Minimum spec for gaming and media hub?


Established Member
I'm looking to get a new PC running MCE (I want to stream to my XBox) and also for some gaming. I've been looking at DELL Media PC and Mesh but I'm not sure what spec to go for? Will a gaming PC do the media thing and vise versa?
Dual Core I think is must for the future and I need a decent HD DVI monitor 20" and about 300GB hard drive. I've got about £1500 to spend. But the rest is just confusing me such as 2 x graphic card or one higher spec one etc.

I suppose I asking for a minimum spec that you think would be required for both gaming and HD Media fun!

All help v.gratefully recieved.


Established Member
'Minimum spec' is a hard thing to pin down, since game vary greatly in their requirements.

First, any gaming machine will make a fine HTPC since the graphics requirements of mosy mid/top end games exceed those required for video playback .. the only exception is video deinterlacing and scaling which have no use for games, however graphics cards from ATI and Nvidia capable of running power-hungry games will also have thise features.

Right now, I think conventional wisdom says Nvidia's video processing is more advanced than ATI's, PureVideo being the main such featre as well as HD decoding.

As for HD, bear in mind there are no gfx cards available right now that actually work in HDCP mode, so don't think you can buy a PC which will be capable of playing hidef DVDs (read this debunking of current marketing bull.

One powerful card vs. 2 in SLI? Hard to say, it's still early days and few games support SLI in any meaningful way. In theory you'll get far better FPS numbers, of course whether that translates to better/smoother gmaeplay or simply a willy-wave is another matter. ;) My choice was to buy a system with an SLI-equipped motherboard an a 6600GT and see how things develop.

I'm sure others will offer specific ideas, I hesitate to do so because I no longer use my HTPC very much, but I hope these observations help. :)


Established Member
i agree with Kragorn.

forget SLI for now,

the only realy benefit would be if you using a huge monitor and need to run at silly high resolutions (30" dell for example)

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