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Enough for a media center?

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December 30, 2010 10:17:36 PM

I am interested in building a new computer or upgrading an old one to turn it into a media center. These are the things I would like it to do:

Playback all video, even blu-ray quality rips
Play music
Be a DVR
Play games my 2 year old acer netbook can handle
Stream videos from the internet

I don't need super awesome sound as I use an older stereo for my movie sound. It would be connected to a SD tv or my HD computer monitor (24 inch), so I don't need HDMI output. I am hoping a can slap something together for the money I can get for my xbox 360 and all of its games. I guess my biggest questions/concerns would be what is the cheapest processor/memory/video card combo that will accomplish this. One more thing, when I mentioned games, I a talking about games that are mostly 7 years or older and aren't very demanding at all. Thank you very much for any and all help.

More about : media center

December 31, 2010 12:38:02 AM

I do have these that I could use: midlevel core 2 duo processor (i believe e4700), 4 GB of 800MHZ DDR2 (could be 677, cant remember), 2 HDs, PNY GTS 250 1024 MB, DVDRW drive...

Could anyone give ideas for a small case (have to fit video card and aftermarket cpu cooler), a CPU heatsink/fan, PSU, pci tv capture card and motherboard that would bring my parts together to do what I wanted for less than $200? Cheaper the better if it does what I mentioned.

One more thing, can any capture card pull from a digital cable box? I have comcast and almost no channels come through without the box.
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December 31, 2010 2:15:26 AM

I dont know if you can get all those parts you want for just $200.
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December 31, 2010 2:22:34 AM

All I NEED is a capture card (pci or usb), motherboard, psu and heatsink/fan for $200 or less. The specific things I mentioned in the above post is what I already have. I hope this clears it up. Thanks!
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December 31, 2010 2:31:43 AM

Here are cheap solutions. Will these work fine and allow me to do what I want?

Capture Card - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Motherboard - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

PSU - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CPU Cooler - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

And some Artic Silver Compound

All of this comes to $133 even with shipping.

Thanks for any thoughts
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December 31, 2010 2:37:26 AM

sorry I didnt see your post, I was writing mine.
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December 31, 2010 2:51:09 AM

I think the heatsink/fan I selected will do the job okay so I will go with it. I think I want a capture card that also has a tuner. Is there any benefit to the MB or PSU you selected over the ones I did?
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a b B Homebuilt system
December 31, 2010 3:00:53 AM

I'm not sure either capture card will work. I don't have enough experience to know for sure however.

I do know to avoid Diablotek at all costs. I've seen two reviews about their newer unit and both ended badly. The one you linked is a much older unit that I doubt will do any better. I don't think the Kingwin is any better as it still has the same red voltage select switch. I would use any of these instead.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Antec EA green 380W. $45 out the door, but $30 after rebate.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Corsair builder 430CX. $44 out the door, but $34 after rebate. Yes, I know the CX series is worse then what they replaced, but still better then either PSU linked already. If you don't want to risk a rebate there is this option as well.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Antec Basiq 430W for $42 out the door, no rebate. Considering the others are only a few bucks more but you have the chance at a rebate I'd get one of them.
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December 31, 2010 3:05:02 AM

Will any of those have enough Watts? New Egg's Calculator suggested 430 (I believe) as the absolute minimum...
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a b B Homebuilt system
December 31, 2010 3:25:24 AM

For a mid level C2D and a GTS250? They all have more usable power then either PSU linked. They should all have around 29A on the 12V rail. The 380 Antec has 28A available on the 12V rail. That Diablotek? It has a single 24A rail. And good luck getting all that power out of it.

Diablotek reviews.

http://www.jonnyguru.com/modules.php?name=NDReviews&op=...
http://hardocp.com/article/2010/12/17/diablotek_phd650_...

The kingwin has the same 28A available as the antec. We care about this because the CPU and GPU get their power from the 12V rail. So even though the diablotek unit has more wattage available, they are on rails that modern computers don't really use anymore.

One thing I did notice is that the kingwin claims to be SLI ready, which means it has two 6pin plugs. I don't remember how many a GTS250 needs, but you might need one of those 2 molex to 6pin PCIe adapters if you need two. I would still take one of the others that I listed due to better build quality and higher efficiency.
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December 31, 2010 3:30:50 AM

I get the Amps issue. I am guessing you think 380 is enough though? The card requires one 6-pin connection...

Also, Any info on whether you think all of this would do what I mentioned at the beginning well?
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a b B Homebuilt system
December 31, 2010 6:23:57 AM

It should. The GTS250 should be capable of anything you throw at it other then 3D. (and I could be wrong about that.) It should be fine.

If you understood the amp issue, you'd know that 380 is enough.
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