Media Centre

Hi peeps, I have just had a friend ask me to spec up an HTPC. Budget of about £400.
I specced up a pretty good system but the thing is I know gaming hardware but not really media centre stuff. Any recommendations with regards to amd or intel based systems. Which mobo is best, nice and quiet SFF PSU? Etc. I was gonna go for vista media centre as well.
Any input much appreciated.
Cheers!!
3 answers Last reply
More about media centre
  1. Post your preliminary selection & we'll critique.

    What e-shops do you plan to use?
  2. ebuyer or overclockers.co.uk are the shops i tend to use.

    spec from ebuyer:

    4gb kingston ddr2
    Samsung SpinPoint F1 HD103UJ 1TB Hard Drive
    Piano Black Generic Media Centre Case no PSU
    Micro ATX 300W PSU
    Sony BDU-X10S Blu-Ray BD-ROM
    Gigabyte GA-73PVM-S2H GeForce 7100
    Intel Pentium Dual Core E2220
    Scythe Shuriken Quiet Low Profile Cooler
    Totals £350

    Now my mate had a go too and came up with:

    Antec Minuet 350 Piano Black Slimline MATX Case - With 350W PSU
    ASUS M3N78-EM GeForce 8300 Socket AM2
    Sony BDU-X10S Blu-Ray BD-ROM
    Scythe Shuriken Quiet Low Profile Cooler
    Kingston 4gb ddr2
    AMD Athlon 64 X2 4850e
    Samsung SpinPoint F1 HD103UJ 1TB
    Plus grease and cables.

    His build came to £390.
    Is there a preference of chipset type, some are better at bluray decoding etc than others?
    Cheers
  3. The GF8300 is good for bluray.

    http://www.nvidia.com/object/product_geforce_8300_mgpu_us.html

    The problem won't be the hardware, but rather software. I don't see any BD software listed, so he will need a movie player capable of BD playback. Ok, the BD drive comes with Cyberlink PowerDVD BD Edition Player. Make sure of that cuz the software can cost quite a bit of money.

    Ditch the thermal grease. Use the stock cpu cooler from AMD. There's some on the bottom of the cooler. Get one extra SATA cable for the 2nd SATA drive. The mobo comes with one.

    The Shuriken is optional unless he wants quietness.

    The rest looks good.
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