I've been looking for a motherboard and processor to kick off my steambox build, but I've been having difficulty deciding where I'd like to sit for hardware. The games will be newer controller-enabled titles at 1080p, but I won't be expecting MegaUltra graphics quality out of it. I would like overclocking to be an option whenever possible. Budget is expressed in price for additional parts. New parts are at cost while using hardware laying around is the value I could sell it at divided by my laziness coefficient (which is currently around 1.75). My current budget is flexible. I'd be comfortable up to about $300-ish, but can likely be convinced otherwise if the return is justifiable. I'll also have a second build coming soon, so the parts list below won't be just sitting around otherwise. Hardware laying around: Xigmatek Aquila Something or other 1TB SATA drive (possibly 3x) BFG 550/650 watt 80+ Bronze Seasonic 760 watt 80+ Platinum 2x Radeon HD 5870 2GB 2x Radeon HD 6950 2GB (flashed to 6970, currently in sig rig) Radeon HD 7870 Phenom II X2 550 (or possibly X6 1100T) CoolIt Evo II (OEM Corsair H60) Various watercooling parts, blocks, res, rads, etc The PII X6 is waiting to be swapped in to a 790FX machine which currently has the PII X2, but can be stolen for the steambox. The 7870 is in the X2 machine and is pretty much just there for folding. Would like to put it to use. My current build ideas are as follows: Modesty, ~$150 CPU = Embedded APU? Intel Pentium? Mobo = UEFI preferred, mini-ITX/uATX, PCI-e 1x or integrated WiFi GPU = HD 7870 PSU = BFG 650 Modesty would likely focus on just being a steambox. That would mean value for performance, low core count, and high clock speed purely for single-threaded performance, the idea being most games don't take advantage of much more than that. I don't think the CPU would be strong enough to warrant 24/7 crunching, but I'd fire it up during competitions at least. Ability to overclock considered a bonus. I may use the HD 5870s as long as they idle down to near nothing and fit on the board, the power hit over the 7870 shouldn't be substantial. Pros: Fast enough for games (I hope), low idle power, low cost The Fifth Star, $200-300 CPU = AMD FX-6xxx or Intel Core i3 Mobo = UEFI preferred, 2x PCI-e 16x, uATX at most, PCI-e 1x or integrated WiFi GPU = 2x Radeon HD 5870 PSU = Seasonic 760w Mostly same as above, except I'd beef up the CPU to make sure it can churn out some nice WCG numbers. I shouldn't be too far away from getting my fifth star on my WCG badge. If it's on 24/7 to crunch, I'd prefer the Seasonic PSU. If I'm going to have the power of the Seasonic PSU, I might as well give it the HD 5870s. This is my most preferred plan at the moment. Also gives the option to buy a second 7870 in the future and churn out Pros: PPD/watt, PSU power efficiency, hardware value sweet spot Fury of a Thousand Suns, $??? CPU = AMD FX-6xxx/FX-8xxx or Intel Core i5/i7 Mobo = UEFI preferred, uATX at most, 2x PCI-e GPU = Radeon 7870 (possibly purchase a second one) PSU = Seasonic 760w The least-thought out of the three, this is basically my "I don't care if my steambox is faster than sig-rig and I don't really need to eat. These aren't tears." plan. Make it crunch, make it fold, make it kick butt. Pros: dat PPD tho, maybe my new therapist will be cute So, Steam Machine that occasionally crunches, or Crunch Machine that occasionally games? @thebluebumblebee said to tag @Norton and @newtekie1 for some advice from DCers.