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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Dell is having a sale and one can get a P4 2.53 GHz (with 256MB RAM, 30GB HD, DVD-ROM, etc) for $340 + tax (free shipping). I know Dell PC is very quiet.


Given such a bargain, would it be a good starter HTPC? Of course, upgrades like soundcard, video card, and HTPC card can be added later.


Any issue with this? Concerns?
 

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Does the case that Dell is using actually have enough spare PCI slots for all this? Usually when I see sub-$400 PCs, they have all the components on the motherboard. A HTPC should be very customizable.
 

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IMO, I think that this would make an EXCELLENT HTPC, as long as you don't mind the mid-tower form factor. The Dell options that you would want to add to this deal is either the ATI AIW 9000 Pro for an extra $100 or the ATI 9700TX 128MB for $140 (if you want to game). You may consider upgrading to the DVD writer for $80 more. Interesting that Dell isn't offering a sound card upgrade, this would be where you would have to get an add-on card. The only other upgrades that you may need is some more ram and a second hard drive. You can't come close to building your own HTPC for less, and you get Dell support.
 

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Make sure you get the Dimension 4550. Buy 512megs RAM ($40) a Revo ($70) and a vid card ($100).


You will then be set.


The 4550 has an AGP slot and 4 PCI slots.


Dell has been having great deals lately...check **************
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks, guys. I've found out some more info on this. Here are the essentials:


Pentium 4 2.53GHz with 845PE chipset

256 MB 333MHz DDR SDRAM

30 GB hard drive

16x DVD-ROM

32 MB ATI Rage Ultra 4X APG video card

External Bays: 2x5.25", 2x3.5"

Internal Bays: 2x3.5"

6 USB 2.0 ports (2 front, 4 back)

4 PCI slots

1 AGP slot

250W power supply (ATX?)

FREE shipping

FREE 3-year complete care with rebate (Dell is very reliable. My Dell Pentium PRO 200 is still running)


Looks like 4 PCI and 1 AGP will sufficient. The power supply is only 250W though.


Total: 599 - 10% - 200 rebate = 340 + tax


I think this may be a great system to get started. As one gets more into this HTPC thing, one can consider upgrading:


RAM

video

sound

more hard disk

PSU


:)
 

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I use a Dimension 4550 as an HTPC, and it's very quiet and stable. The only features I find missing are low-level BIOS control settings, and temperature/fan monitoring. If you like to tweak, it would still be cheaper to buy a Dell and a Asus motherboard than to build from scratch!


--Dan
 

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DueN, If you don't mind me asking, which computer is this and is this an online deal or some other way? If there is a URL, can you post it? You may have just convinced me it is time for an upgrade! Thanks!
 

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no, they only charge tax to states that charge it. oregon doesn't get taxed, and several others too.


if you want dell deals, here are two good sites (hopefully this is ok? if not, i will remove it)


**************
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
The true cost would be:


(599 - 10%) * 1.0825 tax - 200 rebate = $383.58


Not bad for a complete P4 system (sans monitor).
 

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This is a great deal, just ordered one. I'm a little concerned about how quiet it will be, but it's so cheap that I can just throw all of the pieces into a different case.


Tim
 

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wait from what i can tell there is no rebate for Dimension 4550 systems so u're still paying $600+tax no?
 

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I am looking for my first HTPC and this should be so perfect...thanks for the tip off!


Anyone have a list of the software I need to run everything so I can buy it all before the machine arrives?


How much for all the software and where do you find it?


Thanks again...I'm so happy!


Walter
 

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Walter-


It depends on what you plan to do with it, but I like the following:


Theatertek for playing DVDs--you'll also want a good sound card like the Revo 7.1 or Delta DiO 2496--you can get these two bundled together from Digital Connection at a pretty good price. ( http://www.digitalconnection.com/ )


DScaler for S-Video sources (free). Card to input S-Video--> I like the Flyvideo 2000 ($50).


For music playing, I like Media Jukebox: http://www.musicex.com/mediajukebox/


If you want HDTV, then I would get the MyHD card from Digital Connection.


That pretty much covers it. You might want to consider remote control issues in the future, but that opens a whole other rathole.


Tim
 

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I also bought a Dell Dimension 4550, with an upgrade "64MB DDR NVIDIA_ GeForce4 MXâ„¢ Graphics Card with TV-Out", that I intend to convert to HTPC. I currently owned an HDTV ready rear projection TV (Sony HT57HW), and I plan to purchase the MyHD TV tuner card and a front projection for the home theater. As I am new to this, I need some help to choose the correct equipment. Can anybody successfully built a similar system, i.e., a P4 PC, HD TV tuner card, and front projector and can help me with step-by-step instruction to built my home theater? Thanks.
 
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