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Thread: New Build Media Centre / Mini ITX System for Living Room

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    New Build Media Centre / Mini ITX System for Living Room

    I'm looking for as much help as possible on this new build. I've not build a PC in about 4/5 years and I'm way out of touch with components.

    Basically I need a small system that will sit next to my sky box that will house all my music, video and photos and basically act as my media centre that hooks into my TV and Hi-Fi. The system wont be used to game or anything other than play music, video and browse the net.

    New build criteria:
    As small as possible
    Be pretty silent
    Output via HDMI
    Would be nice to have optical audio output to hook into my stereo
    Enough hard drive space to house a lot of audio (currently building up on video)
    SSD would be nice but cost is a factor
    Would prob need a wireless network card
    Remote control

    Any help would be much appreciated.
    h e l l p a s o

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    Re: New Build Media Centre / Mini ITX System for Living Room

    if you can hold out a month or so, the new AMD architechture should come out that would be ideal for your purposes. If not then have a look at what they have now in the FM1 platform.

    http://www.scan.co.uk/products/gigab...-hdmi-mini-itx

    http://www.scan.co.uk/products/amd-a...mhz-65w-retail

    What style of case were you hoping for and what kind of budget do you have to work with?

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    Re: New Build Media Centre / Mini ITX System for Living Room

    Thanks for the reply Biscuit. Holding out a month is no problem, bumped the car yesterday so my budget has gone on getting that fixed for the time being. I dont want to spend anything over £200-£250 on the system but the cheaper the better really. I dont really know how much these builds cost to be honest.

    Case wise the smaller the better, as long as it looks good, fits nicely below my tv next to the xbox/sky box and is pretty silent i'm happy. That sound quite demanding haha.

    Maybe...
    http://www.ebuyer.com/195170-antec-i...FUELfAodw1gAcw

    Possibly out of my budget
    http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showpr...FXIQtAodtlcA3A
    http://www.kustompcs.co.uk/acatalog/info_1235.html
    h e l l p a s o

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    Re: New Build Media Centre / Mini ITX System for Living Room

    Quote Originally Posted by shinobivs View Post
    Thanks for the reply Biscuit. Holding out a month is no problem, bumped the car yesterday so my budget has gone on getting that fixed for the time being. I dont want to spend anything over £200-£250 on the system but the cheaper the better really. I dont really know how much these builds cost to be honest.

    Case wise the smaller the better, as long as it looks good, fits nicely below my tv next to the xbox/sky box and is pretty silent i'm happy. That sound quite demanding haha.

    Maybe...
    http://www.ebuyer.com/195170-antec-i...FUELfAodw1gAcw

    Possibly out of my budget
    http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showpr...FXIQtAodtlcA3A
    http://www.kustompcs.co.uk/acatalog/info_1235.html

    That budget doesn't leave a lot of room for HDD space :/
    I mean, I don't know how big your collection is/whether you have hdds already, but a 3tb drive is £105, that's almost half your budget gone already...

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    Re: New Build Media Centre / Mini ITX System for Living Room

    You will need to also include the cost of Windows unless you are using Linux.

    Edit!!

    The cheapest motherboard and CPU for media usage would be this E350 based system:

    http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showpr...03&subcat=1949

    http://www.cclonline.com/product/814...board/MBD0389/

    With postage,both come to around £55. The cheap H61 mini-ITX motherboards only have a shorter PCI-E slot or a PCI slot. meaning that if the IGP is not enough the upgrade path is limited. The cheap mATX motheboards don't have this issue.
    Last edited by CAT-THE-FIFTH; 08-09-2012 at 11:59 AM.


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    Re: New Build Media Centre / Mini ITX System for Living Room

    Yeah i know the budget is pretty tight but at the moment the music is my main concern so 1 or 2 TB should be sufficient and I will no doubt upgrade to a SSD drive in the new year when the prices start to creep down. I already have Windows 7 so OS isn't needed in the build cost.
    h e l l p a s o

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    Re: New Build Media Centre / Mini ITX System for Living Room

    Eeek! Thats a tight budget!

    I think your probably looking at either an Intel Atom or an AMD Brazos build at best

    These motherbaords have the CPU Integrated. Performance wont be amazing but it should suffice for what you need.

    http://www.scan.co.uk/products/sapph...6gb-s-mini-itx

    http://www.scan.co.uk/products/zotac...hics-on-board-

    How about this case, its not the best but its amazing value:

    http://www.cclonline.com/product/843...lack-/CAS0641/

    Some RAM

    http://www.scan.co.uk/products/4gb-c...d-9-9-9-24-15v

    Power supply

    http://www.ebuyer.com/271798-corsair...mpsu-430cxv2uk

    Then spend the rest on optical/storage devices
    Last edited by Biscuit; 08-09-2012 at 12:13 PM. Reason: Accidently posted before i was finished

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    Re: New Build Media Centre / Mini ITX System for Living Room

    I would save up some more money. You can do a G530 based build with a 2TB hard drive, a Silverstone Milo ML03B and a mATX motherboard with optical output for around £280 to £290. Also things like remote controls cost more.

    TBH,unless you start looking at Ebay for good deals,your budget is not really that great.

    You could get away with this AMD E350 based motherboard for around £55 delivered:

    http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showpr...03&subcat=1949

    http://www.cclonline.com/product/814...board/MBD0389/

    It uses an extended mini-ITX form factor,so you will still need a reasonable sized case it seems.

    It will fit in a normal mATX case though.


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    Re: New Build Media Centre / Mini ITX System for Living Room

    If you went for an mATX based build you would be in budget:

    http://www.cclonline.com/product/814...board/MBD0389/

    http://www.cclonline.com/product/436...-DIMM/RAM2097/

    http://www.scan.co.uk/products/2tb-s...better-option!

    http://www.cclonline.com/product/873...-Case/CAS0675/

    http://www.cclonline.com/product/798...Drive/CDR0134/

    http://www.scan.co.uk/products/300w-...03v-atx12v-psu

    This case has a remote control:

    http://www.cclonline.com/product/873...-Case/CAS0674/

    However,for some reason there are no holes above the PSU for ventilation.

    Edit!!

    This case is quite slim and has a 120W PSU:

    http://www.scan.co.uk/products/silve...nd-card-reader

    An E350 and a single hard drive would not draw that much power AFAIK.


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    Re: New Build Media Centre / Mini ITX System for Living Room

    You can build within that budget (i did), however would you consider something like a Western Dig Live stand-alone player, plus an external hard drive?
    Those little devices are silent, very low power, and just do the job. The down side however is limited flexibility if you want to change some aspect of them as you could with a PC, plus music playing isnt the best.
    http://www.expertreviews.co.uk/media...d-tv-live-2011

    There are lots of pro and con arguments back and forth about HTPC's vs dedicated units like the above, and i do love my XBMC-based HTPC (seriously, the interface alone always hits the spot), but a least a few times per week I have to 'fix' some aspect that has gone a little wonky that my wife cant do - such as the AMD graphics suddenly not filling the whole screen, or the system needing a reboot in some way. A Western Dig is one of those 'just works' devices.
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    Re: New Build Media Centre / Mini ITX System for Living Room

    Probably not for everyone, but I got the Zbox AD02, put 8GB of ram and a 120GB SSD, have a 1tb USB3 external drive as well. The whole lot uses well under 50 watts (PC uses about 30) when stressed and it is virtually silent. Altogether it cost about £300, but bits should be cheaper now than when I bought it 4 months ago.
    XBMC works great on it, plays everything I throw at it, only issue is whan using it for web browsing it's a bit slow with some pages, like http://canv.as.

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    Re: New Build Media Centre / Mini ITX System for Living Room

    Cheers for the replies, some really good options here. The system is solely going to play music/video with a little bit of browsing so an mATX build should be capable. Having said that, the G530 based build sounds appealing for the extra few pounds.

    I'm not sure why but the western digital live and zbox don't really appeal. I've not built a system is such a long time its probably the thought of getting it up and running by myself thats swaying me. Also like mentioned the flexibility of a pc build is a bonus.
    h e l l p a s o

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    Re: New Build Media Centre / Mini ITX System for Living Room

    Quote Originally Posted by Biscuit View Post
    if you can hold out a month or so, the new AMD architechture should come out that would be ideal for your purposes. If not then have a look at what they have now in the FM1 platform.
    I'm in the same situation as the OP, so makes sense to ask here. Is there any leaks on details / prices yet?

    I'm looking to upgrade my Media Centre but can hold off if it's worth it
    Quote Originally Posted by Saracen View Post
    And by trying to force me to like small pants, they've alienated me.

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    Re: New Build Media Centre / Mini ITX System for Living Room

    Quote Originally Posted by Agent View Post
    I'm in the same situation as the OP, so makes sense to ask here. Is there any leaks on details / prices yet?

    I'm looking to upgrade my Media Centre but can hold off if it's worth it
    Toms Hardware reviewed some of the parts,but not the 65W TDP version of the A8 and A10. Leaked prices in the US indicate the A10 is around Core i3 price.



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    Re: New Build Media Centre / Mini ITX System for Living Room

    I've been reading up on the new A series and I think the A8-5500 will be perfect for my needs. There seems to be talk of an October 1st release and would be looking at a £70 introduction price.

    I also come across a 1TB spinpoint HDD in the flat yesterday that I forgot I had. This will save a me a few pound on the initial build and I can always upgrade at a later date.
    h e l l p a s o

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    Re: New Build Media Centre / Mini ITX System for Living Room

    Quote Originally Posted by Agent View Post
    I'm in the same situation as the OP, so makes sense to ask here. Is there any leaks on details / prices yet?

    I'm looking to upgrade my Media Centre but can hold off if it's worth it
    Do you know roughly what components your are aiming to get?

    I've had a rethink of my budget and also taken into account I have a suitable HDD and Windows 7 already.
    h e l l p a s o

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