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The BIG Build an Entertainment PC Project

Discussion in 'Desktop & Laptop Computers Forum' started by ColdKilla, Aug 24, 2005.

  1. ColdKilla

    ColdKilla
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    I'd like to try and build my own Entertainment PC from scratch and was wondering if anyone fancied joining me in doing this? Basically we all buy a new part every week or couple of weeks depending on budgets etc e.g. week 1 we buy item x (own choice of make, model etc).

    Just one thing we need a tutor

    If you want in, just say so on this thread. If you wish to lead the class, please say so - should be a laugh!

    So week 1 we go for the case and everyone discusses cases etc then we move onto mob etc etc

    Would it work and whos keen?
     
  2. Hawklan

    Hawklan
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    Hi

    Interesting idea - But with more than one party paying for the components (unless I'm reading this wrong) I can see ownership at the end being a problem

    RON
     
  3. dan1979

    dan1979
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    I think you're reading it wrong (well I hope so) I think the point of the thread is to find someone else who isn't 100% on this sort of thing to build their PC at the same time so they can share and discuss options between themselves and other people on the board?

    Buying things week 1, week 2 wouldn't be too wise, aside from it being frustrating it will cost a lot more in postage
     
  4. Hawklan

    Hawklan
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    Hi

    You are right and I am reading this wrong - So with 2 or more like minded people building a PC each - sharing knowledge and the woes that we all have suffered I think that this could well work
    Regarding the tutor question as a fall back this forum would not be a bad place to start

    I can even see this starting a sticky " Build a HTPC the AVForums Way!"

    Many thanks

    RON
     
  5. lisag

    lisag
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    Novel idea - just when the perfect HTPC is decided upon, a whole new load of hardware will become available and it will all be obsolete ;)

    Will we be arguing over AMD vs Intel / Nvidia vs ATI / etc...

    Sorry, that is very negative, will look forward to how it develops

    lisa
    :cool:
     
  6. rdhir

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    no it will be redundant before its even ordered.

    How about avoiding perfection and setting a hard budget, to see if we really can make an HTPC for the common man. That is one that is not overly expensive, and is eminently usable, that is does not need a degree in geekdom.

    Some suggested restrictions on the project.

    1) Total cost £750 inc VAT and delivery, excluding monitor.

    2) Output for VGA/RGB only - no sVideo or component

    3) 1 Model requires an external processor, 1 Model does not (might have a different budget through.

    Cheers

    Rajiv
     
  7. bigdic

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    I am currently building my own htpc and using the knowledge in this forum to help.

    The only thing I have so far is the case (Thermaltake Tenor VB2000SNS Silver) which arrived the other day and is just gorgeous :)

    Now just deciding the final specs then I'm going to start a thread to hopefully get some advice/opinions, this idea could have some legs but I'm too impatient to wait.
     
  8. richjthorpe

    richjthorpe
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    It'll be difficult as there are fans of Intel and fans of AMD and likewise with ATI and nVidia. It would be your decision on which chipset to go with and also how much you can viably afford because if you asked someone what amount of RAM/Harddisk space do I need and they'll reply the biggest you can afford ! Which chip ? The fastest !

    It all comes down to money at the end of the day.

    Richie.
     
  9. Triggaaar

    Triggaaar
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    You won't get 2 people wanting identical components all the way through.

    I have built myself a new PC in the last few days. Once I started, I would have hated to wait for new components. I ordered the parts last Thursday, and built it on Friday.

    I have never built a PC before, and was amazed how easy it was (choosing a motherboard with all the cables you'll need is a good idea).

    I am really glad I took the advice from others here, when I was planning on getting Scan (or someone) to build it for me. It was quick, easy and enjoyable. And I know more about the PC (eg, which fans are controlable via the motherboard).

    One advantage from old PCs, is that the Case I chose (£50) was mainly screwless (motherboard and floppy need screwing in). Everything else just clipped in (HDs, DVD, etc). So I doubt you'll need a tutor.
     
  10. Mr.D

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    Agreed I think you may be overcomplicating things. Building a PC is easy. Configuring it is trickier but not terrible.

    Building an HTPC is a great way of getting familiar with PCs. I wouldn't dream of buying a ready built PC these days . I build all my friends and families machines now.

    Figure out what cpu you want ( intel or amd ...personally I go with intel as my first prebuilt PC was amd and a complete dog). I like Asus motherboards and tend to go with the one that offers the best range of onboard features ( wifi , audio , raid , ethernet ,firewire , USB2 ...PCIE or AGP?) I tend to avoid Via chipsets.

    I buy all my ram from Crucial.

    I put at least two harddrives in each machine and use one partition on the second drive to store drive images of the primary system drive using a drive imaging app like trueimage or ghost ( usually a basic install of the OS , the basic install with all the hardware drivers installed and a final one which is the machine all tweaked up and with all 3rd party software and stable which I keep updated).

    If you want to build an HTPC you'll likely want to consider noise levels from your components. ( quiet harddrives , PSUs , graphics and cpu coolers).

    And you'll likely look at some HTPC specific software ( Dscaler , Theatertek , zoomplayer , ffdshow , Windows MCE and whatever else takes your fancy).
     
  11. ColdKilla

    ColdKilla
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    Yeah the idea was we each buy the individual items we pick ourselves but we discuss options at each crossroads.

    So say we start with cases - someone may want a shuttle carlos fandango case for big bucks but someone else my want a small case but on a much tighter budget.

    It just saves scouting the forum for each component as it will be laid out properly.

    Obviously a lot of the items will be out of date very quickly but thats always the case with these things!!

    My aim is really to show HD on my plasma - I considered the showcenter but maybe it wont stream HD so well over a wireless connection so then I thought why not build a pc and copy the HD files to the hard drive of that Entertainment PC (based by the plasma) and then run them smoothly on the plasma.
     
  12. Triggaaar

    Triggaaar
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    Sounds good. It may be better to discuss one component per day, and then order everything in one go at the end (to save postage, as mentioned above).

    Every builder often has their own thread, with repeat info about what's good and what's not (I did) because it's not simple going through past threads when they're out of date, and the thread starter had different requirements to you.

    If there's a few people who want to build a PC soon, (and not just HTPC) I think this thread would be good, picking components and highlighting the pros and cons of each, depending on requirements.

    It obviously would get out of date, but the next group of builders could do the same.
     
  13. ColdKilla

    ColdKilla
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    Yes good plan Trig!

    So who has experience of building them - do we start with the case?

    CK
     
  14. Xelon

    Xelon
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    So back to HTPC cases then, obviously I'm biased as I have an Antec Overture II very quiet, 450W Smartpower ATX2.0 PSU, excellent cooling 4 fans (whisper quiet), good price @ £80.

    So the first thing you should be deciding on is a case with or without a PSU? Most HTPC cases come without, secondly what form factor HTPC (Desktop) midi tower or Shuttle sized?

    Silverstone seem to have the largest selection of HTPC cases (about 12 last time I looked) followed by Dign who have one for £600, so a budget would need to be decided on.
     
  15. ColdKilla

    ColdKilla
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    Well what I was after was something to sit on the plasma stand downstairs and look the part so probably something shuttle size that would take the mini atx stuff.

    OK so it is agreed cases is the place to start.

    I was today looking at the following as my starting point:

    Silverstone SG01 Sugo:

    http://www.specialtech.co.uk/spshop/customer/product.php?productid=1454&cat=0&page=3

    Would a shuttle size be the way to go for the location, is there much that needs to be considered with the case other than the looks / size?
     
  16. Triggaaar

    Triggaaar
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    As mentioned, do people need a case with or without a power supply. This will depend on the number and type of components being installed (no. of HDs etc) and how quiet people want their PC. So I'd start with power supply. But cases would be ok too.

    And if your wanting to do this with others, as opposed to having your own PC thread, you might want to start by finding people to join in, and then starting a new thread.
     
  17. ColdKilla

    ColdKilla
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    I was under the impression people would tag on to this thread - that was the prupose of it from the outset?
     
  18. Triggaaar

    Triggaaar
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    Yeah I know it was, but not everyone will read through it all and get to the point.

    And at the moment your taking advice on which case, but no one else is part of the project.

    I'd have thought a well titled thread seeing who is up for it would be good. Then you can decide on a date to start (some may not be ready). Then you can start, day 1, cases. And all info in the start of that thread will be specific to cases (making it easier for your fellow builders to find info), rather than the chit chat we've all had here.

    You could just carry on with this thread, and if I feel I can offer any advice, I will, but I'm not sure if anyones ready to join in (be nice to have a few of you), and all advice will be specific to your needs.

    Anyway - here's my 2p worth on cases should decide to stick with this thread:
    Nice looking for your living room: No idea
    Normal case that doesn't have to look like a hi fi:
    One with clips for easily adding removing HDD & CD roms etc are great.
    Mine came with slots for up to 7 80mm case fans. Ideally I'd have liked 1 at the front & 1 at the back for 120mm fans, which are a lot quieter for the same amount of air flow.
    You can get a great full tower case for £50.
    Decide if you want to be able to plug USB devices, headphones, microphones, firewire devices into the front - many cases have the necessary sockets and cables to connect to your motherboard.
     
  19. nicp01

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    Hi
    I'm currently building and just happened on this thread.

    I'm using a recent dell optiplex...very quiet but full height card 9800se wont fit in it!! so have to experiment with the case lid open ..its the size of a vcr. We have severl rack mounted dell and compaqs at work which are very slim as slim as the new dvd players...that the size of case I'm looking for with at least 2 slots .

    peter
     

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