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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This is the best sight for reliable info I have found, so I am asking here. I read the sticky on building one,but it was Greek to me and may not be exactly what I want. While I am an expert on building media furniture, I am a beginning newbie on the PC end.

First of all, I want a regular PC case since it does not need to sit in a rack, but beside one, and big enough for at least 3 hard drives. Smaller ones just in case one dies. A dvd recorder drive and a bluray drive slot (to be filled later.) And a multi card reader. (Would it be better to get an external one?) And capable of remote control use. I have a universal 980. I want to record TV off my cable box (has HDMI) maybe put all my DVD and some Blu Ray's on the hard drive, or even better a second hard drive. (trying to clear up some room space. over 500 movies) I also want to put all my CD's on it, or dedicated drive, and be able to play them through my Bryston preamp. (has only coax and optical now, but future plans for an HDMI unit) I would like a nice case, not a cheap one, but not a $300.00 one. One with plenty of cooling. And most of all, a quiet fan for cooling. maybe 2.

I was thinking Intel this time around instead if AMD. (amd has worked OK for my older PC though.)

As for a sound card, well does that come into play if it is running through a preamp? Also I would like to access the INTERNET like any PC, and would like an easy media program to do this all with. I do not like Vista. (on my wifes laptop) I have XP pro right now. I was thinking maybe fire fox or something. Not that I know anything about the OS.

I was always in the habit of not buying cheap products because you will always regret it later. What I mean is, if one cpu is 150.00, and the same is 140.00 somewhere else, I would go for the cheaper one. I'm just a working guy that wants to stretch his money as far as he can like everyone else out there.


Answer if you think you can help me put together a decent media PC for around $1000. total that will be reliable for the next couple years.


And remember, I AM A NEWBY! Thanks........
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Sorry, I forgot to add, I will only use 5.1 for this build. No plans for 7.1 Thanks.
 

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Wow, you're really asking alot all in one bunch there, where to start.


For hardware, just plucking things from the cloud here:


Cooler Master 590 case(have two and they're GREAT)


Asus micro-at Nvidia 9300 or Gigabyte 9400 motherboard


A pentium 5200 or higher would serve you just fine


4GB of DDR2-800 will be more than enough and make sure the system will last


Western Digital Green power drives are quieter, but the Black drives have a longer warranty, SSD's are the quietest, but are insanely expensive in comparison. 500 DVD's plus a music collection and hopes of adding blurays down the line means you're going to want 2TB or more of total disk space. Personally, I like having one drive for the operating system and general use stuff, then 3 or more hard drives for my media, so that I can run raid 5 to be sure that I have parity(a complicated back-up system) of the data, in case a drive fails. Price per gigabyte means that the 1TB drives are the best over-all value right now, and three or four of them in Raid 5 should serve you very well.


Onboard digital audio output should be just fine since the decoding will be done at the amplifier.


For the operating system, it's my OPINION that windows 7 media center is pretty much the easiest thing since sliced bread, codec inclusion is great, ease of set-up is great and versatility is pretty good. Combined with something like media browser, salami's movie organizer, MediaScout, and a codec pack and you're up and running.


Recording TV off of your cable box however is a whole other story, and quite frankly, is not going to be easy to set-up. It's honestly gotten to the point that I just use a DVR box from my cable provider. I'm not saying it's not possible, but it is FAR from easy.
 
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