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Convert gaming PC to HD video player

Last response: in Systems
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April 8, 2008 1:01:22 AM

Hi all,

A friend of my has just bought a high definition video camera and wants me to upgrade his current computer so that it can play the things he records through his HD television.

The current spec is as follows:

Case: Aerocool Aerocube
CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo 6400 (2.13Ghz)
Video: Geforce 7900GT 256MB
MoBo: ASRock Conroe945G-DVI (Micro Atx)
HDD: Seagate Barracuda.10 IDE 320GB
RAM: A-Data Vitesta DDR2-677 2x512mb
PSU: CGMI450 450watts 100-240v
DVD: NEC DVD-RW
PSU cooler: Zalman CNPS8000
TV Card: Hauppauge PVR-250 (model 32032)
O/S: Windows XP Pro
Keyboard: Microsoft Comfort Curve Keyboard
Mouse: Generic mouse

This was originally a machine used for gaming but wont be used for that purpose any more. The new uses will be day to day things such as surfing the internet and office applications, and video editing/playing (high definition).

I dont have any experience with High definition stuff so figured I'd seek some advice. Currently I am looking at making the following changes:

* Change the video card from 7900GT to 8500GT passive card with HDMI. There will be no gaming done on the PC so I figure to just downgrade it o the lowest HDMI passive card. Passive will also reduce the noise.

* Upgrade the RAM to 2GB

* Install an internal firewire card - his camera is firewire but the board currently does not support this.

* Either change the existing DVD-RW to Blu-ray or use an external Blu-ray drive

As I said I am no expert so any feedback on the changes or anything you think I've missed will be greatly appreciated.

Many thanks
April 8, 2008 1:40:41 AM

The CPU should be powerful enough to play blu-ray/1080p content on it's own, so you may just want to leave the 7900GT in there, otherwise looks good.
April 8, 2008 2:08:58 AM

Use ATI HD3850 or 3870. Overclock the CPU to 3.0.
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April 8, 2008 11:56:06 PM

Thanks for the reply. He has decided that Blu-ray is still too expensive so he wont get the blu-ray drive untail maybe next year. He has a Hi Def sony video camera (1080p) and wants to be able to watch the Hi Def stuff he records and edit it. I am assuming that above spec changes, excluding blu-ray, would allow him to do that - Is that right? he would simply connect to the HDTV using the HDMI port. Would any changes be necessary in the settings of the video card?
April 9, 2008 2:47:37 PM

You might also consider seriously upping his hard drive capacity. If he's planning on downloading and editing his HD material he'll fill up 320GB fairly quickly. A TB of storage can be had for ~$200 now-a-days.
!