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17 posts


#36475 25-Jun-2009 20:25
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HI all,

Hope I am posting in the right area.

I am wanting to build a media centre for my room.   I have a basic knowlege of componants of a computer but don't understand a lot of the jargon so was hoping you all could help me please.   I have enough know how to pull apart and install each piece of hardware though.

I also have a budget of around $500 for this project.

I want to start off with this unit (link below) as from my basic understanding, the Intel 2.2GHz processor would be a good base to start off with.

Basically want to use this shell purely for asthetic value as it is small and compact.

Now futher upgrades that I want are:

500gb hard drive
2gb RAM (as this is the maximun it can take)
Upgraded video card (if the current one is not up to standard)
Upgraded sound card.

In the future, I could possibly upgrade the processor to speed her up a bit more but that is not deemed a priority right now.

Can anyone suggest or recommend what hardware would be good to buy that stays within my budget that would work with the tower that I am wanting to purchase?

Thanks for your help in advance.


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  #228359 25-Jun-2009 20:45
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Personally I would not buy something like that. This is just from memory so someone correct me if im wrong. It will be AGP for video, possibly only accept half height cards. Most likley a crappy old celeron, most you would get in there is a P4. Only 1 HDD slot, and probly IDE. When it comes time to upgrade you will most likley find its not a standard ATX type case, so will have to shell out for a new case/psu etc. I just dont think buying an old generic unit like that would end up being cost effective.

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  #228367 25-Jun-2009 21:03
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Old computers can not be upgraded very easily as technology gets old fast. Can you still get memory for it? Video card? Processor? Would be hard and not worth it.

If i was you i would save another $300-$500 and build a new pc.

Another option is to get a cheap new laptop ($899- dell) comes with windows and you can use as media centre if plugged into your tv. You could also add an external hard drive from dick smith for $150 (500GB).

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Uber Geek


  #228373 25-Jun-2009 21:11
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I've just built a HTPC... no change out of $1500... I've built PC from old parts in the past, in the long run it's not worth the hassle and you're better off to buy new parts. You then have added backup of warranty on these parts also, should something go belly up down the line.

Its amazing how technology has changed, yet again, since I last built a PC. Trust me, there's no point re-using old hardware these days (especially if you want reliability).

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  #228377 25-Jun-2009 21:42
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it its just for playing music and watching videos (dvd, xvid etc) then it may be ok as is. If you're planning on using it for Freeview HD TV then you might struggle to get it performing well.

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Master Geek

  #228433 26-Jun-2009 07:29
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I know they're not quite out yet but you might want to consider an intel atom/nvdia ion based 'nettop' for media centre use. Because of the video acceleration it will play most video, bluray and freeview without a problem in a unit about the same size as a nintendo Wii. Google the Acer Aspire Revo, surely it can't be too far away from NZ and should be about $600 when they get here.

Alternatively if you have the ancillary bits you can pick up a motherboard with decent integrated graphics (for media) for ~$150, 4gb fast ram ~$110 and a capable Intel/AMD processor ~$100. Use, usually much cheaper than trademe.

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