putting together my media box (1 Viewer)

S

Stoll

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Hi everyone,
I was planning to put together a media box to use with Media Portal, and i was hoping to get some help from you guys.

I have some requieremnts:
I want it to be a barebone or a desktop pc.
I want it to have wireless lan
I want to use my Hauppauge PVR500 card
I want to hook it up to my lcd tv (vga,dvi,hdmi and component inputs)
I want to hook it up to my logitech z-5500 through an optical cable.
I was hoping not to exceed $1100

Any suggetsions on what parts i should put together for best use with Media Portal?

Thanks

chris
 

Lyxalig

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  • January 30, 2005
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    Hi fellow norwegian.

    This one should be easy - if I understand you correctly you allready have:

    LCD-TV
    one PVR-500
    Approx. 7000NOK

    Do you have any spare PC-parts-
    Please list them.

    I'll be happy to guide you to a healthy MP box within your budget-
    :)
    EDIT: Do you have a Windows XP licence?
     
    S

    Stoll

    Guest
    Heisann :D

    Yes, you understand right.

    What parts i allready have:
    LCD-TV
    Speakers
    Mouse
    Keyboard
    WinXP
    PVR500

    I dont have any other spare parts lying around that i can use for this.

    chris
     

    Lyxalig

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    Allrighty then.

    Samsung SpinPoint P120 250GB IDE ATA/133 8MB 7200RPM one or two of these depending on how much music, and divx you have.

    When it comes down to CPU-power you shouldnt worry, but if you want to have a fairly fast pc for the upcoming transcoding option and so on, I would go for no less than a AMD Sempron 3000+.

    Try to get a Nforce4 Motherboard without any fans . Remembre As few fans as possible. You als might want to replace the Boxed cpu fan with one somewhat more quiet.

    Have at least 512 MB Ram

    For GFX-card you can settle with the ones at aprox.600-800NOK - Remember you need a DX9 card- Try to find a fanless one. I have A Radeon 9550SE that does it for me.

    For the wireless part I' usually recommend a usb-plug, and a 2 meter long usb cable. Put the thing out of sight, and get good signal strenght.

    When it comes down to the casing (kabinett) you shoud decide on one of your liking- You can have one of the ones with IMON inside VFD-display, and remote and such. I don't so you'll need to search the forums. I'm not sure if they are supported or not-

    For Remote I use a MCE05 OEM-remote. You can find it at netshop I believe.

    Remember to get a DVD-burner as well.

    CPU - 900NOK
    RAM - 900NOK
    GFX - 900NOK
    Remote - ?350?
    Casing - ???
    HDD - 1000NOK
    MB - 700NOK
    DVD - 600NOK
    FANS - 200-500NOK

    I think you'll be fine with approx- 7000 :)

    What do you think`? Other takers on this -
    [/url]
     

    PLeblanc

    Portal Member
    February 10, 2005
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    I'm hitting a similar wall. What hardware to get.?.

    I'm hearing sempron is fine, but xp-64 venice *may* be cooler. Costs about $50 more (US) But once you go with the venice, then you need socket 939. And for my choice, (a low profile only) ahanix mce301/302, that means onboard video out, since there isn't much in low profile pci express out. The xpress 200 motherboards have the equivalent of an ati x300 out, but I've seen no specs or comparisons, so I don't know how they handle mpeg2 or higher bitrate mpeg2 (like HD).

    If you go with the sempron, then it should be cool too (since it is 90mm also) and the boards for it support agp. The volari v3xt ($40-50) claims to have on board mpeg2 decoding up to 20mbit/sec, so hd is there, and it has a component out.

    But as I have said, I just don't know. Slightly less performance from the system, but know that you can handle hd (sempron and volari), or take your chances with a beefier board that might be cooler (the venice core athlon 64 xp3000 and xpress200 mobo.)

    Any opinions? I have cost figures. The Venice+xpress seems to cost out about $100 higher, but that includes ddr2 memory (for about $20 higher).
     

    vbap

    Portal Pro
    February 15, 2005
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    ahanix mce301/302

    I may be "upgrading" my HTPC to this enclosure later in the year, and would be interested in how you go. I was planning on the MSI M/B with Venice Athlon, and also noted the problem with low profile PCIe. The ones I've seen are X300"SE", which may be equivalent of X200 onboard (???no idea - haven't researched).

    I've would be interested in your progress...

    Maybe, towards end of year when I finally make the plunge, more variety of M/B and low-profile (+fanless!) graphics cards will have made it to market...
     

    Lyxalig

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    Good thoughts, but the question remains. Why do you want a monster under your TVset? Keep it simple if you can, cut the cost along the midlleway. Buy the parts that get you the most "beef" for your money, and invest them into what really matters .:..: A DECENT GFX-card WITH DX9. Please, No MB-out, .:EDIT:. The ATI® Radeon XPRESS 200 Chipset might be good enough :oops: :..:. That would make your HTPC croumble. MP uses the latest DX9 technology and renders like a pc-game.

    Put some money into HDD-drives, and digitalize all your DVD's, and music.
    250-500GB would impress your wife or friends as you have enough room for anything.
    Remember that your PVR-500 outputs recordings at aprox. 4GB an hour as well.

    So lets see:

    - Sempron 3000+ is the most cost effective at the moment.
    - Seagate drives are quiet, and you want one or two 250GB drives. They cost a thousand NOK a piece, and 250GB is the cutting point of Price/Space ratio.
    - Any radeon 9550 and upwards, or any Gforce FX5200 and upwards will go. Remember to buy one of the passive-cooled ones.
    - 500MB Ram is sufficient, and I honestly don't know if 1GB would make a difference.
    - For MB, pick the one you feel fit your casing, and try to get one of the Nforce ones. The onboard Soundcard on those are good enough for your use. MAke sure it is passively cooled.
    - Inside the casing, use some time and money to make it all fit snuggle. Experiment with a casefan, and round cables.
    - MY BEST ADVICE YET: Buy a good Powersupply. )I cannot stress this enough. Every inch of you PC will make use of this-. This mist 500w is great. The best I've had.
    - For casing have a look at HTPC-kabinetter at these norwegian online stores.
    www.vendur.no
    www.komplett.no
    www.digitalimpuls.no
     
    S

    Stoll

    Guest
    Thanks, this is great.

    Any comments on this setup so far?

    * AMD Sempron 3100+ 1.8GHz Socket 754,256KB, BOXED m/vifte
    * Seagate Barracuda 7200.8 250GBIDE ATA/100 8MB 7200RPM
    * PowerColor Radeon 9550 256MB DDRAGP8X, ATI 9550, DVI-I, TV-Out, Retail
    * Corsair Value S PC3200 DDR-DIMM 512MBUnbuffered, Non-parity, 64Megx64, CL2.5
    * Asus K8N4-E Deluxe,nForce4-4x,Socket-754ATX, SATA, GbLAN, Firewire, DDR,PCI-Ex16
    * NEC DVD recorder ND-3540A IDE Black OEMDVD+R/+RW/DVD-R/-RW (Dual layer)


    chris
     

    Brocklander

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    Lyxalig said:
    Sempron 3000+ is the most cost effective at the moment.

    What's the difference between the Athlon 3000XP and the Sempron 3000? Is it the same kind of difference as Pentium / Celeron, or are they on fairly even footing?
     

    Lyxalig

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    The difference is that Athlon XP is out...

    You can choose between Athlon 64 with venice core, and get a fairly cool CPU with 512kb cache, or the cheaper Sempron.

    Intel Celeron = AMD Sempron

    Remember that if you go for the Sempron. Buy the 256kb cache version. This is based on a better core and gives better performance. compares better to the 64bit version. And if you want to upgrade... its the same socket.

    So basically you should consider a Pentium M CPU, but hey! there goes your budget. :)
     

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