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Old 09-21-2009, 12:31 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Need to Build A Media Server PC

- I want to upgrade my Z-2300 into a Z-5500
- I have a laptop that doesn't output SPDIF Analog or even Digital (Fiber Optical)
- I want to build a PC from ground up (or even buy from a vendor) that can output Fiber Optics
- Also the PC must be powerful enough to output 1080P videos (my 2.2GHZ Core2duo laptop, 4gb of ram can handle this, so something like this or less would be nice)
- What kind of soundcard do I need to take advantage of Z-5500?
- I wanna use my PC as a blu-ray player that outputs HDMI into my 50" plasma TV

Just give me the items and I'll buy it on newegg and assemble it. I'm not looking on anything fancy. The only purpose of this PC is media storage (using external harddrives) and also a media center that outputs HD videos into my TV.


give me a low end, mid range and high end budget on what components to get.

THANKS
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Old 09-24-2009, 09:22 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Need to Build A Media Server PC

Iam doing the same thing your doing but i dont have the higher expectations of performance.

You could build it from the ground up with parts off newegg.
get a nice Micro-atx case and mobo. (good quad core w/4gb ram)

Newegg.com - hec Black 0.7mm Thickness SECC 7K09 Micro ATX Media Center / HTPC Case - HTPC / Media Center Cases

then an xfi titanium fatality sound card would do well.
Newegg.com - Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium Fatal1ty Champion Series 70SB088600007 7.1 Channels 24-bit 192KHz PCI Express Interface Sound Card - Sound Cards
Not sure on the fiber optics iam sure somebody knows more than me on soundcards to help you.

gfx card will give you the HDMI(this is just example)
Newegg.com - GIGABYTE GV-R465D2-1GI Radeon HD 4650 1GB 128-bit GDDR2 AGP 8X HDCP Ready Video Card - Desktop Graphics / Video Cards

Harddrive could go with huge big sata storage or ssd

ofcoarse a Bluray drive
Newegg.com - LITE-ON Black 4X BD-ROM SATA Internal 4X Blu-ray Disc Reader Model iHOS104-08 - Blu-Ray Drives

building it would cost alot compared to buying one iam guessing...
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Old 09-25-2009, 04:16 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Need to Build A Media Server PC

First of all, you are going to be surprised by the z-5500 and the amount of which they are NOT much of an upgrade from the z-2300's. Pretty much ALL onboard sound cards can handle optical, and most onboard graphics can handle 1080p. You are going to need the bottom of the barrel pc to handle this, I'm sure someone will put a list together... but you won't need to spend more than $300 total at max.
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Old 09-26-2009, 11:28 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Need to Build A Media Server PC

How big do you want it? It could be easily done with a Itx or ATX standard build


(Left to right: ATX, Micro-Atx, Mini-Itx)


You do realise hdds are noisy so having them in the same room as your top of the line TV and sound system is fairly detrimental. A small drive on site (SSD or Samsung 2.5") with large storage hidden on a server in a cupboard or attic such as a Pentium 4 build which can be picked up second hand for very little.

The above gfx card suggestion is rather idiotic as it has a fan and all Ati 4000 series support hdmi same with the 8 series and up for nvidia. Not that it matters however as why would you want to interlace the audio with the video if you are using a dedicated optical line for the audio? Its a needless extra.

2gb of ram will be sufficient maybe 3 if your planning on video encoding and light multimedia editing.
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Old 09-27-2009, 04:37 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Need to Build A Media Server PC

...the sound of a hard drive being detrimental?

Are you watching TV muted? Seriously, you'd have to be outrageously anal about silence to even notice the sound of a hard drive over whatever you are watching.

I agree with SapperX, any hardware still being sold that isn't marketed for energy efficiency (atom) will easily accomplish the tasks you want.
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Old 09-28-2009, 10:47 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Need to Build A Media Server PC

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brinson View Post
...the sound of a hard drive being detrimental?

Are you watching TV muted? Seriously, you'd have to be outrageously anal about silence to even notice the sound of a hard drive over whatever you are watching.

I agree with SapperX, any hardware still being sold that isn't marketed for energy efficiency (atom) will easily accomplish the tasks you want.
If your an audiophile you are anal about sounds and clarity, If I am encoding a movie to store on my pc in a more portable format then the standard ripped 5gb file dvds provide, then that makes quite a lot of noise for quite a lot of time in which course I want to use my HTPC to watch films. I listen to the tv on level 2-3 volume to put this in to perspective my friends come round and have to have it at 6-8 and my parents need 10-12 to properly hear everything.

Atom boards cannot always accomplish 1080p video most in fact can't without over clocking + atom has a lot of hype surrounding it still pushing up prices in the consumer market. Getting a Mini-itx board with a desktop cpu is a much better solution and cheaper in some respects. Review of atom motherboards and video playback

Intels official statement as repeated by a 3rd party site (then add in slow down from a normal windows system that has become cluttered after a month of standard usage)

Forgot to add if your looking for a quality audio set-up why are you using pc speakers? A proper audio system will sound a lot better!!
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Old 09-29-2009, 12:35 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Need to Build A Media Server PC

You could look into the nvidia ION. It is a pretty awesome box with built in HD 5.1 and HDMI.

Newegg.com - Nvidia Ion

There are some barebones and mobo's.
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Old 09-29-2009, 02:54 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Need to Build A Media Server PC

Quote:
Originally Posted by saltynay View Post
Atom boards cannot always accomplish 1080p video most in fact can't without over clocking + atom has a lot of hype surrounding it still pushing up prices in the consumer market. Getting a Mini-itx board with a desktop cpu is a much better solution and cheaper in some respects. Review of atom motherboards and video playback
I was not reccomending the atom. I was actually kinda reccomending anything else. :-p

Some CD drives can get kinda noisy, but I've had to put my ear to an external hard drive before to know what it was running.
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Old 09-29-2009, 03:22 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Need to Build A Media Server PC

Ion mobo takes an atom but they where built for this sort of thing.
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Old 09-29-2009, 02:51 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Need to Build A Media Server PC

HDD sound IS an issue. I have an older 250GB drive in mine right now and it's very noticeable. Fan noise is also very noticeable. Fiber optic is nice, but HDMI is better, and with HDMI you get audio and video output. My HTPC (see sig) will output 1080p video flawlessly and it will also play games on lower settings. No after-market sound or video needed. If you want full HD (uncompressed) sound then you're going to need an Auzentech X-FI Home Theater HD, or an Asus Xonar...each one is over $200. A good quiet case is also nice. For a good build you will probably be around $500 depending on the case you go with and also how good you want your sound.
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