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Help me Spec HCPC please

Discussion in 'Desktop & Laptop Computers Forum' started by bigdic, Aug 26, 2005.

  1. bigdic

    bigdic
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    Ladies and Gentlemen: You’re assistance/opinions would be most appreciated in my quest. I am in the process of building a HCPC for my front room, it will be used to watch/record TV, play DVD’s and surf the net over a wireless network . I’m not much of a gamer (seriously I still play Age of Empires and only loaded up the conquerors expansion pack 3 days ago :) ) so that side of it isn’t too important. It’ll be displayed on my Panny pw7 (currently only 1 scart board) and the sound will go to my amp.

    I’m not really into overclocking so that’s not really an issue, just looking to build a good quiet system that can handle the above without too much hassle.

    Having read through these forums and other places I’ve put together the following spec so far:

    Operating System = Windows MCE2005 plus remote
    TV cards = 2 x Black Gold PCI DVB-T card XP-MCE
    Case = Thermaltake Tenor VB2000SNS
    Graphics card = GIGABYTE 6600GT SLI SILENTPIPE
    HDD = Samsung Spinpoint P120S (250gig)
    DVD-R = It’ll have one :)
    CPU = ?????
    PSU = ?????
    Mother board = ????
    Ram = 1 gig

    For the processor I was considering an Athlon 64 3000+ socket 959, would this fit the bill? Budget isn’t too high for processor + MB (Ideally the friendly side of £200, the lower the better). If the above processor does suit does anyone know of a good MB for it?

    Also can anyone recommend a good quiet psu to suit that case?

    Any help would be most appreciated.

    Thanks

    BD
     
  2. meansizzler

    meansizzler
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    You should get an mother board which uses the Nforce 4 chipset, that way you won't have to splash out on a soundcard, also your cutting it a bit with a 3000, got with a 3400 or more....
     
  3. ranguyen

    ranguyen
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    Have you thought about what Display you are going to use?

    I've found all sorts of problems with using a large LCD tv as a display.

    Either the pc input is 4:3 or the resolution is something like 1366x768, and you won't get 1:1 mapping of it's resolution because no video cards can output 1366, only 1360 or 1368.
     
  4. JohnS

    JohnS
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    ATi can output 1366*768 using powerstrip, its well documented. The latest nvidia cards are supposed to be able to as well but I've had mixed results,ie you can make it work but it wouldn't stick after a reboot.
     
  5. lisag

    lisag
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    Hi I have a PW7 too, am using DVI connection with my Nvidia 6600GT, and you can set custom resolutions and refresh rates just fine within the Nvidia Drivers. I am using 1024 x 576 @ 50hz - if you go in through VGA you could probably use 1280 x 720. There are some tweaks you can do to make text and icons look clearer, but I surf the net and navigate the desktop from the sofa just fine.

    With regard to the CPU, just buy the one below the one that is ridiculously expensive! Mobo is always the most difficult choice, see what others on here are using. As for PSU - make sure it has enough power and is quiet/silent, you probably know that already, but I can't recommend an actual make/model.

    lisa
     
  6. JohnS

    JohnS
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    Just to add that the problems I had with nvidia were only dvi related, not vga.
     
  7. MikeK

    MikeK
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    Either the pc input is 4:3 or the resolution is something like 1366x768, and you won't get 1:1 mapping of it's resolution because no video cards can output 1366, only 1360 or 1368.

    Until now it seems :)
    The latest R75 (edit - a.k.a. Forceware Version 77.77) Nvidia drivers are supposed to allow this by offering (quote from the Rel Notes)

    Improved support for custom timings, including non-divisible by 8 resolutions on TMDS/LVDS panels, control of back-end and front-end
    timings, and variable overscan shift values.
    The driver can also present underscan modes on demand, and supports
    variable underscan ratios.


    However, it doesn't specify whether this enhancement is GPU/card specific, or can be implemented by all GPUs/cards supported by this driver.
     
  8. Mr.D

    Mr.D
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    856x480 at 60Hz with a horizontal overscan of 2 pixels either side gets the best picture on all the panny plasmas I've used.
     
  9. lisag

    lisag
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    Not very practical at that res though for surfing and navigating windows.
     
  10. Mr.D

    Mr.D
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    I don't find it too bad . Admittedly it can get a little cramped and certain pages are a pain to pan around but on the whole its no worse than a laptop from a few years ago.
     
  11. Kwman

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    Thats what I did, a very good suggestion that ! - Around 1 month ago i decided to go for the AMD64 3400+ as it had 1mb cache over the 3000+ which had 512k and the price difference at that time was minimal.

    Tagan power supplies are good and cheap compared to other branded power supplies.

    Mobo - I'm not sure what to recommend apart from maybe a nforce4 board. I recently got an Asus AX8N SLi - premium board, but should be overkill for you as you're not a hardcore gamer...

    Anyway hope that helps
     
  12. bigdic

    bigdic
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    Thanks for the advice guys and girls, settled on the AMD64 3200 venice socket 959 ( couldn't really push the budget much farther) Now just need to decide on a M/B which is a HUGE pain in the ass :).

    Once settled on MB then I'll take a look at the tagan power supplies.
     

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