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First computer buil( HTPC), pretty newb

Last response: in Systems
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January 14, 2008 9:00:27 PM

Hi,

I hope this is the right forum to be posting in. I have a 50" 1080p TV I purchased in November that ive been dying to use as the monitor for a home theatre pc. I have a ps3 Ive been using to playback movies, and the games look great. However as most know the PS3 has fairly selective playback capabilities, and it doesnt output well in 5.1 in formats other than VOB. Anyways sorry here im getting to the point. I just wanted a PC that can playback 720/1080P movies, and play Flight Simulator X well at 1920x1080 res. I am not a big gamer, and I have the PS3 for that anyways. So my budget was $600 or around there with tax, so Im just wondering if any of you could let me know if I am missing some pieces to build a Pc, besides keyboard/mouse, etc. and if this hardware will get the job done. It also needs to be able to encode HD video fairly well.
Description Qty In stock Unit Total
Intel Core 2 Duo E6550 Dual Core Processor LGA775 Conroe 2.33GHZ 1333FSB 4MB Retail 1 Yes $179.92 $179.92
Gigabyte GA-P35-DS3L ATX LGA775 P35 1333FSB 1PCI-E16 3PCI-E1 3PCI SATA2 Sound GBLAN Motherboard 1 Yes $89.96 $89.96
Logisys CS-51WBK 51W Black 450W ATX Tower Case 4X5.25 2X3.5 5X3.5INT W/ Window 1 Yes $40.40 $40.40
Corsair XMS2 TWIN2X2048-5400C4 2GB 2X1GB PC2-5400 DDR2-667 CL 4-4-4-12 240PIN Dual Channel Memory 1 Yes $45.74 $45.74
XFX GeForce 8600GT 540MHZ 256MB 1.4GHZ DDR3 PCI-E VGA DVI-I HDCP HDTV Out DIRECTX10 Video Card 1 Yes $96.53 $96.53
Western Digital SE16 500GB SATA2 7200RPM 16MB Cache 8.9MS Ncq Hard Drive Oem 3YR Mfr Warranty 1 Yes $98.99 $98.99
OCZ Vanquisher CPU Heatsink AM2 LGA775 S939 S940 S754 92MM 800-2000RPM 1 Yes $18.90 $18.90

So it came to $607 CAD w/tax and I got free shipping. Any help would be appreciated, thanks.
January 14, 2008 9:29:40 PM

Ok, I would recommend a better card like the 3850 or smiler. Im pretty sure the 8600 will not handle the 50". The PSU is cr@p. Get a good top tire PSU listed here:
http://www.xtremesystems.org/forums/showthread.php?t=10...
or upgrade the PSU ASAP.
Good motherboard and CPU and RAM (See :
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/forum2.php?config=tom...
for P35-DS3L OCing help. )

Drop the Vanquisher. Get a good CPU cooler like this:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
or
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
^If going with this you need:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
January 14, 2008 9:40:11 PM

Ok thanks. What is the difference in PSU's anyway besides wattage? What will more wattage allow me to do?

Is the processor going to be enough?

Thanks
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January 15, 2008 12:45:43 AM

From what I understand, Flight Simulator X is a bit on the graphics intensive side. I'm pretty certain a 8600GT will not be able to handle 1920 x 1080 unless you set the graphics quality to low.

You should as your friends or post a question in the gaming section to find out just how capable the 8600GT will be.
January 15, 2008 12:50:04 AM

Also, if you do plan on buying a 8600GT make sure it has HDCP otherwise you will not be able to playback Blu-Ray or HD DVD at full resolution.

All 8600GTS cards support HDCP while only some 8600GT support it.
January 15, 2008 2:03:21 AM

What about an OS? I'd recommend Vista Home Premium and get a Media Center remote. Also what about a TV tuner card? I don't understand why so many people build HTPCs w/o even a basic TV Tuner Card ($30), even a good HD TV Tuner is only going to set you back $100-$150. For basic HTPC uses a 8600GTS should work fine, but if your going to play MS Flight Sim X it will not cut it. The only way you'd be able to play that game (or most games for that matter) would be to either lower the resolution by a lot or turn all settings way down. Either way it will look like crap on your TV. I hate to continue to put down your build, but there is something about a $35 case w/PSU that screams at me. Taking a little closer look the biggest thing I would have an issue with is that there is no room for anything bigger then 80mm fans and those lights look for gaudy. If this thing is going to be sitting in you living room you might want to consider how load it's going to be and what it's going to look like. I might be completely wrong on all what I've said, but it's something to think about.
January 15, 2008 8:36:42 PM

^Agreed o the TV Tuner.
January 18, 2008 7:40:52 PM

I have Media center 2005 im going to use. Here in Canada we cant use Tv Tuner cards to unscrambled our HD signals, you need a supported HD cable box which I already own.

The PSU I will upgrade first, and second im thinking I need an 8800gt then? Or could I get away with an hd3870?
January 18, 2008 8:38:41 PM

^Get the 8800GT if you want performance or the 3870 if you are at a budget.
January 18, 2008 9:45:11 PM

Wy2sl0 said:
I have Media center 2005 im going to use. Here in Canada we cant use Tv Tuner cards to unscrambled our HD signals, you need a supported HD cable box which I already own.

The PSU I will upgrade first, and second im thinking I need an 8800gt then? Or could I get away with an hd3870?



You still should use a tuner card in your HTPC. If you had one you could run from the out on your cable box to the in on your card and watch tv through windows media center. You could also use the computer like a Tivo to record, pause, rewind, and fast forward TV programs.
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