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Old 07-21-2009, 06:11 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Value Cpu/MB for a media center?

So, I have a case, hard drive, and DVD writer sitting here. I was thinking if I could get a cheap Cpu/MB, I'd build a media center designed to run hulu and play DVDs.

Its stanard resolution 640x480, so its an extremely nonintense job. My atom powered netbook can do it at a higher resolution without lag (1024x768). I was toying with buying an old brisbane and motherboard for about $80, but wondered if there was anything better.

Will also be scouring ebay.
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Old 07-21-2009, 06:27 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Value Cpu/MB for a media center?

you could take a look at these.

Newegg.com - Computer Parts, PC Components, Laptop Computers, Digital Cameras and more!
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Old 07-21-2009, 10:14 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Value Cpu/MB for a media center?

Even that is a bit overboard for just playing DVDs and Hulu (unless Hulu is a lot more system intensive than I thought!).

A few years ago, I was using a P3 @ 450mhz running Windows 98 and VLC to play back DVDs and DIVX files without any problems whatsoever. I wouldn't recommend doing that, just because it was a bit sluggish at everything else. A Sempron 3300+ in a laptop I have has absolutely no problem with any media thrown at it, however. If you can find a similar system (Pentium 4, Athlon, Sempron) for cheap, you should be fine.

That being said, those parts look as though they would work very well with hi-def media if you ever wanted to upgrade with a Blu-ray drive

Granted, faster processors are always better, and if you get a PCIE graphics card you can fold on it when you're not using it.
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Old 07-21-2009, 10:19 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Value Cpu/MB for a media center?

If you want something pretty cheap you might look into the Dell Optiplex GX series. While i don't usually ever recomend a pre-built desktop computer, you cant beat the price on these, around $120-150 for a P4 3.0ghz with 512 ram, 80gb hdd and a cd drive. and are usually really really quiet which is good for a media center
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Old 07-22-2009, 06:40 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Value Cpu/MB for a media center?

Been looking at some dell optliplexes. The prices amaze me. Ran into a few pentium 4s for under $50. I'm going to scour the techno underworld looking for one missing ram/hard drive/dvd drive for an even more discounted price seeing as I have boxes of those things.
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Old 07-23-2009, 01:29 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Value Cpu/MB for a media center?

My wife uses a Dell lappy w/ a 1.6 mobile P4 and a 5200 as a media center. The Brisbane ought to be plenty for that.
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Old 07-24-2009, 03:20 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Value Cpu/MB for a media center?

Newegg.com - AMD Athlon II X2 245 Regor 2.9GHz 2 x 1MB L2 Cache Socket AM3 65W Dual-Core Processor - Processors - Desktops $65

Newegg.com - GIGABYTE GA-MA78GM-US2H AM2+/AM2 AMD 780G HDMI Micro ATX AMD Motherboard - AMD Motherboards $75

Newegg.com - CORSAIR 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Desktop Memory Model VS4GBKIT800D2 G - Desktop Memory $43

total is $183 will be more than capible for dvd and hulu.
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Old 07-25-2009, 10:36 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Value Cpu/MB for a media center?

The 245 is 65 watts and won't pass 40 Celsius unlike the X2 7850.
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Old 07-25-2009, 12:07 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Value Cpu/MB for a media center?

But a Brisbane AND mobo for $80? Why spend more when it will just be a media box?
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Old 07-25-2009, 05:08 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Value Cpu/MB for a media center?

Found this on pricewatch as well: "+getMessage("iPrintVerKit")+"

An x2 4800+ and motherboard for $69. The motherboard is crap, but the chip far exceeds my needs so the performance difference will be negligible, and if it does go out in 2-3 years it will have paid for itself easily.

Its down between this and a pentium 4 era optiplex.

I'd need to buy a psu and some DDR2 for the X2, which makes it cost a little more. Prolly could get both for under $50, bringing the total cost of the machine to $110 or so, as opposed to the optiplex which I can grab whole for $50. Gotta decide if the extra power, and reduced heat, are worth the extra cash.
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