HTPC (Media Center PC) Spec, What do you think?

Discussion in 'Computer and Technology Discussion' started by InsaneNutter, Aug 1, 2008.

  1. InsaneNutter

    InsaneNutter Resident Nutter Staff Member

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    I’m looking to put together a HTPC capable of playing Blueray and other HD content, this is the spec I have come up with.

    Case: Lian Li Muse, not sure where I can buy this yet.
    PSU: Should be included with case.
    Motherboard: ASUS P5GC-VM PRO (£32)
    Processor: Core2Duo E4600 2.4ghz (£76)
    Ram: Corsair 2GB Kit (£36)
    Graphics: – ATI HD 3450 (I need to get a low profile bracket for this) (£26)
    Harddrive: Segate 500gb (£47)
    Blueray: LG Electronics Blu-Ray & HD-DVD-Rom Combo (£70)
    Remote: Microsoft OEM Media Center Remote (£19)
    TV Card: WinTV Nova-T 500 Dual DVB-T (£51)
    Power Lead: Newlink Powerlead (£1.60)

    Total: £358ish (without case)

    I was looking at the Intel E8400 however its currently £35 more but does run at 3ghz, although I don’t think the extra processing power will really be needed.
    What do you think? Would you change any of the components and why?
     
  2. Orby

    Orby Member

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    Could get a Mac Mini, its fast enough for HD content.

    comes with a power cable :P
    comes with remote as well :)
    can use FrontRow for Music, Movies and Pictures, but would require a separate application such as Eye TV for watching TV, but the apple remote still supports it.

    but you would then require to have a external USB/Firewire box for the Blu-ray/HD-DVD drive.

    also if you want more storage you would need have that external unless opening the Mac Mini doesn't worry you but it is not a simple process, there are many documented ways of doing that online.

    you can pick up a Mac Mini for around £340 with student discount.

    the other parts would depend on where you prefer to shop..
     
  3. InsaneNutter

    InsaneNutter Resident Nutter Staff Member

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    Although the Mac Mini looks nice and is silent which is a nice bonus, It’s hard to really justify a Mac Mini because of the amount of upgrades I would need to make. Having to upgrade a lot of whats in it just don’t make it worthwhile option for us. Thanks for the suggestion though, I could see it making more than a decent media center for someone depending what their needs are.
     
  4. Fooruman

    Fooruman Member

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    I was going to suggest a Mac Mini, drat!

    In any case, that looks like a pretty good system for pretty reasonable prices. One thing I don't see in your post, however, is what audio card you plan to use, which is rather important for a media center machine. Built-in audio is *never* very good.
     
  5. Orby

    Orby Member

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    That is not so much true now.. some of the onboard sound cards can be very good, like the mac mini's one that seems pretty good to me and i have never had any problems with it and i use it alot for the optical out/in.
     
  6. InsaneNutter

    InsaneNutter Resident Nutter Staff Member

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    I was planning on just using the built in sound, I’ve never personally had any problems with the quality of on onboard sound. The Media Centre will most likely be hooked up to a set of 2.1 speakers, we don’t really have room to setup a surround sound system in the front room.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 19, 2008
  7. xzKinGzxBuRnzx

    xzKinGzxBuRnzx The Feature Man

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  8. InsaneNutter

    InsaneNutter Resident Nutter Staff Member

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    I was planning on using the standard Intel fan and heat sink that comes with the processor, that’s quiet and is not that big. I believe that should just fit in the case nicely.
     
  9. xzKinGzxBuRnzx

    xzKinGzxBuRnzx The Feature Man

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    Nice! Let me know how it works out.
     
  10. InsaneNutter

    InsaneNutter Resident Nutter Staff Member

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    I’ll be building it within the next few months, before Christmas anyway. Thought i would get the current spec on here to see what people thought and get opinions and idea’s for possible improvements.

    Ill be sure to keep the thread update anyway.
     

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