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Old 01-01-2006, 07:01 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Advice (Sort of long post with rambling)

Looking to either buld or buy a computer. My budget is about 1k. I'm not into hard core gaming, maybee world of warcraft or something like that. For example I'm playing Might and Magic 8 right now. Also Wizardry 10 I think.

I want to use my computer as a PVR, so I need a cable in and probably Window's Media Center Edition. So I know that's going to add to the cost.

I can buy an E-Machine for about 650 bucks, but I would have to add about 250 or so to get graphics and cable input. So thats about 900.

I could UBID a Sony, for around 750 that has everthing I want, but I've heard alot of bad things about their quality. I did UBID my last computer (HP) and it's worked great for 5 years.

I could try to build. I have lot's of friends who are techies, so I think I shouldn't have too big of problem with it. I asked them but i tried to get me to go server wise and the other wanted me to go HardCore gaming with a 300+ dollar video card. I'm not really sure what to get. So I'm seeking advice.

I don't need a monitor, because I'll be using my TV.
I don't need speakers, since I'll be using my TV and stereo.
I would like the board to be 5.1 surround with either digital or optical sound, so I can hook it to my stereo.
I will be doing some MultiTasking like listening to music while surfing the web. At the same time the PVR may be recording a show.

An alternative would be if someone knows of some good PVR software I could use, then I could get a copy of XP Professional from work. Since I'll be working part time at home.

What do you think? The lower the cost the better.

daytonoh is offline  
Old 01-01-2006, 07:28 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Join Date: Oct 2005
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Well you came to the right place, it's what we do here.
I'm not sure what the whole PVR thing is about, I'm sorry. So I'll just put the components for the computer for around 800$, so buying the PVR cable input cost has a 200$ budget.
I chose this processor simply because it's the best out there for the money, in gaming and other things. It's a good bang for the buck cpu; you could always get a better one but this one should do.
AMD Athlon 64 3700+ Skt. 939 Processor.

Okay, some people are going to tell you to get a DFI Lanparty motherboard, but don't bother if you aren't going to overclock. This motherboard is very nice, I have one myself.
MSI K8N Neo4-F Pci-E Motherboard

Video Card:
Well since you wont be gaming much, I'd say get a 6600GT. I do game and I have the 6600GT, and I love it. So just think how it will perform for you if you're not doing as hard of gaming. If you think you'd need a better one, you can change this for a 6800GS for about 200$.

Don't cheap out on your powersupply, but in the same sense don't buy one with too much power that you wont use it. I'd say go with a Fortron Source 450W w/ Dual 12v rails (18a on each one). It's a very stable powersupply and should do fine.
Fortron Source 450W PSU

You probably should get a good amount, so I thought a Gig should do fine. It's pretty much standard with most programs nowadays (mostly games). This memory is very nice for the money, and comes with a lifetime warranty.
Patriot Signature Series 1Gig (2x512MB)

Hard Drive:
Well it seems as though you'll be needing some space, so I thought a 250Gig would be nice. Seagate is a good brand, but try and stay clear from Maxtor.
Seagate 250Gig 7200RPM 8Mb Cache

Sound Card-
Well you don't sound like you need some crazy good soundcard, so the Soundblaster Live should be fine. I have one myself and it sounds very nice on my 5.1 Speakers.
Soundblaster Live! Soundcard

Optical Drives:
You can't really be picky with these, so I just linked a random good one.
Lite-ON DVD Burner

Last but not least, the case. I suggest getting a sturdy case that you like. This is mostly personal preferance, so the choice is yours. Just be sure to get an ATX case and look for some reviews for it.

So this will come to about 750$, with the case around 800$-850$ before shipping.
Hope that meets your requirements, if you have any questions feel free to ask.

PcMe is offline  
Old 01-01-2006, 08:12 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 38

Thanks for list it put's me a little over. Since I still need the operating system.
With everything except the case I'm at 939. So I'm guessing 60 for a case and then about 50-60 is shipping.

I like a lot of what you have down here. I appreciate the help. The one thing I am worried about is the Windows MCE. Every review gives it good thumbs up if you have the right equipment. If anyone has any knowledge of MCE and would like to share it would be welcomed.

THanks Again
daytonoh is offline  
Old 01-01-2006, 11:54 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 563

Well remember you can 'water down' certain areas. If you need it to be about 60$ less, you could go with an AMD Athlon 3200+ instead for 170$. If you seriously don't think you will be gaming for a long time, then you could get a cheaper video card or something. Same with the hard drive, you can find 80Gigs for 60$ easy.
You could save 20$ by getting just a regular CD or DVD Rom aswell, and the motherboard comes with onboard sound so you could do without the soundcard.
With all of the savings, you'd be saving alteast 150$ even if you don't downgrade your graphics card.
Just remember not to cheap out on some things, it's worth taking the time to save for them.
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