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Help me convert my desktop PC into a HTPC

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
I have a Gateway GT5408 (specs listed below). The only thing I have done is upgrade the ram from 2gb to 4gb, added a wifi adapter, and upgraded from Windows Vista to Windows 7 (32 bit). I don't need anything lavish all I want to do is convert it into a htpc to rip all my blu-rays onto the hd, get some emulators to play old games from systems like nes, snes, sega, ect, and do all the other basic pc stuff like surf the web. The only thing I want to do is get a new horizontal tower so I can fit it in my entertainment stand, and maybe upgrade to Windows 8. Other than that I really don't know what I need. What can I still use and what HAS TO BE upgraded. I am planning on just getting what I need just to get started and eventually upgrading the parts I can use now.

Part Number: 1014168Gateway GT5408 Desktop Computer
Model: GT5408
The following table provides the specifications for the Gateway® GT5408 desktop computer.



Processor Intel® Core™2 Duo E4300 Dual Core Processor ◾Each core operates at 1.80 GHz
◾Shared 2 MB L2 cache
◾800 MHz front side bus

Chipset Intel 945G
Memory •Installed: 1024 MB DDR2, 533 MHz, (PC4200) dual channel memory (two 512 MB DIMMs)
•Expandable to: 4 GB (4 DDR2 DIMM slots)

Hard Drive 320 GB, 7200 RPM, SATA II hard drive
Support for up to two hard drives
Optical Drive DVD ±RW, 16X multi-format dual layer drive ◾Write max: 16X DVD±R, 6X DVD-RW, 8X DVD+RW, 4X DVD+R DL, 40X CD-R, 24X CD-RW
◾Read max: 16X DVD-ROM, 40X CD-ROM

Media Card Reader 15-in-1 high speed digital media manager supporting the following: ◾Compact Flash (CF) I, II
◾IBM Microdrive™ (MD)
◾SmartMedia Card (SMC)
◾Memory Stick™ (MS)
◾Memory Stick Duo (MS Duo)
◾Memory Stick PRO (MS PRO)
◾Memory Stick PRO Duo (MS PRO Duo)
◾Secure Digital™ (SD)
◾Mini Secure Digital (MiniSD)
◾Multi Media Card (MMC)
◾RS Multi Media Card (RS-MMC) (need adapter)
◾Multi Media Plus Card (MMC Plus)
◾Multi Media Mobile Card (MMC Mobile)
◾xD-Picture Card (xD)

Video Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 950
Up to 224 MB shared video memory
Audio Integrated 8-Channel (7.1) High Definition Audio
Network Support Integrated Intel 10/100 Mbps Ethernet LAN
Modem 56K ITU V.92 ready fax/modem
Power Supply 300 watt
Add-in Card Slots •One PCI Express ×16 (graphics interface)
•One PCI Express ×1
•Two PCI conventional

External Connectors •One PS/2 keyboard port
•One PS/2 mouse port
•One VGA monitor port
•One parallel port
•One serial port
•Six USB ports (four rear, two front)
•Two IEEE 1394a port (one rear, one front)
•One RJ-45 Ethernet LAN port
•Seven audio jacks (five rear, two front)
•One S/PDIF optical audio port

Drive Bays Five total: ◾Two external 5.25-inch
◾One external 3.5-inch
◾Two internal 3.5-inch (hard drive)

Physical Dimensions
(H × W × D) 15.5 × 7.25 × 16.5 inches
Weight (Unpackaged) Minimum 23.4 lbs. (varies with configuration)
post #2 of 9
Not sure what MoBo was used but typically they don't go in any case other than the one that they are in.

I'd say use Win7Home or Win7Pro until Win8 is more hammered out.

Put in an nVidia GT 430 Video card, upgrade the RAM to 4 GB and add a SSD boot drive and your good to go but this computer will be a bit slow being as it is a little aged.
post #3 of 9
You "might" run into problems with the motherboard (and more importantly the screw holes on it) being off. OEMs often use parts that don't conform to the standard sizes and will give you trouble putting it into a new case.
post #4 of 9
Thread Starter 
I plan on eventually upgrading the mother board but for now I would like to use the existing one I have. What would be the best way to find a box that fits my current mb and also be able to fit a new one when I upgrade? I looked it up and I think I found my current mb on newegg.com not sure if its correct but its "Intel BOXD945GNTLKR LGA 775 Intel 945G ATX Intel Motherboard"
post #5 of 9
at this point upgrading the motherboard will also mean the cpu and ram at minimum
post #6 of 9
Adding a Radeon video card is really a you need.

Perhaps SSD for OS is another great upgrade.
post #7 of 9
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

Adding a Radeon video card is really a you need.

Perhaps SSD for OS is another great upgrade.

Or this ^^.

The stock RAM is only 512 so I added that to my earlier suggestions.
post #8 of 9
Sorry for typo ^. Lol

Yes a modest video card is first step. SSD would provide great benefit too.

Nvidia is perfectly fine too. I just prefer Radeon for HTPC and bang for buck.

The control center is better and Radeon has no 0-255/235 issues. Usually dollar for dollar you get a little more power too.
post #9 of 9
You upgraded to 4 GB ram, so that is OK.
Get a Radeon HD7750 - anything more powerful not needed nor would it run on that power supply.
I would suggest a SSD (120 GB is fine) system drive.
Do you want internal storage? 3 TB hard drives are cheap and will hold many movies.
Blu-ray drive? really up to you.
Slot configuration suggests microATX (mATX) or a proprietary standard. Measure the board and compare to measurements for mATX available online.
I really like Silverstone mATX cases.

OH - and avoid Windows 8 in my opinion.
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