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Old 07-25-2012, 08:55 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Want a new home theater like pc. Dont know where to start

The current system I am using is a Dell Inspiron 1520 laptop that is 5 years old. It is really getting annoying to use. Chrome is very resource intensive and then when I watch a youtube video my cpu spikes up to 100%. I am pushing the laptop because I also use it to record my shows with media center using a slicondust network cablecard tuner, sometimes recording 3 hd shows at once.

So what I am thinking that I want to do is continue using my laptop as my main PC but I would reformat it and not really load up programs on it in order to keep it running faster. My new pc would be connected directly to my tv with hdmi and take over all of my downloading, tv recording, movie watching, etc. It will basically be a multimedia PC. But I also want it to be powerful enough that I can do some video transcoding like on the fly transcoding for when I set up a DLNA server. I think that about covers it.

I plan on building my pc. I don't have a start date or a date that I want it by. If I got all the stuff today, I would be happy. Especially with back to school savings going on. The only thing that makes me stop and want to wait is Windows 8. Even though I probably don't need it, it's just one of those things that you wanna have lol. I know windows 8 isn't actively supporting Media Center since they haven't even updated it and is basically what is already included on Windows 7. Maybe my tuner won't even work with windows 8. But in the case that everything I want works with Windows 8, I want to make sure that the current hardware will be able to support all that Windows 8 has to offer except for the obvious things like touch screen support. Then there is also the question if I should make it an Ivy Bridge build or Sandy Bridge? I would like this machine to last me long. 5+ years like my laptop but not have such a hard time running like my laptop

So wrap this up, when do you guys thing would be the best time to buy my hardware? Can you give me price points that I could be looking at and suggest components?

Thanks
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Old 07-25-2012, 10:01 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Want a new home theater like pc. Dont know where to start

First thing to note, at any given time really is a good time to buy as with the way PC parts come out, go on sale, and reach EoL you could be waiting a lifetime for that something you want.
Second thing to note, Windows 8 is junk. No, hell no, no. Unless you fancy the Metro touch screen nonsense then Windows 7 will be just fine for years to come.
Third thing, if that laptop still has Vista on it then that is 80% of your problems with slowness right there. The other 20% being your slow HDD that comes with the laptop.

All that being said, with Windows 7 and a 7200rpm drive (or better yet an SSD) that laptop could still be really nice.

On to your PC, I think an Ivy Bridge PC would be overkill to sit there and be an HTPC. On the other hand, if you got a 3570k it would chew up anything you give it for over 5 years with what it's being used for. I think you could make a really nice mITX Z77 3570k rig to fit your needs just nice.
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Old 07-25-2012, 10:35 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Want a new home theater like pc. Dont know where to start

The laptop is running Windows 7 and it has a 7200 RPM Hitachi drive. Even if I were to get an SSD, the processor is not good enough to do on the fly transcoding plus be my dvr. It's only a core2duo 7300.
The new pc does not have to be tiny or blend in because it will be used in my room and I would like to be able to add maybe 2+ hard drives inside so that I can have all my media on there. So far I do see the i5-3570k being the most recommended option. I do not plan on overclocking it ever though. Just want everything stock
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Old 07-25-2012, 11:22 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Want a new home theater like pc. Dont know where to start

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Originally Posted by dominican2589 View Post
The laptop is running Windows 7 and it has a 7200 RPM Hitachi drive. Even if I were to get an SSD, the processor is not good enough to do on the fly transcoding plus be my dvr. It's only a core2duo 7300.
The new pc does not have to be tiny or blend in because it will be used in my room and I would like to be able to add maybe 2+ hard drives inside so that I can have all my media on there. So far I do see the i5-3570k being the most recommended option. I do not plan on overclocking it ever though. Just want everything stock
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I still think something is slowing you down, because my server has an AthlonX2 6000+ and handles on the fly with PS3 Media Server to my Xbox for 720p content (no 1080 because the Xbox goes lolderp at it). The C2D 7300 should be faster, but having a dedicated IB HTPC would suite your needs even better I agree.

They make larger mITX cases to fit more drives. Just comes with built in wireless and everything you would need for a nice HTPC in a small package.
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Old 07-31-2012, 09:58 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Want a new home theater like pc. Dont know where to start

the problem with my laptop is that windows media center and flash video dont mix well. they both are processor hungry which is why I want to get a pc that can handle both and then some
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