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What can I do with my old system?

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September 3, 2009 4:55:49 PM

I am currently building a new gaming rig and I can't decide what to do with my old desktop (a 2 year old gaming pc that I built). Here are the stats for it:

500W PSU
8800GT 512MB (BFG)
Intel Core 2 Duo E6550 Conroe 2.33GHz LGA 775 65W Dual-Core Processor Model BX80557E6550
4 GB DDR2 RAM
GIGABYTE GA-P35-DS3L LGA 775 Intel P35 ATX
Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 ST3160815AS 160GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Hard Drive
Creative Sound Blaster Audigy SE 7.1 Channels PCI Interface Sound Card

I could possibly sell it for ~$400, but I would rather do something useful with it.

What would it take to turn this into a media/entertainment center? I could grab a 1080p TV, maybe set it up as a hulu/boxee/mythtv box, drop in a blu ray player etc. But what specifically would I need to add in order to get true HD television/blu ray? Thanks in advance.

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a b B Homebuilt system
September 3, 2009 5:16:17 PM

just an hd graphics card and blu ray reader
September 3, 2009 5:21:30 PM

Doesnt the 8800GT already support HD video and sound? It looks like it has an HDTV connection and takes SPDIF audio input for HDMI output.
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a b B Homebuilt system
September 3, 2009 5:23:38 PM

so you got the later version 8800 but if you got an hmdi cable you good to go
a b B Homebuilt system
September 3, 2009 6:54:58 PM

You can probably tell from my name what I do with old gaming rigs ;) , but to make it clear I use them to:

1) 2-box MMOs,
2) display reference info for games (and other things) while 1-boxing the new rig,
3) have something for the friends/grandkids to use and to compete with,
4) hold drive-images of the HDs in the other three rigs on my network. Since the backup runs far less than the main, this is an effective backup solution for me,
5) Store ripped copies of DVDs. I have found very little need to use anything other than a DVD player to play them on my HD TV. NOTHING works that cleanly, cheaply, clearly. And most times why watch DVD's on my 27" display when I can use my 65" display?

I also reinstall the now back-up system in a more portable case to carry it to my other location. DVDs come with me, and this is one situation where playing a DVD from a PC helps me.

I *previously* used that PCs TV Tuner for recording the odd program off cable that couldn't be recorded on my DirecTV DVRs. But recent changes in the cable signal required many folks to install set top boxes eliminating "tuning" any channels at the PC. And in my case, those signal changes continually blow the splitter & filter required to run (basic) cable into my whole-house TV distribution system.
September 3, 2009 7:52:05 PM

Do you use a KVM switch between the two machines to 2 box or just two separate mice/keyboards?
a b B Homebuilt system
September 3, 2009 8:08:49 PM

Separate, because it works best (and simultaneously) for me not only in games, but for all other uses.

I also use a pair of Ideazon Fang keypads, one to each system. It is by far the most versatile, left-or-right-handed macro pad on the market. In MMOs, there's no need to use anything more than the Fang to control the 2-boxed toon.

http://www.steelseries.com/us/products/keyboards/fang/i...

(I have the older models, same visual.)

a b B Homebuilt system
September 3, 2009 8:15:00 PM

You need to connect the SPDIF cable to output sound from your sound card to your 8800GT to use over HDMI. Of course you also need a DVI to HDMI adapter. You could also use component out for the video and hook up the sound separately. If you want to use it as a Blu Ray player, legally, you should use an HDMI cable and your card needs to have the HDCP key. If it doesn't then you will have to purchase a Radeon or something that does. You will also of course need a blu ray drive :D  with the appropriate software.
!