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Homemade HTPC HELP

Discussion in 'Desktop & Laptop Computers Forum' started by Walter mitty, May 6, 2002.

  1. Walter mitty

    Walter mitty
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    Hi, Ive decided on having a seperate pc for viewing via a front pj and would like to know what I will need to build it from scratch.
    I will need a TV card and a good quality 5.1 sound card,can any body tell me whats the best to buy from scratch it will be strictly for home cinema. I will need to print off details for my pc engineer, thanks in advance
     
  2. JSW

    JSW
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    all the answers are allready here if you look.
     
  3. RichardH

    RichardH
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    There have been a few threads recently on parts, plus there is the sticky thread at the top of this forum with recommended links. The components are the easy bit - it's the software tweaking that will take the time and effort.
     
  4. Walter mitty

    Walter mitty
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    Yeah thanks for that you two, I`ve seen one or two threads, I want to know what is the least I can get away with in Ram and hard drive and proceser
     
  5. JSW

    JSW
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    I wouldn't go with any less than an Athlon XP 1600 CPU and 256Mb DDR ram.

    Vid card well ATI Radeon 7200 to 8500 depending on what you dont want to spend.

    Windows XP is the best o/s I have used and have it on all my pc's and laptop

    Soundcard very subjective at the moment and may be best to get a cheap one that has spdif output and then re look at sound output in a few months time when im sure there will be a better choice.

    I currently have a philips acoustic edge which has spdif in and out and also 6 channel analog outputs. and was only $79 from outpost.com

    Hard drive: If your only using it to watch dvd's and not store anything then 10gb will be fine. If you want to store DIVX MP3 and AVI files then 40gb should be considered minimum.
     
  6. Der_Pobman

    Der_Pobman
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    Walter it all depends on what you want your HCPC to do. If its just going to simply play DVDs, MP3s and the odd DivX file then you dont NEED the power of and XP1600

    However as for price things like the XP1600 are only a few pounds more than the old slower Durons, and similar price to 1ghz Tualatins. So what JSW says does make sense in that way. A friend of mine tried to buy a PC recently from PixelPC, the slowest thing they had was 1ghz...

    As discussed elsewhere though the AMD chips produce more heat, and need better cooling. So you have to decide if you want power or silence. (though you can get both if you pay for big heatsinks, arctic silver and a good pabst fan).

    If you want Dscaler, or re-encode you home movies then the more power the better.

    I use an old Dell PIII 850 with some old ATi graphics card in it. Plugged into my TV via VGA, and was plugged into my AE100 before it went bang. It plays DVDs perfectly fine and has no trouble with DivX files. Also emulates a PSX, NeoGeo and various other consoles without problem. However it is not silent, so I will change it this summer. Something with a couple of 100GB+ HDs in it, make myself a DivX jukebox :) (Interestingly DivX has become one of the main ways of selling videos in Russia, more shops sell DivX CDs than DVDs, and perhaps even videos)

    As I said at the start it all depends what you are going to do with your HCPC.

    OH I agree on XP, certainly the best MS operating system. It likes RAM though, shame RAM costs so much again these days. Thanfully I stocked up when it was only £22 for 256MB. Costs quite a bit though :( Though cheap in Russia :)

    Regards

    Der Pobman
     

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