How about an Acer Aspire X3200 as basis? (1 Viewer)

Msmax

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April 19, 2009
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I have been looking for parts and their prices to assemble nice small machine for HTPC use.

I stumbled on the Acer website where the X3200 is presented with very good specs for a HTPC in my opinion.
These are sold for ~349 euro! The size is also OK: very small for a desktop.

In the future I only have to add a TV card and maybe a BluRay player to this machine and I'm done.

Is this a good idea?
Please let me know what your opinion is.

Msmax
 

etheesdad

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  • November 8, 2008
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    Adelaide
    Specs appear to vary:

    EF9100A
    U3792A
    B3530A
    U3500A
    ED5600A

    Which configuration?

    Are planning to use the onboard (8200 or 9300 nvidia) graphics or plan to use a dedicated card?

    Which CPU model are you inclined toward?

    If you're thinking of adding a graphics card, the 220w PSU may need attention. (Unfortunately not many cards will run with a psu that small).

    My reading of the specs is that it has no PCI slots free. Im assuming this isnt correct, Seems strange to me that it wouldnt have free slots, but on the Acer page it states only the pci-e16x is free. (Probably worth investigating further) This may be a concern if you plan to add anything to the box- tuner cards other than pci-e for example.

    Both drive bays are occupied so there's no scope to add additional drives, which is fine if you dont plan to expand or if you will be using a NAS or similar, but, if you think you may want more storage down the track its a limitation worth considering.
     

    Msmax

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    April 19, 2009
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    I can not find those numbers on the dutch website but here are the specs:
    - AMD Athlon™ 64 X2 Dual-Core processor 5000,
    - 3GB DDR II RAM (2x 2GB, 1x 1GB),
    - 320GB HDD,
    - DVD-RW Double Layer,
    - NVIDIA® GeForce® 8200 up to 896MB VGA, HDMI,
    - card reader,
    - FireWire,
    - 1Gb LAN,
    - incl. USB US Int. keyboard & optical mouse
    - Part number 98.3BM7Z.T7P

    My plan was to use the onboard graphics card.
    Expect it to play HD and BR contents without any problem. If you think this GPU will not play BR then this machine is not an option for me.

    I'm using a 1TB NAS disk now in combination with an IBM T43 notebook. Not planned to add storage to this machine (only need an OS and Mediaportal on this drive). If needed then I can always replace the current drive with a higher capacity one.
    I do like to replace the DVD with a BR player.

    So, how does it look as a HTPC for only 349 euro?
     

    etheesdad

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  • November 8, 2008
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    Adelaide
    Im not saying it wont play br but it might be worth going into with the idea that you may need to put some money into the graphics if they're not up to your expectations. My reading of these chipsets is that they really need a Phenom to get up and pumping to play 1080.

    Cant give you a price/value indication as Im in Australia and the taxes over here are a lot lighter than where you are so we generally pay less for computer hardware.

    You might want to check out this thread
    https://forum.team-mediaportal.com/...oard-8200-8300-poor-playback-fix-found-50946/

    The 780G is supposed to be a step up from the 8200 and there's a lengthy thread about issues with its heavy cpu requirements, particularly for 1080i
    https://forum.team-mediaportal.com/...ce-amd-780g-mediaportal-43361/?highlight=780g

    Personally, Id be looking at something with a better psu to have the scope to add a dedicated card if required. You may find its cheaper to build something as the motherboards with 'good' integrated graphics actually cost quite a bit more than a stock mobo and probably break even if you factor psu + gpu into the equation. Cant provide you with prices in euros but when I was looking into it here cheap mobo + dedicated card was pretty close to the cost of a 8200 or 780g mobo on its own. I guess it depends on what the hardware prices are like in your part of the world.
     

    Msmax

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    April 19, 2009
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    Thanks for your helpfull advises and links. :D
    Will read them to get an idea about this GPU.

    I will have a closer look to the specs required for BR.
    The new machine I will buy/assemble must be able to play BR for sure.

    Msmax
     

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