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Just out of interest...

Discussion in 'Desktop & Laptop Computers Forum' started by smallangryboy, Jan 28, 2004.

  1. smallangryboy

    smallangryboy
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    An informal poll of what people expect from their HCPC :

    A: Is the look important ?

    B: What size hard drive would you expect ?

    C: What type of processor ?

    D: What GFX card ?

    E: What onboard software ?

    F: How much are you willing to pay for these goodies ?

    cheers

    SAB
     
  2. alexs2

    alexs2
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    A...definitely...it had to sit alongside a collection of Krell and Tag gear and not look like an office refugee,and still have WAF.

    B...depends on your requirements,but if you intend to archive CD and DVD/video,you'll need to start at 250Gb plus,but HDD space is improving rapidly in price terms(now below £1 perGB easily)

    C...again depends on your needs...if you want to play games as well,you'll need something fast,but mine has only a 1.8Ghz processor and plays DVD/CD etc perfectly via an X-card and a soundcard.

    D....a Radeon seems to be one of the most popular choices currently,and should be one of the fanless models if poss for HCPC use to cut noise levels.

    E...Software....I use Winamp for CD playback via an Audiotrak 192 card for digital out only to the Tag AV32R,and an X-Card for DVD playback via the RPTV
    Others can advise on software for DVD playback via projectors.

    F...cost...about £1300 all in with software,and installation and instructions from the very helpful Mr Hale.

    Obviously you can build one yourself for less,but I wanted something that would work,with backup if required.
     
  3. Underscore

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    A: Not for me but I expect a nicer looking case may be on order soon, if the lady has her way!

    B: Depends. Mine is used for TV recordings plus occasionally "caching" a borrowed or rented DVD until I have a chance to watch it. For this 120GB is fine. For others 80GB might be enough but, for the 'cuda V at least, the power dissapation is the same so it just saves £20. For audio or video jukebox duties, you would be looking at more storage, but I reckon 120GB is the basic size HD to go for now.

    C: Mines a 2100+ T'bred B but, were I building it now, I would go for a 2500+ Barton. Mine gives enough grunt for a moderate resize with ffdshow but still runs at <40 degrees with the flower cooler fan running at its lowest setting. Of course, some will want to play games or play WM9 movies in the future, so will want more horsepower.

    D: I would use a Sapphire Radeon 9600 NP.

    E: A decent DVD player (TT, WinDVD Plat, ...), region free software (DVDRegionFree, ...), maybe powerstrip/reclock/ffdshow. DigiTV is pretty much a must as well, for me.

    F: Mine cost me about £900 inc. VAT to put together including legit. copies of win2k, TT, DVDRegionFree. I wouldn't expect that the upgraded parts would cost any more now. Took me about 1.5hrs to build and about the same to install the software.

    _
     
  4. nutcase_1uk

    nutcase_1uk
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    I built mine, and probably would again, however:

    A: Nope, it's well and truly buried under a ton of junk.

    B: Sufficient to have the OS, a decent amount of software and some swap file space. All my "data" eg. CD's and DVD's are either on CD/DVD or my media server. At today's disk sizes, probably 80gig would be ample.

    C: Mine has P4 1.8ish. It's an engineering sample though, and one day I'm gonna crank it up to see what it can really do :D

    D: Currently there's an early Radeon, probably time for replacement when the 8500 in my main PC gets replaced.

    E: A stable OS. Maybe a very good front end if one is available. I prefer to select my own goodies though.

    F: As little as possible. When I buy components, I chose the very best I can afford, find the cheapest outlet. However, I don't mind paying a small amount more if I know the customer service will be top drawer. It's very rare I have a problem, but when I do, I want decent service. I spend a long time chosing somewhere to buy something, I'd like them to show appreciation.

    Hope that is of some help :)
     
  5. smallangryboy

    smallangryboy
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    Yeah cheers - very interesting to hear peoples opinion.

    A colleague of mine from the IT industry has a passion for AV and is in the middle of setting up a small HC-PC company.

    Out of interest would you ever choose to source a ready made product from say a small cottage firm like that, or would you always want to build your own ?

    SAB
     
  6. midlandswarrior

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    it would depend on price i guess

    the actual effort required to setup a pc as a HTPC is minimal especially if you use commercial PVR software such as BeyondTV or Showshifter

    The gap in the market that is see is the more specialist cases that are being specifically designed for HTPC's, the only site i could find http://www.mini-itx.com/store/ a lot of the technology is based in asia or america so a well organised company could maybe take advantage
     
  7. nutcase_1uk

    nutcase_1uk
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    I would probably always want to build my own (half the fun!).
     
  8. GrahamC

    GrahamC
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    Tell your mate that good quality, nice looking cases at less than £100 are still hard to find. My opinion is if he specialised on the case and silent cooling there is a need out here in consumer land.
     

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