As you can tell, I really am getting into gaming on the big screen lately. Also I have been working (surprisingly) on the big screen … there is just something about the big screen which makes work so much easier. (especially when you have more than one Window open) There is also something about playing video games on a TV with a xbox one controller as opposed to keyboard/mouse that cannot be beat. Lastly, I bought a house last year which has room for me to add more computing power … which is when I thought … why not create 2 new mini PC’s from left over parts. I had a 5 year old Intel I7 2600K and an Intel I5 3750k LGA 1155 processor sitting around with no motherboard so I googled and found that it would be relatively low cost to rebuild these into decent powered computers which can probably game 1080p or at the very least stream Netflix etc.
Lucky for me as around this time it was Black Friday / Cyber Monday / Green Monday (whatever it is called now). Therefore everything was rather cheap … hell I even bought a Spectre 4k 43″ LED TV for $250 (YES you read that right …$250 for a 4K TV)! I also picked up an LG 43″ 1080P for $280 … not surprisingly the LG has ALOT better picture quality than the Spectre 4k TV even though it has a lower resolution. But this isn’t a TV review post .. this is about building small gaming machines (haha).
I set off by looking for cases … both of the cases I found were relatively small form cases. The Coolermaster 110 and the Thermaltake V1. Both can be found at the local computer shops or online such as amazon,tigerdirect, new egg etc. Next was motherboards … I decided to settle on one Intel H61 motherboard (for a hackintosh setup since this board is very compatible with OSX) and another Intel B75 motherboard for a Windows 10 machine.
Almost everything else was cannibalized from my old AMD gaming desktop (which was featured in my GTX 750TI and GTX 950 review). I even took the old GTX 950 and placed it into the I7 build.
The plan was to use the H61 and the Coolermaster 110 case with the I5 processor and use the integrated graphics to run a hackintosh OSX build for the dining area. This machine will be mostly used to watch netflix etc.
The I7 with the Thermaltake V1 case and B75 mobo would be used in the living room with Windows 10 installed so it can be used for mostly gaming with the GTX 950 attached.
The builds were relatively easy and both machines turned out very well. Overall I am surprised how cheap components and TV’s are getting! Also if you are wondering ,I do not recommend the Spectre 4k TV … There are these weird line artifacts that appear in pictures which I cannot figure out how to get rid of. Granted you have to look very close to see them, they are there. You can youtube the reviews to find out more. The LG 1080P TV though is fantastic! I had an old Spectre 32″ in the living room which I moved up to my bedroom which I use with my laptop to game and work sometimes.
*Received some emails about what mounts I am using for the TVs. The living room LG is a Galaxy stand from Walmart (goes for about $60-$70), the other 2 are Hippo mounts from amazon which cost about 20-40 bucks and absolutely kick ass! Huge props to Hippo mounts .. well built and very easy to install