm plugging it into an older 720p television, though, so nothing I'm playing is turning out to be terribly demanding.

I've got Windows 7 on the box right now. I'd actually like to be running Linux with Steam instead, but I also want to be able to watch Netflix, and that looks to still be a few months down the road while Google gets their HTML5 support finalized. Transition can come later.
Chuckaluphagus
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Re: Living Room Box - Pentium G3528, Geforce 750 Ti etc.

Postposted on Mon Aug 18, 2014 11:15 am

I am using the same RAM on a PC-Mate Z97 MB with a G3258 (currently running at 4.2GHz using 1.2V) and I'm not having any problems with it. I haven't tried OCing since I'm not into that. Too many things can go wildly wrong with OCing RAM that may not show up for a while and there's not a lot of benefit unless you are using an IGP/APU.
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Re: Living Room Box - Pentium G3528, Geforce 750 Ti etc.

Postposted on Mon Aug 18, 2014 6:09 pm

I've had good results with that Crucial memory on four different Asus motherboards. It worked flawlessly right out of the box every time without any special configuration.
i7-4770K, H70, Gryphon Z87, 16 GiB, R9-290, SSD, 2 HD, Blu-ray, SB ZX, TJ08-E, SS-660XP², 3007WFP+2001FP, RK-9000BR, MX518
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Re: Living Room Box - Pentium G3528, Geforce 750 Ti etc.

Postposted on Mon Aug 18, 2014 10:30 pm

Just do a sitesearch on netflix or whatever else u want over at Phoronix.
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Re: Living Room Box - Pentium G3528, Geforce 750 Ti etc.

Postposted on Thu Aug 21, 2014 9:45 am

climatepete wrote:Just do a sitesearch on netflix or whatever else u want over at Phoronix.

:) I've actually been paying close attention to Phoronix's articles on that. I've had a lot of success with Pipelight and Firefox to play Netflix, but recent changes to Chrome make it incompatible with Pipelight. That underscores the biggest concern I have with switching to Linux straight away for this build - until there's better/more official support, some features I want may work today but might not tomorrow. This doesn't bother me for a regular computer (I am a happily tinkering geek, after all) but for a living room build that is being used by other members of my family, that's a problem. For nearly a year I was using XBMC on a Raspberry Pi to watch Amazon Instant video, and then suddenly one day Amazon decided to change something on their end and *poof*, incompatibility, and the only answer from Amazon was "It was never officially supported, so you're out of luck." Prefer to not be annoyed by something like that again.

For now, Windows 7 will be fine. I don't dislike it, certainly, I just like Linux better.

And jeez, has setting up this box introduced me to the weirdness that is Bluetooth implementation on Windows (as compared to Linux, in my experience). What on Earth is going on with various competing stacks from different manufacturers, all of which offer various levels of compatibility and feature implementation? Who thought this was a good idea?

(This kvetch brought to you by trying to use a Wii Remote Plus with Dolphin under Windows, and learning that only a limited selection of Bluetooth adapters support it - not because of hardware compatibility, but because the software stack, in fact most of the software stacks, has/have features missing from the implementation. Seriously, WTH?)
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