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519 posts

Ultimate Geek
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Topic # 7459 16-Apr-2006 21:33

At the moment I am considering a Dell with Windows MCE
Specs are as follows

Dimension 5150

Intel D 820 DualCore  2.8GHz, 2MB L2 and 800MHZ FSB

no extra dell support

1GB Dual Channel DDR2 533MHZ sdram
128mb pcie x16 ati radeon graphics card
wireless keyboard and mouse
19 inch flatpanel
250 GB SATA HDD partitioned to a 40GB and 210GB
16x dvd+/- rw with DL
Integrated 7.1 audio + standard dell speakers (likely to plug into stereo though)
13 in 1 card reader
MCE Remote

no tv card at this stage

Any thoughts?
it should be sufficient I imagine, it is not as expensive as the HP machines and a 19inch LCD monitor is a decent start as a tv substitute.

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239 posts

Master Geek
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  Reply # 33132 16-Apr-2006 22:27
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If you have time and energy I recommend building the machine yourself or getting it assembled from a local computer shop. For starters dell computers usually use cheap brand components and their power supplies are weak. Plus if you have technical issues you will be talking to customer support in India. Since you are after a high end computer why not build it with well known brands? You might even save some money.

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Uber Geek
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Biddle Corp
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  Reply # 33139 17-Apr-2006 06:28
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Are you after a media centre box or just a stock standard PC with MS MCE on it? The Dell boxes are essentially the 2nd scenario.

If you want a true MS MCE box have a look at the Gigabyte systems DSE stock, they are probably the best MCE implimentation available at the moment.


519 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 33140 17-Apr-2006 08:16

building one isn't really an option as I am busy and just don't have the time to dedicate to it or shop around for parts. ( i know pricespy and the like exist).

Essentially I want a decently powerful desktop and because I can I"ll put MCE on it and with a 19 in lcd it will be sufficient for watching dvd's tv on for now.

437 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 33146 17-Apr-2006 09:31
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My 5 cents worth is get a local built machine as above a branded PC can have lower speced parts and the support can be frustrating.

There are lots of local pc builders that will build a upgrade box with the parts you need from $500 or a top of the line fully speced machine. This way you can choose what Vid or TV tuner card, ram processor etc that best suits your budget and that is best for a media pc.

Bulk made computers have there pros and cons but I would rather deal local for support and I have over the years used a local pc builder OEM Computers in Auckland but this is one example of many.

I also want a media PC but Im am going to wait for Windows Vista and Intel® Viiv™ technology coming later this year.

"The only way to learn some- thing is to do it"

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  Reply # 33249 18-Apr-2006 08:19
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I went to Eden computers some time ago to look for one. They offered..
Intel 3.0 P4 (dont remember the chipset)
180-200W power supply, superquiet
256MB Graphics card
5.1 Ch audio
100/1000 nwtwork card
4 USb, 2 1394, RGB, DVI + Video out
MCE with remote and keyboard
Haupage Dual Tuner card
Dual DVD Writer
MaTX Small form factor
Warranty 1 yr
17" screen

This was all for $2000, quite similar to Gigabyte
So there you go, you can go to any shop and get it made instead of spending too much on Dell.
I dont think you would need anythng other than this..

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Uber Geek
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Biddle Corp
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  Reply # 33263 18-Apr-2006 10:17
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Dell are simply installing XP MCE on virtually all of their PC's now as a replacement for XP SP2 - they aren't actually building anything that I'd consideer to make a nice MPC for installing as part of an AV setup.

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