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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Looking to build an HTC with ability to record tv shows, and be a regual computer that also is good for high end gaming. Was looking at a Dell XPS with the following specs:


Pentium® 4 Processor 560 with with HT Technology (3.60GHz, 800 FSB)


Microsoft® Windows® XP Media Center Edition 2005


1GB Dual Channel DDR2 SDRAM at 533MHz


256MB PCI Expressâ„¢ x16 (DVI/VGA/TV-out) ATI Radeonâ„¢ X800 XT


Sound Blaster Audigyâ„¢2 (D) Card w/Dolby 5.1, and IEEE 1394 capability (would like to change it since its the only option)


Primary HD: 148GB RAID 0 (2 x 74GB SATA HDDs) (10,000 RPM)


Secondary HD: 250GB Serial ATA Hard Drive (7200RPM)


Dual Drives: 16x DVD + 16x DVD+RW/+R w/ dbl layer write


LINKSYS Dual-Band Wireless Broadband Router and Media Center Extender


What do you guys think, any other computers you recomend. Also what is up with HDTV support, I have Directv with an HD box and an 32 inch LCD with DVI / HDMI and component input.


Thanks, Jimmy
 

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Why not build your own? The Dell would work Ok but you'd do much better to build an HTPC specifically tailored to your needs. What display are you going to be using? Will you be playing DVD's? First list exactly what you'll be using it for and then go from there.


A little patience and some significant time spent searching this forum will get you more information than you thought even existed... if you do that I'd bet you won't go with that Dell.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I would build my own, can you buy Window's Media Center 2005 without buying a new computer, I don't see the operating system sold seperatly. I looked at some other companies such as HP, Alienware, Voodoo PC, and ABS but couldnt find a system that stacked up to the XPS with in my price range. The XPS came out to 3,000 with the 10% off special they have.


Thanks, Jimmy
 

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Word is you'll be able to buy WMC2005 stand-alone... as long as you purchase a piece of hardware along with it. That's just from what I've read anyway.

Quote:
The XPS came out to 3,000 with the 10% off special they have.
Is that DOLLARS? :eek:


Seriously, for that you could build one sweet machine... and probably buy a decent front projector to boot...
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
front projector that would be sweet, lol. I can't see how I can build a pc much cheaper. With all the specs I listed. :confused:
 

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Once you do your homework you'll almost certainly not choose what you listed... some of the components listed are probably not even a good idea. But again, ultimately what you'll choose will depend upon your specific needs and requirements. I strongly recommend you determine what those needs are before even considering what components you need.


A few things you'll want to consider is whether or not you really want the heat with that processor... do you need two DVD drives? Why not go with the $25 Chaintech AV710 with toslink out (again depends on your sound system) that does 24bit sound? For HTPC use the 6800GT is probably preferable to the X800. Do you want your HTPC to look like a Dell computer or do you want it to look like a component in your system? What is it you want MCE2005 to do? What will be the display and will you use DVI, HDMI or component? DVD playback via HTPC or are you going to use a DVD player?


I'm not suggesting you won't eventually go with anything you've listed but you should be building your HTPC with your needs in mind and not just for the sake of impressive specs or cutting edge components. If you go about it that way you may just build yourself into a corner... so to speak.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for the info, the primary purpose of this computer is to be a regular desktop to be used for the internet, microsoft word, photoshop, etc. Also I want the ability to play high end games both now and in the future as much as possible. I usually upgrade my computer every 3 years and its that time again. Instead of just going with win xp pro, I want to try something different this year, and go with media center 2005. I have a 19 inch LCD with a DVI or VGA if I have to, a 32 inch LCD montitor with DVI and HDMI which will be close enough to the computer to use a direct cable. Also an older 38 inch HDTV which would need to be used with an wireless extender with component input. Would you recomend the ATI 256MB PCI Express™ x16 Radeon™ X800 XT or the Nvidia 6800, I actually like the Nvidia better but dell didnt offer it. Now I want 2 hard drives one for the computer and one dedicated to recording tv shows, timeshifting, and HDTV. This is why I configured the hard drives the way I did. I also want to install the Sound Blaster® Audigy™ 2 ZS Platinum Pro for gaming to connect to my logitech z680 speakers and to my home theater reciever. For an HTC, do you guys recomend an 3.6 P4 with HT, or an AMD Athlon 64 FX-53 1MB L2 Cache 64-bit Processor - Socket 939 or the AMD Athlon 64 3800+ 512K L2 Cache Windows Compatible 64-bit Processor 939 Pin.


Thanks For All The Help and Info,

Jimmy

:)
 

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If you have the money, that's a good machine. What the other guys are trying to say is, you can get something close to that for a lot less, if you built it yourself.


I know if I was purchasing a new PC today, I'd make sure to get one that had PCI-X, which the XPS does. Not to mention, the new XPS designs are top notch. If I had the cash, I'd go the same route, and also get my DirecTv HD receiver modded with the RD-5000. You'd be all set then.


Also, on Dell's site, they have MCE 2005. And two DVD drives are a must for me, for playback of video that are on multiple dvds.
 

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Sounds like a kick a$$ system to me. Should cover all your bases. $3000 is steep but your getting all high end stuff I guess it's good. Heat shouldn't be a problem unless you plan on putting the unit in a closed area. The 3.6 P4 is a hot CPU though. A co-worker of mine just bought an XPS with similar specs and is very happy with it. Personally I would price out your options at places like newegg, and zipzoomfly. Newegg does in fact offer WMCE 2005 OEM for about $140 plus you'll have to purchase some hardware. You'll probably want the remote and receiver that goes with it which is another $40 or so. I think the Dell would make a great gaming rig with lots of potential as an HTPC. Of course others here may think differently but if gaming is a priority it sounds great, that is if you've got the cash which it sounds like you do.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I just switched from Time Warner DTV, to directv and bought the HD reciever and the nfl sunday ticket (every football game on sunday in HDTV :eek: ) what is the Directv HD receiver modded with DirecTv HD receiver modded with the RD-5000?
 

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Looking at your needs and requirements and taking into account cash is no object the system you spec'd would be great. I have the 6800GT and I really like it - great for HTPC/ffdshow DVD post-processing use and also very good for games like Doom3 and FarCry. However, if you go with the Dell the X800 will do an excellent job. It sounds as if games and more traditional PC use is of primary importance and "HTPC" use more secondary - the X800 works well in that case and for heavy gaming the AMD is probably your best bet.


I use TWC DTV and Voom for my HD so I'm not sure about the mod question...
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by JC7727
I just switched from Time Warner DTV, to directv and bought the HD reciever and the nfl sunday ticket (every football game on sunday in HDTV :eek: ) what is the Directv HD receiver modded with DirecTv HD receiver modded with the RD-5000?
There's a sticky in the HDTV Recording section.
 
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