Media PC for my parents


BUDGET RANGE: (500-800) Before Rebates

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: (Media center: streaming movies, bluray/dvd, tv tuner, internet)

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: (no monitor required but will be buying new TV for living room to hook it up to)


PARTS PREFERENCES: no preference


SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Not against it but shouldn't need for this

MONITOR RESOLUTION: (1920x1080 Dell monitor, but will most likely be using on a 42" TV that is yet to be purchased)

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: Would like to run everything TV related through this. My parents don't watch a ton of TV but would watch movies from netflix etc on this.

I recently built a i5 system for myself but have no idea what is the best for this type of non-gaming setup. Any recommendations on how to set this up are welcome. I plan to have a decent 600-1000 tv wall mounted and have this pc instead of the dvd player/vcr (?) and stuff. This will take the old computer out of my mom's office/sewing room to give her more space. I'm open to processors/cases etc, just looking for a general idea of what this will cost etc before I buy the stuff in about a month.
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  1. Best answer
    Here's some component suggestions:

    Intel Core i3-530 Clarkdale 2.93GHz 4MB L3 Cache LGA 1156 73W Dual-Core Desktop Processor

    ASUS P7H55-M PRO LGA 1156 Intel H55 HDMI Micro ATX Intel Motherboard $199.98 (CPU + motherboard combo)

    SILVERSTONE Black Aluminum / 0.8mm SECC GD05B micro-ATX HTPC case $89.99

    Antec EarthWatts Green EA-380D Green 380W Continuous power ATX12V v2.3 / EPS12V 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC Power Supply $44.99

    G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F3-10666CL8D-4GBHK $108.99

    SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive $89.99

    Hauppauge WinTV-HVR-2250 Media Center Kit Dual TV Tuner 1213 PCI-Express x1 Interface $123.99

    LITE-ON Black 4X BD-ROM 8X DVD-ROM 32X CD-ROM SATA Internal 4X Blu-ray Disc Reader Model iHOS104-08 $64.99

    Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 1-Pack for System Builders - OEM $99.99

    Total - $822.91
  2. ^+1...

    Or switch the CPU/MOBO combo out for the one below for additional savings with minimal (if any) performance decrease based on your parents needs....

    AMD Athlon II X3 435 Rana 2.9GHz & GIGABYTE GA-785GMT-USB3 AM3 AMD 785G
  3. MOBO - Gigabyte - $100

    CPU - i3-530 - - $120
    - If you live near a Microcenter I think you can pick these up for $100

    HDD - Seagate 7200.12 1 TB - - $79

    PSU - - Antec EarthWatts 430 - $60

    Blu-Ray ROM drive - - $60

    RAM - Crucial 2 x 2 GB - - $105

    Windows 7 Home Premium OEM - $100

    Wireless Keyboard & Mouse - - $34

    TV Tuner Card - - $124

    EDIT: TOTAL - $873

    CASE: Same as shortstuff_mt -

    EDIT: Ok, forgot the case...and also ... I was in the middle of posting when shortstuff that case I think I'll add these thoughts to shortstuff_mt's post...

    Right now the Seagate 7200.12 is $80 at you could save $10 for minimal performance difference (if you'd even notice it in day to day activities...I'd be surprised)

    The difference between the MOBO's really boils down to USB 3.0 support...the Gigabyte has it, the ASUS doesn't...Is the change worth it for future compatability....up to the OP
  4. Thanks guys, I am liking the first recommendation with a Seagate HD, I don't need Windows 7 I don't think since I have one that didn't work on their old computer. I do need wireless keyboard and mouse but I will let them pick that out. Seems like a nice looking, efficient machine. Now all I have to do is pitch it to them.
  5. What do you guys think about a modular PSU for this case? I've read there isn't much room for cabling. Any recommendations on which one? I don't see any under 500 watts
  6. I will be ordering this by the end of the week. Anyone have any last recommendations or changes. Also, can someone answer my question about modular PSU? thanks
  7. Best answer selected by slfranke.
  8. Yeah case looks nice, and doesn't look like much in cable management.

    BTW don't order that PSU expecting to get the rebate. I'm waiting around 3 months now and nothing. Other then that my 700w version is working just fine.
  9. So I got it built last night and hooked up to a brand new LG 42" TV. Everything seems to be working fine but the quality of picture from dvd's and other formats (avi, m4v, etc) is very pixelated and rough. Do I need a graphics card to help this or what? I was under the impression that this mobo/cpu could handle displaying 1080p clearly. I'm nervous to see how bad a bluray is going to look. The max windows resolution setting is 1280 x 1024. What gives?

  10. do you have the latest drivers installed?

    try downloading the latest drivers for your hardware and see if that helps...

    right now your system may be defaulting to the generic windows drivers for some of the hardware...and in that case, some of the hardware may not be optimized.

    EDIT: Also, FYI, I have that i3-530 with a Gigabyte motherboard...and it's displaying 1080 just fine...on a TV...and I did not have to install any specific driver for the TV

    That's what makes me think you need the latest drivers for your motherboard...

    What motherboard do you have in this rig?

    If I get a moment, I can look up where to get the latest drivers and provide a link...but it will be coming from the manufactures it's just as easy if you want to look it up yourself.
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