media box and maybegames sff

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media box and maybegames sff

Postposted on Fri Mar 26, 2004 5:16 pm

Hey everyone, I'm looking to be a small and semi-silent pc to put out in my family room. primarily it will be a dvd player and media player, if its possible I may want to have it so i can play games on it too.

Any ideas for components?
I've seen the latest MSI Mega pc's 180 and 865 both look pretty cool any thoughts on those or other components?

cpu, ram, mobo, vid card? maybe, hd and an optical drive. are dvd burners worth the money yet?
OutlawTornNMT
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Postposted on Fri Mar 26, 2004 7:34 pm

If you're playing on a TV screen you don't need amazing frame rates since you wouldn't be running at a ultra-high resolution. My picks:

Athlon XP 2500+
SN45G
ATI 9700 or 9800 AIW for the HDTV output I don't think the 9600s have it
2x256 PC2700
200G WD SE hard drive
DVD Burner drive
Gyration Wireless Keyboard and Mouse

You should be good to go with that :)
No wonder television's a medium. It's so seldom rare or well done. -Mighty Mouse
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HowardDrake
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Postposted on Sat Mar 27, 2004 5:26 pm

and the new samsung syncmaster 193t right? hehehe. for when i'm not connected to a tv.
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Postposted on Sat Mar 27, 2004 6:58 pm

OutlawTornNMT wrote:and the new samsung syncmaster 193t right? hehehe. for when i'm not connected to a tv.


So you liked the rest? :D
No wonder television's a medium. It's so seldom rare or well done. -Mighty Mouse
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HowardDrake
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Postposted on Sat Mar 27, 2004 7:06 pm

Seems pretty good to me.

I saw that Gyration Media Center Wireless Combo kit, wonder if i could use that for my machine. hehe
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Postposted on Mon Mar 29, 2004 8:45 pm

Good choice. I would say the SN45G represents the best value for money. Must not forget that it will look just fine in a media center.
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Postposted on Mon Mar 29, 2004 9:07 pm

:) MSI Megas are very decent, esp if you like the look and added functionality. They do a SktA version don't they? If not I'd avoid them simply due to the cost of the P4 versions (and the dire perf of the Celeron). I would also side with the Shuttle, SN45G should be very good from what I hear, I use the SN41G2 firstly because it's prettier (prettiest IMHO) and secondly because it offers GF4MX-IGP onboard which though low powered for modern gaming is VERY cost effective ... and it's surprising how much is playable (a LOT). Rem if primarily displaying on a TV you don't need max details (esp textures), high res and forget about AA+AF ... a lot of the newer gfx cards are largely wasted. So you could go SN45G and stick in a fine card like the Rad9600PRO ... fast, o/c'able, cool running and low power consumption. AIW version is fine too, obviously 9800 series is VERY powerful but may be a little hungry and toasty (though will certainly work). Otherwise you could go the SN41G2 and try the IGP, there's always a gfx card slot if find you want more.

8) As for the CPU the Durons are mighty fine and cool running, otherwise a low clocked AthlonXP would be good. Both of these should use only 1.50v stock which should be enough to o/c to 2.0ghz+ should you wish. The reduced voltage will help them run very cool. I'd suggest the Duron 1.6ghz 266FSB, always 1.50v (AFAIK) and you could stick it up to 333FSB and enjoy 2.0ghz (roughly XP2200+) which is outstanding perf for the price. If you're using IGP then definitely get two sticks of 256MB PC3200. If you don't use IGP (SN45G?) then you can still get 2 sticks and enjoy the small boost SktA Dual Channel offers, you would only need RAM equal to FSB but considering pricing you might as well grab PC3200.

:-? I wouldn't rec WD, they're too noisy and generally pretty hot ... I think they're still enjoying the rep they got for being the first 8MB cache drives. I'd rec Maxtor with Seagate and Hitachi close behind, don't worry about 8MB unless it costs very little extra. I also rec a DVD Burner, IMHO NEC but they all seem good now.

;) If this isn't your main rig consider getting into WiFi and/or a router in order to share files and the Internet connection. You wouldn't even need a large HD then, just access your main rigs HD where you could store all your media files. That's how I do it, see here ...

Main Rig:
XP2500+ (@ XP3200+) 512MB Rad9700PRO HD1=160GB (OS, games & apps) HD2=120GB (downloads & media) and finally Router (sharing BB Internet)

Shuttle:
Duron 1.6ghz 256MB GF4MX-IGP HD=80GB (OS, games & apps)
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Postposted on Sun Apr 04, 2004 6:02 pm

What kind of ram do you suggest?

In my P4 main rig I've got corsair xms pc3200.
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Postposted on Mon Apr 05, 2004 12:07 pm

;) I'd rec any good brand of PC3200, 2x256MB so you get Dual Channel. Unless you plan to use IGP the RAM should be run in sync with FSB so on 865 (P4) it would be at full PC3200 speed while on 180 (nF2) it would clock down to PC2700 for 333FSB or run at full PC3200 with 400FSB (or others if you o/c). I personally like TwinMOS (esp WinBond) and Adata but see how prices are near to you.
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Postposted on Thu Apr 29, 2004 5:26 pm

Would it be worth it to look into a P4 shuttle? If so what are the better models?

My main rig now has a P4 2.53GHz
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Postposted on Thu Apr 29, 2004 6:08 pm

:-? How demanding does it need to be, esp in the gfx area? Going SktA should save you a fair bit, worth looking into as an option (whether you go Duron or AthlonXP). If you go Intel seriously avoid the P4-based Celerons and look to something using NW (512k L2) so it stays cool, maybe P4B 2.0ghz or P4C 2.4ghz? For the gfx I'd say if you need an add-in AGP card the only truly viable option would be ATI, the 9600PRO/XT is esp good due to good mid-range speed (and price), small size, low power consumption, cool running and finally it's usable and consistent DX9 and AA+AF. For playback on a TV integrated gfx from nVidia (GF4MX) or ATI (Rad9100?) should easily make most things playable due to the pointlessness of high res, high details, AA and AF. Take a look at the numerous SFF reviews and see where it leads you.
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Postposted on Thu Apr 29, 2004 6:51 pm

Well I'm sure that once I saw how cool these things are first person that I would want to make it my main rig, and I'm a pretty hardcore gamer, although I'm still on the 4200 kick.

But I'm looking to get a good system for next gen games.
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Postposted on Fri Apr 30, 2004 3:32 am

:D GF4TI are still very good cards, even the 4200 (esp o/c'ed). For SFF Rad9600XT is probably the best buy for you at the mo but the 9700 or 9800 (non SE) cards are a nice step up, not that much more demanding and are well priced considering the perf. Waiting for the new wave of DX9 cards (GF-6000's & X800's) isn't likely to help you that much as 9800 is likely to offer better perf than the new mid-range and for less money. For the CPU even a lowly Duron 1.8ghz (stock) is enough for your uses, it's as fast as a P4 2.0ghz and thanks to 1.5v (which I think all new Durons use) coupled with minimal L2 cache helps these to run very cool. Other SktA options are TbredB/Thorton AthlonXP and Barton which are cool even at XP2600+ and XP2800+ speeds respectively (inc o/c'ed to those speeds). However you may need a mobo which can undervolt (or else hw mod) in order to keep the temps as low as possible. You could also try the Mobile-AthlonXP2500+ which runs very cool thanks to very low voltage ... also o/c's very well with the mobo adding voltage, being unlocked is also useful. See reply above for P4.
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