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Old 01-16-2007, 01:30 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default New PC...for Vista/Media Hub

I planned a build on a C2D setup for a regular mid tower design originally, but am now thinking of turing it into a full-out media hub with Vista when it comes out possibly instead of a normal PC like all my other ones. It would be just a storage dump of movies and graphics abilities so we could watch movies from ourbed and stuff on a 30" LCD I plan to get as well to match the system.

I began looking at those HTPC cases, the sqaure ones with LCD screens and remotes...read up a bit, but had a few simple questions. Does anyone have any experience with these and recommend a certain brand or style for movie viewing/editing/burning? The remotes work like a TV for the PC correct?

Anyone who can shed some light on these things and if it's worth it to get one of these cool little boxes like this instead of a regular tower please let me know! Thanks so much!
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Old 01-16-2007, 02:42 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Just to show what parts I was planning to get so everyone has an idea. What should be improved/let back a bit on to make it as less costly as possible while maximizing performance for what it needs to do. Thanks all-

Case: ???
Motherboard: Gigabyte 965P-DS3
Processor: Intel Conroe e6600
RAM: Corsair 2x 1GB Sticks of DDR2-800
HDD: WD Raptor 36.7GB (OS/Applications)
WD Caviar SE16 500GB (Media Storage)
Video Card: eVGA 8800GTS 640MB
Power Supply: OCZ GameXStream 600W
CPU Cooling: Zalman CNPS9500


I assume the Zalman can't fit in a cube tower and perhaps the video card is too powerful or too big for what I need? I wanted a DX10 card though because I'll be running Vista anyways and will eventually need it to support whatever else down the road.
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Old 01-16-2007, 03:04 PM   #3 (permalink)
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the 680i would be a better mobo if ure prepared to spend a bit of extra money.

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Old 01-16-2007, 03:09 PM   #4 (permalink)
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get an evga but a lower end model if u want to upgrade later to a mid range dx10. Also have you considered the Ati all-in wonder cards as they are designed for htpc's
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Old 01-16-2007, 03:22 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I've never been a real fan of ATI chips, always had issues with drivers and such. But no, I didn't know they did great for HTPC setups and if they do, maybe it's cost effective to just run a cheaper version of one of those for the media center...thanks for your input! I'll look into it for sure now. Any recommendations?

I heard 680i had a vbunch of problems, but they did fix them with BIOS flashes and driver updates recently...I've been reading and it seems the 680i is just as good as the Gigabyte and p5B asus boards, just it's more expensive lol.
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Old 01-16-2007, 03:40 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Repost oops.
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Old 01-16-2007, 03:56 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Here's another question for y'all too.

I've never run dual monitors before. Is it okay when watching movies...I figure if something gets subtitled though, it will screw it up having a bar from monitor screens split below if you catch my drift.

Thing is, I wanted to get a 30" Widescreen LCD, but for $1274 at Dell...I already have a 21" Gateway widescreen LCD that's really good...so...what if I just get another Dell 22" widescreen and dual DVI them on 2 monitor support and watch movies on that way for a total of 40+ inches...instead of 30", plus it's only $296 for a 22" monitor as well. Or use the 21" on another tower of mine instead and get two 24" LCD's at $674 each, still about as cheap as one big 30" monitor and dual those as well.

Anyone with experience in dual-linked screens and watching movies?
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Old 01-16-2007, 04:06 PM   #8 (permalink)
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lol spose ill answer again as ive got 2 dual-monitor set ups one at school and one at home and im planning to make another one with a touch screen as a third monitor with my new comp lol. the movie looks distorted when played on both screens as the aspect ratio is screwed up instead of 4:3 you end up with 8:3 which is obviously distorted. I found a gr8 programme for dual screen is ultramon works really well and is easy to use.

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Old 01-16-2007, 04:16 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Hnmmm okay. I was worried the picture would get real choppy. What does the software do, is it a player of the video files itself? Or just changes ratios and stuff to support that kind of thing...

I was looking at also maybe getting a touchscreen for the new tower also...that sounded interesting...but dunno if I want to invest that kind of money into it really...doesn't seem like it would do too much for me. Then I could just setup the touchscreen and run the 21" I have now...butttt...21" is too small for laying in bed and watching movies lol. Too far away from us (on other side of room sadly) =(
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Old 01-16-2007, 05:16 PM   #10 (permalink)
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lol I'm a boarding school student and have my new multimedia pc in my study and was going to use the touchscreen as a speciallised interface to windows Mce screen and use it as a kind of hang on the wall remote above my sofa have it in a metal casing and hang it like a picture frame main problem would be modding it to be wireless as cables are ugly. but anyway ultramon is a program is for manipulating daul boot screens so u can stretch anything over two screens look at the website ive found it really useful as the windows options are a bit limiting. Vlc is the best media player i know of as it plays almost all files accept realplayer videos will play the sound track but not video probably be fixed in later versions but you can set the aspect ratio and have the video as a full screen or put it as the wallpaper which i doubt u'll use but its quite useful for me to watch movies in lessons. video is fine and i mainly use my laptop whilst at school and just plug the extra monitor in the back and thats video works fine spread across both screens and its 1.4ghz 512mb ram.

Too be honest a htpc only needs 1.5ghz and about 1gb of ram as if your not playing any games then not much else is needed.

the specs for my multimedia pc which has now grown into a gaming and media server lol are as follows

Cpu: e6600 overclocked to 3.2ghz
ram: 2gb
graphics card: 7950Gt 512mb
optical drives: 3x dvd/cd combo drives
hdd: 2x seagate 7200.10 500gb in raid so 1tb and 320gb 7200.10
mobo: 680i

My media server though is the collected videos/ programs/ pictures/ music of the 80 ppl in my house and thats why I have so much space and 3 dvd drives i can rip 140 dvd's a day lol
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