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Old 08-25-2006, 11:27 PM   #1
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Default Building a media center pc

I'm wanting to build a media center pc. I would love some opinions on what I should put in it.
I already have a 450watt Coolermaster power supply, a NEC DVD Rom, aluiminum case and 400G Western Digital SATA Hard drive. I'm considering purchasing an ABIT KN8 SLI Socket 939 NVIDIA nForce4 SLI ATX AMD Motherboard, Sound Blaster Audigy2 zs Platinum(with front panel), CORSAIR XMS 1GB Unbuffered DDR 400 (PC 3200) Dual Channel Memory, PNY VCG66256XPB Geforce 6600 256MB 128-bit DDR PCI Express x16 Video Card and either AMD Athlon 64 X2 3800+ Manchester 2000MHz HT 2 x 512KB L2 Cache Socket 939 Dual Core Processor or AMD Athlon 64 3500+ Venice 2000MHz HT 512KB L2 Cache Socket 939 Processor (not sure I need a dual core for what I do and would love to save the money). I was looking at some tv tuners from Hauppauge, Leadtek or MSI, I just don't know if I need a tv tuner.
What I want the computer to do is stream my mp3's to my stereo and be able to see what song is playing on my old 19" CRT as well as work with playlist if needed. It would be nice to be able to watch tv but that isn't my priority. I may from time to time burn cd's while surfing the net or listening to mp3's.
So my questions are... Do I need a dual core processor? Would Win Media Center Edition be better than Home edition for me? Do I need a tv tuner card should I decide to hook this up to my tv instead of my crt monitor? Also if you have an suggestions on a cheaper(but good quality)way to build this system please let me know.
Thanks for your help.
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Old 08-25-2006, 11:32 PM   #2
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Default Re: Building a media center pc

Well.. first of all, if you want AMD, i'd suggest you look at socket AM2 motherboards/processors, it's basically socket 939, but with a few tweaks allowing DDR2 memory. Dual-Core is nice to have, and the price of the 3800+x2 is pretty... irresistible right now, so I would just go for it. media center.. home eh i don't even know the difference and i would use a CRT unless you're only going to be watching movies on your computer. TV screens usually distort the picture and are a huge strain on your eyes. that looks like an alright build though if you're set on s939
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Old 08-25-2006, 11:32 PM   #3
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Default Re: Building a media center pc

no, for media center, get a intel core 2 duo. and change the motherboard. make the graphics card a 6800 or even a 7600.
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Old 08-25-2006, 11:50 PM   #4
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Default Re: Building a media center pc

I'd suggest getting the X2 3800+ 35watt version which is low power consumption which will lower temps and noise. Dont get Core2 Duo. OVerkill for a HTPC, unless you are streaming stuff like 24/7
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Old 08-26-2006, 12:27 AM   #5
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Default Re: Building a media center pc

Quote:
Originally Posted by AMD RULES
I'd suggest getting the X2 3800+ 35watt version which is low power consumption which will lower temps and noise. Dont get Core2 Duo. OVerkill for a HTPC, unless you are streaming stuff like 24/7
exactly, an htpc is actually one thing that the core 2 duo is NOT suitable for, i thought id never say this but the $200 price tag for the cheapest conroe is too much, the 3800+ is a great option, its very cheap and performs really well.

that said, if you DO indeed have an additonal $100 you could upgrade the same set up to a core 2 system.
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Old 08-26-2006, 11:34 AM   #6
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Default Re: Building a media center pc

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zaki
exactly, an htpc is actually one thing that the core 2 duo is NOT suitable for, i thought id never say this but the $200 price tag for the cheapest conroe is too much, the 3800+ is a great option, its very cheap and performs really well.

that said, if you DO indeed have an additonal $100 you could upgrade the same set up to a core 2 system.
yep.

Also, you don't really need a kickass gaming video card for this htpc.

A Geforce 7600GS is the perfect choice for a HTPC. With its passive heatsink, no fans lower noise. But this card will still be excellent when viewing movies and photos.
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Old 08-26-2006, 02:45 PM   #7
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Default Re: Building a media center pc

Thanks for all the replies. This helps me a lot. There are a couple of things I need to clear up. My fault. I already have an Audigy2 Zs in my current desktop. I'm finding that I'm not using the front panel at all but I got it on new egg for $72. I couldn't pass that up. So if I buy just the Audigy2 zs for $65 on new egg, I could move the front panel to my media computer. That is why I was going with that sound card. Then as far as the Geforce 6600 card it is about half the price as the 7600, with a price tag of $55. So I was trying to go for a good card but at a decent price. Also I could use the 6600 in my current computer and move the Geforce 6200 to my media system I'm building.
I'm considering using the dual core on my current desktop and moving the cpu in it to the media center. It is a AMD Athlon 64 3200+ Venice 2000MHz HT 512KB L2 Cache Socket 939. The pricing of the dual core is so tempting for me to buy it for my current desktop. So I would be upgrading my computer and building a media center with my older parts. I thought this way I can have the best of both worlds.
I hope this makes sense. If not just ask. Sorry for the confusion. That is my fault for not clarifying things. I just didn't know how much of a system I needed for my media computer and you have answered my questions. But that is why I was asking if I needed a dual core for the media system.
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