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Old 01-04-2009, 12:49 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Media Center PC

Hi all. I'm helping my friend throw together a media center PC. He's basically going back and forth between building a PC or buying a PS3. Basically, he wants it to have a Blu-Ray player and a vid card capable of handling full 1080p on a 32" LCD TV screen. Also he wants it to be QUIIIIIIET. Any suggestions for a sub-$400 rig?
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Old 01-04-2009, 02:22 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Media Center PC

Intel:
Newegg.com - Intel Pentium E5200 Wolfdale 2.5GHz 2MB L2 Cache LGA 775 65W Dual-Core Processor - Processors - Desktops
Newegg.com - Foxconn G43MX-K LGA 775 Intel G43 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard - Intel Motherboards
or
Newegg.com - Intel Pentium E2200 Allendale 2.2GHz 1MB L2 Cache LGA 775 65W Dual-Core Processor - Processors - Desktops

AMD:
Newegg.com - AMD Athlon 64 X2 5400 Brisbane 2.8GHz 2 x 512KB L2 Cache Socket AM2 65W Dual-Core black edition Processor - Processors - Desktops
Newegg.com - Foxconn 720MX AM2+/AM2 NVIDIA nForce 720a Micro ATX AMD Motherboard - AMD Motherboards

Thats around $100-130

Graphics
Ati Hd3470 with the correct hdmi adapter so that you can use the audio $50
Nvidia 8500gt think you have to use spdif input

Blu ray drive
Ram - $30 OCZ platinums (2x2gb)
Case - Antec 300
psu - antec basiq 350W - $30
Operating system get server 08 and use the vista gui pack to get vista for free. You will need to research whether there are driver conflicts with blu ray as it is not meant for a true home environment there may be.
Cpu cooler the sunbeam core contact you shouold get upto 3.4ghz
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Old 01-04-2009, 05:06 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Media Center PC

I was struggling with this build myself. I have decided against it (will probably just use some sort of media extender with my new build to achieve the same results) but my neighbor who has a similar home entertainment system wants to build one now.

This is what we have looked at:

- XFX MG63Mi7159 LGA 775 NVIDIA GeForce 7150 / nForce 630i HDMI Micro ATX Intel Motherboard
AND (newegg combo)
- Intel Pentium E2180 Allendale 2.0GHz LGA 775 65W Dual-Core Processor Model BX80557E2180
for $125.99 (with a $20 mail-in rebate on top of that)
= $105.99

- CORSAIR 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400)
Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory
$54.99 (with a $30 rebate on top of that)
= $24.99

- Western Digital Caviar Black WD1001FALS 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive
$119.99 x 2
= $239.98

- LG Black Super Multi Blu-ray Disc Burner & HD DVD-ROM Drive SATA Model GGW-H20L
= $249.99

- ASUS EAH3450/DI/256M Radeon HD 3450 256MB 64-bit GDDR2 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Low Profile Video Card /Integrated with HDMI port and HDCP ready
= $29.99

For a case, I personally like the Antec 300 ($59.95) with the Thermaltake Purepower W0100RU 500W ATX 12V 2.0 Power Supply ($59.99 - $25 rebate)

which brings the total to: $820.88 (newegg) which is over what you want.

Not sure if this system works together, but it is currently what we are looking at.

You could drop the blu-ray burner and save $225 that way bringing it to $600. You could use 1 HD (instead of 2) bringing it to $500.

I am not sure how you can get that much lower though.

I've been comparing systems on youtube and eBay as well.

Good luck and let me/us know what you do with!
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Old 01-04-2009, 05:48 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Media Center PC

The 5400x2 will overclock past the E2180 easily and the E2200 is just that little better.

Good ram but I am sure there was an OCZ kit on there last week which was unbelievably cheap, for what it was
Edit (found them bit more expensive think the offer I was looking for has ended but these are brilliant after rebate) Newegg.com - OCZ Platinum 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Enhanced Bandwidth Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory - Desktop Memory

To keep it under you could get this:
Newegg.com - LITE-ON Black 4X Blu-ray DVD-ROM 12X DVD-ROM 32X CD-ROM SATA Internal 4X Blu-ray DVD-ROM Model DH-4O1S-66 - Blu-Ray Drives

Hdd Blue drive is more energy efficient then the blacks bit slower though but doesn't really matter much
Newegg.com - Western Digital Caviar Blue WD800JD 80GB 7200 RPM 8MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - Internal Hard Drives

Way too much power for that type of pc will be using less then 300W I suspect around 200W

Nick you would be better off looking up the best price/gb to select your drives not just a storage target 2tb is a huge amount. I had 4.5tb back when I ran a media server and only managed to fill 2.3tb that was just at the advent of hd films (3 years ago) so only had a couple but the rest were all dvds had over 1300 films
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Old 01-04-2009, 07:04 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Media Center PC

Quote:
Originally Posted by saltynay View Post
The 5400x2 will overclock past the E2180 easily and the E2200 is just that little better.
I disagree. The 5400+ x2 Black edition seems to top out at 3.3ghz which is about what the E2180 does as well. Plus you have to remember that the E2180 is faster clock for clock so even if it doesn't hit quite as high of a speed as the 5400+ it would still be faster.
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Old 01-04-2009, 07:28 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Media Center PC

Reference the HD space - He needs the storage space for a fast growing blu-ray collection. He wants to rip them and store them on the media PC and play them FROM the pc to his home TV (via receiver)
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Old 01-04-2009, 07:45 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Media Center PC

Quote:
Originally Posted by Puddle Jumper View Post
I disagree. The 5400+ x2 Black edition seems to top out at 3.3ghz which is about what the E2180 does as well. Plus you have to remember that the E2180 is faster clock for clock so even if it doesn't hit quite as high of a speed as the 5400+ it would still be faster.
Agreed on the CPU.. but you'd have to consider that Media would be more of a GPU thing.. and the GMA X4500HD is still a good bit weaker than a HD 3200..

Plus with the whole Hybrid CFX works out, it'd work out better...

But if he wants Intel with a decent GPU is the Geforce 8200's
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Old 01-05-2009, 06:11 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Media Center PC

I am not so sure I think as the amd build comes out slightly cheaper you would be able to spend more money on the cpu cooler or a better overclocking motherboard allowing for faster speeds if the OP so chooses. Its close but I think the 5400x2 would just push ahead in this circumstance but if budget was higher then Intel would win.
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