Champion PCs - Julia V's Media Center!

This discussion has a more recent version.
edited June 2023 in PC Build Guides

Written by @Julia_V

I own two separate PCs that perform separate tasks at home - one for everyday use, and one for a media center “TV” computer. While my main machine is equipped with an RTX 3080 and a Ryzen 9 5900x, I actually want to talk a little bit about my media center PC instead. 

This is my current media center build: 

I love this little computer because I can use it to open streaming sites freely without being bound to smart TV software and even run Steam games on my TV. 

While we don’t carry many of the parts in this machine anymore, such as the i5-11400 processor and the 1080 Ti, there are parts we carry now that work equally as well if not better. For example, you can get the i5-12400 processor or even the i5-13400 processor. These processors use the LGA1700 socket, and you can pair it up with an ITX board such as the Gigabyte B760i motherboard. Since we are not running heavy computing tasks, editing video, or playing AAA games on this computer, a non-overclockable processor is perfectly fine for the task. 

As ITX boards only have two RAM slots, I would suggest maxing it out by getting a kit of two 16GB sticks. We do want to use low-profile RAM such as the Corsair Vengeance LPX DDR4. For storage, this is pretty flexible - as it depends on whether you want to store media on the PC itself. I personally only have 1TB, but that's because I don't download a large quantity of movies or shows to my PC. Personally, I prefer to stream my media online, which is why 1TB works great for my needs. There are 2TB, and even 4TB options available at Micro Center. 

My graphics card is from an old machine, but if I were to pick something modern, I would definitely go with an RTX 3060. With this 30-series graphics card, I would be able to stream my favorite shows as well as run some of my multiplayer Steam games on the TV. I have my big PC for heavy competitive gaming and render-heavy open-world games, but for any game that uses a controller, I prefer playing it on the big TV. It really brings me back to the Wii console gaming in the mid-2000s and early-2010s. 

For cooling, we do need to go with a 240mm All-In-One liquid cooler. This is just due to the size restrictions of the case. The Strix 240mm cooler has amazing performance and aesthetics and will be compatible with the A4-H2O case. Speaking of size compatibility, this case uses an SFX, or small form factor power supply. Luckily, we do not need a ton of power to run the system. A 650W SFX gold-rated power supply is what I went with, but a larger one like a 750W will also work excellently. 

Overall, my favorite thing about this Media PC is the fact that it’s small, compact, and matches my space very well. I have the silver A4-H2O, but a black one would also look sleek and clean. Building inside of this case was a little bit of a challenge, but it was also a rewarding one at the end. 

I personally have the machine hooked up to my 4K LG TV, but this little powerful media PC will work regardless of the size or resolution of your TV. I mainly use it to watch shows online, watch live streams, listen to music through my TV speakers, and run some controller-compatible games such as Persona 5. When I have friends over, we are able to freely explore online together for what we want to watch and play on the big screen. For me, as a cable and smart TV app replacement, it can't get any better than this. 

Revised build based on what I have with newer parts:

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