Reader How Tos: Build a PC for TV

How To Build A PC For TV, Continued

What about memory ? Again, I had to consider heat dissipation, so I decided only one dimm would have to do, preferably with chips on only one side. The dimms available today are, in my experience, mostly two-sided, so I though it may be tricky to find one-sided dimms. I decided I had to have 512 MB, since I was going to use Windows XP and do some video editing, and I despise having to wait for data swapping on a slow disk. It seems far better to spend the money on memory and cut costs elsewhere. The Corsair XMS PC2700 CAS 2.0 512 MB provides DDR333 and CAS 2.0 with only one module. No other parts at my retailer met these specifications, so my choice was limited. These memory sticks are only slightly more expensive than other branded memory anyway, so why not ? This stick also has room to play around with the FSB and the memory multiplier of the FS51 motherboard.

Pentium 4 and Corsair memory. A P4 2.4 GHz and Corsair DDR333 CAS 2.0 memory. No need for a separate cooler though ; the SS51G has it integrated.

With the memory taken care of, I began looking for a hard drive and DVD player. My first thought was low noise and low power radiance, so the only choice was a 2.5" hard disk with ’enough’ space, and at a fair price. The I.B.M. Travelstar 40GN 20 GB costs only about $90, and has room for caching some DivX movies if you need to. Any 2.5" disk will do, but since my retailer only stocked the I.B.M. drives, that is what I purchased. Wanting both DVD playback and CD-RW capabilities, I chose the Samsung DVD + CD/ RW combo drive SM308B ($92), as it was on sale.

Next, what about audio ? I need to play back 5.1 sounds from my DVDs, and I need a good sound system that can also pass my girlfriend’s stringent aesthetic requirements. The SS51Gs have analog 5.1 outputs and also an optical SPDIF out. There should be a range of systems to choose from. My retailer had Creative, Altec Lansing and Logitech systems. I got a bargain on the Creative 5300 with an included SBLive Audigy, since Creative is phasing out these combos. Be quick if you want to purchase one of these, as the Audigy 2 is coming soon.

Complete Creative 5300 sound system. I purchased this at a bargain price. The bundled Audigy card went into my other PC.