I need help deciding how I should go about building my first PC. A few years ago I modded an Xbox to use as an Xbox media server. What I would like to do is build a PC that will eventually serve as my HD media server, using Windows or Linux, after my Xbox eventually dies. I'd like to go as cheap as possible, but still use decent components.
My question is this: I have an Intel Core Solo chip and 1 GB of memory that I took out of a Mac Mini that I can put to use if needful. I understand from what I read that I need an M socket motherboard, a socket 478 won't work. Correct?
Ouch! I only paid $80 for the Xbox and $15 for the modchip, $500-600 is a lot more than I was hoping to spend. I was thinking $100 for the MB, and another $70-80 for a decent case (or possibly more- I really like the Antec Fusion case :-) I already have ATA drives, DVD, etc that I can use. I really don't need it to do anything besides play .avi's and .mp3s.
Yes, I plan to use it to store and play back media.
Thanks for the tip on the video card: $30 after rebate @Newegg, I can live with that. But the motherboard I mentioned to use with the Core Solo doesn't have a PCI Express 2.0 slot, just 1.0 or 32-bit PCI :-/
So can anyone suggest a better motherboard and processor for under $120? Preferably mini or micro ATX?
Well, if i can suggest, you might want to look for an AMD 780G chipset based motherboard if your are building an HTPC or something similar. It has some really good integrated video and you'll only need a cheap AMD processor to be able to play HD videos on it.
Thanks, that's exactly the kind of information a PC noob like me needed. I hadn't even considered AMD, and the price for a processor/MB combo can be kept well under $150. That looks like a much more future-proof idea.
But now I have to sort thru all the AMD processor terminology:
Athlon 64, Athlon 64 X2, Athlon X2, Opteron, Sempron 64, Sempron LE
Brisbane, Manila, Orleans, Santa Ana, Sparta, and Windsor. Any clues?
Well, basically: Sempron is for budget desktop processor, Athlon is for maintstrean desktop processor and Opteron is for server processor. If you need more information, i bet there's tons on Wikipedia or AMD website.
As for which processor to choose, well it depends on what you want exactly; if you want the cheapest processor who's able to play HD video, than you'll end up with a Sempron processor (which are quite cheaps, i looked around and prices are around 40$). But if you want something a bit more "versatile" and powerful (which might or might not be useful in your case), i suggest you go with an Athlon 64 X2 (Athlon X2 is the "same thing" as Athlon 64 X2) processor. As for which Athlon 64 X2 processor to choose, well, i leave this to you. And if you do have extra money, try to get some "Energy Efficient" processor, which is something great for an HTPC or a similar system since you want those to be quiet.