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Old 06-09-2010, 06:30 PM   #1
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Default Inexpensive media PC build

Hey guys,

I'm looking to put together 3 or 4 PCs around the house that will act as media clients. Basically, they will connect to shares on my main PC and play videos/music, maybe some web browsing as well. Not really looking to play HD or Blueray quality. What I am looking for is an inexpensive build that will handle the task. I'm leaning towards an Athlon II x2 or maybe x3 for the CPU. Anyone have any suggestions on how to do this cheaply? I'll probably just use some old cases I have lying around. What are your guys' thoughts on motherboards (with onboard everything), PSUs, etc?
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Old 06-10-2010, 01:39 AM   #2
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Default Re: Inexpensive media PC build

Athlon II X2 sounds like a good plan. Sempron 140 even. Put that on a 785G or 880G motherboard and enable hardware acceleration, and you've got a fairly potent machine for the price. 890GX wold also work, but that's a lot to pay just for the GPU. Any of those combos should play HD-BluRay. If you want to save even more, and aren't planning to upgrade, you could use an AM2+ 785G board, which would use DDR2.


As far as power supplies go, there's a 400W Corsair on sale right now:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16817139008

$15 instant rebate, plus a $20 MIR and free shipping...that's about 1/3 to 2/5 of what this usually costs.
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Old 06-10-2010, 12:33 PM   #3
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Default Re: Inexpensive media PC build

Cool, thanks for the input. I appreciate it.

I have another question concerning this build. I have Windows 7 Ultimate running on the PC that will store all the media files and will be sharing them. I plan on using some flavor of linux on the client PCs. I see no problem connecting to the shares via samba, but I do have concerns about being able to play back all of my media files. I have many different types such as wmv, avi, mpg, etc. Does anyone know of any linux distros that are capable of playing a lot of different media types right out of the box? I'm leaning towards ubuntu and maybe mythbuntu for the one or two machines that I might put capture cards in. Any thoughts?
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