The official AVS "PC Game Console" thread - Page 12 - AVS Forum
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Old 01-20-2014, 07:55 PM
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lol, well it's been in concept for a hellova long time, supposed to be in stock at frozencpu by the end of the month finally! I'm deciding if I want it still..... It's price is kind of insane at 2K, i'd love to see one in person to see the build quality BUT since I'm getting an entire free haswell-E rig, the cost would be much less that what I'd pay for that! I guess we'll see what happens when the time comes.

Some of the mods the guys have done with these desks are freaking awesome!

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Old 01-20-2014, 09:11 PM
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Yea those Red Harbringer desks are insane. I looked into building something like that from scratch but I decided a more traditional case was more of what I wanted to do for portability. Even though my big tower is not portable at all either....but I atleast wont ahve to take it apart when I move....

Something like that though would be a great way to build a discrete server for home media use.

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Old 01-21-2014, 10:36 AM
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lol, well it's been in concept for a hellova long time, supposed to be in stock at frozencpu by the end of the month finally! I'm deciding if I want it still..... It's price is kind of insane at 2K, i'd love to see one in person to see the build quality BUT since I'm getting an entire free haswell-E rig, the cost would be much less that what I'd pay for that! I guess we'll see what happens when the time comes.

Some of the mods the guys have done with these desks are freaking awesome!

Haha yeah, that's true. But knowing you, I figured you had one and sold it off already. You know, cuz you are always ahead of the game with the cool new toys. biggrin.gif

I've joked around with Marafice Eye that we should try and build one ourselves. Lol use MDF or something. Lolz! But I dunno. It's cool but expensive.

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Old 02-01-2014, 09:10 AM
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Well the Maximus boards are part of ASUS's Republic of Gamers brand, and generally use a little better components. Again, not to say ASRock isn't good, they're great and priced very well.

The Maximus has some nice features though. The SupremeFX audio though I don't think that matters much for you in a nice theater, Sonic Radar, more of a cute gimmick, but it's got some potential (google it for a demo of what it does). an mPCIe Combo socket in which you can put one of those 1.5" (or are they 1.8?) micro SSDs as a dedicated OS drive, and a wireless module, so they don't take up other valuable slots. It's got on board RAM Disk utilities, Prioritized LAN settings to ensure running games take bandwidth priority (doesn't make a huge diff really, but nice to have. It also has in BIOS SSD utilities that other boards do not have.

If none of that matters to you, then by all means get the ASRock and save a bit of cash. It may be biased but I feel the Gene is worth it, but I also overclock and game quite a bit (when I get around to it lol) so I like the extra features

As for what to look for in a case, it sounds like noise is a concern, so you'd want to look for cases designed to be as silent as possible, give yourself good airflow. Since size isn't an issue, find a nice mid-tower.

Here's a list of case recommendations from Silent PC Review
http://www.silentpcreview.com/article75-page5.html

Thanks everyone for a great and timely thread! I've been out of the PC game for a while but I'm jumping into the deep end with both feet. I do have some questions and need some guidance, though. I see this thread hasn't been posted to in over a week now so I hope I'm not too late. I just finished reading it all. I know there are trade-offs for every decision, sometimes just cash/budget, but others maybe design or spec limitations I know next to nothing about, so I'm open to any advice and opinions.

Here's my goal and short-term budget: A HTPC that can game at medium to high settings on a plasma TV at 60fps/1080p/60hz for around $1500. I may try to get the refresh to 120hz down the road. I will be putting media on a 2TB WD intellipower HDD and intend to use this as a DVR for OTA recordings. I will put games and OS (Win 8.1 Pro) on a 250GB Samsung EVO ssd. In addition to the storage mentioned, I purchased an ASUS Z87-Pro and a i7-4770K.

1) First obvious question, are there any holes or impossibilities in the basic concept? Are my expectations realistic?

2) Mobo - as you noted above the ASUS line seems to be better build quality than the sister ASRock and since I will be using a HT for sound and display, I don't know that I care about the features offered in the Maximus line. For these reasons, I opted for the ASUS Z87-Pro. Any faults in my thinking?

3) Case - there are soooo many options, I have the deer in the headlight syndrome when looking at cases. I have not read the thread linked above yet, but will. My goal for a case is quiet, neat and cool temp (I will OC at some point and take advantage of SLI feature). Form is not a concern for me and I definitely want as few lights as possible. I've read and looked at some of your favorites already mentioned, but still need some help narrowing it down.

4) GPU - I'm prepared to wait on this for prices to improve (silly digicoins!) but here's my general thinking. Someone mentioned the Nvidia 770 chipset would be the minimum if hoping to push 120hz on a TV display. I have not been able to confirm this, but I'm fine with that as a starting point. I would also consider SLI with a less expensive card and just double or triple them as funds and need arise. So the question is, what are the tradeoffs/benefits between say a $550 780 and 2 x 760 in SLI for about the same money?

5) Darbee - Since GPU was just mentioned, I'd like to know if anyone else besides BarrelBelly has experience with the Darbee. I ran across it about a year ago when researching plasma displays and trying to decide if I should stick w/ the PS3 for bluray or invest in an Oppo. The Darbee option is very interesting, especially for PC gaming on a large-format TV if it limits the need for boosting AA settings. It's not cheap, but if reports are accurate (no offense BB!), it may be the best way to "future proof" a GPU and CPU.

6) RAM - I've heard from 2 sources that DDR3 at 1600mhz is ideal for most games and that some just don't like anything faster. I do plan to pickup games I've missed over the past couple of years (ME, Borderlands, Crysis, etc.) so I want them to work smoothly. Assuming cost is not an issue for RAM between 16GB of 1600 vs 2400, which should I be looking at?

If I've misstated anything someone else said from this thread, I apologize. I'm going from memory reading over the past week or so. Thanks again for such a great thread!

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Old 02-01-2014, 10:35 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by JustaSheep View Post

Thanks everyone for a great and timely thread! I've been out of the PC game for a while but I'm jumping into the deep end with both feet. I do have some questions and need some guidance, though. I see this thread hasn't been posted to in over a week now so I hope I'm not too late. I just finished reading it all. I know there are trade-offs for every decision, sometimes just cash/budget, but others maybe design or spec limitations I know next to nothing about, so I'm open to any advice and opinions.

Hey Sheep - congrats and good luck on your build. I know picking out the "perfect parts" can drive one crazy, but as long as everything works together as it should, some of the minor things like RAM speed or which mobo aren't really as important as they seemed when planning the build.

I think 1080p/60 gaming is very doable for $1500 for most of the games currently out there, and for the future too. If you aren't hitting 60fps, dropping a graphical feature like quality of shadows or LoD (Level of Detail) on distant scenery can usually can bring you back up to 60 and you won't even notice the difference. Dropping or removing AA often does the trick too, but the results are sometimes more noticeable.

Once you start loading up on some games, you are probably going to want an additional hard drive. The SSD is great for Windows, and it's fine for games too - but you don't want to fill up a SSD, and space becomes an issue.

As for SLI vs. single card, as someone who does SLI, I have no problems with it, but keeping it simple with a better performing single card is preferable. Less power, less noise, and one less thing to go wrong. Plus, you can opt for a smaller case - maybe consider the M-ITX Form Factor? My suggestion - go with the highest single NVIDIA card you can afford.

Good luck with your case selection - that's probably the biggest hurdle for you to clear. The rest seems like you are on the right path.
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Old 02-01-2014, 10:36 AM
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I'm curious what display you'll be using that can accept 120hz?

A darbee is no replacement for a better GPU, and generally I prefer single GPU over SLI. You'll find out very soon that the simpler your setup, the better.

Either way a 770 will drive 60fps in 1080p on max settings in most game.

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Old 02-01-2014, 10:54 AM
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I think 1080p/60 gaming is very doable for $1500 for most of the games currently out there, and for the future too. If you aren't hitting 60fps, dropping a graphical feature like quality of shadows or LoD (Level of Detail) on distant scenery can usually can bring you back up to 60 and you won't even notice the difference. Dropping or removing AA often does the trick too, but the results are sometimes more noticeable.

Once you start loading up on some games, you are probably going to want an additional hard drive. The SSD is great for Windows, and it's fine for games too - but you don't want to fill up a SSD, and space becomes an issue.

As for SLI vs. single card, as someone who does SLI, I have no problems with it, but keeping it simple with a better performing single card is preferable. Less power, less noise, and one less thing to go wrong. Plus, you can opt for a smaller case - maybe consider the M-ITX Form Factor? My suggestion - go with the highest single NVIDIA card you can afford.

Great! Thanks for the input. I'm sure I'll opt for a 7200rpm hdd at some point. I'm very curious to test out Steam Mover as it seems like a great solution for keeping the ssd free of clutter and optimized for the most used apps. I tend to play one game at a time to completion, don't do a lot of replay, but don't like uninstalling things I own and enjoyed, so it sounds perfect for me.

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I'm curious what display you'll be using that can accept 120hz?
A darbee is no replacement for a better GPU, and generally I prefer single GPU over SLI. You'll find out very soon that the simpler your setup, the better.

Either way a 770 will drive 60fps in 1080p on max settings in most game.

I'm using a Panny ST50 55". I haven't seen it specifically confirmed to accept 120hz, but I did see a success on an ST30, so we'll see. It's not high on my short-term list, but I'm definitely curious.

My concern with the darbee is I'd basically be putting a device inline that replaces all the "features" I immediately turned off when calibrating my set...pixel orbit, contrast "enhancement", etc.

Yes, I tend to agree on ease. I do like to tinker, but I like enjoying the results better. wink.gif

Thank you both! Hope to hear some more feedback.

Sheep
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Old 02-01-2014, 11:04 AM
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Great! Thanks for the input. I'm sure I'll opt for a 7200rpm hdd at some point. I'm very curious to test out Steam Mover as it seems like a great solution for keeping the ssd free of clutter and optimized for the most used apps. I tend to play one game at a time to completion, don't do a lot of replay, but don't like uninstalling things I own and enjoyed, so it sounds perfect for me.
I'm using a Panny ST50 55". I haven't seen it specifically confirmed to accept 120hz, but I did see a success on an ST30, so we'll see. It's not high on my short-term list, but I'm definitely curious.

My concern with the darbee is I'd basically be putting a device inline that replaces all the "features" I immediately turned off when calibrating my set...pixel orbit, contrast "enhancement", etc.

Yes, I tend to agree on ease. I do like to tinker, but I like enjoying the results better. wink.gif

Thank you both! Hope to hear some more feedback.

Sheep

I've tried "120hz" on my ST30. First off it's only at 720p, and it's not true 120hz, it's faking the TV into thinking your watching 3D. It works, but image quality takes a massive nosedive. It's basically worthless other than to prove it can be done.

Darbee IS a contrast enhancer. It's a really fancy one that some people dig, but nonetheless, that's what it is. If you want a pure image, leave it out.

Steam mover is a bit of a PITA since it can only move one game at a time.

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Old 02-01-2014, 11:42 AM
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Interesting on the TV. Well, I won't spend much time on it. Certainly no point at running 120hz if PQ takes a dump.

I'm still interested in the darbee. Playing a bluray and wanting the purest image possible is, to me at least, very different from playing a game and making the best use of your hardware's resources. I don't plan to include it in the initial build, but as something that can extend the life of a GPU/CPU, it may have some merit. It's cost may make that moot though.
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Old 02-01-2014, 11:52 AM
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Interesting on the TV. Well, I won't spend much time on it. Certainly no point at running 120hz if PQ takes a dump.

I'm still interested in the darbee. Playing a bluray and wanting the purest image possible is, to me at least, very different from playing a game and making the best use of your hardware's resources. I don't plan to include it in the initial build, but as something that can extend the life of a GPU/CPU, it may have some merit. It's cost may make that moot though.

 

Nah, it won't do anything to extend the life of your GPU. It'll just make an image look more dramatic, give it more "pop", if that's your thing. IMO I want the purest image possible from my games as well. If they wanted it to have that kind of look, they'd have designed the game that way in the first place.

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Old 02-01-2014, 12:38 PM
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I use a Darbee with a short throw projector, and I like it. I'm not sure it will make too much difference on a smaller flat panel, but with the large screen it works well in my opinion.
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Old 02-01-2014, 08:25 PM
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Any recommendations on a projector that is gamer friendly?

I was looking at this one. Price is right for me. My room is 15 ft across, I think, I will find my tape measure later, so I wasn't sure if short throw was necessary. I know very little about projectors.

Is there such a thing as a projector with DVI input? I have yet to find one.

http://www.amazon.com/BenQ-W1080ST-1080p-Theater-Projector/dp/B00B11C6HW/ref=sr_1_4?s=pc&rps=1&ie=UTF8&qid=1391285855&sr=1-4&keywords=dlp+projectors

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Old 02-01-2014, 10:03 PM
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Any recommendations on a projector that is gamer friendly?

I was looking at this one. Price is right for me. My room is 15 ft across, I think, I will find my tape measure later, so I wasn't sure if short throw was necessary. I know very little about projectors.

Is there such a thing as a projector with DVI input? I have yet to find one.

http://www.amazon.com/BenQ-W1080ST-1080p-Theater-Projector/dp/B00B11C6HW/ref=sr_1_4?s=pc&rps=1&ie=UTF8&qid=1391285855&sr=1-4&keywords=dlp+projectors

When I was considering a projector system 1-2 years ago I did a ton of research. And decided on Viewsonic Pro 8200 or Pro 8300. They were widely praised for high light output (great for games) and excellent black levels. They can be had at Amazon and other places for $699-$899 on sale. They have 2 HDMI...2 VGA...1 component...1 SVideo...and its 1080p.
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Old 02-02-2014, 12:02 AM
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The optomas are really good for gaming, super low input lag.

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Old 02-02-2014, 12:10 AM
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I run a darbee on my HT and like it. If you're looking at a gaming projector, look at a DLP, they will have the lowest ms lag of all the techs. Do NOT get a JVC, their lag is really horrible for gaming, into the 65ms territory. You have lots of choices though! Optima or if your budget is enough, the Sony 55es is an awesome unit, with great PQ, great 3D and a decent enough lag for a non DLP projector.

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Old 02-02-2014, 01:41 AM
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Any recommendations on a projector that is gamer friendly?

I was looking at this one. Price is right for me. My room is 15 ft across, I think, I will find my tape measure later, so I wasn't sure if short throw was necessary. I know very little about projectors.

Is there such a thing as a projector with DVI input? I have yet to find one.

http://www.amazon.com/BenQ-W1080ST-1080p-Theater-Projector/dp/B00B11C6HW/ref=sr_1_4?s=pc&rps=1&ie=UTF8&qid=1391285855&sr=1-4&keywords=dlp+projectors


To give you an idea of the size of display you'll get with a short throw I added a link to the projector central calculator. At a mere 7'6" you'll get about 138" screen. While not owning that particular model, I've used BenQ's and am impressed with their quality for price. If you are immune to the rainbow effect, DLP's are excellent gaming projectors.

http://www.projectorcentral.com/BenQ-W1080ST-projection-calculator-pro.htm
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Old 02-05-2014, 07:34 PM
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A few questions for you pros: 1. How can the "more money than God-$6500" option last 10yrs? Seems impossible. What would the approximate
dimensions of a case for that be?
2. How can it look better using your tv(still 1080p)?
3. Are there games at higher than 1080p now that a 4K display can take advantage of?

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Old 02-05-2014, 09:43 PM
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A few questions for you pros: 1. How can the "more money than God-$6500" option last 10yrs? Seems impossible. What would the approximate
dimensions of a case for that be?
2. How can it look better using your tv(still 1080p)?
3. Are there games at higher than 1080p now that a 4K display can take advantage of?

It can last 10 years with minor upgrades. The idea is you spend a lot up front to get longevity at a lower cost over time. The case would be a standard mid-tower, up to those custom monstrosities. It varies. but you can easily build a multi-gpu PC in a standard case.

Resolution is only part of it. I can run DOOM at 1080p if I want, but it will still look like it did when it came out. Modern games however, typically have MANY more options on PC than consoles for the visuals. Take a look at a multiplatform game running on a PS4/XBO and compare it to a PC running the game maxed out, the difference is quite clear in nearly every case. And that's BEFORE you get into the realm of mods and ENB injectors and things like SweetFX

EVERY game on PC can run higher than 1080p. EVERY game. If it's not an option in the settings, you can usually change it manually in the CFG or INI file for the settings. EVERY game on PC can run at 4K and beyond already, it's simply a matter of choosing that resolution. The issue right now is that the 4K displays are limited to 30hz, and for a lot of games, that won't cut it.
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Old 02-05-2014, 11:10 PM
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It can last 10 years with minor upgrades. The idea is you spend a lot up front to get longevity at a lower cost over time. The case would be a standard mid-tower, up to those custom monstrosities. It varies. but you can easily build a multi-gpu PC in a standard case.

Resolution is only part of it. I can run DOOM at 1080p if I want, but it will still look like it did when it came out. Modern games however, typically have MANY more options on PC than consoles for the visuals. Take a look at a multiplatform game running on a PS4/XBO and compare it to a PC running the game maxed out, the difference is quite clear in nearly every case. And that's BEFORE you get into the realm of mods and ENB injectors and things like SweetFX

EVERY game on PC can run higher than 1080p. EVERY game. If it's not an option in the settings, you can usually change it manually in the CFG or INI file for the settings. EVERY game on PC can run at 4K and beyond already, it's simply a matter of choosing that resolution. The issue right now is that the 4K displays are limited to 30hz, and for a lot of games, that won't cut it.

Quite a few games run just fine in 4K on my relatively modest $300 GTX 770. It's only the newer, really high end stuff life crysis and metro on max settings that push too hard. Skyrim in 4K is a piece of cake.

Nothing you buy today will run tomorrow's games in 4K well. But give it another 2-3 years and it'll be totally mainstream.

The easiest way to understand the upgrade cycle is to think of it as you're buying into a certain level of quality/performance. 10 years from now, it might still run games...but you'll have to scale them down to the same level of quality/perf you're getting now. You'll rarely be *forced* to upgrade, but at some point you'll just get tired of what you have, and you'll take it to the next level when you're ready.

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Old 02-07-2014, 11:01 AM
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Subject change.

Has the issue of turning your gaming PC on/off remotely been discussed recently? Search showed no results.

My current setup with an ASUS P8-H61 itx motherboard has no method that I have found to turn off the "blue" led in sleep mode. It just "looks" at me, ha. Is there some IR remote attachment available to turn the PC on and off? And, it needs to be compatible with my Logitech 700?

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Old 02-07-2014, 11:12 AM
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Subject change.

Has the issue of turning your gaming PC on/off remotely been discussed recently? Search showed no results.

My current setup with an ASUS P8-H61 itx motherboard has no method that I have found to turn off the "blue" led in sleep mode. It just "looks" at me, ha. Is there some IR remote attachment available to turn the PC on and off? And, it needs to be compatible with my Logitech 700?

Thanks,
Chuck

I actually thought that kind of functionality was what Microsoft was pushing for with their Kinect 1.0 PC initiative. But that project apparently produced nothing. Maybe they will eventually get there with their integration projects with Windows phone and Surface tablets. No reason why either of those couldn't be coded by MS just like a Harmony Remote, to do exactly what you seek. They're just not there yet as far as I know.
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Old 02-07-2014, 11:13 AM
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Originally Posted by Chuck666 View Post

Subject change.

Has the issue of turning your gaming PC on/off remotely been discussed recently? Search showed no results.

My current setup with an ASUS P8-H61 itx motherboard has no method that I have found to turn off the "blue" led in sleep mode. It just "looks" at me, ha. Is there some IR remote attachment available to turn the PC on and off? And, it needs to be compatible with my Logitech 700?

Thanks,
Chuck

I use a windows media center remote receiver, works great with the harmony.
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Old 02-07-2014, 11:40 AM
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I use a windows media center remote receiver, works great with the harmony.

Like this? http://www.ebay.com/itm/Brand-NEW-Original-Genuine-HP-USB-MCE-IR-Wireless-Receiver-Win7-Vista-US-fast-/270929871250?pt=US_Remote_Controls_Pointers&hash=item3f14adc192

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Old 02-07-2014, 12:21 PM
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My rig will be HTPC/gaming. Are you using Windows 8.1 Media Center or something open source like ubuntu?
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Old 02-07-2014, 02:10 PM
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Old 02-07-2014, 02:26 PM
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Yes, that one exactly.

Great, I'll order one.

Will you tell me how you set it up? Lots of chatter about it's not easy.

Add device
Computer > Media Center PC > Microsoft > Windows Media Center SE

Is above correct?

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Old 02-07-2014, 02:37 PM
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The device is called "Microsoft Media PC". It just worked. I don't even have the remote anymore.


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Old 02-07-2014, 02:53 PM
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The device is called "Microsoft Media PC". It just worked. I don't even have the remote anymore.

They have renamed it, then.

When I change "Windows Media Center SE" to Microsoft Media PC; it finds a match similar and sets up "Microsoft MCE hotkeys"?

Sound about right?

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Old 02-07-2014, 02:59 PM
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They have renamed it, then.

When I change "Windows Media Center SE" to Microsoft Media PC; it finds a match similar and sets up "Microsoft MCE hotkeys"?

Sound about right?

I dunno, try it and see if it works. My device is still listed exactly as I typed.

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Old 02-11-2014, 09:53 AM
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Here is a really interesting article on tomshardware.com about GPU performance.

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/graphics-card-myths,3694.html

I still havent finished reading it yet but it's worth reading, especially for those that are just now looking into building a computer.
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