My current system started as a Dell 4550 I purchased back in '03
It came with -
P4 2.4Ghz/533 FSB
Samsung 16x DVD-Rom
NEC 36x CD-RW
WD 60GB 5400rpm HD
Nvidia Geforce 4 MMX 64MB OEM
Sound Blaster Live! OEM
First upgrade was -
ATI AIW 9600XT mainly to play Pro Race Driver smoothly and since I lost my original All In Wonder card to my ex-gf, I wanted to watch and record TV without a VCR and DVR's were expensive at the time.
I also added a 30GB WD hard drive I had laying around from that old system my ex took, was the only part she would let me keep...
Fast Forward to 2007 -
I was growing weary of the ATI PVR software. It worked well when it worked and I had it working very well and very stable almost never crashed, but I lacked any real control over my Direct TV box and yes I knew about the serial controller and such; this PC does have a now rare serial port and I was using it for my seldom used but still used Dex Drive PS card reader. I really couldn't use the Remote Wonder II how I wanted cause it couldn't change the channels its was essentially useless save for DVD playback/control. But the PC came with Power DVD and I used that more than ATI's DVD software.
The remote is still on the original set of batteries that how much I used it!
I decided to burn a little money, not enough to build a new system and I kept that in mind. I previously had a Magnavox 27" LCD which had horrible SD PQ compared to tube tv's and I gave it back to Aaron's (don't laugh, that's how I got this PC too) .
So I needed a new display and it has to meet new criteria -
My room is cramped as it is and I am lucky I don't keep all my DJ stuff and records in here as I would have no room to even walk. I still have too much shh in here so I decided to get rid of my tv stand which was only a couple of years old and didn't cost much so I didn't shed a tear.
The new display would have to work with my computer desk. The Magnavox worked on here but was a bit too big for the space provided for the monitor. The Samsungs didn't work because they were still too big, with side speakers or under panel speakers it didn't matter (size 26"), HP discontinued its LCD's and went with panels that at the time didn't support VGA and I felt that was better to use than component or a VGA to DVI adapter for PQ and keeping the resolution straight.
So I thought about a large PC LCD montior and as I looked into it more, I found some came with extra inputs for other video hardware and they were small enough to fit on my desk the right way. I found the Gateway to my liking and bought one.
I then bought MCE 2005 OEM Rollup 2 with Blaster and Remote, Pioneer DVD-710 DVD-RW Drive, Cat's Eye 150 OTA HD card, WD 320GB 7200rpm HD, Buffalo Internet Converter, 2GB@400Hz DDR and Buffalo 250GB External SATA drive.
So my current specs look like this -
2GB@333hz (suppose to be 400hz, oh well)
Pioneer DVR-710 8x16x40 DVD-RW
NEC x36 CDRW
WD 320 GB (main drive)
WD 60GB (secondary drive)
Buffalo 250GB SATA External
ATI AIW 9600XT (Direct TV Input)
Vbox Cat's Eye 150 PCI (OTA Tuner)
Sound Blaster Live! OEM
Buffalo Internet ConverterGateway FPD2485W 24" LCD Monitor (1920x1200) HD Ready
PS2 Slim Console
Sega Dreamcast (looking for Ethernet adapter to tunnel games)
Current Status -
- Still mitigating files from the original WD 60GB drive
- Still have "MOM" error (too lazy to fix)
- HD Content stumbles with local NBC HD, volume soft with local CBS and ABC HD, but perfect with PBS HD and CW HD
- Sound disappears when system comes back from Stand By, restart cures that, but now I just leave the system running, turn off the monitor and speakers when I go to sleep or leave the room for extended period (ie: work)
Near Future -
Upgrade from 2.4Ghz to 3.06Ghz to help with HD playback, faster video editing/conversion
Fix the above "errors"
Add another 320GB drive and External SATA 500GB Buffalo drive
Long Term Projects -
Convert entire record collection to MP3 or WMA as I complete the transition from analog to digital DJ'ing
Rip DVD collection to hard drive
Convert PAL videos to digital files keeping them PAL via Any DVD
When I finally have my own living room, I would like to build a super tiny HTPC around a Mini XT MB and Case. Keep the media files in a connected media server and repeat the process in my bedroom. What I do with this PC I really don't know. I like the ATI card and don't want to sell it or trash it. I am considering a X800 AIW as that is the most powerful and last AIW card released and should match well with the 3.06 CPU to allow for a few more DX9 I would like to play.
The Saga Continues....
(Sorry about the length just thought it was interesting enough to share -