Just built a cheap HTPC

Discussion in 'Desktop & Laptop Computers Forum' started by Peter Parker, Jan 2, 2002.

  1. Peter Parker

    Peter Parker
    Distinguished Member

    Apr 6, 2001
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    Just some info I thought some may find useful (newbies for instance).

    Using an on-line company I found in MicroMart (e-buyer.com), I managed to upgrade my MPact2 mobo system very cheaply:

    ECS K7S5A mobo for £55
    Supergrace Radeon 64meg video card for £38
    Duron 950 for £46 and fan for £4.50.

    Hard drives start at about £60, and if you get the cheap components for the rest, you can build an entire HTPC for just over £300. If you look around, you can probably find cheaper DVD drives too, but if you want a multi-region one, then overclockers do them. Otherwise, you could use two cheap DVD drives (seen them for £35 at computer fairs) , and have them as region 1 and region 2.

    I am using an old Aureal SQ1500 card which I got from computergeeks in the USA ($12.50 + $15 p&p), but the Soundblaster 4.1 is less than £27 and will pass DD/DTS (just got one for my desktop PC).

    I'm using WinDVD 2.6 and playback is glitch free and passes DD/DTS to my Denon amp.

    The picture quality is better than the Mpact2, so I am very pleased with it. :)

    The Radeon card is an ATI clone, and although it doesn't come with the ATI player, it looks like it should work with it as the drivers are Radeon 7199 drivers.

    I had some problems installing this lot with Win XP, but it's fine with WinMe.

    I'm using DScaler with a Pinnacle PCTV Rave card, but it has a little too much noise when using a video sender for my Sky digibox. It's fine for analogue tv stuff though, and the card is £35. (Picture quality can vary from card to card) I haven't tried it with a stand-alone dvd player yet. I may do when I get some time.



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