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Rebuilding old rig into hometheater PC

Last response: in Systems
May 13, 2009 8:16:13 AM

I have an old Dell Dimension 4600 that I want to rebuild into a Bluray home theater PC.

P4 3.0ghz
XP Pro
2gb Ram
Nvidia FX5200 AGP
Wireless Mouse

I'm planning on upgrading the vid card to an ATI Sapphire or something similar that can handle the Blurays

The only real problem I have is finding a compatible Blu drive. Looking on Newegg all I see are Sata and a USB external.

I noticed some slimline drives online stated that they were compatible with IDE, but I don't know anything about those drives so I thought I'd ask. I have a PCI Sata adapter I bought a while back to adapt a SATA HDD I purchased (my mistake), but I've never tried to hook up an optical drive to it.

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May 13, 2009 9:13:18 AM

oh wow! I didn't know about those adapters! cool!

Yeah, I didn't think I needed all that power either, I like that the 3450 has an HDMI, that's perfect for what I need.
May 13, 2009 9:56:14 AM

As for playback software, I was looking at Cyberlink, do you know of any cheaper alternatives for playing Blu discs and files on the HDDs?
May 13, 2009 10:24:52 AM

Hmm...There are certain BD drives that come with good s/w so check that out first...
But doubt all of them will have full functionality...

WinDVD 9 Plus Blue Ray, and the PowerDVD 9 are the best options...
May 13, 2009 3:20:08 PM

When you buy the blu-ray drive, make sure you get a retail version. That will come with the software you need to play the disk. OEM may or may not.
May 13, 2009 11:30:32 PM

PowerDVD 9 is a good option since you have an ATI card, it fully supports AVIVO HD decoding. I have to say my project was similar to yours, take real old parts and convert it to an HTPC. The HIS HD3650 is one of the best GPUs I've ever owned lol, it handles Blu-ray, has built in 5.1 Sound and comes with a DVI to HDMI adapter.

HIS - HD 3650 AGP 512MB 128-BIT GDD2 -

I was planning to buy the Sapphire version, I contacted the Sapphire support, but they said that their 3650 can't output sound but can outputup to 1080p with the adapter. Unfortunately the Sapphire doesn't come with any HDMI adapter, therefore I had to buy the HIS one. The HD3450 is also a nice choice for HD playback, its still has UVD so it'll decode fine.
May 15, 2009 6:29:27 PM

It'll output sound, you just need the HDMI sound driver. Also you may need the ATI DVI to HDMI adapter for this to work.
May 16, 2009 12:50:59 AM

thanks, I got the parts today and after reading the reviews on the Asus I skipped the install cd and downloaded the drivers from the site instead, which included the HDMI audio. Installing now
May 16, 2009 5:38:34 AM

Good luck to you, hopefully those HDMI auio sound driver work for ya. Anyways which DVI to HDMI adapter are you using?
May 17, 2009 5:32:24 AM

Bad news, after getting everything up and running it turns out that my CPU isn't up to the task of playing blurays. Guess I'm going to have to upgrade the mobo and cpu.

I would appreciate some inexpensive suggestions if anyone has them.
May 18, 2009 8:21:06 AM

No, I sent it back. I think I'm going to just start from scratch rather than trying yet another band-aid solution. I know someone who needs a computer for word processing anyway.

So, I already have the Blu drive, I need a case, PSU, Mobo, Processor, HDD, and a graphics card. Off to newegg once again...
May 18, 2009 6:39:57 PM

I have a question for you, lol. Did you connect your Blu-ray drive with a SATA or IDE connection? Did you use a PCI to SATA card?
May 19, 2009 6:41:26 AM

No, I used the IDE to Sata adapter, I tried the PCI Sata card before but my mobo didn't like it.
May 29, 2009 11:53:33 PM

Oh :( . May it be because of the IDE bandwith?