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Media Center Build Advice/Help

Last response: in Systems
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April 10, 2007 2:14:40 PM

Hi guys, I need a bit of advice with a media center that I am currently building.

This is the current spec:
Antec Fusion Case
AMD Sempron XP 2800+ (s754)
Gigabyte Motherboard (AGP 8x, s754, DDR400, mATX)
512MB DDR PC2700 Unbranded RAM
80GB IDE Seagate HDD
ATI Radeon 7000 AGP 4x 64MB? (DVI, Composite Out)
DVD ROM Drive 16x
Media Center 2005 OEM


These are the additional parts that I have available:
AMD 64 3200+ (s754)
1gb DDR PC3200 Geil Value RAM
GeForce 6800GT 256MB (Zalman VF700 CU Cooler, Dual DVI + SVideo)


And these are the parts that I still need to buy:
TV Tuner - Dual Analogue
300GB+ HDD
DVDR Drive
Remote + Receiver
Wireless Mouse + Keyboard
Wireless PCI Card
Decent s754 Cooler


This media center is going to be used on a 42-50inch HDTV for PVR (Recording, Time shifting etc), very light gaming and playback of HD video from the HDD (720p max). I really dont want to have to spend a lot of money on the rest of the needed components.

And now my questions:

Should I upgrade the motherboard so that I can use the AMD 64 3200+ or will the Sempron suffice?

Is the 512MB PC2700 RAM good enough or should I wack on the 1GB PC3200?

Is the Radeon 7000 gonna cut it for light gaming and HD content playback or should I use the the 6800GT? OR should i buy a newer graphics card that has HDMI out?

The TV Tuner I have been looking at is the Hauppauge WinTV PVR-500MCE because it has dual analogue tuners (Cant get freeview/digital in this neck of the woods) but it is quite pricey at £120~, would it be better/cheaper to get 2x analogue tv tuners? If so do they have to be the same brand/model to work in dual mode?

Is it best to get a standard MS MCE remote and mouse+keyboard combo or is there better alternatives?


Thats my main questions for the time being, thanks in advance for any help/advice!
April 10, 2007 3:39:20 PM

I have a gaming HTPC with Opty 170 and I'll tell you I appreciate the speed when copying dvd's or encoding Video. I really wanted to make a recomendation on the Hard Drive I like my Segate Baracuda 320 MB Drive @ only $95 it's a great value.





I ended up with so many remotes 1 from Creative Platnum one from HD Wonder one from Zalman Case, I've tried the mouse with Gyra Scope. The remotes only work well in the program they came with. The Media Center Remote is only usefull in Media Center Mode. I let friends play Battle Field from the couch in my Living Room. They prefer a small wired laptop size keboard USB with a hub built in for a wireless USB reciever for the Logitec Media Center Mouse. I don't have the software installed for the Logitec but that is a decent choice.
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