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Old 02-01-2009, 07:09 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default HD Video, Multimedia, Gaming PC..Need Advice

OK. Let me just say that this forum was an excellent help when I upgraded my current PC (Hard Drive, DVD Burner & new CPU). Now I believe it is time to upgrade given that my PC is no longer able to handle my needs. I will be working with an I.T. individual to build the PC...but need your guidance regarding my video card... I have a $3K limit...(with monitor)

Below is what I am looking for for a recommendation.(based on the activities outlined at the bottom)
CPU:
Motherboard:
Videocard:
TV Turner Card:
Amount of RAM:
Power Supply:
Do I need Firewire to download my HD Video content from my camera?

Activities I want to do on the computer...
- Download video from My HD camcorder to my PC make High Def videos & create regular
DVD videos
- Download and play music on Itunes
- Play first person shooter games (most current and from a few years ago - 2006-2009)
- Burn regular DVD movies (backup copies of my current DVDs)
- Play PC downloaded content (Movies...etc.) on my Home theater system..(Plasma TV &
digital stereo system)
> Be able to control my PC from my living room while watching PC content on my TV.
- I need the ability to be able to watch video content from my PC on my TV while my wife does her homework on the computer.
- Be able to access my older PCs content/Hard drive (computer downstairs) on my new PC

Below is what I am looking for for a recommendation...

Thanks in advance
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Old 02-02-2009, 08:40 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: HD Video, Multimedia, Gaming PC..Need Advice

Thanks so much for your advice...what would you recommed for a motherboard?

I take it the Reaper video card is the better choice. Would you know if the card will allow me to play HD content on my TV..while my wife is doing homework on the computer?

Thanks again...!
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Old 02-02-2009, 08:44 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: HD Video, Multimedia, Gaming PC..Need Advice

I thinkyou need a combo of systems one slave and one master. A mini-itx system (or your old pc) upstairs with your monitor and a full tower master pc with your tv to game with or vice versa (master upstairs with a monitor and slave downstairs with tv). I am not sure philbar understood fully your requirements.
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Old 02-02-2009, 10:00 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: HD Video, Multimedia, Gaming PC..Need Advice

"I thinkyou need a combo of systems one slave and one master. A mini-itx system (or your old pc) upstairs with your monitor and a full tower master pc with your tv to game with or vice versa (master upstairs with a monitor and slave downstairs with tv). I am not sure philbar understood fully your requirements. "

- thanks but...I am not sure what you mean here....I just want to use my old PC as a backup for my files and a music player for the recreation room downstairs. I want to be able to access the files on my old computer with my new computer and vice versa.

The new computer will be the powerhouse that I will use to play games, do homework on, watch TV & edit HD video that I download. What I am wondering is if the GTI video card outlined below can play content off my computer to my TV while my wife is doing homework.

If not..what I can do is buy and XBOX 360 and use that as my TV interface to my computer (via ethernet cable) vs. trying to overtax my video card trying to play to two sources. (homework on the monitor and PC content output to my TV via HDMI)

thoughts?
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Old 02-02-2009, 10:33 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: HD Video, Multimedia, Gaming PC..Need Advice

This is how I understand it you want three interfaces for your pc.

Old one in the den to use as a spare and data server/storage
One available for your wife to run standard pc usage such as office and web browsing - mini-itx
One for your high performance computing, media editing and gaming - main atx tower

I may be wrong and network/server technician may step up and educate me but I have not heard of a home software solution that allows you to access the same computer and run it independently. i.e. You can run dual screens with the tv and the pc monitor being seperate no problem and drag and drop video from one screen to the other so that you can watch a video whilst she is working. However you can't both be working at the same time you can stick 2 mice into your pc and find that the cursors don't react independently both mice control the same cursor. You and your wife would be fighting to keep the cursor on the work you are trying to perform

My suggestion is to have 2 pcs instead of one you can swap and change which display does what . Your wife only needs a small less poweful pc hence the mini-itx suggestion. This can be plugged into the tv or into the monitor in the office and will be able to acess files on all the pcs on the network, but won't be powerful enough to game. It however can still be fast just a lack of easy videocard options cripples gaming. You could then have fullsized gaming/ media editing pc placed with a monitor (pc monitors go to much higher resolutions then tv's) and perhaps a secondary line to the tv. The computer in the den can stay in the den and act as a back up for your data.

The question is where do you want to play your games? tv room (42" low def tv per example or office with a 30" higher def monitor)
Would it matter if your wife was working (using the tv as a monitor) and you wanted to watch tv?

There are so many options and different variations possible with that budget which would allow you to change things around. Your wife may be happier with a netbook or notebook rather then a desktop you need to make some decisions.

Mini-itx btw is a small form factor here are some pictures to illustrate the size


A pc that is fully functional running xp inside the retail xp box. the different variants of itx form factor each size smaller although capable of windows follows the general rule that it is more expensive and less expandibility with addon cards and such

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Old 02-02-2009, 11:15 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: HD Video, Multimedia, Gaming PC..Need Advice

Interesting...so my wife could not be working on "word" and I could not watch movies on my TV using media center on the same computer. OK...

Now...my friend uses an XBOX 360 as the TV Computer media interface (via Ethernet cable). So he can be watching movies, listen to music..etc. on his TV (files on the PC) while his wife is on the same computer doing homework or serfing the internet.

This might be a better option. Have you ever seen this?
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Old 02-02-2009, 11:28 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: HD Video, Multimedia, Gaming PC..Need Advice

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Originally Posted by ckmerc View Post
Interesting...so my wife could not be working on "word" and I could not watch movies on my TV using media center on the same computer. OK...

Now...my friend uses an XBOX 360 as the TV Computer media interface (via Ethernet cable). So he can be watching movies, listen to music..etc. on his TV (files on the PC) while his wife is on the same computer doing homework or serfing the internet.

This might be a better option. Have you ever seen this?
i do this now with my PS3. the PS3 has 'permission' to access any content on my primary computer and stream the content to my tv. i currently just use windows media player for that. while windows media is running in the background, you can do anything else on the computer that you want, like use word or surf the net, etc.

however, YOUR problem here is that you dont have an xbox, ps3, or other device to use as described, so you're asking how to do it with your new PC. so you need a device in place of the xbox/PS3 as salty suggested, you should build a cheap media center/server with tons of HD space (budget around $800 for a nice setup) to go in place of the xbox/ps3 then spend your remaining $2200 on a sick primary setup for gaming and video editing, etc. you can then use your computer in your den as a home server to store content.

check out the below link/picture to understand how it works:

your main PC is there which you will build, the 'home server' in the pic would be your den computer, the xbox wouuld be the new media center pc you need to build, and there would be no laptop

but again as salty said, there are a million ways to setup your network and with that budget anything is possible, so think it through, read some 'networking' and home media threads to get clarification and ideas
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Old 02-02-2009, 11:34 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: HD Video, Multimedia, Gaming PC..Need Advice

Doesn't need a cheap home server he has his current soon to be old pc. Yes you can use a ps3 or xbox to access the data on your pc but it would probably work out cheaper both intially and in the long run (electricity) to build a mini-itx system unless you specifically want a console.

Yes you can watch a movie or tv whilst your wife is working on the pc through dual screen. What would happen though is you would need to stop your wife so that you could change the volume, track, video, pause ect. What I am suggesting would be an independent solution.
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Old 02-02-2009, 11:34 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: HD Video, Multimedia, Gaming PC..Need Advice

First..thanks for all the advice...

"however, YOUR problem here is that you dont have an xbox, ps3, or other device to use as described, so you're asking how to do it with your new PC. so you need a device in place of the xbox/PS3 as salty suggested, you should build a cheap home server with tons of HD space."

I was thinking of getting an XBOX 360 (just the cheep one) so I could do this multi function...vs. getting a 3rd PC.

So below would be the new config.

Old PC - Backup File storage, music player (downstairs-networked to new PC)

New PC - High Performance stuff, video editing, games & wife's homework (upstars -
networked to old PC) - I would not play computer games on my TV..

XBOX 360 (arcade version $200) - TV Interface to play my multimedia stuff of my new
computer to my TV.

So would this config make the most sense?
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