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MCE Spec Comments please

Discussion in 'Microsoft Windows' started by rdhir, Oct 20, 2005.

  1. rdhir

    rdhir
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    Dear lforum members,

    I am finally building an MCE PC having had a copy of MCE sitting on my shelf since March. This MCE PCs will not be used for games so I am sticking with low end graphics cards and onboard sound. The idea is a cheap all in one box. Cheap means a base unit should cost less than £600 and preferably as close to £450 as possible.

    For the first attempt I am reusing an existing Shuttle SN41G2V2


    Shuttle SN41G2V2
    AMD Athlon 2700 SktA
    512MB RAM

    I am adding

    1 Nebula PCI or USB Master Tuner
    1 Nebula USB Slave Tuner
    1 Geforce 6200A AGP card
    300GB WD PATA/IDE


    If this goes well I will have a go at a different system later which will be based on a

    ASROCK K8NF4G-SATA2[font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]
    [/font] Skt 754/PCIe/nforce 6100/nforce 410 MCP
    AMD Sempron 64 3100+
    512MB DDR PC3200
    WD SATA 160GB or greater
    Terratec 2400i DT

    though I am curious if the following motherboard will be a better choice

    Gigabyte GA-K8N51PVMT-9
    Skt 939/PCIe/nforce 6100/nforce 430MCP

    but I'd rather find the 430MCP on a skt 754 board as then I can use a Sempron


    Any thoughts?

    I would particularly like to hear from people with experience of Nebula and MCE2005. I would also like their opinion on the Nebula software and whether to use that for the time being rather than MCE. I will certainly build it with MCE, but I might also try a DigiTV/Theatretek combo too.

    I would also welcome opinions on the 6200A. It seems ideal as it supports PureVideo but does not take two slots (even available in low profile) and has heatsink only cooling.

    Can I stress I am not looking for games performance! Cost and ease of use are my biggest concerns. And no intel fanboys please!

    Cheers

    Rajiv
     
  2. meansizzler

    meansizzler
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    Gigabyte have a MATX boards useing the new nforce 6150 chip, take a look on there website for that, has 7.1 HD audio and a decent onboard graphics card, all you need to do is add a tv tuner...but for that you can get the terratec dual dvb-t PCI-e x1 tuner...
     
  3. rdhir

    rdhir
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    As I said above that will be step 2

    Cheers

    Rajiv
     
  4. Skunkpipe

    Skunkpipe
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    The socket 939 solution will off cool'n'quiet, so it's a no brainer IMHO.

    FYI the Terratec 2400DT should be available in early November.
     
  5. rdhir

    rdhir
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    Yup Cool n Quiet is lovely, but does work with both 754 and 939. I already built the ASRock system in a Minuet II case and its lovely. Whisper quiet. Worst part was the PSU fan, but I couldn't change that easily. Still pretty quiet though.

    Cheers

    Rajiv
     
  6. lisag

    lisag
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    My MCE machine at the moment is a SN41G2V2, XP2700+ 1GB Ram, Gigabyte passive 6600gt, Avermedia USB2 DVB-T, Creative Live USB2 24bit soundcard.

    Problems...
    The Gigabyte card's heatsink takes over the PCI slot space,
    The Avermedia card will not resume from S3 properly, (got the Hauppauge one on order)
    Onboard spdif out was flaky (hence usb soundcard),

    Apart from that it's pretty reliable, pq is excellent, and it will (just) playback 1080 HD content ok - it struggles less when the GPU does some hardware accelaration.

    lisa
     
  7. rdhir

    rdhir
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    Thanks Lisa.

    I opted for the Nebula as it has to be dual tuner, and with nebula I could at least go USB if I needed. I also don't need games so I thought I would stick 6200 as it seems single slot. For the people I'm building the system for, they don't have a big display and I can't see them getting it soon, so I'm not worried about 1080i (But I am impressed).

    Cheers

    Rajiv
     
  8. sibeer

    sibeer
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    For your upgrade I would definately go with the Skt 939. In my experience, he processors run cooler and the cool and quiet works better. For a cheap processor £82 for an athlon 64 is great, not that much more than a Sempron and worth the extra:

    http://www.lowestonweb.com/Products/DisplayInfoMain.asp?e=91E0C883-3BF9-43FD-9F4E-CB07CA2CBB27

    Mine runs at about 30 degrees, peaking at the late 30s when playing games. The machine switches the fan off most of the time. I do have a huge heatsink though :D
     
  9. HiZ

    HiZ
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    Not sure I'd go with the Nebula, I had two PCI cards and they didn't work well with XPMCE. One was fine but not two. As far as a USB type, read the "Known limitations" at the bottom of this link. BDA drivers are required for XPMCE or Media Portal. Sensitivity is also low compared to others. I've traded them in on Ebay and got two BlackGolds....really good. Only dissapointment is they dont have RF loopthrough so you need a splitter in your antenna cable. Only a few quid though. Nebula is very expensive and I think this is due to the software and remote they supply (which you wont use). No noticable change in pic quality with the BlackGolds except I dont get break-up as much when my house mate takes a shower....(better sensitivity).

    :)
     

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