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Thread: media pc

  1. #1
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    media pc

    Ii would like to build my mum a htpc for her lounge, it needs to be as cheap as possible- only have a small budget, and quiet, its been ages since i put mine together and could do with some help, it will sit under her tv, i would prefer it to be able to play back hd stuff- not bluray but 720p .mkv files ect. ideas please?
    Last edited by jonn220; 13-01-2009 at 01:48 AM. Reason: .

  2. #2
    Senior Member watercooled's Avatar
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    Re: media pc

    About how much do you want to spent? Just so we have an idea what to recommend.

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    Re: media pc

    150-200

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    Folding Flunkie Webby's Avatar
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    Re: media pc

    CPU: AMD 4850e ~£45
    MB: mATX 780G ~£50-£65
    RAM: 2GB DDR2-800 ~£20
    Case + PSU: Antec NSK-1480 and 380W PSU ~£65
    DVD: Samsung Sata Drive ~£15

    So depending on the motherboard that is £195-210.

    It will do everything you ask of it and more though

  5. #5
    hexus.zombeh! format's Avatar
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    Re: media pc

    Quote Originally Posted by Webby View Post
    CPU: AMD 4850e ~£45
    MB: mATX 780G ~£50-£65
    RAM: 2GB DDR2-800 ~£20
    Case + PSU: Antec NSK-1480 and 380W PSU ~£65
    DVD: Samsung Sata Drive ~£15

    So depending on the motherboard that is £195-210.

    It will do everything you ask of it and more though

    What about HDDs though?
    ~'Armaments, universal debt, and planned obsolescence--those are the three pillars of Western prosperity'~ Aldous Huxley




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    Senior Member watercooled's Avatar
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    Re: media pc

    It depends on how much storage you need, really but for a media PC I'd say go for 500GB or more if you're going to be recording TV and/or storing videos:

    500GB: http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/500-G...ache-89-ms-NCQ

    1TB: http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/1TB-S...ache-89-ms-NCQ

    Edit: even the 500GB drive would take the cost up by £40 though.

    Possibly this motherboard to lower cost slightly: http://www.scan.co.uk/Product.aspx?WebProductId=944404 not sure how well the on-board graphics would cope with HD, though so wait for another member to double-check.
    Last edited by watercooled; 13-01-2009 at 11:46 AM.

  7. #7
    Bows out! CAT-THE-FIFTH's Avatar
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    Re: media pc

    What about an OS?? Is the OP using Linux or already have a copy of an appropriate OS?? If not it will cost £65 to £80 for an OEM copy of XP or Vista.

    150-200 quid is not nearly enough for a media pc when decent case and PSU combos cost at least 60 quid!!

    If you were to get the motherboard and processor off Ebay then perhaps it maybe possible to save some more money on the build. I have seen brand new chinese OEM 780G motherboards going for under £30 brand new and the same goes for socket 775 G31 based motherboards.You could also get a secondhand X2 4200 or 4400 for around 30 quid or a dual core celeron or E2140 for a similiar price.

    This would save you 35 to 45 quid which would be the cost of a new hard drive.

  8. #8
    Environ'mentalist Zadock's Avatar
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    Re: media pc

    Also forgetting TV or satellite card here, thats if you want to use it as a PVR aswell?
    ___________________________________________________________

    System 1: Case: Antec 900 Motherboard: Asus Z77 CPU: Core i5 3570K @3.4GHz RAM:8Gb DDR3 1600Mhz GFX: XFX AMD Radeon 6950 2Gb (Cayman) HDD: Samsung Spinpoint 500GB O/S: Windows 7 64bit Home Premium

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  9. #9
    Folding Flunkie Webby's Avatar
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    Re: media pc

    Quote Originally Posted by format View Post
    What about HDDs though?
    Doh I knew I shouldn't try and write things when I'm tired, sleep don't forum!

    But to keep it vaguely on target I guess a small HDD is all that is possible maybe drop to a single 2GB stick of RAM from play for £12 and then get an 80GB Samsung for £22.

    And as someone else said an OS is needed but Linux is an free option there.

  10. #10
    Environ'mentalist Zadock's Avatar
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    Re: media pc

    MythTV is looking pretty good these days...


    Think I'm inclined to agree with Cat-the-fifth, for completeness sake I think the budget is bit low. Since this is in a front room and its his mum that would be using it a remote would be needed to at the very least?
    ___________________________________________________________

    System 1: Case: Antec 900 Motherboard: Asus Z77 CPU: Core i5 3570K @3.4GHz RAM:8Gb DDR3 1600Mhz GFX: XFX AMD Radeon 6950 2Gb (Cayman) HDD: Samsung Spinpoint 500GB O/S: Windows 7 64bit Home Premium

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  11. #11
    Folding Flunkie Webby's Avatar
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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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      • 22" Widescreen Cibox C2201 (with DVI input)
      • Internet:
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    Re: media pc

    Yeah the budget is very low perhaps a media streamer type box would be a better idea? Not up to date with those so will leave recommendations to people that are.

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    Re: media pc

    ok couple of things i forgot to mention, i have xp media center for her, an mce remote and possibly a 60gig hdd (not much i know, but enough for now)

    So does anyone know if the onboard will be good enough for 720p .mkv files?

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    Re: media pc

    Quote Originally Posted by jonn220 View Post
    So does anyone know if the onboard will be good enough for 720p .mkv files?
    Any dual core will be able to output in 720p regardless of vga acceleration. The 780G board that Webby referred to in his post will take all the strain off the CPU and can output in 1080p without a problem.

    Don't forget that .mkv files are not supported in Media Centre though. There are work arounds for Vista (I use them).....not tried in XP though.

    A 60Gb drive will be ok for windows and programs, you'll fill that up in no time with recorded TV though. I would suggest a 500Gb drive as a minimum for recorded TV though when you've got the cash.

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    Re: media pc

    Thanks for the advice, if someone could provide links for all the pieces i need i would be very greatful, its not that im lazy- iv not built a machine in years and am unsure which bits are compatable.

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    Senior Member watercooled's Avatar
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    Re: media pc

    How can hardware (GPU based) video decoding be enabled, or does it happen anyway?

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