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Multiple needs, what should I do?

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November 4, 2010 3:31:40 PM

I used to be very in touch with all the newest tech, but now I am out of touch... so I can use your help! I have read all about mediabuilds, nas builds, gaming builds, etc on these forums, but I still don't know what to do. I currently have a 2003 desktop that turns on about 25% of the time, and a brand new work supplied awesome laptop that I can game on and do all of my work, but my wife likes to take it over when I get home :) 

What I am looking for is as follows. I would like to have a media center that I can put our pictures, videos, music, etc on. I enjoy a lot of unlicensed fansub anime so it would be nice to be able to run torrent downloads. We have a playstation 3 so I guess I could just use a storage system and stream the data to my PS3. My wife tends to take over my lappy when I get home so she can browse, play on facebook, write docs, but she does not do anything with heavy processing. I have been playing with the idea of getting a really inexpensive laptop for the wife and then putting together a new budget media center or setting up a NAS for our media storage only. What would you suggest - since I have a PS3 should I just save the money and invest in a NAS, or would it be in our best interest to get a dedicated media center that would cost more?

I'm being fairly ambiguous, but then again I am a total newbie again so I'm having to start from the beginning. Please let me know if I can add anything else for you.

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November 4, 2010 3:56:08 PM

So on this media system are you only looking for a system that will hold all your media and play it? Do you play games? Looking to play High Definition content on your HDTV?
If all you need is a cheap PC to play your music, shows/store your pics, and plays music then I can try and suggest a really cheap build that can do mostly those things. I personally would not store my important media like photos on my ps3.
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November 4, 2010 4:12:47 PM

I have an older HDTV so it doesn't have HDMI, but in the near future I think we will be getting a new TV - ours is starting to turn shades of red and pink where the bulb is getting old and a replacement is over 500 bucks. I do play games but my laptop handles the newest games very well, I just have an extra hard disk I bought for my own personal stuff so nothing is installed within the work drives. My old desktop has some storage space but it is a beast, just kicks out a ton of heat, uses a ton of power, is super loud, and so I don't keep it on. Plus it's just old. I guess I pretty much just want something that I can watch my videos on in all sorts of different formats, leave the system on, output music, etc. If I just use it for storage, I will probably but a separate low end laptop for the wife so she has something to work on as well.
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November 4, 2010 4:37:25 PM

a HTPC might be a good choice for you, however if you do go the htpc route and don't mind having a larger case there are some great valued i5/phenom ii pcs that can be built for a reasonable price. What is your budget?
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November 4, 2010 6:43:36 PM

My max would be about $650 right now, with anything below that being icing. Anything more than that and I'll have to continue saving up but it can be done - plus having a target is good too.
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November 4, 2010 8:37:17 PM

$650 is a good budget, are their any peripherals or components you may have or need? http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/261222-31-build-advic... If you fill in that template it will really help in choosing the right parts for you and knowing what you may or may not already have
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November 9, 2010 5:12:29 PM

Best answer selected by Axoliien.
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