Spare parts enough for a HTPC??

Discussion in 'Computers' started by Chris S, Jun 12, 2005.

  1. Chris S

    Chris S Cinematographer

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    I've got a few spare PC parts laying around and I'm wondering if these would be powerful enough to build a HTPC. I'm looking to do the following
    • record and play back NTSC non-HD television
    • listen to internet radio
    • watch DVDs (maybe)
    • play a few old school PC games
    • slideshow family photos
    The hardware I have is
    • AMD 2000
    • ABIT KX7-333
    • 512Mb PC-2700 ram
    • Geforce Ti200 video card (may need to upgrade)
    • 80Gb Western Digital hard drive
    To round out the setup I would add to this
    • Fusion3 tuner card
    • Media Center 2005 (maybe)
    • and possibly a new video card (ATI?)

    So basically I'm wondering is this setup going to be a big waste of time?? I know that with newer/faster equipment I could do more but I really don't have the extra funds to spend, thus the usage of the spare parts [​IMG]. Anybody running a similar setup? Could I tweak one or two things cheaply for a better setup?

    Chris S.
     
  2. John_Bonner

    John_Bonner Supporting Actor

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    Chris,

    Why get the Fusion card if you're not going to record HDTV?

    No need to for MCE 2005 if you already have a capable O/S (WinXP, Win2000).

    If you plan on having this machine in the same room as your tv setup, is it quiet? A noisy pc can be distracting when watching DVDs.

    If you do add a newer video card, go for a fanless model.

    Your processor, RAM and HDD are ok although recording tv shows can fill up a hard drive pretty quickly. Do you have a DVD drive? If not pick up a DVD burner, they're cheap enough now that it's almost a no brainer over a read only DVD drive.
     
  3. Mike_J_Potter

    Mike_J_Potter Second Unit

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    One other option if you have a slower pc is mythtv that runs on linux. The specs I have seen will record at least one stream and play it back on your pc at the same time (for CPU only encoding they recommend 1000mhz per recording). Plus there is a easy bootable cd style install of it. Just make sure you get the requirements for the tuner card before buying one since some cards won't work with it. Also to reduce cpu requirements when capturing there are cards with onboard chips to help reduce cpu time. Website is mythtv.org.
     
  4. Steve Berger

    Steve Berger Supporting Actor

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    Did you sneak in and steal my computer? Identical except I have the 333R (HiPoint raid). I added a Hauppauge PVR250 hardware tuner and capture card. I used it for a couple of years for recording TV (watching, editing and burning). I use a MediaMVP to send the video to the TV's. I was getting ready to add a MyHD MDP130 HDTV card to it. Something died last weekend so I need to rebuild it now and was planning on the same architecture, probably a new motherboard with better support for large hard drives (otherwise you have to burn everything to disk right away because of storage limitations - you should have seen me scrambling during the Farscape marathon on Sci-Fi)

    I'm probably not offering good, informed advice, but I couldn't help commenting when I saw the identical specs to my PC (a hand me down from my son - he games, I do video)
     
  5. Chris S

    Chris S Cinematographer

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    Steve, what can I say. It looked good and my wife would have killed me if I had brought home any more speakers. [​IMG]
     
  6. Chris S

    Chris S Cinematographer

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    John in answer to your questions:


    Not at this point. I have/had a huge fan and heat sink running over the processor originally as I was overclocking it for gaming reasons. Does anyone make a good fan less heatsink for AMD Socket A processors??
     
  7. John_Bonner

    John_Bonner Supporting Actor

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    Fanless solutions (water cooling, etc.) will usually cost you some $$$. Look into the Zalman or Nexus CPU heatsink/fans. Some of them run near silent. Check out these guys End PC Noise
     

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