Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

New media pc built - your feedback welcome!

Last response: in Systems
Share
April 6, 2008 9:09:55 PM

Thanks to the suggestions in my other thread here - http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/250127-31-build-media-options, I've decided to build the media pc and get a NAS later on.

The goal of this machine is to run a single HDMI cable (video and audio) from the PC to the HDTV (which is a Sharp Aquos LC-46D-82U). The machine will be for media and development only, no gaming. Suggestions from the other post led me to a motherboard and chipset that included HDMI output, so there is no need for an additional video card. Operating system will likely be Windows Vista Home Edition (although suggestions welcome).

Here are the specs I've put together on the media PC. All these parts are on NewEgg.

  • COOLER MASTER Mystique RC-632S-KKN1-GP Black Aluminum/ SECC ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail $79.99
  • GIGABYTE GA-MA78GM-S2H AM2+/AM2 AMD 780G HDMI Micro ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail $99.99
  • COOLER MASTER Real Power Pro RS-750-ACAA-A1 ATX12V / EPS12V 750W Power Supply - Retail $129.99
  • AMD Athlon 64 X2 4000+ Brisbane 2.1GHz Socket AM2 65W Dual-Core Processor Model ADO4000DDBOX - Retail $55.99
  • G.SKILL 4GB(2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F2-6400CL5D-4GBPQ - Retail $79.99
  • Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 ST3250410AS 250GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM $64.99
  • LG Blu-ray/HD DVD-ROM & 16X DVD±R DVD Burner Black SATA Model GGC-H20L - Retail $184.99
  • Rosewill RCX-Z3 92mm Ball CPU Cooler - Retail $49.99

    Total = $750

    What do you think? Specs? OS? Alternative choices? The BlueRay drive is a bit of a splurge.

    NAS to come later, suggestions welcome also! Looking for a RAID 5 with supported clients to include Mac and Windows.
  • More about : media built feedback

    April 6, 2008 9:54:10 PM

    (I'm assuming this machine is only going to be used as a HTPC and you have another system for your other tasks.)

    Excellent mobo for a HTPC setup. However, I would get a different case out of personal preference... probably a mini tower or desktop case.

    The PSU you picked is overkill and of low quality. This Antec earthwatts 380W is a good, 80 PLUS-certified PSU that should suit your needs: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

    I would ditch the CPU cooler and stick with the stock one that comes with the 4000+. I don't see any reason to get an aftermarket one unless you plan to heavily overclock your machine.

    Use the saved money towards getting a tuner...
    April 6, 2008 10:17:30 PM

    Actually, I'm planning to use this machine for everything - primarily media, but also development and design work, as well as home utilities.

    The motherboard was asking for a min 400W PSU. To account for the other drives (HDD and DVD) in there and for later expansion, what would be the best wattage to shoot for?

    Tuner is excellent idea - thanks.
    Related resources
    April 6, 2008 11:20:29 PM

    Great suggestion; I just read up on the design of that heatsink and it sounds fantastic.

    Here are my updates per suggestions:

  • Antec earthwatts EA500 ATX12V v2.0 500W Power Supply - Retail $89.99
  • Thermalright Ultra-120 CPU Cooling Heatsink - Retail $59.99
  • Thermalright AM2 RM (Rev.A) Retention bracket - Retail $2.49

    Potentially this tuner, for use with Vista

    Hauppauge WinTV-HVR 1800 MCE Kit 1128 NTSC/ATSC/QAM/FM TV Tuner Card w/MCE Remote - Retail $99.99
    April 6, 2008 11:23:04 PM

    ^ Get a Corsair 450VX, it has enough power to run a 8800GTS and a few HDDs/DVD. Its $75 on Newegg and $60 after MIR.
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=E...

    Not being a fanboi here but I am curious to as why you picked an AMD build while you could have gotten a better performing Intel for about the same price.
    April 6, 2008 11:43:03 PM

    Shadow: AMD has an awesome 780G chipset that can do 1080p decoding in hardware---you're talking flawless playback on a Sempron 2800+. if you want a mediacenter PC, the 780G is the no brainer way to go.

    While it can do HD pretty easily, it won't make a great gaming machine unless a better PCI-e card is added.
    April 7, 2008 12:01:48 AM

    You can build a full system that runs better and quieter and is also more compact for $550.
    April 7, 2008 12:41:40 AM

    hesskia said:
    Shadow: AMD has an awesome 780G chipset that can do 1080p decoding in hardware---you're talking flawless playback on a Sempron 2800+. if you want a mediacenter PC, the 780G is the no brainer way to go.

    While it can do HD pretty easily, it won't make a great gaming machine unless a better PCI-e card is added.

    Ok, now I see why you chose this set up.
    April 7, 2008 1:48:49 AM

    Shadow, thanks for the PSU suggestion.

    Resonance451, ok, suggestions?
    April 7, 2008 1:53:41 AM

    your still overkill on the PSU.
    that system needs less than 200 watts. just use a "it came with the case" PSU. maybe get a case that uses full ATX PSUs in case the cheap one doesn't cut it.
    why a full ATX case?
    get a micro ATX case, maybe even one with half height expansion card bays. I'm looking at building a hidden HTPC with a 780g in a small 1u server case, with eSATA for DVD and potentialy bluray in the future.
    maybe a lancube style case if your going to get more performance oriented in the future.
    as most media PCs are in small cases, consider a small cooler. I picked up a opteron 165 4 heatpipe cooler off of ebay a while back for about $15. its way more cooling than my 65watt brisbane needs. the extruded AL stocker will even let you do some OCing if you want.
    April 7, 2008 1:57:43 AM

    there is no hdmi with audio at the moment for pc.

    and your spec is exactly what i had in mind for a budget media/gaming pc.
    April 7, 2008 3:10:12 PM

    groo said:
    your still overkill on the PSU.
    that system needs less than 200 watts. just use a "it came with the case" PSU. maybe get a case that uses full ATX PSUs in case the cheap one doesn't cut it.
    why a full ATX case?
    get a micro ATX case, maybe even one with half height expansion card bays. I'm looking at building a hidden HTPC with a 780g in a small 1u server case, with eSATA for DVD and potentialy bluray in the future.
    maybe a lancube style case if your going to get more performance oriented in the future.
    as most media PCs are in small cases, consider a small cooler. I picked up a opteron 165 4 heatpipe cooler off of ebay a while back for about $15. its way more cooling than my 65watt brisbane needs. the extruded AL stocker will even let you do some OCing if you want.

    Never! Those "it came with the case" PSU are of low quality 90% of the time. The Antec cases that comes with a Antec PSU are OK, else its cr@p.
    April 7, 2008 3:27:09 PM

    Sell the "it came with the case" psu on ebay for 19.99 and get some of your money back to get a decent psu.
    April 7, 2008 4:57:41 PM

    ^ That would work ;) 
    April 8, 2008 3:42:34 AM

    ya they are crap, but they are good enough for a low power non-OCed system. I used my "it came with the case" in my current one with some OCing untill about a year later, I was getting something ocasionaly touching the fan and pulled it for my noisy PC P&C. I think I fixed it, and it may go in the Mother-in-Laws computer next. I'll be getting a "silent" PSU for my next build, and regret selling my fanless PSU.

    Crap PSUs spiking the whole system are pretty rare, and thats exensive insurance for a cheap system.
    April 8, 2008 7:58:05 PM

    ^ I still recommend you ditch the PSU that comes with the case (90% of the time they are Tire 4 and lower). Even a Tire 3 PSU would be a better choice.
    !