Quick hardware validation required...

Discussion in 'Desktop & Laptop Computers Forum' started by 4tunesfool, Dec 30, 2006.

  1. 4tunesfool

    Standard Member

    Mar 13, 2006
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    I'm just about to hit the 'buy' button on some hardware for a HTPC and would like to get a second opinion on the core choices, and some advice on the other stuff that I need to buy. As a background, I've worked with computers nearly all my (adult) life and while I tend to work with global enterprise systems, I'm not unused to getting my hands dirty with my own PCs.

    What I am after is something that will sit well in my AV stack and give me access to my HD (720p) downloaded x264 stuff, access freesat HD (and all normal stuff) as well as the usual music etc. Games are not that important to begin with and when they are used it is more in the line of Flight Sim rather than a fragfest.

    Screen is currently a Hyundia Q320 and will be accessed over the DVI. Near future this will be relegated to the bedroom and it's likely that a sharp 1080p will take it's place (love Costco) although my brother in law has the Goodmans 1080p and I am quietly impressed (once debadged!).

    Sound will be handled by a Teac 6.1 amp through digital connection.

    Base setup is shown below:

    Antec Fusion Media Center Case With VFD and 420W PSU
    FoxConn G9657MA-8EKRS2H LGA775, DDR2, 7.1Snd, GBLan, mATX
    Intel Core 2 Duo E6300 1.86GHz LGA775 Processor (will be OC'd a small amount)
    200Gb Samsung 7200rpm S-ATA II 300 Hard Drive (I have 300Gb SATA already to complement this)

    I'll drop in 2Gb of memory that I already have (crucial memory suitable for the board speed, approved on the online checker).

    I can't let cost get out of control but I would like your opinions on the best cost/performance video card (passive cooled) and what capture cards would be recommended. I'm looking for HD Sat, Sat and terrestrial and some advice an how to go about this would be appreciated.

    OS will be Vista Ultimate (O/H works for M$ which is nice) so compatible items would be good.

    Advice would be much appreciated (reading this far would be an achievement in itself!)....



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