Rebuilding old rig into hometheater PC

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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  1. And you dont need that powerful card for HD playback...
    Even this card can do that...

    Actually even this can take care of HD...
  2. 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.
  3. 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?
  4. 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...
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. I wonder if the Asus card with HDMI will also output sound. That would make my day but it's not a deal breaker...
  8. 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.
  9. 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
  10. Good luck to you, hopefully those HDMI auio sound driver work for ya. Anyways which DVI to HDMI adapter are you using?
  11. 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.
  12. Are you using the HD 3450? I have the HD 3650 and a MKV or Blu-ray H.264 files plays smoothly, and I have a 2.40Ghz P4. Refer to this tutorial for DXVA help ;) . Great tutorial thanks to the person that created it! '
  13. 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...
  14. 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?
  15. No, I used the IDE to Sata adapter, I tried the PCI Sata card before but my mobo didn't like it.
  16. Oh :(. May it be because of the IDE bandwith?
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