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<$300 Media Center Computer

Last response: in Systems
December 21, 2010 4:20:08 AM

Approximate Purchase Date: today if possible!

Budget Range: <$300

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Watching Video content (1080p video files, DVDs, Slingbox, Netflix, YouTube, etc.)

Parts Not Required: (e.g.: keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers, OS): I already have keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers, and OS.

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Any website that can ship to me by December 24th (i.e., NewEgg with 3 day shipping).

Country of Origin: USA (Massachusetts)

Parts Preferences: none

Overclocking: no

SLI or Crossfire: no

Monitor Resolution: computer will be used on 1920x1080p TV

Additional Comments:

This computer will be solely used as a media center computer, directly using our 1080p TV as a monitor/speakers. The computer will be used to watch slingbox, play DVDs, and watch video files. My main requirement is that the processor/RAM be powerful enough to run 1080p video files without breaking a sweat. That's really the main concern. As long as the processor can run 1080p video, I know it can do everything else that I will need. Hard drive can be as small as 250 GB and 5400 rpm if necessary. Not much will be stored on this computer. HDMI output would be really nice but isn't necessary because the TV has VGA input.

Question: This would be my first time ordering from NewEgg (if I order from them). If I order today (12/21), do they ship immediately? Would it arrive by 12/24? Would I be better off looking at prebuilt computers at B&M stores around here?

a b C Monitor
December 21, 2010 4:40:25 AM

a b C Monitor
December 21, 2010 4:45:44 AM

Here is a build -
X2 + 880G board - Would suffice for a normal PC that can do 1080p playback,...

X3 + 880G - Would multitask well


Actually even 2GB would do, but its your call


PSU - Antec BP-430 This is an 80+ unit and would do fine for this build,...

Samsung F3 500 GB

Related resources
December 22, 2010 11:19:59 PM

Thanks a lot guys...I actually went with a mixture of the two. Before I open any of this stuff, can you make sure I didn't screw up any compatibility with this build:

APEX TX-381-C Black Steel Micro ATX Tower Computer Case

AMD Athlon II X2 255 Regor 3.1GHz Socket AM3 65W Dual-Core Desktop Processor ADX255OCGQBOX + BIOSTAR TA880GB+ AM3 AMD 880G HDMI Micro ATX AMD Motherboard combo

GeIL Value 2GB 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10660) Desktop Memory Model GV32GB1333C9SC

Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 ST3500418AS 500GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

Antec Basiq BP430 430W Continuous Power ATX12V Version 2.2 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Power Supply

ASUS Black 24X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 12X DVD+R DL 24X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 12X DVD-RAM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM 2MB Cache SATA 24X DVD Burner - Bulk - OEM

I essentially did batuchka's tower and hard drive, gkay09's mobo/proc combo, RAM, and disc drive, and the PSU they both recommended. I think I'm all set - right?


December 23, 2010 3:20:19 AM

Thanks gkay09 for the update,

I already ordered the PSU (and everything else) so that it would arrive by Christmas eve, so I don't think I will change it now as long as it will be fine for my setup. I appreciate the new recommendation (and the price is fine), but this computer is going to be used fairly infrequently, and only for one purpose, so as long as the PSU is reliable and compatible, I'm not going to worry about getting anything else.

Regarding the hard drive, the $5 savings isn't enough for me to send back the HD I already ordered, plus I'm not sure it would arrive by Dec. 24th so I'm going to stick with the one I got :) .

Thanks again, I appreciate it, and with your confirmation that all parts are compatible I think I am done here :D .

(I'm going to have to build computers more often in the future...the savings are incredible. I wish laptops were easier to build...)
a b C Monitor
December 23, 2010 3:32:22 AM

^ Well dint know you have already ordered the parts,... ;)  So its fine,...
Like I said for the PSU, it is a decent one and for such a build, should be OK,...

And yeah, savings with the PCs are a lot, so if the portability is not a factor, then certainly one should go with a PS rather than a Laptop,...
a b C Monitor
December 23, 2010 6:10:25 AM

I would hit 4GB RAM if within budget but happy building/shopping and u are welcomed ^^
December 24, 2010 3:29:30 AM

I'm going to try just 2 GB for now...I know RAM is easy to add so if I feel like I need 4 GB in the future I'll pick up a 2nd stick :) .
a b C Monitor
December 24, 2010 5:44:21 AM

Yep happy shopping/building and merry x'mas in advance :p