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Media Centre PC on a tight budget


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#1
sandman01086

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Hi all, long time no see!

I'm planning to build a media centre pc from some old components I have laying around but I need some advice on additional stuff to build with. It's going to run Windows XP with nothing installed (everything will be streamed from either my main pc or a NAS box).

I need a hard drive and I thought this might be a good idea: http://www.ebuyer.co...mb-s-ss100s2-8g (I think 8GB is enough for XP, please correct me if I'm wrong)

I need RAM, not sure on brands currently out there, also do you think 2GB is enough?

I need a graphics card, has to be Nvidia as my motherboard has an Nvidia chipset and also needs to have HDMI out for Audio and Video.

I currently have a large unbranded case, 450W PSU (should be enough juice?) a Gigabyte motherboard and AMD Athlon 6400+ dual core CPU 3.2GHz.

Any questions let me know :)

Regards, James
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#2
NKGuy

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8Gb is not enough for Xp you might want to go for 20-25Gb. As for RAM 2Gb should be fine, all you are doing is streaming correct? As for the GPU you need to post what your budget is? 450w is plenty, although it will depend of the GPU. Though if all you are doing is streaming a 5770 should be enough. The minimum for that card is 450w.
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#3
rshaffer61

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450w is plenty, although it will depend of the GPU. Though if all you are doing is streaming a 5770 should be enough. The minimum for that card is 450w.


Let me add something here. 450 is usually the bare minimum for that card and with your CPU, Memory and other components I fear you may be stressing the PSU. I suggest looking at either a Corsair or Antec 650 80 plus certified PSU. More then enough power and reliable. The worst mistake you can make is having all this equipment only to overload or blow your PSU because it is not a branded and good quality. Most no name PSU's are used in custom builds or name brand systems to help keep the cost down of the total system. If the PSU was to short or god forbid catch fire you could be looking at replacing a lot more then just a PSU next time. My advice is to spend a little more for a good quality PSU and know it will run what you have now, what you may upgrade later and that it is reliable and stable.
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#4
NKGuy

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450w is plenty, although it will depend of the GPU. Though if all you are doing is streaming a 5770 should be enough. The minimum for that card is 450w.


Let me add something here. 450 is usually the bare minimum for that card and with your CPU, Memory and other components I fear you may be stressing the PSU. I suggest looking at either a Corsair or Antec 650 80 plus certified PSU. More then enough power and reliable. The worst mistake you can make is having all this equipment only to overload or blow your PSU because it is not a branded and good quality. Most no name PSU's are used in custom builds or name brand systems to help keep the cost down of the total system. If the PSU was to short or god forbid catch fire you could be looking at replacing a lot more then just a PSU next time. My advice is to spend a little more for a good quality PSU and know it will run what you have now, what you may upgrade later and that it is reliable and stable.


I will agree that a good branded PSU should be used, but 450W is enough. I mean if 6950s in crossfire can run on 650w than a 5770 could easily run on a 450w bronze PSU. For example this PSU could easily run a 5770 at 450w.
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#5
rshaffer61

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It may run it yes but you have left no room to allow for the CPU, Memory and other components that will draw off that PSU too. Not counting any future upgrades which may need more voltage.
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#6
NKGuy

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It may run it yes but you have left no room to allow for the CPU, Memory and other components that will draw off that PSU too. Not counting any future upgrades which may need more voltage.

If your thinking about future upgrades you could say "yes a bigger PSU would be better", but in reality this is a streaming box the original poster even said "I put this together from old parts laying around". The only two major things in the build are the CPU and GPU which at best will come out to 250-300w. And in total most likely hitting 350w or so.
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#7
rshaffer61

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If there is no chance of any future upgrades like MB, CPU, Memory, HD or peripherals then yes it will work. I concede that but I always look at the future and spending a little more now may be a savings then.
Just as a example this one HERE after the $30 rebate would be the same price and be 50 watts more. :whistling:
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#8
sandman01086

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How about this SSD? http://www.ebuyer.co...-ii-sv100s2-32g

Want to keep under £100 for the GPU ideally but can go a bit over.

I have a Corsair TX850W in my gaming pc currently and I'm delighted with it, I guess it's baby brother should do the job? http://www.ebuyer.co...cmpsu-650txv2uk

Sorry for the delay in my reply I've been really busy with work :(

James
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#9
rshaffer61

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Yep the 650 should be fine.
That SSD will work as long as you are only putting the OS on it. All programs would have to be installed on a different drive because of the size limit of the SSD.
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#10
sandman01086

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Awesome :)

Will only be the OS and drivers, everything else I use is on my main pc.

What are your recommendations for a graphics card? It needs to output sound through HDMI.
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#11
rshaffer61

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What are your recommendations for a graphics card? It needs to output sound through HDMI.

Two different issues. Video and Sound are two different pieces of hardware.
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#12
sandman01086

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Some modern sound cards have in built sound processors so you can output sound via HDMI. My graphics card in gaming rig does this but I don't want to spend £300 on another of these cards. Mainly ATI cards that do it I have found.
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#13
rshaffer61

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List of HDMI capable video PCIx 3.0 HERE

Sound Card TigerDirect

NewEgg Sound Card
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