Custom build media centre

Hi All,

I'm looking to build a media centre PC for a friend, he's already got the motherboard (Foxconn A7VMX-K),processor(AMD Athlon Phenom,thats all i could tell you) RAM(Crucial 2x 2GB) and case( a cheapish one off ebay, but note it is LOW-PROFILE, i suppose most media centres are? But thought it was worth mentioning). Anyhow:

Approximate Purchase Date: Within 1 Week

Budget Range: £450-£600

System Usage from Most to Least Important: It will be a Media Centre PC, used for watching and recording TV and watching/burning CDs/DVDs and Blu-Rays. It is also likely to house his music collection.

Parts Not Required: Monitor, speakers, OS( thinking windows 7),Power Supply(400W Cit M-400U)

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: (eBuyer,overclockers,scan)-in that order

Country of Origin: UK

Parts Preferences: Open to suggestion

Overclocking: Maybe

SLI or Crossfire: No

Monitor Resolution: It will be connected upto a 1080p HD TV.

Additional Comments:Would like to record one programme on freesat and watch another. The record function won't be used that much, so preferable storage would be 1TB.

He also has a cheapish 5.1 surround sound setup, so a dedicated sound card would be good, with phono/RCA out( if its possible).

Been looking at the Logitech diNovo Mini Wireless Keyboard to control it all, he'd also like a remote too if possible,aswell as that keyboard, which already seems to do it all anyway.

Thanks alot for reading/ commenting guys

4 answers Last reply
More about custom build media centre
  1. Here's a start, someone else on here can finish it off. £32.98 inc vat
    OCZ StealthXStream2 400w Silent ATX2 Power Supply 80PLUS,q67chipsetmotherboards/h67m-itx.html £72.98 inc vat
    ASRock H67M-ITX Intel H67 (Socket 1155) Motherboard <----- A better look at that board. Remote control ftw,i5andi71155socket/bx80623i32120.html £110.99 inc vat
    2nd Generation Intel® Core™ i3 2120 3.3GHz Socket LGA1155 - Retail. £42.98 inc vat
    G.Skill Ripjaw 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3 PC3-10666C9 1333MHz Dual Channel Kit £40.98 inc vat
    Samsung Spin Point F3 SATAII 1TB 32MB Cache Hard Drive <8.9ms 7200rpm - OEM £43.99 inc vat
    EVGA GeForce GT 430 1024MB GDDR3
  2. It sounds like you're all set on motherboard and CPU, RAM and Power supply, correct?

    Then you'd need a hard-drive (perhaps a HDD for data, SSD for operating system), a graphics card (gets you both 1080p and sound over HDMI assuming his TV and AVR take HDMI inputs), a dual-tuner Freesat card and a remote and/or keyboard, correct?

    I'd start with:
    2TB HDD for recording (Samsung ECOGreen F4 HD204UI)
    64GB SSD for O/S (Kingston V100 would do -- whatever is on sale)
    Low profile video card (HD 5570, HD 6450 or GT430)
    Dual tuner Freesat tuner (not sure what's involved here -- not in the UK)
    Logitech diNovo mini

    If his AVR doesn't take HDMI, the motherboard has 6 channel sound so you can use the motherboard's on-board audio as long as his AVR accepts analog inputs.
  3. Yes got all that you have mentioned.

    Ok i've picked up a video card,hard-drive, blue-ray optical drive and soundcard.

    I'm wondering about the dual tuner Freesat tuner, i presumed these were designed with media centres at heart, i thought most media centre cases were low-profile, but i'm struggling to find a low profile freesat tuner. Added to the problem the graphics card uses the PCI-E slot, so it'll have to be PCI aswell as low-profile. Would you recommend getting an external USB one?


  4. I am not at all familiar with satellite tuner cards (no such thing in the good ol' USA -- land of the free, home of the DRM) but it sounds like an external tuner might be your only choice.
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