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Thread: Media PC build

  1. #1
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    Media PC build

    Hello chaps,

    Don't laugh. but I want to build a mediapc for my parents as an xmas gift. Although it's a long way off... I best start looking now and getting a feel what for I need to get else I will never sort it out in time!

    The only functions I can see that they will need is:

    * Watching 1080p video over HDMI on a Sony 40W2000. My old AGP 9800XT would NOT output to this TV - HDMI output would be much preferred over a DVI because of this ( worried it may have issues on DVI > HDMI adaptors )
    * Playing music.
    * Web surfing... other small normal PC useage.

    I would personally like it if it could handle a few older games ( UT2003 and such maybe? ) but this is in no way a must... I've enough of my own pcs for sure! : )

    I have 2 things I am very unsure about though.

    1) What specs are required for this type of thing? I've no idea at all... when I buy a new PC I just get the beefiest thing I can afford. I don't want to spend much more than is needed as it will be wasted - but I would like it to be as lag-free and easy to use as possible... which brings me to 2)

    2) What is the best software setup for nice easy to use access? I know Vista has a built in gizmo, is this the best thing to use? Or is there something I could run on 2000/XP? Also... is there a infrared card / remote I could use for your suggested application to make it even easier?

    I had a quick play on scan.co.uk and came up with this build... just as a play about - note no OS/dvd drive added. I have a spare XP retail I can use on this PC but I don't mind buying a vista if it would be easier to use for them.
    LN9301
    SilverStone LC10B (BLACK) Aluminum Front & SECC Body Desktop case (w/o PSU) £61.89 £72.72

    LN8415
    485W Enermax Noisetaker EG495AX-VE-W-SFMA with PCI-E aPFC Quiet £50.20 £58.99

    LN19714
    Asus P5GC-MX/1333, i945GC, S 775, PCI-E (x16), DDR2 400/533 MHz, SATA II, uATX On Board VGA £28.99 £34.06

    LN18122
    Intel Core 2 Duo E4400, Socket 775, 2.0 GHz, 800MHz FSB, Allendale Core, 2MB Cache, Retail £63.49 £74.60

    LN7593
    2Gb (2X1Gb) Corsair Value Select, DDR2 PC4300 (533), 240 Pin, Non-ECC Unbuffered, CAS 4-4-4-12 £34.49 £40.53

    LN19307
    256MB Sapphire HD2400XT PCI-E(x16) 64Bit 1400MHz GDDR3 GPU 700MHz CrossFire D-Sub/DVI/HDTV Retail £37.59 £44.17

    LN15364
    400 Gb Samsung HD401LJ Spinpoint T, SATA300, 7200 rpm, 16MB Cache, 8.9 ms, NCQ £45.49 £53.45

    TOTAL £391.64
    I don't mind what case but it needs to be black and fairly slim-line ( no mini-tower things ).

    Give me your input chaps! : )

    Thanks!

    Sean

  2. #2
    Senior Member Rack's Avatar
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    Re: Media PC build

    Looks pretty good, but I'd save £10 on the graphics and get a 2400Pro, and even a bit on the CPU + RAM.

    I would recommend the media centre remote, and a keyboard with built in trackball.

  3. #3
    finding nemo staffsMike's Avatar
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    Re: Media PC build

    i'd swap the power supply for a corsair 450w VX ..very quiet.

    Or get one of these.
    Computer hardware and software at amazing prices, available online from Scan Computers UK

  4. #4
    Folding Flunkie Webby's Avatar
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    Re: Media PC build

    Okay just a quick suggestion, based on your request for slim!

    Case: Silverstone Milo ML02B-MXR includes LCD display, IR, remote and 120w PSU (£157.91)
    CPU: AMD AM2 Athlon 64 BE-2350 2.1GHz (45W) (£54.16)
    CPU Cooler: NorthQ 3392 or 3393 (Cu or Alu) (£19.38 or £16.32)
    Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-MA69GM-S2H, Onboard graphics support with HDMI out for 1080p output (£42.02)
    Memory: 2GB Corsair either 667 or 800 (£30 or £40)
    Graphics: No Need!
    Hard Drive: 400 GB Western Digital WD4000AAKS (£55.21)
    DVD (Slimline): I leave the choice to you but Optiarc would be my choice. (~£30)

    Total cost £385 - £400

    All prices from Scan and I haven't checked to see anything is cheaper else where.

    With this set-up you get HDMI 1080p out of the box silent PSU an LCD display and a remote control which can only be a good thing!

    And its only 82mm tall thats as slim as a slim things slim bits! Oh and the picture for the case is silver but its listed as black in the description, says something like the picture is for illustration purposes only!.

    And if you need to you can always add a graphics card later, but I doubt you will need to.
    Last edited by Webby; 15-11-2007 at 07:10 PM.

  5. #5
    Folding Flunkie Webby's Avatar
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      • Operating System:
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    Re: Media PC build

    Or for a slightly taller option, the Silverstone LC11B-M300 comes with the screen and remote is 98mm tall, bigger PSU (300w) and is slightly cheaper at £152.56 oh and it doesnt require a slim line DVD which is an added bonus!

  6. #6
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      • Enermax 720w
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      • Monitor(s):
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    Re: Media PC build

    Blimey.... didn't think this would ever get a response, thanks all!!


    I like that LC11B-M300! very nice case. Not such a fan of that Milo thing though... plus 120w PSU might be a little near the mark.


    I don't need a GPU with that motherboard?? £40 seems too cheap for a motherboard with a built in GPU capable of handling 1080p. Whats wrong with it?!?

  7. #7
    finding nemo staffsMike's Avatar
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    Re: Media PC build

    Nothing wrong with it, i've got a similar amd board which was (is) £34 on scan

    It doesn't take that much graphics power to output HD afterall.

    I would consider the antec case though as it has 2x 120mm fans (silent - 3 speed) vs 2x 80mm on the silverstone. It also comes in black if the colour puts you off.

    hexus review here.
    HEXUS.net - Review :: Antec Fusion Chassis : Page - 1/8

  8. #8
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    Re: Media PC build

    I have to say I much prefer the above SilverStone case, but having read a review, it's obviously quite old and doesn't have much cooling potential for more modern hardware.

    The Antec, imo, really isn't in the same league design wise though. the placement of the USB/sound and volume is aweful! That said it's probably a better option over that SilverStone! Out of interest, how does that volume knob actually connect up? Straight into a motherboard USB header or something?

    Surprised, thought 1080p would need more!!

    Thanks for response Mike : )

  9. #9
    Folding Flunkie Webby's Avatar
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      • CPU:
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      • Memory:
      • 2GB OCZ Flex DDR2 PC2-9200 5-5-5-15 @ 1000MHz 4-4-4-12
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      • Graphics card(s):
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      • PSU:
      • Corsair HX520w
      • Case:
      • Silverstone Tremjin TJ06 - Modded for Water Cooling Goodness
      • Operating System:
      • Windows XP Pro SP3
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      • Internet:
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    Re: Media PC build

    Don't forget the CPU I selected only has a power requirement of 45w that is pretty much as low as you can go! Actually lower probably than the majority of processors from a few years back.

    Remember you don't need that much heat removal, the only hot components are going to be the CPU, Chipset/Graphics and hard drive. And they can run reasonably hot as long as the is some air flow. You can also get quieter 80mm fans if they are needed.

    I don't really expect heat to be a major issue for this application after all your not overclocking the CPU and the is no high performance graphics card blasting out extra heat.

    The Antec Fusion is a nice case though and I would be tempted by it myself They are bringing out a new model soon (though not sure if it will be in time for Christmas) See here

    Just like to say that the whole reason for going with the Silverstone cases was your indication that you wanted a slim case and they are quite a lot slimmer than the fusion.

  10. #10
    Will work for beer... nichomach's Avatar
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    Re: Media PC build

    Can I put in a word for the Trust Vista Remote Keyboard ? Got that running (oddly) with an MCE2005 PC and it's a cracking little bit of kit.
    Last edited by nichomach; 16-11-2007 at 03:27 PM. Reason: Fail on spollchook...

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    Re: Media PC build

    I got one of these: Computer hardware and software at amazing prices, available online from Scan Computers UK which I find really good for the job. But the MS official remote is excellent, no doubt.
    System 001: Maximus VII Formula, 4790k i7, RTX 2080ti FE (incoming), 16GIG Corsair Vengence DDR3 RAM CL9, Corsair HX1000, ROG SWIFT PG278Q , SSDs, Antec 1200 case, All watercooled. [main]
    System 002: A8 3850 APU, ASUS uATX FM1A75 MB, 4GB Corsair Vengeance DDR3, Corsair psu, OCZ Agility 3, 1TB F3, Dell 2001FP 20" LCD, £7's worth of 5.1 speakers (they rock) Windows 7 x64[wife/server]
    System 003: AsRock MB, APU, 8 GIG Corsair, Silverstone HTPC case, stock cooler, GT220 1gbDDR3, WD Green 3TB, Kingston 40gb SSD, MCE Remote, Panasonic 50" LCD (87BDX) via HDMI Windows 8.1.1 (32) [media centre]
    System 004: Asus UL50AT Intel Core 2 Duo,4GB, Intel Gen 2 80GB SSD, Win 8.1.1 x64 [no justification]
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  12. #12
    Will work for beer... nichomach's Avatar
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    Re: Media PC build

    Ugh! Not the "official" IR MCE keyboard? The one with the stickpoint that requires the dexterity of a concert pianist and the brute strength of a mountain gorilla to operate? Horrible stuff. The Trust one replicates the layout, but uses a much friendlier optical trackball for mouse control.

  13. #13
    Folding Flunkie Webby's Avatar
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      • 2GB OCZ Flex DDR2 PC2-9200 5-5-5-15 @ 1000MHz 4-4-4-12
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      • PSU:
      • Corsair HX520w
      • Case:
      • Silverstone Tremjin TJ06 - Modded for Water Cooling Goodness
      • Operating System:
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    Re: Media PC build

    Just a quick note to say that Scan have Silverstone cases on "Today Only" today saving about £10 on the LC11B-M300.

  14. #14
    Senior Member Rack's Avatar
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    Re: Media PC build

    I thought the 1080p playback on those motherboards requires at least an X2 4400?
    Any of the ATi HD range has a hardware decoder for bluray/HD-DVD (drive prices are dropping very fast).

  15. #15
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    Re: Media PC build

    Quote Originally Posted by nichomach View Post
    Ugh! Not the "official" IR MCE keyboard? The one with the stickpoint that requires the dexterity of a concert pianist and the brute strength of a mountain gorilla to operate? Horrible stuff. The Trust one replicates the layout, but uses a much friendlier optical trackball for mouse control.
    No, the remote (not the remote keyboard) which is great:



    Batteries last ages and it's extremely well laid out for MC (shock). The keysonic stays down the side of the sofa unless it's needed (which ain't often).
    System 001: Maximus VII Formula, 4790k i7, RTX 2080ti FE (incoming), 16GIG Corsair Vengence DDR3 RAM CL9, Corsair HX1000, ROG SWIFT PG278Q , SSDs, Antec 1200 case, All watercooled. [main]
    System 002: A8 3850 APU, ASUS uATX FM1A75 MB, 4GB Corsair Vengeance DDR3, Corsair psu, OCZ Agility 3, 1TB F3, Dell 2001FP 20" LCD, £7's worth of 5.1 speakers (they rock) Windows 7 x64[wife/server]
    System 003: AsRock MB, APU, 8 GIG Corsair, Silverstone HTPC case, stock cooler, GT220 1gbDDR3, WD Green 3TB, Kingston 40gb SSD, MCE Remote, Panasonic 50" LCD (87BDX) via HDMI Windows 8.1.1 (32) [media centre]
    System 004: Asus UL50AT Intel Core 2 Duo,4GB, Intel Gen 2 80GB SSD, Win 8.1.1 x64 [no justification]
    System 005: HP Proliant N40L Microserver, 4x2TB drives, fan mod, Pico PSU mod, Win7 x86 [file server]
    System 006: Dell Optiplex 9010, i7, 8gb, 128gb Samsung 830 x 2 (boot and VM drive), 1TB WD HDD, ATI something, Windows 8.1.1 x64 RTM [work]


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    Re: Media PC build

    Noise and heat allways an issue for a HTPC so dont over specify.

    I would put in a vote for the elonex artisan case (even with a motherboard change ) for a realy slimline system or the antec fusion which comes with a power supply. Media pc's can be awful to get working perfectly hope the parents asre pc literate1

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